The BA (Hons) Outdoor Living degree course is the perfect pathway for students who aim to carve out a career as a professional interior designer with a specialist interest in outdoor spaces or alternatively anyone who enjoys expanding their knowledge of the skills and techniques required when looking to design an outdoor area. At NDA 'online flexible learning' means exactly that! Unlike other institutions, at NDA there are no terms or semesters, you can choose your own start date and study at your own pace – not the pace dictated by the institution or other students. At NDA we treat every student as an individual. Find out more.
About the course
The BA (Hons) Outdoor Living course offers students a more in-depth and professional approach to specific design projects as well as providing the student with an impressive qualification to add to a CV, an essential element when looking to build a career in the design market.
This course is the ideal next step for students that have already successfully completed the Diploma in Professional Interior Design Skills with the National Design Academy, hold a previous qualification in a relevant subject, or alternatively, have relevant industry experience.
This course covers a wide range of modules aimed at shaping the student’s mind set and knowledge base so that they can complete a design project in an accurate, creative and timely manner, whilst also satisfying the exact specifications of their client brief.
The modules for the full BA honours degree will cover a variety of core topics, whilst also offering students the opportunity to focus on a specific element of design such as hotel design or exhibition design.
Teaching and learning
This BA (Hons) degree is studied part-time, flexibly online through our specially created Virtual Learning Studio (VLS) via the internet using your computer. Here you can access numerous links to interior design information, and you can contact your personal tutor direct. The course is designed to fit around your work & home life. You will receive informative and timely feedback on your assignments from your personal Tutor; you will not have to take an examination. You can telephone the NDA Helpline at any time (Monday - Friday 9.00.a.m. - 5.00.p.m.) to receive an instant answer to your question from a member of our Tutor Team. You can make new friends and keep in touch with other students and alumni and share ideas and see examples of other students work, through our lively Student Forum.
The majority of NDA students will complete their BA (Hons) Degree online in just 3 years, others may take a little longer and a few may need the maximum study time of 8 years. Find out more
Employability & progression
Following the successful completion of the full BA (Hons) degree, many students opt to further enhance their CVs and knowledge of the interior design market by completing the MA Interior Design course with the National Design Academy. This qualification will help to add further value to a student’s CV whilst continually building on the skill set and knowledge of the design market as a whole.
Many students also opt to enrol on to an alternative diploma level course such as the Diploma in Garden Design or the Diploma in Curtain Making & Soft Furnishings. These additional qualifications on a CV will allow students to demonstrate that they have a broad knowledge of the design market and will aid their credibility in the market when pitching to clients.
The BA (Hons) Outdoor Living course offers students the opportunity to promote themselves to clients and employers as a professional interior designer with proven academic knowledge of the design world.
The interior design market is increasingly growing year on year and the demand for high quality interior designers is on the rise. Consequently, many of our degree level graduates will go on to work in high-end interior design practices, work on a freelance basis or alternatively set up their own design business.
Take a look through some of our case studies from past BA (Hons) Design for Outdoor Living students and see how they found the course.
No upfront fees
Now you can afford to study for a degree
Student loans (or tuition fee loans) are the most popular way for NDA students to study as they cover the entire cost of their degree. Loans are not based on income or means tested and most students in England will qualify. Repayments only start after four years - but if you earn less than £21,000 per year you will not have to repay.
PLEASE NOTE: When paying by Student Loan, you are required to apply for the instalment fee amount not the full fee
Student loans explained
Not using a student loan?
You can spread the cost and pay tuition fees by monthly instalments at no extra cost.
What Will I Study?
Module 1. Research and Contextualisation
This Module introduces the research skills and methods which will to help you to locate and retrieve information and which you will use throughout the remainder of the Degree programme. Also within this Module, the work of leading residential and commercial interior designers from around the world who have produced work of an exceptional standard will be investigated. The Module provides a comprehensive introduction to interior design, including a guide to the history of interior design and designers, from the ancient world to the present day.
