Associate Degree in Fashion Design and Technology
DurationFull-time 2 years
Study design, pattern making and cutting-edge technology to produce everything from ready-to-wear through to made-to-measure fashion.
Your journey starts in this two-year Associate Degree where you will develop creative and technical skills whilst working closely with the fashion industry. You learn to blend theory with practice through a series of industry-driven and live international projects.
Through your studies you will gain the skills required to be industry ready, developing the knowledge and know-how to secure jobs in the fashion industry – especially in computer-aided design (CAD) and the global supply chains.
You will develop a broad range of skills and study the underpinning theory of the design process, including fashion range development, trend research, specification development, design and production management, and pattern and garment construction skills.
In your studies you will learn:
- fashion design and drawing
- computer-aided design
- patternmaking and grading
- computer-aided patternmaking and grading
- fashion trend research
- production planning
- garment construction
- supply chain management
During your studies you will work on design briefs from local and international companies such as Alpha60, Cotton On, Denimsmith, Etal, Bizwear and Nobody Denim, working to specifications relating to demographic, colour, fabric, trends and budget.
These experiences will provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to work locally or internationally as part of a design team or to start your own business.
This program will unlock your creative potential, enabling you to pursue a career in fashion design or start your own fashion business.
- Brian Khoo
Owner “Brian Khoo”, Malaysia
(previously Design Assistant for Christian Dior Couture, Paris)
- Linden Blick
Designer, Cotton On
- Jodie Hayes
Co-creator and designer of indie ocean activewear label U&I
- Paul Cordero
Draper and patternmaker at Chloé, Paris
This program offers a variety of learning and teaching approaches that give you direct insight into and experience in the global fashion workplace.
You will interact with key people from the Australian and international fashion industry. You will undertake hands-on work with fabric and fashion and explore traditional skills, new technologies and computer systems.
You will work in the state-of-the-art Fashion Design Studio, giving you the opportunity to study in an authentic fashion studio setting. In a simulated industry workroom, you will produce your designs using industrial sewing machines and speciality equipment.
You will learn through:
- practical hands-on studios
- group discussions
You will use Photoshop and Illustrator, as well as internationally recognised, industry-specific software such as Gerber and Lectra.
You will be expected to attend approximately 20 hours of classes and undertake approximately eight hours of extra study and research weekly. There are often concentrated periods of self-directed study, research and out-of-class work when assessments are due.
Class sizes are approximately 21 students per workshop.
You will be assessed via examinations, essays, reports, verbal and visual presentations, group projects, research and practical assignments.
All programs are delivered in English. You will have access to online resources through the myRMIT student portal.
The work placement scheme in your second year offers hugely beneficial hands-on, real-life experience working with major Australian or international fashion companies. Many graduates gain employment with these companies and past students have worked while simultaneously continuing their degree-level studies.
Companies where students have secured work placements range from small to large fashion design and production-related businesses, including:
- Carla Zampatti
- Akira Isogawa
- Pacific Brands
- Country Road
- Forever New
- Cotton On group
- Life with Bird
- Nobody Denim
- The Just Group
- Marianna Hardwick
- Anna Campbell Bridal
- Alpha 60
- Lui Hon
You will also connect with key industry figures from major Australian and international companies through exhibitions, industry events and public lectures.
RMIT University is committed to providing you with an education that strongly links formal learning with professional or vocational practice.
You can undertake overseas study experiences ranging from 2 weeks to an entire semester.
A program highlight is the study tour to Paris where you will explore Paris fashion houses, galleries and attend lectures at our partner universities in France.
Some of the partner institutes you can exchange with are:
- Amsterdam Fashion Institute, Netherlands
- Nottingham Trent University, UK
- Fashion Institute of Technology, New York
- University of Salford, UK
- Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, LA, USA
- Ryerson University, Canada
RMIT’s Global Experience Office supports students to undertake an exchange or short term mobility activity with over 165 partner universities worldwide.
Through your studies you will develop in-depth knowledge on range development, colour, fabric, trends and budgeting, including technical specifications and computer-aided design and manufacture (CAD/CAM).
You will study in authentic studio settings with state-of-the-art machinery, equipment and technology. This environment will provide you with the learning space to develop work-ready skills and knowledge.
