Associate Degree in Interior Decoration and Design
DurationFull-time 2 years
Would you like to work as an interior decorator and designer? This is a dynamic and industry-relevant degree where you’ll explore practical and theoretical decoration and design frameworks to support a wide range of projects, creating innovative interior concepts and proposals.
Underpinned by the exploration of sustainable practices in the planning and specification of interior structures, there is a strong focus on the application of materials and surface treatments, furnishings, and colour and lighting solutions to create aesthetic and functional spaces in both residential and commercial environments.
Projects will provide you with opportunity to work directly with industry to develop an understanding of associated vocational roles.
On successful completion graduates may be employed in assisting in commercial design offices, working with lead designers in boutique decoration consultancies, working in colour consulting, and fulfilling design and decoration consultation outcomes in other related retail and wholesale sectors of the industry.
As an interior decorator and designer, you will create aesthetically pleasing and functional spaces working to design briefs. You’ll also decorate residential and commercial environments, drew sketches and produce samples of your designs. You will work directly with clients, source paint colours, provide advice on artwork, supervise on-site design and construction, keep up with global trends and communicate effectively with clients and project consultants.
The learning and teaching of this program emulates how you would work in a commercial decoration or design studio.
Teachers will interact and work with you as if you are a junior designer.
You’ll learn through lectures, workshops, studios, online learning, classroom and industry presentations and briefs and on-site visits. Practical demonstrations may be held in class or in an on-site industry environment.
You will acquire a broad range of hands-on skills (rendering, architectural drafting, sketching, perspective drawing, CAD, Revit, model making, Photoshop, client presentation) alongside learning the history and theory of colour and design.
It is recommended that you have your own computer but this is not a requirement as students have access to computer labs on campus. Students have access to program specific and industry standard software and can purchase these at discounted rates.
During the program you’ll interact with key people from external companies on live projects. This models the consultancy practice of interior design and decorators for client presentations.
The associate degree promotes independent learning and inquiry as an integral part of its program.
Ongoing assessment throughout the semester includes concept design development , digital and verbal presentations, reports, groups projects, research and practical tasks.
All degrees are delivered in English. You will have access to online resources through the myRMIT student portal.
Rather than undertaking block work experience, you will work with external companies on live projects and competitions throughout your studies. In the past students have worked with
- Hermon & Hermon,
- Christopher Boots and
- International Flooring.
This approach mirrors the consultancy practice of interior decorators and designers with clients and stakeholders in industry.
This degree supports and encourages networking to develop Industry connections. Networking is an essential part of the design industry and this program allows you to connect with current designers and past students who have established design practices. Networking can lead to invitations to become part of industry-based committees and boards.
RMIT University is committed to providing you with an education that strongly links formal learning with professional or vocational practice.
This is a 2 year, full-time degree.
This program focuses heavily on industry-led, real client projects. This approach mirrors the consultancy practice of interior decorators and designers with clients and stakeholders in industry.
Second year students have the opportunity to enter a variety of competitions including the Design Institute of Australia Graduate of the Year Awards.
Graduates of the program are work-ready due to the amount of exposure they have to industry projects, scholarships, competitions, industry networks and mentors.
Students are expected to attend 20 hours of classes over four days and undertake a minimum of 20 hours extra study and research weekly. Concentrated periods of self-directed learning are often required out of class hours when assessments are due.
You’ll study residential briefs to develop your understanding of:
- architectural views
- space planning
- decorative arts and contemporary interior style.
Visual technology and communication skills underpin the presentation aspects of working as a designer/decorator. You will work with computer-aided design (CAD), Photoshop and other industry-standard software.
You will deepen your knowledge of residential and commercial briefs. Sustainability underpins the approach to all projects including lighting, soft furnishings, colour, interior building materials and techniques.
You'll develop your 3D visualisation and modelling skills to produce detailed and accurate spatial documentation.
You'll also hone your presentation skills in design practice studios for both concept and finished presentations and engage with experienced professionals through the industry-mentoring program.
Choose a program structure
|Associate Degree in Interior Decoration and Design||City Campus||
2 years full-time - 4 semesters
2 years full-time
Choose a program structure
Program code: AD020
As an interior decorator and designer you will:
- develop and create beautiful, functional spaces working to a design brief
- decorate residential and commercial environments
- draw sketches and produce samples of your design ideas
- work directly with clients, providing advice on colour schemes, layouts, lighting and soft furnishings
- source paint colors, lighting, furniture and flooring
- provide advice on artwork, pillows, rugs and accessories
- supervise on-site design and construction
- keep up to date on global trends and product knowledge.
