What is a Bachelor of Interior Design (Residential)?
A Bachelor of Interior Design (Residential) teaches you practical design skills and essential theory to help you respond to contemporary living challenges. You will graduate with a strong foundation of design best practice, prepared to embark on a creative career as an interior designer.
This course teaches you environmentally sustainable practices while you investigate the finer details of home interior design, such as fittings and fabrics, as well as societal issues which include our ageing population, homelessness, evolving gender roles and the definition of family. You’ll discover the impact the selection of materials, lighting, joinery and furniture can have on your design, and explore technologies such as artificial intelligence and interactive audio-visual systems. From a practical point of view, you will realise residential environments through professional design practice and cross-disciplinary interaction, technical documentation, contract management and visualisation solutions.
Available as a double degree with a Bachelor of Business.
- Create future-ready living solutions that embrace new technologies.
- Work with 3D-modelling software to design residential environments.
- Explore the impact of joinery, materiality and finishes to meet client needs.
- Develop construction documentation to industry standards for the future of home design.
This course is recognised by the Design Institute of Australia, giving you confidence that your education is of the highest industry standard.
Vogue Australia partnership
We’ve partnered with industry leaders including Vogue Australia, to offer you internship, mentoring and scholarship opportunities.
Free Adobe Creative Cloud Pro licence
You'll receive a free Adobe Creative Cloud Pro licence for the entire time you're studying Design with us.
In this course, you will engage with the diverse theoretical and practical elements of designing residential interiors. With this broad-ranging perspective, you will graduate with the skills and social awareness that will be invaluable as you start your career in one of many exciting and challenging roles available in interior design practices, architectural studios or property developers.
Potential career paths
Average salary: $73,000 - $86,000
Virtual Environment Designer
Average salary: $75,000 - $130,000
Average salary: $78,000 - $109,000
Average salary: $55,000 - $65,000
Subjects and units
This course comprises of 15 core subjects, nine specialisation subjects and one elective subject. Each subject involves 10 hours of study per week, comprising three hours of facilitated study and seven hours self-directed study.
Design Context | DCX101Design Context is a foundational subject that introduces students to the designed world and their place within it. Students are encouraged to explore the interconnected nature of design and its capacity to inspire change, drive progress and navigate complex challenges. Through observation, research and iterative approach students will develop a series of creative responses that demonstrate an awareness of the value of design and its ability to create meaningful interactions for people, communities and their environments.
Design Drawing | DDD100In this subject, a range of both analogue and digital techniques to carry out a basic measure up, produce 2D technical drawings and generate 3D models are taught. The student explores the way technical manual drafting can be applied to interior decoration and design contexts. The student demonstrates learning of how to identify and produce floor plans, sections, elevations and to extract views from digital 3D models as is relevant to interior spaces.
Interior Design Practice | BID104AThis subject examines perspectives on models of practice relevant to Interior Design. It examines design practice in response to changing needs and requirements of clients and design briefs. It also explores the strategies used for expressing ideas, and the design skills required to communicate them. The purpose of the subject is for students to gain knowledge in foundation level design practice relevant to Interior Design. The design process workflow from original idea to review of work in progress, revision, presentation and reflection is explored.
Design Studio 1 | DSO102This subject explores the relationship between materials and storytelling. It introduces students to the attributes of materiality and encourages them to re-imagine the possibilities of creating through making. Students will explore the art of paper folding, developing skills and taking creative risks. These results will be captured digitally and altered using the appropriate software. Individual tasks allow students to develop an understanding and appreciation of materials, their many varied uses, properties, and the sustainable manufacturing processes related to them. Students will progress towards determining suitable materials in which to construct their final model with its form and function contextualised and supported by a documented process journal. Their final submission will be a model that reminds us that stories which fill our lives are not only spoken and written but sometimes are best told through craft.
History of Interior Design and Decoration | DHI100Applying historical knowledge to current contemporary interior design practice is an invaluable methodology employed in informing design choices. This subject enables the student to explore historical styles of architecture, interior design and decoration.
