NID M.Des. Entrance Exam Syllabus, Eligibility, Preparation Guide

This guide offers a comprehensive overview of the syllabus and examination pattern for the NID M.Des. Entrance Exams, encompassing the Design Aptitude Test (DAT), and Personal Interview, among other components. It is meticulously crafted to provide you with all the necessary tools and insights needed for effective preparation.

National Institute of Design (NID) Admission Process

The National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, along with its extension campuses in Gandhinagar and Bengaluru, holds the designation of an ‘Institute of National Importance’ under the NID Act of 2014. It operates autonomously under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), part of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India. The institute has the statutory authority to award its own degrees, currently offering a full-time Bachelor of Design (B.Des.) program lasting four years, a full-time Master of Design (M.Des.) program spanning two and a half years, and PhD programs in Design, available in both full-time and part-time formats. NID is also a member of the Association of Indian Universities (AIU).

Admissions Process
Admission to all programs at NID is contingent upon the candidates’ performance in the two-stage Design Aptitude Tests (DAT), consisting of the DAT Prelim and the DAT Mains. These exams are designed to evaluate the knowledge, skills, and behavioral abilities of the candidates.

NID Examination Stages

Stage 1: Design Aptitude Test (DAT) Prelims
The DAT Prelims are conducted across various test centers throughout India. Candidates are advised that participation in the DAT Prelims or being shortlisted for the second stage does not automatically guarantee admission.

Stage 2: Design Aptitude Test (DAT) Mains
Candidates who are shortlisted after the DAT Prelims will be invited to participate in the DAT Mains. Details regarding the test center will be provided in the DAT Mains Admit Card.

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NID Important Notes

  • Responsibility of Candidates: It is the candidates’ sole responsibility to ensure all information provided during the application process is accurate. If any discrepancies are found, NID reserves the right to cancel the application or admission at any stage per its regulations. Attempts to unduly influence the institute’s staff or management will result in automatic disqualification.
  • Institutional Autonomy: NID has the exclusive right to determine its admission procedures in line with internal protocols. Any issues not addressed in the admissions handbook are subject to NID’s final decision, which shall be binding on all involved.

This overview provides prospective students with essential information about the structure and governance of NID, as well as a detailed look at the admissions process through the DAT exams.

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NID Master of Design (M.Des.) Program and Seat Allocation

The Master of Design (M.Des.) is a two-and-a-half-year full-time program offered at the National Institute of Design’s campuses in Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, and Gandhinagar. Below is a detailed breakdown of the disciplines available at each campus along with the number of seats offered.

Faculty of Communication Design

DisciplineOffered atNumber of Seats
Animation Film DesignAhmedabad19
Film & Video CommunicationAhmedabad19
Graphic DesignAhmedabad19
Photography DesignGandhinagar19

Faculty of Industrial Design

DisciplineOffered atNumber of Seats
Ceramic & Glass DesignAhmedabad12
Furniture & Interior DesignAhmedabad19
Product DesignAhmedabad19
Toy & Game DesignGandhinagar12
Transportation & Automobile DesignGandhinagar19
Universal DesignBengaluru19

Faculty of Information Technology-Integrated Programmes

DisciplineOffered atNumber of Seats
Digital Game DesignBengaluru19
Information DesignBengaluru19
Interaction DesignBengaluru19
New Media DesignGandhinagar19

Faculty of Interdisciplinary Design Studies

DisciplineOffered atNumber of Seats
Design for Retail ExperienceBengaluru19
Strategic Design ManagementGandhinagar19

Faculty of Textile, Apparel, and Lifestyle Accessory Design

DisciplineOffered atNumber of Seats
Apparel DesignGandhinagar19
Lifestyle Accessory DesignGandhinagar19
Textile DesignAhmedabad19

Additional Notes:

  • Reservation: A certain percentage of seats are reserved for various categories according to Government of India guidelines. For detailed information, refer to Section 5 of this document.
  • Discipline Application: Candidates can apply to a maximum of two disciplines within the M.Des. program.
  • Seat Allotment: Seat allocation for shortlisted candidates will be based on merit within their respective category and according to the preferences listed in their application. Changes to these preferences are not permitted once submitted.
  • Discipline Specificity: Applications are specific to the chosen discipline and cannot be transferred during any stage of the admissions process.

Candidates are encouraged to review their options carefully and consider their preferences based on their interests and the specific offerings at each NID campus.

NID Eligibility Criteria for Master of Design (M.Des.)

