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Case study: Albina Alieva

My name is Albina Alieva and I live in Moscow, Russia. I am 36 years old and am a happy wife and mother to 4 beautiful children. During the daytime I work as a freelance interior designer.

I have been studying at the National Design Academy since 2011. I have completed the Diploma in Interior Design course and am now just about to complete the FdA in Interior Design. It has been a long journey for me before finding the National Design Academy.

In fact, I have been studying for the majority of my life. I hold a Russian higher education degree in Economy. However, I never worked as an economist because almost immediately after my graduation, I decided to change the direction of my career to interior decorating.

This was the time when I first experienced the world of distance learning at a Russian school of correspondence education. With this diploma under my belt, I was hired by IKEA as a Visual Merchandiser and worked there for a few years. After my time at IKEA, my life took a rather hectic turn, having children whilst also trying to teach myself everything I could about interior design, reading everything I could find concerning the interior design field and studying computer aided drafting, whilst also working for free for my relatives and friends.

When my kids grew older I started a local diploma course in interior design. It was a really useful one-year course, but I felt it was not enough. I thought that if I wanted to work as a professional interior designer, then I had to have an official education level qualification, so I started to search for the best school to study at to match my lifestyle.

I found NDA through the Staffordshire University’s website. I liked that the degree would be internationally recognised and that this type of education was very flexible and serious at the same time. In fact, I could travel, work, look after kids and study. No other school could offer the same flexibility. Before entering the Academy I had to take IELTS to prove my knowledge and proficiency of the English language.  I decided to start from the Diploma level course because I didn’t want to miss a single word from the whole program.

Of course, it is a challenge to work and study, but I am very glad I’m doing this. I have more knowledge and confidence to fulfil design projects and present them at a higher level.

I plan to go further and enrol on to the Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in interior design.

I would certainly recommend the NDA to anybody that loves interior design and needs a flexible and highly professional course. However, I would say that you need to be ready to work hard and learn to manage your time!

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Course Timeline

3rd September to 20th January

Introduction Week

Course Introduction

2 hour Live Online Introduction Session
Tuesday, 3rd September @ 10am (UK Time) 1pm (Dubai Time)

Week 1

Unit 01: Fabric Selection & Colour Theory

2.5 hour Live Online Tutorial
Tuesday, 10th September @ 10am (UK Time) 1pm (Dubai Time)

2.5 hour Live Q&A Session
Friday, 13th September @ 10am (UK Time) 1pm (Dubai Time)

Week 2

Unit 02: Estimation for Soft Furnishings

2.5 hour Live Online Tutorial
Tuesday, 17th September @ 10am (UK Time) 1pm (Dubai Time)

2.5 hour Live Q&A Session
Friday, 20th September @ 10am (UK Time) 1pm (Dubai Time)

Week 3

Independent Study Break Week

Commencing Monday, 23rd September

Week 4

Unit 03: Window Treatments: Mitres, Hand-Stitching Techniques & Pattern Matching

2.5 hour Live Online Tutorial
Tuesday, 1st October @ 10am (UK Time) 1pm (Dubai Time)

2.5 hour Live Q&A Session
Friday, 4th October @ 10am (UK Time) 1pm (Dubai Time)

Week 5

Unit 04: Lined & Interlined Curtain Construction

2.5 hour Live Online Tutorial
Tuesday, 8th October @ 10am (UK Time) 1pm (Dubai Time)

2.5 hour Live Q&A Session
Friday, 11th October @ 10am (UK Time) 1pm (Dubai Time)

Week 6

Independent Study Break Week

Commencing Monday, 14th October

Week 7

Unit 05: Constructing Hand-Sewn Buckram Headers

2.5 hour Live Online Tutorial
Tuesday, 22nd October @ 10am (UK Time) 1pm (Dubai Time)

2.5 hour Live Q&A Session
Friday, 25th October @ 10am (UK Time) 1pm (Dubai Time)

Week 8

Unit 06: Constructing Piped Crescent Tie-Back & Piped Cushion

2.5 hour Live Online Tutorial
Tuesday, 29th October @ 10am (UK Time) 2pm (Dubai Time)

2.5 hour Live Q&A Session
Friday, 1st November @ 10am (UK Time) 2pm (Dubai Time)

Week 9

Independent Study Break Week

Commencing Monday, 4th November

Week 10

Unit 07: Constructing a Roman Blind

2.5 hour Live Online Tutorial
Tuesday, 12th November @ 10am (UK Time) 2pm (Dubai Time)

2.5 hour Live Q&A Session
Friday, 15th November @ 10am (UK Time) 2pm (Dubai Time)

Week 11

Independent Study Break Week

Commencing Monday, 18th November

Week 12

Unit 08: Constructing Padded Pelmets

2.5 hour Live Online Tutorial
Tuesday, 26th November @ 10am (UK Time) 2pm (Dubai Time)

2.5 hour Live Q&A Session
Friday, 29th November @ 10am (UK Time) 2pm (Dubai Time)

Week 13

Unit 09: Constructing Swags & Tails (Swags)

2.5 hour Live Online Tutorial
Tuesday, 3rd December @ 10am (UK Time) 2pm (Dubai Time)

2.5 hour Live Q&A Session
Friday, 6th December @ 10am (UK Time) 2pm (Dubai Time)

Week 14

Unit 09: Constructing Swags & Tails (Tails)

2.5 hour Live Online Tutorial
Tuesday, 10th December @ 10am (UK Time) 2pm (Dubai Time)

2.5 hour Live Q&A Session
Friday, 13th December @ 10am (UK Time) 2pm (Dubai Time)

Week 15

Unit 10: Setting-up a Curtain Making & Soft Furnishings Workroom

2.5 hour Live Online Tutorial
Tuesday, 17th December @ 10am (UK Time) 2pm (Dubai Time)

2.5 hour Live Q&A Session
*Thursday, 19th December @ 10am (UK Time) 2pm (Dubai Time)
*One day early due to office closure

Christmas Holidays

NDA Office Closed

20th December - 6th January

Week 16 & 17

Independent Study Break Week x2

Commencing Monday, 6th & 13th January

Week 18

Project hand-in

Monday, 20th January 2025

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