Do you want to explore a career in fashion design? Join Katrina Rose as she explores fashion and textile associate degrees, and learn about key learning outcomes, how they differ from each other, and the kind of industry-based projects you can expect to work on as a student in RMIT's vibrant fashion community.
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Hi, my name is Katrina Rose, and I am one of the program managers in the design and technology disciplines, here at RMIT. I have been proudly involved with a number of the fashion and textile programs at RMIT for the last nine years, and I'm delighted to be able to share a few of them with you. Today, I'm going to tell you a bit about RMIT's unique set of associate degree programs. Connected firmly with the industry, these programs offer an intensive two years structure to prepare you for the ever-changing fashion industry. I'll explain some of the key learning outcomes of each program, how they differ from each other, and the kinds of industry-based projects you can expect to work on as a student. It is my privilege to be a part of the vibrant fashion community at RMIT Brunswick, and I'd love to welcome you to one of our programs.
RMIT respectfully acknowledges their ancestors and elders past, present, and emerging. And while we conduct our work remotely, I want to pay my respect to the wider unceded lands of this nation. The world of fashion has always been a constantly changing environment, and in recent years, there have been enormous change, both here in Australia and worldwide, as companies went online and the consumer could select to buy from anywhere in the world. Our two associate degrees that you see here, delivered from the Brunswick Campus, prepare you with both the skills to survive in a highly competitive industry, and the knowledge to really make a difference, as this industry continues to evolve in response to our changing consumer and world needs.
So let's delve a little deeper into these two programs. The Associate Degree in Fashion Design and Technology takes you in first semester to design, create, make, build on production skills, pattern making skills, garment construction, and a hands-on experience that builds on your skill level at every semester across the two years. The Associate Degree in Fashion and Textile Merchandising is really the business side of the fashion industry, teaching you a key understanding of the financial and marketing skills to run a fashion business, or to be part of a larger company, if that's what you prefer. Understanding the consumer needs and how to design product to meet those needs, and then bring it into store at the right price, in the right quantity, and at the right time. Both these associate degrees are two year programs, and while there is some crossover in what they teach you, there are also many differences, which we'll explore a little bit later.
The Associate Degree in Fashion Design and Technology requires a folio entry. You need to submit online as instructed, your folio, which shows how you have approached a design project. It doesn't have to be about fashion, it doesn't have to be about textiles. It could be about art, photography, or something else that you have done in your final year of high school, or in your working life. What we want to see is the process that you have done, how you have created the product, completed something, or changed and evolved what you have been doing from the beginning. Alternatively, for the Associate Degree in Fashion and Textile Merchandising, they just require an ATAR. No folio, no interview, no written documents, but your ATAR is your entry into this program.
I would like to explore some other study options with you. Because both the associate degrees that I'm talking about today are very competitive programs, you may find that you would like to enter something else first, or that you don't get in the first time, in which case, what are your other options? There are so many options here at RMIT, and here are just a few of them listed on this slide. But the two that I want to point out to you, particularly as really fantastic pathways into both the associate degrees, is the Certificate IV in Textile Design, Development and Production. This may be a program that you're interested in any way, if you're interested in designing textiles, print, knit, and weave, or exploring the foundation of everything in the fashion industry, which is our fabrics.
The other program is the Diploma of Fashion Styling. This program also feeds beautifully into both the associate degrees we're discussing today. The Diploma of Fashion Styling stands on its own two feet. It teaches students how to interact with the fashion industry, how to build their own personal brand, how to build a brand for other people as well. And they also do projects with both of the associate degrees at various times throughout their year.
As you can see, there are many ways to get into the associate degrees. There are other options within our fashion portfolio. And beyond the associate degrees, if you choose, you can also pathway into the degree programs, and there are many of those for you to explore. You can also pathway into the degree programs, and you will find there are many of those. There are options open to you within the RMIT website.
The core structure of the Associate Degree in Fashion Design and Technology takes you through the four semesters. We like to think of it in terms of streams. There is the fashion design stream, where you start with Fashion Design and Drawing, learning the principles of design, how to put those things on paper and then onto computer. We then take you into Fashion Design Concepts, where you build on those skills and start to explore how you bring product to life. That again builds on into the third semester, with Fashion Design Influences, where you really start to explore other brands within the industry.