To apply for the M.Des. program at NID in any discipline, candidates must meet specific age and educational qualifications as outlined below:

NID M.Des. Age Limit:

  • Indian Nationals in General Category & General EWS Category: Candidates must be born on or after July 1, 1992.
  • Indian Nationals in Reserved Category (OBC-NCL, SC, ST): Candidates must be born on or after July 1, 1989.
  • Indian Nationals in Persons with Disabilities (PwD) Reserved Category: Candidates must be born on or after July 1, 1987.
  • Foreign Nationals in Overseas (Supernumerary) Category: Candidates must be born on or after July 1, 1992.

NID M.Des. Educational Qualifications:

Candidates must possess at least one of the following qualifications to be eligible for admission:

  1. Bachelor’s Degree
    • Duration: Minimum 4-year duration.
    • Field: Any specialization.
    • Educational Standard: Post-12th standard or equivalent.
    • Institution: Must be recognized by law in India.
    • Condition: Candidates must have appeared for all subjects and backlogs, if any, of the Bachelor’s Degree examination by June 30, 2024.
  2. Full-time Diploma
    • Duration: Minimum 4-year duration.
    • Field: Design, Fine Arts, Applied Arts, Architecture.
    • Educational Standard: Post-12th standard or equivalent.
    • Institution: Must be recognized by law in India.
    • Condition: Candidates must have appeared for all subjects and backlogs, if any, of the Diploma examination by June 30, 2024.
  3. Bachelor’s Degree
    • Duration: Minimum 3-year duration.
    • Field: Any specialization.
    • Educational Standard: Post-12th standard or equivalent.
    • Institution: Must be recognized by law in India.
    • Condition: Candidates must have passed the 3-year Bachelor’s degree examinations by August 2023.

Additional Note for Final Year Students:

  • Candidates in the final year of their Bachelor’s degree or Full-time Diploma program are also eligible to apply, provided they have appeared for all subjects and backlogs by June 30, 2024. However, such candidates will be granted provisional admission and must submit the final results of their qualifying examinations by July 31, 2024.

International Qualifications:

  • Candidates with degrees/certificates obtained from universities outside of India must submit an equivalence certificate from the Association of Indian Universities (AIU), New Delhi, during the physical document verification process. For more information on obtaining this certificate, please visit AIU’s website.

These criteria ensure that all candidates possess the requisite academic foundation and are of appropriate age to undertake the rigorous M.Des. program at NID.

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NID Reservation of Seats

The reservation of seats for the Master of Design (M.Des.) program at the National Institute of Design is structured according to the categories outlined by the Government of India. Below is a detailed description of the seat categories and the distribution of reserved seats across different categories.

Categories of Eligible Candidates

Seat CategoryEligible Candidates
General- Economically Weaker Section (GEN-EWS)GEN-EWS, GEN-EWS-PwD
Other Backward Class-Non Creamy Layer (OBC-NCL)OBC-NCL, OBC-NCL-PwD
Scheduled Caste (SC)SC, SC-PwD
Scheduled Tribe (ST)ST, ST-PwD
Open—Persons with Disability (PwD)GEN-PwD, GEN-EWS-PwD, OBC-NCL-PwD, SC-PwD, ST-PwD
Other Backward Class-Non Creamy Layer—Persons with Disability (OBC-NCL-PwD)OBC-NCL-PwD
Scheduled Caste —Persons with Disability (SC-PwD)SC-PwD
Scheduled Tribe—Persons with Disability (ST-PwD)ST-PwD

Note: Foreign nationals applying under the Overseas category do not fall under the Indian reservation system for GEN-EWS, OBC-NCL, SC, ST, and PwD categories.

Category-wise Reservation of Seats

Based on the Government of India’s reservation guidelines, the distribution of seats among the reserved categories is calculated as a percentage of the total seats available in each discipline:

DescriptionGEN-EWS (10%)OBC-NCL (27%)Scheduled Caste (15%)Scheduled Tribe (7.5%)
Disciplines with 19 seats2531
Disciplines with 12 seats1321

This structured approach ensures equitable access to education at NID for all segments of society, in alignment with national policy. Candidates should refer to Section 3 of the admissions document for detailed information on the total number of seats available and Section 5 for complete guidelines on reservation policies.

How to Apply for the M.Des. Program at NID

Applying for the Master of Design (M.Des.) program at the National Institute of Design involves several important steps. To ensure a smooth application process, follow the detailed instructions below:

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Step 0: Preliminary Reading

  • Familiarization: Before beginning your application, thoroughly read the eligibility criteria, number of seats, test centers, reservation policy, and other relevant information in the Admission Handbook 2024-25. Confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.
  • Access Information: All this information can be found on the official admissions website: NID Admissions.

