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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

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  2. Application assistance

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  3. Visa & embassy guidance

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Design study abroad programs

Design undergraduate programs

Bachelor's in design

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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 program overview about Media and Communication 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 program overview about Theatre Arts (Design & Production)
  • false

    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 program overview about Earth and Space Exploration (Exploration Systems Design)
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    Theatre Design Production and Technology - BA University of Illinois at Chicago, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    29,800 USD
    Start date
    January, May, August
    Show program overview about Theatre Design Production and Technology
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    Computer Engineering - VLSI design - BSc University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    27,000 USD
    Start date
    January, June, August
    Show program overview about Computer Engineering - VLSI design
See all bachelor's degrees in design

Diploma in design

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    Building Design (Architectural), Advanced - Dip RMIT University, Australia

    Program type
    Undergraduate diploma
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    25,625 AUD
    Start date
    February, July
    Show program overview about Building Design (Architectural), Advanced
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    Mechanical Engineering Technology – Design - Dip Centennial College, Canada

    Program type
    Undergraduate diploma
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    16,531 CAD
    Start date
    January, May, September
    Show program overview about Mechanical Engineering Technology – Design
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    Engineering Design Technology - Dip Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Canada

    Program type
    Undergraduate diploma
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    19,125 CAD
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Engineering Design Technology
  • false

    Post-Baccalaureate in Technical Apparel Design - UGDip Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Canada

    Program type
    Undergraduate diploma
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    12,853 CAD
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Post-Baccalaureate in Technical Apparel Design
  • false

    Interactive Media Design - Dip Durham College, Canada

    Program type
    Undergraduate diploma
    Duration
    28 months
    Tuition fees per year
    15,780 CAD
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Interactive Media Design
See all undergraduate diplomas 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 program overview about Interior Decoration and 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 program overview 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 program overview about Design Foundation
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    Foundations in Design - Cert Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Canada

    Program type
    Undergraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    10,720 CAD
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Foundations in Design
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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 program overview about Design Foundations
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    Metal Jewellery Design - Cert North Island College, Canada

    Program type
    Undergraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    9,845 CAD
    Start date
    January, May, July, September
    Show program overview about Metal Jewellery Design
See all undergraduate certificates in design

Pathway in design

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    Games Design (Foundation) - UGP Leeds Beckett University, UK

    Program type
    Undergraduate pathway
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    10,900 USD
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about Games Design (Foundation)
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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 program overview about Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
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    International Year - Communication and Design - UGP Lynn University, USA

    Program type
    Undergraduate pathway
    Duration
    6 months
    Tuition fees per year
    18,340 USD
    Start date
    -
    Show program overview about International Year - Communication 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 program overview about Foundations in Art and Design
  • false

    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 program overview about Art and Design - Media (Foundation Studies)
See all undergraduate pathways in design

Design graduate programs

Master's in 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
    13,000 EUR
    Start date
    October
    Show program overview about Design Management
  • false

    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 program overview about Fine Art & Design
  • false

    Global Management (Creative Industries and Design Thinking) - MGM Arizona State University, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    25,714 USD
    Start date
    August
    Show program overview about Global Management (Creative Industries and Design Thinking)
  • false

    Design - MSc Linköping University, Sweden

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    19,000 USD
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Design
  • false

    Design Innovation and Technology - MSc RMIT University, Australia

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    39,360 AUD
    Start date
    February, July
    Show program overview about Design Innovation and Technology
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 program overview about Architecture & Design
  • false

    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 program overview about Mechanical Engineering - Design, Manufacturing and Engineering Systems Track
  • false

    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 program overview about Learning, Design, and Technology
  • false

    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 program overview about Design, Technology and Society
  • false

    Design - PhD University of Gloucestershire, UK

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Tuition fees per year
    14,250 GBP
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview 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 program overview about Fine Art and Design
  • false

    Interactive Media Design - OCDip Fanshawe College, Canada

    Program type
    Postgraduate diploma
    Duration
    14 months
    Tuition fees per year
    16,626 CAD
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about Interactive Media Design
See all postgraduate diplomas in design

Certificate in design

  • false

    Fine Art and Design - PGCert University of Tasmania, Australia

    Program type
    Postgraduate certificate
    Duration
    6 months
    Tuition fees per year
    15,758 AUD
    Start date
    February, July
    Show program overview about Fine Art and Design
  • false

    Secondary Design and Technology - PGCert Bath Spa University, UK

    Program type
    Postgraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    13,300 GBP
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about Secondary Design and Technology
  • false

    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 program overview about User Experience (UX) Design
  • false

    Applied Mechanical Design - OCGCert Fanshawe College, Canada

    Program type
    Postgraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    16,626 CAD
    Start date
    January, May, September
    Show program overview about Applied Mechanical 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 program overview about Art, Design and Media, Pre-Master’s
  • false

    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 program overview 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.