Academic Year 2016/17

School of Design

Degree Programme of:

Fashion Design
Laurea (Equivalent To Bachelor Of Science)

Milano Campus

1. General Information

School School of Design
Code Reference Law1089
NameFashion Design
Reference LawOrdinamento 270/04
Class of degreeL-4 - Industrial Design
Degree level Laurea (Equivalent To Bachelor Of Science)
First year of activation 2008/2009
Official length of the programme 3
Years of the programme already activated 1,2
Official language(s) Italian
Campus Milano
Dean of the School Luisa Maria Virginia Collina
Coordinator of the Study programme Alba Cappellieri
Website of the School
Website of the Study programme

Student Office (Study programme) - Milano Bovisa
Reference office
Centro Orientamento Studenti Scuola del Design
Address Via Candiani 72, 20158 Milano
Phone 02 2399 7277

Central Student Office - Milano Bovisa

2. General presentation of the study programme

The main elements that characterize and distinguish the “Politecnico” education in fashion come from the culture of Italian design, the made in Italy,  its connection with the fashion industries and its aim to combine tradition with innovation, crafts with technologies, heritage with progress, dreams with discipline. Referring to the work of the Italian design masters, whose source was the relationship and the link with the industry, we do not offer an education as a  fashion “stylist" but as a fashion “designer”. That is not an artist, isolated in his own talent, but a professional who is inspired and linked to the fashion system and its constraints.

Focus is put on research skills as the main source for inspiration and innovation to support creativity and talent. In fact, this program is founded on the belief that creativity is born from deep knowledge and continuous research, from the hybridization of cultures and languages.

Therefore, the Fashion Design Degree at Politecnico offers an interdisciplinary approach to its students who can customize their education in fashion choosing from different areas of study:  from fashion products –menswear, womenswear, kidswear- to  jewelry and fashion accessories, from knitwear to sportswear, underwear and beachwear. Besides courses dedicated to the fashion products we are proud to offer also courses related to fashion materials, technologies, processes, communication and services as fashion studies, fashion management, innovative  materials, digital technologies, retail, visual merchandising, market and sales processes, image and communication. A comprehensive and fascinating degree that gives expertise and an easy job placement.

The other main focus is on the knowledge of the technical aspects of the products, that is not limited to techniques such as draping, pattern making and sewing. In fact, it includes deep understanding of fashion products materials, fabrics architecture and the relationship between product and project, its visualization and development through the realization and the consequent engeneering and production phases.

The students need to learn how to structure the design process, which is not merely the development of a sketch, but a complex activity that needs to be well managed and structured. Thus is necessary to acquire “meta-design” instruments, to “design the design process”, to develop and represent mid-way work phases, such as trend books, and to plan the following activities, as instruments to build up the “collection architecture”.

The last main aspect explored by the degree course is the systemic comprehension of the product, the knowledge of the communication and distribution aspects of the project to express its embedded qualities and values.

The Politecnico program has also the priority to offer students the possibility to acknowledge  the economical and social contexts which characterise the various scenarios of the international scene. To this end, many initiatives oriented towards internationalization of studies have recently been launched, amongst which the cooperation with the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York (FIT) is of great significance. The exchange project involves approx. 60 students enrolled in the third or fourth year at the FIT in New York. Italian students participating in the activities foreseen at the Politecnico are approx. 50, belonging to the 2nd and 3rd years of the Bachelor of Science and to the first year of the Master of Science in Fashion Design. Five Italian students, enrolled in the first year of the Master of Science program spend six months studying in New York. American students, on the other hand, spend an entire academic year in Italy.

Amongst the courses offered in English at Politecnico there is Sportswear Design, Underwear design, Accessory design, Computer pattern design, CAD for textiles and garments, Advanced Tailoring techniques and Leather Design, Visual Merchandising,  in addition to courses of a critique/historical nature such as History of design and fashion and Aesthetics. Italian students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science may also attend these courses. In addition, a collection design course is carried out through an entire semester for students both from the Bachelor degree and the FIT. Other common activities are also planned each year in collaboration with qualified Italian companies, such as one-week design workshops and professional internships.

For further information consult the Programme website.