Step 1: Sign Up and Registration

  1. Initial Registration: Go to NID Admissions and complete the online registration by selecting your desired Programme of Study, Nationality, and Category.
  2. Contact Information: Provide a valid email address and an active mobile number. These will be used for all future communications, and you will receive an OTP for verification.
  3. Permanent Details: Note that once submitted, your Name, Programme Applied, Date of Birth, Registered Email ID, and Mobile Number cannot be altered.
  4. Account Activation: Check your email (including Spam/Junk folders) for an email containing your login credentials.
  5. Password Recovery: If you forget your password, use the “Forgot Password” option to reset it. A new password will be sent to your registered email.
  6. Change Password: If needed, you can change your password by logging in and clicking on “Change Password” on the Home page.

Step 2: Completing the Application Form

  1. Login: Using your credentials, log into your account to begin filling out the application form.
  2. Enter Details: Input all required personal and educational details accurately.
  3. Edit Window: Modifications to the application details (except fixed items like name, applied program, etc.) can be made during the designated “Window to Edit.” Changes in category may incur additional fees; no refunds will be given for fee adjustments.
  4. Document Upload: After entering your details, proceed to the ‘Upload Document’ section by clicking ‘Save & Proceed’.
  5. Save Progress: If you need to complete the form later, click ‘Save & Exit’ to save your progress and exit.

Note: Regularly check your registered email and SMS for updates from the admissions team at [email protected] or [email protected] to stay informed about any important notifications or changes in the application process.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your application to the M.Des. program at NID is complete and submitted correctly.

NID Design Aptitude Tests (DAT) for Master of Design (M.Des.)

The Design Aptitude Test (DAT) for the Master of Design program at NID is conducted in two stages to assess candidates’ design aptitude:

Stage 1: NID DAT Prelims

  • Important Date: The DAT Prelims are scheduled for Sunday, December 24, 2023.
  • Format: This is a paper-and-pencil/pen test administered simultaneously at all designated test centers.
  • Content: The exam includes questions that may involve both text and visuals, aimed at evaluating the design aptitude of the candidates.
  • Language: The question paper will be available in English only.
  • Test Structure:
    • Single Discipline Applicants: Candidates applying to one discipline will receive a test paper specific to that discipline only. The duration will be specified in the admit card.
    • Multiple Discipline Applicants: Candidates applying to two disciplines must take two separate test papers, one for each discipline. The duration for each will be announced in the admit card.

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Stage 2: NID DAT Mains

  • Eligibility: Only candidates who are shortlisted from the DAT Prelims based on merit will be invited to the DAT Mains, according to the schedule provided.

Merit List Creation

  • Individual Merit Lists: Separate merit lists will be prepared for each category (GENERAL, GENERAL-EWS, OBC-NCL, SC, ST, and PWD) for each discipline based on the scores from the DAT Prelims.
  • Overseas Candidates: A distinct merit list will be prepared for candidates applying under the Overseas category.

Flexibility in Exam Format

  • Adaptability: In the event of unforeseen circumstances, the format, schedule, and structure of the exams are subject to change. The institute reserves the right to conduct the exams entirely online, entirely offline, or in a hybrid mode combining both, depending on the situation.

This dual-stage examination process is designed to rigorously evaluate the design capabilities of candidates aspiring to join NID’s prestigious M.Des. program. Applicants are encouraged to prepare thoroughly and stay informed about any updates or changes to the examination details through the official admissions website.

NID Test Centres for DAT Prelims

The DAT Prelims for the Master of Design (M.Des.) program will be held in multiple cities across India to accommodate candidates from various regions. Below is the list of cities where the DAT Prelims will be conducted:

  • Ahmedabad
  • Bengaluru
  • Bhopal
  • Bhubaneswar
  • Chandigarh
  • Chennai
  • Dehradun
  • Guwahati
  • Hyderabad
  • Jaipur
  • Kochi
  • Kolkata
  • Kurukshetra
  • Lucknow
  • Mumbai
  • Nagpur
  • New Delhi
  • Patna
  • Raipur
  • Ranchi
  • Thiruvananthapuram
  • Vijayawada

Please Note:

  • Multiple Test Centres: Some cities may host more than one test centre to facilitate access for all candidates.
  • NID Centre Allocation: NID reserves the right to add or remove test centres as necessary and to assign test centres to candidates. These assignments may not necessarily align with the candidates’ preferences.
  • No Change Requests: Requests for changes to the allocated test centre will not be entertained under any circumstances.
  • Accommodation: NID does not provide accommodation for candidates appearing for the DAT Prelims. Candidates are responsible for arranging their own travel and accommodation.

Candidates are advised to check the official NID admissions website regularly for any updates or changes to the test centres and to plan their travel and accommodation well in advance of the examination date.

About NID DAT Mains for M.Des.

The DAT Mains is the second phase of the Design Aptitude Test for candidates applying to the Master of Design (M.Des.) program at the National Institute of Design. This phase follows the Prelims and involves a more in-depth assessment of the candidates’ abilities.

