Higher National Diploma Classroom Based

Receive advanced entry to the final year of a degree with a fully-accredited Higher National Diploma or learn everything you need to start your own successful business.

Limited places available

Start Date


€7,545 (Easy-pay plan available)


Approximately 18-36 months

Work Placement

Graduates of this course are eligible for a one month work placement with a fashion design company. All placements are made in the Dublin and Cork areas.

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Study Option
Classroom Based
Course Location
We offer classes in Dublin, Cork and Galway
Course Level
Comparable to level 6 on the NFQ
Entry Requirements
18 years old or over
Note: If English is not your first language, we recommend you have at least level 5.5 IELTS or equivalent. Or, have completed your last two years of schooling through English.
30 practical assignments
The Fashion Design Academy of Ireland has partnered with global educational experts Pearson Education to offer BTEC courses to our students. These courses are a recognised route to university, leading to the final year of a degree course or progression on to other professional qualifications.

Completing this course will lead to the third or final year of a degree, or enable you to start your own successful fashion design business. You will not only create, present and manage your own fashion collection but experience what it means to work collaboratively with other designers, how to build your brand and the role ethics plays in the fashion industry.

Designed around 30 practical assignments, you will incrementally develop the skills, advanced techniques and deep understanding of the industry that you need to succeed as a fashion design professional.

As a classroom-based student you will attend tutor-led classes taught by industry professionals. You will also have full access to our student area, the Online Learning Centre, which contains course material created by industry experts including instructional videos, written content and assignments.

Our tutors provide all the support, knowledge and in-depth feedback you need to progress through your course and are always contactable through the Online Learning Centre.

On average a student studying around 15 hours per week can complete the course in 36 months, a student studying around 30 hours a week can complete the course in 18 months*.

*Completion time is based on the approximate time it has taken past students to complete the course. Students have up to 48 months to complete the course.

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Class Location

View class location details.

Class Schedule

View the schedule for the evening classes and the weekend classes in Dublin , Cork and Galway.


The list below provides an overview of the topics covered in this course.

    • Techniques & Processes

    Develop the skills that enable you as a fashion designer to create innovative shapes through draping on a mannequin. Explore the techniques of flat pattern drafting and how to manipulate patterns to create new designs, tailored to specific measurements. This is the perfect place to start to learn the different techniques and processes at the core of the fashion industry. You will learn about:

    • Idea generation
    • Starting your sketchbook
    • Draping
    • Flat pattern techniques
    • Sketching
    • Creating a mood board
    • Presentation boards
    • Fashion & Textile Practices

    Learn about the properties of fabrics, their weights and appropriate uses. You will experiment with fabric manipulation techniques, and you will receive an introduction to sewing techniques. You will learn about:

    • Creating a swatch book
    • Understanding technical aspects of fabrics
    • Choosing fabrics
    • Deconstruction/reconstruction of fabrics
    • Experimenting with fabrics
    • Technical sewing notebook - including zip, seams, bindings and garment construction
    • Sewing different fabric types
    • Contextual Studies

    Research fashion history and gain an understanding of fashion in a social context. You will learn about:

    • The Rise of Haute Couture
    • From Flower Power to the New Romantics
    • Street style, mash-up, and globalisation
    • Sustainability
    • Wearable technology
    • Pattern Cutting & Garment Making

    Building on your skills, you will develop your technical ability to create patterns and sewing skills to produce a final garment. You will learn about:

    • How to measure a person for individual patterns
    • How to create a dress, bodice and skirt block
    • Manipulating pattern blocks to create new pattern styles
    • Working with lay plans and fabric cutting
    • Sewing calico toiles and assessing for proper fitting
    • Creating a finished garment
    • Fashion Collection

    The best way to predict the future is to create it. Develop your first cohesive fashion collection, from the initial client brief to final presentation of design work. You will learn about:

    • How to measure a person for individual patterns
    • Trend forecasting
    • Concept boards
    • Design development
    • Brand identity and logo design
    • Fashion collection line-up
    • Fashion marketing and promotion
    • Pricing
    • Computer Aided Design (CAD) - Illustrator for Fashion

    Learn the tools of Adobe Illustrator to create fashion drawings and collection line-ups using video tutorials and written notes to help you develop your own individual style. You will learn about:

    • The various tools of the software
    • How to create technical drawings - fashion flats
    • Working with supplied croquis
    • Creating a personal drawing style
    • Introducing colour
    • Creating a line-up
    • Individual Project

    Using all that you have learned in one cohesive project, you will present a project showing your understanding of how the design process works from concept to completion. You will learn about:

    • Development of personal skills
    • Experimenting with ideas
    • Creative design solutions
    • Project and time management skills
    • Industry specific presentation skills
    • Presenting a body of work to add to your portfolio
    • A reflective journal
    • Professional Development

    Learn all you need to know to set-up your own studio or to work with an established designer or fashion house. Gain an understanding of what is required of a fashion designer from a personal and professional point of view. You will learn about:

    • Portfolio presentation
    • Skills analysis
    • Career paths
    • Interview techniques
    • Interview presentation
    • Trend Forecasting

    Learn about the process of trend forecasting as well as understanding how to this information to support your design decisions. You will look at what consumers are likely to want or need in the future, with a focus on creative direction. You will learn about:

    • Forecasting methodology
    • Trend cycles and patterns
    • Leading trend forecasting agencies
    • Colour
    • Trend package development and presentation
    • Trend communication
    • Material Selection

    Explore the selection and specification of fabrics in your area of interest to allow you to develop your own fashion collections. You will learn about:

    • Material sourcing
    • Manufacturing
    • Innovation
    • Smart materials
    • Sustainability
    • Ethics in relation to materials and processes
    • Advanced Fashion Studies

    Produce a capsule collection developing your own personal approach and style. You will use an experimental and creative approach to enhance your knowledge and skills in pattern cutting and garment production to realise your designs. You will learn about:

    • Design research
    • Fabric selection
    • Sustainable practice
    • Advanced pattern drafting
    • Advanced garment construction
    • Specification sheets
    • Presentation of collection
    • Fashion marketing and promotion
    • Branding & Identity

    Develop your skills and knowledge of branding and identity for your own fashion collection or brand. You will learn about:

    • Brand strategy
    • Positioning
    • Market research
    • Developing a unique brand identity
    • Creating garment labels and swing tickets
    • Creating a website e-portfolio
    • Collaborative Project

    Fashion designers work in a collaborative environment in the industry today. For this project, you will go through the process of planning a fashion show based on a theme. You will learn about:

    • Industry networking
    • Project management
    • Planning skills
    • Presentation techniques
    • Professional Practice

    Gain an in-depth look at the business practices you will need in the fashion industry and understand the skill set required to enhance your career opportunities. You will learn about:

    • Career plans
    • Developing your resume
    • Interview skills
    • Self-promotional material
    • Legal frameworks
    • Business planning
    • Social and professional networking


All our tutors are fashion design professionals working in the industry.

The Fashion Design Academy of Ireland

Our philosophy at the Fashion Design Academy of Ireland is to make high-quality education accessible to all by empowering people to do what they love. Through the power of online and blended learning, our students are able to harness their creativity and practically apply it to succeed in their chosen careers.

Pursue your ambition - because the future is today!

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Choosing the right course

We offer a range of fashion design courses to suit your goals.

Why not contact our experienced staff for advice, or browse to our other courses.

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