Diploma in Apparel Design & Merchandising (T20)

2017 Planned Intake: 70 JAE 2017 Last Aggregate Score: 17

The fashion industry is huge, dazzling and glamorous. Whether you enjoy the adrenalin highs of runway shows or working behind the scenes to influence buying decisions for stores and consumers, the Apparel Design & Merchandising course is your key to the big, bold and beautiful world of fashion. This is where you learn to shape the very concept of style and trend.

Unlike other fashion courses, this course will give you a broad overview to various aspects of the industry – from design, production to marketing before letting you make the choice to specialize in one of two areas:

  • Fashion Design & Merchandising
    Specialise in the design and construction of clothes that stand out for their creativity, functionality and style.

  • Retail & Visual Merchandising
    Specialise in the business end of the fashion industry. Develop, market and manage your apparel/label as you learn the intricacies of the fashion industry, customer behaviour and store design.

In this way, not only will you develop a keen sense in fashion design and gain broad knowledge of the workings of industry, you will also have depth of expertise in a specialized area.

As the great Coco Chanel once said, “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.” The Apparel Design & Merchandising course will give you that additional sheen to make a difference and stand out in an industry that is always mercurial and exciting.

 There are high exemplary students in the cohort, who have the full capabilities and skillset to become leaders and change makers in the fashion industry and society in general and this is testament to the high quality of pedagogy and delivery of teaching at Temasek Polytechnic.
—  Dr Timo Rissanen    
Assistant Professor of
Fashion Design & Sustainability    
School of Fashion
Parsons The New School for Design & Textiles   
Do you want to be on top


What you will learn

  • Fashion Merchandising

    Fashion Merchandising

    Learn about the influence of consumers over trend and fashion – how to visualise and anticipate new trends – by understanding the process of the design and business aspects of the apparel industry
  • Apparel Manufacturing Process

    Apparel Manufacturing Process

    Just how is apparel produced, especially in large quantities, without affecting its quality? Learn all about apparel production from planning to completion, and even visit garment factories for a first-hand look.
  • The Fashion Show

    The Graduation Fashion Show

    Your time to shine! The graduation fashion show is where it all comes together. Go behind the scenes to create the School’s annual flagship fashion event – the Graduation Fashion Show. Watch your designs take centre stage as professional models stride the runway in your creations.

Notable Features

  • The first and only fashion design & merchandising diploma in a polytechnic.
  • The only fashion course with 2 options in Fashion Design & Merchandising and Retail & Visual Merchandising.

Career Prospects

  • Buyers
  • Brand Managers
  • Fashion stylists
  • Fashion photographers
  • Fashion journalists
  • Fashion entrepreneurs
  • Merchandisers for apparel manufacturers
  • Visual merchandisers

Further Education

Entry Requirements

Minimum Entry Requirements

English Language (EL1)* Grades 1-6
Mathematics (E or A) Grades 1-7
Any three other subjects, excluding CCA Grades 1-6

Applicants must also have sat for at least one of the following subjects: Additional Combined Science, Additional Science, Art/ Art & Design, Biology, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Combined Science, Computer Studies, Creative 3D Animation, Design & Technology, Engineering Science, Food & Nutrition, Fundamentals of Electronics, General Science, Higher Art, Human & Social Biology, Integrated Science, Media Studies (English), Media Studies (Chinese), Physics, Physical Science, Science (Chemistry, Biology), Science (Physics, Biology), Science (Physics, Chemistry), Science (Physics, Chemistry, Biology).

Note: Applicants who have partial or complete colour appreciation deficiency should not apply for this course.

See also the minimum entry requirements for:

Course Structure

TP Core Subjects

Subject code Subject LevelCredit Units

A rich and sophisticated language repertoire is required for articulating and presenting design ideas. This subject explores the creative use of language features such as denotation, connotation, metaphors, tone and style in a variety of genres. It further analyses the discourse modes of description, narration and exposition as used in the design context. Next, it focuses on the application of these language features in written and oral presentations for expressing, examining and supporting design concepts in design critiques.


