Skip to content ↓
Upton-by-Chester High School Chester School Awards - Winner

A Level

Design Technology –  A-Level in Product Design & A-Level in Fashion and Textiles

We are offering an A Level in Product Design or Fashion and Textiles through the WJEC exam board.

Course Content and Assessment

The qualification is split into two assessed areas, a Contextual Studies Design Project and a Written Theory Paper.  More information about the qualification can be found at; http://www.eduqas.co.uk/qualifications/design-and-technology/as-a-level/

The Contextual Studies Project is a design and make task that demonstrates your ability to work and manage a design project independently.  This project is started towards the end of the first year of the course, you will explore possible project topics, carrying out a range of research activities and development concept ideas.  This work is done whilst also undertaking other design based activities to build knowledge and skills within the subject.  During the second year you will be working predominantly on your Contextual Studies Project.

The written theory paper tests the depth and breadth of your knowledge in the subject. It is taught through short assignments and activities and covers a range of subjects such as materials, manufacturing and design history.  There is also a strong element of learning through the work done on your Contextual Studies Project.

The course looks at how product designers and engineers produce innovative changes in the world. 

Core units studied include; Materials, Manufacturing Techniques, Design History, Human Factors and Ergonomics, Resource Management and Sustainable Production, Modelling, Raw Material to Final Product, Innovation and Design.  These topics are taught through the use of practical assignments and theory based lessons.  These activities enhance your understanding and develop your constructional skills.

You will be encouraged to make use of the workshop facilities including the Laser Cutter and CNC machines. CAD skills are encouraged and used within all aspects of the course.

What skills will I gain?

The core skill at the heart of the course will develop your ability to independently follow the Design Process, starting from an Initial Brief and then through the use of Research, Idea Development, Prototyping, testing and improving, produce a high quality fully resolved product and project folder.

Where can A level Product Design lead?

You will gain an excellent understanding of the design process and problem solving skills undertaken by people working in design industries.  The courses will be of great benefit to students with an interest in engineering, product design, architecture or other careers that involve a combination of creativity and sound analytical thinking.  The courses will also enable you to develop a wide variety of transferable skills useful in many other occupations.  Former students have pursued careers in Civil, Mechanical,  Electronic Engineering, Industrial Design, Product Design and Architecture.

Where can A level Fashion & Textiles lead?

There are a huge number of potential careers in the fashion and textiles industry and below are some of the key roles available to someone who is interested in this area.  The textiles industry can be divided up into ‘sectors’. Each sector focuses on a different part of the industry e.g. most sectors require designers, technologists, machine operatives, retailers etc. This means that someone interested in being a designer has the choice of designing across a number of sectors e.g. being a sportswear designer or designing specialist new materials for the construction industry.

Examples of different textiles sectors are: • Sales & retail • Manufacturing • Sports & leisure • Medical • Transport • Construction • Fashion & apparel • Craft • Footwear • Theatre & t.v. • Education • Armed Forces • Interiors • Toys • Tailoring & bespoke textiles • Carpets & flooring • Technical textiles

What qualifications do you need to study A level Product Design or Fashion and Textiles?

You will predominantly come through from a GCSE in Design Technology.  We accept students who have not studied Design Technology at GCSE but are able to show an ability to meet the levels required and an understanding of the learning methods and practical skills used in this subject.