Study Interior Design in Malaysia 

interior design

    Have you ever been so intrigued by the interior aesthetic of your favourite cafe? 

    Or the perfect placement of the bathtub in the hotel?

    Well, interior design is exactly the art of working with spaces. 

    Read on to find out about interior design, the education pathway in Malaysia, and its related career.


    What is Interior Design?

    Interior design is defined as the professional and comprehensive practice of creating an interior environment that addresses, protects and responds to human needs.

    It essentially acts as a solution with the help of process and strategy to make informed decisions about style and aesthetics.


    Why Should You Study Interior Design?

    interior design

    You get to showcase your creativity

    As an interior designer, you will be part of many projects that will take your creativity, technical skills, patience and commitment to the next level – making your job constantly fun and interesting!

    Every project is your opportunity to showcase your creativity to the next client.

    There’s a growing demand

    Choosing an interior designing course will open the door to tremendous career opportunities.

    You will get to work on residential properties, offices, restaurants, public spaces, libraries and even museums! 

    Your skills are transferable

    As an interior designer, you will spend a lot of your time working alongside other people.

    Here, you can gain huge exposure to different skills and knowledge that can be crucial in your personal and professional development. 


    What are the Fields in Interior Design?

    Interior design is a broad field which gives you the opportunity to specialise in any area. 

    You can choose your specialisation based on your interest, natural talent and knowledge. 

    Here are some of the specialisations you can consider: 


    Planning interior spaces to enhance the function of the space while reflecting the unique needs of the business. 

    Commercial spaces include offices, schools, restaurants, airports and more. 


    Planning and designing houses, apartments, multi-family units and living spaces to enhance the owner’s quality of life. 


    Planning and designing a space to enhance comfort and function for guests visiting the hotel/resort. 

    Retail and Store Planning 

    Designing attractive, functional spaces that encourages shoppers to shop in the store comfortably and efficiently. 

    Sustainable Design 

    Designing and constructing sustainable design solutions for interior spaces in increasing the efficiency and longevity of those structures. 


    What Are Popular Interior Design Pathways?

    interior design pathway

    Upon completion of SPM or equivalent qualification, students can opt for a Pre-University course like Foundation in Arts, A-Level, or SACE.

    These courses take up to 2 years to complete.

    Alternatively, students also go for a Diploma in Interior Design course after SPM/O-Level.

    Diploma courses take up to 2.5 years and students will be able to enter the workforce after graduation.

    However, do keep in mind that building a portfolio on your past work/experience plays a crucial part in your career. 

    So what does your pathway look like?

    Diploma in Interior Design

    To qualify for a diploma course, you only need to have 3 credits in SPM/O-Level.

    Diploma courses usually take between 2 to 2.5 years to complete and cost from RM 20,000.

    You can enter the workforce immediately after graduation.

    Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Design

    For degree courses, you will need to have 5 credits in SPM/O-Level qualification, including English and a pass in Art subject, and the following pre-university course:

    STPM: min. 2Cs

    A-Level: min. 2Es

    AUSMAT/SACE: min. ATAR 55 

    CIMP: min. average of 55% 

    Relevant Foundation: min. CGPA of 2.00

    Relevant Diploma: min. CGPA of 2.00

    A pre-university course can take up to 2 years to complete and cost from RM 10,000.

    Once you’ve completed your pre-university course, you can then move on to the degree course.

    Degree courses take up to 3.5 years to complete and cost from RM 60,000.

    Diploma students who want to continue their studies can do so with a degree course and they begin in Year 2.

    Do keep in mind that many universities also require an English Language test (IELTS, MUET or TOEFL) to enrol you into the programme. 


    What are the Skills Required in Interior Design

    To succeed in a career in interior design, having the right combination of skills will ensure that you can advance in your career.

    Creativity: A great creative mind is needed to create designs that can solve problems such as small spaces, unusual colour palettes and complicated renovations. 

    Attention to detail: Knowing what your clients want and being able to turn their ideas into reality requires a high level of attention to detail.

    Communication: You will need to be an active listener in understanding the requirements needed for your projects, and communicate your ideas and concepts to all stakeholders.


    Top Interior Design Universities in Malaysia

    The One Academy

    The One Academy is a well-known international art and design institution, dedicated to professional art and design education. 

    More than 90% of its graduates are employed within 6 months, with average salary of RM 2,500 to RM 2,800 for Diploma holders.

    Interior design courses offered: 

    • Foundation in Interior Architecture and Design 
    • Diploma in Interior Design 
    • BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Design (3+0) University of Hertfordshire, UK

    Taylor’s University 

    Taylor’s has also achieved Tier-5 in SETARA Ranking and 284th position in the QS World University Ranking (2023). 

    Taylor’s is known to value education excellence with its diverse study options, industry-leading staffs and well-equipped facilities to aid in learning. 

    Interior design course offered: 

    • Diploma in Interior Design 

    Malaysian Institute of Art (MIA) 

    Founded in 1967, MIA has trained and produced thousands of creative professionals who have contributed their creative skills to various industries in this country. 

    It provides 6 months industrial training in the final semesters to help students get ready for their career after graduation.

    Interior design course offered: 

    • Diploma in Interior Design 


    Things You Need to Know About Interior Design in Malaysia 

    Here are a few things to keep in mind regarding a interior design career in Malaysia:

    You can enter the workforce with only a diploma

    The minimum qualification for an interior designer job is usually a diploma or bachelor’s degree in design or interior design. 

    What’s actually more important is your portfolio.

    Most times, employers or clients pay close attention to your past work experiences/projects more than your qualification! 

    So, be sure to get as much exposure as you can to increase your chances in securing a job or project that you want. 

    You can freelance

    If you wish to become an interior designer for any big organisation you will work regular hours and generally be paid well. 

    However, you may also opt to work as a freelancer and have a flexible schedule and travel often to meet your clients. 


    Popular Interior Design-Related Jobs

    An interior design degree would qualify you to work not only as an interior designer but also many other career options such as an exhibition designer, stylist, textile designer, furniture designer, visual merchandiser and so on. 

    With an interior design qualification, here are some career opportunities for you to pursue:

    • Film/TV set designer 
    • 3D Visualiser 
    • Event and exhibitor designer 
    • Furniture designer
    • Graphic designer

    According to Payscale, an interior designer’s salary starts on average RM 34,168 a year.

    However, do keep in mind that the average salary earned by interior designers in Malaysia strongly varies depending on the employes, industry and your experience: 

    Interested in learning more about your future career in Interior Design? 

    Contact us now for more information, we’re here to assist!