- design and create fashion garments with an emphasis on design, drawing and illustration, textiles and pattern making,
- study commercial and creative fashion trends
- develop CAD skills on Illustrator and Photoshop
- learn about fibres and fabric
- choose a specialisation/stream in fashion design or fashion knitwear
- research and create original designs
- develop a deeper understanding of the design, production and fashion business within your specialisation/stream
- undertake real-life design briefs with fashion companies
- work with industry on real projects to produce a range of designs and garments
- develop quality design prototypes, marketing strategies and a final range presentation to professional industry standards
Graduates of this program can apply to complete one additional year of study to gain the Bachelor of Fashion (Design Technology).
Choose a program structure
|Associate Degree in Fashion Design and Technology||Brunswick Campus||
2 years full-time
2 years full-time
Choose a program structure
Program code: AD014
This program provides you with high-level skills in fashion design and expert skills in specialist pattern making, managing design and product development.
With experience, you can be working as a designer or product developer, or in management positions within international fashion businesses.
Graduates of this program have found employment with leading fashion organisations in Australia and overseas as:
- pattern makers and graders
- product developers
- specification technicians
- quality assurance officers
- production controllers
- small fashion business owner/operators.
Graduates of this program can apply to complete one additional year of study to gain the Bachelor of Fashion (Design Technology).
As a fashion designer your work activities may include:
- researching emerging trends in fashion, fabrics, colours and shapes
- creating design concepts and presenting them using hand-drawn or computer-aided design sketches
- developing fashion ranges
- working within a team to develop patterns or adapt existing patterns and designs for either boutique or large scale production
- overseeing production
- liaising with design teams, buyers and forecasters
- sourcing, selecting and buying fabrics, trims, fastenings and embellishments
- developing sample garments
Current student and graduate can apply for membership to the:
- Fashion Technician Association Australia (FTAA)
- Design Institute of Australia (DIA)
You are eligible to join the DIA as a student member while studying. Graduates can apply for associate membership and full membership once they have obtained their professional experience.
Please note: eligibility for full membership is based on a points system.
RMIT is committed to providing transparency to the admissions process. In line with this commitment, we provide you with information that will help in making informed choices about your undergraduate study options.
RMIT admits students from a range of educational pathways, including Year 12 results, previous higher education or vocational education study, work experience, and for some programs - interviews, auditions or portfolios.
To get a better understanding of admissions at RMIT, view our admissions transparency information.
The highest level of education you have previously completed will determine which category applies to you.
Entry to this program is competitive. Applicants are ranked and selected in order of merit based on their academic achievement, e.g., ATAR or GPA (including any adjustments).
Applicants with recent secondary education (current or within the past two years)
Successful completion of an Australian Year 12 senior secondary certificate of education or equivalent in 2016, 2017 or 2018. If applicable, this includes equity access schemes and any other adjustment factors.
School Network Access Program (SNAP)
The SNAP access scheme is designed to increase tertiary access and participation of eligible students from SNAP partner schools.
Applicants with Vocational Education and Training study
Satisfactory completion of an Australian Certificate IV or above (or equivalent).
Applicants with Higher Education study
Satisfactory completion of at least two courses (subjects) at an Australian undergraduate level (or overseas equivalent).
Applicants with Work and Life Experience
Successful completion of an Australian senior secondary certificate of education (Year 12) or overseas equivalent.
Prerequisites: VCE Units 3 and 4: a study score of at least 25 in English (EAL) or at least 20 in English other than EAL (or equivalent) or achieve an overall score of at least 150 in the STAT multiple choice.
You must complete and submit the Fashion Design and Technology selection kit.
VTAC applicants must register and submit the selection kit here
All kits must be submitted by the dates noted below for each VTAC round:
- Early round (Non year 12 only): 27 September 2018
- Main round (All applicants): 2 November 2018
- All subsequent rounds (if places are available): 1 February 2019
RMIT current or recent students please click the apply button to submit your direct application. The link to submit your pre-selection kit will appear on the applicant dashboard after you have submitted your application.
All kits must be submitted by 13 February 2019*. *Kits will be assessed in the order they are received until this date unless places are filled prior. Advisory letters will be sent in late October (Early round) and mid December (Main round).
