5 Best Universities For Interior Design UK

Do you know that interior decoration is not all about beautiful designs in a room? The best universities for interior design UK have structures to teach their students everything needed for interior design in our current century. 

You probably might know what interior designing means, but do you know what it is not?

Interior design is not interior decoration. The simple difference is just that an interior designer needs a degree, but an interior decorator can be that child that designs her room with pencil crayons.

Anybody can be an interior decorator.

So, an interior designer is a degree holder and licensed expert that works with clients to produce the interior structure of buildings.

The United Kingdom ranks 2 in the best place for international students to study, behind the United States. Moreover, they have 18 universities ranking amongst the top 100 in the world.

That is, the UK has maintained a high standard of learning and excellence. That’s why choosing the best universities for interior design UK is an amazing choice.

London has lots of historic buildings and interior decorations that speak a lot about the country, UK.

The simplistic pattern of interior decoration dated back to ancient times. It wasn’t called interior design till the early 19th century.

In 1899, the Institute of British Decorators, a professional organization for interior designers, was founded, which currently has more than 20,000 interior designers.

Because, professional architecture will always argue that interior designers don’t create spaces, but decoration. So learning architecture along your career will enable you to balance these two things.

Experts say that knowing these two fields gives interior design a balanced beauty. Certainly, one cannot exist without the other.


Is Interior Design a Good Career in UK?

The simple answer is, yes it is a good career to pursue in the UK. Especially if you have love and passion for artistic creation and decoration.

Also, you should note that becoming a professional interior designer that earns well in the UK goes beyond passion and enthusiasm.

Beyond passion, you have to be hardworking and committed to learning every part of interior designing, including the architectural part of learning.

Because, interior design is not just all about art, color, and fun, there are other strenuous tasks interior designers must face. Some of them might look like labor rather than fun.

That said, these interior design universities in the UK will not just accept you as their students, but will also provide learning tools to keep you committed to your interior design career. 

There are many programs available in the UK to start an interior design career and each of these programs will teach you how to do simple designs even in small house spaces just like using a minimalist dining chair for a house with a small dining space.

There are many reasons why choosing interior design as a career in the UK is very important.

  • First of all, in 2020 global interior design was estimated at around £111 billion, meaning that it is one of the most valuable fields in the world.
  • Secondly, there are lots of job opportunities associated with studying in the best universities for interior design UK. An interior designer can create design plans, can work with an architect as a drafter, can work as a construction inspector.

How versatile the career is, makes graduates that came out from one of the best universities for interior design UK easier to find employment. And they earn above-average salaries. Some high professionals earn 6-figure salaries.

  • Thirdly, you get to work with people of different skills. This helps you to build relationships with people outside your field.
  • Fourthly, studying in one of the top universities for interior design UK enables you to learn other necessary skills (both hard and soft skills). 

For instance, you’ll learn how to be more detailed in your career and life. You’ll even learn to communicate your ideas, your vision to your clients.

  • Lastly, pursuing an interior decoration degree can help the aspirant become his boss. I’m talking about entrepreneurship.

The aspirant can start his business and start making money from it.

Best Universities For Interior Design UK

These are the best universities for interior design UK

  • Royal College of Art
  • University of the Arts, London
  • The Glasgow School of Art
  • Goldsmiths University of London
  • Edinburgh College of Art (ECA)

1. Royal College of Art

RCA is one of the oldest interior design colleges in the UK. It was established in 1837 and has ranked one of the top universities for interior design UK.

Many RCA graduates have shaped some of the interior designs that have made a remarkable impact in our world. To mention a few, Thomas Heatherwick, founder of Heatherwick Studio, is known as one of Britain’s best designers.

Also, Christopher Ofili, a British Turner Prize-winning Painter.

Their alumni have gone further to make some reputable innovations such as; Ford Ka and Jaguar XK8, the PS furniture range. 

RCA offers two different Interior design programs; Taught Master’s, Short Courses.

RCA Master’s program

This is taught in the school of Architecture. They perform their work in the design studios. 

Further, lectures, workshops, and seminars are also carried out in the design studio. The students get both internal and external researchers, academics, and practitioners from similar disciplines to lecture them.

These professionals are leaders in their fields and are popular in their design works and architectural prowess.

You can apply from any part of the world.

From your portfolio, they would want to make sure you are creative, imaginative, and innovative (not a prerequisite).

Additionally, RCA would want to make sure you have the potential to gain from the program and achieve a great MA score overall. This is one of the things that makes them one of the best universities for interior design UK.

Like most Master’s degrees, a good undergraduate degree is needed. But, the Royal College of Art can also consider other appropriate experiences.

