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Chelsea College of Arts

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Graduate Diploma Interior Design

Start date
September 2018
Course length
1 year

Course summary

Places available 2018/19

This course has places available for UK and EU applicants only. Applications have now closed for international students.

You can apply for this course via the ‘How to apply’ section on this page.

Graduate Diploma in Interior Design at Chelsea College of Arts is a full time, one-year programme.

This course provides you with the skills and experience required for a career in the field of interior design, or further study at MA level.

Student work

Course details

What you can expect

  • To develop a flexible, open-minded approach to thinking about interior design or engaging with contemporary design
  • To connect with interior design in a number of ways such as designing, writing, visual communication and research
  • To explore the possibility of making narratives from interior design
  • To give you the opportunity to engage with contemporary design approaches
  • To design small-scale interiors and explore new opportunities within existing architectural spaces
  • A personal tutor who supports your development
  • To have access to Chelsea's shared workshops. These include ceramics, casting, laser cutting, photography, audio-visual editing suite, metal and woodwork. View the Chelsea facilities section

Course units

The course runs over a total of 30 weeks. It is a combination of taught study, self-directed negotiated study, personal research and written assignments. There are also 2 major practical projects undertaken during the year and each is the subject of a book.

The course is studio based and delivered in 3 units of study:

Unit 1 - Commodity and Design

This is a design project that explores a small-scale domestic interior. This project focuses on how the client / user can have a new opportunity to perform within a space. It will look at the various methods you have to envisage and communicate this.

Unit 2 - Negotiated Design Programme

In this unit you will start a design project. You will choose a location make an analysis of an interior and establish a design brief for a new programme of habitation.

You will find a context in the public realm rather than the domestic one. You should reflect upon and discuss how habitation is better as a result of it.

Unit 3 - Professional Context

This unit is about professional practice and creative processes. You will learn about communication within interior design. It will look at the writing requirements of an interior designer when communicating design proposals. This will prepare you for professional practice and support the position of your design proposals.

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

Assessment methods

  • Oral and visual presentations
  • Peer assessment
  • Self-assessment
  • Written work


How to apply

2018/19 entry

Applicants can apply for this course using our online application form.


Application deadline

The home / EU deadline is midday, Friday 31 August 2018.

This course is now closed to international applicants.

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
  • Personal statement
  • CV (curriculum vitae)

Once you have submitted the form you will be emailed a link to upload your portfolio (30 images).

The course leader will review your work, may invite you to interview, and will then make a decision on your application.

Entry requirements

  • 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

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.

English language requirements

All classes are taught in English. If English isn't your first language you must provide evidence at enrolment of the following:

Personal statement

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

Portfolio advice

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 & Funding

Home / EU fee

£10,600 (2018/19).

Equivalent or Lower Qualification (ELQ) fee

This course has an undergraduate-level qualification as an entry requirement, and the quoted Home / EU fee rate reflects the fact that most students enrolling on this course will already possess an undergraduate-level qualification. Home / EU applicants for this course who do not already have an undergraduate-level qualification, or students in receipt of Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA), may pay a reduced fee.

International fee

£19,350 (2018/19 fees).

Course fees may be paid in instalments.

Additional costs

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

Use our search tool to find out more about the scholarships and awards available to students.

Scholarship search

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.


Find out how careers and employability helps our students and graduates start their careers.

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