This subject focuses on self-leadership and personal effectiveness. It provides a platform for students to discover and understand themselves in terms of their personalities, values and mission and to build their ‘Logical Quotient’. It lays the foundation for students to make leadership decisions based on the ‘Golden End’ and ‘Consequential Thinking’. It helps the students to listen to the inner self and to express their personal thoughts and ideas.


This subject focuses on team-leadership, followership and team effectiveness. It provides a platform for students to build their ‘Emotional Quotient’, relate to peers and manage team conflicts. It lays the foundation for students to make leadership decisions based on a ‘Win-Win Attitude”. It helps students to make meaningful conversations and to articulate their vision.


This subject focuses on service to others. It provides a platform for students to understand themselves better and to make responsible choices in life and to build their ‘Community Quotient’. It lays the foundation for students to make leadership decisions based on ‘Ethical Judgement’ and ‘Moral Courage’. It helps students to build trust and credibility in their communication with others and in the community.


Effective written and oral communication play a critical role in advancing a design professional’s career. Designers are expected to be persuasive in articulating their design ideas in order to secure design contracts and employment. Hence, this subject focuses on the use of persuasion in two broad areas of professional communication for designers: client relationship and career self-promotion.


This student internship programme provides students with the opportunity to relate their academic learning in the course of study to a relevant work environment. It allows them to gain a perspective of work life and to understand the attributes expected by the employers.


The culmination of the design process is the communication of design solutions. This subject focuses on the argumentation process that leads to the articulation of informed, rational and creative design solutions. You will identify key issues in a client’s brief, conduct research, analyse findings, define design directions and rationalise design solutions through written and oral presentations.


Diploma Subjects - Core Subjects

Subject code Subject LevelCredit Units

This subject introduces you to the history of Western costumes and fashion from ancient Egyptian costumes to the 21st century. You will explore major art, cultural and social movements which have made significant impact on the evolution of costumes and accessories through the ages.


This subject covers the characteristics and systems of the apparel industry - the importance of consumer’s influence over trend and fashion prediction, the process from the design concept to the consumer, the apparel markets and business aspects, as well as careers in the apparel industry.


This subject covers the principles of window and floor display situations, and the techniques involved in catalogue and storyboard layout, with close references to colour, graphic principles and fashion retail trends.


This subject guides you in understanding the dynamics of the consumer marketplace and fundamental concepts and issues faced by retailers such as store ownership, merchandise mix, customer target, locality, promotions, etc. You will also be introduced to the several operational aspects of operation management such as store format and size, space allocation, personnel utilisation, store maintenance, inventory management and store security.


This subject gives a basic understanding of fibres and yarn in the context of textiles formation. You will be taught the fundamentals of knits and weaves, and to identify fabrics by names through visual identification and their intrinsic characteristics. Your understanding of textiles will encompass production processes, practices and new developments in the industry.


This subject will bring you to the next level of textiles and surface design. You will carry out your ideas through intermediate design work and find personal ways of designing on paper and fabric. The print shop will be heavily used in exploring the dynamics of pattern through painting, silkscreen printing and dyeing, exploring lines, spaces, shapes, textures, colours on paper and fabric. The use of mixed media together with all aspects of visual research will be demonstrated in sketchbooks, croquis, through to the making of the final product.


This subject introduces you to the fundamentals of flat pattern drafting as well as to the basic sewing processes.


This subject equips you with fundamental knowledge on how to operate and handle sewing machines in the apparel industry. It also provides you with the basic sewing fundamentals of construction and techniques in sewing components of a garment in accordance with industrial standards.


This subject introduces you to the essential stages of creative concept research and also provides you with the skills required to present visually and communicate your apparel design ideas effectively to the apparel industry. The skills acquired will be in the areas of concept research and presentation techniques.


This subject provides you with the basic fundamental skills required to present visually the drawn figure as representation of the human form. It is conveyed in the mode of proportion acceptable to fashion designing standards. Production drawing focuses on the technical aspect of the apparel. Basic proportions and design details are translated and presented into neatly rendered technical drawing exercises to enable the pattern maker draft the required patterns for production.