Construction and CAD | DCC100This subject introduces the student to industry standard CAD software and its application. The student will learn how to set up and draw a CAD documentation package, add annotations to drawings, and plot/print drawings. In this subject, knowledge of basic building and structural components is developed. The student learns how to interpret technical drawings and other documentation for interior projects. The student is introduced to legislative regulations, codes and standards and their application.
Joinery and Finishes | DJF100In this subject, the student learns how to identify different types of joinery and associated finishes. The student will design and document a basic joinery package for a residential kitchen brief. Student will develop an understanding of joinery construction terminology and its application. Student will further develop knowledge of joinery finishes, fittings, and equipment.
Design Studio 2 | DSO103Design Studio 2 offers an introduction to the building blocks of creating and developing brands and is designed to give students a broad understanding of the stages and methodologies adopted in the brand development process. The subject draws on the theory and practice that sits behind brand creation. It covers the broad spectrum of brand development, values, trends and branding techniques, as well as fundamentals such as brand positioning and brand architecture. The subject also explores the relationship between branding and audiences, cross-cultural influences and shifts in consumer behaviour. Students must first understand and apply the fundamentals of branding and then go on to use that knowledge as the basis for developing and progressing a brand. This theoretical and practical subject will equip students with the knowledge and insight with which to build their own branding expertise.
Computer 3D Modelling | BID200The purpose of this subject is to introduce the fundamental theories, methods and practices for developing three-dimensional design using computer software. The subject covers 3D modelling concepts and techniques, as well as professional practice using contemporary industry software. The subject investigates the integration of computer modelling, texture and light. Concept development investigates the communication of spatial projects to a target audience.
Environment Design 2 (Residential) | IDR202A
The theoretical base of this subject will focus on developing the students’ understanding of the complexities of designing interiors for both single and double storey residential environments whilst appreciating the growing demand for the application of sustainable design practices- not only in materials and technologies but also in the longevity and adaptability of the final design solution.
Students will integrate their research and knowledge of residential environments, and environmental imperatives into the creative realisation of project briefs.
Scheduling Interiors 2 (Residential) | IDR205AScheduling Interiors 2 (Residential) introduces the student to the practical knowledge required to specify soft materials in a residential environment. It recognises the importance of developing appropriate aesthetics to reflect a concept developed from a client brief as well as the importance of sustainable practices in residential design. This subject focuses on educating the student in the suitability and appropriateness of soft materials to the specification of any residential interior, investigating flooring, bedding, window treatments and furniture. The role of quality assurance and its importance in realising an efficient and effective residential project is also investigated.
Design Studio 3 | DSO201The subject introduces business practices such as costing, time management, value engineering and general models of monetising and valuing output typical of a variety of design industries. Case study analyses’ of a typical design industry business practices, domestic and international, acquaint students with the differences and similarities that exist. Students learn about contractual agreements, and where appropriate become familiar with international shipping and distribution terms as well as an introduction to design copyright laws. Initial overview of time allocation practices and the creation and understanding costing terms such as: Bill Of Material (BOM) /Scope of Work / Deliverables used in typical projects is followed by application. Students plan a project from start to finish through to the development of an appropriate project management plan for their particular industry such as time management charts with typical dependencies highlighted and costed.
Theories of Space and Place 2 | IDR206ATheories of Space and Place 2 explores theories and issues relevant to the design of residential environments in the 21 Century. The subject focuses on the study of human behaviour and psychology and how this contributes to the research, conceptualisation and delivery of a residential design solution. It explores the notion of ‘home’ and how this translates to a ‘physical’ or ‘digital’ environment as well as the relationship of ‘home’ to a broader socio/political and cultural context. Theories of Space and Place 2 also explores pertinent issues related to the contemporary residential experience such as the environment, gender, age and disability.
Problem Based Learning Studio | PBL202Problem-based learning (PBL) is a pedagogical approach that enables students to learn while engaging actively with meaningful problems. Students are given the opportunities to problem-solve in a collaborative setting, create mental models for learning, and form self-directed learning habits through practice and reflection. The underpinning philosophy of PBL is that learning can be considered a “constructive, self-directed, collaborative and contextual” activity. The principle of construct positions students as active knowledge seekers and co-creators who organise new relevant experiences into personal mental representations with the help of prior knowledge. This is further reinforced by social theories of learning that advance the merits of social interaction in cognitive development. The aim of this subject is to trigger student learning with a problem which needs resolution. Students make connections to the challenge by activating their individual and collective prior knowledge and finding resources to make sense of the phenomenon; they also engage in peer learning through small-group discussions and consolidate their learning through reflective writing. Beyond enabling students to make sense of the concepts and subject matter, this learning experience will also help students develop an understanding of themselves and their contexts, and the ways and situations in which they learn effectively.