For more information see the website of the degree course

3. Learning objectives

Please note that the name of the Laurea in Fashion Design corresponds to one of the education profiles contained in the Class 4 declaration and that the education program, as indicated by its title, is aimed at preparing a professional design figure operating in the fashion sector. This figure does not overlap with the professional figure formed within Class 3 degrees, which has the role of analysis and critical understanding of the fashion sector nor of those which must also intervene from a design perspective in its transformation.

Fundamental objectives in training a graduate in Fashion Design are the acquisitions of cultural, scientific, methodological and technical/instrumental elements which form the basis of the design of fashion products, which refer to the textile, garment, and fashion accessories.

The ability to understand social behaviour, cultural and relational contexts which characterise modern society is fundamental, as well as the capability to analyse, interpret and codify dynamics of choice and use of fashion products by individuals and social groups. Finally, the course seeks the ability to translate elements of analysis into new products, focusing on aesthetical and formal qualities, on performance (comfort, safety, resistance to wear, etc.) and on communicative and symbolic values associated with the product and transferred within the distribution and consumer services system.

It is a fundamental goal to make the student able to visualise and communicate the design idea in the various phases of the process: from research and definition of trends and design guidelines (scenarios, colours, materials, etc.) to elaboration of the product/collection to the final technical drawings for production.

Therefore, focus is on skills related to artistic, visual and representational languages which permit effective communication, via adequate tools, of the design idea.

The Laurea, compared to the subsequent Master of Science, focuses on the technical project development aspects, as the development of a design figure operating between those defining the strategic and creative guidelines of the fashion company and those managing the production processes.

Such figure is able to adopt and interpret the creative guidelines defined by those coordinating the design process and effectively manage the fashion product/collection development phase, through the ability to control the process and the choice of technological, material and production alternatives, also evaluating aspects concerning social, economic and environmental sustainability.

The main subject areas of the Laurea are the following:

•          project culture area (ICAR/13)

This subject matter constitutes the backbone of the course studies, and provides the student with methodological and operational tools suitable to deal with design activities of medium complexity through design case studies and paradigmatic experiences.

Through laboratory courses and practical experiences students acquire the skills to analyse design and product system development issues.

In the analysis and creative research phase, which is developed up to the definition of the product concept, the objective is to provide students with the ability to define the design context in terms of opportunities, constraints, possibilities, priorities and their hierarchy; analyse the context of use and interpret the user’s choice dynamics; analyse fashion product systems in terms of their formal, structural, functional, typological, morphological, relational and ergonomic characteristics; summarise analysis elements into design guidelines, effectively expressed using suitable languages.

In the design summary phase which is developed up to final product definition, the objective is to provide students with the ability to translate design guidelines into product requirements; to develop product/collection architecture through the definition of materials, the relation between the various components and the assembly technologies; evaluate the industrial feasibility of the product.

•          humanistic disciplines area (SPS/07; M-PSI/01; ICAR/13)

This subject area provides the designer skillful knowledge to analyse social and cultural contexts in which the fashion products are introduced, and to interpret  their symbolic values as artifacts which live in an intermediate dimension between “consume products” and “cultural products”.

The objective of this subject matter is therefore to provide know-how and tools derived from psycho-social disciplines, in order to develop the ability to interpret material culture and integrate careful evaluation of the interaction between products and social/cultural contexts in the student’s work.

•          historical-criticism disciplines area (SSD ICAR/13, L-ART/02, ICAR/18)

This subject matter deals with the historical evolution of design culture, relating the history of fashion products with the artistic, architectural and design languages.

The objective of this subject matter is to develop the ability to understand a project in relation with its historical and environmental context and to incorporate cultural values in products, observing and reinterpreting also elements deriving from the tradition of a specific context.

•          visual cultures, representational and technical drawing area (SSD ICAR/13; ICAR/17; INF/01; ING-IND/15)

This subject matter represents a set of skills concerning the use of visual languages to communicate and represent the project in all its phases.

The objective of this subject matter is to provide the student with the ability to translate project elements of analysis and synthesis onto the visual plane.

The aim is therefore to develop the following ability of analysis and interpretation of visual languages understanding the perceptive mechanisms, chromatic systems, etc.; knowledge of traditional and digital image production techniques; the morphological, material and functional representation of the product (from manual drawing to digital representation and modeling, from photography to production of study models and prototypes).