The subject introduces you to art and design fundamentals, aesthetic awareness and cultural appreciation. It will develop an understanding for the art and design processes, and enable you to reflect and see the world from a designer’s perspective. Through this subject you will discover how to express yourself visually and with confidence in areas of art and design.


This module introduces you to the definitions and practice of Marketing in Design with a focus on people, spaces and interactivity. It provides an understanding of the scope and purpose of marketing and its integrated role within the design process. The module enables you to develop processes to identify the target audience, understand the clients and brands and understand the competition of the marketplace. The module also covers the fundamentals of marketing research methodology through field work such as simple field interviews, data analysis, comparative analysis and matrices. Most salient is the exposure to the language of marketing and its relevance to designers in the business of Design.


Software application is integral to the creative process in the design industry. This subject introduces you to basic knowledge and skills needed to use the computer as a desktop publishing tool. You will learn to apply skills in a drawing software for creating graphics; an image editing software for retouching graphics; and a page layout software for executing publication tasks. This knowledge is needed to facilitate design execution.


This subject provides you with an introduction to understanding the global perspective of the textiles and apparel industry, as well as the costing structure of apparel. These are the essential tools for the designer or merchandiser to strategically source for materials and production in countries that have the comparative and competitive edge.


This subject covers the process of mass production in the apparel industry from pre-production planning to product completion. It relates to issues associated with the concepts of product performance and quality, and the functional organisation of apparel manufacturing firms. It also articulates the involvement of various professionals in product development up to the manufacturing stage and includes field trips to garment factories for you to gain some experience of the working environment in the industry.


This project provides you with the opportunity to integrate the multiple aspects of the discipline of your choice i.e., Apparel Design & Merchandising or Retail & Visual Merchandising in a self-initiated project. You are to initiate, research, plan and execute an individual body of work showcasing conceptual thinking and proficiency in areas of their choice in greater depth. Through this project, you will gain an up-to-date working knowledge of professional practice and at the same time produce a well-articulated, original and industry- ready portfolio which is reflective of your professional aptitude.


Diploma Option Subjects

  • Fashion Design & Merchandising Option
Subject code Subject LevelCredit Units

This subject provides you with the skills required to visually present your apparel design ideas to the apparel industry. Fashion illustration will allow the visual expression of fashion design ideas on paper, using idealised fashion figures.


This subject introduces basic draping skills as part of your training in apparel construction and production.


This subject offers a broader picture of some of the technological changes that have emerged in the world of apparel and textile. It provides you with a way of integrating this technology in the designing process. The importance of the development process, from concept to consumer, continues to surface in the subject as you explore the various designing software and programmes pertaining to apparel and textiles design, and visual merchandising.


This subject focuses on the application of CAD-Accumark software in marker making, gradation of sizes and modification of a basic block to required pattern pieces that relates to the production aspect of the apparel industry.


This subject provides a basic understanding, foundational skills and hands-on experience in the manual grading of a basic block to required pattern pieces that relates to the production aspect of the apparel industry.


This subject provides you the opportunity to integrate the multiple interfaces of apparel design and production training in the development of different collection for the apparel industry. The process will include the conceptualising and production of two different lines of clothing.


This subject builds on Apparel Production 1 in the progressive development of flat pattern drafting techniques and sewing skills. It will also build on your proficiency in operating more complex sewing machines required in the realisation of designs of two collarless tops in lightweight fabrics.


This subject covers the advanced level of draping to enable the execution of complex designs.


This subject covers the principles of quality, the various quality concepts such as Just In Time, Kaizen, Reengineering, Benchmarking and Total Quality Management and the tools used in quality control and assurance. You will have practical lessons on statistical sampling in which you will do a visual garment inspection, a complete inspection report, and conduct tests on textiles and apparel using AATCC and ASTM standards or adapted versions. You will engage in active research and discussion of some common quality issues faced by the industry such as fabric skewing, fabric pilling, colourfastness failure, snaps failure, and wet garment processing.


