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Study Commercial Interior Design at Unitec in Auckland, New Zealand. Apply today!

New Zealand Diploma in Interior Design (Commercial)

This programme is for aspiring qualified Interior Designers within commercial interior design practices.

120 (1.0 EFTS)
Mt Albert
Start dates
Full-time for 1 year. Part-time options available.

Programme overview

This programme is an extension of the New Zealand Diploma of Interior Design (Residential) (which is also a prerequisite for this commercial programme) and prepares you to develop your knowledge and extend your skills into commercial environments. If you’re looking to enter the commercial interiors industry or if you’re already working in this field and would like hold the formal qualification, this is the programme for you.

Our industry focused approach to learning interior design, means that in addition to developing your necessary knowledge and skills in commercial interior design, we also integrate you into the industry. You’ll do this through practical learning, facilitated industry connections, working on actual client projects, guest speakers from industry, undertaking internships within specialist design practices, and much more. 

This diploma will advance your technical knowledge and skills of CAD, consenting and documentation processes, products, materials and lighting design in order to equip you to design for complex environments within the retail, hospitality and workplace sectors.


  • Highly industry integrated and connected
  • Work in 2 internships with practising commercial designers
  • Work on actual client projects
  • Practical projects which model current design processes used within industry practice.
  • Off site visits to trade suppliers and manufacturers
  • Guest speakers from industry
  • Programme content includes lighting design and furniture design
  • 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
  • Is a continued pathway from the New Zealand Diploma in Interior Design (Residential) 

Qualification pathway

The New Zealand Certificate in Interior Design (Residential) is a prerequisite of for this Commercial programme.

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

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


We are awarding a $750 Interior Design (Commercial) Study Award Scholarship to encourage students beginning their New Zealand Diploma in Interior Design (Commercial) at Unitec and to help cover education-related costs. Find out more about the scholarship. 

Admission requirements

For this programme you need:

1. to hold the New Zealand Diploma in Interior Design (Residential)

2. 8 credits at NCEA Level 2 in English (4 in reading, 4 in writing). 

3. If English is not your first language, you will need one or more of the following:

  • Have achieved NCEA Level 3 and New Zealand University Entrance 
  • Be able to provide evidence you satisfy our criteria for existing English proficiency such as IELTS
  • Have achieved at least one English proficiency outcome in the last two years

4. As part of your application you may be required to do the following unless you've already done so as part of entry into the New Zealand Diploma in Interior Design (Resdiential) or similar programme:

Don't meet these requirements? We also accept:

Entry by special or discretionary admission.

Special admission: 

  • Be 20 years old or above at the start of your programme; AND
  • Provide sufficient evidence of aptitude or appropriate work or other life experience that would indicate a successful outcome in the qualification.

For more information download the programme regulations:

Programme Regulations

Courses and timetables

For more details on the courses, please click on the course names below. Please note that our systems are updating with new course timetable information for 2024; please check back again soon.

Courses Credits Aim
Commercial Components (CIAR6500) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) This course develops students’ knowledge of commercial components (including products, materials, and finishes), manufacturing techniques, and production processes. The course develops students’ ability to apply this knowledge to specify commercial components for use in commercial interior environments.
Commercial Design Studio 1 (CIAR6501) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) This course extends students’ knowledge of design principles and processes and develops students’ ability to apply this knowledge to interior commercial design in the retail and/or hospitality sectors.
Commercial Design Studio 2 (CIAR6502) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) This course extends students’ ability to apply design principles and processes to the design of complex commercial interior environments.
Construction Technology (CIAR6503) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) This course develops students’ knowledge of sustainability, environmental science, and legislation and gives students the opportunity to apply this knowledge to the design of commercial interiors.
Digital Presentation 1 (CIAR6504) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) This course develops students’ knowledge of digital design tools and documentation standards and develops students’ ability to use those tools to effectively communicate design solutions.
Digital Presentation 2 (CIAR6505) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) This course extends students’ knowledge of, and ability to use, digital technologies to communicate complex design solutions.
Professional Practice (CIAR6506) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) This course develops students’ knowledge of the commercial and professional aspects of the commercial interior design industry.
Project Co-ordination in Commercial Design (CIAR6507) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) This course develops students’ ability to integrate knowledge of commercial design business processes and procedures and apply this to their design practice.

Unitec is part of Te Pūkenga

On 1 October 2022 Unitec became part of Te Pūkenga. Find out more about Te Pūkenga and what this means for you.