We know it can be difficult to choose the best interior design course for you and with so many options out there, it can be a difficult to compare each course.
With over 32 years of interior design training under our belt, we’ve learnt how to deliver the most engaging content, the most flexible learning experience, the best support and the best-trained interior designers.
We’re not knocking our competition in this blog but there’s also no point in hiding your light under a bushel! We teach our interior design students to shout their successes from the roof tops. To show off their best work. Well, we’re about to do the same!
We’re going to tell you exactly why we think we offer the best interior design courses in the business!
1. The Experience
We have over 32 years’ experience teaching interior design and 15 years delivering online interior design courses. We’ve been doing this for a very long time and we’re good at it! That’s how we have grown an Alumni of over 35,000 students spread across every continent, in over 80 countries.
Our tutors are all fully qualified Design professionals with a wealth of real-life industry experience, this means they stay up to date with the latest design trends and industry developments.
Unlike most other institutions, every NDA course will provide you with a recognised, accredited qualification.
Our course content is reviewed on a continuous basis to make sure it remains current and our newsletter, social media feeds and Virtual Learning Studio are continually updated with the latest interior design industry news, jobs and trends.
“The only source of knowledge is experience.”
Online courses are everywhere right now, and some are better than others.
If you’re trying to work out which is the best interior design course for you, make sure you consider the pedigree of the institution you’re looking at.
Are they well established or have they just popped up overnight?
Are their courses really Accredited?
2. The Personal Touch
We like to take things personally!
Although most of our courses are online, you’ll be surprised by how much a part of the community you feel when you’re studying with the NDA.
From the moment you send us a message or submit an application, you’ll get a personal response from a real person. We don’t automate our responses and you’ll always get a named point of contact.
Once you’re enrolled on an interior design course, you’ll also get access to your own personal tutor who will be there to guide you through your studies.
Many other online interior design courses leave you to figure much of the course out for yourself. At the NDA, you’ll have unlimited access to your tutor via email, telephone, Skype or if you are in the area, make an appointment to meet with them in person.
Your tutor will mark and give you feedback on every unit or module you complete throughout your course and if you study an interior design degree with the NDA, they’ll be at your graduation at the end of your course.
3. The Flexibility
Modern life is busy – we understand that. Not many people can afford to drop everything to retrain or start a course to build on a hobby.
Most of us have jobs, children or other commitments which mean it can be a struggle to fit everything into each day.
Online learning gives you the flexibility to study at a time to suit you. So, you don’t have to give up your day job!
One of the best things about studying with the NDA is that you can start our courses any time! There’s no semesters, no term-times. If you want to study an interior design degree, you don’t have to wait until September, you can apply and enrol at any time of year.
Our Interior Design Diploma courses are also completely flexible. You don’t have to wait for us to tell you when you can start, and you don’t have to wait for a cohort of other students to catch up. You can complete each unit at anytime, day or night. If the summer is your quietest time, we’re open all year round so you’ll always have access to our tutors and support team.
If you’re looking for the best interior design course to fit in with your busy life, look for one which offers on-demand, digital resources.
When you study with the National Design Academy, all of your resources and course materials are online, so you can access them anytime and anywhere.
This brings us to our Virtual Learning Studio – without doubt one of the best-selling points of the NDA.
4. The Virtual Learning Studio (VLS)
Our Virtual Learning Studio is unique. It contains everything you need to study interior design from the comfort of your own home.
Also known as the VLS, it’s your library, your classroom, your common room, all rolled into one.
We are one of the world’s most established online learning experts and the VLS has been developed over 15 years to create an environment best suited for delivering online interior design courses.
When you start an interior design course with the National Design Academy, you’re given a log-in to the VLS where you’ll find all of your course materials. You’ll use the VLS to access each unit or module which may contain videos, resource links, quizzes and online lectures from tutors. You can rewind and re-watch to your heart’s content.
All assignments are also submitted via the VLS. Once you start a module, your Virtual Learning Studio will automatically show the date your assignment is due for submission.
If you’re struggling for time, our tutors are always on hand for help and advice.
5. The Content
From our Diplomas to our Degrees, you’ll find our course content easy to follow and engaging.
If you’re looking for the best interior design course for beginners, the Diploma in Professional Interior Design gives you the best overview of the subject.
It will take you through the basic principles of interior design such as Colour Theory, The 7 Elements of Good Design, Drawing Plans and Elevations and our Professional Practice unit gives you all the tools necessary to work as a professional interior designer.
Our degree level courses are suitable for anyone who has completed a Diploma level course or equivalent, or those who already have some experience in the industry.
With modules in Historical Context, Creative Lighting & Technology, Sustainable Design and Hotel Design, our Interior Design Degree features some contemporary content not always found in other degree programmes.
Want to learn CAD? We offer free CAD video tutorials to all our students! These have been specifically tailored to Interior Design and the skills you’ll need for the industry.
Our innovative virtual learning studio allows us to deliver our course content in the most engaging of ways. With interactive quizzes, video tutorials, how-to guides and professional level briefs to work to, most of the time you’ll forget you’re even learning!
6. The Expertise
We believe that the best teachers are those who have real-world experience. Those who have trained and then actually worked in the field they are teaching.
All of the National Design Academy tutors have worked as professional designers and many still do.
We have specialists in soft furnishings, commercial interior design, interior architecture, furniture design, outdoor living, heritage design and sustainable interior design to name but a few.
