Foundation Degree Heritage Interior Design | National Design Academy

Foundation Degree in Heritage Interior Design

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The Foundation Degree in Heritage Interior Design offers students a unique and in-depth introduction into the world of interior design with a specialist emphasis on heritage buildings. 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 study methods.

About the course

This course is validated and awarded by our partner Staffordshire University, the Certificate will state 'Staffordshire University' and the Graduation ceremony is part of the Staffordshire University Awards Ceremony. The course is delivered by the National Design Academy via part-time online distance learning.

Studying the Foundation Degree (FdA) in Heritage Interior Design you will develop knowledge and understanding of the specific skills needed to work within the heritage sector at a residential level or on a major heritage project. This is the only UK FdA in Heritage Interior Design. Successful completion of this Foundation Degree provides entry on to our BA (Hons) Heritage Interior Design top-up course - both are studied online, via part time distance learning.

For many students, family commitments, employment or lack of relevant qualifications makes attending university impossible. Whilst some universities offer qualifications as full time or part time on campus, you may prefer to fit your studies around family and work rather than the other way around. This also means that you can avoid the huge debt levels faced by todays graduates as you are able to continue to work. If you have to juggle family commitments, full-time or part-time work and want the flexibility offered by studying part-time by distance learning, then this is the course for you.

If you don't have the required entry qualifications or experience you may enrol on our access course 'Diploma in Professional Interior Design' which is a Level 3 qualification and gives you all the skills and neccessary entry qualifications required to begin your route to BA (Hons) with the NDA.

The National Design Academy is listed within the 'listed bodies' of Recognised UK Degrees, ensuring your qualification is Nationally and Internationally recognised, please visit the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) website for further information

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Employability & progression

The FdA is equivalent to years 1 & 2 of a BA Honours Degree (similar to a HND). However, the FdA is a separate degree qualification with a full cap and gown graduation ceremony. It is particularly relevant to Heritage Interior Design as Foundation Degrees have a practical element and are designed to qualify you to work in the vocational area. Completing this course will really open up the world of interior design.

Further education

All students successfully completing the (FdA) are guaranteed a place on the BA Honours Degree. (This will take a minimum of 24 months part-time).


You can become a freelance designer, start your own domestic or commercial practice for period properties, or work within a range of industries or as a qualified interior designer within a specialist practice or heritage organisation.

As the BA Honours Degree is studied part-time, you can combine both study and career routes.

No upfront fees

(If you are not a previous NDA student do not apply for Student Finance until you have been approved to join)

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.

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Foundation Degree in Heritage Interior Design course content

Level 4

Equivalent to university year 1


  1. Research Skills & Contextualisation

    This module includes an introduction to interior design, beginning with a guide to the history of interior design from the ancient world to the present day. This will also introduce you to the research skills you will need for the remainder of your degree course to help you to locate and obtain more information for each subject.

  2. Space Planning

    This module investigates the way that interior space may be organised according to a particular set of requirements. These 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

  3. Design in Historical Context

    Interior design is been 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 manners, 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.

  4. Traditional Design Techniques

    Within this module you will investigate those traditional design techniques and specialist paint finishes used when restoring or decorating traditional, historic or important houses primarily from the 18th and 19th centuries. The Module explains the principles and origins of these finishes as well as providing recipes and instructions for their production.

Exit award

Certificate in Higher Education Interior Design
(The qualification you will achieve should you leave before degree completion)

Level 5

Equivalent to university year 2


  1. Design for Listed Buildings

    This Module will enable you to understand the constraints, procedures and processes involved in the restoration and interior design of listed buildings. You will explore the relationship between regulatory and other controlling organisations, planning offices and client intentions as well as examine the work of leading practitioners working within this stimulating area of interior design.

  2. Wall, Floor & Window Treatments for Heritage Buildings

    Walls, floors and windows are fundamental elements of interior design and the way that they are treated or decorated can completely transform the way that an interior looks and feels. This Module looks in detail at these elements and their possible decoration, preservation, style and practical options available to an interior designer working within a heritage context.

  3. Professional Practice

    This Module focuses on starting your own business in interior design and explains the structure of a professional design practice. You will cover the business side of Professional Practice. This will include everything from day to day operations to how to accurately produce a financial forecast and prepare a thorough three-year business plan with cash flow projections and designated budgets.

  4. Final Project

    Within this Module you are encouraged to evidence your creativity through the research, development and completion of a specific major interior design project.

Exit award

Foundation Degree in Interior Design
(The qualification you will achieve should you leave before degree completion)

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