Bachelor of Design (Fashion Technology & Design).xml Bachelor of Design (Fashion Technology and Design)

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DegreeFull time - 3 years, part time available

Annual Fees(indicative 2016)

Programme code



$6,450 - $7,100







Course related costs



Domestic Applications due

Received all year

International Applications due

Please enquire


Christchurch - Madras Street


Establish a name for yourself in the fashion industry by combining your flair, creativity and passion with professional expertise and technical skills.

Our degree programme aims to give you tools to become an independent designer or garment producer. You'll learn key skills in design strategy, drawing, garment construction and pattern making. You'll also get to choose two courses from a wide range of electives that will help you to develop specialist skills that suit your goals. As well as studio courses, you'll complete a group of core courses in academic subjects, including both professional and contextual studies, which will give you great communication skills, knowledge of a range of creative practices, and basic business skills.

You'll gain real-world industry experience in year one, hearing from guest speakers about their journeys and inspirations, and benefitting from the learning their career paths have given them. We'll also give you opportunities like competitions and fashion events to expose your work to the wider industry.

In year two you'll undertake a 40-hour industry placement, which is collection-based. Here you'll gain real world learning about current trends and marketing methods.

In the final year you'll have the opportunity, with the guidance of Ara fashion staff, to undertake a further 80-hour work placement where you'll design your own collection based on a designated brief. The company hosting your placement will critique your work and you'll gain invaluable industry experience from those at the top of your field.

To conclude your final year you'll undertake a major project encompassing all of the skills you've acquired in design, marketing, small business ownership and construction. This culminates in a fully professional catwalk show to an audience of your peers, your family, and industry representatives.

Find out more about studying fashion

Programme structure

To complete this Degree you are required to complete a minimum total of 360 credits. Please browse the guide below to view the course options currently available within this qualification.

Core courses
Elective Courses

To be a full time student you need to maintain a workload of 120 credits per year. We recommend you talk with us to ensure you choose electives to benefit your future career.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements
  • NCEA Level 3 (60 credits at Level 3 and 20 credits at Level 2 or higher) which must include 14 credits at Level 3 in each of three approved* subjects and

    • Literacy* - 10 credits at Level 2 or above, made up of 5 credits in reading, 5 credits in writing and
    • Numeracy* - 10 credits at Level 1 or above (specified achievement standards, or unit standards 26623, 26626, 26627)

    Note: Students who have undertaken examinations other than NCEA (eg International Baccalaureate, Cambridge examination) should contact us for requirements.

    * NZQA approved subjects: see

Alternative requirements
  • Skills for tertiary study (including literacy and numeracy) may be acquired through study, work and/or life experience. Students who can demonstrate these skills may be approved for alternative entry. Literacy and numeracy assessments are available.

Additional requirements
  • Portfolio Applicants for the Bachelor of Design are required to present a portfolio demonstrating their art/design work with their application. The portfolio comprises up to 16 photographs of visual work including art, graphic or design work in any media, giving clear evidence of your ability to generate ideas and concepts towards a specific purpose. Drawing (process, descriptive or imaginative), composition, and technical skills will be given special consideration.
  • Written Statement Applicants are required to answer three set questions based on their portfolio and future aspirations.

  • Interview Applicants may be required to attend an interview if there are any questions raised by their portfolio or written statement.
English requirements
  • If English is not your first language you may also be required to provide evidence of your English language skills. If you have no evidence of your English language skills and are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, contact us for an assessment.

    • Note: If you have achieved NCEA Level 3 University Entrance requirements you are not required to provide evidence of English Language Skills.










Acceptable Alternatives Chart

Selection criteria

When there are limited spaces available we follow a selection process ranking applicants based on your application. Waitlisting is also available for this programme.

Next steps

To apply for this programme please:

  • Complete the Admission and Enrolment Form and submit this with the other application requirements.

If you don't meet the criteria for entry into this programme, we can help you meet entry level with our foundation and bridging programmes.

Your on-the-job experience may count towards part or even all of this qualification. To learn more, contact our Centre for Assessment of Prior Learning (CAPL) .

Application documents

Career opportunities

With the expertise gained from completing this programme you'll be prepared for a range of roles and opportunities in the fashion industry.

These include becoming a:

  • fashion or textile designer
  • visual merchandiser/marketer
  • pattern maker/ tailor's assistant
  • online fashion retailer
  • costume designer
  • seamstress
  • stylist/design assistant

Study pathways

Graduates may choose to enrol in a wide range of programmes including postgraduate study including:

  • Bachelor of Media Arts (Honours) (Wintec)
  • MFA (University of Canterbury)
  • PGDipFA (Massey)
  • PstGrad Diploma in Art and Design

Recommended school subjects

  • Design
  • Photography
  • Art
  • Graphics
  • English or English-rich subjects