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Fashion designing courses for forward thinking designers - 2022/2023

The fast-paced, rapidly changing world of fashion needs people to produce innovative and forward thinking designs. If you are interested in a career that rewards your passion for developing and creating a cutting-edge product, the Fashion Design program will help design your future.

About Fanshawe's fashion design program

Fanshawe’s fashion design program provides a supportive and nurturing environment for you and other emerging Canadian fashion designers. Through our fashion designing courses, you’ll develop creative designs, visual communication and business marketing skills, as well as apparel production technologies. As well, you’ll have the opportunity to learn practical skills like fashion illustration, computer aided design, pattern-making and draping, and garment construction. 

In addition to learning these valuable techniques in your fashion design courses, you’ll have the opportunity to apply them through a combination of lab work, field trips, and work term experience. As part of these experiential learning requirements, you’ll also receive advice from faculty and other professionals in the Portfolio and Career Development course. By the time you’ve finished your degree, you can be on the job and ready to work.

With a focus on a balance of artistic, theoretical, and practical training, the Fashion Design program can give you a head start in the career you’re looking for.

Program Progression Chart


Fall Intake 





Year 1

Level 1

Level 2

Work Term 1

Year 2

Level 3

Level 4


Work Term 2


Year 3

Level 4

Level 6

Work Term 3



Fashion Design - Your Story™ Spotlight Video


Admission Requirements - 2022/2023

Admission Requirements

OSSD with courses from the College (C), University (U),
University/College (M), or Open (O) stream WITH:
- Any Grade 12 English (C) or (U)
- Any Grade 11 or Grade 12 Mathematics* (C), (U), or (M)
Academic and Career Entrance Certificate (ACE)
Ontario High School Equivalency Certificate (GED) AND:
- Any Grade 11 or Grade 12 Mathematics* (C), (U), or (M)
Mature Applicant with standing in the required courses stated above

  • *Grade 12 Foundations for College Mathematics (C) preferred.

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in English by one of the following methods:

  • A Grade 12 College Stream or University Stream English credit from an Ontario Secondary School, or equivalent, depending on the program's Admission Requirements 
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test with a minimum score of 79 for the Internet-based test (iBT), with test results within the last two years
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic test with an overall score of 6.0 with no score less than 5.5 in any of the four bands, with test results within the last two years. SDS Program Requirements. 
  • Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) test with an overall score of 60 with no score less than 50 in any of the four bands, with test results within the last two years
  • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE) with a minimum score of 53, with test results within the last two years
  • A Cambridge English Test (FCE/CAE/CPE) with an overall score on the Cambridge English Scale of 169 with no language skill less than 162, with test results within the last two years
  • An English Language Evaluation (ELE) at Fanshawe College with a minimum score of 70% in all sections of the test, with test results within the last two years
  • Fanshawe College ESL4/GAP5 students: Minimum grade of 80% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 8, 75% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 9, or 70% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 10

Recommended Academic Preparation

  • Grade 12 Drama (M)
  • Grade 11 Understanding Fashion (C) AND/OR Grade 12 The World of Fashion (M) 
  • Grade 12 Business and Technological Communication (O)
  • Keyboarding Skills
  • Architectural Drafting Skills

Recommended Personal Preparation

  • Students are encouraged to develop strong fashion drawing and sketching qualities using various techniques
  • A strong sewing background is very important
  • A personal interest in global fashion awareness in industry, textiles and computer

Applicant Selection Criteria

Where the number of eligible applicants exceeds the available spaces in the program, the Applicant Selection Criteria will be:
  1. Preference for Permanent Residents of Ontario
  2. Receipt of Application by February 1st (After this date, Fanshawe College will consider applicants on a first-come, first-served basis until the program is full)
  3. Achievement in the Admission Requirements


