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Study design abroad

An in-depth guide to studying design as an international student.

Design degrees abroad

A design degree will encompass a huge number of areas, offering a broad curriculum that encourages you to identify and develop your own focus. Most programs cover design across different materials, including ceramics, metal and textiles, and you’ll be able to work in creative studios using the latest technology.

Design is a way of understanding and engaging with the world through making and doing, and is an ideal subject if you have a practical and artist mind. You’ll get to explore the role of design within society and culture, and think innovatively about its future.

Studying design abroad opens up many great opportunities. You have the chance to study in locations that can inspire you, for example studying animation in Japan, or fashion in Italy. Design degree programs are available all over the world, so you won’t be short of options.

Design program structure

All design programs will have their on unique structure and curriculum. Many programs start by covering a broad base of design subjects, before allowing you to specialize in an area you’re most interested in and best suits your aspirations.

There are a wide range of design specializations you can choose to focus on, including graphic design, fashion design, interior design, furniture design or illustration. You could choose to study a program that covers these areas specifically, or study a more general design course that allows you to specialize.

Design is offered at a range of degree levels, including foundation, bachelor’s and master’s. A bachelor’s in design is offered as a BA, and will usually take three to four years to complete depending on where you study.

At postgraduate level you can study design as an MA, or some programs like building design or product design are offered as an MSc. Most master’s will take between one and two years to study full time.

Design programs are usually very practical, and will involve a lot of time spent in studios and working on your portfolio. You will also spend some time in lectures, seminars, tutorials and on placements. You’ll be assessed through written assignments, portfolios, projects and your dissertation.

The main subjects and areas that you will study on a design degree program include:

  • Introduction to design
  • Art and design history
  • Contemporary practices in design
  • Materials tools and processes
  • Communication design
  • Fashion and textile design
  • Three dimensional design
  • Professional practice
  • Design project / dissertation

Types of design degrees

How to study design abroad

  1. Universities & programs

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  2. Application assistance

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  3. Visa & embassy guidance

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  4. Enrollment & travel advice

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Design study abroad programs

Design undergraduate programs

Bachelor's in design

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    Interior Architecture and Environmental Design - BSc Altinbas University, Turkey

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    8,500 USD
    Start date
    February, September
    Show more details about Interior Architecture and Environmental Design
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    Advertising/Graphic Design - BA Concord University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    18,185 USD
    Start date
    January, September
    Show more details about Advertising/Graphic Design
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    Theatre Arts (Design & Production) - BFA Long Island University Post, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    35,736 USD
    Start date
    January, September
    Show more details about Theatre Arts (Design & Production)
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    Media and Communication Design - BA Macromedia University of Applied Sciences, Germany

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    42 months
    Tuition fees per year
    11,000 EUR
    Start date
    October
    Show more details about Media and Communication Design
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    Earth and Space Exploration (Exploration Systems Design) - BSc Arizona State University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    30,634 USD
    Start date
    January, May, August
    Show more details about Earth and Space Exploration (Exploration Systems Design)
See all bachelor's degrees in design

Associate in design

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    Interior Decoration and Design - AA RMIT University, Australia

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    29,760 AUD
    Start date
    February, July
    Show more details about Interior Decoration and Design
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    Computer-Aided Design - AASc Oklahoma City Community College, USA

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    7,552 USD
    Start date
    January, June, August
    Show more details about Computer-Aided Design
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    Graphic Communication: Graphic Design - AASc Mohawk Valley Community College, USA

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    6,892 USD
    Start date
    January, September
    Show more details about Graphic Communication: Graphic Design
See all associate degrees in design

Certificate in design

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    Foundation Studies: Art, Design and Architecture - Cert RMIT University, Australia

    Program type
    Undergraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    25,500 AUD
    Start date
    February, July
    Show more details about Foundation Studies: Art, Design and Architecture
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    Design Foundation - Cert Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, Canada

    Program type
    Undergraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    15,412 CAD
    Start date
    January
    Show more details about Design Foundation
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    Design Foundations - OCCert Fanshawe College, Canada

    Program type
    Undergraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    16,084 CAD
    Start date
    September
    Show more details about Design Foundations
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    Web Design - Interactive Media - Cert North Island College, Canada

    Program type
    Undergraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    14,950 CAD
    Start date
    January, May, July, September
    Show more details about Web Design - Interactive Media
See all undergraduate certificates in design

Pathway in design

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    Foundation Diploma in Art and Design - FD Bath Spa University, UK

