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Fashion & Technology: Bachelor of Design


KPU's Bachelor of Design, Fashion and Technology program is the only four-year program of its kind in Western Canada. Renowned for delivering a seamless balance of academic rigor with hands-on, industry-focused experience, this unique program continues to develop a world-class reputation for graduating fashion industry leaders. We prepare students for successful careers in the global apparel industry, with most graduates working in roles that focus on leadership, project management, and creative and technical specialties.

Under the guidance of fashion design and technology experts, students in this program master the process, skills and terminology of the apparel industry, from design concept through production and commercialization. Progressing from design theory, fundamental drawing, pattern-making and garment construction to specialized and digital techniques, the program's curriculum is noted for its industry-based focus and on fostering a community of emerging, forward-thinking designers.

This dynamic program features industry-relevant education and training using leading-edge technology, collaborative projects linked with prominent apparel companies and an extensive workplace practicum for further application of learning experiences. In the last year of the program, students showcase their final collections in what has become one of Vancouver's signature fashion events. The year-end professional fashion show is anticipated by industry and media alike with apparel community members eager to view and interact with graduating designers and their work.

KPU stands apart from any other similar program in large part due to passionate, dedicated teachers. The diverse faculty at KPU's Fashion Design & Technology program are industry leaders who are 'plugged in' to the global fashion scene and offer not just theoretical knowledge, but practical, industry-specific connections that are acutely relevant in today's marketplace.

The program simulates a professional working environment through the use of relevant, industrial equipment and technology with strict adherence to punctuality, scheduling and deadlines. Garments designed throughout the program reflect market trends by balancing creativity with marketability and are produced using industrial drafting and garment construction techniques. Students benefit from the opportunity to further integrate their learning through industry-linked, guest speakers and presentations on current design issues. Additional consideration is focused on the development of proficient standards in critical thinking, analysis, problem solving, teamwork skills and leadership development.

High quality production equipment includes: industrial straight sew machines, sergers and specialty machines such as coverstitch and flatlock, seam sealer, steam irons, a vacuum press and a fusing machine. The integration of computer software is used for design, spec drawing, technical specification packages, buyers' kits, media kits, costing, pattern manipulation, grading, marker making and digital portfolio development.

The four-year, selective-entry program is organized into eight semesters with a minimum of 120 credits in total. The program is taken on a full-time basis. The diploma, which is the first two years of the degree program, consists of 62.5 credits in total. General education courses and electives in English, marketing, business and other courses from a wide range of offerings at KPU provide exposure to a breadth of study further enriching students as designers and global citizens.

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Student Profile

Most people who apply to the program have a passionate, lifelong interest in fashion with an aptitude for creative design, technical construction and an appreciation for fabric, prints, colours and trend forecasting. They are recent high school graduates, transfer students from other institutions, mature individuals returning to the profession or making a career change, or industry personnel seeking an upgrade in skills.

KPU boasts student exchange agreements with fashion schools in London, England; Helsinki, Finland; Taipei, Taiwan; Melbourne, Australia; Berlin, Germany and is developing further exchange opportunities to broaden global experiences.

Applicants with previous experience in the fashion industry may gain credits through Prior Learning Assessment (PLA). Graduates from a two-year fashion program who wish to pursue a degree will be assessed on an individual basis for potential advanced entry.

Industry personnel who wish to take a specific course or courses on a part-time basis to complement their job skills may do so based on seat availability and with permission from the Program Coordinator. Some course prerequisites may be waived based on work experience. Contact the Program Coordinator for further information.

Career Opportunities

With over 300 apparel companies in the Lower Mainland, the well-established B.C. fashion industry offers many career choices. Graduates work in the design, marketing and production departments for vibrant Lower Mainland companies such as Arc'teryx, Aritzia, International Fashions, ivivva, Karma, Kensie, Kit and Ace, lululemon, Mountain Equipment Co-op, Mustang Survival, Oak and Fort, Peekaboo Beans, Plenty and Sugoi Performance Apparel. Similar opportunities are available worldwide with graduates currently at Nike, Abercrombie & Fitch, Nordstrom, and Volcom in the U.S. and Chloe in Paris, France.

Depending upon capabilities and interests, students work for large companies as members of design, production or marketing teams, for smaller design houses, working in all aspects of the business, engage in entrepreneurial (examples include Allison Wonderland, TrunkShow, Flaming Angels, Osei-Duro, Jolie Couture and Taylor Hart Designs) or freelance endeavors. In all instances, graduates need to be well versed in all three aspects of the business (design, production and marketing) to fully contribute as a team player. Emerging designers prosper best if they have a solid background and experience in production and marketing.

Fashion students interested in a career as a high school teacher of clothing and textiles may be eligible for entry to UBC's Bachelor of Education program in Home Economics upon completion of KPU's fashion degree, including a combination 18 credits of English, Sociology, Psychology and Family Studies courses. Family Studies courses may be taken at UBC as either a visiting student at UBC while completing KPU's fashion program (using these courses as electives towards the completion of the fashion degree) or as a UBC student following graduation from KPU's fashion program.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the Faculty's Admission Requirements, which consist of KPU's undergraduate English Proficiency Requirement, the following program admission requirements apply:

  • English 12 with a minimum grade of 'B' (or equivalent)
  • Portfolio Review and Orientation Session

On 24 October 2016 a change to the admission requirements for this program was approved by Senate. Effective September 2017 the requirement of English 12 with a minimum grade of 'B' (or equivalent) will be removed. KPU's undergraduate English Proficiency Requirement will apply. This change will appear in the 2017-18 University Calendar to be published in June 2017.

