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Online (Flexible) Diploma

Online (Flexible) Diploma

Professional
Interior Design

As a not-for-profit foundation, we are so confident in the price of our Diploma’s that if you can find the same level of education for less, we will match it!

Start Date

Enrol at any time & choose your start date. No term times or semesters.

Entry Requirements

No previous qualifications required, just an interest & enthusiasm for interior design.

Course Duration

Online: 8-10 months
Online Fast-Track:
14 weeks
In-Studio: 10 days in studio + 10 weeks home study - total 12 weeks

UK Student Loans

No up front fees to pay!
If you are aged 19+ and have lived in England for 3+ years you are eligible.

Assessment

No exams — Tutor assessment only, portfolio moderation by AIM Qualifications.

Course Summary

This Diploma will provide you with the skills you need to design your own project or help family and friends with theirs, to start your own business or enter a new career and, it will even give you the confidence to move on to study a degree! No qualifications are required to study this diploma course, so – if you already hold a Level 3 or A-Level equivalent qualification in an Art and Design based subject, you can enrol straight onto one of our degree courses.

Who Should Do This Course?

If your answer is yes… then the National Design Academy has just the course for you!

The NDA Accredited Diploma in Professional Interior Design will help you to start that business you have always promised yourself, and even gain you a place on one of our degree courses if you decide you would like to study further. You don’t need any previous qualifications – just enthusiasm for design.

What Will I Study?

You will study eight dedicated units during this professional diploma

Interior Design & the Role of the Designer

This unit introduces you to the fundamental elements and principles that are common within a successful design scheme and how they are adopted by Professional Interior Designers today. You’ll learn how and why interior design has changed over time and to identify key interior design trends. What you learn in this unit will provide an essential foundation to underpin your future designs. This unit also includes:-

  • The 7 design elements of good design
  • Interior Design history and contemporary practice
  • The role of an Interior Designer and different project types
  • Professional presentation boards
  • How to write a short design report

Using Colour in Interior Design

This unit will spark your creativity by giving you the opportunity to play with colour. You’ll explore practical colour theory to enable you to design both historical and contemporary colour schemes. This unit also includes:-

  • Basic colour principles and terminology
  • The impact of colour in a design scheme
  • The psychological importance of colour in an interior space
  • Historical and contemporary colour trends
  • Creating a successful interior design colour scheme

Exploring Surface Finishes in Interior Design

This unit covers the wide and exciting range of surface finishes now available to create fabulous interiors. You’ll explore the versatility and impact of materials for walls, floors and soft furnishings and how to use them to create an effective design scheme. This unit also includes:-

  • The characteristics and suitability of different materials
  • Sourcing and using materials to develop a design scheme
  • Practical skills to represent colour, pattern and texture
  • How to visually present your design ideas

Plans and Space Planning in a Professional Context

This unit shows you how to plan the space for a room design. From initial sketches to final layouts, you will visualise and present design solutions to meet a client brief. This unit also includes:-

  • Understanding the space and the client brief
  • Traffic flow and zoning of space
  • Developing floor plans by hand
  • Creating elevations by hand
  • Practical sketching and hand drawing techniques

Furniture & Accessories in Interior Design

This unit focusses on the limitless range of furniture and accessories available to the Interior Designer. You’ll learn to recognise key styles in furniture and accessory design and how to select and source appropriate furniture and accessories to meet a client brief. This unit also includes:-

  • Understanding of different furniture and accessory styles, historical and contemporary
  • Influential practitioners and design movements
  • The characteristics and suitability of furniture and accessories
  • Choosing and sourcing items
  • Producing furniture layouts

Creative Lighting in Interior Design

This unit explores the potential of creative lighting in interiors and develops your knowledge of lighting design, including traditional and contemporary products. You’ll learn how to choose lighting for your schemes and how to deal with suppliers. This unit also includes:-

  • Understanding different lighting products and lamps
  • Task, ambient and decorative lighting
  • Lighting levels for room design
  • Cool and warm lighting
  • Creating a lighting scheme for a furniture layout
  • Applying symbols appropriate to industry lighting plans
  • Developing a lighting plan to meet a client brief

