The Department of Design offers three Bachelor of Arts study programmes in:

  • Interior Architecture and Furniture Design
  • Fashion Design and Costume Design
  • Graphic design and illustration

There is also one study programme for MA Design within following specializations:

  • Interior Architecture
  • Furniture Design
  • Fashion Design
  • Costume Design
  • Graphic design
  • Illustration
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The design courses are professionally oriented and provide subject-specific competence within interior architecture and furniture design, fashion and costume design, and visual communication.

The programmes involve a high level of collaboration between various design courses, both internally and externally. This provides a basis for a broad, interdisciplinary understanding of design. The courses are largely organised on a project basis, covering both abstract and experimental work, plus realistic projects incorporating supplementary subjects.

Both craft manufacture and screen-based technology are used within all specialisations. Students work both on unique products (one-off solutions for special production) and on designs for industrial production.

Students develop clear attitudes to their own aesthetic judgement and personal scope for expression. In order to enable students to establish themselves professionally and gain an understanding of their subject, the Faculty seeks collaboration on real-world projects with external principals from organisations, the business community and public institutions. Theoretical and methodological studies help to reinforce the subject areas and develop students’ experience and professional standing.

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Interior Architecture and Furniture Design

Three-year, full-time course (180 credits)

The bachelor’s programme offers the opportunity to specialise in interior architecture/spatial design or furniture design. Interior architecture is a distinct subject area within architecture, covering holistic planning and design of rooms, as well as specialist decoration of public and private buildings. Furniture design is defined as an industrial art discipline covering design of furniture and other room-related products for industrial and/or workshop production.

The courses take their starting point in and compare users’ needs for practical, functional and visually stimulating surroundings. This is seen in a local and global context, where ‘accessible to all’ is the byword. Society’s demands for sustainable development are realised in choice of material, method of production and areas of use.

Emphasis is placed on solutions which provide the user with increased quality of life, are functionally satisfactory and of high visual value, and help to raise the overall quality of society. The programme is investigative and experimental, and is based on a humanistic and industrial art tradition.

After four semesters of common core subjects, students choose to specialise in either architecture/spatial design or furniture design.

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Fashion Design and Costume Design

Three-year, full-time course (180 credits)

The bachelor’s programme offers the opportunity to specialise in fashion design or costume design. Fashion designers work for industry or in their own workshops. Costume designers work for theatre, film and TV.

Fashion design is the design of clothes which will realise different users’ needs for comfortable, functional, innovative and appealing products, suitable for varying climatic conditions and multiple uses. The products are designed for industrial or craft manufacture.

Costume design is the design of costumes helping to create an expressive stage picture which realises the action in a script, the director’s interpretation of this, various roles and the audience’s perception.

The course is targeted at society’s differing needs for design services, sustainable development and commercial design. The course is based on traditions in the visual arts, and involves cross-disciplinary integration of humanistic, aesthetic, technical/scientific and commercial subjects.

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Three-year, full-time course (180 credits)

There are many options open to students who complete the course in graphic design and illustration. The subject is undergoing radical development. In addition to illustration and graphic design, the course also includes subject areas such as profiling and trademark building, editorial design and multimedia/ interaction design. The bachelor’s programme offers the opportunity to specialise in one of these areas.

The programme is based on traditions in the visual arts combined with modern theories of design development. While it is important to nurture traditions, a strong network is being built up with leading research and specialist environments both worldwide and in Northern Europe. The course is investigative and experimental.

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How to apply for Bachelor's Degree Programs

Application Deadline: 01st of April.

Language requirements
The Department of Design accepts new students once a year. The programmes are taught in Norwegian, and therefore all students must be proficient in Norwegian both orally and in writing. International applicants must have passed the Bergenstesten.

Applicants from the Nordic countries with Danish, Norwegian or Swedish included in their qualifying examination are not required to pass Bergenstesten.
Application Process
Applicants should have attained a general university admission certificate. All applicants are required to pass entrance examinations.

In the first part, applicants are required to submit a portfolio consisting of exercises.

A limited number of applicants then proceed to the second part, which consists of a practical examination carried out at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts during the course of a week.

Admission material (available in Norwegian only) for 2015 will be published here circa February 1st.

If you have questions regarding the study programmes, please contact

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Study Period  Two-year, full-time course 
Credits 120 
Language of instruction  Norwegian and English

The completion of this course leads to a Master of Design. The Faculty of Design offers an MA program within the following specializations:

  • Interior Architecture and Furniture Design
  • Fashion Design and Costume Design
  • Graphic Design and Illustration.

The course educates designers so that they are able to operate within the international culture of contemporary design and design-related subjects. Drawing upon the tradition of the Academy as well as its considerable crafts heritage; the course has developed a curriculum that addresses theories of design, research-based design and contemporary practice. Moreover, the course has developed strategies that locate the students' specialist design practice within socially committed, ethical and environmental design practices.

In order to achieve this, the Master program requires that the candidates apply by proposing a project. This project should outline a subject of study within the specialist pathways for the period of two years. We actively encourage candidates who are interested in investigating subjects areas such as environmental, social design (i.e. Universal Design), service design.

The course structure also allows for other forms of specializations in the Master program, based on minor subjects that can be studied at other institutions which the Faculty collaborates with.

The course structure provides scope for experimentation and independent design development, as well as enhancing entrepreneurial and social skills, and the ability to interact in the professional milieu of the designer.

The Master program comprises four main areas of study, which emphasize the range and scope of the course. An exploration of:

 Theory and Method – that locates design practice within a critical framework of design knowledge.

 Specialization I – that enables the student to explore nominated areas of design study.

