BA Fashion Design


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Program Description

BA Fashion Design

The IIE BA degree in Fashion Design is a comprehensive three-year degree aimed at students who want to enter the fashion industry. This qualification has a strong relevance for Southern Africa but has also been designed to meet international needs and standards. Our philosophy is to develop the innate creativity of our students so that they may find their studies enriching and rewarding and gain confidence whilst enhancing their design, business, research and academic skills at the same time.

Concept development and design

Students are taught the various stages of the fashion design process using a hands-on approach. Students learn how to develop and visualise concepts for various themes, ranges, styles and target audiences. At third-year level students are required to research, analyse and interpret forecasted fashion trends and be client focused while combining their knowledge of advanced pattern and garment construction techniques with the design of their own range. Each student is guided in developing a professional portfolio for presentation to potential employers.

Fashion technology and production

Students master production technologies relevant to fashion production. For example, students learn how to make technical drawings, construct patterns and garments and deepen their understanding of the properties of textiles. Students are trained in industry relevant software and have access to fully equipped digital studios.

Entrepreneurship, marketing and the retail environment

Students are introduced to retail processes such as the selection, acquisition and managing of ranges and accessories, visual merchandising, fashion marketing and the study of trends. Students also learn the fundamentals of starting and managing an own small business, the development of an own fashion brand and the writing of a business plan (third year).

Culture and design

Students engage with various multidisciplinary contexts such as cultural and symbolic implications of design, the development of the design industry, design for sustainability and design as ethical, professional practice. Strong emphasis is placed on design research, which includes investigating users and target audiences.

Industry exposure and networking

Fashion design students take part in various exciting events during their three years of study such as Fashion Weeks and Pop-up shows. In addition to this, students are required to embark an internship to gain industry experience. Many of our lecturers teach part-time and are actively involved in the fashion and design industry. Student work is showcased at our year-end exhibition, where industry representatives are invited to view the work and meet our students.


Year 1

  • Fashion Design and Concept Development
  • Pattern Construction
  • Garment Construction
  • Textiles
  • Fashion Technology
  • Fashion History
  • Fashion Illustration Techniques
  • Design Culture

Year 2

  • Fashion Design and Concept Development
  • Fashion Studio: Construction
  • Fashion Technology
  • Fashion Retail and Branding
  • Fashion Retail and Trends
  • Design Culture
  • Fashion Illustration Techniques

Year 3

  • Fashion Studio: Design
  • Fashion Studio: Construction
  • Fashion Technology
  • Fashion Illustration Techniques
  • Design Culture

Become A

  • Fashion Designer
  • Fashion Stylist
  • Fashion Buyer and Merchandiser
  • Fashion Entrepreneur
  • Fashion Magazine Journalist/Blogger
  • Fashion Production Manager
  • Garment Technologist/Pattern Maker
  • Visual Merchandiser

Entry Requirements

  • An NSC with Degree admission- A minimum of 30 % for English coupled with a minimum of 50% for four x DESIGNATED NSC subjects (This excludes LO which is a 10 credit subject but includes English); OR
  • An NC(V) with Degree admission – A minimum of 60 % in English on either First Additional Language or Home Language level AND Mathematics or
  • Mathematical Literacy AND Life Orientation, with a minimum of 70% in the four compulsory vocational subjects is required; OR
  • An SC (with endorsement) or equivalent; OR
  • Alternatively, a Higher Certificate, an Advanced Certificate, 240 or 360 credit Diploma and an Advanced Diploma in a cognate field may satisfy the minimum admission requirements for degree studies.
  • If a Higher Certificate, Advanced Certificate, 240 or 360 credit Diploma or Advanced Diploma is not in a cognate field, then at least 20 % of the credits of such qualification must relate to academic literacy or academic skills in order for an applicant to be admitted to degree studies.

Additional Admission Requirements: All candidates are required to submit a creative portfolio

General requirements for undergraduate degrees:

All applicants for The IIE undergraduate degree studies, including international students, are required to write the Academic and Quantitative Literacy (AQL) – National Benchmark Test (NBT) unless they have attained the age of 23 by the time they register. The AQL – NBT is used for placement in student support programmes and does not replace the admission requirements for a specific degree programme.

Applicants who achieve a score lower than 63% are required to register for and successfully complete the two Academic Literacy, Introduction to Scholarship modules (ITSA and ITSB). Applicants who do not write the AQL - NBT prior to admission will automatically be registered for ITSA and ITSB whether or not these are credit-bearing modules in their qualifications. These candidates may, on the provision of an AQL - NBT score of 63% or above, be exempted from one or both the modules if and only if these are not credit bearing modules in their qualifications. For candidates who are completing the modules as a result of the low AQL - NBT score or who did not provide an AQL - NBT score, successful completion of ITSA and ITSB is a pre-requisite for registering for any third year modules and thus any student who has not completed ITSA or ITSB in their first year of study will be required to do so in their second year. Where ITSA or ITSB is credit-bearing in the qualification concerned, successful completion of one or both (depending on the curriculum structure) is also a graduation requirement.

Cost & Fees

Full Settlement Per Annum: R69,000

Instalment Fee (10 months): R73,600

Deposit (Applicable to both fees): R10,000

Last updated Jan 2018

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About the School

The Design School Southern Africa (DSSA) was founded in 1990, and today is a key division of The Independent Institute of Education (Pty) Ltd (The IIE), which is the leading registered private provide ... Read More

The Design School Southern Africa (DSSA) was founded in 1990, and today is a key division of The Independent Institute of Education (Pty) Ltd (The IIE), which is the leading registered private provider of higher education in South Africa. Read less
Johannesburg , Pretoria , Durban + 2 More Less