How to become an Interior Designer, Part 2. (school)

This is Part 2. How to choose the right school to study interior design?
Jump link to Part 1. Choosing your path as interior designer.
When to choose College.
If you are interested in domestic interior, enjoy DIY and have great drawings skills you more likely will be fine just with a college course. Today, you can choose from many National Diplomas and Awards. There is plenty of the course now, and you don’t particularly need the Ba or Ma course (undergraduate-Bachelor of Arts & master degree). Although, it would still require you gain some professional knowledge. Many courses these days offers you to learn basic software's, 3D drawings etc. Also, the course I have attended offered Business background as well, for those who want to set up a brand. You will learn how to use scale ruler, redraw original drawings, sketching visual’s in perspective or making moodboards. Some course also offers help in DIY’s like sewing cushions, curtains or screen printing. Read carefully the description of the course and make sure, the course cover everything you need to know as you don’t want to waste your time painting planters while you want to learn sketch up etc. You can also become an interior stylist after just a Diploma course, but I know great stylist that don't really hold any qualifications and is more of a who do you know within the industry, so make sure you always up to date with latest trends and what's happening in the field.

How to became an interior designer
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College course/Diploma vs University
I think this quite crucial. Since college is a shorter period, degree course is long & hard 3 or 4 years. Many people getting confused it, and ending up dropping after a year wasting their time. There may be aspects of interior design modules you may hate so much, it will drive you nuts. You need to be sure you want to do it, before choosing university. I heard so many moans and complaining and I was quite in shock how a 22-25 yrs adults can’t take the responsibility of their lives already, blaming tutors. How unfair to them. They do their best to teach you, and share their knowledge often working long hours and for very low salary, respect them and get to know your course modules & possible project before you apply. Many Universities offers valuable trips abroad and placements. College, can teach you all you need skills, and if you one of those who prefer self study, then you can download the software's and go you way to a higher level. College is also a great alternative for those who are not looking for a carreer in commercial interior and want to focus on domestic interiors only.


When to choose University?
choosing the right school as interior designer
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University modules vary.  In your first year you most likely to learn digital software’s like Photoshop, InDesign, Sketch and AutoCad but also perspective drawings and model making. The projects usually include to design a pop up installation, retail space, learn sketch up by making a model and a basic final project that may include putting all the skills you learned so far together. My final project was to design a cube house 5m2, so the challenge was to utilise the space to maximum and also to present it properly via drawings, models and moodboards. Some people have to design a modern restaurant or school space, so the project can be different to university. Second year is getting tougher, you will more learn about the materiality of the discipline, CAD drawings and digital software’s on higher level, building regulations etc. Projects here are more detailed. We  had detailed stair project on our second year, along with museum exhibition design and branding design such a retail pop up kiosk. Here you most like to get realistic project, where you will be working with real client brief. Also, here is best opportunity to start work placement as 3rd year you will be too busy and after graduate you want to start the real job not unpaid etc. (more about this I my next upcoming post) Third year is the real challenge. You will showcase all the skills you learned so far, this year more focus on your career as well, like branding yourself or how to find a job. You most likely will have chance to enter an independent competition project and the projects itself are quite professional. Most likely you will be required to submit, full package drawings, visuals, models and it is very focused on the concept of the project, the challenges you gone through and how you resolve them. Creative thinking in full!

Foundation Degree.
When you apply to University you may be offered a place in foundation degree first. This is a great opportunity for those who are unsure about what exactly they want. Foundation courses usually help determined which creative course you will chose whether, textile, interior, architecture or graphic design.  Sometimes is really worthy to do it, as you will learn new skills in all above (depends on course) and by the end you will know exactly, what you have enjoyed the most.  Choosing foundation degree is better over losing a year if you chose the wrong course as here you will still develop set of skills you can use in any of the creative courses.

Where you can study interior design? Below few examples around UK.

1.National Design Academy

This course would suit best working parents, part time workers or those who genuinely can't do full time typical University. NDA its an online university, you cans study in your own peace without strict deadlines or pressure. You will still be required to deliver a good quality of work and and you will have on online support. Many of my friends chosen this option and they are very successful interior designers today. Even at traditional university, I found study mostly from home as in this industry you need to really learn the way how you manage your time and organise your work, as these skills will be useful in the future.

