Food Technology is part of the Technology department alongside Product design: Technology and Textiles. Interest in the subject is growing year by year and the numbers taking Food Technology are among the largest in the country. The staff are passionate about the subject and have a wealth of experience with strong established links to the AQA exam board. Our students go on to study a variety of subjects at university including food related degree courses and many have progressed into successful careers in the food industry at well-known food companies. Here you will find plenty of information about the course at the college. You will also find examples of students' work and students' thoughts about the subject.
- Q: I've heard Food Technology is hard work. Is this true?
A: Yes and no! All AS subjects are more demanding than their GCSE equivalents. Food Technology is certainly more time consuming than many other subjects as there is a large amount of coursework that can take time to complete to a high standard. Having said this, most students who organise themselves well and stay on top of the work manage to get it all in on time without too much trouble. The majority of students enjoy Food Technology and have a very positive experience of the subject.
- Q: How much homework will I have?
A: The college guidelines suggest that you should be completing 3-4 hours of homework per week per subject. There are very few set tasks for homework in Food Technology. Instead you will be expected to use time outside of lessons continuing with your coursework. Students are expected to manage their time effectively to ensure they use their time outside of lessons well in order that all work is completed by the deadline given. It is impossible to do well in Food Technology if you just work during lesson time.
- Q: How much cooking will I do?
A: Practical work is carried out through coursework. The majority of your cooking will be making and testing ideas for coursework, developing ideas for coursework along with producing a final product to complete your coursework folder.
- Q: How is the course divided between coursework and theory lessons?
A: Approximately two thirds of lesson time will be spent on coursework and one third learning the theory. Coursework starts mid-September of the first term and continues to April of the spring term. There are two tasks to complete; each task has a fixed deadline. Theory work is completed during the single period lessons, with the double (90 min) lessons devoted to coursework. There will be regular theory tests set throughout the year.
- Q: Will there be a lot of written work?
A: Food Technology is a broad subject that requires a wide understanding and knowledge of food, nutrition and food science. Factual knowledge needs to be learned, practical skills need to be developed. Coursework requires a written portfolio of evidenced work in the form of research, analysis, annotation, testing and evaluation. The exam also requires you to write coherently, use the correct technical vocabulary and to be able to express and apply theory knowledge to the exam questions. If you want to succeed in the subject you will need to take the written side of the course seriously as well as the creative practical side.
- Q: I haven't studied Food Technology at GCSE. Will I be at a disadvantage?
A: We have had many students successfully complete the course who have had no prior experience of Food Technology. We make sure that all students are taught everything they need in order to do well. You will do a short induction course which allows you to familiarise yourself with the subject.
- Q: What subjects compliment Food Technology?
A: Many students who study Food Technology also choose to study Biology or Chemistry. These are essential for some degree courses in Dietetics. Sport and Physical Education, Health and Social Care, Sociology or Business Studies are some examples of subjects that combine well with Food Technology. Some students also choose to take another coursework based subject such as Art, Photography or Textiles. Often students find studying these subjects together is of benefit. However, all subjects that have a large coursework element are very time consuming. Doing more than one can put a great deal of pressure on your time. Students who are less able to manage their time effectively often struggle to do well in more than one of these subjects. We would never recommend that any student does three or more of these courses.
- Q: What can I do with an A-Level in Food Technology?
A: Many students who study Food Technology at The Sixth Form College go on successfully to study a wide range of degree courses, including food based courses such as: Food Technology, Food and Nutrition, Food Science, Dietetics, Nutrition, Sports Nutrition, Environmental Health, Food and Marketing, Food and Hospitality, Food and Catering, Food Quality Assurance and many more. Ex-students often comment on how well Food Technology has prepared them for their degree course and progression beyond A Level. Food Technology helps students to learn independently, solve problems, express their thinking and manage their time well; all relevant skills for the workplace.