Module 2. Space Planning
This Module investigates the way that interior space may be organised according to a particular set of requirements. Such requirements vary according to the designated function of an interior. Whether a space is intended for residential or commercial use, appropriate space planning ensures that a space is used efficiently, comfortably and safely and is at the core of successful interior design. Space planning may also have ‘hidden’ attributes such as brand reinforcement within a corporate or retail context, or visitor engagement and improved viewing space within a museum or gallery context.
Module 3. Design in Historical Context
Interior design is continually changing and has been moving forward for centuries. This progression was usually led by a combination of factors rooted in social change such as etiquette, politics and display or technological advancements. This Module examines those forces, for example, the Italian Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution and the Bauhaus, which continue to shape the culture in which we live. Responding to these cultural changes has defined our interior environments throughout the ages. The Module traces the development of style through history and investigates how and why interiors, objects and furniture have evolved into their present form.
Module 4. Creative Lighting and Technology
Good lighting and successfully integrated technology are fundamental to an interior design scheme and this Module introduces you to the ever-increasing range of products and technologies which are the tools of any designer. Beginning with the effects and manipulation of natural light and continuing through ambient, task and decorative lighting, you will become aware of the extent to which correct lighting combined with integrated audio-visual technology can enhance an interior environment.
Module 5. Sustainable Design and Technology
Responsible and sustainable design is an essential consideration for the contemporary interior designer. This Module looks at the differing and sometimes contradictory approaches to ethical and ecological design and design products with particular emphasis on a sustainable approach using clean technology. The Module also introduces the choice of sustainable materials and construction methods used within interior design and discusses their impact upon the outcomes of a particular scheme as well as providing an overview of Building Regulations and other relevant regulatory factors.
Module 6. Home Staging and Show Home Design
This Module looks at those factors which influence the design of residential sales environments. From show homes for large, new-build housing developments to small specialist high-end developments intended for international buyers, the Module analyses the often subconscious prompts which make us feel comfortable and wish to purchase particular properties. The Module also includes an overview of bespoke design solutions and examples of best practice used within residential sales environments.
Module 7. Professional Practice
This Module will take you step-by-step through the stages of establishing and running your own interior design practice, including the identification of brand values leading to the design of a corporate identity, alongside the development of office management, business planning, strategic markeking and financial forecasting skills.
Module 8. Furniture and Furnishings
Essential to the success of any interior project is the selection, suitability and quality of the furniture and furnishings. This is the element of interior design with which we have the most physical contact and it is also the most visible element within any interior design scheme. This Module looks at the history of furniture and furnishings, outlines the major suppliers and manufacturers of high quality furniture and textiles and discusses their placement to best advantage within an interior design scheme.
Module 9. Design Technology and Materials for Outdoor Living
Within this Module, the principles that define outdoor living and transitional outdoor spaces are examined with particular reference to materials selection and hard landscaping performance. The Module includes an overview of outdoor design and design principles; examining the environmental context, spatial design and continuity with interior spaces before considering the texture, colour, durability and weathering of materials as well as their carbon footprint. The Module will then progress to construction and installation techniques, the analysis of existing ground conditions, preparing levels, surfaces and the sourcing of materials.
Module 10. Plants & Planting for Outdoor Living
Planting design is the selection and placement of plants to create or enhance a design, and within this Module the development of effective designs for an outdoor living space is discussed. The structure of plants such as leaf shape, colour and growth habit as well as associated requirements such as planting medium, nourishment and water is looked at in detail, as well as the combination of planting to achieve maximum effect and enhance the location, site and wider context of the planting scheme.
Module 11. Research and Independent Study for Outdoor Living
This Module is a double-length Module (60 credits) based upon clear proposals with specific criteria. The subject area for assessment will be established in discussion with your tutor focusing upon the development of innovative ideas in response to a clearly-defined brief appropriate to design for outdoor living. This practice-based assignment includes the presentation of a completed outdoor living design project comprising; plans, visuals, presentation boards, development sketches and product specifications, supported by an element of critical evaluation.
If you still have questions feel free to call us for further information on 01159 1234 12, or click on Live Chat. Alternatively, why not book a place on one of our Interior Design Course Open Days at our studios in Nottingham UK, come along and talk to the Tutors, view students' work and take a tour of the Academy?