Higher National Diploma Live Online

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.

Deadline for enrolment:

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
Live Online
Course Location
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.

Embark on a transformative journey to your dream career in fashion design. Whether you aim to enter the final year of a degree programme or you want to launch your own fashion business, our course is tailored to provide you with the skills, knowledge, and industry insights to get you there.

Crafted around 30 practical assignments, our curriculum ensures a thorough development of expertise including the techniques and processes crucial for success in the ever-evolving fashion industry. Immerse yourself in the art of draping on a mannequin, flat pattern drafting, and explore the nuances of fabric manipulation. With modules covering idea generation, fabric properties, and fashion history, you'll gain a well-rounded understanding of the creative and historical contexts shaping today's trends. Learn pattern cutting and garment making, honing your skills in the creations of bespoke pieces tailored to individual measurements. Step into Computer Aided Design (CAD) with Adobe Illustrator tutorials, and learn to bring your designs to life with precision and with flair. As you tackle branding, trend forecasting, and collaborative projects, you will seamlessly blend creativity with business acumen, equipping you with the skills needed to thrive in the competitive world of fashion.

As a Live Online student, you'll enjoy full access to our exclusive Online Learning Centre, featuring expertly curated materials including instructional videos, written content, and engaging assignments. You will also attend scheduled classes where our dedicated tutors are committed to providing personalised support and constructive feedback every step of the way.

Begin your fashion design journey with the Fashion Design Academy of Ireland, where you'll cultivate the essential skills for success in the dynamic world of fashion.

With an average commitment of 15 hours per week, you can complete the course in just 36 months. You may choose to expedite your journey by committing to 30 hours per week, finishing in 18 months*. With a generous timeframe of up to 48 months, you have the flexibility to tailor your learning experience to suit your schedule.

[*Completion time is based on past student experiences. Students have up to 48 months to complete the course.]

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Class Schedule

View the schedule for the evening classes and the weekend classes in Live Online.


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

    • Techniques & Processes

    Master the techniques and processes essential for every fashion designer. Discover the art of fabric manipulation and the intricacies of sewing techniques as you experiment with different fabric weights and manipulation methods. From mastering draping techniques to honing your skills in flat pattern drafting. Learn the fundamentals of idea generation and sketching, laying the groundwork for all your design endeavours. Also covered are mood boards and presentation techniques, perfecting your ability to effectively communicate your vision. Whether you're sketching your first designs or refining your craft, this module provides the inner workings and fundamental practicalities of fashion design.

    • Fashion & Textile Practices

    Start your journey through the fascinating world of fashion and textile practices, where the fabric tells a story. Gain insight into the properties of various fabrics, from their textures to their appropriate uses, as you build your own comprehensive swatch book. Explore the art of fabric deconstruction and reconstruction, unleashing your creativity through experimental techniques. Dive into the realm of sewing, mastering everything from zipper installation to garment construction. Whether you're drawn to the tactile allure of fabrics or fascinated by the technical aspects of garment-making, this module offers a wealth of knowledge to ignite your passion for fashion.

    • Contextual Studies

    Embark on a captivating exploration of fashion's rich history and profound societal impact. Trace the evolution of fashion from the rise of haute couture to the cultural revolutions of the flower power era and the new romantics. Dive into the vibrant world of street style and the impact of globalisation, as you explore the parallels between fashion and the various shifts in society. You’ll analyse critical topics such as sustainability and wearable technology, gaining insights into the future of fashion. Whether captivated by the glamour of the past or intrigued by the possibilities of the future, this module offers a thought-provoking journey through fashion's multifaceted landscape.

    • Pattern Cutting & Garment Making

    Refine your expertise in pattern cutting and garment making as you delve deeper into the complexity of creating impeccably tailored pieces. Learn advanced techniques in measuring and fitting, ensuring precision in every stitch. Master the art of lay plans and fabric cutting, optimising efficiency and minimising waste. From crafting prototype toiles to executing flawless finished garments, this module empowers you to elevate your craftsmanship and bring your designs to life with accuracy and finesse.