•          materials and production technology culture area (SSD ING-IND/22; ICAR/13)

This subject matter concerns fashion product materials, their chemical and physical characteristics, their performance, structural and functional characteristics, industrial production and finishing technologies.

The objective of this subject matter is to provide knowledge and skills concerning the selection of materials according to their perceptive, communicative and aesthetical qualities, according to required features of different contexts of use, and evaluation of choices related to production constraints.

•          economic culture area (SECS-P/13; SECS-P/08; ICAR/13).

This subject matter concerns the economic systems, business and market contexts related to fashion products.

The objective of this area is to provide the student the ability to evaluate the economic and organizational implications of design choices as well as to understand the corporate identity elements which influence design strategies.

Corporate organisation models and processes, economic feasibility study and industrial marketing techniques are therefore analysed in depth.

The Fashion Design graduate has the skills to carry out a number of technical activities supporting the design project as it develops from the initial idea to the design, development and engineering phases, and finally to large-scale production, distribution and diffusion on the market.

Within this educational program we foresee analysis of specific issues concerning areas of upcoming development frontiers for design professions, or strategic sectors of national economy development.

4. Organization of the study programme and further studies

4.1 Structure of the study programme and Qualifications

Design Studies courses provide theoretical, academic and professional training for designers, i.e. professionals with know-how and skills relating to industrial product design, production and promotion. At the School of Design the term industrial product does not simply mean a concrete product such as a car, furniture item, object, garment or accessory but rather all communication and 'meaning' building elements relating to products such as graphics and brand design rather than websites or fashion cat walks.

This study sphere responds to training demands from the consumer product industry, local government, communication, interior and installation design companies and studios as well as the retail and distribution sectors for these products.

The courses of study offered are structured into two different laurea, the so-called 3+2 formula, the level I laurea and the Laurea Magistrale, a further two years of study.

The Laurea trains design technicians, i.e. graduates capable of playing a supporting role in all technical and design activities from the creation stage right through to production and distribution on the market with different characteristics for each laurea course.

The Laurea Magistrale trains graduates capable of managing design activities and identifying strategic ends. These professionals are capable of co-ordinating complex project activities aimed at creating structured and differentiated product systems in accordance with brand identity and market dissemination strategies.

These two programmes of study are supplemented by a wealth of level I university master courses which students can access with a three year laurea, and level II masters which students can access with a Laurea Magistrale. Lastly on completion of a level II laurea students can move on to Design Department PHDs, a qualification which is much sought after in the design researcher training context.

Level I Laurea


Level II continued study laurea

Product design

Product Design for Innovation

Communication Design


Communication Design

Fashion Design


Design for the Fashion System

Interior Design


Interior Design

Product design

 Design & Engineering


Mechanical Engineering


Material and Nanotechnology Engineering


Product Design/Communication

Design/Interior Design/Fashion Design


Product Service System Design


Interior Design/ Product Design (Product)


Yacht & cruising vessel design- La Spezia campus

4.2 Further Studies

The qualification enables students to access Laurea Magistrale, Level I Specialisation Courses and Level I University Master's courses.

The Laurea Magistrale course which corresponds to the Laurea in Fashion Design is the Laurea Magistrale in Design for the Fashion System Students can also access the International Laurea Magistrale in Product Service System Design without supplementary studies.

5. Professional opportunities and work market

5.1 Professional status of the degree

Graduates carry out activities as design technicians in professional practices and companies within fashion and related areas (textiles, accessories, knitwear, sportswear, etc.).

5.2 Careers options and profiles

The Program satisfies the professional figures demand of the fashion industry, its supply chain, of firms designing fashion products and events, of the distribution/sales system and specific territorial districts.
The Graduate in Fashion Design enters the professional world with operational skills. He/she is able to work in team, and to interpret and execute operational project indications, translating them into the economic, ergonomic, productive, material, representational and modeling features required to go into production. He/she also has the necessary skills to assist in the research and concept development phase, and is able to understand user requirements, social and consumer dynamics, formal language and corporate philosophy which represent a fundamental matrix from which to develop the design project.
R&D trends forecaster, stylist, materials researcher, technologies researcher, textile researcher, image researcher;
STYLE Womenswear designer, Menswear designer, Accessory designer, Jewelry designer, Knitwear designer, Sportswear designer, Underwear designer, Beachwear designer;
PRODUCTION Pattern making, Pattern development, CAD designer;
MANAGEMENT brand manager, store manager, contents manager, web manager;
DISTRIBUTION retail designer, visual merchandiser;
COMMUNICATION & WEB Fashion communication, exhibit Designer, photography assistant, fashion journalist, fashion editor, fashion blogger, press office;
CULTURE fashion historian, fashion curator.