Systems and Documentation 2 (Residential) | IDR207ASystems and Documentation 2 (Residential) continues to develop the student’s understanding of the different construction systems applicable to residential design applicable to small to mid-scale projects. It also investigates how design solutions are communicated to stakeholders (contract managers, consultants and contractors) - namely through documentation, specifications and contract management. Students will develop a complete set of documentation drawings for their nominated residential design proposal. The tutorials and assessments will all be carried out using computer aided documentation.
Systems and Documentation 3 (Residential) | IDR303ASystems and Documentation 3 (Residential) develops the students understanding of the different construction systems applicable to the design of residential environments, and how design solutions are communicated to stakeholders (contract managers, consultants and contractors)- namely through documentation, and contract documentation (e.g. function and construction of stairs). Students will develop a complete set of documentation drawings for a nominated design proposal. The tutorial and assessments will all be carried out using computer aided documentation.
Discover, Define, Develop, Deliver | DDD203The myth of innovation is that brilliant ideas leap fully resolved from the minds of geniuses. The reality is that most innovation comes from a process of rigorous examination through which great ideas are identified and developed before being realised as new offerings and capabilities. This subject introduces Problem Based Learning (PBL), mapped out as the 'Double Diamond’, the collaborative process by which the designer’s sensibilities and methods are employed to integrate the needs of people, the possibility of technology and the requirement for business success. In this subject, students examine a range of possible ideas – divergent thinking; before refining and narrowing down to the best idea – convergent thinking. To discover which ideas are best, the creative process is iterative. Ideas are developed, tested and refined many times, with weak ideas dropped in the process. This cycle is an essential part of a good design strategy.
Emerging Design Technologies (Residential) | IDR301AEmerging Design Technologies: Residential examines the technology focused theories affecting the experiential nature of design for residential environments in both the physical and digital arena. It examines how technology is influencing the experience of living, sleeping, cleansing and any activity associated with the perception of ‘home’. It examines a global context of changing perceptions of ‘residing’ and how the residential environment is being redefined by environmental and technological trends. This subject also explores the emerging factors influencing the residential experience of virtual worlds, film and animation.
Social Enterprise | SEN301Social Enterprise is an exciting theoretically-based subject that is driven by the desire to create positive change through entrepreneurial activities. These activities harness design thinking and problem-solving processes in the realisation of pragmatic, viable project proposals from initiation to client presentation. By providing students with a framework to understand business model generation and the skills to source, evaluate, and measure opportunities through systematic research and competitor analysis, Social Enterprise empowers students to conceptualise, develop and propose new ventures and products that focus primarily upon social change for good. In addition, this subject will help students understand and address the practical challenges of working within this environment; to analyse different entrepreneurial business strategies, to explore diverse funding strategies, as well as incorporate theoretical discussions on major trends and issues in the social economy. Social Enterprise enables students to appreciate the power of creativity in problem-solving and the importance of the designer’s role in making a difference and precipitating change.
Environment Design 3 (Residential) | IDR302AThe theoretical base of this subject will focus on developing the students’ understanding of the complexities of designing large scale residential developments whilst appreciating the growing demand for the application of sustainable design practices - not only in materials and technologies but also in the longevity and adaptability of the final design solution. Students will integrate their research and knowledge of large scale residential environments into the creative realisation of project briefs. Students will also prepare specification documents and schedules for part of a large scale residential development.
Work Integrated Learning | WIL302
This subject is designed to provide students with professional experience in an area related to their field of study or the career they are working towards. The aim of providing industry-specific opportunities is to enable students to develop skills that will enhance their prospects of gaining meaningful employment and building their career for the future.
