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Advanced Learner Loans: 

The smarter way to pay for your education

You can afford to study for an NDA Diploma

NDA Professional Interior Design Diploma Courses are eligible for UK Student Loans because they are fully accredited. They are called Advanced Learner Loans (ALL) and if you will be aged 19+ when you start your course, you will be eligible. With the ALL funding and a subsidy from NDA (a not for profit company) there are no tuition fees for you to pay up front.

It is not possible to gain a funding subsidy and take a 19+ Loan for the same course. You can choose the method of payment that suits your circumstances. Students taking out a 19+ Loan do not pay any of their course fees (just a £50 administration fee, refundable upon successful completion of your course) whereas subsidised students must pay a contribution towards their course fees.

Diploma Course Summary

This Diploma will provide you with the skills you need to design your own project or help family and friends with theirs, to start your own business or enter a new career and, it will even give you the confidence to move on to study a degree! No qualifications are required to study this diploma course, so – if you already hold a Level 3 or A-Level equivalent qualification in an Art and Design based subject, you can enrol straight onto one of our degree courses.

Interior Design & the Role of the Designer

This unit introduces you to the fundamental elements and principles that are common within a successful design scheme and how they are adopted by Professional Interior Designers today. You’ll learn how and why interior design has changed over time and to identify key interior design trends. What you learn in this unit will provide an essential foundation to underpin your future designs. This unit also includes:-

  • The 7 design elements of good design
  • Interior Design history and contemporary practice
  • The role of an Interior Designer and different project types
  • Professional presentation boards
  • How to write a short design report

Using Colour in Interior Design

This unit will spark your creativity by giving you the opportunity to play with colour. You’ll explore practical colour theory to enable you to design both historical and contemporary colour schemes. This unit also includes:-

  • Basic colour principles and terminology
  • The impact of colour in a design scheme
  • The psychological importance of colour in an interior space
  • Historical and contemporary colour trends
  • Creating a successful interior design colour scheme

Exploring Surface Finishes in Interior Design

This unit covers the wide and exciting range of surface finishes now available to create fabulous interiors. You’ll explore the versatility and impact of materials for walls, floors and soft furnishings and how to use them to create an effective design scheme. This unit also includes:-

  • The characteristics and suitability of different materials
  • Sourcing and using materials to develop a design scheme
  • Practical skills to represent colour, pattern and texture
  • How to visually present your design ideas

Plans and Space Planning in a Professional Context

This unit shows you how to plan the space for a room design. From initial sketches to final layouts, you will visualise and present design solutions to meet a client brief. This unit also includes:-

  • Understanding the space and the client brief
  • Traffic flow and zoning of space
  • Developing floor plans by hand
  • Creating elevations by hand
  • Practical sketching and hand drawing techniques

Furniture & Accessories in Interior Design

This unit focusses on the limitless range of furniture and accessories available to the Interior Designer. You’ll learn to recognise key styles in furniture and accessory design and how to select and source appropriate furniture and accessories to meet a client brief. This unit also includes:-

  • Understanding of different furniture and accessory styles, historical and contemporary
  • Influential practitioners and design movements
  • The characteristics and suitability of furniture and accessories
  • Choosing and sourcing items
  • Producing furniture layouts

Creative Lighting in Interior Design

This unit explores the potential of creative lighting in interiors and develops your knowledge of lighting design, including traditional and contemporary products. You’ll learn how to choose lighting for your schemes and how to deal with suppliers. This unit also includes:-

  • Understanding different lighting products and lamps
  • Task, ambient and decorative lighting
  • Lighting levels for room design
  • Cool and warm lighting
  • Creating a lighting scheme for a furniture layout
  • Applying symbols appropriate to industry lighting plans
  • Developing a lighting plan to meet a client brief

Professional Practice in Interior Design

This unit explores the diverse possibilities for a career in the Interior design industry and helps prepare you to work successfully in the professional environment, whether this be in an established practice or setting up an interior design business. With a focus on your personal and professional development, you will consider the steps you should take to achieve your own progression ambitions. This unit also includes:-

  • Being employed, self-employed and setting up an interior design service
  • Portfolio development
  • Working with others in a professional environment
  • Effective marketing and promotion
  • How to charge for your design service
  • Studying for a degree

Professional Interior Design Project

For this final unit of the course, you bring together all your newly learned skill by producing conceptual designs to create a wonderful interior design scheme for a new client. When complete, your work will form an asset to your developing portfolio to show future clients. This unit also includes:-

  • Developing a design concept
  • Creating a colour scheme
  • Selecting surface finishes
  • Space planning, including furniture and accessory arrangements
  • Creating a lighting plan
  • Professional presentation techniques

One Great Course, Three Ways To Study

Choose from flexible online learning, online fast-track (zoom lectures) or in-studio fast-track classes


8–10 Months (Flexible)

The online flexible Professional Diploma course is designed to be flexible to allow you to study around your career, family, and other commitments. Choose your own start date and study from anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection.

The online diploma is a 8-10 month course however, many students who have more time to study complete earlier. All assignments consist of design projects which are assessed by your Personal Tutor – there are no examinations.

Online Fast-Track

14 weeks home study and weekly online lectures (via zoom)

For students who want all the benefits of remote online learning, but are also looking for more structure and live interaction with tutors and peers, the ‘Online Fast-Track’ course offers an ideal mix.

The course consists of a 8-week study period that covers each of the 8 subject units in the Diploma course, one unit per week. 2.5hr live zoom lectures are organised two days per week. Up to 6 ‘Independent Study’ weeks within the duration let students complete any unfinished assignments.

In-Studio Fast-Track

10 days In-Studio 10 weeks home study (12 weeks total)

If you prefer a classroom-based study environment then our In-Studio blended learning course could be for you. It is particularly useful if you are looking to fast-track your qualification, either for a new career or for progression to degree level study.

You spend 5 days in-studio followed by 5 weeks home study projects, then a further 5 days in-studio with up to an additional 5 weeks to complete any project work for submission. Throughout home study, you have full online access to our resources and your Personal Tutor.

Do You Qualify?

Key Facts

How To Apply

Further Information

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