Art and design, textiles, and design and technology are popular subjects to study at GCSE if you are interested in becoming an interior designer.  

But budding interior designers will usually need to undertake further studies, including college or university courses. This might include foundation degrees, HNDs and undergraduate degrees in subjects like fine art, architecture, graphic design, textile or furniture design. Find out more below.  

Interior designer – a great career for creative personalities

Do you have a grand design to become the next Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen or Kevin McCloud?  

If you have a flair for design, and an interest in how colours, surfaces, light, fabrics and furniture work together within buildings, a career in interior design may be perfect for you! It’s a competitive and difficult field to break into, but if you have the talent, ambition and the right qualifications, working in interior design could be within your reach.    

What does an interior designer do?

Interior designers help curate or renovate the inside spaces of buildings, so they are functional and aesthetically pleasing to homeowners or business clients. Interior designers recommend wall colours, lighting, fittings, furniture and fabric to enhance a space. They also oversee structural design elements within a room, such as in-built shelving, stairs, ceiling designs and more.  

The job role of an interior designer involves the following:   

  • Meeting clients to understand their requirements and budget  
  • Surveying, measuring and analysing how the project space will be used  
  • Considering colour schemes, materials and fabrics, fittings, decorations, furniture, and environment  
  • Developing sketches and mood boards for clients to approve  
  • Preparing detailed drawings and designs to suit client’s needs, usually on a computer  
  • Sourcing suppliers of fittings, furniture and interior decorations and materials  
  • Working with fitters, electricians, painters and decorators, architects and other construction professionals to complete a project.  

Which subjects will help you become an interior designer?

You don’t need specific subjects to study at GCSE to follow a career in interior design – and it would be difficult to progress in the sector without A Levels, an apprenticeship or a university degree. However, choosing subjects like art and design, textiles or design & technology would be useful. English and maths are also essential GCSEs to have if you want to take A Levels or go further with your interior design studies.  

Interior design apprenticeships are not easy to find, but advanced apprenticeships are available as furniture design technicians.   

Find out more about an interior design career