New Zealand Certificate in Fashion (Level 4)



17 weeks full-time; two years part-time
18 July 2022
By 30 June
  • Location
    Study breaks
  • Dunedin
    19 July 2021
  • Dunedin
    18 July 2022

Got a passion for fashion and wondering how to transform that enthusiasm into a career in the fashion industry? Look no further!

Embark on this hands-on qualification to acquire the technical skills, knowledge and industry-awareness necessary for further study in the Bachelor of Design (Fashion) or to gain entry-level roles assisting with design, styling, retail/merchandising, and basic garment construction.

The fashion world is fast-paced, exciting and diverse, and with commitment and further study, you could consider career paths including fashion design, fashion journalism, buying, patternmaking, styling or costume design for film/theatre/television.

The School of Design is internationally-recognised as a great place to study fashion. You will be part of a vibrant fashion and design culture with access to modern design facilities and guidance and support from highly skilled lecturers. 

Student advisor: Pam Hodgkinson

Programme leader: Annette Cadogan

Skills required
  • Creativity and vision.
  • The ability to see an idea through from concept to reality.
  • Enthusiasm and willingness to develop practical abilities
  • The ability to communicate your ideas to others.
  • An interest in people and the world around you.
  • An enjoyment of working with others.
Entry requirements

Academic requirements 

  • Open entry.
  • International students will be individually assessed to ensure they have an acceptable level of secondary school achievement. 

Additional requirements 

To be considered for selection in to this programme, you are required to supply the following:

  •  A 300-word statement expressing your interest in working within the Fashion Industry. 
  •  You may also be asked to attend an interview. 

English requirements  

If you need to improve your English Language skills, we offer a wide range of English programmes

Additional documentation

You must supply certified copies of proof of identify and proof of residency (where appropriate).

Additional costs

If you study full-time, you will be required to purchase $200-300 worth of fabrics, equipment and stationery supplies. A list of class requirements is available upon enrolment.

Further study options

This Certificate is designed to lead into the Bachelor of Design (Fashion) where you can build upon your skills and knowledge to further your career prospects.

Programme specific risks

You will be required to work with industrial machines, pressing equipment and chemical dyes and may also spend time working in industry.

Studying at the School of Design

Our Fashion school offers you the chance to learn in an innovative and collaborative environment and provides you with fantastic opportunities to showcase your creativity. With numerous other talks and smaller-scale exhibitions during the year, a highlight on the Polytechnic calendar is the 'Collections' exhibition which focuses on year three graduate collections and creations.

With international guest designers and judges, and annually increasing audience numbers, a highlight on the Dunedin City calendar is the internationally-acclaimed iD Dunedin Fashion Week. Dunedin is fast becoming the fashion capital of New Zealand and is gaining a reputation for having a truly unique and distinctive style - come and be part of it!

Your workload

A full-time programme of study (17 weeks) averages out at 18 hours per week in class and the equivalent number of self-directed learning hours out of class.

Alternatively, enjoy the flexibility of studying part-time, allowing you to complete the qualification over more than six months and fitting your study around other commitments.

You will study

A total of 60 credits are required to successfully complete this Certificate. 


Compulsory Courses (Complete All)


Industry Practice 

Learn about the inner workings of the global and local fashion industry and consider some of the challenges for the industry around sustainability and ethical practices. Learn about fashion
merchandising and consumer behaviour and apply this to a window or in-store display project
with an online promotion component. Map out your future in the fashion industry and create a
portfolio for application to further study or work in fashion retail or production.


Fashion Design
and Textile Concepts


An introduction to the fashion design process using drawing and writing to communicate ideas
through a fashion communication project. You will then go on to explore textile structure and techniques and undertake a creative textile project.  




This course covers how to operate industrial sewing equipment and covers the basics of garment construction and pattern making applied through two technical projects. You will undertake a Fashion Design project in the last four weeks, bringing together the technical and creative skills and techniques learnt throughout the programme.


Student loans/allowances

Student loans and allowances are for domestic students only. For information about student loans and allowances please visit the Studylink website. It is important to apply for your student loan/allowance at the same time as you apply for this programme, due to the length of time Studylink take to process. Loan/allowance applications can be cancelled at any time if you decide to withdraw your programme application or if it is unsuccessful. 

Recognition of prior learning

If you have extensive knowledge and skills due to practical experience in this area, enquire about our recognition of prior learning process at Capable NZ. You may have already gained credits towards this qualification.

Links to useful websites
  • Connect with School of Design students, graduates and staff on our very active Facebook page
  • iD Dunedin Fashion Week showcases the work of successful and emerging designers with a focus on unique and creative fashion
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