Fashion Design-2022/2023

Level 1
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
WRIT-1036Reason & Writing 1-Art & Design3
This course introduces students to essential principles of reading, writing, and reasoning at the postsecondary level. Students will identify, summarize, analyze, and evaluate multiple short readings and write persuasive response essays to develop their vocabulary, comprehension, grammar, and critical thinking.
DRAF-1057Pattern Making 13
In this course, the student is introduced to the fundamental skills of pattern making. Areas of concentration will be skirt and pant pattern development. Students will also learn the role of the master pattern (block) in developing design concepts.
ARTS-1024Fashion Drawing & Theory2
This course introduces the student to the fundamental skills of fashion drawing for the fashion designer. These include the use of line, space shape, texture and colour. Further studies include the application of proportions, balance and movement to the fashion figure. Students will be introduced to a variety of medium to encourage their drawing skills. The students will become acquainted with the use of a designer croquis as a fashion drawing tool. Students will complete final fashion composition presented and mounted in a professional manner.
DESG-1062Sample Room Production 13
The focus of this course is to teach the students the theory, processes, and the quality standards behind the construction of the designer's first samples. Students will learn to sew and produce various samples that will support the production of their Design Studio 1 skirt prototype.
FASH-1003Design Studio 12
An introduction to fashion design literacy, visual communication and engagement with sustainable design communities. Design studio 1 explores the creative design process through the study of the elements and principles of design with a series of innovation workshops. Students will apply and practice the design process through the development of a fashion designer's inspiration sketchbook. Students will explore a variety of research methods, digital online platforms, 2 D & 3 D creative problem solving processes to express innovation in sustainable design.
FASH-1005Fashion Industry Analysis2
This course provides the students with an introduction to the principles in which the fashion world revolves; and the role of economic, sociological and psychological elements in the fashion cycle. The course includes an overview of the fashion industry focusing on design, product development, manufacturing, marketing and retailing. Students will research contemporary fashion designers and examine their roles and influences on current fashion trends.

Level 2
Gen Ed - See requirement below
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
COMP-1353Computerized Fashion Illustration 13
This course provides the student with an opportunity to build upon, and advance fashion illustration skills developed in ARTS1024. The course will introduce and educate the student to computer fashion illustration techniques utilizing Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop.
FASH-1001Textile Science 12
This course provides a general study of textile materials with an emphasis on factors that affect their handling, appearance, and performance. Through a combination of lecture and lab work, students will learn to appreciate the properties and performance qualities of natural and man-made fibers as they are processed into yarns and fabrics; and the fabric relevance to garment design and function.
DRAF-1058Pattern Making 23
This course completes the introduction to basic pattern making. Emphasis on these fundamental pattern making skills will be specific to pants, sleeves, cuffs, plackets, collars, pants and dress foundations. Students will draft and fit an original design within a design team.
FASH-1009Design Studio 22
This course is a continuation of Design Studio 1, reinforcing fashion design literacy, visual communication and engagement with sustainable design communities. Design studio 2 explores the creative design process through a series of innovation workshops that focus on sustainable design development and the creation of the "Design Process" sketch book. Students will build on design studio 1 skills, practicing 2D to 3D technical prototyping , balancing aesthetics with function and sustainability. Students will conceptualize, explore, model, communicate a sustainable RTW cohesive capsule collection for the moderate market level retailer.
DESG-1063Sample Room Production 23
Sewing techniques specific to Shirts, Dresses and Pants will be taught. Applications based on industry standards will be covered. Each student will produce a Designed Garment using the pattern they created in Pattern Making II.
COMM-3074Communications for Design3
This course, designed for students who plan to work in the field of art and design, focuses on professional written and verbal communication skills. Students learn to prepare a variety of work-related documents. In addition, students learn about research methods and documentation formats. The principles of effective writing - organization, grammar, style, clarity, and tone - are reinforced throughout the course. The goal of the course is to prepare students for the communication tasks and considerations they will encounter in the workplace in order to meet the needs of employers and/or the communities they will serve.
COOP-1020Co-operative Education Employment Prep1
This workshop will provide an overview of the Co-operative Education consultants and students' roles and responsibilities as well as the Co-operative Education Policy. It will provide students with employment preparatory skills specifically related to co-operative education work assignments and will prepare students for their work term.
FASH-1041Technical Drawings & Specifications2.5
This course introduces technical illustrations as a tool for visually communicating garments construction and specifications to ensure the correct size and dimensions of garments. Students will learn basic components and styles of tops, skirts, pants, jackets and dress and how to visually communicate these construction components through technical drawing. Students will create technical drawings from stylized technical, illustrations, photographs and actual garments. Students will learn and apply technical drawing standards to their drawings of tops, skirts, pants, jackets and dresses. Students will learn basic point of measures for a variety of garment types and measure garments to create size specification sheets