We offer professional interior design training so what’s the point in having a teacher who’s never had to pitch a client, work to a real brief or deal with real suppliers?
Our expertise in teaching interior design also extends to our alumni.
When our students graduate, we like to stay in touch and keep up to date with their career as it progresses. Our ex-students provide interviews and guest blogs, how to guides and industry tips, all to help the next generation of NDA students to succeed.
What makes the best interior design course? We think one of the most important factors is that it’s created by people who know what they are talking about!
When a course is created by real interior designers you can be safe in the knowledge that you’re learning the skills you need to succeed in the industry.
National Design Academy interior design courses have been developed by interior design experts. In fact, one of our founding tutors, Marianne Shillingford, holds the role of Creative Director of international paint giant Dulux. Marianne continues to work with the National Design Academy to this day.
7. The Partnerships
Sometimes it’s not all about what you know. Who you know and the relationships you make in your early career can define your future success.
We choose our partners carefully as we need to ensure that their commitment to our students is as strong as ours. You’re only as strong as your weakest link after all and our partners are industry leading!
Our Professional Design Diplomas are awarded by British Awarding Body AIM awards. Unlike many other Diplomas on the market, NDA students will receive a fully accredited and regulated qualification. Afterall, why would you work so hard to achieve a certificate that is not recognised by the industry?
AIM’s motto is:
“To produce award winning qualifications designed by industry, for industry.”
This means you will be able to put all your hard work to good use, start your own interior design business or enter the design industry.
All NDA Bachelor’s & Master’s degrees, are validated & awarded by our Academic partner De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) The University has been named as one of the 150 best young universities in the world.
We are one of only 6 UK partners DMU choose to work with to deliver degree level courses to their exceptionally high standards. Once again providing our students with a globally recognised qualification!
Our very successful Partnership with Leicester College has spanned over 16 years and allows UK students to access Government funding for all NDA Professional Diploma courses. This funding reduces the course fee by over 50%!
The British Institute of Interior Designers (BIID) is a professional organisation for commercial and residential interior designers. NDA has been a member of the BIID for over 20 years. The best bit? All NDA students receive free Student Membership!
Based in Dubai, The Association of Professional Interior Designers (APID) is the only professional interior design membership organisation in the Gulf region. NDA have been members for over 7 years and our Dubai Senior Tutor has even been appointed as their Ambassador!
Each September, as part of our relationship with the world’s largest paint company Dulux, we have the honour of announcing the Dulux Colour of the Year.
We then invite interior design students to vie for the coveted National Design Award. Students are given a brief and asked to design a scheme featuring the Colour of the Year for either a residential or commercial project.
The National Design Award is judged by Dulux Creative Director, Marianne Shillingford and National Design Academy’s own Director of Creative Studies, Anthony Rayworth.
You can view the winners of the 2020 National Design Award here.
We work with various industry experts throughout the year to bring our students and website visitors the inside track on various facets of interior design. From heritage interior design tips to interior design skills labs, our guest blogs are always well worth a read.
8. The Support Team
Choosing the best interior design course should also take into account the support you receive prior, during and after your course.
Just because you’re studying at home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have access to all the same benefits of learning at a physical institution.
When you study with the National Design Academy you have access to a dedicated Student Support and Admissions Team.
We have a vested interest in our student’s mental health, happiness, and wellbeing.
Our pastoral care programme is in place to help you fulfil your potential and get the most out of your course. If you have individual learning needs, learning difficulties, or anything happens in your life which affects your ability to study, our Student Support Team are always on the end of the phone or you can email for help.
9. The Progression
We have a vested interest in helping all of our students to advance towards a successful career in interior design so when you study with the National Design Academy you have the opportunity to benefit from our Progression Scholarship fund to take your learning to the next level.
For Diploma students, you receive a tuition fee rebate of £500 ($624 for international students) when you progress onto a degree.
Complete any National Design Academy degree and receive the same on the completion of your NDA Master’s Degree in Interior Design!
All you have to do is enrol on the next level within 4 months of finishing your course.
Our interior design degree course fees are already 40% lower than most bricks and mortar institutions. The NDA Progression Scholarship lowers these fees even further.
How can we do this? The National Design Academy is part of the NDA Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation set up to help our students further their careers in interior design. All profits remain in the Foundation to fund your future learning!
Each National Design Academy interior design course also prepares you to progress your career in practical ways as well as financial.
Professional Practical units and modules are studied within each course so that you are prepared for success in the industry.
Whether you’re looking to start an interior design business or get a job within an existing practice, our courses, and tutors, will help you to put your best foot forward.
10. The Best Interior Design Courses
Unfortunately, not all interior design courses are created equal.
Don’t get us wrong, if you’re looking for a hobbyist course and have limited time available to study, there are some great short courses out there to help you decorate a room in your house.
But if you want to go further and really know your stuff, you need to choose a course which supports your goals, fits around your busy life and gives you every opportunity for success.
The National Design Academy have decades of experience in delivering the best interior design courses. We’ve achieved this by listening to student feedback, working with industry experts and employing a team who are not only passionate about this wonderful subject, but who are also fully committed to providing the most positive and inspiring learning journey.
We also know the subject of interior design inside and out!
We know what employers and clients look for when they are trying to find an interior designer. We are also the only interior design university to offer these specialist courses:
So, in short, if you’re looking for the best interior design course to give you the best chance of success in your future career, a provider who will support and nurture your potential, the ability to study a specialist aspect of interior design, a platform that makes learning fun and engaging……