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Fashion Design Courses in New Zealand

Introduction to studying fashion design in New Zealand

Fashion degrees in New Zealand typically span three to four years for undergraduate programs and one to two years for postgraduate studies. The curriculum is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the fashion industry, encompassing theoretical knowledge and practical skills. Modules often include design fundamentals, textile technology, patternmaking, fashion marketing, and industry-related subjects such as sustainable fashion practices.

New Zealand's fashion industry is recognized for its commitment to sustainability and ethical practices, aligning with global trends towards responsible fashion, and the country's multicultural environment also contributes to a diverse and inclusive atmosphere. Upon graduation, international students with a fashion degree from New Zealand universities can explore diverse career prospects in the global fashion industry.

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Types of Fashion Degrees 

New Zealand universities offer various types of fashion degree courses, such as undergraduate and postgraduate. Some institutes also provide certificates/diplomas and research programs in fashion design. Here is the list of fashion design courses in New Zealand.

Diploma in Creative Arts - DipCreativeArts

A diploma in creative arts is a short-term flexible course program that teaches the basics of art and design. It is made up of eight courses from the first year of Bachelor of Design, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Screen Arts, etc. On this course, you will be able to learn and gain skills such as creative thinking, visual communication, critical awareness and other specialist skills. This course is an excellent opportunity to build your portfolio to enter the Bachelor of Design with Honours or Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours.

Bachelor of Design with Honours- BDes (Hons)

The Bachelor of Design with Honours is a good fit if you are passionate about design and getting hands-on studio experience. The course will help you to become a desirable fashion designer with subject and practical knowledge. It includes communication for makers, conversations in creative cultures, collaborations, etc. You will also learn how to design concepts for entertainment and education within film, television, gaming, and location-based experiences. 

Graduate Diploma in Design - GDipDes

The graduate diploma in design is an opportunity for people who have already completed their degree and want to add a subject area to their learning. You can opt for majors in concept design, textile design, spatial design, fashion design, etc. In this fashion designing course in New Zealand for international students, you will be immersed in hands-on doing, making, discussion, and debate. Also, you will gain creative problem-solving and critical thinking skills and develop specialist design capabilities at an advanced level. 

Master of Design- MDes

The Master of Design is an advanced degree focusing on design theory, technology, and original research. The course allows you to specialise in a chosen design and creative industry area and prepares you for the next step in your career. 

Through the MDes program, you can make strong connections with the business, public, and non-profit sectors. 

You can also access an individual studio space with technical expertise and facilities, such as a dark room, digital imaging facilities, etc. Some career opportunities include motion graphics designer, advertising designer, fashion designer, etc. 

Scholarships for Fashion Design Courses in New Zealand

Here are some of the top scholarships offered by New Zealand universities for fashion graduates. 

Scholarship name

Offered by

Award Value

Vice Chancellor’s International Excellence Scholarship

Victoria University of Wellington

$10,000

UC International First-Year Scholarship

University of Canterbury

$15,000

The University of Waikato GEMS Scholarship

University of Waikato

$10,000

Jobs and Careers

After obtaining a fashion degree in New Zealand, graduates have a variety of exciting career paths to explore. One common avenue is fashion design, where graduates can work as designers for established fashion houses or start their own independent labels. They may create clothing lines, accessories or specialize in specific areas such as sustainable fashion, haute couture, or ready-to-wear designs. Working as a fashion designer allows graduates to express their creativity and contribute to the evolving trends in the industry.

Another popular career option is fashion merchandising and retail management. Graduates may find roles as buyers, planners, or merchandisers for retail brands, helping to curate collections, manage inventory, and analyze market trends. They can also pursue careers in visual merchandising, creating compelling displays to enhance the aesthetic appeal of retail spaces. The fashion industry relies heavily on effective marketing and communication, opening up opportunities for graduates in roles such as fashion marketing, public relations, or digital marketing. Graduates can work for fashion brands or marketing agencies, developing product promotion strategies, managing social media presence, and organising fashion events.

Salary

Salaries for fashion degree graduates in New Zealand can vary widely based on several factors, including the specific career path chosen and experience level. For entry-level positions such as fashion assistants or junior designers, graduates might expect a starting salary ranging from NZD 40,000 to NZD 60,000 per year. As graduates progress in their careers, take on more significant responsibilities, or move into specialized areas, their earning potential can increase. Mid-level fashion designers with several years of experience may command salaries in the range of NZD 60,000 to NZD 80,000 or more annually.

Top Universities for Fashion Design Courses in New Zealand

To learn more about the best fashion courses in New Zealand, find details on New Zealand universities that offer fashion design degrees below:

University

Acceptance rate 

University of Auckland

68%

University of Otago

58%

Victoria University of Wellington

64%

University of Canterbury

50%

University of Waikato

70%

Auckland University of Technology

50%

Massey University

65%

Study Fashion in New Zealand

If you want to study a fashion design course at a New Zealand university, arrange your free consultation with SI-New Zealand today.

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FAQ

How long do fashion design courses typically take to complete?

The course duration depends on the type of degree chosen. A diploma degree usually takes one year to complete. On the other hand, the undergraduate and postgraduate degrees take four and two years, respectively. 

Are there job opportunities in New Zealand after completing a fashion design course?

The fashion industry is glam and creative, with many retail merchandising stores in New Zealand. After completing their fashion studies, graduates can start their brand or work as freshers in popular garment stores, fashion accessories brands, etc. 

Can international students work while studying fashion design in New Zealand?

Yes, you can work up to 20 hours a week if you are doing a full-time course and work full-time during holidays. You can also opt for fashion internships in different garment stores to gain experience. 

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