Surveys of University Assessment Commission

6. Enrolment

6.1 Access requirements

Italian secondary school leaving qualification or other comparable foreign qualification (level 4 EQF)

A secondary level educational qualification is required.
Before the start of lectures recovery activities, with compulsory attendance, are organised for students with gaps to fill.

6.2 Requested knowledge

Adequate initial education is required and this is assessed by means of an entrance test.

Detailed information relating to admission and enrolment is available on the  Guidance and Counselling Office site 06

The educational offer at the Politecnico di Milano

6.3 Deadlines for admission and number of places available

There are 150 places (of which 5 are reserved for non EU students including 4 Chinese students on the “Marco Polo” project).


Section of the university site focusing on student guidance and entrance tests containing test deadline information.

How to become a student at Politecnico di Milano

6.4 Tutoring and students support

The School has supplemented its information and guidance services for future students with the purpose of providing information on the teaching and educational contents of its programmes of study and clarifying future students educational objectives and potential career openings.

For students who are already enrolled at the School guidance activities designed to:

-   help students remove any obstacles to their attendance and learning with initiatives tailored to individual student needs, attitudes and requirements;

-  encourage a more active participation by students in the educational process.

A reference teacher/tutor has been selected for each study programme and he or she is the official reference point for any School guidance. The service is programme of study specific and deals in particular with:

-   support services for students who require help in solving problems or clarifying concepts;

-   approval and publishing texts relating to the presentation of laurea courses it represents;

-  identification of student projects from each specific laurea course to be used as guidance tools at Open Days and on the School's official communication channels.


7. Contents of the study Program

7.1 Programme requirements

Students graduate on completion of 180 study credits. Graduates from the Interior Design Laurea course must have a solid grounding in design subject matter on both its methodological and technical-operational elements. Specifically they must be acquainted with the tools, techniques and technologies of formal and functional interior design representation and its components (drawing by hand to digital representation, photography to three dimensional object and space modelling). They must also have mastered the basics of design with special attention to designing interior décor and installations and demonstrate an acquaintanceship with the ergonomic, functional, perceptional and environmental well-being factors which characterise the producer-user and object of use-architectural space relationship. The course also requires students to acquire scientific-technological skills specific to the engineering science and architecture technology sectors (materials, lighting, working and process technologies) and theoretical-critical knowledge (a knowledge of the history of décor product design, interior architecture in its socio-historical evolution, anthropology of private and public spaces, semiotics, aesthetics, etc.).

7.2 Mode of study

The programme is full time. It uses a number of educational methods: the single subject courses contain theoretical contents which are taught by means of ex cathedra lessons and assessed with tests and interviews throughout the year. Integrated courses involve more than one discipline or specific sphere and they are sometimes entrusted to two members of the teaching staff who integrate their contributions. The Design Studio offer students the opportunity to experiment and use the tools, technologies and equipment useful for the project. The Design Studio involve project work by students under the guidance of a teaching staff team each of whom offer their own subject matter as applied to the project theme. The Workshops are full time courses lasting a week in which students develop a project under the guidance of a well regarded professional or a company.

The Erasmus Programme and the other international mobility programmes are an opportunity for students to spend a study semester abroad at qualified European universities.

Internships take place at an internship workshop together with a company, body or foreign school.

7.3 Detailed learning objectives

Students' ability to choose the courses and credits to be incorporated into their study plans is subordinate to a series of rules imposed by the School which makes available an educational programme worth 60 credits for each year of the course (“nominal courses”).

Each year students can choose courses for a different number of credits than that specified by the nominal courses (60 ECTS per year) to graduate their study programmes according to their needs.