The selection kit requires:
- an applicant statement outlining how you believe your current skills and capabilities and / or past experience will support you in this fashion program. (maximum 250 words).
- a folio of 6 - 10 images of your work demonstrating your interests and creative and conceptual thinking. It should reflect your design, problem solving and technical skills in some or all of the following:
- Garment construction
- Pattern making
- Creative use of colour
- Use of materials
Your folio should include evidence of how ideas were developed as well as finished work. Include work that shows how you document your ideas and creative thinking and any work that demonstrates your potential to follow a design process.
You can include work from secondary school, previous study and personal or work-related design experience (including sketchbooks), and the work can come from a variety of discipline areas (e.g. garment construction, design, wearable art, illustrations, accessories, photography).
Your folio must be collated to a single PDF (maximum 10MB), or a URL to a single webpage if online. Under each image provide a brief explanation, including the purpose and background of the work (maximum 50 words).
Your selection kit will be assessed using the following selection criteria:
- Evidence of development and finished work
- Ability to provide context for your work
- Previous knowledge, skills and/or experience
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
The Indigenous Access Program will support your application into RMIT programs through an informal interview process with support from the Ngarara Willim Centre. Your relevant life, work, educational and training experience as preparation for study, in addition to any formal qualifications, are all considered.
Elite Athlete Program
The RMIT Elite Athlete Program (REAP) supports elite athlete and emerging athletes to achieve sporting and academic excellence.
You must have successfully completed an Australian Year 12 (or equivalent senior secondary school qualification) with a minimum 60% average (check calculator below).
Equivalent qualifications may also include completion of the RMIT Foundation Studies program or a recognised post-secondary diploma in the relevant discipline with the required grades.
Meeting the minimum academic requirements does not guarantee entry. Your application will still need to be assessed and accepted.
Folio: You must supply evidence of your creativity in the form of a folio that contains a variety of your personal work in art, design or media relevant to the program/s you are applying for. The folio should demonstrate your interests and creative thinking as well as your conceptual, design, problem solving and technical skills. You should include evidence of how ideas were developed as well as finished works.
Examples of work to include in your folio are drawings, paintings, graphic designs, photographs, digital images, models, sculpture, video, scripting, short stories, and/or 2D and 3D Flash animation.
We recommend you explain each work to help the Selection Officer understand the purpose and background of that work.
Folios should be submitted electronically on a CD with files in PDF, JPEG, SWF, DCR or QuickTime format suitable to be read on Mac OSX or later, unless otherwise specified. Each electronic file should be no larger than 10MB.
You must present your folio at an assessment session (if you are living outside Melbourne, this can be conducted via email, phone or Skype).
Personal Statement: You must submit an explanation of your reasons for wanting to study the program and include details of any relevant work or other experience undertaken (if any).
To study this program you will need to complete one of the following English proficiency tests:
- IELTS (Academic): minimum overall band of 6.0 (with no individual band below 5.5)
- TOEFL (Paper Based Test): minimum score of 550 (TWE 4.0)
- TOEFL (Internet Based Test - IBT): minimum overall score of 79 (with minimum of 19 in all sections)
- Pearson Test of English (Academic) (PTE (A)): minimum score of 50 (with no communication band less than 42)
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE): minimum of 169 with no less than 162 in any component.
For detailed information on English language requirements and other proficiency tests recognised by RMIT, visit English language requirements and equivalency information.
Don't meet the English language test scores? Complete an Advanced Plus Certificate at RMIT English Worldwide.
Direct pathway - one additional year to gain a degree
Graduates of RMIT's Associate Degree in Fashion Design and Technology with a minimum GPA of 2 out of 4 (or equivalent) will be given automatic entry into the Bachelor of Fashion (Design Technology). You must submit and application via RMIT direct.
Pathway into Bachelor of Fashion (Design) (Honours)
Graduates of the RMIT's Associate Degree in Fashion Design and Technology with a minimum GPA of 3 (DI 70-79) are given automatic entry into the Bachelor of Fashion (Design) (Honours) and are granted exemptions up to 1 year. You must submit and application via RMIT direct.
