About the National Design Academy

About the
National Design Academy

Video transcript

Why choose the National Design Academy?

If you are looking for a course in interior design, garden design or soft furnishings, then NDA can help you achieve your qualification.

We've been here for over 27 years so we know a thing or two about distance and online learning.

NDA has paved the way in online design qualifications, we launched Britain's first online Diploma, the first Foundation Degree, the first BA (Hons) and the first Master's Degree in interior design.

NDA has alumni of 30,000 in over 80 countries.

Have a look at the website, there's loads of information about NDA courses, what they'll cover, how you'll study online and what you're going to achieve.

Also check out the gallery which has lots of examples of NDA student project work. If you have any doubts that interior design or garden design and even soft furnishings can be studied online, then these inspiring examples should reassure you.

Deciding which course will suit you best is a big decision and there are several key points to consider.

Number 1 – Accreditation

It's really important that you receive a fully accredited, recognised qualification. If you'd like to progress onto a degree or start your own business it's essential that you have the correct qualifications. Accredited courses can only be approved by British Government appointed regulators.

Unlike other institutions, ALL NDA courses are fully accredited, providing you with a recognised qualification.

All NDA Diploma courses are accredited by AIM awards and all NDA Degrees are validated by our Academic Partners, Staffordshire University. That means that the quality of our courses, the academic staff and the Academy itself is inspected regularly and held accountable.

And that's really important for you because it gives you the reassurance that the qualification you receive from NDA is really valid and you'll be able to use it as a stepping stone for other qualifications now or in the future.

Number 2 – Flexibility

NDA offers the only TRULY flexible online design courses. There are no term times or semesters, you can choose your own start date and work from anywhere, at any time!

We understand that for adults, having to study to a set timetable can be difficult, and that sometimes life can simply "get in the way". That is why NDA has designed all our courses to be tailored to you and your lifestyle, we know that you don't want the added stress of missed deadlines, or compulsory seminars. This is a really key issue when you are working or have family commitments.

Simply work out your study plan with your personal tutor - then you can work at your pace, not the pace of other students. Everything is available online when you wish to study, through our bespoke Virtual Learning Studio, or VLS.

Number 3 - Affordability

The National design Academy is part of the NDA Foundation, a not for profit organisation. All profits are re-invested back into the Foundation so we can offer the lowest tuition fees and generous progression scholarships to all NDA students.

There are three ways to pay for your course:

  1. Because NDA courses are accredited they are also eligible for Student Loans. This means that you can study a Diploma course or undergraduate degree now, without having to find the course fees. Student loans have very low repayments which only start when you've finished your course - and only if you are earning over a certain amount.
  2. You can pay your own course fees, we offer a discount for payment in full.
  3. You can pay monthly to spread the cost.

Number 4 – Excellent Tutor Support

As an NDA student you will be allocated your own personal Tutor who will support you throughout your course; you can contact them as often as you wish, Monday to Friday 9-5 at no extra charge.

We have a super team of enthusiastic tutors, with lots of design industry experience. They'll take your phone calls, talk to you by Skype, send you emails and write lots of helpful feedback throughout your course to help you to develop your design skills.

Tutors also deliver flexible, online seminars and join discussions on the lively NDA Student Forum where you can share information and ideas with other NDA students.

Number 5 – Guaranteed Progression

NDA provides an unparalleled progression route for all of our students.

Successfully complete one of our Diploma courses to be guaranteed a place on one of our Foundation Degrees.

We also offer Progression Scholarships to allow you to continue with your studies through to BA Honours & Master's Degree level.

So, you can begin your journey with NDA with no qualifications and progress through the levels to a Master's Degree!

So to recap all NDA courses offer:

  1. Accreditation
  2. Flexibility
  3. Affordability
  4. Excellent Tutor Support
  5. Guaranteed Progression

We'd love to share our passion with you and help you to develop a career in the design industry.

So, for more information please visit our website, where you will find details on our course content and how you can enrol.

We look forward to hearing from you today!

Hello! Welcome to the National Design Academy. In a nutshell, we are Britain's leading online interior design school, having pioneered online design qualifications from Diploma, BA (Hons) to Master's Degree, many years ago. If you are looking for an Interior Design Course or a Curtain Making or Garden Design Course, then NDA can help you achieve your qualification through flexible, online courses.