Level 3
Gen Ed - See requirement below
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
COMP-1386Computerized Fashion Illustr. & Spec.3
This course provides the student with an opportunity to build upon, and advance computer illustration skills, and digital communication developed in COMP1353. Advanced Photoshop and Illustrator methods will be introduced with a focus on skills needed in the fashion industry. Students will further practice computerized technical drawing and advancement of communication skills by developing various presentation boards and personal branding packages.
DESG-3038Sample Room Production 32
This course provides the students with the specialized construction techniques required for a Ready to Wear Jacket and an Outerwear Garment. Students will learn to recognize and apply specific fashion fabrics, lining, interfacing, findings, and pressing equipment to manufacture a Ready to Wear Jacket an Outerwear Garment and other Jacket and Outerwear samples.
COMP-3005Computers for Apparel Manufacturing 13
Students will learn the introductory level of computers used in the apparel industry, specifically the Gerber Garment Technology program, Accumark/PDS Software. Students will create storage areas and parameter tables, digitize patterns, create models and orders, modify patterns and make cost-effective production markers.
DRAF-3027Pattern Making 33
In this course flat pattern making skills will be developed for industry production patterns for women's outerwear jackets and coats. Advanced styles of sleeves, collars, pocket and lining applications will be introduced. Students will draft and produce production ready patterns for outerwear.
FASH-3013Design Studio 34
In this course students will learn about outerwear garments with respect to design aesthetics, suitability to target market, salability and functionality. Research will be conducted into future trends in colour, textiles and styling of women's outerwear apparel for autumn/winter at the upper moderate market level. Students will create an original outerwear collection that fulfills the target customers wants and needs. Students will visually communicate their design research, process work, concepts and line planning for their outerwear collection through the development of a sketchbook. Students will design an original outerwear collection based on the market research and work through prototyping one selected design and present the collection at the semester's end.
FASH-1007Textile Science 22
This course provides for more advanced studies in the physical, construction of textile materials. Students learn the methods of creating textiles through weaving, knitting, dyeing, printing and finishing processes in lecture and practical applications. Students study the relationship between textile production processes, selection criteria, cost, end use and customer satisfaction.
HIST-1027Style Influences & Attitudes 13
This course will provide an interdisciplinary analysis of design, in relation to supporting social, political, economic, technological and cultural climates throughout history. The focus is on the relationship between design history and European/Western costume history and the way in which designers have used clothing as an expression of identity within a socio cultural context.It provides a chronological historical survey of design, beginning with ancient civilizations and ending with the romantic Period 1850.

Level 4
Gen Ed - Take a 3 credit General Education elective course
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
BUSI-1078The Business of Fashion4
This course is untended to foster the spirit of entrepreneurship in the development of a fashion business. Focus will be in three areas; aspects of successful product launch, accurate product costing and the development of a summary business plan. Emphasis will be put on entrepreneurship from both a social and sustainable perspective. Students will be exposed to and learn from current entrepreneurs and business leaders.
DESG-3039Sample Room Production 42
In this semester specialized techniques required for the manufacturing of Active wear garments will be completed. Students will learn to operate specific machines and attachments for the construction of these garments. Each student will produce an Active wear garment using the pattern they created in Pattern Making 4.
COMP-3011Comp for Apparel Manuf 23
Students will continue their exploration of Gerber Garment Technology, Accumark Professional Edition Software and its application in the garment industry. Introduction to PDS Software and its application in creating and modifying patterns. Students will further develop their digitizing skills.
FASH-3021Design Studio 43
In this course students will learn about the process of design and product development for functional apparel at the upper moderate to better price point. Students will research a specific activity, the functional requirements of the activity and both knit and woven garments that could potentially meet the needs of the activity. Students will incorporate research of future; trends, colours, textiles, styling and design details suitable for the activity, target customer and season in to an collection. The project will focus on the functional apparel requirements of the design to facilitate an activity as well as aesthetic design considerations. Students will visually communicate their design research, process work, concepts and line planning for their collection through the development of a sketchbook. Students will create an original sample of one outfit and fit garments on a standard size dress form. The collection concept, market research and final completed sample will be presented at the semesters end.
DRAF-3028Pattern Making 43
In this course, flat pattern making skills will be developed for women's for active wear applications in both woven and knits. Both stable and spandex-stretchy knits will be studied. Students will learn about knocking of a garment to produce patterns. Students will draft and produce production ready patterns.
HIST-3014Style Influences & Attitudes 23
This course, which is a continuation of HIST1027, provides an interdisciplinary analysis of design, in relation to supporting social, political, economic, technological & cultural climates. It provides a chronological historical survey of design, beginning with the Crinoline period and ending with the 1990's, as a means of understanding the evolution and influence of historical period styles on contemporary design production in the 20th century.
This course introduces the student to the process of draping - a three dimensional form of apparel designing. Students will learn fundamental draping skills through the development of various skirt and bodice prototypes. This is a hands-on course using the dress form working with muslin and fashion fabric to develop patterns for apparel production.