Graduates who achieve less than a minimum GPA of 3 (DI 70-79) must apply (via RMIT direct) and attend a folio presentation. You may be considered for some exemptions based on negotiation with the program selection team.
When you successfully complete the Associate Degree in Fashion Design and Technology you are guaranteed entry into a range of other RMIT programs. The grades you achieve determine the programs you can get into and the amount of credit you will receive.
If you achieve a minimum GPA of 2.0, you are guaranteed entry into the Bachelor of Fashion (Design Technology).
If you achieve a minimum GPA of 3.0, you will receive 2 semesters of advanced standing (equivalent to 96 credit points) in the Bachelor of Fashion (Design) (Honours). If you achieve below the minimum GPA, you may still apply and will need to submit a folio. You will be assessed on a case by case basis and credit is not guaranteed.
Alternatively, you may be eligible for entry into other RMIT undergraduate programs.
Entry for this program is through Commonwealth supported places (CSP).
2019 indicative fees
Commonwealth supported places (CSP) range from AU$6,566 to AU$10,958*.
* Amounts quoted are indicative fees per annum, and are based on a standard year of full-time study (96 credit points). A proportionate fee applies for more or less than the full-time study load.
Student services and amenities fee (SSAF): AU$303 maximum fee for 2019.
Other items related to your program, including field trips, textbooks and equipment.
Fees are adjusted on an annual basis and these fees should only be used as a guide.
Learn more about fees for undergraduate study.
Defer your payment
You may be eligible to apply for a HECS-HELP loan, which can be used to defer payment of up to the full amount of your student contribution fees. You may also be eligible to apply to defer payment of your SSAF through the SA-HELP loan scheme.
All undergraduate and honours degrees have Commonwealth supported places (CSP) available. In 2019, the annual student contribution amount (tuition fee) you will pay for a standard year of full-time study is between AU$6,566 to AU$10,958.
In a CSP, your tuition fees are subsidised by the Australian Government. Your share of the fee (student contribution) is set each year by the Australian Government and is determined by the discipline areas (bands) of the courses in which you enrol, not the overall program.
How much can I expect to pay for my Commonwealth supported place?
Courses (subjects) fall into one of three bands. The band determines the student contribution amount for the course.
Amounts listed in the table below are based on a standard, full-time study load (96 credit points per year) with all courses in the same band. A proportionate fee applies for more or less than the full-time study load or for enrolment in courses (subjects) from a combination of bands.
You can learn how to calculate your exact tuition fees for units from different bands at fees for Commonwealth supported students.
Maximum student contribution amount for Commonwealth supported places in 2019
Student contribution band by course (subject)
Maximum annual student contribution amount in 2019
Band 1: humanities, behavioural science, social studies, clinical psychology, foreign languages, visual and performing arts, education, nursing
$6,566 per standard year
Band 2: mathematics, statistics, computing, built environment, other health, allied health, science, engineering, surveying, agriculture
$9,359 per standard year
$10,958 per standard year
The Australian Government provides financial assistance via the HECS-HELP loan scheme, which allows eligible students (such as Australian citizens or holders of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa) to defer payment of up to 100% of their student contribution.
How does a HELP loan work?
If your HECS-HELP and/or SA-HELP loan application is successful, the Australian Government will pay RMIT, on your behalf, up to 100% of your fees. This amount will become part of your accumulated HELP debt.
You will only start repaying your accumulated HELP debt to the Australian Government once you earn above the minimum income threshold for repayment, which is set each year by the Australian Government (this also applies if you are still studying).
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will calculate your compulsory repayment for the year and include this on your income tax notice.
In addition to tuition fees, you will be charged an annual student services and amenities fee (SSAF), which is used to maintain and enhance services and amenities that improve your experience as an RMIT student.
The SSAF is calculated based on your enrolment load and the maximum fee for 2019 is $303.
For more information about calculating your actual SSAF see Paying SSAF.
You may also be required to purchase other items related to your program, including field trips, textbooks and equipment. These additional fees and expenses vary from program to program.
In addition to tuition fees you also need to pay for:
- Student services and amenities fee (SSAF) in each calendar year.
- Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) - Student visa holders must have cover for the total duration of their visa.
- Some programs incur additional expenses.
You also need to account for your living expenses. Estimate the cost of living in Melbourne.