Masters in Fashion Design in France

Know about the Masters in Fashion Design in France....

Standyou Team
Standyou Team

Feb 10, 2024 03:15:00

Masters in Fashion Design in France for International Students

Why Study Fashion Design in France?

1. Global Fashion Hub: France, especially Paris, is at the heart of the global fashion industry. It's home to iconic fashion weeks, luxury fashion houses, and a rich history of fashion innovation.

2. Top-Ranked Institutions: French fashion schools like ESMOD, IFM (Institut Français de la Mode), and Paris College of Art are highly regarded worldwide, known for their rigorous curricula that blend creative design with business acumen.

3. Industry Connections: Studying in France provides direct access to industry professionals, internships, and opportunities to showcase your work in fashion shows and exhibitions.

4. Cultural Immersion: France's rich cultural heritage, art, and architecture offer endless inspiration for aspiring designers. The exposure to different styles, trends, and historical fashion movements is invaluable.

Top Institutions Offering Master's in Fashion Design

1. Institut Français de la Mode (IFM): Offers a Master of Arts in Fashion Design, focusing on contemporary fashion design, innovation, and management.

2. ESMOD International: Known for its comprehensive programs that cover all aspects of fashion design and tailoring, offering a Master's level program in fashion creation and management.

3. Paris College of Art: Provides a Master of Fine Arts in Fashion Design, encouraging students to explore fashion in relation to art, culture, and sustainability.

4. L’École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne: Offers advanced programs in fashion design and technique, preparing students for high-level careers in the fashion industry.

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s Degree: A Bachelor's degree in fashion design or a related field is typically required.

  • Portfolio: A portfolio showcasing your best work, demonstrating your creativity, skill set, and fashion design vision.

  • Language Proficiency: While many programs offer courses in English, proficiency in French is an advantage and sometimes required for programs taught in French. Standardized language tests such as TOEFL, IELTS (for English), or DELF, DALF (for French) may be required.

  • Letters of Recommendation: Letters from academic or professional references that can attest to your abilities and potential in the field of fashion design.

  • Personal Statement: A statement of purpose outlining your career goals, inspiration to pursue fashion design, and why you wish to study in France.

Application Process

The application process typically involves submitting your academic transcripts, portfolio, language test scores, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement to the chosen institution. Some schools might also require an interview as part of the application process.

Tuition Fees and Scholarships

Tuition fees can vary significantly between institutions. Public universities generally offer lower tuition rates, while private institutions and specialized fashion schools may charge higher fees. Many institutions, organizations, and the French government offer scholarships and financial aid to help international students finance their studies.

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Universities Offering Masters in Fashion Design in France

1. Institut Français de la Mode (IFM)

  • Location: Paris

  • Program Highlights: IFM is renowned for combining creative skills with strategic business insight, offering programs that cover all aspects of the fashion industry, from design to management and marketing. Its Master's programs are designed to reflect the current dynamics and challenges of the fashion industry.

2. ESMOD International

  • Location: Paris (with branches in other cities)

  • Program Highlights: ESMOD is the world’s first fashion school, established in 1841, and offers comprehensive programs in fashion design and business. Its Master's in Fashion Design & Creation is highly respected, focusing on innovative design, technical proficiency, and market understanding.

3. Paris College of Art

  • Location: Paris

  • Program Highlights: The Paris College of Art offers a Master of Arts in Fashion Design, encouraging students to explore fashion in relation to art, culture, and sustainability. The program emphasizes creativity, experimental approaches, and the development of a personal design identity.

4. L’École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne

  • Location: Paris

  • Program Highlights: Now part of IFM, this institution has a storied history in haute couture and offers specialized programs focusing on high-level technical skills, design, and the intricacies of the fashion industry. It prepares students for careers in haute couture and luxury fashion.

5. Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (ENSAD)

  • Location: Paris

  • Program Highlights: ENSAD offers a Master's program in Fashion and Textile Design, emphasizing the intersection of art, design, and technology. The program is known for its experimental approach and for fostering individual creativity and innovation.