At NDA we are passionate about design and sharing that passion with our students. Anthony Rayworth is the NDA Director of Studies. He is the highly qualified and "encyclopaedic" interior design enthusiast who leads our amazing and committed tutor team, all of whom share his enthusiasm for design. One member of the Tutor Team will be assigned to you as your own Personal Tutor when you enrol onto an NDA Diploma or Degree course. They will support you throughout your studies, and you can contact them as often as you wish at no extra cost.


At the National Design Academy we always emphasize the importance of gaining a fully accredited qualification; after all, who wants to spend years studying just to discover that their course isn't recognised by the design industry? This is why we have invested much of our resources into ensuring that all of our Diploma level courses are accredited by AIM Awards and all of our Degree qualifications are awarded by our Academic Partners Staffordshire University. This means that any qualification gained at the National Design Academy will be nationally and internationally recognised. Great news!

Our quality is assured through Staffordshire University and AIM Awards and in our own right we have provision regulated through the HECFE (Higher Education Funding Council for England) and ROTO (Register of Training Organisations) registration. For more information please find us here:

Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)
Register of Training Organisations (ROTO)

So, you know NDA is accredited, but how exactly do we teach a creative subject such as interior design online, you may say? Put simply, NDA has many years' experience with delivering online learning to suit the feedback we receive from our students. We make it very easy for students to study by distance learning, through our bespoke Virtual Learning Studio or VLS online. We cover everything step-by-step, in bite sized pieces, so no matter how little time you may have to spare - you can still study - with your personal Tutor to help you every step of the way. Take a look through our Studying Online Guide and take a peek at the Student Gallery that should reassure you about the quality of our student's projects.

We're good at what we do because we listen to our students; we treat everyone as an individual and deliver courses that are flexible enough to suit their busy lives. We believe our reputation speaks for itself, as we have been successfully educating interior design students for almost 30 years with Alumni of 30,000 qualified designers in over 80 countries!

Every single student who passes through the National Design Academy becomes part of the NDA family and we're so proud of everything they achieve. You will often find NDA Alumni on the VLS Community (student forum) exchanging ideas with current students. Having studied online with NDA themselves, they are very supportive and you can make new friends with NDA students from all over the world!

We have a happy mix of students; those who wish to expand a hobby into a career, start their own small business or progress onto a degree with NDA. Others just want the opportunity to improve their existing design skills to help them design their own projects.

Take a look around our site, get to know us, read our blog, join in with our ever popular #DesignDebate over on Facebook or why not just get in touch. So don't be shy, we're here to help!

Enjoy browsing our site and we hope to see you on one of our courses very soon.


About the Academy

National Design Academy is part of The NDA Foundation - a Non-Profit organisation. Profits are re-invested back into the Foundation for the benefit of its students. This means much lower fees than other design schools and universities and we can award all NDA students with Progression Scholarships for each level of study.

The NDA Foundation (NDA) promotes equal opportunities for all and works towards reducing barriers to participation and progression in all our programmes. We value the diversity of all students we support and recognise differences. The NDA is opposed to all forms of discrimination through attitudes and behaviours, particularly in relation to ability, age, colour, educational needs, ethnic origin, gender, marital status, race, religion, sexual orientation, and social background. Every NDA student is treated as an individual – one size does not fit all. We know that all students do not learn in the same way - so we have designed our courses to be truly flexible – so they don't have to!

Our Mission

The NDA Foundation is a not for profit organisation committed to widening access to further & higher education through innovative, affordable, flexible delivery.

Our Core Values

  • We believe that education should inspire and change lives
  • We passionately believe in equality of opportunity and access to education for all
  • We promote excellence in sustainable design, research & development

Our Goal

To build on the NDA national and international reputation as a centre of excellence for flexible, accredited education.

Our Aims

  • Offer flexible study paths to a diverse range of students, including those whose requirements fall outside traditional educational frameworks
  • Deliver outstanding education that embodies a spirit of enterprise, employability and entrepreneurship
  • Provide a fulfilling physical and virtual environment that enables all learners and staff to feel valued and achieve at the highest level possible
  • Raise individual aspirations, create opportunities and promote personal development and progression
  • Be efficient, cost effective and sustainable