Studying Interior Design

Eligibility, Courses, Specialisations, Syllabus, Scope

What is Interior Design?

Interior Design is a stream in design and architecture concerned with the artistic and aesthetic planning and designing of interior spaces in buildings and houses. Interior Design deals with all aspects of interior space planning, from technical architectural considerations to room furnishings.

Interior Designing comprises specialisations depending on the purpose of the design and the space being modelled, such as commercial design, healthcare facilities design, home design, residential design, sustainable interior design, and education space design. 


Undergraduate Interior Design Degrees Offered

Candidates aspiring towards a career in interior design can opt for the following undergraduate degrees-

  • Bachelor of Interior Design (BID)- 4 years
  • Bachelor of Science (BSc)- 3 years
  • Bachelor of Design (B Des)- 4 years
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA)- 3 years
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)- 4 years
  • Bachelor of Visual Arts (BVA)- 4 years
  • Bachelor of Architecture (B Arch)- 5 years
  • Undergraduate Diploma
  • Certificate Courses


Specialisations in Interior Design

Specialisations offered in interior design include the following- 

  • Aviation/Aircraft Interior Design
  • Corporate Interior Design
  • Education Interior Design
  • Healthcare Interior Design
  • Hospitality Interior Design
  • Industrial Interior Design
  • Interior and Furniture Design
  • Interior and Retail Spaces
  • Interior and Space Planning Design
  • Interior Environment and Design
  • Kitchen and Bath Design
  • Luxury Interior Design
  • Nautical/Marine Interior Design
  • Residential/Home Design
  • Retail Interior Design
  • Sustainable Planning and Design
  • Universal Interior Design


Eligibility and Requirements for Interior Design

Students can enrol in interior design colleges and courses after appearing for entrance exams across the country. The eligibility criteria are as follows-

  • Candidates enrolling on interior design programmes and entrances must have passed their 10+2 (or equivalent) examinations from a recognised Indian board with a minimum aggregate of 50-55% marks. 
  • Candidates from any stream (Science/Commerce/Humanities) can apply for interior design courses. 
  • Certain technical interior design courses like B.Sc. or B.Arch. require candidates to have chosen the science stream in their 10+2 with Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics as compulsory subjects.


Admission Procedure for Interior Design

The admission procedure for interior design colleges and courses in India is as follows- 

  • Candidates applying for interior design courses must qualify for the minimum eligibility to appear for the respective entrance exams. Candidates can apply for the entrance examinations by registering in the online portal and submitting the required documents.
  • After appearing for the entrance exams, candidates will be shortlisted based on scores, ranks, and merit lists in the counselling session for the respective colleges/entrances. Some colleges may also conduct group discussions and private interviews (GD/PI) rounds for further screening of candidates.
  • In the case of merit-based admissions, candidates will be shortlisted based on their 10+2 examination scores.
  • Shortlisted candidates may finalise their admission at the concerned college by paying the fees and submitting the required documents for verification.


Entrance Tests for Interior Design Courses

Some of the important entrance tests offering admission into undergraduate interior design courses include the following-

  • The Undergraduate Common Entrance Examination for Design (UCEED)- conducted by the Indian Insitute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B)
  • National Institute of Design-Design Aptitude Test (NID DAT)- conducted by the National Institute of Design (NID).
  • The All India Entrance Examination for Design (AIEED) -conducted by the ARCH Academy of Design
  • Joint Entrance Examinations (JEE) Main Paper-2- conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) (Only for B.Arch. admissions)
  • The Indian Insitute of Art and Design- Design Aptitude Test (IIAD-DAT)- conducted by IIAD
  • Symbiosis Entrance Exam for Design (SEED)- conducted by the Symbiosis Institute of Design (SID)
  • Pearl Academy Entrance Exam/Design Aptitude Test- conducted by Pearl Academy
  • Unitedworld Institute of Design- Design Aptitude Test (UID-DAT)- conducted by UID


