Diploma in Retail & Hospitality Design

2016 Planned Intake: 45 JAE 2016 Last Aggregate Score: 18 Course is applicable only for AY2016/2017 intake and earlier

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Be it a five-star hotel, ritzy resort, snazzy bistro or the latest swanky boutique, the Diploma in Retail & Hospitality Design gives you the skills to turn empty commercial spaces into potential trend-setting lifestyle hubs.

In Singapore, indeed Asia, where retail and tourism spaces are constantly reinvented and revamped, you can be sure that trained designers in this niche area would be highly sought-after.

This is the only design course that focuses on retail and hospitality design needs. You will be exposed to an exciting yet rigorous programme that covers spatial design, communication graphics, environmental branding, visual merchandising and the detailing of good interior spaces. You will research culture, emerging lifestyles and the latest concepts in design.

A keen sense of observation, attention to design detail and the ability to conduct accurate and meaningful research are the fundamentals of this course. Along with it, you will pick up the principles of interior design theory, interior environmental technology as well as develop the ability to transform concepts and ideas into working drawings.


 I am impressed by the level of spatial visualisation skills demonstrated by the students and the comprehensiveness of their major projects, which covered almost the full spectrum of the professional design services. I am inspired by the many works I saw that focused on cultivating a sense of social responsibility among the students.

—  Thomas Kong    
Associate Professor Director   
Undergraduate Architecture and Interiors
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Principal, Studio Chronotype

Realise the dream of turning empty commercial spaces into a head turner


What you will learn

  • Architectural Drawing

    Architectural Drawing

    Can you see how a building takes shape in your mind? How do you translate what you visualise into a drawing and from there, present to your client your ideas? Learn about using perspective, orthographic projections and geometric forms to communicate your ideas effectively.
  • Communication Graphics

    Communication Graphics

    Build the right brand for the space you design. Every hotel or retail outlet or resort will have its own unique brand identity. Understanding this will help you design the right feel and ambience for the space you design.
  • Design Project

    Design Project

    Brainstorm a great concept and take it all the way to development. Here’s where you see your ideas take shape and come to life in a seamless process of design from the inception to resolution. You will learn how to focus on the physical developmental evidences of the design process as the key to externalising conceptual thinking and development in retail and hospitality design.

Notable Features

  • The first and only design course specializing in retail and hospitality interior design in a polytechnic.
  • A multidisciplinary focus in emerging lifestyles, environmental branding, communication graphics, visual merchandising and space design.

Career Prospects

Work with multi-disciplinary design companies, industry-related firms, in project management, as a space planner or design consultant working directly for clients such as real estate developers, hotel or retail chains. You may even choose to work in interior and architectural design firms as interior designers or FF&E designers. You could even establish your own design firm – many have done so. You could be next!

Further Education

Entry Requirements

Minimum Entry Requirements

English Language (EL1)* Grades 1-7
Mathematics (E or A) Grades 1-7
Any three other subjects, excluding CCA Grades 1-6

Applicants must also have sat for at least one of the following subjects: Additional Combined Science, Additional Science, Art/ Art & Design, Biology, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Combined Science, Computer Studies, Creative 3D Animation, Design & Technology, Engineering Science, Food & Nutrition, Fundamentals of Electronics, General Science, Higher Art, Human & Social Biology, Integrated Science, Media Studies (English), Media Studies (Chinese), Physics, Physical Science, Science (Chemistry, Biology), Science (Physics, Biology), Science (Physics, Chemistry), Science (Physics, Chemistry, Biology).

Note: Applicants who have partial or complete colour appreciation deficiency should not apply for this course.

See also the minimum entry requirements for:

Course Structure

TP Core Subjects

Subject code Subject LevelCredit Units

A rich and sophisticated language repertoire is required for articulating and presenting design ideas. This subject explores the creative use of language features such as denotation, connotation, metaphors, tone and style in a variety of genres. It further analyses the discourse modes of description, narration and exposition as used in the design context. Next, it focuses on the application of these language features in written and oral presentations for expressing, examining and supporting design concepts in design critiques.


LEAP 1, 2 and 3 are three fundamental subjects that seek to cultivate in you, the attitude, skills and knowledge for the development of your leadership competencies.  This character-based leadership programme enables you to develop your life-skills through establishing personal core values, which will become the foundation for your leadership credibility and influence.


LEAP 1, 2 and 3 are three fundamental subjects that seek to cultivate in you, the attitude, skills and knowledge for the development of your leadership competencies.  This character-based leadership programme enables you to develop your life-skills through establishing personal core values, which will become the foundation for your leadership credibility and influence.


LEAP 1, 2 and 3 are three fundamental subjects that seek to cultivate in you, the attitude, skills and knowledge for the development of your leadership competencies.  This character-based leadership programme enables you to develop your life-skills through establishing personal core values, which will become the foundation for your leadership credibility and influence.


Effective written and oral communication play a critical role in advancing a design professional’s career. Designers are expected to be persuasive in articulating their design ideas in order to secure design contracts and employment. Hence, this subject focuses on the use of persuasion in two broad areas of professional communication for designers: client relationship and career self-promotion.


This student internship programme provides students with the opportunity to relate their academic learning in the course of study to a relevant work environment. It allows them to gain a perspective of work life and to understand the attributes expected by the employers.


The culmination of the design process is the communication of design solutions. This subject focuses on the argumentation process that leads to the articulation of informed, rational and creative design solutions. You will identify key issues in a client’s brief, conduct research, analyse findings, define design directions and rationalise design solutions through written and oral presentations.