Level 5
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
BUSI-3034Global Apparel Sourcing & Mass Product3
This course introduces apparel sourcing in the domestic and import/international markets, including sourcing for both manufacturing and raw materials. Students acquire an understanding of importing, exporting, tariffs, quotas, and government regulations in the context of fashion apparel. Through case studies students will complete a garment sourcing simulation.
DESG-5020Sample Room Production 52
In this course, students will be introduced to the fine sewing skills required in the creation of eveningwear garments. Various Sewing Techniques for seams, hems, closures, and specialty applications will be demonstrated. Students will also learn the specific construction techniques required to complete a Boned Bodice sample. Students will work on Fittings to support their Level 6 Capstone Collections.
COMP-5003Computers for Apparel Manufacturing 33
Students will continue their exploration of Gerber Garment Technology, Accumark Professional Edition Software and its application in the garment industry. Students will further develop their pattern making skills on the design system software to create new styles from blocks and develop basic blocks. Focus is on eveningwear and outerwear. Students will apply their knowledge of manual grading through practice using Accumark PDS functions.
FASH-5011Design Studio 53
Students will explore critical issues in design and identify a personal design thesis to explore their vision for their Unbound capstone capsule collection. Students will reflect upon accumulated design studio experience and skills to identify an area of interest and define themselves within the designer level luxury market. Students will develop a proposal brief, identifying their design philosophy, ideas & concepts through self-initiated research & practical design practice. Emphasis is placed on analysis of research, innovation in 2D to 3D modeling and sustainable design solutions. Students will self- manage and communicate the design process through discussion boards, design process sketchbook, critiques and formal design board presentations.
DRAF-5014Pattern Making 53
Students will further develop their technical pattern making skills through experiential workshops focused on integrated advanced draping, drafting and drawing. Students will demonstrate their understanding of contouring, sustainable pattern cutting and creative approaches to sculptural silhouettes and styling for occasion wear. Students will apply and document advanced integrated techniques to the development of patterns and toiles to test capstone project prototypes in half scale before moving into full size production. Students will prepare a personal a full size blocks library, in sample size, for their chosen market.
METH-5009Industrial Pattern Grading2
Students will learn the fundamentals of garment sizing by proportionally increasing and decreasing the master pattern. Students will learn how to create a grade chart complete with grade rules. Students will be introduced to the 2 different types of grading used to grade a standard block: manual, machine methods.
COMP-3097Portfolio & Career Development3
This course is designed to provide the student with the knowledge and background to create a unique and personalized visual fashion portfolio for future employment and to prepare for the interview process. The student will use appropriate sketching techniques, presentation techniques, photography and computer skills to enhance the professionalism of the development process.

Level 6
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
DESG-5021Sample Room Production 65
Student will select appropriate construction techniques for their collection based on previous research on the competition, target market expectations and quality level for designer level apparel. Students will analyze their collection materials and construction techniques for suitability and test collection construction to ensure their appropriateness for materials and designs selected. Students will document successful techniques through detailed construction drawings to aid in successful production prototypes. Students will set up a production schedule to effectively manage internal and external deadlines to ensure timely delivery of prototype sample collection to meet external presentation deadlines. Students will consult with faculty on a weekly basis to receive feedback and evaluation of collection analysis, prototype pre-sampling, and technical packages as they work towards the successful completion of their final line to be delivered for presentation in week 13. Students will submit a final document that documents their collection.
FASH-5013Line Development8
Line Development focuses on the production phase of the Unbound capstone capsule collection. Students work independently, to create patterns, technical specification packages and a presentation sketchbook using online design platforms, software and digital tools. Students will transition Design Studio 5, design thesis concept proposals, into actualized 3D prototyping and sample development, incorporating couture techniques, innovative technologies and sustainable design approaches. Students will submit work in progress reports and adhere to production schedule with non-negotiable delivery deadlines. The students will present their capsule collections and sketchbooks to a guest industry panel for critique at Unbound line review.
FASH-5012Fashion Show Production5
The students are guided through the steps that are required in planning and organizing of a fashion event. Marketing, model fittings, show styling, staging, music, budget, show preparation, execution and evaluation. Team collaborative planning and creative problem solving are critical skills that are developed during the weekly committee planning process. Students will perform committee duties that pertain to work placement at capstone fashion event.