2. KLC School of  Design

Located in beautiful Chelsea Harbour, this school has everything you need for a flexible study in surrounded with great inspiring space, and well prepared study & lecturer rooms.  This is another very flexible way of making your degree but also this school offers short courses either prividing your with essential knowledge to start you interior career or inspirational courses. You can learn anything from designing a bathroom, taking a lighting workshop or just fully complete your degree starting with diploma and finishing it in house with a Ba (Hons).

3. Uclan 

This University I wanted to strongly recommend, as this is where I have completed my degree. I took 3 years and it was the most amazing years ever. Uclan has huge Library, that has everything you need, they provide students with many free courses like other languages  etc. I found the projects to be creative, helpful and I can see now how much they helped me now. I am working now as junior interior designer, and I daily face many challenges, but I feel I am well prepared thanks to my tutors! Uclan also provide MA courses.

4. Manchester School of Art

This school provide many creative courses and is located in Manchester centrally. This would mostly suit a person, who want to meet more like-a minded people and have a choice to study MA as well. I have really considered this school for myself. My biggest dream at the moment is to complete MA course, I can't afford it I am afraid, so I am hoping to maybe do it next year, and since Uclan is a little too far, this school probably be cheaper and also provide everything I need. Their course description is something you should read.

Right, that’s it. Sorry if I bore you, but I felt I had to include all the information’s, I hope it is all useful to you. Feel free to email me if you have more questions. My next series will be;
 ‘’How to graduatewith first’’ and then ‘’How to find a job in interior design’’. Both above based my very own experience how I graduate with First Class degree & how I found the dream job. Congratulations on making your very first steps into an exciting interior world!



                                                              

27 comments

  1. What a great post! If I could go back to 18 I would definitely have wanted to have pursued this, if only I'd have read this 10 years ago! x

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  2. I have absolutely loved interior design all my life and think this post is brilliant for either anyone wanting a change in career or someone starting out. Now you've got me really thinking of the options! :)

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  3. This is an amazing post I love the idea of becoming an Interior Designer! :D x

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  4. This is such an amazing post, one I probably needed to read over 20 years ago x

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  5. Very informative Anna! It'd good to know all the options and I'm sure this will be a really good post for people who are thinking of pursuing a career in this area x

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  6. Great informative post. I think a lot of people would love to do interior design, it sounds like such a great course, I think doing the foundation year sounds like a great choice as a lot of people change their mind after the first year.

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  7. Good advice - there is so much choice for students now and they are bombarded with information it must be difficult choosing the right course. I've tried uni twice now and it wasn't for me - more than happy with my blogging career now though :D

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  8. This is so interesting! Great advice! It sounds like a great career!

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  9. What a great post! So much useful advice and insight! You really know your stuff!

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  10. This is such fantastic information, I can imagine that it is quite daunting starting along the path. x

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  11. This is a great advice post. I remember applying for universities, it was so daunting!

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  12. Thank you for sharing your experience, lots of helpful advice here.

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  13. This is such a useful post, it's great to have the options set out so clearly

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  14. Great informative post - this will really set someone up on the best way to become an interior designer. Great advice.

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  15. great post, I think it's important for anyone wanting to get a diploma in interior design to know all there options. I never knew there was a university degree for it, I wonder how many other first time uni students don't know about it either but would actually enjoy the course if they applied.

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  16. This is very interesting. I never knew there are thsi many schools providing courses in interior design. Also didn't know there is an actual Bachelor's and even a Master's degree in it.

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  17. Great advice for looking for a school in general. A very well thought out post. Thanks you x

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  18. Great post and such good advice for those starting uni or college. I wanted to be an interior designer at one point! x

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  19. What a great post, so much info. I wish that I was more creative and arty I could see this being something I would really enjoy doing.

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  20. Such a brilliant post, great for anyone interested in interior design.

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  21. Such an informative post for those interested in becoming one, thanks for sharing!

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  22. I've always thought interior design sounded fascinating, it's just too creative for me!

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  23. Excellent advice, this sounds like it would be a brilliant career choice

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  24. This is great career advice for all budding interior designers!

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  25. It really is daunting applying for universities but you have provided some great tips here. I have just graduated!
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  26. This is such a good informative post, you wrote it really well. Good job! I'm sure loads of people are going to find this so useful

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  27. Informative and useful post you have shared. Thanks for sharing.

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