Course Info

Advanced Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Merchandising

National Course Code: MST60116


The nationally recognised Advanced Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Merchandising equips you with advanced skills you need to work at management level in the commercial fashion industry. You can choose to specialise in design and product development, or fashion business.


Through theory and practical course work, you will learn to:

  • Develop a fashion range
  • Apply studio processes to create and produce designs
  • Research design influences and sales statistics
  • Evaluate the commercial viability of designs
  • Manage production processes and costs
  • Manage patternmaking processes
  • Negotiate and manage contracts to produce finished products
  • Develop organisational marketing objectives
  • Work safely and participate in sustainable work practices


Stand out in the job market by developing a range of key soft skills, including:

  • Creative thinking and good colour and design sense
  • Time management
  • Fashion technical drawing skills


Completing this course will provide you with:

  • A nationally accredited qualification at Advanced Diploma level
  • A strong pathway to continue your study and enhance your career opportunities
  • Skills and knowledge to start your own business

Career opportunities:

  • Fashion designer
  • Leather goods designer
  • Patternmaker
  • Design room assistant
  • Graphic designer for fashion
  • Assistant production manager
  • Production or visual merchandiser


Take your career to the next level with a TAFE NSW fashion design pathway:

  • Bachelor of Fashion Design with TAFE Degrees


With designers like Billabong, Camilla and Marc, Dion Lee, Toni Maticevski, Zimmerman and Ellery, Australia has long been a fashion powerhouse. It is worth $21 billion and this qualification speaks to industry demand and trends such as innovative technologies, sustainable design principles and e-commerce.

This course is superseded. You can still enrol in this course, and you will be contacted if you need to transition into the next version when it is available.

Course details

People who are successful in this industry have:

  • An understanding of the commercial viability of fashion products
  • Good colour and design sense
  • Creative flair
  • Good time management skills
  • The ability to work under pressure
  • Fashion technical drawing skills
  • The ability to work independently or as part of a team
  • Computer skills

Assessments give you the opportunity to demonstrate what you have learned and to identify the knowledge or skills that may need further development. In this course you will undertake:

  • Knowledge assessments: short answer, extended response, research tasks
  • Practical skills assessments: projects
  • Begin your study with a Certificate III in Applied Fashion Design and Technology and gain the foundational skills and knowledge you need to work in the fashion industry
  • Expand your core capabilities and develop a broad knowledge base with a Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Merchandising, and specialise in either design and product development, or business and merchandising
  • Further your existing skills and knowledge with the Advanced Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Merchandising, progress your specialisation and learn to operate at a managerial level
  • Master your studies with a degree-level qualification like the TAFE NSW Bachelor of Fashion Design, and gain skills, experience and a qualification to help you stand out from the crowd

You may have the opportunity to participate in excursions such as visiting fabric suppliers, trade shows and attending exhibitions.

You may also have the opportunity to hear from guest speakers from the industry as they share their knowledge and experience of their fashion specialisation.

You will learn about different areas of the fashion industry and can gain hands-on skills in:

  • Advanced garment construction
  • Advanced patternmaking (manual and digital)
  • Digital design using Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Digital product specification and costing
  • Digital range development
  • Fabric manipulation to achieve creative effects
  • Researching design influences and sales statistics
  • Technical drawing and fashion illustration
  • Grading and garment sizing systems

TAFE NSW is known for delivering up-to-date theory along with relevant, in-demand skills to ensure you are job ready.

Part of the design research process is to unpack the emerging trends featured in trend forecasting services such as WGSN and PromoStyl.

Part of your range development process is to contact outside workers such as sample machinists, patternmakers and digital printers to help with the final development and launch of your range.

TAFE NSW offers you a range of study environments to enhance your learning and employability, such as:

  • Simulated workrooms with industrial sewing machines and specialist equipment
  • Industry specific computer labs with Adobe Creative Suite and computer-aided design (CAD) fashion industry programs
  • Simulated workplaces
  • Study and presentation areas
  • General student facilities

Student facilities, amenities and support services include:

  • TAFE NSW Disability Support Service
  • TAFE NSW Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) support
  • TAFE NSW Aboriginal Support; Learner support (ABE)
  • TAFE NSW Careers, Counselling and Pathways Service
  • Smarthinking - online access to a tutor

The textile, clothing and footwear industry has seen an increased demand for advanced technical skills, as well as broader science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This demand is driven by the need to support quality craftsmanship and to capitalise on new ways of working.

With the introduction of new technologies, such as automated computer-aided design (CAD) cutting and laser measuring equipment, employers are increasingly demanding skilled workers to support technological development.
Other job trends include sustainable and upcycled designs and pattern making which is an area of skills shortage.

According to the Textiles, Clothing and Footwear (TCF) Industry Reference Committee Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work 20192023, the Australian TCF industry continues to face vigorous competition from imports. Some businesses are realigning their operations to global supply chains, others are focusing on the supply of specialised or niche products to targeted markets. Between 20162017 and 20172018, the value of merchandise exports grew in most Australian manufacturing industry sectors.

The Advanced Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Merchandising was designed in consultation with industry. The product development skills you learn in this qualification directly address skills gaps identified by employers and are transferrable across many facets of the fashion industry.

  • Nationally Recognised Training

This course is superseded

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