AQA puts Fashion on the front row with new A-level

Thursday 19 May 2016

For the first time ever, students will be able to take an A-level in Fashion under plans unveiled today by exam board AQA.

They will take an in-depth look at the work of influential designers such as Chanel, Dior, Mary Quant, Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Cardin, Vivienne Westwood, Gaultier and McQueen and the impact they have had on fashion, textiles, design and manufacture.

The new standalone qualification replaces the long-standing 'Textiles' course, which is currently part of the Product Design A-level. It will cover the major historical design styles and movements including Punk, Pop Art, Art Nouveau and Minimalism. Alongside this, students will analyse socio-economic influences on fashion such as street culture, social media, the role of women in society, music, World War II and the rise of youth culture.

Students will create their own designs, learning how to use a variety of textiles and new design technologies such as wearable technology. Alongside the creative elements of the course, they will study the commercial side of fashion, including branding and marketing.

The course also includes elements of maths and science to reflect industry practice. For example, students will learn equations to calculate how much material is required for a particular design.

Ben Galvin, AQA Qualifications Developer, said:

"The UK's thriving fashion industry makes a huge contribution to the economy. It employs hundreds of thousands of people and is one of our most sought-after exports. It's important that we support the growth of this industry by developing young people with a solid understanding of the commercial, creative and technical sides of the trade.

"This new A-level will enable students to learn about some of the most influential and iconic designers and movements to demonstrate the history of the industry and its importance within our society."

The plans for AQA's new Design and Technology: Fashion and Textiles A-level, which will be available to teach from September 2017, are being submitted to the regulator Ofqual for accreditation.