2018 domestic fees (indicative)
- First year: $7,528
- Second year: $7,528
- Third year: $7,528
Benefits of our fashion degree
- A boutique learning environment – small classes mean your lecturers know you by name and can support you to develop your own ‘design identity’
- Studio-based learning with access to specialised equipment and spaces
- Exchange and study abroad opportunities in Europe and Asia
- Strong international fashion connections
- Individual, team and interdisciplinary learning opportunities
- Exhibitions and international competitions to showcase your creativity and talent
- Client projects, industry placements and internships which help you to become a work-ready graduate
- Access to support and business start-up advice through the Dunedin Fashion Incubator (Dfi)
Our graduates work in a diverse range of roles in fashion and fashion-related fields throughout the New Zealand and global fashion industry. These roles include design assistant, technical and production, product and textile development, marketing and promotion, buying, merchandising and sales.
- Ivy Jackson-Mee was awarded the inaugural Newmarket Business Association Scholarship (2016), a paid internship at the fashion label WORLD.
- Katarina Stapper then became our second graduate to be offered this internship in 2017. Both these graduates were employed full-time at the end of the paid internship period.
- Ariane Bray was awarded runner-up at the prestigious China Cup Fashion Competition (2017) in Shanghai, China. Ariane was part of the first cohort to graduate with Honours in 2016.
- Anna Ross, founder of Kester Black, an ethical beauty line, became the Telstra Australia Young Businesswoman of the Year 2016 and then in 2017, the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance Australian delegate.
- Anjali Stewart and Rachel Easting (Twenty-Seven Names), Abby van Schreven (Maaike), Sara Munro (Company of Strangers) and Jessie Wong (Yu Mei) continue to lead the way as fashion’s next generation of successful New Zealand designers. These graduates regularly show at fashion weeks around the world.
Events and collaborations
UK Graduate Fashion Week
In 2018, for the first time we have been invited to select and show a 2017 graduates’ collection in the International Catwalk Competition (see www.graduatefashionweek.com)
iD Dunedin Fashion Week
This continues to be a highlight on the national fashion calendar. All of our fashion students work behind the scenes, embracing the opportunity to network with some of the world’s most exciting emerging design talent and international guest designers who judge the prestigious International Emerging Designer Awards (see https://www.idfashion.co.nz/id-emerging-designer-show/)
New Zealand Fashion Week
Otago Polytechnic fashion graduates showcased collections at the Graduate show in 2016 and 2017.
Otago Polytechnic educates for the global workplace and we have incoming and outgoing students on exchanges. We encourage our students to study abroad because the skills, attributes and perspectives that come from an international experience will make them attractive to employers and serve them well in their career. Students in this programme have taken part in:
- a six-week study tour in China
- the annual fashion and photography project with Shanghai Institute of Science and Technology to celebrate our Sister City status
- semester exchange study at IED, Milan
- a seven-week study programme in Finland
- a four-week study programme at Shanghai University of International Business and Economics, and Donghua University, China
- a four-week study programme at Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
- Interest in fashion
- Risk taker
- Hard worker
- Sewing skills not essential.
- NCEA Level 3
- Three subjects - at Level 3 or above, made up of:
- 14 credits each, in three approved subjects, and
- Literacy - 10 credits at Level 2 or above, made up of:
- 5 credits in reading and 5 credits in writing, and
- Numeracy - 10 credits at Level 1 or above, made up of:
- specified achievement standards available through a range of subjects OR
- package of three numeracy unit standards (26623, 26626, 26627- all three required).
- If you do not hold the above qualifications, you must demonstrate equivalent qualifications/experience. Mature applicants with work and life experience are encouraged to apply.
- You must submit a portfolio and may have to undertake an interview.
- International students will be individually assessed to ensure they meet degree-level entry requirements.
- If English is not your first language, you must also demonstrate English language skills equivalent to an IELTS overall band score (academic) of 6.0, with no less than 6.0 in writing and speaking, and no less than 5.5 in reading and listening.