Admission Requirements

While specific requirements can vary, generally, applicants to these programs will need:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in fashion design or a closely related field.

  • A portfolio showcasing their design work.

  • Proficiency in English or French, depending on the program's language of instruction.

  • Letters of recommendation and a personal statement or motivation letter.

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Eligibility Criteria for Masters in Fashion Design in France

Academic Background

  • Bachelor’s Degree: Applicants must hold a Bachelor's degree in Fashion Design or a closely related field from an accredited institution. The degree should demonstrate a solid foundation in design principles, techniques, and theory.

  • Transcripts: Submission of official academic transcripts is required, and for non-French institutions, a certified translation into English or French may be necessary.


  • A portfolio showcasing your best work is crucial for admission into a fashion design program. It should reflect your creativity, skill set, design process, and personal aesthetic. The portfolio is often a decisive factor in the admissions process.

Language Proficiency

  • English-taught programs: Non-native English speakers will need to demonstrate proficiency through standardized tests like the TOEFL or IELTS. Minimum score requirements vary by program but are usually within the range of TOEFL iBT 80-100 or IELTS 6.0-7.0.

  • French-taught programs: Proficiency in French is required for programs conducted in French. Tests like DELF or DALF with a level of B2 or higher are commonly requested.

Letters of Recommendation

  • Most programs require two to three letters of recommendation from academic or professional references who can vouch for the applicant's abilities, potential, and suitability for advanced study in fashion design.

Statement of Purpose or Motivation Letter

  • A well-crafted statement of purpose or motivation letter is essential. It should articulate your design philosophy, career goals, reasons for choosing the specific program, and why you want to study in France.


  • A detailed CV or resume highlighting your educational background, work experience, internships, achievements, and any relevant skills or extracurricular activities.


  • Some institutions may conduct an interview (in person or via video conference) as part of the admissions process. This is an opportunity to discuss your portfolio, academic and professional experiences, and aspirations in the field of fashion design.

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Course Duration of Masters in Fashion Design in France

Standard Full-Time Duration

  • One Year: Some Master's programs in Fashion Design are intensive and designed to be completed within one academic year (approximately 12 months). These programs are geared towards students who wish to fast-track their education and quickly re-enter the workforce with advanced skills and knowledge. They often focus on specific areas within fashion design and may include a final project or thesis.

  • Two Years: More commonly, Master's programs in Fashion Design in France last two academic years (approximately 24 months). This duration includes four semesters of coursework, offering a more in-depth exploration of fashion design, history, theory, and practical application. Two-year programs typically allow for specialization in areas such as haute couture, ready-to-wear, sustainable fashion, or fashion technology. They also include opportunities for internships, collaborative projects, and a comprehensive final project or thesis.

Part-Time and Executive Options

  • Part-Time Programs: Designed for working professionals or students who require more flexibility, part-time Master's programs extend the duration of the degree beyond the standard one or two years. The exact duration will depend on the number of courses taken each semester and the flexibility of the program's structure.

  • Executive or Professional Masters: Some institutions offer executive or professional Master's programs in Fashion Design tailored for industry professionals seeking to deepen their expertise or pivot their careers. These programs often feature weekend or evening classes and may take longer to complete, offering a curriculum that addresses both creative and managerial aspects of fashion.

Blended and Online Learning Options

  • Blended Learning Programs: Incorporating both online coursework and required in-person sessions, such as workshops, studios, or intensive study weeks, blended learning programs offer flexibility while maintaining some level of hands-on experience and personal interaction, which is crucial in fashion design education.

  • Fully Online Programs: While less common in the field of fashion design due to the hands-on nature of the discipline, some institutions may offer online or distance learning options for theoretical components or specific areas that do not require studio work. These options provide even greater flexibility, especially for international students.

