National Design Academy - Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs - Fees

Subsidised fees are available for anyone who lives in the UK (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales). This is also extended to anyone who lives in Ireland. (Please note if you access a 19+ Loan this does not apply or if you are a UK citizen living overseas).
An administration fee is applicable in some cases to cover our upfront administration costs but is refunded when you complete the course. Please see our Enrolment Terms for further information.
This is only applicable to Degree courses and some run over a period of years/levels, therefore the cost is split by the level rather than the overall course. Please check regarding the particular course you are interested in here.
You have 14 days from the date of your online enrolment to change your mind, please email admin@nda.ac.uk to confirm. Please see our Enrolment Terms for further information.

FAQs - Eligibility

To do any of our courses you will need a basic level of English, as there will be assignment writing. However, specifically for Degree courses the University regulations state:

"If you reside outside of the UK and if English is not your first language then you must be able to prove that you have sufficient skills, particularly in written English in order to study at this level. This maybe IELTS average 6 or TOEFL score of 550 and/or a minimum score of 79 from the internet based American Test of English as a Foreign Language."
No. Students can apply from 16+ years. However, there is an upper limit of 60 for those that may want to apply for a Higher Education loan.
We offer an Advanced Diploma in Higher Education (ADHE) which is designed to "bridge the gap" for graduates who have not studied Interior Design but wish to progress to MA. Additionally, our Director of Studies will need to verify that your BA work will be sufficient to achieve the MA.
Our Diploma courses are designed for beginners, so you will not require any prior qualification. You will however, need to have an interest and enthusiasm for Interior Design!

In order to be accepted on to our Degree courses, we welcome your application along with copies of your related subject qualifications. Please check the relevant qualifications listed in the Entry Requirements section of your chosen course. Our list of courses can be found here.

FAQs - Studying with NDA

The NDA is an "online" training provider and students work through our Virtual Learning Studio (VLS) which works over the internet and looks like this:


Therefore you will need a computer (PC or Mac) to access our courses and it is recommended that you use a modern browser (Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Edge etc). It is not advisable to use tablets/phones when accessing the course(s), but we recommend downloading the PDFs if this is the case.
  • You will be allocated a personal tutor, but at times all of our tutors will be able to support you. We are open Monday to Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm (UK time) and available via telephone, email and skype sessions (no charge). On-site or off-site 1-2-1s (no charge) can also be pre-arranged.

  • We are pleased to be able to confirm that our courses are studied by students all over the world. This of course means many different time zones and requests for advice or guidance can be submitted/received at any time. We endeavour to respond to students as soon as possible.

  • We have our own student support team, who have been trained and have relevant experience and qualifications to offer specific support in confidence, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We also have a close working relationship with external bodies enabling us to provide enhanced support and signposting.

  • We can be contacted as above but also out of hours by email on studentsupport@nda.ac.uk and telephone +44 (0)1159 123412 x235 where you can leave a message.

  • Because this is a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), we also have a VLS Student Community which is an online forum exclusively for students and we would encourage all students to utilise this so that they can share information and gain support from others studying, not only on your course, but those studying at a higher level. As we have students in over 75 countries, no matter where you are or the time difference, there will always be students interacting and sharing ideas. The VLS Community bridges the gap between online and on-campus study, so you can share work, interact with your peers and discuss your assignments with like-minded students.
We supply a list of recommended equipment which you can view here. We sell stationery and equipment ourselves, available from the NDA shop, but this can be purchased from any suitable supplier.

There will be an additional cost of postage for our equipment if you are an overseas student, please contact us at admin@nda.ac.uk for more information.
On our Diploma course, you will learn how to sketch layouts and produce scaled technical floor plans and elevations. Technical drawing is not taught at Degree level as students are expected to have this basic skill before commencing Degree-level study. If you have studied a design-related subject other than Interior Design at A-Level standard and are applying for a Degree course, the NDA will require you to complete a short ‘Conversion Course’ which includes studying two short units from our Diploma course. The two units will teach you all the technical skills related to drawing plans and elevations, as well as understanding space planning principles. These two units can be completed in a matter of a few weeks. If you move on or are doing a Degree, we encourage students to start developing their computer-aided design (CAD) skills, using such programs as AutoCAD, SketchUp and Photoshop.