The minimum number of credits a student can enrol on is 30 unless the number of credits needed for course completion are fewer than this.

The maximum number of credits a student can enrol on is 80, respecting exam priorities.

The current framework of the study plan requires the course exam sequence to be respected as shown in the regulations.

Courses designed for later years of the programme cannot be inserted into an earlier year study plan (“advance study”) unless all previous and current year courses have also been integrated into it.

The School has also implemented an exam priority sequence on the basis of which certain courses can only be enrolled on if other, introductory courses have already been passed. Students may actually be able to enrol on fewer credits than is nominally the case as a result of this rule.

The System Regulations require a series of educational activities (specialist, elective or supplementary) which are present in the course of study in the form of single subject and integrated courses and Design Studio in which the two-year Laurea's educational content is conveyed.

In addition to these types of educational activities the System Regulations also require that a specific number of credits are attributed to types of activity which can be categorised as follows:

-  educational activities chosen independently by students (Optional courses);

-  educational activities relating to preparation for the final exams required for the qualification to be awarded and foreign language assessment (Final exam and Language);

-   activities designed to enable students to gain additional language skills, IT, telematic and relational skills which will help them in finding employment as well as educational activities designed to facilitate professional choices by giving students direct experience of working in the sector which the qualification can gain them access to including, in particular, educational work experience and guidance (Internships).

From the 2015/16 academic year onwards the course of study was modified by an amendment to the educational regulations. This means that 3rd year modules cannot be studied in advance by those enrolling in 2015/16.

1 Year courses - Track: M1 - M2 -M3 - Design della moda

Code Educational activities SSD Course Title Language Sem CFU CFU Group

2 Year courses - Track: M1 - M2 -M3 Design della moda

Code Educational activities SSD Course Title Language Sem CFU CFU Group

7.4 Foreign language

Foreign language assessment will be carried out in accordance with the university's methods as set out on the “Student Services/Guides and Regulations/Guide to the English Language” web page

Students are encouraged to read this document carefully and respect the norms set out in it.

Specifically, note that: "Pursuant to Ministerial Decree 270/04 the Politecnico di Milano has adopted the English language as the European Union language which students must speak in addition to Italian".

Language courses

7.5 Degree examination

The final examination usually takes the form of  a dissertation by the candidate whose objective is to assess the student's design synthesis abilities and achievement of the course's educational standards.

Consult the Laurea exam regulations for further details.

Information concerning general rules and regulations, session calendars, registration and consignment of theses is available at

8. Academic calendar

The Laurea course calendar is drawn up in accordance with study assessment methods which, for the Design School's Laurea programmes involve “in-course” assessments during semesters. The academic year is made up of two semesters each of which consists of a teaching session with in-course assessment and learning assessment sessions (exam sessions). The teaching sessions of each semester are made up of two periods of lessons, practice and laboratory work each followed by a week's break to enable staff to carry out an overall assessment of in-course work and, at the end of the semester, by two weeks of learning assessment (exam sessions).

Academic calendar

9. Faculty

The names of the Programme of Study teachers and what they teach will be made available on the degree programme from September onwards.

The Degree Programme is published each year on the Politecnico di Milano's website.

The names of the teaching staff who will be teaching on the programme with their CVs are published on the university site by year and study programme.

For more information see the website of the degree course

10. Infrastructures and laboratories

Design Laboratories

The creation of large scale laboratories supporting design education is coherent with the Politecnico di Milano School of Design's tradition of experimentation, its inductive teaching model, in which 'knowledge' and 'know-how' are mutually supportive.

The purpose of these laboratories is the practice of activities which allow students to verify their design hypotheses and learn how to use the technical tools required for experimentation, representation and design communication.

The laboratories managed by the Design Department occupy an approximately 10,000 square metre space in the Milan Bovisa campus.

The Politeca, an integrated documentation system for design research, is an integral part of the laboratories.

For details on the laboratories

11. International context

Building an international dimension for the School of Design has been one of its priority objectives since it was founded in the year 2000.

