Fashion Design

Are you passionate about the contemporary world of fashion? Have you the drive and ambition to become a professional designer of the future. Do you want to experience a comprehensive course that will equip you with the skills and attributes essential for a career in the fashion industry?

Fashion Design aims to educate students to become professional practitioners in the field of fashion and related industries. Students are encouraged to have an awareness of fashion in its social and cultural context and to bring that understanding to their work.  The department places great value on its industry and professional links that gives students an insight into real-world commercial requirements. Emphasis is placed on developing informed, creative designers, who are prepared for the needs of industry.

As a Fashion Design student you will learn about the design process as it applies to the Fashion industry.  Elements covered include visual research, drawing, design process, fashion design, knitwear design, pattern cutting, garment construction, illustration presentation, manufacturing techniques and market research.  There is a focus on understanding fashion in context and students will undertake field research, trend analyses, customer profiling and branding within a wide range of contexts for the fashion industry. Students will also be able to develop links with historical fashion and Material Culture through practical application of Visual Culture

Year 1

See First Year

Year 2

The focus in the Second Year is on developing a personal visual language and the skills necessary to translate this into successful Fashion Design practice. You will also focus on researching and defining a specific audience and developing a market understanding through professional practice.

Year 3: Studio + & International

Studio+ is an optional year open to all Design students allowing you to engage with the world beyond NCAD by gaining practical work experience in the form of internships and industry placements on live commercial, social or community projects. Studio+ can also include a work placement abroad or a study abroad period through the Erasmus programme with internationally recognised art and design faculties partnered with NCAD.

Final Year

In the Final Year students are ready to develop their own programme of study, which reflects each individual’s skills and interests within Fashion Design. This will culminate in a substantial body of work for assessment and display at degree shows, exhibitions and events.

Each year is supported by a series of lectures by leading creative practitioners and theorists, collaborative interdisciplinary opportunities, live industry projects, field trips and study visits.


Coursework, essays, practical design projects are assessed at key points throughout the year. Formal assessment results are issued at the end of each academic year.

Download NCAD Prospectus

Fashion Design graduates from NCAD can be found in all areas of the fashion industry. The programme provides graduates with the knowledge and skill to design and make collections, either independently or as part of a team in design studios. As well as designing in-house for international designer brands, graduates work globally at all levels of the industry from performance sportswear to major international high-street brands. Some have set up their own design/manufacture businesses. Others have diversified into specialist areas such as knitwear, illustration, menswear, childrenswear, millinery, footwear design, accessory design, design management, journalism, fashion teaching, fashion styling, retail, merchandising, buying, forecasting, and costume design for film, theatre and television.

Increasingly graduates progress to further study at Postgraduate level to refine their creative abilities and approach. The School of Design offers a range of innovative Masters programmes, as well as a practice based PhD programme supported by the Graduate School for Creative Arts and Media (Grad CAM).

The School of Design has actively participated in the EU-funded LDV (Leonardo Da Vinci) PLM (People in the Labour Market) programme since 2010 which offered recent graduates the opportunity to avail of 13 week internships in high profile design companies within the European Union. The LDV PLM  programme was designed to foster close industrial relations and collaborations in order to meet the needs of design graduates and the EU ‘creative industries’.
Over the past four years 102 graduates from across the NCAD design disciplines have successfully undertaken LDV PLM internships in many European countries. All gained a range of specific skills and work experience relevant to their sector within the 'creative industries'.  A number of participants continue to be employed on an ongoing basis by these companies, and the professional practice skills developed during the programme has had a significant impact on helping participants find employment within the creative industries in what are economically challenging times. Developing language skills, gaining inter-cultural awareness and a sense of being 'European' is in-built into the activity of going on an EU work-placement abroad.
The hugely successful LDV / PLM programme came to an end in December 2014 and has been replaced by the EU-funded Eramus + Traineeship programme.

Please see the Study at NCAD section for full application details.

Duration 3/4 Years 
Places 25

CAO Course Codes:

AD211 Fashion Design 

AD101 First Year Art & Design (Common Entry)

Entry Requirements

Leaving Cert: 6 Subjects (2 X H5 and 4 X O6/H7) 

Sujects must include English, Irish and one of the following:  a third language or Art or Design & Communication Graphics (DCG)

FETAC: 5 Distinctions Full Award

Full details on Entry Requirements Available here

Portfolio Requirement NCAD Portfolio Submission Website
Degree Awarded BA Fashion Design / BA Design & Visual Culture / BA Design (International) 
All Undergraduate applications for Year 1 entry and Advanced entry through the CAO.

NCAD Minimum Entry Requirements

For further information please contact:

School Secretary

David Bramley