New Zealand Diploma in Interior Design (Residential) Unitec Institute of Technology

New Zealand



Course info


Study in this interior design diploma and get the skills, knowledge and qualification necessary to become a professional residential interior designer.

This residential focused interior design programme will prepare you for a career working as an interior design consultant or design assistant within the residential sector. If you enjoy design, seeing your work come to life and working with people, this programme is for you. This programme is ideal if you’re looking to enter the residential interiors industry or if you’re already working in the field and would like hold the formal qualification.

This diploma also prepares you for the commercial environment as it is a prerequisite for the New Zealand Diploma in Interior Design (Commercial). This residential focused diploma includes many of the interior design fundamentals that span across both residential and commercial.

In this programme you’ll be guided from the ground up; exploring design principles, theories and history, right though to application and development of practical business that will get you beyond work ready by the time you complete this programme. See a full list of courses in this programme in the Courses section below.

At Unitec, our approach to interior design learning is highly industry focused. This means that in addition to developing your necessary knowledge and skills in residential interior design, we also integrate you into the interior design industry through practical learning, facilitating industry connections, working on actual client projects, guest speakers from industry, work placement projects and much more.


  • Highly industry integrated and connected
  • Work on actual client projects
  • Practical projects which model current design processes used within industry practice.
  • Internship working with practising designers
  • Off site visits to trade suppliers and manufacturers
  • Guest speakers from industry
  • Focus on “work ready skills” that can be used in practice
  • Knowledgeable and skilled staff. Many of your lecturers are practising professionals at the top in their field
  • Pathways onto the New Zealand Diploma in Interior Design (Commercial)

Qualification pathway

Once you’ve completed this programme you can go onto to work in the residential interior industry in the careers or similar careers as listed above.

You can also go onto further study for commercial interior design in the New Zealand Diploma in Interior Design (Commercial), for which this programme is a pre-requisite.

As a Unitec Interior Design student and graduate you can also join the Designers Institute of New Zealand.

This programme and the New Zealand Diploma in Interior Design (Commercial) replace the Diploma in Applied Interior Design (Level 6).


  • Self-employed residential interior designer
  • Kitchen and bathroom designer
  • Junior interior designer (residential)
  • Interior design assistant (residential)
  • Specialist sales roles in textile, furniture, lighting
  • Colour consultant

Course options

Here are the different ways in which you can study New Zealand Diploma in Interior Design (Residential).

Full Time (1 year)

Tuition fees

NZ$23,000.00 (12,07,003) per year




Unitec Institute of Technology

Mt Albert Campus,

139 Carrington Road,


Mt Albert,

1025, New Zealand

Entry requirement for international students

Entry requirements vary from country to country.
Students are required to complete international academic qualification equivalent to New Zealand NCEA.
For more details, please check the institution website.

  • Be at least 17 years old when you start this programme
  • Portfolio submission

If English is not your first language you need to have Academic IELTS score of 6.5 (no band<6.0) or equivalent. Have achieved at least one English proficiency outcome in the last two years.

* Please check with your chosen school for the exact entry requirements for your programme.


Here are some scholarship that are available at Unitec Institute of Technology.

NZ Chinese Building Industry Association (NZCBIA) Excellence Scholarship

Value of scholarship

The maximum value of the Scholarship to each Recipient is NZ $5,000

Application details:

Please have the following information ready before you start the application as you cannot save and return to it:

Short Answers (approx 150 words) to the following questions:

  • Why are you interested in your programme of study?  What motivates you to succeed in your studies?
  • What are your future career aspirations? How do you plan on becoming a leader within your industry?
  • Please list any extracurricular activities you're currently involved in or any other personal achievements you would like to highlight to the selection committee.
  • How will this Scholarship help support you in your studies?

A letter of recommendation from a Lecturer or tutor to support your scholarship application

Eligibility requirements:

To be eligible for the Scholarship, an applicant must meet all of the following criteria:

Be currently enrolled fulltime (minimum of 60 credits) in their first or second year in one of the below programmes as a first year student:

  • Diploma in Applied Interior Design; or
  • New Zealand Diploma in Engineering (Civil); or
  • New Zealand Diploma in Engineering (Electrical); or
  • New Zealand Diploma in Surveying; or
  • New Zealand Diploma in Architecture Technology; or
  • New Zealand Diploma in Construction; or
  • Master of Landscape Architecture; or
  • Master of Architecture (Professional)


Be currently enrolled fulltime (minimum of 60 credits) in your first or second year in:

  • Bachelor of Engineering Technology (Civil); or
  • Bachelor of Engineering Technology (Electrical); or
  • Bachelor of Construction (Construction Management); or
  • Bachelor of Construction (Construction Economics); or
  • Bachelor of Construction (Property Development); or
  • Bachelor of Applied Technology - Building; or
  • Bachelor of Applied Technology – Electrotechnology; or
  • Bachelor of Architecture Studies; or 
  • Bachelor of Landscape Architecture  

Completed at least one semester (60 credits) in one of the above programmes.

  • Achieved an average grade of B- or above for their previous semester’s study.
  • Be intending to pursue a career in the building industry, as demonstrated in the Scholarship Application.
  • As part of the scholarship application a letter of recommendation from a Lecturer or tutor is required.

Tenure: The duration of the scholarship is one year (two consecutive semesters). 

Who can apply:

All international

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