Studying fashion opens up many doors in various industries, from media and the arts, to establishing fashion empires – but all it starts with the right qualification. Depending on your long-term goals, budget, and time restraints, there are a number of fashion courses, diplomas, and degrees to choose from, just ensure you’re studying through a reputable institution. Here’s an overview of what’s on offer, and some tips to consider when choosing.


What are the types of fashion design qualifications?

Qualifications in fashion range from short courses through to fashion degrees, it really just depends what will be the right fit for your needs.


1.     Fashion courses

These are a great way to get started on your fashion career journey, particularly if you’re going to be studying part-time. You can also use the course credits to count towards a fashion diploma or degree if you choose, and these can often be completed in-person or online. Course lengths will generally range from a couple of weeks to around six months. Short courses in fashion can include:


  • Garment construction
  • Pattern engineering
  • Fashion design
  • Styling


Read More: Where Can I Study to Become a Fashion Designer? 


2.     Higher certificate in fashion

The next option is a higher certificate which provides you with a more comprehensive overview of the fashion industry, providing a bit more depth of the theory and level of application. The certificate will cover design, garment engineering, commercial instruction, and other topics relevant to a good grounding in fashion. Skills you will acquire when studying this certificate include:


  • Design of products
  • Manufacture of products
  • Digital fashion marketing
  • Financial skills
  • Entrepreneurial skills


Read More: What Can I Do with a Fashion Certificate?


3.     Fashion diploma

The next step up is a fashion diploma which will offer you more in terms of the core principles of fashion. There are a number of electives from which to choose, which can allow you to better streamline your studies to achieve your goals. Some of the skills included in the fashion diploma are:


  • Building a body of research
  • The design process
  • Fabric knowledge
  • Garment engineering
  • Fashion trends
  • Business management
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Fashion events
  • Management


Read More: What Are The Requirements to Study Fashion Design?


4.     Bachelor of fashion degree

Finally, there’s the fashion degree that goes in-depth into the world of fashion, providing you with a superior skill set to accomplish your fashion career goals. Some of the skills included in this degree are:


  • Problem solving
  • In-depth fashion knowledge
  • Socio-economic and cultural influences
  • Design concepts
  • Operations concepts
  • Creativity and artistic flair
  • Commercial skills


Tips for choosing a fashion design qualification

Deciding on which qualification will best suit your needs requires you to think a bit more about what it is you’re wanting to achieve.


Tip 1: Career goals

If you’re looking to work for a top fashion organisation or establish your own brand, you might want to consider a diploma or degree in fashion. However, if you’re only looking for something aligned to the fashion industry but are keeping your options open, it’s worth studying some short courses.


Read More: What Can I Do with a Fashion Diploma? 


Tip 2: Budget

Studying towards a fashion qualification can be quite costly, so you might need to assess your budget before deciding on the best fit. If finances are limited, you could start with some short courses and work your way towards a diploma at a later stage. This is also a great option if you’re studying part-time and have other commitments to attend to.


Tip 3: Skills

You need to consider what your existing skill sets are and where you need to improve or learn something completely new. If you require the basics such as sewing or design, then short courses might be the way to go. If you have quite a solid grounding in fashion but want another level of entrepreneurial expertise to make a career out of it, then a diploma or degree is a better way to go.


Tip 4: Requirements

Every qualification will have a certain set of entry-level requirements so you will need to check these and tick the boxes before applying. In addition, you will need to consider the coursework and material being covered in the qualification to ensure it’s going to meet your goals.


Read More: How to Secure a Fashion Internship?


How to choose the right institution

Once you’ve decided which qualification is the right fit, you need to check out the fashion institutes to determine where it is you’ll be studying. Choosing the right institution is important, as the level of instruction, networking opportunities, and quality of the qualification are all determined by this. Some tips for choosing include:


  • Accreditation: Check that the institution is fully accredited and the qualifications recognised around the world.
  • Reputation: Ask around about the institution’s reputation, how it’s perceived by those in the industry.
  • Collaboration: Good fashion institutes will collaborate with international counterparts, offering you wider exposure to the world of fashion.
  • Fees: The cost of the courses can be quite high, but if it’s a renowned institution then you’re getting what you pay for.


Read More: What Are The Best Fashion Schools in The World?


Villiot Fashion Institute is an accredited tertiary education institution that takes pride in making the ordinary extraordinary. Led by Spero Villioti, who has run a successful fashion brand for more than 30 years, Villioti ensures every student is provided a strong grounding to secure a future in fashion. The institute has affiliations with Parsons New York, FIT and London College of Fashion so as to internationally benchmark all fashion courses.