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Online Masters in Fashion Design in France

Online and Blended Learning Options

  • Blended Learning Programs: These programs combine online coursework with occasional on-campus sessions, workshops, or intensive study weeks. Blended formats can offer a compromise, providing the flexibility of online study while retaining the essential hands-on experience of traditional fashion design programs. They may include live virtual classes, pre-recorded lectures, and online collaboration platforms.

  • Fully Online Programs: While rare, there may be online programs or courses focused on specific aspects of fashion design, such as fashion marketing, fashion management, sustainable fashion, or digital fashion. These programs might be more readily adapted to an online format, catering to students looking to specialize in these areas without the need for studio-based work.

Characteristics of Online Programs

  • Flexibility: The main advantage of online programs is the ability to study from anywhere, allowing students to balance their education with personal or professional commitments.

  • Interactive Platforms: Online courses often utilize advanced learning management systems to deliver content, facilitate interaction with faculty and peers, and submit assignments.

  • Access to Resources: Students enrolled in online programs typically have access to a wide range of digital resources, including e-libraries, databases, and online journals.

Finding Online Master's Programs in Fashion Design

To find online Master's programs in Fashion Design offered by French institutions, prospective students should:

  • Check Institution Websites: Directly visit the websites of French fashion schools and universities for the most accurate and up-to-date information on their program offerings.

  • Contact Admissions Offices: For specific questions about program formats, availability, and admission requirements, reaching out to admissions offices can provide clarity.

  • Explore Global Collaborations: Some French institutions may offer joint programs with universities in other countries, potentially including online or blended learning options.

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Intakes & Application Deadlines for Masters in Fashion Design in France

Primary Intake Periods

  1. Fall Intake (September/October)

    • The majority of Master's programs in Fashion Design in France have their main intake in the fall. This aligns with the start of the academic year for most French institutions.

    • Application Deadlines: Typically, applications for the fall intake need to be submitted in the spring of the same year. Deadlines can range from early (February or March) to late spring (May or June), but it's crucial to check individual program requirements well in advance.

  2. Spring Intake (January/February)

    • A smaller number of programs might offer a spring intake. This option is less common and may depend on the institution and specific program.

    • Application Deadlines: For those with a spring intake, application deadlines usually fall in the preceding autumn, around September to November.

Application Process Overview

  • Research Programs: Begin by identifying the fashion design programs that match your career goals and academic interests. Consider factors such as curriculum focus, specialization options, faculty expertise, and industry connections.

  • Check Eligibility and Requirements: Carefully review the admission requirements for each program. These can include a Bachelor’s degree in fashion design or a related field, portfolio submission, language proficiency (TOEFL/IELTS for English-taught programs; DELF/DALF for French-taught programs), and possibly work experience or internships.

  • Prepare Your Application: Gather all required documents, including academic transcripts, portfolio, test scores, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and a CV. Ensure your application materials are complete and accurately reflect your qualifications and motivation for pursuing a Master's in Fashion Design.

  • Submit Your Application: Follow the application instructions provided by each institution, which may involve submitting your application through an online portal. Some applications might be processed through the Campus France website, especially for international students.

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Tuition Fees for Masters in Fashion Design in France

Public Universities

  • EU/EEA Students: At public universities, tuition fees for EU/EEA students are relatively low due to government subsidies. For the academic year 2023-2024, the annual fees for master's programs are typically around €243 to €601.

  • Non-EU/EEA Students: Non-EU/EEA students face higher tuition rates at public universities, approximately €3,770 per academic year. However, some programs, regions, or specific institutions may offer exemptions or scholarships that significantly reduce these costs.

Private Institutions and Fashion Schools

  • Private institutions, especially prestigious fashion schools in Paris and other major cities, generally charge higher tuition fees. These can range from about €10,000 to over €30,000 per academic year for a Master's in Fashion Design. The higher costs are often justified by the schools' strong industry connections, high-quality facilities, and the potential for internships and employment opportunities post-graduation.

Additional Costs

Beyond tuition fees, students should also budget for:

  • Living Expenses: Including accommodation, food, transportation, and personal expenses. Living costs in France can vary widely, with Paris and other large cities being significantly more expensive than smaller towns. Students might need between €800 and €1,500 per month.

