For those seeking a career in fashion, sometimes the most financially- and logistically-sensible option is a online fashion short course. However, a one-year higher fashion certificate could be a preferential alternative, as it is can be covered over three years part-time, and it includes an extensive range of fashion elements.

Higher certificate in fashion outlined

This qualification is ideal for those seeking a foothold in the fashion industry, such as entry-level fashion roles or a start-up in fashion-related ventures. It’s also the ideal starting place for someone looking to eventually pursue a diploma or degree in fashion while working in the fashion industry. The type of person looking to pursue this certificate is a creative with a real passion for style, fashion and clothing design. They will also need a National Senior Certificate (Grade 12) or equivalent.


What’s covered in a fashion certificate?

The fashion certificate is a comprehensive guide through the fashion industry, starting with foundational knowledge through to key entrepreneurial and fashion design skills. Here’s a look at the elements included:


Fashion Design

This covers fashion trends, including the creating and sketching of ideas to prepare applicants for a career in an ever-evolving fashion industry. Even if fashion design is not a primary career choice, applicants will need a solid founding in this key area of fashion.


Fashion Illustration

This involves communicating fashion ideas in a visual form, from illustration and drawing through to painting. This allows fashion designers to brainstorm ideas for a thorough preview and analysis before the actual construction of clothes. Fashion illustration, once exclusively performed on paper, can now be digitally rendered.


Pattern Engineering

The next step in fashion design is pattern engineering which is a technique whereby paper or fabric is developed into blocks that will then assist in the creation of actual 3D garments. The pattern allows designers to formulate the desired fit.


Garment Construction

Using the pattern created, a costume or garment can then be created by cutting the fabric into respective parts for a specific body. The separate garment pieces are sewn together and reflect the finished format of the initial illustration.


Fashion Marketing

Moving away from the actual garment construction, the fashion certificate will cover another important aspect of the fashion industry – marketing. This includes the management of advertising campaigns, and creation of promotions to successfully sell fashion products.


Fashion Business Concepts

For those looking to establish their own fashion start-up, the business concepts covered in fashion certificates is vital. The entrepreneurial side of fashion will cover key business concepts in a cutting-edge industry that is constantly evolving.


Clothing Technology

The technological side of fashion is covered in this module that focuses on the manufacturing and materials used in fashion. This will also include the history of the clothing and textile industry, as well as industrialisation and other major impacts on the manufacture of goods.


Academic Literacy

A fundamental aspect of any certificate is being able to approach the subjects with an academic understanding. Academic literacy will allow applicants to become proficient in reading and writing academically, incorporating the relevant jargon and academic style suited to this fashion certificate. This will lay the foundation for those looking to pursue other academic endeavours.


Work-integrated Learning

Real-world experience is absolutely essential to any industry, and a quality certificate in fashion will offer applicants the opportunity to experience comprehensive work-integrated learning. This way, applicants can apply the theoretical knowledge to a practical experience within the fashion industry. Candidates are better-placed to land jobs on completion of the fashion certificate.


Careers to pursue in fashion

With a higher certificate in fashion, successful candidates will have the option to explore a variety of fashion-related careers. These include, among others:

  • Junior fashion designer
  • Social media marketer
  • Assistant apparel designer
  • Small-scale garment production
  • Business owner
  • Visual merchandiser
  • Fashion blogger
  • Pattern-maker’s assistant
  • Quality-control assistant
  • Small-scale retailer

Before applying for a higher certificate in fashion, it’s important to research the fashion school to ensure you’re investing your future in a worthwhile organisation. Alongside registration with relevant local government organisations, the institute should have staff with real-world experience, excellent reviews and a proven record.