- communicate successfully with both clients and associated project consultants/tradespeople.
As an interior decorator and designer you will work in a wide range of design environments including:
- assisting decorators and designers in large architectural firms
- management roles in interior decoration and design departments
- CAD in commercial areas
- decoration and design consultancies in small boutique companies specialising in complete soft furnishings and residential fit outs
- interior textile wholesale areas
- retail consultancies in furnishings, lighting or furniture
- colour consultancies, either for large paint companies or in self-employment.
RMIT is committed to providing transparency to the admissions process. In line with this commitment, we provide you with information that will help in making informed choices about your undergraduate study options.
RMIT admits students from a range of educational pathways, including Year 12 results, previous higher education or vocational education study, work experience, and for some programs - interviews, auditions or portfolios.
Gain a better understanding of the Admission criteria for this program by viewing RMIT’s Admission information.
The highest level of education you have previously completed will determine which category applies to you.
Applicants with recent secondary education (current or within the past two years)
Successful completion of an Australian Year 12 senior secondary certificate of education or equivalent in 2016, 2017 or 2018. If applicable, this includes equity access schemes and any other adjustment factors.
School Network Access Program (SNAP)
The SNAP access scheme is designed to increase tertiary access and participation of eligible students from SNAP partner schools.
Applicants with Vocational Education and Training study
Satisfactory completion of an Australian Certificate IV or above (or equivalent).
Applicants with Higher Education study
Satisfactory completion of at least two courses (subjects) at an Australian undergraduate level (or overseas equivalent).
Applicants with Work and Life Experience
Successful completion of an Australian Year 12 senior secondary certificate of education or equivalent.
Prerequisites: VCE Units 3 and 4: a study score of at least 25 in English (EAL) or at least 20 in English other than EAL (or equivalent) or achieve an overall score of at least 150 in the STAT multiple choice.
You must complete and submit the Interior Decoration and Design pre-selection kit by Friday 5 July 2019. Kits will be assessed in the order they are received until this date unless places are filled prior.
Please click the apply button to submit your direct application. The link to submit your pre-selection kit will appear on the applicant dashboard after you have submitted your application.
The selection kit requires:
- an applicant statement outlining why you want to study Interior Decoration and Design (maximum 300 words)
- a digital folio of 6–8 bodies of your work that reflect both conceptual and finished skills in drawing, problem solving, creative use of colour, communication and 3D/spatial thinking. At least one body of work must be a computer generated project displaying digital skills.
- your folio should contain a combination of development and finished work
- your folio must be compiled into a single PDF, including a short statement for each piece of work (100 words) describing the task and the outcome
- you can upload your PDF (maximum file size 10MB) or supply a URL to your PDF
Art and Design application tips
View the following videos for some practical application advice:
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
The Indigenous Access Program will support your application into RMIT programs through an informal interview process with support from the Ngarara Willim Centre. Your relevant life, work, educational and training experience as preparation for study, in addition to any formal qualifications, are all considered.
Elite Athlete Program
The RMIT Elite Athlete Program (REAP) supports elite athlete and emerging athletes to achieve sporting and academic excellence.
You must have successfully completed an Australian Year 12 (or equivalent senior secondary school qualification) with a minimum 60% average (check calculator below).
Equivalent qualifications may also include completion of the RMIT Foundation Studies program or a recognised post-secondary diploma in the relevant discipline with the required grades.
Meeting the minimum academic requirements does not guarantee entry. Your application will still need to be assessed and accepted.
Folio: You are required to submit a folio of work.
The folio should contain a maximum of 6–8 bodies of your work that reflect both conceptual and finished skills in drawing, problem solving, creative use of colour, communication and 3D/spatial thinking. At least one body of work must be a computer generated project displaying digital skills.
Your folio should contain a combination of development and finished work.
Your folio must be compiled into a single PDF, including a short statement for each piece of work (100 words) describing the task and the outcome.
You can upload your PDF (maximum file size 10MB) or supply a URL to your PDF.
