Ever wowed by the harmony vibe and colour combination of futuristic furniture in IKEA? Almost every place you go, hospitals, restaurants, hotels, interior designers unleash their creativity and skills to create a pleasant environment that is functional, safe and comfortable.
Studying interior design will teach you the essential skills needed for this profession, such as how to plan interior layouts, understanding construction materials and using interior design software. Read on to find out more!
Interior Design - What will you study?
In interior design, there are no distinctive fields that can be further broken down as sub-field of interior design. However, here are some of the subjects you may study as part of your Interior Design Degree:
- Design Principles and Theories
- History of Architecture and Design
- Building Material and Construction
- Environmental Psychology
- Architectural Drawing
- Computer-Aided Design (CAD)
- Contract and Project Management
Did you know that interior design is sometimes called interior architecture too?
How long do you study to get an Interior Design degree?
In interior design, you will find certification courses to fit the needs of working adults, diplomas and degrees. Generally, here are the duration of studying:
1 - 2 years
How much does it cost to study Interior Design?
Here are the estimated fees of studying interior design according to study levels:
Estimated Fees per year
The fees may differ according to the universities. It’s best for you to contact the representative of the respective university you would like to attend.
Why should you study Interior Design?
Out of so many professions, why should you look into interior design? Here are 3, reasons why you should do it:
1. You are creative
Starting from blank, interior designers infuse the elements of space, colour, light and harmony to create a masterpiece that can be translated into reality. From nothing to something, only the capable can achieve that with creative juice!
2. You love all aspects of the design
In interior design, a good design is more than just being beautiful, the designer should consider safety and functionality like ventilation. This includes considering various aspects, such as ergonomics, environmental psychology and building safety.
3. You are interested or good at drawing
Designing is often done with computer software now but being able to draw is a sign that you have the drawing talent. It is a skill that will definitely help you throughout your career. Drawing skills can help you to gain a good grasp on perspective, scale, proportion and balance that you can later apply on design.
What skills do you need for Interior Design degree?
Here are some of the key skills you need to develop to excel in an interior design programme.
1. Creative problem-solving skills
There are many things that can go wrong when designing a space, such as budget constraints, indecisive clients, unreliable vendors and tight turnaround times. As a result, you will need to be quick on your feet and offer practical solutions to any arising issues.
2. Good design and drawing skills
Not everyone will be able to understand your vision of the space, so you will need to sketch out your ideas to get the message across. You will also need to master computer-aided drawing (CAD) and 3D rendering so that your ideas will be more attractive and easier to envision.
3. Excellent communication skills
Almost every industry requires communication skills. Communication is key when it comes to interior design to bridge the design ideas and resolve conflicts with clients. Additionally, you can’t just email your sketch or drawing with a brief summary and expect them to understand or accept your ideas soon after.
As an interior designer, your day-to-day tasks will involve speaking to clients about their vision for their space as well as presenting your ideas in a convincing manner.
You will also need to communicate with contractors, vendors and suppliers to get the materials you need to enhance a space and bring your client’s vision to life.
What are the entry requirements?
The academic entry requirements will also vary based on your choice of institution and level of study. Outlined below are the general academic entry requirements in Malaysia for each level of study:
- SPM / O-Level: Minimum of 3 credits
- A-Level: Minimum of 2Es; or
- STPM: Minimum of 2Cs with minimum CGPA of 2.00; or
- Australian Matriculation: Minimum of ATAR 60; or
- Foundation in Arts or Foundation in Science: Minimum CGPA of 2.00; or
- Diploma: Minimum CGPA of 2.00
What career can you have with an Interior Design degree?
Jobs that are relevant to Interior Design Degree include:
- Interior designer (residential, office, commercial)
- Interior consultant
- Set designer
- Exhibition designer
- 3D visualiser
- Furniture designer
What is the Expected Salary?
The starting salary for an interior design fresh graduation is ranged between $29,000 to $92,000 per year. However, interior designers often get a commission or additional income as freelancers.
Top 10 Interior Design Schools Abroad
(Image: Florence Design Academy)
The toughest part about studying Interior Design is deciding which designing school to enrol in. This can be difficult for a wide variety of reasons, ranging from affording tuition and having the resources to relocate to another city or even country, to meeting your chosen school’s requirements.
Here are 10 best universities around the world that offer Interior Design course:
1. Florence Design Academy, Florence
Florence Design Academy is one of the best design schools in Europe. It is located in Italy, Florence, offering academic and master courses in the design field. Some of the popular courses include interior design, graphic design and industrial design.
2. The Interior Design School, London
Founded in 1991, The Interior Design School is a specialised school that offers students whose interests are directed towards interior design. The school owns a studio-based professional training for students to explore further about their creative talents and practice. Its mission is to educate students in current contemporary interior design courses and maintain close connections within the industry.
3. Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah
The Savannah College of Art and Design, an institution with distinctive yet complementary locations, will be recognized as the leader in defining art and design education. SCAD is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award bachelor's and master's degrees.
4. Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York
Located in the most innovative part of the most interesting part of the most important city in the world. The programs offered by Pratt Institute are consistently ranked among the best in the country, and its faculty and alumni include the most renowned artists, designers, and scholars in their fields.
5. The Visual College of Art and Design, Vancouver
Established in 2009, Vancouver College of Art and Design is branded as Visual College of Art and Design. The college offers various diploma courses in fashion, interior design, graphic design, architecture, technology, game design and animation.
6. Rhode Island School of Design
Founded in 1877, Rhode Island School of Design is a private art and design college in the United States. The school offers 19 majors of both bachelor's and master's degree programs. To date, it has recorded a total of 30,000 alumni.
7. Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts London
Chelsea College of Arts is one of London's most prestigious art and design colleges. We offer courses in curating, fine art, graphic design communication, textile design and interior and spatial design. Chelsea has just over 1,400 students. The College’s small size and supportive atmosphere make studying here feel more like being part of a community.
8. University of Technology, Sydney
The University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) is a dynamic and cosmopolitan university in Sydney, Australia. The University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) offers a variety of options for future students in undergraduate and postgraduate studies in faculties of Arts and Social Sciences, Business, Design, Architecture and Building, Engineering and Information Technology, Health, Law, Science.
9. Dublin Institute of Design
Founded in 1991, Dublin Institute of Design is a college that specialises in four fields of design which are interior, graphic, web and fashion design. The school offers full and part-time degree courses and higher education qualifications. The campus is located just nearby to Grafton St, Stephens Green and the National Library of Ireland.
10. New York School of Interior Design
New York School of Interior Design (NYSID) is a private college that was established exclusively for interior design courses. The school offers certificate courses, undergraduate and master's degree programs. NYSID is a member of the National Association of Schools of Art & Design, accredited in 1996, 2007 and latest in 2017.