Gen Ed - Electives
Take 6 General Education Credits -
Normally taken in Levels 2 or 3 and Level 4

Program Residency
Students Must Complete a Minimum of 30 credits in this
program at Fanshawe College to meet the Program Residency
requirement and graduate from this program

Careers - 2022/2023

Career Opportunities

Graduates find employment in positions of development production and production in apparel manufacturing including designers, assistant designers, technical designers, computerized fashion illustrators, pattern makers, graders, quality controller technicians, or CAD aided design technologists.  Graduates could also become independent designers or consultants.

More Information - 2022/2023

A Co-operative Education Program
A Three-Year Ontario College Advanced Diploma Program
Program Code: DFS4
Campus Code: LC (LC - London)
September/January Admission
15 week terms
Academic Calendars available at


School of Design: 519-452-4227

Program Description

Fashion Design is a three year co-operative Ontario College Advanced Diploma program providing professional career-directed training in the development, production management and marketing of apparel design. Through classroom theory, lecture, lab work, field trips and work term experience, skills are applied. Networking with industry professionals promotes future employment opportunities. Emphasis is placed on design analysis, apparel manufacturing and technology, and design communications and marketing. Skills such as fashion illustration, computer-aided design, pattern-making and draping, and garment construction techniques are taught, and supported by studies of textile technology, historical research, manufacturing processes and applied computerized technology in the fashion industry. The program fosters creative and independent problem solving in students, preparing them for a future in the various sectors of the rapidly changing fashion industry.

Co-operative Education

This three-year program has two co-op work terms.  Students who fulfill both the academic and co-op requirements of the program will be eligible to graduate with a Co-op Endorsed Diploma.  More information about Co-operative Education can be found at

Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

  1. Recognize the interrelationships among designers, manufacturers, merchandisers and consumers in the domestic and global marketplace;
  2. Create innovative, sustainable and inclusive designs using flat pattern and 3D prototyping techniques that incorporate design and fitting principles;
  3. Use most current computer technologies to design, digitally communicate, market and manufacture apparel;
  4. Demonstrate a thorough understanding of materials, colours, silhouettes, textures and techniques in order to communicate a reflective design process incorporating market research and analysis to solve design problems;
  5. Source materials, illustrate concepts, develop patterns, produce technical packages and costing information, apply production specifications to produce apparel that incorporates both sustainability, and human-centered designs;
  6. Analyse the organizational functions, systems and logistics in the manufacturing and marketing of fashion and apparel;
  7. Apply business principles that foster entrepreneurship from both a social and sustainable perspective;
  8. Adapt global fashion trends from the historical, current, and future perspective to produce marketable designs for consumers;
  9. Produce and present work that meets the standards, ethics and practices of the domestic and global fashion industry;
  10. Apply visual communication skills to develop products, support design collaborations and create a professional portfolio;
  11. Operate industrial sewing, pressing and other technical equipment safely and to industry standards.

Program Pathways

For information about Program Pathways visit

Program Details

More details

2022/2023 academic year: Refer to the More Info tab to view offerings for the 2022/23 academic year. Canadian students can start applying in early October for programs with Sep. 2022, Jan. 2023 and May 2023 start dates through

Canadian Students

Start Dates

Full Time Offerings

2022 January
2022 September
2023 January

International Students

Start Dates
2022 January
2022 September
2023 January
Program Code
Academic School

Fashion Design Program Coordinator:

Leigh-Ann Waller

Day Time
Ontario College Advanced Diploma
90 weeks