Much of the benefit of work integrated learning comes from observation, practicing under supervision and reflection. Work Integrated Learning is an excellent way to broaden the students learning environment while they are studying. It allows them to see first-hand how what they are learning in their degree translates into practice, as well as how ‘real world’ practice relates to what they are learning at University.
This subject will develop work ready skills and boost students’ employability while they are studying.
There are two work integrated learning options available to students:
Option 1: Internship
Students are offered the opportunity to work within a professional design environment for an extended period of time. It encourages students to build long-term relationships with the design industry and exposes them to the rigour of applied design practice while building their confidence in adapting to new environments. It also provides a context in which to enhance their communication skills and work collaboratively in a professional arena. Students will undertake a series of research tasks, conducting interviews and gathering data in order to understand the key concepts in managing a professional design practice with emphasis placed on the operation of the professional design environment.
Option 2: Industry Live Brief
This subject requires students to respond to criteria set within the context of an Industry Live Project. An understanding of research methodologies appropriate to professional practice and the documentation of personal creative investigation will be explored. Students will also further investigate and examine entrepreneurial and commercial opportunities through collaborative work practice. The subject is delivered from a cross discipline perspective and draws on both discipline specific and common design practices.
Students are required to work both independently or as part of a collaborative team in order to conduct research, analyse and define project parameters and deliver innovative solutions that expand the notion of an industry live brief.
Systems and Documentation 4 Residential | IDR304ASystems and Documentation 4: Residential extends the student's knowledge and communication of different construction systems for a nominated residential design proposal. In the case of physical environments, the students are required to complete a full documentation package for their nominated design proposal. In the case of digital environment proposals, students are required to extend the communication of their design proposals through additional digital representation techniques: e.g. fly-throughs, animation, interactive components.
Portfolio and Industry Experience | BID302AThis subject aims to cultivate a broader understanding of portfolios and presentations for the design industry within a professional context. It explores contemporary styles and methods of presentation.
The identification and analysis of employment target markets is introduced to students. This is enhanced through self-directed research that aims to help students gain an understanding of the specific needs and preferences of the Interior Design industry.
Students build relationships with Interior Design industry through possible internship or design studio project or on campus live brief. This industry engagement exposes students to rigors of the real world design practice whilst adding valuable experience to student CV.
Interaction Design | DIG103AThis subject explores the groundwork theory and practice of user experience (UX), user interface (UI) and interaction design for digital media. The subject covers the core research phases of UX before enabling students to create UI and web-based solutions to identified problems. Students will focus on interpreting and structuring information architecture and focus on the visual aspects of UI design – how visual design affects end-user experience.
Product Knowledge | DPK100This subject introduces students to the investigation and specification of furniture, soft furnishings and accessories for interior spaces. Students examine and compare furniture and accessory types, interpret the decoration requirements from a project brief, and make the appropriate recommendations to the client. Students are introduced to principles of documentation, the presentation of decorative recommendations and the application of Australian Standards.
Message, Meaning, Media | CDC200AThis subject expands the understanding of symbols, signs and semantic conventions within communication systems and media. Students are introduced to the history and application of semiotics and encouraged to review, relate and re-evaluate design and communication strategies within the context of de-constructing conventional thinking and design practices. There is particular reference to the cultural shift from words to pictures and the role of meaning in an evolving creative and technological environment. Students present individual and group solutions for the development of a system of symbols and information graphics.
Fashion and Social Media | FA204AThis subject requires students to work independently when designing and building a social media strategy for a fashion brand. Students study cases of specific and successful Australian branded fashion and fashion PR companies, their practices and strategies. Situated in traditional Problem Based Learning environment students collaborate online within a group to adapt and negotiate the solutions to a set brief and problem. Students collaborate online with their peers to critically review and analyse their understanding of social media and its application. They identify and build on their knowledge in understanding the Social Media Landscape and its many features by demonstrating its usage and benefits for brand fashion companies. Students develop a coherent body of knowledge of the range of social media tools that currently exist and are used in the branded fashion industry underpinning the marketing and branding division of such businesses. Students need to demonstrate their cognitive and creative skills whilst identifying a range of scenarios for the development of a Social Media strategy for a fashion brand and critically analyse the Return on Investment for their chosen approach. In addition students will demonstrate their communication skills and present their ideas and knowledge of their chosen social media scenario to their peers and teachers in a simulated boardroom scenario.