  • Health Insurance: Mandatory for all students. EU/EEA students can typically use their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), while non-EU/EEA students will need to purchase health insurance in France, which can cost about €300 per year.

  • Materials and Supplies: Fashion design students should also budget for the cost of materials, fabrics, tools, and any other supplies required for their coursework and projects.

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Cost of doing Masters in Fashion design in France

Tuition Fees

  • Public Universities: For EU/EEA students, tuition at public universities is relatively low, typically around €243 to €601 per year. Non-EU/EEA students can expect higher fees, approximately €3,770 per academic year, though there may be exemptions or scholarships available.

  • Private Fashion Schools: Tuition fees can be significantly higher, often ranging from €10,000 to over €30,000 per academic year, especially for prestigious institutions known for their fashion design programs.

Living Expenses

  • Accommodation: Rent varies widely by location, with Paris being the most expensive. Students can expect to pay from €800 to €1,200 per month for a studio or a shared apartment in Paris, and somewhat less in other cities.

  • Food and Groceries: Approximately €300 to €400 per month.

  • Transportation: A monthly public transport pass in Paris costs around €75, while in smaller cities, it might be cheaper.

  • Miscellaneous Expenses: Including books, materials, social activities, and personal expenses, can add another €200 to €300 per month.

Health Insurance

  • Mandatory Health Insurance: Non-EU/EEA students typically need to purchase health insurance, which can cost around €300 per year. EU/EEA students can use their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

Additional Costs

  • Materials and Supplies: Fashion design students should budget for the cost of materials and supplies needed for their projects, which can vary greatly depending on the nature of their work.

  • CVEC Fee: All students in France must pay the Contribution to Student and Campus Life (CVEC), which is approximately €95 per year.

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Admission Process for Masters in Fashion Design in France

1. Research and Select Programs

  • Identify Suitable Programs: Start with thorough research to find programs that match your interests, career goals, and academic background. Consider factors such as the curriculum, faculty, industry connections, location, and alumni network.

  • Understand Program Requirements: Review each program's specific requirements, including academic qualifications, portfolio needs, language proficiency, and any other prerequisites.

2. Prepare Your Application

  • Academic Records: Gather your academic transcripts and, if necessary, get them translated into English or French. Most programs require a Bachelor’s degree in fashion design or a related field.

  • Portfolio: Prepare a professional portfolio showcasing your best work, creativity, and skill set. The portfolio is a critical component of your application, as it demonstrates your design abilities and potential.

  • Language Proficiency: If the program is taught in English and you're a non-native speaker, you'll likely need to provide TOEFL or IELTS scores. For French-taught programs, proficiency in French is usually required, demonstrated through tests like DELF or DALF.

  • Letters of Recommendation: Obtain two to three letters of recommendation from individuals who can attest to your academic abilities and potential as a fashion designer (e.g., professors, employers).

  • Statement of Purpose: Write a compelling statement of purpose that outlines your career objectives, why you wish to study fashion design in France, and why you're a good fit for the chosen program.

  • CV/Resume: Include a detailed CV/resume highlighting your education, work experience, internships, achievements, and any relevant skills or extracurricular activities.

3. Submit Your Application

  • Follow the specific application instructions provided by each institution. This may involve filling out an online application form, paying an application fee, and submitting the required documents electronically.

  • Note the application deadlines carefully. For most programs with a fall intake, applications are due in the spring. Some schools may offer multiple rounds of admissions.

4. Interviews and Additional Assessments

  • Some programs may invite applicants for an interview, which could be conducted in person, by phone, or via video conference. This is an opportunity to discuss your portfolio, experience, and motivation for pursuing a Master's in Fashion Design.

  • Additional assessments may include creative tasks, design projects, or written assignments, depending on the program's specific requirements.

