Interior Architecture vs Interior Design: What are the differences?

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When choosing a major for your future, you’ll probably look at what you love and enjoy doing the most. And apparently, you like giving a makeover to an indoor space. But then, you got into a dilemma–there are similar options for your preference, but you don’t know the difference! It’s down between Interior architecture and Interior design

Worry not! Here, we provide everything you need to know about both Interior Design and Interior Architecture.

What is Interior Architecture?


Apart from the misconception of the similarity between interior design and interior architecture, they both have the main difference. An interior architecture course is a hybrid field of study, bringing interior design and architecture together in a single discipline. It takes a good knowledge of building regulations, and an understanding of the structure of buildings, in order to make projects safe, habitable, and functional. Different from interior design, interior architecture needs to consider pretty much everything that has to do with both the building&construction and also the interior space. 

Recommended universities to study interior architecture

1. Taylor's University


General intake: Mar, Aug

Campus: Subang Jaya

Qualification: Bachelor of Interior Architecture (Hons)

Indicative fee (2020):

  • Local: RM 105,500
  • International: USD 29,159

2. SEGi University

General intakes: Jan, Apr, Jul, Sep

Campus: Kota Damansara

Qualification: Bachelor of Interior Architecture (Hons)

Indicative Fee (2020):

  • General fee: RM 65,700

3. Sunway University

General intakes: Jan, Mar, Aug

Campus: Bandar Sunway

Qualification: Bachelor of Interior Architecture (Hons)

Indicative fee (2020):

  • Local: RM 89,200
  • International: RM 95,500

What is Interior Design?


According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, Interior design is the art or practice of planning, creating, and supervising the design and execution of architectural interiors and their furnishings. The interior design courses comprise of a more technical perspective rather than practical since an interior designer doesn’t have an architectural certification. 

The role of an interior designer doesn’t stop there. Since their job is to help create functional interior space, they need to understand how the inhabitants will use each room and also consider light, sound and other design aspects. Interior design also requires some of the tech-savviness, as far as the use of 2D and 3D software applications is concerned. Computer-aided design (CAD) is key in contemporary interior design, as well as building information modeling (BIM).

Recommended universities to study interior design

1. INTI University (in collaboration with Sheffield Hallam University, UK)

General intakes: Apr, Aug

Campus: INTI College Subang

Qualification: BA (Hons) Interior Design

Indicative fee (2020):

  • Local: RM 79,095
  • International: RM 79,095

2. First City University

General intake: Jan, Apr, May, Oct

Campus: Petaling Jaya

Qualification: Diploma of Interior Design

Indicative Fee (2020):

  • Local : RM 34,070
  • International: RM 34,425

3. Limkokwing University

General intake: Jan

Campus: Cyberjaya

Qualification: Diploma of Interior Design

Indicative fee (2020):

  • General fee: RM 57,000

General qualifications for both courses*




  • SPM: Pass SPM / O Levels with 3 credits 
  • UEC: Minimum 3Bs
  • O-Level: Minimum 3 credits


  • STPM: Average C or minimum CGPA 2.0
  • UEC: Minimum 5Bs
  • AUSMAT: Minimum ATAR 55
  • Diploma/Foundation: Minimum CGPA 2.0

*requirements may vary among universities

In case you’re still confused about what’s the main difference between interior architecture and interior design, let us give you a recap:

  • Interior architecture is the balancing of the art and science of designing an interior space taking into account all elements of the build.
  • Interior design is a broad-ranging profession taking into account all aspects of planning and designing interior


Contact us to find out more

International Student enquiries:

Phone: +60182414802

Email: [email protected]

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Amanda Kaffah

I am a part-time content writer, a part-time Computer Science student, and a full-time dreamer. Likes to munch some food while doing some work or watching Netflix

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