Additional documentation: You must also supply certified copies of proof of identity, proof of residency (where appropriate), your academic records and a curriculum vitae.
Your portfolio should be a collection of your fashion ideas showing your interest in fashion. A visual diary is a direct line to your creative thinking. Within this, please show:
- fashion ideas
- 2D and 3D ideas and possibilities
- photos of real 3D objects (these can be ideas for fashion objects, both finished pieces and works in progress)
- images of your ideas for anything relating to the body - clothes, accessories, textiles, events, photography, ideas for communicating fashion
- critiques of contemporary and/or historical fashion ideas
Your portfolio should be in a format appropriate to the to the work you are showing i.e. digital (CD or USB) or physical. As a guide, we expect at least 10 x A4 or A3 sheets. A clear binder is a good way to protect your work if your portfolio is not in a digital format. Please provide photographs of garments/samples in your portfolio rather than original pieces.
PLUS we want to see a cover letter telling us why you want to study for a Bachelor of Design (Fashion). This letter should communicate your interest in this discipline and discuss what steps you have already taken to increase your chances of being accepted onto the programme. Please include a Curriculum Vitae and outline your career goals in this letter.
Delivery of your portfolio
1. Upload it online via the online application form (please note that there is a 15MB file size limit), OR
2. Courier or hand deliver to:
Attn: Student Administrator for Design
F Block, Forth Street
If you are couriering or hand delivering, please enclose a self-addressed, postage-paid courier package in order for your work to be returned after consideration.
We look forward to receiving your application as soon as possible.
You will study
There is an emphasis throughout the three-year programme on the development of independent learning skills. This is reflected in the decrease of directed hours over the three years with an expectation that by the end of year three, you will be an independent learner. You will work really hard, but you can also count on having heaps of fun along the way!
Hours are allocated as follows, based on a 32 week academic year:
Directed hours (Class contact)
Approximate hours per week
Self-directed hours (Non-class contact)
Approximate hours per week
Eligible applicants will be selected using a range of identified criteria, most importantly on the potential shown in your portfolio for you to become a future fashion professional. You will be advised of your acceptance within two weeks of Otago Polytechnic receiving your portfolio.
Should the number of applicants who meet the selection process requirements exceed the available places, the professional judgement of staff will be used to determine those given immediate entry and those placed on a waiting list.
In some cases, selected applicants may be asked to attend an interview, where they will be invited to discuss their portfolio.
Applicants who do not meet the acceptance criteria will be directed to a path of study to prepare them for application the following year.
A school leaver or an adult applicant who does not meet all of the entry criteria may be given provisional entry to year 1 at the discretion of the Head of Department. Those who successfully complete and pass year 1 will be deemed to have met entry requirements and provisional status will be removed. The interview panel will consist of lecturers who teach on the programme, along with an academic leader from the department. Applicants will be selected on merit using professional judgement on the basis of their portfolio of work, evidence of creativity and ability to take a concept through to a model stage and demonstration of the ability to undertake design study at degree level. Successful applicants are all informed before the end of the year and are sent detailed information on enrolment procedures, loans, starting dates for the following year and any information that might be required to facilitate a smooth introduction to the programme.
A list of equipment, textbooks and resources which must be purchased for this programme are available from the School of Design. You will also be required to purchase fabrics and trims for design projects.
Student loans and allowances
Student loans and allowances are for domestic students only. For information about student loans and allowances please visit the Studylink website. It is important to apply for your student loan/allowance at the same time as you apply for this programme, due to the length of time Studylink take to process. Loan/allowance applications can be cancelled at any time if you decide to withdraw your programme application or if it is unsuccessful.
Recognition of prior learning
If you have extensive knowledge and skills due to practical experience in this area, enquire about our recognition of prior learning process at Capable NZ. You may have already gained credits towards this qualification.
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.