9 interior design courses in Singapore to kickstart your ID career

In Singapore, homes are shrinking in size and the need for land is increasing, necessitating the smart and functional use of space – and consequently, the expertise of well-trained interior designers.

home

Interior design is a key contributing factor of success in business and can also lead to an individual’s improved quality of life. As famously said in The Wizard of Oz, “There’s no place like home”. Indeed, it takes a skilled interior designer to absorb the client brief, understand any space constraints and transform a cookie-cutter apartment into a sublime space. You may have seen interior designers work their magic on home improvement programs on television – be it for profit or for charity, and these skills are just the tip of the iceberg of what it takes to master the art of interior design.

If you have a passion for interior design as a sideline hobby, or want to pursue it as a career, you may want to consider these Interior Design courses offered in Singapore:

Diplomas

1. LASALLE College of the Arts – Diploma in Interior Design

  • This course takes a practical yet unconventional approach to Interior Design, while being highly relevant to trends within the design industry. Instead of typical classrooms, take your learning to a new level in their “design ateliers”, the studio-based environment that encourages exchange of ideas and information.
  • Programme Duration: Full time for 3 years
  • Curriculum includes modules like Studio Practice, Fundamental Art and Design Skills, Technical Skills, Contextual Studies
  • Course fees are S$5,046.72 per annum for Singaporeans
  • Industry Prospects
    • Career opportunities include being an Interior Designer, Furniture Designer, Exhibition Designer, Stage Designer
    • Compulsory Industry Placements
    • Graduates have found placements in local and international practices
  • Entry requirements includes the completion of an Admissions Test and submission of portfolio

2. Temasek Polytechnic – Diploma in Interior Architecture and Design

  • This course will be taught through 5 core clusters – Foundation, Tectonics & Technology, Contextual Place-Making, Trends & Issues and Assembly & Materiality, and will consolidate the knowledge and skills needed for the industry.
  • Programme Duration: Full time for 3 years
  • Curriculum includes modules like Communicating Design Ideas, Digital Architectural Drafting, Marketing in Design, Design Fundamentals and Interior Design Practice
  • Total course fee is S$2,794.10 for Singaporeans
  • Industry Prospects
    • Career opportunities include jobs in interior design services for corporate, exhibition, institutional and residential projects, event management, in-house design for museums and galleries, design consultancy

3. Singapore Polytechnic – Diploma in Interior Design (DID)

  • This course will give you the ability to transform the experiences of everyday living by combining design aesthetics with technical knowledge. Beyond mere interior decoration, you can develop techniques to communicate your ideas into functional interior spaces.
    • Programme duration: Full time for 3 years
  • Curriculum includes like Social Innovation Project, Materials and Technology, Design Theory and Research, Advanced Interior Design Practice
  • Total course fee is S$2,790.55 per annum for Singaporeans
  • Industry prospects
    • Exposure to Specialisation workshops and Studio projects to assemble a Design Portfolio
    • Exposure to internationally run workshops, such as the Visiting School by Architectural Association, London
    • Opportunities to participate in global design studios, international competitions and “live” industry projects
    • Global situated programme with overseas design institutions like Pratt Institute, New York and SAIC, Chicago
    • Regional study trips to Japan, Korea, India and Thailand
    • Internship Programme

4. Nanyang Polytechnic – Diploma in Spatial Design (previously Space & Interior Design)

  • This course will develop graduates that are independent, inquisitive and confident in articulating ideas and concepts. With a Diploma in Spatial Design, you will have the hands-on ability to problem-solve, create and execute plans in a fast changing global world.
    • Programme duration: Full time for 3 years
  • Curriculum includes modules like Architectonic Studies, Theory of Spatial Design, Digital Modelling & Simulation, Project Management & Simulation and Design Entrepreneurship
  • Course fees are S$2,785.40 per annum for Singaporeans.
  • Industry prospects
    • Career opportunities include jobs in retail display and promotional design, furniture design, event management and design, space and interior design
    • Internship Programme

5. Raffles Education Network– Advanced Diploma in Interior Design

  • This course equips students with the creative and technical knowledge and skills needed to be professionals in the interior design industry. It includes the study of both Interior Architecture & Design content within the built environment and focuses on the human interface within given spaces.
    • Programme duration: Full time for 1 year and 3 months
  • Intakes in January, April, July and October
  • Accredited by Singapore Council for Private Education (Singapore) and Edutrust Singapore
  • Curriculum includes modules like Advanced Diploma Course Modules, such as 2D Computer Aided Drawing, Architectural Drafting, Environmental Lighting and Interior Design, Principles & Theory
  • Course fee of S$22,500
  • Industry Prospects
    • Career opportunities include a CAD Designer, Design Consultant, Commercial Interior Designer, Exhibition Designer and Residential Interior Designer