 Specialization II – that builds upon the previous two areas and allows students to partake in in-depth study in their chosen specialist pathway.

 Major Project & Thesis – that allows students to research, explore, create and develop objects (or processes) of design, whilst reflecting upon them within a structured narrative.

More information about the MA programme: curriculum (Norwegian only) and Socially Responsive Design.

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How to apply to Master of Design

Please read the application guide in the Required Application Attachment carefully!

If you have any questions, please contact

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Can I apply?
If you apply to our undergraduate studies (Bachelor’s degrees) you’ll need to have completed secondary education at an advanced level, equivalent to passing the exam at the end of Norwegian upper secondary school. The Norwegian Upper Secondary School Leaving Certificate is based on 13 years of schooling. For students from some countries at least one year of completed studies at the university level is also required.

Please check the GSU-list - compiled by The Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education, NOKUT - for detailed information regarding additional requirements for your country.

For admission to our Master programmes you’ll need a relevant Bachelor’s degree. For more specific requirements see the programme’s curriculum.

What is a curriculum?
The curriculum is the official document describing all aspects of the study programme. It contains provisions regarding structure, entry requirements, forms of evaluation and exams, etc.

Do I need to know Norwegian?
For most programmes, yes you do. Applicants outside of the Nordic countries must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Successfully passed 'Norwegian as a second language' from upper secondary school.
  • Successfully passed Level 3 in Norwegian at a university.
  • Successfully passed one-year study in Norwegian language and society for foreign students from a university college.
  • Successfully passed test in Norwegian at advanced level, 'Bergenstesten', with a minimum score of 450.

The Acting, Directing and Teacher programmes have particularly strict requirements of proficiency in the Norwegian languages.

What is the tuition fee?
Oslo National Academy of the Arts is a public institution and therefore free. The cost of materials and books must be covered by the student. You must also pay a fee every semester to the student welfare organisation The Foundation for Student Life in Oslo, at the time being 440 NOK.

What grades do I need to get accepted?
Applicants are not ranked according to their grades, but by the artistic qualifications they display during the entrance examinations.

What are entrance examinations?
During the entrance examinations you will be given specific exercises and your performance will be appraised by a committee. The specifics of the entrance examinations will of course be dependent of the programme of study. You may have to submit photo/video documentation of your works, there might be practical tests at the Academy and the committee might interview you. All this means that you must be present in Oslo at the designated date.

When can I apply?
See the relevant programme for the exact closing date for application. The application must be postmarked or delivered to the Academy by the deadline. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered. Not all programmes of study admits new students every year.

How many get accepted, and how many applies?
Each year there are approximately 2000 applicants to the Academy, and roughly 200 new students are accepted. For more specific information see the relevant programme.

How do I fill in the application form?
There are individual application forms for each programme of study. You must read the included instructions carefully. Some programmes have particularly strict language requirements, and because of this the application forms and information are only available in Norwegian. All of your education must be documented. All documents must be certified. Do not send original documents! Applications with insufficient information will not be processed.

When will I be notified of admission?
You will be notified by mail as soon as the results of the entrance examinations are available. You should be notified by July 1st at the very latest. If you are on a waiting list, we might contact you as late as September if a place becomes available.

When do I begin?
The Acting and Directing programmes at The Faculty of Performing Arts usually starts at the beginning of August. The rest of the programmes at this faculty starts in the middle of the month. The Faculty of Design and The Faculty of Visual Arts usually starts at the end of August. You will be notified well ahead of the actual date.

What credit and grading system is used?
Courses are measured in “studiepoeng” according to the ECTS standard (European Credit Transfer System). The full-time workload for one academic year is 60 “studiepoeng”/ECTS credits.

Grades for undergraduate and postgraduate examinations are awarded according to a graded scale from A (highest) to F (lowest), with E as the minimum pass grade. A pass/fail mark is given for some examinations.

Do I need to apply for visa?
You may have to apply for a residence permit for study purposes. Norway The Official Site will help you find your local Norwegian embassy.

Can I postpone my studies?
Shorter leaves of absence are usually not granted. Students accepted to a programme but unable to start because of long term illness, birth/adoption, compulsory Norwegian military service or other weighty reasons, might apply for postponement to the next intake.

When are the exams?
All scheduled classes are compulsory and only a few subjects have a finishing exam. The academic year begins in August and ends in June, with only short breaks for Christmas and Easter.

What’s up with all those strange letters?
The Norwegian alphabet contains three additional letters compared to the English one.

  • Æ/æ pronounced like the first vowel in "animal".
  • Ø/ø pronounced like the vowel in "sir".
  • Å/å pronounced like the vowel in "all".

Now you can try to pronounce the Norwegian name of The Oslo National Academy of the Arts: “Kunsthøgskolen i Oslo”. Still not successful? Don’t worry, you’ll be an expert by the time you get your degree!

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Studying abroad as part of a degree will give the students an opportunity to gain new academic perspectives, establish an international network, return motivated and independent, improve their language skills and discover a new culture. 

The Oslo National Academy of Arts has an extensive student and staff exchange programme with Art and Design schools across several continents. We are part of the Erasmus+ and Nordplus programmes and also have bilateral agreements with institutions outside of Europe.

Nordplus Higher Education is the Nordic Council of Ministers’ programme for supporting cooperation between higher education institutions in the Nordic and Baltic countries. Exchange between institution in Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia mainly takes place via the Nordplus networks Cirrus and KUNO.

Erasmus+ is a programme for student exchange within the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA).

The Oslo National Academy also has bilateral agreements with Art and Design schools in Asia, Africa and Australia.





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