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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. University & program search

    Find the right program for you and your career aspirations
  2. Application guidance

    We'll get you to the right place to start your application
  3. Visa & travel advice

    Get help after application, all the way to your first day at university

Our team of advisors is ready to support you at every step of your study abroad journey.
Our services are 100% free for students like you because we're funded by universities.

Design study abroad programs

Design undergraduate programs

Bachelor's in design

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    Communication Design - BSc California State University, Monterey Bay, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    16,647 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 16,647 USD

    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about Communication Design
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    Communication Design - BDes University of Waikato, New Zealand

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    21,137 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 29,705 NZD

    Start date
    February, July
    Show program overview about Communication Design
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    Craft and Design: Ceramics - BA (Hons) Sheridan College, Canada

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    15,406 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 19,621 CAD

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Craft and Design: Ceramics
  • false

    Creative Design (Add-On) - BA (Hons) Institute of Technology Sligo, Ireland

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    12,735 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 10,500 EUR

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Creative Design (Add-On)
  • false

    Digital Arts and Entertainment: Sound Design - BA Howest University of Applied Sciences, Belgium

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    8,426 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 6,947 EUR

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Digital Arts and Entertainment: Sound 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
    Annual tuition fee
    22,903 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 29,760 AUD

    Start date
    February, July
    Show program overview about Interior Decoration and Design
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    Web Development & Design Specialist - AASc Fox Valley Technical College, USA

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    6,600 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 6,600 USD

    Start date
    August, January
    Show program overview about Web Development & Design Specialist
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    Forest Renewable Materials/Art and Design - ASc Southwestern Oregon Community College, USA

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    10,791 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 10,791 USD

    Start date
    September, January, March, June
    Show program overview about Forest Renewable Materials/Art and Design
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    Art: Design - AA Seattle Central College, USA

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    9,687 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 9,687 USD

    Start date
    September, January, April, June
    Show program overview about Art: Design
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    Apparel Design and Merchandising - AA College of Alameda, USA

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    7,950 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 7,950 USD

    Start date
    January, August, June
    Show program overview about Apparel Design and Merchandising
See all associate degrees in design

Diploma in design

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    Multimedia Design - APN Business Academy Aarhus, Denmark

    Program type
    Undergraduate diploma
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    13,341 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 11,000 EUR

    Start date
    August
    Show program overview about Multimedia Design
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    Communication Design - Interactive Media - UGDip North Island College, Canada

    Program type
    Undergraduate diploma
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    11,790 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 15,015 CAD

    Start date
    January, May, July, September
    Show program overview about Communication Design - Interactive Media
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    Digital Design - Dip Bow Valley College, Canada

    Program type
    Undergraduate diploma
    Duration
    16 months
    Annual tuition fee
    36,970 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 47,084 CAD

    Start date
    September, January
    Show program overview about Digital Design
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    Engineering Technology (Civil Engineering Design), Advanced - AdvDip RMIT University, Australia

    Program type
    Undergraduate diploma
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    13,853 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 18,000 AUD

    Start date
    February, July
    Show program overview about Engineering Technology (Civil Engineering Design), Advanced
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    Graphic Visual Design - UGDip Canada College Vancouver, Canada

    Program type
    Undergraduate diploma
    Duration
    13 months
    Annual tuition fee
    14,919 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 19,000 CAD

    Start date
    January, March, September
    Show program overview about Graphic Visual Design
See all undergraduate diplomas in design

Certificate in design

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    Foundations in Design - Cert Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Canada

    Program type
    Undergraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    8,417 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 10,720 CAD

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Foundations in Design
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    Landscape Design and Construction Specialist - ASc/Cert Merritt College, USA

    Program type
    Associate/Undergraduate certificate
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    7,950 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 7,950 USD

    Start date
    August, January, June
    Show program overview about Landscape Design and Construction Specialist
  • false

    Metal Jewellery Design - Cert North Island College, Canada

    Program type
    Undergraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    7,730 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 9,845 CAD

    Start date
    January, May, July, September
    Show program overview about Metal Jewellery Design
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    Advanced Network Design - Cert (Arts) St. Charles Community College, USA

    Program type
    Undergraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    5,520 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 5,520 USD

    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about Advanced Network Design
  • false

    Design Foundation - Cert Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, Canada

    Program type
    Undergraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    12,101 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 15,412 CAD