Professional Practice in Interior Design

This unit explores the diverse possibilities for a career in the Interior design industry and helps prepare you to work successfully in the professional environment, whether this be in an established practice or setting up an interior design business. With a focus on your personal and professional development, you will consider the steps you should take to achieve your own progression ambitions. This unit also includes:-

  • Being employed, self-employed and setting up an interior design service
  • Portfolio development
  • Working with others in a professional environment
  • Effective marketing and promotion
  • How to charge for your design service
  • Studying for a degree

Professional Interior Design Project

For this final unit of the course, you bring together all your newly learned skill by producing conceptual designs to create a wonderful interior design scheme for a new client. When complete, your work will form an asset to your developing portfolio to show future clients. This unit also includes:-

  • Developing a design concept
  • Creating a colour scheme
  • Selecting surface finishes
  • Space planning, including furniture and accessory arrangements
  • Creating a lighting plan
  • Professional presentation techniques
Unit 1

Interior Design & the Role of the Designer

This unit introduces you to the fundamental elements and principles that are common within a successful design scheme and how they are adopted by Professional Interior Designers today. You’ll learn how and why interior design has changed over time and to identify key interior design trends. What you learn in this unit will provide an essential foundation to underpin your future designs. This unit also includes:-

  • The 7 design elements of good design
  • Interior Design history and contemporary practice
  • The role of an Interior Designer and different project types
  • Professional presentation boards
  • How to write a short design report
Unit 2

Using Colour in Interior Design

This unit will spark your creativity by giving you the opportunity to play with colour. You’ll explore practical colour theory to enable you to design both historical and contemporary colour schemes. This unit also includes:-

  • Basic colour principles and terminology
  • The impact of colour in a design scheme
  • The psychological importance of colour in an interior space
  • Historical and contemporary colour trends
  • Creating a successful interior design colour scheme
Unit 3

Exploring Surface Finishes in Interior Design

This unit covers the wide and exciting range of surface finishes now available to create fabulous interiors. You’ll explore the versatility and impact of materials for walls, floors and soft furnishings and how to use them to create an effective design scheme. This unit also includes:-

  • The characteristics and suitability of different materials
  • Sourcing and using materials to develop a design scheme
  • Practical skills to represent colour, pattern and texture
  • How to visually present your design ideas
Unit 4

Plans and Space Planning in a Professional Context

This unit shows you how to plan the space for a room design. From initial sketches to final layouts, you will visualise and present design solutions to meet a client brief. This unit also includes:-

  • Understanding the space and the client brief
  • Traffic flow and zoning of space
  • Developing floor plans by hand
  • Creating elevations by hand
  • Practical sketching and hand drawing techniques
Unit 5

Furniture & Accessories in Interior Design

This unit focusses on the limitless range of furniture and accessories available to the Interior Designer. You’ll learn to recognise key styles in furniture and accessory design and how to select and source appropriate furniture and accessories to meet a client brief. This unit also includes:-

  • Understanding of different furniture and accessory styles, historical and contemporary
  • Influential practitioners and design movements
  • The characteristics and suitability of furniture and accessories
  • Choosing and sourcing items
  • Producing furniture layouts
Unit 6

Creative Lighting in Interior Design

This unit explores the potential of creative lighting in interiors and develops your knowledge of lighting design, including traditional and contemporary products. You’ll learn how to choose lighting for your schemes and how to deal with suppliers. This unit also includes:-

  • Understanding different lighting products and lamps
  • Task, ambient and decorative lighting
  • Lighting levels for room design
  • Cool and warm lighting
  • Creating a lighting scheme for a furniture layout
  • Applying symbols appropriate to industry lighting plans
  • Developing a lighting plan to meet a client brief
Unit 7

Professional Practice in Interior Design

This unit explores the diverse possibilities for a career in the Interior design industry and helps prepare you to work successfully in the professional environment, whether this be in an established practice or setting up an interior design business. With a focus on your personal and professional development, you will consider the steps you should take to achieve your own progression ambitions. This unit also includes:-

  • Being employed, self-employed and setting up an interior design service
  • Portfolio development
  • Working with others in a professional environment
  • Effective marketing and promotion
  • How to charge for your design service
  • Studying for a degree
Unit 8