Diploma Subjects - Core Subjects

Subject code Subject LevelCredit Units

The subject aims to equip the students with the skills and knowledge of Computer-Aided Drafting to generate digital architectural drawings. The subject covers the basic principles of project documentation using computer generated drawings softwares to document and manage a design project. Students will learn the principles of Computer Aided Drawing (CAD) and digital skills for efficiency in building information and documentation.


The subject introduces you to art and design fundamentals, aesthetic awareness and cultural appreciation. It will develop an understanding for the art and design processes, and enable you to reflect and see the world from a designer’s perspective. Through this subject, you will discover how to express yourself visually and with confidence in areas of art and design.


This module introduces you to the definitions and practice of Marketing in Design with a focus on people, spaces and interactivity. It provides an understanding of the scope and purpose of marketing and its integrated role within the design process. The module enables you to develop processes to identify the target audience, understand the clients and brands and understand the competition of the marketplace. The module also covers the fundamentals of marketing research methodology through field work such as simple field interviews, data analysis, comparative analysis and matrices. Most salient is the exposure to the language of marketing and its relevance to designers in the business of Design.


This subject introduces the various visualisation techniques for architectural drawings. The topic covers basic methods of constructing geometric drawings, orthographic projections and perspective drawings necessary for communicating a successful design presentation.


This subject serves as a platform to introduce you to retail and hospitality design project. Exploratory and experimental in nature, it encourages you to develop varying perspectives in design approaches and processes, encompassing design conceptualisation, visualisation and expression of a set theme.


The subject introduces various rendering techniques for illustrating interior space design intent. As an integral part of the design process, the subject leads you to make considered judgments in the selection of appropriate rendering media to best visualize the design intent of all components that shape the interior space.


This subject introduces the basic fundamentals of spatial design from the massing and sculpting of built forms to its implications on interior space design. It exposes you to the basic principles of design, through manipulation of geometry and the understanding of the basic measurement of human proportion and how the impact of ergonomics and anthropometrics has its implications in the spatial context.


The subject aims to provide you with an insight and understanding of the expressive nature of architectural tectonics. It covers an overview of tectonics and structure as well as a study of significant examples of structural systems and their materials and finishes.


Design Studio is a project that allows you to apply the fundamentals in design thinking through methods and tools of design process. It provides a platform for you to be exploratory and experimental in the process of sculting forms that leads to the development of spatial design.


This subject introduces you to concept development as a seamless process of design from the inception of a design idea to the resolution of the design process. The subject focuses on the physical developmental evidences of the design process as the key to externalising conceptual thinking and development in retail and hospitality design.


This subject focuses on understanding of the retail and hospitality design profession and learning to apply areas related to branding, display, graphics/ signages, lighting, space planning, consumer culture and trends, etc. You are required to generate design solutions to address the above.


This subject focuses on graphic design related to interior and exterior built environment. It is a creative science which integrates two and three- dimensional graphics into the built environment for functional and aesthetic purposes.


The subject equips you with the knowledge to understand the thinking, influences and conditions affecting the shaping and design of significant interior spaces. It covers an overview of theories and ideas in relation to interior design, furniture, fittings and accessories.


The subject is an introduction to elements in the interior and highlights the importance of secondary elements in a space. It introduces the impact of colour theory with the effect of lighting quality in a spatial context. It aims to provide a cohesive understanding together with the interior forms to provide a basic balanced equation to what makes an interior space.


This subject covers construction elements such as walls, floors, roofs and stairways with a comparison of structural and non-structural functions, to provide you with an understanding of the constructional framework of the building and the parameters within which an interior space can be altered and manipulated.


Building Systems provides an overview of service elements needed to facilitate the smooth running of buildings and their interiors and to further provide for the comfort, health and safety of the users. The subject aims to further equip you with an awareness and understanding of fire safety requirements, escalators and lifts, security, telephone and IT communications and intelligent building systems.


This subject provides the framework for you to experience a self-initiated and comprehensive interior design project related to the field of retail and hospitality design. The scope of the subject includes the inception and exploration of design ideas and concepts within a specific context.


This subject focuses on the fundamentals of interior digital modelling applications to represent ideas and concepts in visualising 3D design creations. It provides you with an opportunity to explore the basics of 3D digital built environment design, develop an understanding of the software application and be familiar with the fundamentals of 3D design creation and visualisation.


This subject introduces the basic planning and design principles that relates to retail and hospitality specific spaces. Hotel and store planning concepts will be covered in the subject.


This is the study of how people relate to the products and services that they purchase or use. The subject aims to provide retail and hospitality designers some valuable information from the understanding of consumer market, their thoughts and decision-making processes, for design thinking.


This subject focuses on the issue-driven approach. You will be given opportunities to explore issues pertaining to design in the realm of retail and hospitality though investigation and studies. You will also be required to generate design solutions to address the identified issue or topic chosen.


The subject is a study of the nature of different service elements needed to allow buildings and their interiors to function well and to provide for the comfort, health and safety of the users.


Graduation Requirements

Cumulative Grade Point Average min 1.0
TP Core Subjects 20 credit units
Diploma Core Subjects 93 credit units
Cross-Disciplinary Subjects min 9 credit units
Total Credit Units Completed min 122 credit units

Cross-Disciplinary Subjects

Students are required to obtain a minimum of 9 credit units from the list of Cross-Disciplinary Subjects.

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Contact Us

For general enquiries, please contact:

School of Design

  (65) 6788 2000
  (65) 6789 8165

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