- Start dateSeptember 2017
- Course length1 year
Graduate Diploma Interior Design
Places available 2017/18
This course has places available. View the 'How to apply' section for more details.
Graduate Diploma in Interior Design at Chelsea College of Arts is a full time, one year programme.
This course provides students with the skills and experience required for a career in the field of interior design, or further study at MA level.
Content: what students can expect
- To develop a flexible, open-minded approach to thinking about interior design or critically engaging with contemporary design approaches
- To connect with interior design in a variety of ways such as designing, writing, visual communication and research
- To explore the possibility of making narratives from interior design
- To develop an open way of thinking about interior design, and give students the opportunity to critically engage with contemporary design approaches
- To design small-scale interiors and explore new opportunities within existing architectural spaces
- To be assigned a personal tutor who supports your development
- To have access to Chelsea's shared workshops including ceramics, casting, laser cutting, photography, metalwork, woodwork and audio visual editing suite. View the Chelsea facilities section
The course runs over a total of 30 weeks and offers a combination of taught study, self-directed negotiated study, personal research and written assignments. There are also two major practical projects undertaken during the year and each is the subject of a book.
The course is studio based and delivered in three units of study:
Unit 1 - Commodity and Design
This is a design programme that explores a small-scale domestic interior. This project focuses on how the client / user can be given a new opportunity to perform within a space and the various methods students have to envisage and communicate this opportunity.
Unit 2 - Negotiated Design Programme
In this unit students are expected to initiate a design project. They will choose a location, make an analysis of an interior and establish a design brief for a new programme of habitation. Students are asked to find a context in the public realm rather than the domestic one, and are expected to reflect upon and discuss how habitation is improved by their contribution.
Unit 3 - Professional Context
This unit is concerned with critical reflection upon professional practice and creative processes. Students will learn about professional communication within the practice of interior design, and specifically the writing requirements of an interior designer when they are reflecting upon and communicating their design proposals. This will prepare students for professional practice and support the critical position of their design proposals.
Work experience and opportunities
During the year students are involved in live projects. One of these, the making of a Christmas-themed installation for a highly regarded hotel in Westminster, has become an annual event.
Learning and teaching methods
- Group crits, demonstrations and workshops
- Lectures and seminars
- Site and gallery visits
- Studio based group and individual tutorials
- Studio teaching by practitioners
- Visiting specialists
- Oral and visual presentations
- Peer assessment
- Written work
How to apply
All applicants can apply for this course using our online application form.
Home / EU deadline
We are still accepting Home / EU applications for September 2017.
There is no deadline for international applications, but students are advised to apply as early as possible.
Further information about the application process
You will need to enter the following information in the online application form:
- Personal details
- Current and/or previous education and qualification details
- Employment history
Once you have submitted the form you will receive a confirmation email.
You will be emailed a link to our online application tool, where you should submit the extra information we require for the selection process:
- Personal statement
- International applicants - portfolio of work (30 images)
The course leader will review your work, may invite you to interview, and will then make a decision on your application.
We will send you emails throughout the application process that will contain important information about your application. Please check your inbox.
We will contact you separately to ask for copies of certain documents. For example, your English language certificate and copies of any previous UK study visas.
- BA (Hons) degree or equivalent academic qualifications
- Evidence of ability in art or design
- Some experience of architectural drawing is required
- Alternative qualifications and experience will also be taken into consideration
- Personal statement
- Portfolio of work (international applicants only)
Please note that this course is not an introduction to interior design. It is equivalent to the third year of a degree course, and prepares students for professional employment or further studies at MA level. Before joining this course, applicants must have some experience or complete courses in architectural drawing and model making.
Applicants must also prove that they’ve undertaken preliminary research into how interior designers operate and what processes they use to develop a design proposal. We expect our students to be self-motivated, have good study skills and exhibit an enthusiasm for exploration as well as research.
If English isn’t your first language
All classes are taught in English. If English isn't your first language you must provide evidence at enrolment of the following:
- IELTS level 6.0 or above, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking (please check our English Language requirements)
This should be about 500 words long and include:
- Your reasons for choosing the course
- Your current creative practice and how this will help with your future plans
- If you do not have any formal academic qualifications please describe your relevant education and experience
- One reference is required
- Your referee should be able to comment on your ability to succeed on the course
Portfolio advice for international applicants
A portfolio with 30 images of creative design work. This does not need to be specifically interior design focused.
What we look for
- Evidence of visual and conceptual creative abilities
- A clear commitment to the chosen field of study
- The potential to develop the full range of practical, expressive, critical and conceptual skills necessary to complete the course
- The ability to benefit from the learning environment and experience
- An awareness of the contemporary and historical context of interior design
- Some understanding of the role that contemporary critical thought and historical study can play in the development of personal creative work
- The ability to communicate and discuss issues and ideas both verbally and in writing
- The ability to manage your own time and initiate projects
Fees and funding
Home / EU fee
In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. Please read the information on our additional costs page.
Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.
Scholarships and awards
There are a number of scholarships and awards available to students on this course. Use our search tool to find out more information.
Careers and alumni
Many of our graduates go on to further study programmes in interior design and other related disciplines, and we also encourage students to arrange a meeting with an employability adviser from the University's Student Jobs and Careers service before students leave.