    Start date
    January
    Show program overview about Design Foundation
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
    Annual tuition fee
    20,310 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 14,900 GBP

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
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    Interior Architecture & Design (Foundation) - FD Leeds Beckett University, UK

    Program type
    Undergraduate pathway
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    14,858 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 10,900 GBP

    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about Interior Architecture & Design (Foundation)
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    International Year - Communication and Design - UGP Lynn University, USA

    Program type
    Undergraduate pathway
    Duration
    6 months
    Annual tuition fee
    18,340 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 18,340 USD

    Start date
    -
    Show program overview about International Year - Communication and Design
  • false

    Foundations in Art and Design - FD Durham College, Canada

    Program type
    Undergraduate pathway
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    12,219 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 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
    Annual tuition fee
    18,061 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 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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    Digital Art and Design – Concentration: Graphic Design - MA University of Nicosia, Cyprus

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    18 months
    Annual tuition fee
    8,296 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 6,840 EUR

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Digital Art and Design – Concentration: Graphic Design
  • false

    Design (Fashion & Textiles) - MSc (Research) RMIT University, Australia

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    23,642 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 30,720 AUD

    Start date
    February, July
    Show program overview about Design (Fashion & Textiles)
  • false

    Sound (Design) - MA Bath Spa University, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    19,492 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 14,300 GBP

    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about Sound (Design)
  • false

    Design Practice - The Dublin Project - MA Technological University Dublin, Ireland

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    18 months
    Annual tuition fee
    13,948 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 11,500 EUR

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Design Practice - The Dublin Project
  • false

    Digital Media Design - Digital Design - MSc Lynn University, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    13,320 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 13,320 USD

    Start date
    January, May
    Show program overview about Digital Media Design - Digital Design
See all master's degrees in design

Doctorate in design

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    Art, Design and Performance - PhD University of Portsmouth, UK
    • Part-time

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    6 years
    Annual tuition fee
    11,109 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 8,150 GBP

    Start date
    October, February
    Show program overview about Art, Design and Performance
  • false

    Design, Technology and Society - PhD Koç University, Turkey

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    0 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 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
    Annual tuition fee
    19,424 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 14,250 GBP

    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about Design
  • false

    Engineering and Design - PhD University of Chichester, UK

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    19,015 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 13,950 GBP

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Engineering and Design
  • false

    Learning, Design, and Technology - PhD University of Wyoming, USA

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    15,500 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 15,500 USD

    Start date
    May, September
    Show program overview about Learning, Design, and Technology
See all doctorates in design

Diploma in design

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    Mechanical Engineering Technician – Design - OCDip Centennial College, Canada

    Program type
    Postgraduate diploma
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    12,980 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 16,531 CAD

    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about Mechanical Engineering Technician – Design
  • false

    Fine Art and Design - PGDip University of Tasmania, Australia

    Program type
    Postgraduate diploma
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    24,254 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 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
    Annual tuition fee
    13,055 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 16,626 CAD

    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about Interactive Media Design
  • false

    Interactive Media Design - OCDip Durham College, Canada

    Program type
    Postgraduate diploma
    Duration
    28 months
    Annual tuition fee
    12,390 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 15,780 CAD

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Interactive Media Design
See all postgraduate diplomas in design

Certificate in design

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    Game Level Design - PGCert Sheridan College, Canada

    Program type
    Postgraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    20,903 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 26,621 CAD

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Game Level Design
  • false

    Applied Mechanical Design - OCGCert Fanshawe College, Canada

    Program type
    Postgraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    13,055 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 16,626 CAD

    Start date
    January, May, September
    Show program overview about Applied Mechanical Design
  • false

    Kitchen and Bath Design Post-Diploma - GradCert Bow Valley College, Canada

    Program type
    Postgraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    15,525 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 19,772 CAD

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Kitchen and Bath Design Post-Diploma
  • false

    User Experience (UX) Design - PGCert Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, Canada

    Program type
    Postgraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    14,008 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 17,840 CAD

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about User Experience (UX) Design
  • false

    Service Design - PGCert RMIT University, Australia
    • Online

    Program type
    Postgraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    10,713 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 13,920 AUD

    Start date
    January, October
    Show program overview about Service 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
    Annual tuition fee
    21,073 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 15,460 GBP

    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
    Annual tuition fee
    16,380 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 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.