New Zealand Diploma in Interior Design (Residential) (Level 5).xml New Zealand Diploma in Interior Design (Residential) (Level 5)

A-Z study guide
New Zealand Diploma in Interior Design (Residential) (Level 5)

DiplomaFull-time, 1 year | Part-time up to 4 years

Annual Fees(indicative 2019)

Programme code



$7,140 - $7,440







Course related costs



Domestic Applications due

Received all year

International Applications due

20 January for February start


Christchurch - Madras Street


Turn your talent for design into a career in the dynamic world of residential interior design.

If you're seeking a career in the interior design industry, or you're already working in the industry but don't hold a formal qualification, this is the perfect study option.

With this programme you'll study both the theory and practical aspects of interior design, and learn about light and colour, design principles, materials and finishes, lighting, soft furnishings, window treatments, ergonomic principles, New Zealand art and cultural/historical influences in interior design.

You'll also learn about architectural communication, building codes, laws and regulations, personal and business presentation, and business management. In addition, you'll develop your freehand drawing and manual drafting abilities, and learn how to use software such as Computer Aided Design and Photoshop.

Your studies will include work-integrated learning in industry, and participation in a public exhibition of your work alongside your fellow students.

Please note: to study this programme you need have good literacy and numeracy skills. You also need the ability to recognise and differentiate colours.

Career opportunities

You may choose to join an interior design practice or businesses associated with interior design or potentially set up your own company.

Study pathways

This programme provides a natural progression to our Bachelor of Architectural Studies programme.

Recommended school subjects

  • Mathematics
  • Art
  • Design
  • ICT
  • Technology
  • Graphics
  • English-rich subjects
  • Relevant industry experience

Programme structure

To complete this Diploma you are required to complete 120 credits. Please browse the guide below to view the course options currently available within this qualification.

Core courses
Elective Courses

To be a full time student you need to maintain a workload of 120 credits per year. We recommend you talk with us to ensure you choose electives to benefit your future career.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements
  • NCEA Level 2 which must include:

    • 10 Credits in Level 1 Mathematics, including measurement, and number (excluding statistics) and 10 Credits in Level 2 English

    Note: If you have undertaken examinations other than NCEA (e.g. International Baccalaureate, Cambridge Examination), Ara will assess your qualification for academic entry equivalency.

Alternative requirements
  • Still want to study but don't meet the Academic Requirements?

    If you show that you have equivalent skills for tertiary study gained through study, work and/or life experience, you may be able to gain alternative entry.

    Note: The number of courses you have to complete for this qualification may be reduced where you have relevant credits from previous study, or evidence of similar learning or experience in the workplace. Contact Ara for advice.

Additional requirements
  • In addition, you will need to:

    • Demonstrate your skills, relevant knowledge and interests in your chosen area in a portfolio
    • Include a written statement to tell us why this programme interests you (under 750 words)

    Additional Information

    • You should attend an information session to ensure the programme of study is suitable for you.
English requirements
  • What if English is not my first Language?

    If English is not your first language, we want to make sure that you will be successful in your chosen programme of study. Please provide a result from a test or qualification on the acceptable alternatives English Proficiency Outcomes Chart .


    • If you are a New Zealand Citizen or Permanent Resident, complete an Admission and Enrolment form and Ara will contact you regarding a free assessment.
    • If you are not a New Zealand Citizen or Permanent resident, book an IELTS, Pearson or other test through the Ara Examination Centre or in your home country.

    IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS test report form and are valid for two years from the date of the test.

    What if I have achieved NCEA Level 3 University Entrance?

    You do not need to provide additional evidence of English Language skills.










Acceptable Alternatives Chart

Selection criteria

A selection process will take place for this programme. This will be based on application information.

Next steps

To apply for this programme please:

  • complete an Admission and Enrolment Form or an International Application Form

If you don't meet the criteria for entry into this programme, we can help you meet entry level with our foundation and bridging programmes.

Alternatively, if you feel you have gained your learning through on the job experience talk to us about recognition or assessment of prior learning .

Application documents

Credit recognition

If you have work experience in this area, or a relevant prior qualification, you may be eligible for credit recognition towards this qualification.