If you had a professional experience maybe before your first degree, within or after it, can be an added advantage to be admitted. 

Also, RCA interior design opens its door for candidates that have similar backgrounds, such as architecture, graphic design, product design, and furniture design.

So, you will need to submit a portfolio that contains either images, videos, or written work of your designs. This will enable the college to know your ability to fit into your desired program.

Moreover, if you’re not in one of the top English-speaking countries, you’ll need to have IELTS (International English Language Testing System) Academic score of 6.5.

Also, a 6.0 TWE (Test of Written English) and at least 5.5 in other skills. 

But if you achieved a grade of at least 6.0, with a grade of 5.5 in TWE, you might be eligible to take the College’s English for Academic Purposes course. This is to enable you to reach the necessary standard.

Nevertheless, if you received a 2.1 degree or above in University, in a majority English-speaking country within the past two years, you’re exempted from IELTS and TWE.

Currently, as of September Entry, 2022 if you are based in the UK, you’ll need to pay a subsidized fee of £13,500. But if you live overseas or you’re an EU student, you’ll need to pay £32,000.

Also, UK-based applicants will need to deposit a non-refundable fee of £1,000. While overseas and EU students will pay £2,000.

There are scholarships that students can take advantage of, you can read more of them here.

RCA Short Courses

This focuses on studies on forces that are shaping our future retail environments. And, when we speak about our future we know it’s all about change and trends.

So this course helps you to bring cultural transformation to quickly meet the present trends. You’ll frequently have guest lectures and practical workshops.

There are both offline and online classes in this short course.

For you to apply for this short course, you need to be either an interior designer, architecture, branding, or another spatial practice graduate.

You also need to have 2 to 3 years of retail design professional experience or other similar design fields. You might need to be a design or creative degree holder.

Proficiency in English is moreover needed.

The regular fee is £1,200.

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2. University of the Arts, London

I love what Grayson Perry, UAL Chancellor, said. She said that UAL is the “world’s biggest factory for making trouble.”

There are 6 colleges and more than 19,000 students from all over the world. UAL is ranking 2nd in the QS World University Ranking in Arts and Design, behind the Royal College of Art.

This makes UAL one of the best universities for interior design UK. 

Most importantly, unlike RCA, they offer Pre-Degree, Undergraduate, Postgraduate Programs, and Short Interior Design Courses.

Pre-degree Program

UAL has both online and physical pre-degree programs. Their online program is just within 6 months.

Where you’re being introduced to art, design, and communication. Once you have completed the courses, you’ll be qualified to begin an undergraduate program at UAL.

This online program helps you to align the studies to your schedule. This pre-degree flexibility makes lots of students choose UAL as one of the best universities for interior design UK.

UAL has other 5 pre-degree Interior design programs offered in their 3 different colleges; Camberwell College of Arts, Central Saint Martins, London College of Communication.

Their offline pre-degree program also enables you to learn basic art and design disciplines. And on successful completion of the courses, you’ll either start an undergraduate program at UAL or beyond.

The minimum requirements to apply for a pre-degree program at the University of the Art, London is;

  • Portfolio of work
  • Personal statement
  • 1 A Level or equivalent
  • Or equivalent Level 3/EU/International qualifications, such as International Baccalaureate Certificates – 2 at ‘Higher Level’ and 1 at ‘Standard Level’ – all grade 4 or above
  • And 3 GCSE passes at grade 4 or above (grade A*-C)

However, if you didn’t meet these requirements (as it may be for some people), UAL will consider other factors to judge your credibility.

They will want to know related academic or work experience, how strong your statement is, and if there is a strong professional reference. 

Also, proficiency in English is needed. If your IELTS level is 5.0 and above it is an added advantage.

Then, you also need at least a 4.5 score in reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

If you’re an international aspirant and need a Student Visa, you will be required to take a Secure English Language Test (SELT).

This pre-degree program enables you to decide whether acquiring a degree in interior design is right for you. 

Undergraduate Program

UAL is one of the best universities for interior design UK that has undergraduate programs. They have 4 undergraduate programs done in 4 different colleges.

That is Central Saint Martins, Chelsea College of Arts, Camberwell College of Arts, and London College of Communication.

Their BA Interior design courses are structured for you to work on lots of live projects. 

To be admitted to the college, there are some requirements the candidate must fulfill. This doesn’t mean you have to have all of these requirements.