Aptitude for Interior Design

Students with an interest in home decor, planning, and furnishing will find interior design the ideal study goal for them. Students may gauge their aptitude for interior design with the following criteria:

  • Ideation and Initiative
  • Creative and Aesthetic Sense
  • Spatial Reasoning 
  • Market Knowledge 
  • Knowledge of Styles and Trends 
  • Strong Grasp of Materials and Textures
  • Colour Sense
  • Originality and Innovation
  • Visual Imagination
  • Visual Communication
  • Technical Skills 
  • Communication Skills and Teamwork
  • Business and Management Skills


Interior Design Subjects

Interior Design courses comprise subjects and topics such as-

  • History of Interior Design
  • Model Making
  • Materials and Construction Techniques
  • Analytical Drawing
  • Theory of Design
  • Architectural Illustrations
  • Furniture Spaces and Design
  • Anthropometry and Ergonomics
  • Space Layout
  • Materials Sourcing and Costing
  • Computer-Aided Design (CAD)
  • Building Services
  • Interior Landscape
  • Materials Exposure


Top Interior Design Specialisations for the Future

The most coveted and lucrative interior design specialisations for the future include-

  • Sustainable Interior Design
  • Universal Interior Design
  • Corporate Interior Design
  • Luxury Interior Design
  • Hospitality Interior Design
  • Commercial Interior Design
  • Residential Interior Design


Post-graduate Study/Research Opportunities in Interior Design

After completing their undergraduate degrees, candidates can further their interior design study goals through postgraduate and research degrees. 

The eligibility criteria for pursuing postgraduate courses is completing an undergraduate interior design degree in the specialisation/course of choice from a recognised university with a minimum aggregate of 55% marks.

Popular postgraduate degrees in interior design include-

  • Master of Design (M Des)- 2 years
  • Master of Science (MSc)- 2 years
  • Master of Arts (MA)- 2 years
  • Master of Architecture (M Arch)- 2 years
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)- 2 years
  • Master of Fine Arts (MFA)- 2 years
  • Master of Vocation (M Voc)- 2 years
  • Post-graduate Diploma- 9 months to 2 years
  • Master of Philosophy (M Phil)- 2 years
  • Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD)

Important entrance exams for admission into postgraduate interior design programmes include-

  • Common Entrance Examination for Design (CEED)- conducted by the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B)
  • National Institute of Design Design Aptitude Test (NID DAT)
  • All India Entrance Examination for Design (AIEED)
  • Symbiosis Entrance Exam for Design (SEED)
  • The Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE)- conducted jointly by IIScs and IITs (for admission into M.Arch. courses)


Career Prospects/Placements in Interior Design

Interior design is a promising study goal and a leading stream in both: the design and architecture/engineering industries. Interior design offers several career avenues and job prospects in the government, public, and private sectors. Interior design graduates receive placement offers from established design and architectural firms and reputed brands visiting their college during campus placement programmes organised by the training and placement cell. 

Popular and lucrative career prospects in interior design include the following- 

  • Residential Interior Designer
  • Commercial Interior Designer
  • Corporate Interior Designer
  • Kitchen and Bath Designer
  • Exhibition Designer
  • Healthcare Interior Designer
  • Industrial Interior Designer
  • Interior Architect
  • Furniture Designer
  • Visual Merchandiser
  • Lighting Designer
  • Education Interior Designer
  • Retail Interior Designer
  • Aircraft Interior Designer
  • Nautical Interior Designer
  • Space Planner


Starting Salaries in Interior Design

Starting salaries in interior design range between INR 2 to 3 LPA, and can go as high as 45 LPA for experienced senior technicians. 


Subjects Similar to Interior Design

Students interested in interior design might be interested in similar subjects like-

  • Architecture
  • Civil Engineering
  • Product Design
  • Multimedia Design
  • Exhibition Design
  • Communication Design
  • Fine Arts