Degrees

1. Raffles Education Network – Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Interior Design (Top Up)

  • This course explores the human scale and relationship in ever-changing spatial environments. In addition to international case studies, exposure to the Asian culture will integrate students’ identities into their choice of design solutions.
    • Partnered with Coventry University, UK
    • Honours included
  • Programme duration: Full time for 1 year
  • Intakes in January, April, July and October
  • Accredited by Singapore Council for Private Education (Singapore) and Edutrust Singapore
  • Curriculum includes modules like Design Enquiry, Advanced Interior Design Practice through Development, Advanced Interior Design Practice to Manufacture Commercial Interior
  • Course fee of S$30,000 in total
  • Industry prospects
    • Career opportunities include a CAD Designer, Design Consultant, Commercial Interior Designer, Exhibition Designer and Residential Interior Designer
    • Opportunities to learn from a wide source of projects in Asia, participate in competitions and work in multi-disciplinary teams
  • Entry requires the completion of Raffles Singapore Advanced Diploma or equivalent

2. LASALLE College of the Arts – Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Interior Design

  • This course will help you learn the creation of environments within and around existing spaces and structures. This is a curriculum that is closely interwoven with various design disciplines such as architecture and architectural design, and discovering new typologies of space.
    • Honours programme
  • Programme duration: Full time for 3 years
  • Course commences in August
  • Curriculum includes modules like Design Studio, Professional Studies, Cultural and Contextual Studies, Negotiated Design Project, Creative Industries and Opportunities, Dissertation and Graduating Design Project
  • Course fees of S$29,158.86 for Singaporeans with A Level qualifications; S$38,439.24 for Singaporeans with a Diploma
  • Industry prospects
    • Career opportunities include being an Interior Designer, Design Consultant, Design Educator, Furniture Designer, Stage Designer
    • Continuous engagement in local and international design competitions, live projects and exhibitions
  • Entry requires the submission of portfolio containing at least 10 pieces of original work.

3. Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) – Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Interior Design

  • This course will help you to propose few methods of space usage, by creatively embracing constraints in context and take a contemporary approach to the organisation, detailing and decoration of a space.
    • Honours Programme
  • Programme duration: Full time for 2 years
  • Course has 3 intakes and commences in September, January and May
  • Validated by University of Glasgow
  • Curriculum includes modules such as Approaches to Research in Art and Design Criticism, Contexts of Critical Inquiry in Art and Design: Situation, Relation, Research
  • Course fee of S$10,320.00 per year for Singaporeans
  • Industry prospects
    • Mandatory 4-week attachment at the home campus of Glasgow School of the Arts in the UK

4. National University of Singapore – Bachelor of Arts in Architecture (Honours)

  • While not focused entirely on interior design, NUS’s Architecture Degree will give you the option to explore other related fields such as urban and industrial design. Upon 3rd year, you can get to specialize in one of four different tracks: Design, Design Technology and Sustainability, Urban Planning, or Landscape Architecture.
  • Programme duration: Full time for 4 years
  • Course commences August
  • Curriculum includes modules such as Climate Responsive Architecture and Theory in Urban Design and Planning.
  • Course fee of S$8,800 for Singaporeans per annum
  • Industry prospects
    • Apart from working in the fields related to their specializations (industrial design, architectural journalism), graduates can also explore further studies, which would give them a chance to work in architectural research or for architectural related careers in government agencies, for example.
  • Prospective students need to sit for an Architecture Admission Test (AAT).

Room for improvement

Whether you are pursuing interior design for personal passion or as a career, it would be useful to stay abreast of industry progressions and gain practical experience through industrial attachments or internships.

interior designer

As reported in March 2017, 9 winners of the Singapore Interior Design Awards (Sida) were teams from Singapore and the achievement of these prestigious accolades prove to recognize the high quality of Singapore’s design standards.

Improvements in the industry continue to be made. A new accreditation by the Society of Interior Designers Singapore (Sids) for interior designers is underway, and this would include criterion like a designer’s portfolio and academic qualifications, according to an article on The Straits Times.

Beyond pursuing qualifications in Interior Design, it may also be useful to be affiliated with associations such as Interior Design Confederation Singapore (IDCS) and DesignSingapore Council – that happen to be working together on the Sids accreditation scheme.

If you consider the creative challenge of interior design appealing you should consider taking up a diploma or degree, to equip yourself with the know-how and understanding needed for success in the industry!

Note: The information above is accurate as of 1 November 2017.