Professional Interior Design Project

For this final unit of the course, you bring together all your newly learned skill by producing conceptual designs to create a wonderful interior design scheme for a new client. When complete, your work will form an asset to your developing portfolio to show future clients. This unit also includes:-

  • Developing a design concept
  • Creating a colour scheme
  • Selecting surface finishes
  • Space planning, including furniture and accessory arrangements
  • Creating a lighting plan
  • Professional presentation techniques

Student Gallery

A sample of work completed by our talented interior design students

One Great Course, Three Ways To Study

Choose from flexible online learning, online fast-track (zoom lectures) or in-studio fast-track classes

Online

8–10 Months (Flexible)

The online flexible Professional Diploma course is designed to be flexible to allow you to study around your career, family, and other commitments. Choose your own start date and study from anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection.

The online diploma is a 8-10 month course however, many students who have more time to study complete earlier. All assignments consist of design projects which are assessed by your Personal Tutor – there are no examinations.

Online Fast-Track

14 weeks home study and weekly online lectures (via zoom)

For students who want all the benefits of remote online learning, but are also looking for more structure and live interaction with tutors and peers, the ‘Online Fast-Track’ course offers an ideal mix.

The course consists of a 8-week study period that covers each of the 8 subject units in the Diploma course, one unit per week. 2.5hr live zoom lectures are organised two days per week. Up to 6 ‘Independent Study’ weeks within the duration let students complete any unfinished assignments.

In-Studio Fast-Track

10 days In-Studio 10 weeks home study (12 weeks total)

If you prefer a classroom-based study environment then our In-Studio blended learning course could be for you. It is particularly useful if you are looking to fast-track your qualification, either for a new career or for progression to degree level study.

You spend 5 days in-studio followed by 5 weeks home study projects, then a further 5 days in-studio with up to an additional 5 weeks to complete any project work for submission. Throughout home study, you have full online access to our resources and your Personal Tutor.

Fees & Funding...

UK residents pay approximately 50% course fees and funding from the UK government will pay the rest.

No up front fees to pay! If you are aged 19+ and have lived in England for 3+ years you are eligible.

Accreditation

All NDA Professional Diplomas are accredited by AIM Qualifications. NDA is the only design school to be able to offer funding & student loans because our Diplomas are fully accredited.

What Will I Need To Study?

Alongside a computer and an internet connection, there is also essential and recommended design equipment required to complete your NDA Course, all available through the NDA Art Shop at student prices!

What's Next?

Higher Education

Successful completion of your NDA Diploma provides a guaranteed place on one of our online BA (Hons) degrees with a generous Progression Scholarship. Degrees are validated by De Montfort University (DMU).

For those who wish to continue their study at an on campus university, all NDA Professional Diplomas carry a UCAS tariff point value. You can top up any existing UCAS points you may have with points from an NDA Diploma. 

Diploma in Professional Interior Design = 24 UCAS tariff points.

Careers

The NDA Diploma in Professional Interior Design is designed to help you start your own Interior Design business. Like the Diploma course itself, you can work flexibly for your clients around your family commitments and gradually expand your business.

Many of our Diploma students start their own business and study for their degree flexibly alongside their client projects.

Student Success Stories...

Ready to pursue your passion for Interior Design?

What Our Students Say...

Hear what past and present students have to say about studying at the NDA

UK Students

3 Payment Options

Student Loan

  •  
COVERS FULL COURSE FEE
£1,645
Find Out More...
£ 50 Admin Fee Only
  • (Refunded on course completion)
OR
Full Course Fee £1,645
Access
UK Government Funding
You Will Save £750

One Payment

£ 895
  • (On Enrolment)
OR

8 x Monthly Payments*

£ 120 PER MONTH
  • (£960 Total)

*includes admin fees

International Students

2 Payment Options

Most Popular

One Payment

$1,850 

ON ENROLMENT

Save $250 by paying in full​

7 x Monthly Payments

$2,100

IN TOTAL*

$450 on enrolment

+ 6 x $275 monthly payments

*Includes admin fees

International fees in US Dollars

Achieve your Diploma with a student loan

Thinking about studying our Professional Interior Design Diploma? We’re a non-profit organisation that believes in breaking down financial barriers for your design aspirations.

That’s why you can now finance any three of our Interior Design Diplomas with an Advanced Learner Loan.

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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