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FAQ

Fees & UK Funding

Anyone who lives in the UK will qualify for funding. You simply pay your contribution (approximately 50%) towards the course fee in one payment or monthly payments (online or in-studio) and when you complete the course the balance of the fee is paid by funding direct to NDA.

Yes, if you are aged 19 years+ when you start your course (online or in-studio) and have lived in England for the past 3 years you will be eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan, they are not means tested and will pay your entire course fee. You just pay a £50 administration fee on enrolment which will be refunded when you complete your course.

After you have enrolled NDA will send you a short Student Profile form to complete. We will then provide you with a letter offering you a place on your course and assist you with the simple ALL online application. After you have received confirmation of your loan (usually less than 2 weeks) you can start your course.

Repayments are low and they do not start until after you have completed your course and only then if you earn £25,000+ per year. If you never earn more than £25,000 you will never be asked to repay the loan. Find out more here.

A Degree Level is equivalent to a university year. However, as part-time flexible students a level may take you longer or less than a year to complete. Your tuition fees are due at the start of each level. A BA (Hons) consists of 3 levels, a BA (Hons) Top-Up Degree is one level and a Master’s Degree is also one level.

If you have been living in England or Wales for 3 years you can apply online for a Government Backed student loan to cover the entire cost of your degree. (Scotland & NI have different arrangements.) NDA will assist you with your application once you have enrolled and been accepted. Repayments are low and only start in the April after you have completed your degree and only if you are earning £25,000+. Find out more here.

If you have been living in England or Wales for 3 years you can apply online for a Government Backed Post Graduate Student Loan up to £10,600. (Scotland & NI have different arrangements.) This will be paid directly to you in regular payments throughout your Master’s Degree. NDA will assist you with your application once you have enrolled and been accepted. Find out more here.

You can pay the tuition fees in one payment on enrolment or spread the cost with monthly payments which include an administration fee.

You have 14 days from the date of your online enrolment in which to change your mind, please email admissions@nda.ac.uk to confirm. Please see our Enrolment Terms for further information.

Eligibility

Our courses are taught in English therefore you will need a basic level of English to study a Diploma Course. For a degree course if English is not your first language or if your lessons have not been taught in English at school, college or university a good standard of written English will be required. Usually IELTS average 6.5 or TOEFL score of 550 or equivalent, although all students are considered on an individual basis.

No. Students can apply for a Diploma Course from 16+ years and there is no upper age limit. However, there is an upper age limit of 60 for those who may wish to apply for a student loan.

Our Diploma courses are designed for those without previous experience, just enthusiasm for their chosen design subject.

There are entry requirements for our Degree courses which are listed on each degree course page of this website. You can apply to study a degree by clicking ENROL NOW on the website and completing a short application form listing your previous qualifications or CV of professional experience. You can upload your certificates with your application or later, after you have been offered a place.

All successful NDA Professional Diploma students are offered a guaranteed place on one of our degree courses.

Studying with NDA

The NDA delivers its courses online through our Virtual Learning Studio (VLS). Our studio based courses also use the VLS to hold you course material, assignments and to record your progress.

Therefore in order to access the VLS you will need a computer (PC or Mac) or laptop and it is recommended that you use a browser such as (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge etc.) We do not recommend that you use a tablet or phone for full time study although the course material is fully responsive for these devices for short periods of study such as your lunch break or when you travel etc.

  • You will be allocated a personal tutor, but at all times any of our tutor team will be able to support you if your own tutor is not available to take your call. We are open Monday to Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm (UK time) and available via telephone, email and (skype tutorials by appointment) at no extra charge. Onsite tutorials can also be pre-arranged.
  • We have students in over 80 countries with many different time zones and requests for advice or guidance can be submitted/received at any time. We promise 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. We also have a access to the resources of our academic university and college partners  enabling us to provide enhanced support.
  • We can be contacted as above but also out of hours by email on studentsupport@nda.ac.uk and telephone +44 (0)1159 123412 where you can leave a message.
  • We also have a VLS Student Community which is an online forum exclusively for NDA students where 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 online at all levels from Diploma to Master’s Degree, 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.

On our Diploma course, you will learn how to sketch layouts and produce floor plans and elevations to scale. Step by step instructions are given with video tutorials.

We do not teach technical drawing by hand on our degree courses as students will usually have this experience. If you have studied a design-related subject at A-Level or Diploma standard and have not studied technical drawing, you will be referred to the video tutorials on the VLS so you can gain these skills when you start your degree. Every NDA student is given a free license for AutoCAD and students may also use other programs such as SketchUp and Photoshop.

You will need basic sewing skills and access to a sewing machine. To complete your samples for assessment there is an Equipment & Fabric List – all of which is available in a handy kit from the NDA Art Shop.

No, you do not need to attend the NDA as our courses are designed to be studied entirely online. You will only need to attend if you study a studio course in Nottingham UK or in Knowledge Village Dubai, or you wish to arrange a one-to-one tutorial with your tutor.

Diploma courses are flexible with a maximum study time of one year (end date can be extended for a small cost.) Fast-track in-studio courses ( 2 x 5 days) blended with home study are completed in 12 weeks.

Degree course modules have a generous maximum time allocation but because there may be times when students require extra time, a holiday or a break from study we offer flexible options in line with external regulations from our academic partner De Montfort University Leicester. The majority of NDA students complete each level of their degree in approximately one year but some may require less time or take longer to complete.

No, all assignments are project based and are assessed by your tutor and moderated by our university academic partner, De Montfort University Leicester.

Assignments are uploaded simply through the VLS. The VLS 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 this to you.

The estimated study time may seem high but this is not just the time you spend completing your assignments. It also includes the following tasks which can be completed flexibly around your lifestyle:

  • reading the course notes and assignments
  • contacting your Tutor and asking questions
  • tutorials, by telephone Skype or in person
  • reading books, magazines and journals
  • watching relevant TV programmes
  • listening to podcasts
  • researching designs on the internet
  • pulling together ideas
  • sourcing images for your designs
  • and finally, completing your assignments


For Professional Diploma students: a guide of 268 hours is recommended for the entire course. This equates approximately 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 time over a 3-4 month period and for 15 or 60 credit modules, the time is pro-rata.

We understand that there are some circumstances that may prevent you from submitting an assignment on time. For Diploma courses, you can add a short extension to each unit through the VLS yourself.

If you are studying one of our Degree courses, it is important that you contact your tutor or student support as soon as possible so they can discuss the various options for an extension.

General

Interior Design is not a regulated industry in the UK, although in some countries it is a licensed profession and the NDA Diploma is approved in these countries as it is an accredited qualification. Although anyone can call themselves an interior designer, by undertaking our Diploma, students will gain the relevant knowledge and skills in order to work professionally. When advertising your design services, potential clients will want to see that you are a trained and qualified interior designer.

Many NDA Diploma students start their own small business as an interior designer, curtain maker or Garden Designer.
Degree graduates can also start their own business or become an interior designer with a design or architectural practice or as a show home designer with a construction company. Vacancies for placements and career opportunities from practices who are looking for designers are posted on the VLS.

All Degree students will receive a NUS card through our academic partnership with DMU. They will also free access to the DMU library (on line or on campus) plus all other UK university libraries.

AIM is the awarding body that accredits the NDA Diplomas. 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.

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