Design Research | IDC201AContemporary design practice has evolved a culture that applies a range of research methodologies to investigate design processes that are appropriate and relevant to creative problem solving. This subject explores the notion of designer as a generator of need and purpose and how research practice underpins these roles. The purpose of this subject is to expand the student’s knowledge of the research processes that inform emerging design practice and how this affects the designer/client/project relationship. Students will expand their skills in identifying research methods and the application of analysis to a design project. Students will also be introduced to legal and ethical issues in design research.
Environment Design 3 (Commercial) | IDC208AThe theoretical base of this subject will focus on developing the students’ understanding of the complexities of designing a retail environment whilst appreciating the growing demand for the application of sustainable design practices - not only in materials and technologies but also in the longevity and adaptability of the final design solution.
Students will integrate their knowledge of a retail space, identity design and environmental imperatives into the creative realisation of a project brief. Students will further develop their research skills and apply these to the design of an ‘eco-friendly’ retail project
Emerging Design Technologies (Commercial) | IDC206AEmerging Design Technologies: Commercial examines the technology focused theories affecting the experiential nature of design for commercial and public environments in both the physical and digital arena. It examines how technology is influencing the experience of retail, exhibition, workplace, hospitality and any activity associated with the commercial experience. It also examines a global context of changing perceptions of ‘commerce’ and how the commercial environment is being redefined by environmental and technological trends. This subject also explores the emerging factors influencing the experience of virtual worlds, film and animation.
Life through a lens | CIM200AThis subject examines ideas and techniques within the practice of narrative photography. Through lectures examining historical milestones in photography and camera and lighting practical tutorials in understanding the accepted rules, students will gain the confidence to make innovative choices in their creative photography production processes. Students will develop creative narrative photography. Through the production of a multi-panel photo sequence, informed creative choices will be demonstrated.
Systems and Documentation 2 (Commercial) | IDC302AThis subject extends the student’s learning and communication of different construction systems for a nominated commercial design proposal. Students are required to complete a full documentation package for their nominated design proposal.
Scheduling Interiors 2 (Commercial) | IDC303AScheduling Interiors 2: Commercial introduces the student to the practical knowledge required to construct nominated commercial environments. It recognises the importance of nominating appropriate and sustainable finishes, furniture and fit tings for nominated commercial environments. Students learn the following: types, styles and suitability of materiality and finishes; application of lighting types and styles; fixtures and fittings and selection of joinery items. This subject will also educates students in specification writing, preparation of schedules and what role they play in contract administration, as well as the principles of quality assurance in the design and documentation process. The principles of Building Management Systems are also introduced.
Learn with industry standard technologies
International students must not enrol in more than one-third (33%) of online subjects over their course, and must study at least one face-to-face subject each study period. Please note that due to COVID-19, authorities have provided exceptions to the usual face-to-face learning requirements. For more information, visit Study in Australia.
International students on a student visa are required to study full time (i.e. must complete a minimum of 1.0 EFTSL of study per year). For the latest information on study locations, please check the entry requirements flyer.
Industry partners and work placements
Check the domestic course fee schedule for the cost of your course.
Eligible Australian students may choose to defer some, or all, of their tuition fees through FEE-HELP, a loan scheme repaid through the tax system based on income.
ScholarshipsIf you are truly passionate about Design and Creative Technology, we want to hear from you. We have a variety of Design and Creative Technology scholarships on offer to assist you in becoming a key part of the Design and Creative Technology industry:
Before you begin your course application, check that you meet at least one of the requirements listed below.
Year 12 (Australian secondary school certificate) or equivalent
Successful completion of a Vocational qualification (AQF Level 4), or above
Successful completion of a Higher Education qualification
Work life experience demonstrating the ability to undertake study at the required level.
Guaranteed pathway and Recognition of Prior LearningIf you have already completed a qualification you may be able to credit this against your degree with us, even if it’s from another institution. This is called Recognition of Prior Learning. We also offer pathway opportunities to further your learning.
