Design is a broad field of study involving various industries, including multiple goods and services, such as fashion and user interface. Regardless of the path or track, you intend to pursue career-wise in the future, a solid academic background in Design is necessary to gain the upper hand in the labor market.

A career in design can be lucrative as it is one essential factor that contributes to the marketability of many goods and services. While a degree in Design can be broad enough to offer you numerous job options, specialists tend to be more widely preferred. As a result, most students pursue specific Design programs or work on a Master’s degree with a fixed career path in mind.

Another way to help students select a Design program while considering their future is to choose among the best Design schools in the world. Qualifying in and earning a degree from one of them can guarantee competencies and skills that would get you ahead of the other applicants in the professional pool. The good news is that there are outstanding schools that offer Design programs for free!

Which Design Course is the Best?

Some of the design courses you should check out first are Interior Design, Graphics Design, and Product Design. These are usually in demand in many countries, allowing you to start a career from anywhere. Additionally, these courses allow you to pursue higher education, with many universities abroad allowing you to take Master’s and Ph.D. degree programs. So, make sure to check out our Available Design Programs and learn more about studying abroad. You can also check our Open Courses Page to find out other courses that might interest you to study abroad.

Free Design Schools with No Tuition

1. Aalto University

  • Free Tuition Fee Link
  • Free to: citizens of Switzerland and EU/EEA member countries, non-EU/EEA citizens with certain residence cards in Finland

Aalto University is one of the best public academic institutions in Finland and is gaining global acclaim for its outstanding reputation despite being relatively young. It was founded only in 2010 from the merger of three older Finnish institutions. It has since been gaining recognition for its high-quality and world-class education standards.

Its Art and Design programs are free and also among the most widely recognized in the industry, ranking among the top ten globally. Interested students can pursue a Bachelor’s program in Design that can lead to a Master’s degree. Both degrees take five years to complete and are conducted entirely in English. Because of this, many domestic and international students are eager to pursue a degree at Aalto University.

Prospective non-EU/EEA students have to pay tuition fees for the program amounting to €12,000 for the undergraduate degree and €15,000 for the Master’s degree. Luckily, there are numerous scholarships available at the university to make education more affordable and accessible to international students. Some of the best offers are merit-based and competitive—as expected of an outstanding design school.

2. Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts

  • Free Tuition Fee Link
  • Free to: citizens of Switzerland and EU/EEA member countries, non-EU/EEA citizens with preliminary or permanent Danish residence permit

The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts is an excellent Design school in Denmark. It officially opened in 2011, living by its principle of combining creativity, scientific research, and practice in all of its degree programs. It currently offers several free undergraduate and graduate degrees in Architecture, Design, and Conservation.

The institution has a Bachelor’s program in Design conducted in the Danish language. All interested applicants must earn the highest level of language proficiency as a requirement to qualify for the program. Meanwhile, the academy offers its Master’s programs in Design in English.

While the Bachelor’s program offers an interdisciplinary approach to the fundamentals of Design, the Master’s program allows prospective students to select from six specializations to focus on for two years: Fashion & Clothing & Textiles, Graphic Communication Design, Strategic Design & Entrepreneurship, Furniture Design, Spatial Design, and Visual Game & Media Design.

3. Umeå University

Umeå University in Sweden is one of the largest schools for higher education in Sweden, hosting almost 38,000 students. It is also renowned for its high-quality graduate programs in Art and Design that welcome international students.

The university offers several Master’s programs relevant to Design for prospective graduate students who intend to specialize in specific fields, such as Product, Transportation, Interaction, and more. These programs last two years and use English as the medium of instruction. Each program is worth 120 ECTS credits that students can use to qualify for postgraduate degrees within the European Union.

All academic programs at Umeå University are free of charge for students from Switzerland or other EU/EEA member countries. On the other hand, international students have to pay application and tuition fees. Luckily, there are merit-based scholarships available to students who qualify for any of the university’s Master’s programs in Design.

4. Universität der Künste Berlin

Universität der Künste (UdK) Berlin is one of the leading artistic and design universities in Germany. It offers a wide range of programs in creative and performing arts. Its Faculty of Design offers programs and research opportunities in partnership with several other universities.

The faculty consists of several institutes that offer courses ranging from interdisciplinary Design subjects to highly specialized ones. Some of the Design programs available at the university include Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Product Design and Fashion Design.

All students at UdK, domestic and international alike, can enjoy tuition-free education. However, they must pay roughly €320 per semester in social contribution and a one-time admission or application processing fee worth €30.

5. Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design in Prague

The Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design in Prague (UMPRUM), Czech Republic opened in 1885 and now ranks as one of the best academic institutions in the country. The academy specializes in various fields of Art and has six departments: Architecture, Design, Fine Arts, Applied Arts, Graphics, and Theory & History of Art.

The Bachelor of Arts in Design program lasts four years and is taught entirely in the Czech language. It provides students opportunities to explore various fields of Design through training at nine different studios, including Fashion, Glass, Furniture, and more. Upon graduation, graduates may pursue a Master’s Degree and undergo more intensive and specialized training at the academy’s studios.

Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs in Czech do not charge tuition fees. To take advantage of this opportunity, prospective international students must acquire a language proficiency certificate. The academy also welcomes Erasmus exchange students to study for a semester without tuition. However, those interested in pursuing a full-time Master’s degree in Design at UMPRUM in English have to pay tuition fees.


We hope that this article on Free Design Schools with No Tuition was helpful. To know more information like this, check out the Available Programs for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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