This subject integrates a sense of professionalism with the development of flat pattern drafting techniques and sewing processes in the interpretation and realisation of more complex designs.


This subject introduces you to the construction of women’s jacket/pants suit using mass production methods. The entire process from drafting to sewing will be required to complete the assignments and project.

  • Retail & Visual Merchandising Option
Subject code Subject LevelCredit Units

This subject aims to equip the students with the knowledge and skills to enhance architectural drawings with advanced rendering techniques and digital means for design presentations. The subject covers rendering techniques with the use of tone, shade, shadow and colour. The subject also covers the methods of selecting of appropriate media and visual presentation techniques to communicate design ideas.


This subject focuses on understanding of space planning that sets the stage for effective interior environments. It addresses issues pertaining to anthropometry, ergonomics, behavioural science and design programming and provides a platform for exploring various techniques to creatively resolve challenges related to function and quality of human environments.


The subject covers the theory and application of colour and light to the built environment to create specific responses. It leads you to make considered judgments in the selection of colours, materials and texture moderated by effect of light, as an integral part of the design process.


This subject teaches the fundamentals of using the camera and the principles of photography. It provides you with the necessary theoretical knowledge and practical skills required for capturing and managing digital images using cameras with manual-mode capability. The topics covered will allow you to digitally capture images with purpose, control and creativity.


This subject offers a broader picture of some of the technological changes that have emerged in the world of apparel and textile. It provides you with a way of integrating this technology in the designing process. The importance of the development process, from concept to consumer, continues to surface in the subject as you explore the various designing software and programmes pertaining to apparel and textiles design, and visual merchandising.


This subject focuses on every aspect of buying and the roles played by the practitioners. Operating figures such as Open-to-buy, Dollar Planning and Control, Mark-ups/Markdowns, Retail Pricing and Inventory Control are covered.


This subject provides a platform for you to display design concepts and issues in the area of store planning and fixture design which are used for the visual presentation of products that will enhance sales opportunity in an exhibition or trade show environment.


This subject provides a higher platform to adapt design concepts and issues in the areas of retail store planning and fixture design for visual merchandise presentation to generate optimum sales.


This subject introduces you to project management skills, negotiation, and other challenges. More than just a how-to guide, it also offers insights on communicating your goals and visions effectively to the audience so that every project is in line with brand or company objectives.


This subject introduces the basic principles and approaches to the design of spatial and physical elements in a retail interior, from conceptualisation of retail themes and images to the practical detailing of lighting, displays and fixtures. It explores the critical issues of retail design as they relate to the successful integration of design, commerce and consumer behaviour through the development and deployment of the appropriate visual language for the retail environment.


Graduation Requirements

Cumulative Grade Point Average min 1.0
TP Core Subjects 20 credit units
Diploma Subjects
- Core Subjects
- Option Subjects

57 credit units
36 credit units
Cross-Disciplinary Subjects min 9 credit units
Total Credit Units Completed min 122 credit units

Cross-Disciplinary Subjects

Students are required to obtain a minimum of 9 credit units from the list of Cross-Disciplinary Subjects.

Blog Post

  • Beauty With a Difference

    Beauty With a Difference

    14 Nov 2016

    As part of the 50th anniversary celebration of Singapore-Japan diplomatic relations, Apparel Design & Merchandising students take the runway with boys and girls with disabilites to show that beauty is inclusive, and should be celebrated.

  • A True Star Creation

    A True Star Creation

    05 Jun 2013

    Haziq Putra, who recently graduated from the School of Design with a Diploma in Apparel Design & Merchandising (ADM), took one of the top three spots at Audi’s Star Creation competition and bagged the Audi Young Designer Award.

  • Tailored For This Course

    05 Apr 2011

    We’re fast approaching the Design Show 2011, where the graduating cohort of the Temasek Polytechnic School of Design get to showcase their works to the whole of Singapore.


Contact Us

For general enquiries, please contact:

School of Design

  (65) 6788 2000
  (65) 6789 8165

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