There's also the pattern making stream, where you have Pattern Technology 1, followed by two and then three, and ultimately, your final semester of Pattern Technology 4. We don't expect you to be pattern makers when you start with us. We don't even expect you to have opened up a commercial pattern, let alone start building your own. We teach you from the start the skills and knowledge to be able to build on those pattern making skills, where at the end, you are able to create anything that you design.
There's also the design and development stream, which really takes you into the production rooms. It shows you how to use production skills, how to use all the machinery that we have available to you, some of which we'll show you a little bit later in this PowerPoint.
When you start this program, you have electives in your first semester. That can be Fashion Knitwear, or Printing for Fashion, something which all our students have really enjoyed taking a part in. In the other semesters, there are particular subjects like Product Specifications, Production Planning, and Professional Practice, that really build together to prepare you for the industry that you are soon to enter. And then in the final semester, there is industry engagement, which takes you into work placement, and understanding your own brand and how you want to represent yourself when you start applying for jobs. The last three subjects, Professional Practice, Design and Development 4, and Patent Technology 4, actually come together to form the Capstone, and that project is done in teams, but we're going to come back to that a little bit later in this presentation.
The course structure for the Associate Degree in Fashion and Textile Merchandising is a little different. There are no electives, because we know that each course builds on the course before, or the semester before. It also fills the needs of the industry as it has changed and evolved over the years. But if you look at it more closely, you'll see that you still learn about Product Specifications, Distribution and Logistics, so how to get product from one side of the world to the other, and the global impacts of manufacturing, and what our industry does on a global scale.
Retail Mathematics, Merchandise Planning, and Merchandise Management is another area that is very important to fashion and textile merchandising. While we don't expect you to start with year 12 maths, so don't worry if you have left that behind in your senior school studies. We will take you from the start. We will teach you how to look at profit and loss, how to build a business, and a successful business, at that.
Merchandise Planning is an area in retail that has continually grown over the last number of years. It is understanding how to bring the right amount of product to the floor of a retail store, how to move that product, when to market down, when to change the prices, and how it contributes to the overall profitability of any company.
The other area that Fashion and Textile Merchandising concentrates on, is marketing. It starts from the first semester, where you learn the principles of marketing, then we move into Fashion Business, Global Marketing, and finally Digital Strategies. All these areas build on your knowledge to bring product into the marketplace, to speak to the consumer, to understand their wants and desires, and bring something new and fresh to a retail store, or to a digital platform.
For Fashion and Textile Merchandising, their final year project is called the TRI Project, The Retail Initiative. It is a project that builds on the design capabilities from subjects like IT Fashion Illustration. So while you may not be actually making product, you are still designing product in this program, in a two day format, and building on product ranging concepts that you will have learnt in semester two.
This is just one of the many images of the Brunswick Campus. We're only 10 minutes from the city, and it is a fantastic campus to be a part of. There are beautiful grounds, space to sit in the sun in summer, where students bring out their bean bags and deck chairs, and enjoy each other's company under the gum trees.
As you can see here, this is just some of our state-of-the-art facilities. Students can enjoy the most amazing workshop spaces, machine rooms, collaborative teaching spaces. This is something that we are very proud to give you at RMIT Brunswick.
Again, some of our fantastic facilities at RMIT Brunswick for you to enjoy as students, and take a part of within your learning experience.
This image shows you a fish-eye view of the print room, and this is just one of our many specialist areas. You may be doing print design as your elective, or you might have decided to study textile design as one of our other fashion alternatives. This space includes state-of-the-art equipment for digital printing at one end, and hands-on screen printing at the other end, where students can really enjoy getting their hands dirty, getting involved with actually printing their own designs. You will find there are many other spaces available to students on the RMIT Brunswick Campus, and we would love to open them up for you.
With both the associate degrees, we have so many industry connections. We work with real clients, real people who work in the industry businesses, that you will hopefully one day be working for. There are project competitions that are judged by industry experts, and you have the opportunity to actually head out into industry, either through work experience or for studio practices.
