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Design as a career is always about innovation and creativity. Following your dreams to create something unique in any field requires some kind of design. Design is nowadays not restricted to fashion or graphics only. A degree in design is provided by the leading universities and the job opportunities are available in almost all domains of industry. From creation of a product to designing marketing strategies, requires some knowledge of design. 

How to build on the subjects

CBSE offers a variety of subjects which students can opt as academic subjects or skill subjects depending on what subjects are available at the school. The students willing to take up design as a career are suggested to take up a subject related to design, so that one gets a basic knowledge about the subject and also appropriate experience through field works, internships or workshops. The subjects that are available at the high school level are Graphic design, Engineering graphics, Painting, Sculpture, Applied/commercial art, Textile designing, Design, Fashion studies etc. 

Along with the school curriculum which includes both theory and practical work, a student needs to have an overall understanding of design as a broad spectrum. This general awareness can be enhanced by participating in relevant workshops, attending webinars or seminars, participating in summer camps related to the subject development, internships in related field. The student can also watch subject specific movies and documentaries to enhance the subject knowledge and understanding of real life issues and how to solve them by applying relevant principles of design.

Admission and Entrance Exams

A student is eligible for Design related courses even if the student did not pursue any design related curriculum in high school. There are some Universities with specific courses in design which require Maths as a subject in 11th and 12th classes, but most of the courses do not require Maths in 11th and 12th for appearing for entrance exams.

Different entrance Exams for Design:

UCEED: Undergraduate Common Entrance Exam for Design is an entrance exam  and joint seat allocation program at IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IIT Guwahati, IIT Hyderabad and IITDM Jabalpur. Generally the registration starts in September and the entrance exam is in the following January.

UCEED 2022 was held in the following 24 cities in India only: Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Dehradun, Delhi, Ernakulum, Panaji, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Kolkata, Kozhikode, Mumbai, Nagpur, Patna, Pune, Raipur, Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur and Visakhapatnam. 

Eligibility: Final examination of the 10+2 system, conducted by a Central or State Board recognized by the Association of Indian Universities.

Exam pattern: 

There will be ONE question paper of total THREE hours duration. • The question paper will be in English. • The question paper will carry a total of 300 marks. • The question paper will consist of two parts: Part-A and Part-B. It is compulsory to attempt questions from both the parts.

You can check the details of exam pattern, marking scheme and Type of questions from the UCEED Information Brochure 


UCEED has two parts: Part A and Part B.

Part A has questions from the following topics:

Visualization and spatial ability, Observation and design sensitivity, Environmental and social awareness, Analytical and logical reasoning, Language and creativity and Design thinking and problem solving.

Part-B will have ONE question from the following topic:

Drawing: Ability to draw products, people or scenes in proportion with good line quality, composition, proportion, perspective and shading.

NID: National Institute of Design have their branches in 6 cities in India:  Ahmedabad (Gujarat), Gandhinagar (Gujarat), Bengaluru (Karnataka), Kurukshetra (Haryana) , Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh) and Jorhat (Assam) and Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh). This institute is considered to be the best in India for Design related programs. It offers Bachelor of Design, Master of Design and PhD. 

The four-year-long Bachelor of Design programme is offered only at NID Ahmedabad in the following areas of specialization: Faculty of Industrial Design, Faculty of Communication Design, Faculty of Textile, Apparel, Lifestyle & Accessory Design and Ceramic & Glass Design.

NID also has International collaborative Programs with countries like Japan, Taiwan, Isreal, Sri Lanka, China, Korea, Thailand etc.  

Eligibility Criteria: Candidates from any stream Science, Humanities and Commerce are eligible for B.Des Course. 

Exam Pattern: Candidates interested to apply in this institute have to clear the DAT (Design Aptitude Test). The syllabus for DAT prelims covers a broad domain related to  topics like: Innovation in Thinking, Design awareness, Graphics and Pictograms, Visual Logic, Picture Analysis etc. In DAT Mains, topics like Model Making, doodling, material manipulation, creative thinking etc are tapped upon. 

NIFT:  National Institute of Fashion Technology is the pioneering institute of fashion education in the country and has been in the vanguard of providing professional human resource to the textile and apparel industry. The NIFT campuses are found at Chennai, Gandhinagar, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bangalore, Bhopal, Bhubneshwar, Jodhpur, Kangra, Kannur, Patna, Raebareli and Shillong.

NIFT offers Bachelor of Design Programs with several specializations: Fashion Design, Leather Design, Accessory Design, Textile Design, Knit wear Design, Fashion Communication, Apparel Production. NIFT has its own entrance exam GAT (General Ability Test). It is a 100 marks exam for which 120 minutes are given. There are 4 sections namely Communication Ability (25 marks), English Comprehension (25 marks), Quantitative Ability (20 Marks), Analytical Ability (15 Marks), General Knowledge and Current Affairs (15 Marks). Creative Ability Test (CAT) This test is administered to judge the intuitive ability, power of observation, concept development and design ability of the candidate. It also involves colour usage and illustration skills. 

The shortlisted candidates from the written exams are required to take a Situation Test which is a hands-on test to evaluate the candidate’s skills for material handling and innovative ability on a given situation with a given set of materials. For Masters Level there is Group discussion and Personal Interview.  

Do I need to take coaching for Design related entrance exams?

Students who are willing to appear for the Design Institutes, coaching will provide them a higher rate of success. As schools generally do not provide typically design related subjects in classes 11 and 12, it becomes difficult for students to learn about the exam specific details on their own. Solving previous years question papers and appearing for mock tests are also an effective way of preparation. 

List of good Design Institutes in India:

Pearl Academy (Jaipur, Mumbai, Noida, Delhi)

Recommended Design Resources:

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