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Global : All About Interior Design

Updated: Jun 19, 2023


Interior design is a fascinating field that encompasses the art and science of enhancing the interior spaces to create functional, aesthetically pleasing, and harmonious environments. It involves a careful blend of creativity, technical skills, and practical knowledge to transform spaces into captivating and functional areas that meet the needs and preferences of individuals or businesses. If you have a passion for design, an eye for detail, and a knack for creating inviting spaces, pursuing a career in interior design might be the perfect path for you. In this blog, we will explore various aspects of interior design studies, including subjects, course duration, tuition and living costs in different countries, top colleges, scholarship options, post-study job opportunities, and more.

Subjects in Interior Design Studies

Interior design courses offer a comprehensive curriculum that covers a wide range of subjects. Here are some of the key subjects typically included in interior design programs:

  1. Design Theory and Principles: This subject introduces students to the fundamental principles of design, including color theory, composition, balance, and spatial arrangement.

  2. Architectural Drafting: Students learn the skills of technical drawing and drafting, including floor plans, elevations, and 3D modeling, using computer-aided design (CAD) software.

  3. Materials and Finishes: This subject explores the different materials used in interior design, such as fabrics, flooring, wall coverings, and finishes, and their practical and aesthetic considerations.

  4. Furniture Design: Students gain an understanding of furniture styles, ergonomics, and the selection, arrangement, and customization of furniture pieces to enhance interior spaces.

  5. Lighting Design: This subject focuses on the importance of lighting in interior design, including natural and artificial lighting techniques, fixtures, and their impact on mood, functionality, and aesthetics.

  6. Sustainable Design: Students learn about environmentally friendly design practices, energy-efficient solutions, and the use of sustainable materials in interior design projects.

  7. Color Theory and Application: This subject explores the psychology of color, color schemes, and the effective use of color in creating ambiance and visual impact.

  8. Spatial Planning: Students study the principles of space planning, including circulation, zoning, and the arrangement of furniture and fixtures to optimize functionality and flow within a space.

These subjects provide a solid foundation in interior design principles, enabling students to develop their creative skills and technical knowledge to design inspiring and functional spaces.

Typical Duration of the Course

The duration of interior design courses can vary depending on the level of study and the country. Typically, undergraduate programs in interior design have a duration of three to four years. However, some countries may offer accelerated programs or combined degree options. For example, in the United States, students can pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Interior Design, which is a four-year program. In contrast, the United Kingdom offers a three-year Bachelor's degree in Interior Design. Additionally, there are postgraduate programs available for those who wish to further specialize or enhance their skills in specific areas of interior design.

Tuition, Living, and Other Costs in Australia, Singapore, Canada, USA, and UK

When considering studying interior design abroad, it is essential to factor in the tuition fees, as well as the cost of living and other expenses. Here's an overview of the costs associated with studying interior design in popular countries:

  • Australia:

    • Tuition Fees: The annual tuition fees for interior design programs in Australia range from AUD 20,000 to AUD 40,000, depending on the university and level of study.

    • Living Costs: The average monthly living expenses, including accommodation, transportation, food, and entertainment, range from AUD 1,800 to AUD 2,500, depending on the city.

  • Singapore:

    • Tuition Fees: The annual tuition fees for interior design programs in Singapore range from SGD 18,000 to SGD 30,000, depending on the university and level of study.

    • Living Costs: The average monthly living expenses, including accommodation, transportation, food, and entertainment, range from SGD 1,200 to SGD 2,000, depending on the location.

  • Canada:

    • Tuition Fees: The annual tuition fees for interior design programs in Canada vary across provinces and institutions. On average, international students can expect to pay CAD 20,000 to CAD 30,000 per year.

    • Living Costs: The average monthly living expenses range from CAD 1,500 to CAD 2,500, depending on the city and lifestyle choices.

  • USA:

    • Tuition Fees: Interior design programs in the USA have a wide range of tuition fees. On average, international students can expect to pay between $20,000 and $40,000 per year, depending on the university and location.

    • Living Costs: The average monthly living expenses, including accommodation, transportation, food, and other expenses, range from $1,000 to $2,500, depending on the city and lifestyle choices.

  1. UK:

    • Tuition Fees: The annual tuition fees for interior design programs in the UK vary across universities. On average, international students can expect to pay between £15,000 and £25,000 per year.

    • Living Costs: The average monthly living expenses range from £800 to £1,200, depending on the location and lifestyle choices.

It's important to note that these figures are approximate and can vary based on the university, city, and individual lifestyle choices. It is advisable to research and consider additional costs such as health insurance, visa fees, and study materials when planning your budget.

Top Colleges for Interior Design

  1. Royal College of Art (United Kingdom): The Royal College of Art is a renowned institution known for its excellence in art and design education. It offers a Master's program in Interior Design that focuses on innovation, experimentation, and interdisciplinary collaboration.

  2. SCAD: When it comes to pursuing interior design studies, the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) is a name that stands out. With its main campus located in Savannah, Georgia, SCAD offers an exceptional program for aspiring interior designers. SCAD prides itself on providing a comprehensive curriculum that combines creative expression, technical skills, and industry knowledge.

  3. Parsons School of Design (United States): Parsons School of Design, located in New York City, is recognized as one of the leading institutions for design education. Its interior design programs emphasize critical thinking, conceptual exploration, and hands-on experience.

