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Technical Apparel Design: Post-Baccalaureate Diploma



The Wilson School of Design has the unique opportunity of being situated in the center of a dynamic hub of more than three dozen international technical apparel companies in greater Vancouver that are serving global markets created by a population focused on health, recreation, and outdoor activities.

Students in the Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Technical Apparel Design program will pursue advanced studies in new methodologies in technical textiles, human factors in design contexts, production, and global business strategies. Developed through extensive collaboration with KPU alumni, Vancouver-based companies such as Arc'teryx, Lululemon, Mountain Equipment Co-op, Mustang Survival, Global Collective and Sugoi, along with local and international researchers and academics, the program connects research, education, and business to support, inspire, and create innovative approaches to apparel design.

Students will build on their undergraduate education to further develop their ability to uncover market needs and opportunities from a global perspective. Through a wide variety of innovative learning activities that foster inter-disciplinary collaborations and allow for exploration, experimentation, examination, and evaluation, students will develop a more in-depth understanding of human factors/ergonomics and the properties of technical textiles that influence the performance of functional apparel design. Students will practice working within a short timeline to design and produce prototypes using an iterative process to test products based on their purpose, fit, and functionality, culminating in a capstone project to present a business case, design, prototype and test a solution to an identified problem.

Students will also have close interactions with local and global industries through special topics guest speakers, symposiums, field studies, workshops, and mentorships. The Wilson School of Design creates partnerships that enable students to interact with technical apparel companies and university research and testing centres.

Graduates connect with the talent pipeline that demands highly trained designers for this expanding industry in BC and internationally. In a recent survey of BC's technical apparel companies, 64% of respondents reported employment growth in the last two years with nearly 25% reporting growth of greater than 20%. Overall, technical apparel employment is expected to increase by 23% in the next two years.

The Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Technical Apparel Design is a selective entry, cohort program consisting of 30 credits of course work organized into three semesters. Starting in September, courses are offered through a compressed schedule that can enable those currently employed to attend.

Note: Students in this program may have opportunities, but will not be required, to travel and interact with partners at universities or technical apparel companies in other provinces and the United States. Travel expenses are not funded through tuition fees. Similar opportunities may be provided locally.

Student Profile

To be successful in the business of design, industry needs creative innovators who are willing to take risks, technologists who can strategize, and leaders who can manage the continuing shifts in today's economy. Critical thinkers who challenge the existing framework and therefore elevate the industry, are in demand.

The Post Baccalaureate Diploma in Technical Apparel Design is aimed at an independent learner who is driven to explore in a creative learning environment that allows unexpected, surprising, and delightful ideas to emerge.

The program will attract graduates from a wide range of disciplines that include fashion, textile design, product design, industrial design, interior design, engineering, business or kinesiology. It will also appeal to professionals working in areas of design, health and well-being, engineering, sport, and ergonomics. These professionals are drawn to furthering their design education in order to keep up with today's global economy and innovative technologies, along with cultural and environmental sustainability issues. The program attracts students from BC, Canada, USA, and around the world.

Great designers come from a range of places, life experiences and educational settings. They will have an inquiring mind, professional skills, leadership potential, ambition and a passion for design and innovation. For entrance, it is expected they will demonstrate the general dimensions of learning outcomes commonly identified with an undergraduate education.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of this advanced baccalaureate program will be the next generation of design innovators, strategic technologists and transformative leaders, with the increased ability to drive change and create progress in the technical apparel industry.

Graduates of the program will not only access new design and technical knowledge but will also develop competencies for design thinking with the end-user in mind, leadership, and global business skills. They will be prepared to work in a number of areas in the technical apparel and product design industry in roles such as researchers, inventors, designers, product developers, and technical designers. Graduates may also be interested in industrial design, health-care, business development and manufacturing.

As students complete their capstone project, they may be inspired to pursue graduate studies to further their applied research interests.

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:

  • A baccalaureate degree (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline* from a recognized post-secondary institution with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.67 in the final 60 credits of study
  • Letter of Interest package
  • Interview

Note: * Undergraduate degrees in relevant disciplines will be considered, including Design, Fashion, Product Design, Interior Design, Kinesiology (Human Factors/Ergonomics), Architecture, Visual and Fine Arts, Graphic Design, Textile Design, Industrial Design, Engineering, Science and Business. Students outside of these disciplines should contact the department for more information about the consideration of their degrees.

For further details about the letter of interest package and interview process, including submission specifics, visit the department's website at:

Curricular Requirements

This program requires students to complete a total of 30 credits including a 9-credit capstone project.  Students are required to study full time (12 credits) in their first semester, and part-time for the next two semesters.  Intakes generally start in the September semester.

Note: DETA courses numbered 5000 or higher are assessed $535.50/credit for tuition, plus Student Fees and Kwantlen Student Association fees.

Semester One

Identification & Inspiration

  DETA 5110 Technical Apparel in Context 3 credits
  DETA 5120 Technical Textile Technologies 3 credits
  DETA 5130 Creative Innovation 3 credits
  DETA 5140 Advances in Apparel Production 3 credits

Semester Two

Conceptualization & Exploration

  DETA 5200 Global Business Strategies for Technical Apparel 3 credits
  DETA 5210 User Experience 3 credits
  DETA 5230 Strategic Design Direction 3 credits

Semester Three

Synthesis & Dissemination

  DETA 5300 Capstone Project 9 credits

Other Information

Students should be prepared to spend approximately $1000 on books, supplies, and fabric over the three semesters.

Credential Awarded

Upon successful completion of this program, students are eligible to receive a Post Baccalaureate Diploma in Technical Apparel Design.

At a Glance

Chip and Shannon Wilson School of Design

Technical Apparel

Program Type:

  • Post Baccalaureate

Credential Granted:

  • Post Baccalaureate Diploma

Offered At:

  • KPU Richmond  Richmond

Start Date(s):

  • Fall Intake (September)  September

Intake Type:

  • Limited Intake  Limited intake


  • Part-time  Part-time

Minimum Credits Required:

  • 30

Instructional Cycle:

  • Semester-based

Curriculum Effective Date:

  • 01-Sep-2014

Applying to KPU:

Last Updated: 18-Jun-2016

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