  • Applicants must pass a foundation diploma in Art and Design
  • The aspirant must have a 2 A level at grade C or above.
  • He/she has to Merit, Pass, Pass (MPP) at BTEC Extended Diploma
  • Applicants must Pass at UAL Extended Diploma
  • You have to have Access to Higher Education Diploma
  • Or equivalent EU/International qualifications, such as International Baccalaureate Diploma at 24 points minimum
  • And applicant should have 3 GCSE passes at grade 4 or above (grade A*-C)

Just like the pre-degree program, there are exceptional cases where if you do not meet the above requirements, there would be alternative requirements.

In their undergraduate program, you need to have an IELTS level of 6.0 and above plus a 5.5 score in speaking, writing, listening, and reading.

For new entry students based in the UK, you are to pay £9,250 per year (tuition fees may increase as time goes on). However, for international students, a fee of £23,610.

UAL is one of the top universities for interior design UK that doesn’t just offer scholarships but also allows collecting loans.

Post Graduate Program

UAL is one of the best universities for interior design UK that offers 6 postgraduate programs in 3 colleges; Central Saint Martins, Chelsea College of Arts, and Camberwell College of Arts.

Having a Postgraduate degree in interior design will enable you to move further into the experienced globe of interior design. Most people coming for MA in interior design already have their first degree.

For you to be admitted you need a BA degree or something equivalent to it, a professional experience, a personal statement, and a portfolio of work.

IELTS is the same as the undergraduate program.

The postgraduate fee for UK residents is £11,550. While for international students, £23,610 is charged. 

There might be additional costs outside the tuition fee.

Short Course

UAL offers 50 short courses in interior design making them one of the best universities for interior design UK. 

Their short courses can be as short as 4 weeks. And, can be done online. 

For instance, their interior styling online short course is within 4 weeks and costs £360 to acquire, where a certificate will be awarded to you upon completion.

These short courses don’t have any entry requirements, because it’s a certification program. 

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3. The Glasgow School of Art

The Glasgow School of Art is one of the best universities for interior design UK that was founded in 1845. It awards BA (Hons) Interior Design, MDes in Interior Design.

There is a special studio space designed for interior design studies, where project work emits. This studio has a lot of things going on in it.

The students are privileged to have entrance to numerous analog and digital making. 

Also, the program only admits 30 students each year, which enables specific creative bonding. And staff can easily direct students on what is necessary with their abilities.

Further, GSA’s full and part-time staff don’t just teach, but also practice and research, which makes them experts in what they do. The visiting tutors also spice it up with their level of knowledge.

Undergraduate entry differs by country and continent, to learn more click here.

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4. Goldsmiths University of London

This is one of the leading universities for interior design UK. They offer both BA (Hons) Design and MA design.

Goldsmiths’ vision goes beyond what design is, but what the future of design might be. Also, they help you understand the effect of design in our environment.

Moreover, their latest laser-cutting technology in their studio space will immensely help you improve your interior design mastery along with their 3D modeling technology. This latest improvement stands them out and made them one of the best universities for interior design UK.

The entry requirement for BA (Hons)

To be admitted into the university, you need;

  • A-level: BBB
  • International Baccalaureate: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655.

However, even if you don’t have these qualifications, you can still apply as long as you have professional experience and work samples. 

Their undergraduate course is within 3 years, while in the 2nd year, you’ll undergo professional placement.

Goldsmiths’ annual tuition fee for home-based students is £9,250. While international students are meant to pay £22,020.

Entry Requirements and Fees for MA Design

Goldsmiths is one of the best universities for interior design UK that accept a 2.1 or higher in a related interior design program. Moreover, if you have practical experience in interior design or related courses, you can still apply.

Those that don’t have any of the above mentioned but have engaged in academic research either as a student or academics can also apply. Yet, whatever your product as a sample must be of a high standard.

For the UK resident, you need to pay an annual full-time fee of £11,200. For international students, their fee is yet to be confirmed.

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5. Edinburgh College of Art (ECA)

Just like other best universities for interior design UK, ECA has a studio environment for learning and workplace. As begin in your 100Level, you’ll diversify and as time progresses to a higher level you’ll start to specify your major interest.

ECA Undergraduate Entry Requirements and Fees

You have to apply through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) for an undergraduate program. You’ll also need to provide proof for your past school’s or college’s grades.

Further, proof of your English language knowledge is needed. Your statement and portfolio are also needed.

ECA tuition fee is unbiasedly determined based on the information you provided in your application method.

MA in Interior Design Requirements and Fees

Just like every other best university for interior design UK, there are entry requirements for postgraduate programs. Firstly, you need to apply through EUCLID.

Again, you need to meet their English language requirements. Your BA (Hons) has to be upper second class or above.

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