Heriot-Watt Dubai launches interior design course

Heriot-Watt has launched a Bachelor’s degree in interior design, because it wants to train and create the next generation of interior designers.

The programme is a four-year BA Honors degree, delivered jointly between the School of Textiles and Design and the School of the Built Environment at the university.

“The UAE is world renowned for its iconic architecture, with projects such as the Burj Al Arab and The Address generating global discussion about the interior design industry in the region.

“With such creativity and inspiration on hand to guide students through the programme, they will interact with experts from the industry and have access to all the tools needed to develop their passion,” said Vanessa Northway, academic head of School of Textiles and Design, Heriot-Watt University – Dubai campus.

According to Northway, students will be taken  through different stages of the interior design process, from materials to technology, architecture and design, and will carry out individual and group projects.

The first two years will introduce interior design theories with taught and research based modules.

Third year students will carry out individual and group activities as well as external projects, to increase industry awareness.

“The final year is focused on students creating their own interior design agenda and identity, utilising the experience and knowledge gained in the previous years to bring their own ideas to life,” said Northway.

She said the potential for the interior design in the UAE is growing, and for every iconic building in the region, the interior must also match.

When asked about the scope for interior designers in the country, she said: “There are a number of trade focused interior designs exhibitions take place annually here in the UAE, such as Interiors UAE and Index, which attract recognised international brands and industry professionals. However, there is always room for additional platforms and we hope that by encouraging students to develop their own projects, and carve their own industry niche, we are helping to create the next generation of interior designers.”

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10 Responses to Heriot-Watt Dubai launches interior design course

  1. Pingback: Heriot-Watt Dubai launches interior design course | Design Middle East | Arch. Annie C. Pugeda

  2. Nadine Lees says:

    I am very interested in starting this course in September. Please can you advise me of the requirements needed to be able to attend. I am living in Dubai for the next five years and wish to train in this field. I have been working in HR for the past nine years in the UK, and have no formal qualifications. I have always been very artistic and have enjoyed decorating many of my houses over the years. I would love to be given the opportunity to take up this course, as I feel that it would give me great interest and would open up a worth while career opportunity in the years to come. I don’t have a port folio. If you could possibly give me some information on how to get onto the ladder, I would be very greatful.

    Kind Regards
    Nadine Lees

  3. Ruchi Pasricha says:


    I am interested in a one year diploma course in interior designing …..do u have any course which is a certificate or diploma course ?

  4. Ashfaz.A.K says:

    Design Internship/Training @ MAKSQUARE – if anyone interested please email cv to



  5. Rachel says:

    Just want to know if there is a diploma course (one year) in the evening.
    Many thanks

  6. amanda says:

    Nadine,Ruchi & Rachel
    Its great to hear you are wanting to study interior design at a professional level. As this is a UK University and I teach at one I can give you advice on this. Interior design at university level is very academic and don’t confuse it with interior decoration. You wont be learning how to put colours together or arrange furniture – thats decoration.
    If it is a UK accredited course you will need to have qualifications although they do often take into consideration your experience and you will need to contact them directly on this. The reason they need the qualifications in the first place is for the academic content which is considerable. I suggest you read the course content and have a look at the students work on their website to see if this is what you want. Its a very good university and you will have a degree which will allow you to enter the profession but be aware of what it entails. So first decide where you want to work and what sort of work you want to do and Nadine you do have a portfolio – its your houses – so get them photographed and dont underestimate your existing knowledge! I always suggest to more experienced people to try more practical hands- on short courses and in the UK they are very popular and successful and the students go on to get jobs or set up on their own. I can recommend the Chelsea College of Art courses at The Pullman Hotel in May. There are week long courses where you will learn the process and short specialized courses like Lighting , Kitchen & Bathroom design and Bespoke furniture design – you wont learn that at uni ! and the teachers are all designers and not academics. Anyway good luck and I wish you every success

  7. Andaleeb says:

    Hi Amanda, I’m keen on learning interior decoration as you rightly pointed out that interior designing is very academic. I have always decorated my homes and travelled a lot past 19yrs so had the opportunity to decorate so many different houses. They have all got loads of praise and I want to pursue this hobby and direct it to a career. Can you please guide me as to where such course which deals with decoration mainly will be available.
    Thankyou very much.

  8. syed ashfaq says:

    is there any any diploma course fir one year

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