A career in fashion opens so many doors for individuals, outside of the envisioned haute couture red carpet and catwalk. Fashion can take individuals into the world of media, theatre, marketing, photography and even business and finance, but it’s vital that there is a solid educational grounding before embarking on such a career. Fortunately, there are now so many fashion courses available, ranging in length, specialisation and price, all suited to unique requirements. Here is a look at choosing the correct fashion course and what you can expect to study in fashion if this is your chosen path.

What type of fashion courses are there?


–          Short course

If you’re restricted in time or funds – or if you’re actually just looking to pursue an educational path in a particular field of fashion – then a fashion short course is the best bet. These can be counted as credits towards a fashion degree if needed. Some examples of the fashion short courses that can be pursued are:


  • Beginner’s garment construction
  • Beginner’s pattern engineering
  • Advanced garment construction
  • Advanced pattern engineering
  • Fashion design


Read More: Fashion Short Courses in South Africa


–          Non-degree short courses

Then there are the short courses for individuals wanting to pursue an area of fashion but have no real need for a professional degree. These non-degree purpose short courses are great for building skills, personal enrichment and entrepreneurial endeavours.


–          Certificate

For more in-depth theory needed for entry-level work in local fashion houses, then the Higher Certificate in Fashion is the perfect qualification. This will focus on fashion design, garment engineering, and even commerce and context-related items. Design and manufacture will centre on basic fashion products and digitally-based skills.


–          Diploma

This is a comprehensive fashion course that includes design and fabric knowledge, garment engineering, trends, business management and the fashion market. There is a strong grounding in entrepreneurship and real-world experience through work-integrated learning.


–          Degree

While this also has a strong business grounding, the degree in fashion design encourages more creative problem solving using in-depth knowledge of fashion. Aspects such as social-economic and cultural factors are analysed with emphasis on creativity and individual design.


How to decide which is best for you?


Which fashion course you decide to pursue depends on your particular outcome requirements. Are you studying for fun or to pursue a career in fashion? It it’s a career, then which field are you interested in? When deciding on a particular fashion institution, you should consider:

  • Whether there is the chance to do an internship during your studies for real-time work experience.
  • The breadth of the course and relevance to the modern fashion industry.
  • Opportunities for international learning.
  • The lecturers and their experience, as well as whether there are guest lecturers from within the industry as well.
  • The assessment criteria and industry standing of this particular accreditation.


Read more: What You Need to Study Fashion


A good fashion school will be able to offer you all of the above so as to ensure you are benefitting from a holistic fashion education experience.