When we start to talk about our industry partners, these are just a few of the great companies that we have had the joy of working with. Both the associate degrees have worked with many of these companies, and continue to work with them, particularly on their final year projects.
Here, we have just a few of the projects that we work on with industry. The first, as you can see, was something that we did with Fashion Design and Technology. Yes, we partnered with the AFL, and the winners' designs actually went into production. They were briefed by a company who makes, under license for the AFL, scarves and beanies in all the team colors. And they wanted to do something better, something that would appeal to the female fan, something using Australian Merino wool. Our winner, who you can see here was able to see her designs being produced in all of the team colors, and they were being sold at retail through the various AFL teams. And while this was a small, short project, we also, across both the associate degrees, do two large projects.
Firstly, I'll talk about Fashion and Textile Merchandising. The Retail Initiative, or the TRI Project, as we call it, bring student teams working together to research a brand. The consumer and the retail environment come up with and present design solutions for product, as well as marketing and digital strategies, for a retail brand to bring new product to the consumer, both in store and online. They are briefed by an industry partner, such as Myer Miss Shop, or Target, or Sportsgirl, and over two semesters, with feedback points coming back from industry, where the industry partner will critique the students' work, sometimes redirect the teams, while they continue to push what is possible in the fashion retail business. This project carries across the two semesters, with a number of subjects feeding into it, alongside the project itself. It is something that has been going for a number of years now, and has really had some exciting outcomes, where students are able to stand in front of the industry partners, and quite often, end up with jobs with them.
Our other final project is for Fashion Design and Technology, and it's called the Capstone Project, where students again, work in groups. Inspired by a brand's identity and ethos, they work together to produce an integrated collection of product. Over an intense 14 weeks, they will mimic the research, design, make, and market process of the industry, to produce a collection that both extends their skills and presents a new vision to the industry partner. Again, they will receive feedback from the industry partner, as they move along their journey. At the end of their final semester, they will present to industry their product range designs, and a video accompanying how they see their brand being portrayed for that company they're working with.
While both these projects are aimed at simulating a workplace environment to prepare students to enter the workforce, where they may not be to choose who they work with, but these experiences help prepare them for the realities of dealing with, and resolving conflict, differences of opinion, or work ethics. These are all skills that are needed in the workplace, and are always being asked for by industry partners who are seeking to employ our students, so once study is completed, we know that you are well prepared for the workforce or whatever comes beyond.
If you do not seek to do a student exchange in your final semester, but prefer to continue studying with us here in Melbourne, you might want to join one of the tours that we do across the world. Both the associate degrees have, in the last number of years, joined together to do tours into China, to look at manufacturing processes, or Hong Kong, or elsewhere in the world, like Paris, or America. I know in the future, there will be other opportunities to look at how the fashion industry is progressing on the other side of the world, and hopefully, you will join us on one of those trips.
You can see this amazing list here for both the associate degrees, and while you will see there is some crossover in career outcomes for the associate degree students, both from Fashion and Textile Merchandising, and Fashion Design and Technology, there are certainly particular strengths in each program. Fashion Design and Technology has really strong areas of pattern making, quality assurance, a garment technologist, production assistant, where Fashion and Textile Merchandising can concentrate more on the merchandise planner, the stock manager or allocator, or the digital marketer. Both sets of students sometimes compete for the same jobs, but they come to it with different skill bases, and they do find where they fit within the industry, based on what their learning has been over the two years in the associate degree they studied.
Well, now we come to the important part. When do we actually start teaching you in 2021? It is often confusing for students entering an associate degree. They think of the program correctly, that it is sitting in higher education. However, an associate degree is taught based on vocational education timeframes. So yes, we start in early February. We teach you for 16 weeks, two semesters per year.
Let me end by saying thank you for taking the time to hear about our unique associate degree fashion programs at RMIT. I hope to see you enter our doors next year. For more information about our courses, check out the RMIT website, or call Study@RMIT on 9925 2260. Take care, and have a fabulous day.
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