There are many reasons for this: the nature of design which inherently draws its very lifeblood from its multicultural and multi-local character, its proximity to both the world of manufacturing - which has now taken on a global dimension - and the sphere of consumption whose dynamics and tendencies are visible in a range of local specific contexts; the very DNA of the design community which has always been international; Milan's acknowledged status as design capital, a crucible for designers from all over the world who have come here to study or open a studio; the desire to make educational trajectories increasingly permeable to impulses deriving from this stimulating context as in other dynamic foreign contexts. For the School of Design internationalisation has a two-fold meaning: supporting student (and teaching and technical staff) mobility outwards and the opposite, attracting students, researchers, professors and visiting professors into the Politecnico from abroad.

In relation to these two internalisation channels (dealt with separately, the first in this chapter and the second in the subsequent chapter) the School of Design has committed itself in recent years to enlarging its international contact network and it now works with 300 design universities the world over in Erasmus exchange programmes (with 150 European universities), bilateral exchange projects (with 70 non European universities), joint workshops with other schools, international internships and so on.

To these should be added more highly structured activities which aim to consolidate partnership relationships in the educational and research fields with a number of selected universities. This is the case of the MEDes_Master of European Design training for excellence programme (with 7 university partners) in addition to the many international research programmes under way.

The School of Design is a member of Cumulus, a network of Interntaional  design schools, and of the main international design associations. Like the city which hosts it - Milan is a veritable international design laboratory - the Politecnico's School of Design aims to be a meeting place between different cultures, between education, industry and the professions, in which professors, entrepreneurs and celebrated designers from all over the world take an active part in the students' educational experience.

12. Internationalization

International exchanges

The School of Design takes part in international student exchange programmes which offer students the opportunity to go abroad for a period of study at one of the Politecnico's partneruniversities. A list of the School's partner universities is available on the Politecnico's website and on the School of Design website in the Internationalisation Area.


The Erasmus Programme

The Erasmus programme was set up in 1987 by the European Community to give students the chance to carry out a period of study at a foreign university within the European Union from 3 to 12 months legally recognised by their own university, at Bachelor or Master level.

In 2014 the European Union's Erasmus+ programme was set up for education, training, youth and sport in the 2014-2020 period.

Specifically Erasmus for study enables university students to carry out a period of study at a university with a partnership agreement with their own university. This mobility can entitle students to a grant (under the conditions set out in the international mobility tender) and free registration at the host university. Students can thus follow courses and take exams at the partner university and have the exams recognised at their own universities.

Bilateral exchanges

The School of Design has also activated a number of bilateral agreements with non EU universities. These are mainly intended for the use of Laurea Magistrale students and can also be applied for by those who have already carried out an Erasmus period abroad during their three year study course.

The procedures for admission to such exchanges are the same as those for Erasmus exchanges with the exception of the study scholarship which is not guaranteed in such cases.

The bilateral agreement, in fact, enables students to attend a period of study abroad at a partner university without incurring registration fees at such universities. In some cases, however, a management fee for exchange students is payable (e.g. Orientation fee).


Master of European Design (MEDes)

In the 2002/2003 academic year a specific 5 year programme was set up at the School of Design.

This international study programme, promoted and designed by the school together with a further five prestigious European design universities and formalised in an agreement signed by all university partners, entitles students to an additional qualification on top of the Laurea Magistrale granted by the Politecnico di Milano. Students can graduate only from their own universities.

In addition to the Politecnico di Milano the universities taking part in this programme are:


The Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, Scotland

Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Helsinki, Finland

Konstfack University College of Arts, Stockholm, Sweden

Ensci Les Ateliers, Paris, France

KISD - Köln International School of Design, Cologne, Germany

Universidade de Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal


5 students are selected for this programme of excellence from all those enrolled on the 2nd year of the Laurea programmes in Industrial Product Design, Interior Design and Communication Design.

Candidates for the MEDes programme carry out two study periods at two partner universities:

Information on exchange programmes, double degree projects and international internships, European research and international relations projects are available at

13. Quantitative data

The University Assessment Commission performs periodic analysis on the overall results and on the quality of teaching degree programs, by monitoring teaching activities and the integration of graduates into the job market. Reports and studies are available on the website of the Politecnico di Milano.

14. Further information

For any other information the students are invited to visit the School website, in particular the teaching regulations of the academic rules.

For more information see the website of the degree course

15. Errata corrige