    • Fashion Collection

    Develop your own signature fashion collection from inception to final presentation. Learn to translate creative concepts into cohesive design themes, incorporating trend forecasting and brand identity elements. From conceptualisation to line planning and pricing strategy, explore every aspect of collection development. With a focus on presentation skills and marketing, this module teaches the skills to showcase your unique aesthetic and captivate your audience.

    • Computer Aided Design (CAD) - Illustrator for Fashion

    Discover the potential of Adobe Illustrator as a powerful tool for fashion illustration and design. Explore the capabilities of CAD (Computer-Aided Design), mastering essential tools and techniques tailored specifically for the fashion industry. Learn to create technical drawings and fashion flats with precision, while developing your own distinctive drawing style. With an emphasis on colour theory and visual presentation, this module empowers you to unleash your creativity and bring your designs to life in the digital realm.

    • Individual Project

    Embark on a journey of self-discovery and creative expression with the individual project module. Amalgamate your learning and showcase your skills through a cohesive project that reflects your unique design aesthetic. Explore every facet of the design process from idea generation to project management and presentation. Cultivate critical thinking and problem-solving skills as you navigate challenges and bring your vision to fruition.

    • Professional Development

    From portfolio presentation to interview techniques, there are numerous tools and knowledge every designer needs to excel in the competitive world of fashion. Gain valuable insights into career paths and industry trends and develop your resumé and self-promotional materials, honing your personal branding and networking skills. With an entrepreneurial mindset and a focus on professionalism, this module prepares you for your successful career in the fashion industry.

    • Trend Forecasting

    Stay ahead of the curve with trend forecasting, a crucial aspect of fashion design and marketing. Dive into forecasting methodology and trend cycles, gaining insights into consumer preferences and emerging styles. Learn to interpret trend data and translate it into actionable insights for your design decisions. With a focus on creative direction and communication, this module empowers you to anticipate future trends and to innovate within the ever-evolving fashion landscape.

    • Material Selection

    The art and science of material selection is a fundamental aspect of fashion design. Delve into material sourcing and innovation, uncovering the potential of smart materials and sustainable practices. Learn to evaluate fabric properties and manufacturing processes, making informed decisions to enhance the quality and sustainability of your designs. With an emphasis on ethics and sustainability, this module enables you to make responsible choices and contribute to a more sustainable fashion industry.

    • Advanced Fashion Studies

    Immerse yourself in advanced fashion studies, delving into the intricacies of design research and experimentation. Explore fabric selection and sustainable practices, pushing the boundaries of pattern cutting and garment construction. From specification sheets to presentation techniques, refine your skills and develop your own personal approach to fashion design. With a focus on innovation and creativity, this module empowers you to create visionary designs that push the boundaries of conventional fashion.

    • Branding & Identity

    Master the art of branding and identity to establish your unique presence in the fashion industry. Dive into brand strategy and market research, crafting a distinctive brand identity that resonates with your target audience. Learn to develop brand positioning and visual communication, creating cohesive brand assets that reflect your values and aesthetics. From garment labels to website portfolios, this module equips you with the tools and techniques to build a solid and memorable brand presence.

    • Collaborative Project

    Experience the exciting dynamics of collaboration in the fashion industry. Work with peers to plan and execute a fashion show based on a chosen theme, honing your project management and presentation skills. Explore industry networking and professional relationships, gaining insights into the collaborative nature of fashion design. With a focus on teamwork and communication, this module teaches you the skills to thrive in collaborative environments and leverage collective creativity.

    • Professional Practice

    Gain invaluable insights into the business practices and professional skills essential for success in the fashion industry. Explore career planning and business frameworks, developing your resumé and interview skills to stand out in a competitive market. Learn about legal frameworks and ethical considerations, ensuring compliance and integrity in your professional endeavours. With a focus on self-promotion and networking, this module empowers you to navigate the intricacies of the business of fashion, with confidence and professionalism.


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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