To study this program you will need to complete one of the following English proficiency tests:
- IELTS (Academic): minimum overall band of 6.0 (with no individual band below 5.5)
- TOEFL (Paper Based Test): minimum score of 550 (TWE 4.0)
- TOEFL (Internet Based Test - IBT): minimum overall score of 60 (with minimum of 10 in Reading, 9 in Listening, 16 in Speaking and 19 in Writing)
- Pearson Test of English (Academic) (PTE (A)): minimum score of 50 (with no communication band less than 42)
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE): minimum of 169 with no less than 162 in any component.
For detailed information on English language requirements and other proficiency tests recognised by RMIT, visit English language requirements and equivalency information.
Don't meet the English language test scores? Complete an Advanced Certificate at RMIT English Worldwide.
When you successfully complete the Associate Degree in Interior Decoration and Design and achieve a minimum GPA of 3.5, you are guaranteed entry into the Bachelor of Interior Design (Honours) with 3 semesters of advanced standing (equivalent to 144 credit points).
If you achieve below the minimum GPA, you may still apply and will need to submit a folio. You will be assessed on a case by case basis and credit is not guaranteed.
Alternatively, you may be eligible for entry into other RMIT undergraduate programs.
Entry for this program is through Commonwealth supported places (CSP).
2019 indicative fees
Commonwealth supported places (CSP) range from AU$6,566 to AU$10,958*.
* Amounts quoted are indicative fees per annum, and are based on a standard year of full-time study (96 credit points). A proportionate fee applies for more or less than the full-time study load.
Student services and amenities fee (SSAF): AU$303 maximum fee for 2019.
Other items related to your program, including field trips, textbooks and equipment.
Fees are adjusted on an annual basis and these fees should only be used as a guide.
Learn more about fees for undergraduate study.
Defer your payment
You may be eligible to apply for a HECS-HELP loan, which can be used to defer payment of up to the full amount of your student contribution fees. You may also be eligible to apply to defer payment of your SSAF through the SA-HELP loan scheme.
All undergraduate and honours degrees have Commonwealth supported places (CSP) available. In 2019, the annual student contribution amount (tuition fee) you will pay for a standard year of full-time study is between AU$6,566 to AU$10,958.
In a CSP, your tuition fees are subsidised by the Australian Government. Your share of the fee (student contribution) is set each year by the Australian Government and is determined by the discipline areas (bands) of the courses in which you enrol, not the overall program.
How much can I expect to pay for my Commonwealth supported place?
Courses (subjects) fall into one of three bands. The band determines the student contribution amount for the course.
Amounts listed in the table below are based on a standard, full-time study load (96 credit points per year) with all courses in the same band. A proportionate fee applies for more or less than the full-time study load or for enrolment in courses (subjects) from a combination of bands.
You can learn how to calculate your exact tuition fees for units from different bands at fees for Commonwealth supported students.
Maximum student contribution amount for Commonwealth supported places in 2019
Student contribution band by course (subject)
Maximum annual student contribution amount in 2019
Band 1: humanities, behavioural science, social studies, clinical psychology, foreign languages, visual and performing arts, education, nursing
$6,566 per standard year
Band 2: mathematics, statistics, computing, built environment, other health, allied health, science, engineering, surveying, agriculture
$9,359 per standard year
$10,958 per standard year
The Australian Government provides financial assistance via the HECS-HELP loan scheme, which allows eligible students (such as Australian citizens or holders of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa) to defer payment of up to 100% of their student contribution.
How does a HELP loan work?
If your HECS-HELP and/or SA-HELP loan application is successful, the Australian Government will pay RMIT, on your behalf, up to 100% of your fees. This amount will become part of your accumulated HELP debt.
You will only start repaying your accumulated HELP debt to the Australian Government once you earn above the minimum income threshold for repayment, which is set each year by the Australian Government (this also applies if you are still studying).
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will calculate your compulsory repayment for the year and include this on your income tax notice.
In addition to tuition fees, you will be charged an annual student services and amenities fee (SSAF), which is used to maintain and enhance services and amenities that improve your experience as an RMIT student.
The SSAF is calculated based on your enrolment load and the maximum fee for 2019 is $303.
For more information about calculating your actual SSAF see Paying SSAF.
You may also be required to purchase other items related to your program, including field trips, textbooks and equipment. These additional fees and expenses vary from program to program.
In addition to tuition fees you also need to pay for:
- Student services and amenities fee (SSAF) in each calendar year.
- Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) - Student visa holders must have cover for the total duration of their visa.
- Some programs incur additional expenses.
You also need to account for your living expenses. Estimate the cost of living in Melbourne.