CH7: Short Creative Courses

Whether you are looking to pick up a new skill or advance in your career, the city offers a good handful of short term courses to help you do just that. Covering fashion, photography, web development and more, here are our top seven, because why not, selections of classes you can take while keeping busy with a full time job.

IFA Paris Fashion School

As the name suggests, this school is rooted in fashion capital, Paris, so you can expect lectures from qualified instructors to help you find your way in this cut-throat business. Among BAs & MBAs, the campus in Shanghai also offers two short term courses:

Fashion Business: If you are interested in becoming a fashion entrepreneur or starting a commercialized collection that the general public will want to buy, this course offers you 6 weeks and 240 hours of classes on fashion design, fashion buying, and visual merchandizing. Classes are only held on the weekends and is available in English. You are able to enroll in March, July, and October. The tuition is 30,000rmb. There will only be 20 students per class. By the end of this course, the goal is for you to be able to start your own show in the fashion industry.

Fashion Studio: This course targets those who are interested in becoming a fashion designer. It will teach you how to go from sketching your design ideas to making a garment based on fabric selection. The entire course is 8 weeks long, involving 256 hours on the weekends. The classes are available in English. Enrollment is in March, July, and October, and the tuition is 30,000rmb. 20 students per class. The aim of this course is to help you launch your very own basic mini collection.

IFA Paris Fashion School Shanghai campus is located at 350 Xianxia Lu, near Gubei Lu

Istituto Marangoni Shanghai

This Italian fashion education hub offers a handful of specific courses at its Shanghai campus for industry professionals. Courses range from Pattern Cutting, Trend Forecasting, Fashion Drawing, Draping Womenswear Design, to learning about the Evolution of Fashion Consumer. You can choose between 1, 3, or 10 weeks of classes.

If you're looking for an even more advance class, there is the 4-weekend course on Digital PR for Fashion Professionals, and 6-weekend courses on Bridalwear Design, Visual Merchandising for Professionals, and Luxury Fashion for Professionals. Tuition can be anywhere from 8,800rmb to 25,800rmb and above, depending on the course and its length. The school is equipped with iMacs and well-stocked practice rooms for your hands-on design practices. 

Istituto Marangoni Shanghai is located at 30F, Tower 2, Plaza 66, 1266 Nanjing Xi Lu

Shanghai Layers Digital Graphic Design Training Center

If you wish to polish your digital design skills to maximum shine, this training center targeting professionals offers a wide range of individual classes including Photoshop, 3D Sculpting, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, AutoCAD, SolidWorks and so on. Each course is 20 hours long, costing between 360rmb to 390rmb per hour. Group classes for Photoshop & Illustrator Primer are also available at 199rmb per hour.

The advantage of taking individual classes is that you can arrange your class according to your schedule and adjust the level of difficulty based on your skills. Computers are not provided, but you get to pick your preferred choice of operating system between Mac or Windows to work with. At the end of your course, you will be given a certification as proof of your achievement. 

Shanghai Layers Digital Graphic Design Center is located at 433 Hami Lu, Changning

Franc Péret Film & Photography

Franc Péret is a French veteran photographer and film maker with over 11 years of teaching photography in Shanghai. His Essential Photography class is to help amateur photographers learn to think and use photo equipment like a pro. You will learn technical skills like camera presets and operations, shutter speeds, and focal lengths, and you will also discover how to optimize position or engage with people to make the most out of your shots. Tuition is 3,500rmb for 5 weeks of 10 classes which are held on the weekends.

Advanced workshops are also offered to those with more experience. You will learn to play with light, freeze movements and all the other cool stuff with 7 workshops held once a week. Each workshop focuses on a different topic and costs 450rmb per class. Email Franc Péret to enroll in his classes.

Classes will be held at Soho Fuxing Plaza, Floor 2-4, Building D, 388 Madang Lu

Achitectural Association School of Architecture

In July 2017, the UK-based academic association will be hitting Shanghai to offer architecture and design young professionals and students a course on China's urban design. The agenda for this course is "City Smart." You will be taught a course on the potential of transferring design intelligence towards the materialization of information in urbanism. This is a 9 day studio course full of lectures, events, and hands-on. Classes are taught in English. The tuition for this summer school is 695 pounds (roughly 6000rmb) which includes a membership fee. The last day to register for this course is July 1.

The program will be held at the new China 3D Printing Museum in Baoshan

Le Wagon Shanghai

From 9am to 7pm, Monday through Friday for 9 weeks, Le Wagon offers an intensive fullstack program to help you become a coder in just 2 months, or so they say. You will learn the basics of programming with Ruby, software engineering (code your first applications following the MVC Design pattern), store information in a database, front end design, Rails training (code Airbnb from scratch in just 5 days!) and spend 2 weeks creating your very own project.

The tuition for this 360 hour course is a hefty 37,000rmb, but the organizer is confident that you will find your feet in the industry after this crash course. Classes are offered in English and Chinese. The next upcoming course starts from July 3 to Aug 25.

Le Wagon classes will be held at the XNode Startup Accelerator & Coworking Space, 129 West Yan'an Lu, Jing'an


Besides offering services such as incubating, providing referrals, organizing your technical events, and even conducting interviews for you, this all-in-one tech community also provides a co-learning environment.

The difference between co-learning sessions and courses is that they are not led by an instructor, instead students follow an online curriculum and help each other progress. This is a great way to self-learn how to code with a supportive group of like-minded enthusiasts.

You have the freedom to choose between specific subjects from front & backend development, unity, machine learning, and Linux, or to create your own content. The co-learning sessions are mostly free, but you have to pay for using the facilities which is compulsory if you want to take advantage of the free sessions. Rates go range between 160rmb for 1 session up to 4,500 for 50 sessions. Sessions are held twice a week, from 5pm to 10pm on Wednesday and 9am to 6pm on Saturday. You can visit at any time during those hours or skip the entire day if you will. The learning process is entirely based on your own schedule. 

If you want to be there co-learning for hours on end, you can opt for the bootcamp which allows you to be in the "office" from 10am to 10pm, Monday through Saturday. Bootcamps are only for long term commitments and session rates start at 90rmb. Of course, if you are a client of one of their core services, you are able to use the facilities for free. Oh, computers excluded. You'd have to bring your own.

CoderBunker is located at 1199 Panyu Road, Building 3