The Top Interior Design Schools in South Africa

Interior design is an essential function in many industries – its purpose is to create spaces that are both functional and beautiful. It is equal parts art and science, and for those who love to create aesthetically pleasing and ergonomic environments, it is an appealing career path to take.

Below you will find a list of some of the best interior design schools in South Africa, as well as information about the different qualifications they offer. It can be difficult to choose a learning institution, but hopefully, this list will help you weigh up your options.

Design Time

Design Time offers full-time courses geared at preparing students for the professional building and interior design industries, while also enabling them to explore other design disciplines such  as furniture, set, textile, and product design.

The establishment is staffed by highly experienced lecturers who will ensure each student’s experience is tailored to their individual capabilities, providing constructive criticism and personal encouragement.

Dedicated students will attain a professional standard of draughtsmanship, coloured visual presentation and an acute understanding of interior decorating when it comes to buildings, objects, and furniture as reflected by their diverse portfolios.

Design Time graduates have found employment in a great variety of design fields – from architectural firms to interior design, decorating studios, and specialised design services. Many graduates have also gone on to build their own design-related businesses, both locally and internationally.

Registration And Accreditation 

Diploma in Interior Design NQF Level 6 (DHET Accreditation)


The Diploma in Interior Design, NQF level 6, is registered on the NQF (South African). SAQA qualification number 79307.

Boston House College (BHC) 

BHC is a highly respected, single-purpose provider of design education, and currently offers a 3-year Diploma in Interior Design and a 1-year Higher Certificate in Interior Decorating. The programmes have been designed in response to the needs of the design industry and are structured to integrate the latest industry developments.

The academic facilitators are practising interior designers, decorators or architects, who actively participate in continuous professional development. This ensures that the students are exposed to the most up-to-date information on design, technology and trends.

BHC will continue to value and promote the key human and structural resources required to prepare graduates for a successful career in the professional design world.

A variety of intensive enrichment short courses in the field of design are offered on-site, more specifically: Interior Decorating, 2D AutoCAD, Revit, SketchUp Pro and digital design.


Our vision is to nurture and sustain a consistently high level of education in interior design, decoration and the built environment. 


We believe in excellent education to enrich our students, and through support and guidance produce highly competent design professionals.


  • Nurture
  • Authenticity
  • Passion
  • Expression
  • Excellence 

Registration And Accreditation 

Council on Higher Education (CHE)

The Diploma in Interior Design & the Higher Certificate in Interior Decorating are accredited by the CHE.

Department of Education

BHC School of Design (Pty) Ltd. is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training until 31 December 2025 as a private higher education institution under the Higher Education Act, 1997. Registration certificate no. 2010/HE07/003 


The Diploma in Interior Design, NQF level 6, is registered on the NQF (South African). SAQA qualification number 79307.

The Higher Certificate, NQF level 5, is registered on the NQF (South African). SAQA qualification number 83547.


Vega is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE). The IIE is South Africa’s leading and largest private higher education institution, accredited locally by the Council of Higher Education (CHE), and internationally accredited as an Independent Higher Education Institution by the British Accreditation Council (BAC).

An IIE qualification at Vega is of the exact same standard as one found in any public university or private university. All IIE qualifications delivered at Vega are accredited by the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC) and registered by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).

The IIE Vega’s teaching philosophy is built on the mantra of wisdomwithmagic, creating an academic environment that is based on experiential learning where creatives are trained in strategy and strategists in design-thinking. As the only higher education institution with brand-focused IIE degrees that are available to study face-to-face and distance (online), IIE-Vega aims to inspire a new breed of design, brand and business thinkers with the expertise to generate meaningful ideas that link profit to adding value to people’s lives.

Students of The IIE Vega are equipped with timeless skills that are in high demand among employers, allowing them to pursue meaningful and impactful careers no matter how the world of work changes.

Qualifications also feature experiential components like the Vega Brand Challenge and Brand Activations, where students work in multi-disciplinary teams to tackle real-world briefs from real-life clients.

Students can enrol for IIE undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, diplomas, higher certificates and short courses in design, brand communication and brand management, at The IIE Vega campuses across South Africa. These are available to study on a full-time or part-time basis both on campuses nationwide and online. 

Tshwane University of Technology 

Tshwane University of Technology has a world-class interior design department at the Arts Campus in Pretoria, Gauteng. The institution offers a three-year diploma programme that consists of intensive full-time study through contact and online classes. Diploma graduates can either pursue their Advanced Diploma and Postgraduate studies up to a doctorate level.

The curriculum covers design from concept to final presentation phase, including technical drawing and rendering using software such as CAD and Revit. The curriculum also explores African interior design, drawing techniques, and design theory, including the history and principles of design. As a senior, you will be exposed to Work Integrated Learning and Entrepreneurship, which will prepare you for professional practice. 

Some highlights from the past year include:

  • The launch of a department Tech Lab, including 3D printers, a laser cutter, and Virtual Reality presentation system. 
  • Achieving a second place in the Roche Bobois lighting design competition and achieving two of the top five positions in the Kitchen Specialists Association (KSA) kitchen design competition.
  • Holding representative positions on the African Institute of the Interior Design Professions (iiD) student advisory board. 
  • Having all students visit Design Joburg and Decorex, and
  • Having all students take part in technical building training, in partnership with Tshwane South TVET College.