Portfolio Review and Orientation Session

Prospective students should consult with an Academic Advisor, or with the Chip and Shannon Wilson School of Design prior to applying. Faculty will review the eligibility of candidates based on the contents of their portfolio. For detailed information about the Fashion and Technology portfolio requirements and review process, visit the department's website at

Upper-Level Program Admission

In addition to the program admission requirements, applicants may be eligible for advanced standing to the program at an upper level. An individual portfolio review is required.

Curricular Requirements

The first year introduces students to the various facets of the fashion industry, elements and principles of fashion design, drawing, pattern drafting and industrial sewing and includes important support courses in English, computer applications for fashion and marketing. The second year is more focused on fashion discipline-based knowledge and skill development and includes designing for industry linked projects in collaboration with local apparel companies such as Lululemon, Plum and Oliver and Lilly's.

The third and fourth years feature opportunities to apply previous studies to real world applications. Students design for both mass and niche markets, combining creativity with marketability and practice production planning from both a local and global perspective. An Internship with a local design company will increase students' knowledge of industry practices and develop contacts in the industry. The final semester culminates in a fashion show presented to an audience of over 2,000 people. Most electives are taken in the senior years, but students may take electives in the order that best suits their schedules.

For transfer students, some courses in the lower-level of the program (FASN 1115, FASN 1150, FASN 2130, FASN 2240) may be taken while in the third year, subject to availability. Some credits from courses taken elsewhere may be used to fulfill the elective requirements in the third and fourth years. Transfer credits are assessed on an individual basis. For information on the transfer credit process, visit

Year 1 and 2 Requirements

Semester 1

All of:
  FASN 1100 Fundamentals of Fashion Design 3 credits
  FASN 1115 The Apparel Industry 2.5 credits
  FASN 1120 Production Basics I 3.5 credits
  FASN 1150 Fashion Retail Work Experience 2 credits
  MRKT 1199 Introduction to Marketing
(or any 1st year post-secondary, 3-credit marketing course)
3 credits


Semester 2

All of:
  FASN 1205 Computer Applications for Fashion 3 credits
  FASN 1215 Textile Science 3 credits
  FASN 1220 Production Basics II 6 credits
  FASN 1230 Fashion Drawing I 2 credits
  ENGL 1100* Introduction to University Writing
(or any 1st year, post-secondary, 3-credit English course),
3 credits

* Note: Completion of ENGL 1100 with a minimum grade of “C” (or an approved writing intensive course at the 1100 level or higher) is both a graduation requirement and a prerequisite for certain courses in Year 2.


Semester 3

All of:
  FASN 2100 Fashion Design I 3 credits
  FASN 2115 History of Costume 2.5 credits
  FASN 2120 Style Production I 7 credits
  FASN 2130 Technical Fashion Drawing 2 credits

Semester 4

All of:
  CMNS 1140 Introduction to Professional Communications
(or any 1st year, post-secondary, 3-credit business communications course)
3 credits
  FASN 2200 Fashion Design & Drawing II 5 credits
  FASN 2220 Style Production II 7 credits
  FASN 2240 Computer-Based Pattern Drafting 2 credits

Upon successful completion of the first four semesters (62.5 credits), students are eligible to exit the program and receive a Diploma.

Year 3 and 4 Requirements

Semester 5

All of:
  FASN 3100 Textile Design 3 credits
  FASN 3120 Mass Manufacturing 7 credits
  FASN 3130 Draping 4 credits
  FASN 3150 Preparation for Fashion Industry Practicum 1.5 credits

Semester 6

All of:
  FASN 3200 Product Development 3.5 credits
  FASN 3250 Fashion Industry Practicum 3 credits
  Approved elective (see Electives below) 3 credits

Semester 7

All of:
  FASN 4100 Line and Portfolio Development 5.5 credits
  FASN 4150 Apparel in the Global Economy 4 credits
  Approved elective (see Electives below) 3 credits
  Approved elective (see Electives below) 3 credits

Semester 8

All of:
  FASN 4210 Event Planning and Promotion 4 credits
  FASN 4220 Collection Production 7 credits
  Approved elective (see Electives below) 3 credits
  Approved elective (see Electives below) 3 credits


The 5 elective courses (15 credits) must include:

  • A minimum of two general education courses (6 credits) from non-fashion areas of study that develop a breadth of knowledge and integrate with learning acquired in the program; one course is recommended at the 3000 level
  • A minimum of one course (3 credits), course number 1100 or higher, from the School of Business
  • A minimum of two other electives (6 credits) from any area of study, course numbers 1100 or higher; recommended are business, marketing and fashion courses, such as FASN 4130 and FASN 4250.

Other Information


Students should be prepared to spend approximately $600 to $1000 per year on books and materials.

Laptop Program

Current students are required to supply their own laptops according to specifications provided directly by faculty. Applicants are advised that a student-leased laptop program is under consideration.

Credential Awarded

Upon successful completion of this program, students are eligible to receive a Bachelor of Design, Fashion and Technology.

Upon successful completion of the Year 1 and 2 Requirements, students are eligible to receive a Diploma in Fashion and Technology.

At a Glance

Chip and Shannon Wilson School of Design

Fashion Design and Technology

Program Type:

  • Undergraduate

Credential Granted:

  • Baccalaureate Degree
  • Diploma

Offered At:

  • KPU Richmond  Richmond

Start Date(s):

  • Fall Intake (September)  September

Intake Type:

  • Limited Intake  Limited intake


  • Full-time  Full-time

Minimum Credits Required:

  • 120

Instructional Cycle:

  • Semester-based

Curriculum Effective Date:

  • 01-Sep-2016

Applying to KPU:

Last Updated: 8-Nov-2016

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