    Program type
    Undergraduate pathway
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    14,900 GBP
    Start date
    September
    Show more details about Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
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    Foundations in Art and Design - FD Durham College, Canada

    Program type
    Undergraduate pathway
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    15,562 CAD
    Start date
    September
    Show more details about Foundations in Art and Design
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    Art and Design - Media (Foundation Studies) - FD Arts University Bournemouth, UK

    Program type
    Undergraduate pathway
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    13,250 GBP
    Start date
    January, September
    Show more details about Art and Design - Media (Foundation Studies)
See all undergraduate pathways in design

Design graduate programs

Master's in design

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    Fine Art & Design - MFA Long Island University Post, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    44,100 USD
    Start date
    -
    Show more details about Fine Art & Design
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    Design Management - MA Macromedia University of Applied Sciences, Germany

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    18 months
    Tuition fees per year
    12,800 EUR
    Start date
    October
    Show more details about Design Management
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    Urban Design - MUD Arizona State University, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    29,168 USD
    Start date
    August
    Show more details about Urban Design
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    Design - MSc Linköping University, Sweden

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    19,000 USD
    Start date
    September
    Show more details about Design
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    Planning, Development & Urban Design - MSc University College Dublin, Ireland

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    25,600 EUR
    Start date
    September
    Show more details about Planning, Development & Urban Design
See all master's degrees in design

Doctorate in design

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    Architecture & Design - PhD RMIT University, Australia

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    38,400 AUD
    Start date
    February, July
    Show more details about Architecture & Design
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    Mechanical Engineering - Design, Manufacturing and Engineering Systems Track - PhD University of Maryland, Baltimore County, USA

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Tuition fees per year
    22,896 USD
    Start date
    January, August
    Show more details about Mechanical Engineering - Design, Manufacturing and Engineering Systems Track
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    Learning, Design, and Technology - PhD University of Wyoming, USA

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    15,500 USD
    Start date
    May, September
    Show more details about Learning, Design, and Technology
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    Design, Technology and Society - PhD Koç University, Turkey

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Tuition fees per year
    0 USD
    Start date
    January, August
    Show more details about Design, Technology and Society
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    Design - PhD University of Gloucestershire, UK

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Tuition fees per year
    14,250 GBP
    Start date
    January, September
    Show more details about Design
See all doctorates in design

Diploma in design

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    Fine Art and Design - PGDip University of Tasmania, Australia

    Program type
    Postgraduate diploma
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    31,516 AUD
    Start date
    February, July
    Show more details about Fine Art and Design
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    Graphic Design - OCDip Fanshawe College, Canada

    Program type
    Postgraduate diploma
    Duration
    20 months
    Tuition fees per year
    16,686 CAD
    Start date
    January, September
    Show more details about Graphic Design
See all postgraduate diplomas in design

Certificate in design

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    Graduate Certificate (Clinical Redesign) - PGCert University of Tasmania, Australia

    Program type
    Postgraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    10,842 AUD
    Start date
    February, July
    Show more details about Graduate Certificate (Clinical Redesign)
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    Secondary Art and Design - PGCert Bath Spa University, UK

    Program type
    Postgraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    13,300 GBP
    Start date
    January, September
    Show more details about Secondary Art and Design
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    User Experience (UX) Design - PGCert Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, Canada

    Program type
    Postgraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    17,840 CAD
    Start date
    September
    Show more details about User Experience (UX) Design
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    3D Animation and Character Design - OCGCert Fanshawe College, Canada

    Program type
    Postgraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    16,826 CAD
    Start date
    September
    Show more details about 3D Animation and Character Design
See all postgraduate certificates in design

Pathway in design

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    Art, Design and Media, Pre-Master’s - PGP University of Brighton, UK

    Program type
    Postgraduate pathway
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    15,460 USD
    Start date
    January, July, August, September
    Show more details about Art, Design and Media, Pre-Master’s
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    Communication and Design, Pre-master's Program - PGP Lynn University, USA

    Program type
    Postgraduate pathway
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    16,380 USD
    Start date
    -
    Show more details about Communication and Design, Pre-master's Program
See all postgraduate pathways in design

Future design careers

Most students with design degrees will look to find employment in the creative and cultural industries, and many even set up their own business and work freelance. Here’s some of the most popular roles for design graduates:

  • Creative director
  • Print maker
  • Fashion designer
  • Art director
  • Graphic designer
  • Interior designer
  • Production designer
  • Game designer
  • UX designer

Which role and area you choose to go into will depend on the program you choose and what specialization you pursue. Therefore, if you know what design career you want, make sure the program you choose to study covers that area.