Check the international course fee schedule for the cost of your course. Onshore international students requiring a student visa should choose campus-based / blended options.
Course fees can be paid across three study periods. Each instalment to be paid before the beginning of the academic stage census date.
ScholarshipsWe want you to have the best possible chance to succeed, which is why we offer a range of financial scholarships to support our international students during their study journey.
Before you begin your course application to study as an international student, check that you meet the requirements below.
Guaranteed pathway and Recognition of Prior LearningIf you have already completed a qualification you may be able to credit this against your degree with us, even if it’s from another institution. This is called Recognition of Prior Learning. We also offer pathway opportunities to further your learning.
How to apply
Read through the admissions criteria and ensure you meet the entry requirements.
It’s easy! Apply online below or contact us and we can help on 1300 575 803.
We’ll contact you shortly after to confirm your details and help you through the rest of the process.
Frequently asked questions
How do I apply for a course?Domestic students:
Check the entry requirements for the course you’re interested in and submit your initial application form online to begin your journey at Torrens University Australia.
If you have any difficulty, please contact our Future Student Advisors, who can talk you through the process.
ALL SA/SACE and Victorian high school students must apply through SATAC and/or VTAC. Search for Torrens University Australia, Billy Blue College of Design or Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School.
If you are an international student hoping to begin your studies in Australia, study online, or transfer from another university, you may choose to do so through our Education Agents. Our agents are located throughout the world and will make sure the enrolment process runs smoothly. View the full list of International Education Agents. You can also apply online. For anything else, please contact our International team.
Can I get course credit for previous experience?
Yes, course credit is available for most courses upon application and academic approval (excluding Higher Degree by Research programs).
If you have already completed a qualification or have relevant work experience, you may be eligible for credit towards your course. This credit can take the form of credit transfer, block credit or Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Review our Course Credits page or chat to our Future Student Advisors.
What are Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Credit Transfer (CT)? How do I apply?
Recognition of Prior Learning is an assessment process that recognises experience, previous study and qualifications, and other forms of informal and non-formal learning, to determine if you meet course requirements.
If you have relevant qualifications or experience, you may be eligible for credit towards your course and a reduction in tuition costs.
Please speak to our Future Student Advisors to discuss your prior learning experiences.
For more information, please visit Course credits.
How do I apply for a scholarship?
Torrens University has a wide range of scholarship options to support new, returning, international and Australian students. They all include a reduction in tuition fees, and some scholarships include a mentoring component with our industry partners.
When you speak to our Future Student Advisors, let them know you wish to be considered for a scholarship in your application form. They will show you how to apply for a scholarship.
For more details, explore our range of scholarships.
What are Torrens University Australia’s ATAR requirements for domestic students?Torrens University Australia no longer considers ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) as our primary entry requirement. We have removed ATAR as the key admissions criteria for applicants aiming to study at Torrens University Australia. We strongly believed an alternative to the ATAR system should be found, which more broadly assesses students, especially when soft skills are emerging as important employability attributes. So, students with a recent secondary school education are now considered for admission if they have a Year 12 (Australian secondary school) certificate. Exceptions may apply to some courses.
What if I don’t meet the entry criteria for a degree?
Am I eligible for FEE-HELP?
If you are a domestic student attending university or an approved higher education provider, you can get a FEE-HELP loan to pay all or part of your tuition fees.
You are eligible for FEE-HELP assistance for a unit of study (i.e. subject) if you:
- Undertake study with an approved provider.
- Meet the citizenship and residency requirements:
- An Australian citizen or a New Zealand Special Category Visa holder who meets the long-term residency criteria and who will undertake, in Australia, at least one unit of study contributing to your course; OR
- A permanent humanitarian visa holder who will be a resident in Australia for the duration of your unit; OR
- Are a permanent visa holder who is undertaking bridging study for overseas-trained professionals, and will be a resident in Australia for the duration of the study.
- Enrolled in an eligible unit of study by the census date for the unit.
- Have not exceeded the FEE-HELP limit.
For full details, visit the Australian Government website Study Assist.
If you are still unsure, please contact our Future Student Advisors who can talk you through the information.
Want to find out more?
Don't forget to download the course guide or get in touch with us below.