Structure of NID DAT Mains

The DAT Mains comprises two major components:

  1. NID Studio Test:
    • This segment may include a variety of test formats designed to assess different aspects of a candidate’s design aptitude.
    • Language: The Studio Test will be conducted exclusively in English.
  2. Interviews:
    • Conducted separately for each discipline immediately following the Studio Test.
    • Interviews will be held at the same center as the Studio Test to streamline the assessment process.

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Test Centre and Admit Card

  • Test Centres: Specific locations for the DAT Mains will be announced at a later date.
  • Admit Cards: Candidates shortlisted from the DAT Prelims will be able to download their admit cards from the official NID admissions website:


  • NID does not provide accommodation for candidates. All participants must arrange their own travel and lodging.

Flexibility in Exam Administration

  • In cases of unforeseen circumstances, there may be changes to the schedule, structure, and format of the exams. The DAT Mains could be conducted entirely online, offline, or in a hybrid format, depending on what is deemed necessary by the institute.

Weightages of DAT Prelims & DAT Mains for Final Results

  • The final results for candidates in the M.Des. program will be determined by combining scores from both the DAT Prelims and DAT Mains. The specific weightages for each stage will be disclosed later.
  • Eligibility for Merit List: Only those candidates who have participated in all tests in both stages (DAT Prelims and DAT Mains) will be considered for inclusion in the Merit List.

Candidates are encouraged to regularly check the official NID admissions website for updates regarding test centers, admit card availability, and the announcement of weightages for the final results.

Announcement of Results for NID DAT Exams

To qualify for the merit list for the Master of Design (M.Des.) program at the National Institute of Design (NID), candidates must have successfully participated in both the DAT Prelims and the DAT Mains.

8.1 Results for DAT Prelims:

  • Merit List Preparation: Following the DAT Prelims, separate merit lists will be generated for each category for which the candidates have applied. These categories include GENERAL, GENERAL-EWS, OBC-NCL, SC, ST, PWD, and OVERSEAS.
  • Result Announcement: The results for the M.Des. program for the Academic Year 2024–25, including those for overseas candidates, will be officially announced only on the NID admissions website: The specific release schedule will be detailed in Section 2 of the admissions documents.
  • Viewing Scores: Candidates will be able to view their scores on the aforementioned admissions website once the results are declared.
  • Result Score Cards: Please note that NID will not issue any digital or hard copy of result score cards to candidates.
  • Use of Scores: Scores obtained in the NID DAT exams are proprietary to the National Institute of Design and cannot be used by any person or institution without explicit prior permission from NID.

Candidates are advised to keep track of the official NID website for the latest updates and to ensure they meet all necessary criteria to be considered for final admissions.

Allotment of Seat for M.Des. Program at NID

Achieving a rank in the merit list is an essential step towards admission; however, it does not automatically guarantee placement in the preferred discipline of the M.Des. program. The seat allotment process is meticulously organized to ensure fairness and transparency.

Procedure for Seat Allotment

  • Allotment Mode: The seat allotment may be conducted either online or offline, depending upon what the Institute decides is most appropriate under the given circumstances.
  • Offline Allotment Process:
    • In-Person Requirement: If the allotment is conducted offline, candidates must be present in person on the designated date, at the specified time, and with all required documents.
    • Documentation: A detailed list of requisite documents and the schedule for allotment will be announced at a later date. Candidates are advised to prepare these documents in advance to avoid any last-minute issues.
    • Consequences of Absence: Failure to appear for the allotment process with the necessary documentation will result in the forfeiture of the candidate’s seat. The vacated seat will then be offered to the next eligible candidate in the order of merit within the respective category.

Merit and Preference

  • Basis for Allotment: Seats will be allotted strictly based on the merit list ranking and the discipline preferences indicated by candidates at the time of application submission.
  • Flexibility: Candidates are encouraged to consider their discipline preferences carefully when applying, as these choices play a crucial role in the allotment process.

Candidates are reminded to regularly check the official NID admissions website for updates regarding the seat allotment schedule and required documentation. This proactive approach will help ensure that all candidates are well-prepared for the seat allotment phase of the admissions process.

NID Contact Information for Admissions

If you have any questions or require assistance regarding the admissions process for the 2024-25 academic year at the National Institute of Design, please use the following contact details:

NID Admissions Cell Contact Details:

  • Address:
    National Institute of Design
    Paldi, Ahmedabad 380 007
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 079-26623462
    Available: Monday to Friday
    Hours: 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM and 3:00 PM to 5:30 PM

Official NID Websites:

Technical Support:

Please feel free to reach out through the appropriate channels for assistance with your application, to resolve technical issues, or for any general inquiries related to the admission process.

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