Fashion Design major - Bachelor of Design

AUT evolving designer

AUT Fashion - The Evolving Designer exhibition

During 4 Days of Fashion in the City Auckland celebrated the future of the city's fashion scene, with the AUT Fashion - The Evolving Designer exhibition, showcasing three generations of emerging Fashion designers.

The exhibition consisted of collections from AUT final year Fashion students, Rookie 2016 and a group of AUT Fashion postgraduates known as the Creative Common Occupation (CCO).

The collections designed by AUT final year students, were inspired by a summer project creating a visual autobiography. 
Fashion marks time. It responds to the cultural and political issues that underpin society and inspires change. Fashion design at AUT provides a learning environment where you can actively participate in this process. You’ll be encouraged to develop a strong conceptual design style and practical design skills – from drawing and pattern cutting to an understanding of the business of fashion.

The Fashion Design major in the Bachelor of Design (BDes) encourages you to be adept in problem solving and creative reasoning. It promotes originality based on a thorough awareness of your chosen field, resulting in the ability to create innovative fashion work destined for a multifaceted global industry. Many of our graduates have taken up exclusive fashion roles both locally and internationally.

Key features

  • Focus on the exploration of creativity through design research and fashion theory and their interrelationships with the broader design process, from concept initiation to final product realisation
  • You will learn in industry-standard design and production studios with access to cutting edge facilities
  • Opportunity to present your body of work to the fashion media and industry at the famed AUT Rookie Fashion Show, which for 10 years has been a rite of passage for emerging New Zealand fashion designers including Glen Prentice, Nadeesha Godamunne and Sam Hickey
  • Our graduates have gone on to work at prestigious fashion houses locally and internationally, like Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Karen Walker, Zambesi and Lonely Hearts.

More information about the Bachelor of Design 

Career opportunities

  • Fashion designer
  • Assistant designer
  • Pattern maker
  • Workroom assistant
  • Fashion and textiles buyer or merchandiser
  • Fashion management, marketing and public relations
  • Fashion production manager
  • Fashion writer or editor

Entry requirements

  • University Entrance
  • Portfolio of art work
  • An interview may be required
  • Applicants for whom English or Māori is not their first language must provide proof of their English proficiency. IELTS (academic), completed within the last two years is the preferred test for entry. Minimum IELTS (academic) requirements are as follows: 6.5 overall with all bands 6 or higher


All papers are delivered over one semester and are worth 15, 30 or 45 points. You will need to complete 120 points each year and 360 points for the entire degree. In each year you will study and complete core compulsory papers within your major and selected minor.

See list of minors

Year 1

You develop practical fashion skills including pattern cutting and drawing, and are introduced to creative design thinking and fashion theory. You also complete the first paper of your chosen minor 

Year 1 papers

Level 5:
FASD501 Fashion Design Studio I (30 points)
FASD502 Fashion Design Studio II (30 points)
FASD503 Fashion Design Theory I (15 points)
FASD504 Fabric Interfaces (15 points)
FASD505 Human View (15 points)
In addition you will study one paper at level 5 from the minor that you have selected.

Year 2

Your first-year skills are put into practice through a series of challenging industry-oriented projects that focus on developing design ideas across broad fashion areas - from streetwear to high fashion.

Year 2 papers

Level 6:
FASD601 Fashion Design Studio III (30 points)
FASD602 Fashion Design Studio IV (30 points)
FASD603 Fashion Design Theory II (15 points)
FASD604 Industry Practice (15 points)
In addition you will study two papers at level 6 from the minor that you have selected.

Exchange opportunities
As a second-year student you have an opportunity to visit an outbound exchange programme in:

  • Amsterdam
  • Helsinki
  • San Francisco
  • Toronto

Year 3

Through the final-year papers, you develop your own self-directed projects that cover the spectrum of fashion-related disciplines, resulting in a body of work that is selected for a professional presentation (runway or showroom) at the end of the year to the fashion media and industry. You also complete the final paper of the minor you have chosen.

Year 3 papers

Level 7:
FASD701 Fashion Design Studio V (30 points)
FASD702 Fashion Design Studio VI (45 points)
FASD703 Fashion Design Theory III (15 points)
FASD704 Technologies for Design (15 points)
In addition you will study one paper at level 7 from the minor that you have selected.

Workplace experience

You complete 60 hours of workplace experience in the fashion design industry - a great opportunity to network, gain work experience and develop your CV and portfolio. 

Recent placements include:

  • Beverley Productions
  • Bianca Lorrene
  • Charles Parsons Textiles
  • Cybele
  • Kylee Davis
  • Lothlorien Knitwear
  • Northbeach Ltd
  • Private Collection
  • Standard Issue Knitwear
  • The Textiles Collective

Click here for more information about papers.

Additional course information can also be found here

Enrolment in papers is subject to meeting all prerequisite requirements and availability of enrolment space in each paper.

Please email for programme information.

Last updated: 13-Dec-2017 3.49pm

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.