5. Acceptance and Enrollment

  • If accepted, you'll receive an offer letter from the institution. You may need to confirm your acceptance by a certain deadline and pay a deposit or complete enrollment forms.

  • Begin visa application procedures if you're an international student from outside the EU/EEA. Also, start making accommodation arrangements and preparing for your move to France.

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Scholarships for doing Masters in Fashion design in France

French Government Scholarships

1. Eiffel Excellence Scholarship Program: Aimed at attracting top international students to French master’s, engineering, and PhD programs, this scholarship covers monthly allowances, travel costs, and health insurance. While highly competitive, it's open to students in fashion design if their studies can be linked to broader engineering or technological innovations.

2. Campus France Scholarships: The Campus France website provides a searchable database of scholarships available to international students studying in France, including those pursuing fashion design.

Institution-Specific Scholarships

Many fashion schools and universities in France offer their own scholarships based on merit, financial need, or specific criteria such as country of origin or artistic talent. Examples include:

  • IFM (Institut Français de la Mode) Scholarships: IFM offers several scholarships for its Master’s programs, available to both French and international students based on merit and financial need.

  • Paris College of Art Scholarships: PCA provides a variety of scholarships and financial aid options for its Master of Arts and MFA programs, including those in fashion design.

Private and Foundation Scholarships

Several foundations, fashion brands, and industry organizations offer scholarships to students in fashion and related fields. These can vary widely in terms of eligibility criteria and application processes. Examples include:

  • The Pierre Bergé Endowment Fund at IFM: Specifically supports students in fashion, management, and craftsmanship programs.

  • LVMH Scholarships: Offered to students in fashion and design programs at select institutions, including those in France, by the luxury goods conglomerate LVMH.

Erasmus+ Program

For students within the EU or from countries participating in the Erasmus+ program, scholarships are available for study, training, and internships abroad, including in France. While not specific to fashion design, these scholarships can provide financial support for related studies or projects.

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Career after Masters in Fashion Design in France

High Fashion and Haute Couture

Graduates may enter the exclusive world of haute couture and high fashion, working for renowned fashion houses based in France or internationally. Roles can vary from design assistants to head designers, depending on experience and talent.

Ready-to-Wear Collections

Many graduates find opportunities in prêt-à-porter (ready-to-wear) companies, designing collections for broader consumer markets. This sector allows designers to blend creativity with commercial viability.

Luxury Brand Management

With a Master's degree that often combines design skills with business acumen, graduates can pursue careers in luxury brand management, product development, and strategic planning within the luxury sector.

Sustainable Fashion

Given the growing emphasis on sustainability within the fashion industry, graduates with a focus on sustainable practices can lead initiatives for eco-friendly design, ethical production, and sustainable brand development.

Fashion Technology

Graduates interested in the intersection of fashion and technology can work in wearable tech, fashion app development, or digital fashion, areas that are rapidly gaining prominence.


Armed with advanced design skills and business knowledge, some graduates launch their own fashion brands or start-ups, contributing fresh perspectives and innovations to the fashion world.

Academia and Research

For those inclined towards academia, completing a Master's opens doors to teaching, research, and further study at the doctoral level. Graduates can contribute to the academic field of fashion design, exploring new theories, techniques, and sustainable practices.

Fashion Marketing and Communications

Graduates with a flair for storytelling and brand building can excel in fashion marketing, public relations, and communications, helping brands connect with audiences in meaningful ways.

Fashion Journalism and Media

With a deep understanding of fashion history, trends, and design principles, graduates can pursue careers in fashion journalism, writing for magazines, websites, and other media outlets, or curating content for digital platforms.

International Opportunities

France’s central role in the global fashion industry provides graduates with a network and reputation that opens career opportunities worldwide. French fashion education is highly regarded, allowing graduates to pursue careers in various countries and cultural contexts.

Networking and Continuing Education

Success in the fashion industry often depends on networking, continuous learning, and staying abreast of trends and technological advancements. Engaging with professional associations, attending industry events, and pursuing specialized courses can further enhance career prospects.

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