You are welcome to visit the department during the annual Faculty of Arts and Design Arts Festival that takes place in September. For more information on the course visit the TUT website on

Greenside Design Center

Greenside Design Center offers a variety of programs for those interested in learning the creative process for creating functional and aesthetic spaces. All their programs are SAQA and NQF-approved, and the college is accredited by the Department of Higher Education and Training. Greenside Design Center also has international validation from various countries such as Denmark, Belgium, Australia, Israel, and the United States.

The college is flexible and has full-time and part-time offerings, as well as both online and hybrid learning environments. Greenside also has campuses in both Cape Town and Johannesburg, making it one of the more accessible institutions. 

You can get the ball rolling by enrolling online – they also offer safe and secure student accommodation that is fully furnished and also includes twice-weekly housekeeping as well as wifi.

Registration And Accreditation 

  • Foundation Program Digital Design and Arts (Bridging Course does not carry an NQF level)
  • Higher Certificate in Design: Interior Design, SAQA ID: 97900, 120 Credits, NQF 5,
  • BA Degree: Interior Design SAQA ID: 63009, 360 Credits, NQF 7
  • BA Honours: Interior Design SAQA ID: 118946, 120 Credits, NQF 8


Inscape was the first multi-disciplinary design institution in South Africa, evolving from a small family-owned business to a bonafide learning facility that offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications.

Students are taught to think open-mindedly, favouring versatility over specialisation and general work. The graduate will be prepared for the working world and leave Inscae as a confident, self-assured and driven professional who can pursue a wide range of careers.

Inscape offers SAQA-accredited certifications from the certificate to undergraduate levels that are informative, enlightening, and well-recognized, enabling them to create beautiful and functional spaces wherever they may work – be it as part of a design firm, or an enterprising self-starter.

Registration And Accreditation 

  • BDes Interior Design major in Social Design SAQA 116381
  • BDes Interior Design major in Environmental Design SAQA 116381
  • BDes Interior Design major in Commercial Design SAQA 116381
  • Higher Certificate in Interior Decorating SAQA 94798


Cape Peninsula University of Technology offers students a transformative experience through various Diploma-level programmes that have been devised through world-class research and an experienced complement of staff. These programmes are designed to be forward-thinking while still embracing traditional values such as Unity (ubunye) and Diversity (ukungafani)

CPUT embraces a culture of ethics, integrity, and kindness and strives to deliver an uncompromising quality of service with enthusiasm for the well-being of all staff, students, and stakeholders.

As a technologically-inclined institution, CPUT seeks to embrace futuristic values and encourages students to experiment with the possibility of all new and future technologies in their careers.

Registration And Accreditation 

  • Diploma In Interior Design
  • Diploma In Interior Design (Extended)
  • Advanced Diploma In Interior Design

University of Johannesburg

UJ seeks to incorporate art, design, and architecture by offering world-class interior design programs at the Undergraduate, Postgraduate, and Doctorate levels. It offers some of the best-equipped facilities in the country for aspiring interior designers to learn and experience the field before embarking on their careers with a well-accredited and respected degree.

The interior design programs focus on sustainability and modernity, as such, they will gear the student to adapt to the changes in fashion, technology, and aesthetics in various spaces from home to corporate settings.

The interior design program takes place at UJ’s Faculty of Art, Drama, and Architecture (FADA) where students will be able to network and interact with other students of a wide variety of different disciplines, giving them a unique experience that will help to naturally inspire and help them achieve their goals.

UJ’s qualifications are internationally recognized and are constantly updated to keep up with industry requirements. Alumnae will be thoroughly prepared to enter the working environment as professionals with the most current training available. As such, UJ offers some of the most desirable interior design qualifications available in South Africa..

Registration And Accreditation 

  • BA in Interior Design
  • BA Hons (Interior Design)
  • MA (Design) RD
  • PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) in Art and Design

Potchefstroom Academy

Potchefstroom Academy is one of the leading institutions in South Africa when it comes to Interior Design and Decorating. It also offers a wide variety of other artistic and creative disciplines, ensuring students are exposed to a melting pot of inspiration and creativity.

Potchefstroom is well-known as a student town designed to help prospective Interior Designers to remain focused on their studies while also enjoying the vibrant setting which offers the opportunities to get involved in recreational and social events, connecting with others from a wide array of disciplines so they can all learn with and from each other.

The Academy gears students towards entrepreneurship, but the SAQA-accredited certification is still highly desirable in the industry and can open the door to many career opportunities. Students are imbued with the skills to market themselves and their skills in order to successfully pursue a career as an Interior Designer.

Registration And Accreditation 

Higher Certificate in Interior Design and Decorating (NQF Level 5) – 2 years part-time correspondence course.


Potchefstroom Academy (PTY) Ltd is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training as a private higher education institution under the Higher Education Act 101 of 1997. Registration Certificate Number 2001/HE07/001. All qualifications are registered through the National Qualification Framework (NQF) at the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).

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