New Zealand Certificate in Fashion (Level 4)

Prepare for junior roles in the fashion industry assisting with design, styling, retail/merchandising, basic garment construction or for further study in fashion. During this hands-on programme, you’ll learn about fashion industry practice, fashion design and textile concepts, and fashion production. You will leave with a portfolio of work which you can use to apply for our Bachelor of Design (with your chosen electives).

About the programme

Got a passion for fashion and wondering how to transform that enthusiasm into a career in the fashion industry? Look no further!

Embark on this hands-on qualification to acquire the technical skills, knowledge, and industry awareness necessary for further study in the Bachelor of Design (Fashion) or to gain entry-level roles assisting with design, styling, retail/merchandising, and basic garment construction.

The fashion world is fast-paced, exciting, and diverse, and with commitment and further study, you could consider career paths including fashion design, fashion journalism, buying, patternmaking, styling, or costume design for film/theatre/television.

The School of Design is internationally-recognized as a great place to study fashion. You will be part of a vibrant fashion and design culture with access to modern design facilities and guidance and support from highly skilled lecturers. 

Studying part-time 

We know full-time study isn't always possible. We also offer this programme part-time over two years. 


Our Fashion school offers you the chance to learn in an innovative and collaborative environment and provides you with fantastic opportunities to showcase your creativity. With numerous other talks and smaller-scale exhibitions during the year, a highlight on the Polytechnic calendar is the 'Collections' exhibition which focuses on year three graduate collections and creations.

With international guest designers and judges, and annually increasing audience numbers, a highlight on the Dunedin City calendar is the internationally-acclaimed iD Dunedin Fashion Week. Dunedin is fast becoming the fashion capital of New Zealand and is gaining a reputation for having a truly unique and distinctive style - come and be part of it!

You'll need to complete all of the courses below to achieve the Certificate.

Course name  Description Credits
Fashion Industry Practice Learn about the inner workings of the global and local fashion industry and consider some of the challenges for the industry around sustainability and ethical practices. Learn about fashion
merchandising and consumer behaviour and apply this to a window or in-store display project
with an online promotion component. Map out your future in the fashion industry and create a
portfolio for application to further study or work in fashion retail or production.
Fashion Design and Textile Concepts An introduction to the fashion design process using drawing and writing to communicate ideas
through a fashion communication project. You will then go on to explore textile structure and techniques and undertake a creative textile project.  
Fashion Production This course covers how to operate industrial sewing equipment and covers the basics of garment construction and pattern making applied through two technical projects. You will undertake a Fashion Design project in the last four weeks, bringing together the technical and creative skills and techniques learned throughout the programme. 30

Programme specific risks

You will be required to work with industrial machines, pressing equipment, and chemical dyes and you may also spend time working in the industry.

Further study options

This Certificate is designed to lead into the Bachelor of Design (Fashion) where you can build upon your skills and knowledge to further your career prospects.


While every effort is made to ensure that this sheet is accurate, Otago Polytechnic reserves the right to amend, alter or withdraw any of the contained information. The fees shown in this document are indicative only. Both domestic and international fees are subject to change and are dependent on the development and implementation of Government policies. Please note that additional fees may from time to time be required for external examination, NZQA fees and/or additional material fees.