  4. RMIT University (Australia): RMIT University's Interior Design program is highly regarded for its industry-focused curriculum and strong connections to the design industry. The program emphasizes design thinking, sustainability, and emerging technologies.

  5. National University of Singapore (Singapore): The National University of Singapore offers a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Design with a specialization in interior design. The program combines design theory, studio practice, and real-world projects to nurture creative and critical thinking skills.

  6. Sheridan College (Canada): Sheridan College offers a comprehensive Bachelor of Interior Design program that focuses on experiential learning, industry partnerships, and sustainability. The program prepares students for diverse career opportunities in residential, commercial, and institutional design.

These are just a few examples of top colleges known for their quality interior design programs. It is essential to research and consider factors such as curriculum, faculty expertise, industry connections, and alumni success when selecting a college.

Scholarship Options in Interior Design

Many countries provide scholarship opportunities to support international students pursuing interior design studies. Here are some scholarship options available in these countries:

  • Australia:

    • Australia Awards: The Australian government offers scholarships to students from eligible countries. These scholarships cover full tuition fees, living allowances, and health insurance.

    • Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships: These scholarships provide financial support to high-achieving international students undertaking study, research, or professional development in Australia. They offer various scholarships, including the Endeavour Postgraduate Scholarship, which supports international students pursuing a Master's or Ph.D. in a relevant field.

  • Singapore:

    • Singapore International Graduate Award (SINGA): SINGA is a collaboration between the Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (A*STAR), the National University of Singapore (NUS), and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU). It offers scholarships for international students pursuing Ph.D. research in science and engineering fields, including areas related to interior design.

  • Canada:

    • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships: The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships program aims to attract and retain top-tier doctoral students from around the world. It provides a significant financial award to support students pursuing doctoral studies in various disciplines, including design-related fields.

  1. USA:

    • Fulbright Foreign Student Program: The Fulbright Program offers scholarships to international students who wish to pursue graduate study or conduct research in the United States. The program supports students from various fields, including design and the arts.

    • The International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Foundation: The IIDA Foundation provides scholarships and grants to students pursuing interior design education. These scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, design excellence, and financial need.

  • UK:

    • Chevening Scholarships: The Chevening Scholarships are prestigious awards offered by the UK government to outstanding international students. They cover the cost of tuition fees, living expenses, and provide additional allowances for students pursuing Master's degrees in various fields, including design.

It's important to note that scholarship availability, eligibility criteria, and application deadlines may vary each year. Therefore, it is recommended to visit the respective scholarship websites for the most up-to-date information and application procedures.

Post-Study Job Opportunities

Interior design offers a wide range of career opportunities for graduates. Some potential career paths include:

  1. Interior Designer: Graduates can work as interior designers, creating innovative and functional designs for residential, commercial, or hospitality spaces. They collaborate with clients, architects, and contractors to bring their designs to life.

  2. Retail Store Designer: Retail store designers focus on creating appealing and functional retail spaces that enhance the shopping experience. They consider factors such as branding, product placement, and customer flow.

  3. Exhibition Designer: Exhibition designers conceptualize and design engaging exhibition spaces, museums, galleries, and trade shows. They consider aspects like spatial layout, lighting, and interactive elements.

  4. Set Designer: Set designers work in the film, television, and theater industries, creating sets and environments that reflect the story or production requirements. They collaborate with directors, producers, and production teams to bring the creative vision to life.

  5. Sustainable Design Consultant: With a growing emphasis on sustainability, graduates can pursue careers as sustainable design consultants. They focus on incorporating eco-friendly practices, materials, and technologies into design projects.

  6. Freelance Designer: Many interior design graduates choose to work independently as freelance designers, offering their services to individual clients or businesses.

The job opportunities for interior design graduates can vary based on the location, industry demand, and individual experience. It is important to build a strong portfolio, network with industry professionals, and stay updated on design trends to enhance career prospects.


Interior design studies open doors to a dynamic and rewarding career that combines artistic flair, technical expertise, and a deep understanding of human spaces. By pursuing interior design education, you can develop your creative skills, gain industry knowledge, and acquire the practical skills needed to transform interior spaces. Whether you choose to study in Australia, Singapore, Canada, the USA, or the UK, each country offers unique educational opportunities, scholarship options, and vibrant design industries. Consider your personal preferences, budget, and aspirations when selecting a country and college for your interior design studies. Remember to consider factors such as the subjects offered, the duration of the course, tuition fees, and living costs when making your decision. Researching and exploring the top colleges in each country, such as the Royal College of Art, SCAD, Parsons School of Design, RMIT University, National University of Singapore, and Sheridan College, can provide valuable insights into their programs and reputation.

Additionally, keep in mind the availability of scholarships, such as Australia Awards, SINGA, Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships, Fulbright Foreign Student Program, and Chevening Scholarships, which can greatly alleviate the financial burden of your studies.

Once you have completed your interior design studies, you will have a range of exciting career opportunities. These may include working as an interior designer, retail store designer, exhibition designer, set designer, sustainable design consultant, or even starting your own freelance design business. The key to success in the field is to build a strong portfolio, develop industry connections, and stay updated on emerging design trends.

In conclusion, interior design studies offer a fulfilling path for those with a passion for creativity, design, and transforming spaces. By carefully considering the various aspects of the field, selecting the right country and college, exploring scholarship options, and preparing for post-study job opportunities, you can embark on an enriching journey in the world of interior design. So, unleash your creativity, embrace the possibilities, and let your designs shape the world around you.

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