Learning these programs is not a requirement, but if you intend to work in the interiors industry after completing the Degree course, we would highly recommend you learn the industry-standard programs, such as AutoCAD.

You can attend our in-studio workshops here at the NDA or buy our online videos.
You will need basic sewing skills and access to a sewing machine.
No, you do not need to attend the NDA as our courses are all online, unless you are attending the studio or you wish to arrange a one-to-one tutorial with your tutor.

You are very welcome to visit or to book onto one of our additional workshops to compliment your study.
Our courses are flexible in respect of online access at any time and not having to attend set timetables. However, there are still requirements for the length of time for courses to be completed. Please check regarding the course(s) you are interested in here.

Each course has a set maximum time, but because at times there are situations where we may need more time or a break, we offer options in line with external regulations. These can be viewed here.
No, all work is assignment based.
We recommend all work to be submitted electronically via our VLE. The VLE accepts many file types such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Photoshop, and AutoCAD files, as well as the common image/document types of JPEG, TIFF, PNG or PDF. It is highly recommended that all work is submitted as zipped (compressed) PDF files as this will retain the original quality of your work.

Please note, if you do submit your work manually through the post, unfortunately we will not be able to return it.
Depending on the course you are studying, there are different recommended hours of study for students, based on the credits studied in each module or unit. Guided learning hours or study time, is more than just you completing your work; it encompasses reading the course notes and assignments, contacting your Tutor and asking questions, reading books, magazines and journals, watching relevant TV programmes, researching, sketching, pulling together ideas, and finally, completing the assignments.

For Diploma students: a guide of 268 guided learning hours is recommended for the entire course. This equates to 26.8 hours per unit (10 units) or 8.9 hours per week.

For Degree students: recommended study hours is based on the number of credits included in each module. For 30 credit modules, the recommended time is 300 hours of study over a 3-4 month period and for 60 credit modules, the recommended time is 600 hours of study over an 8 month period.
We recommend that you adhere to your deadline dates when submitting work, but understand that there are some circumstances that may mean you are not able to do this. If you are unable to submit work and are on a Diploma course, there is a facility to extend each of your units.

If you are studying one of our Degree courses, please liaise with your tutor or email studentsupport@nda.ac.uk.

FAQs - General

As Interior Design is not a regulated industry, technically, anybody can call themselves an interior designer. However, by undertaking a course such as our Diploma, students will gain all the relevant knowledge and skills in order to work professionally, in industry, as an interior designer. When advertising your design services, it is always a good selling point for potential clients to see that you are a trained and qualified interior designer.

The British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) have recently launched a protected "Registered Interior Designer" title, which is a new way for clients and designers to identify interior designers who have met BIID's professional standard.

Meeting the required standards is more relevant for those students and practitioners with a few years industry experience, but is something for Diploma students to consider aiming towards.
NDA will not be able to provide you with employment opportunities. However, our current and past students very often set up their own businesses and we are also contacted from external businesses who are looking for interior designers. These are posted on the VLS Community and our blogs.

Additionally, any work experience opportunities that the NDA receive to offer to our students are developed with the client(s) alongside NDA Tutor Sarah-Jane Wilkinson. Sarah-Jane ensures that all project briefs are suitable for purpose, and works with the client(s) to ensure students are suitable for the proposed project. The projects provided cover many areas of the interiors industry, such as residential, retail and hospitality, and cover many locations across the world. Work experience opportunities are only provided when clients contact the NDA. Sarah-Jane can be contacted on sjw@nda.ac.uk.
All Degree students will be eligible to apply for a NUS card. Applications can be made through http://www.nus.org.uk/.
AIM is the awarding body we use for our Diplomas (http://www.aimawards.org.uk/).
No, students receive the same certificate of achievement as "on-campus" students and is accredited either by an awarding body or University.
At the same time as your enrolment is confirmed you will receive an invitation to join the VLS Community. This is sent to your personal email address and will include your password and instructions of what you need to do to become a member of the community.