Foundation Degree Interior Design | National Design Academy

Foundation Degree (FdA) in Interior Design

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The Foundation Degree in Interior Design is the perfect course for students who are passionate about becoming an interior designer and already hold a Diploma in Interior Design or have completed a previous qualification in a relevant subject. 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 approved 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.

Anyone who is serious about becoming an interior designer or seeking to work in design-related areas and who have relevant qualifications or experience. Mature students with extensive experience in the interior design profession can also receive recognition through this qualification.

Whilst some universities offer these 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.

There are two steps to achieving a BA (Hons) Interior Design through NDA distance learning, and this Foundation Degree is the first of these steps. Once the Foundation Degree (equivalent to years 1 & 2 of a full time BA (Hons) ) has been successfully completed, you may enrol on to the BA (Hons) Interior Design top-up and complete your full degree. Both the Foundation Degree and BA (Hons) Interior Design are approved and awarded by Staffordshire University.

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) Interior Design 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.

For student loan advice and information please visit Student Finance England.

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 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 route to the BA Honours Degree. (This will take a minimum of 24 months part-time).


You can become a freelance designer, start your own practice or work as a qualified interior designer within an interior design or architectural practice. Other options include: interiors home staging, window display, show home design, design journalism, exhibition design, lighting design or retail buyer for interior related areas. 

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 (FdA) in Interior Design course content

Level 4

Equivalent to university year 1


  1. Research and Contextualisation

    This Module introduces you to the elements of interior design across a range of contexts including Heritage and Retail. You will develop skills to research and reference and use these to explore a range of interior design features.

  2. Space Planning

    This Module develops your design communication, management and drawing techniques. You will examine inspirational examples of best practice from established designers to illustrate the importance of developing your own individual style.

  3. Design in Historical Context

    This Module looks at residential interior design through such fascinating influences as Elizabethan, Italian Renaissance, Baroque and many other historical movements which continue to shape the society in which we live.

  4. Creative Lighting & Technology

    Good lighting is fundamental to the success of an interior design scheme. In this Module, discover the enormous range of lighting products, manufacturers and design effects - the tools of any designer.

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. Sustainable Design & Technology

    Within an interior design scheme, it is often necessary to remove walls, enlarge windows and doors or raise/lower ceilings. This Module will help you to understand the requirements for planning consent. Responsible and sustainable design is an increasingly important sector of the interior design market. We look at the differing, sometimes contradictory, approaches to ethical and ecological design.

  2. Home Staging & Show Home Design

    This Module looks at the factors affecting the design of residential environments for sale. The Module examines the subconscious prompts that encourage purchases and looks at how houses can be re-designed on limited budgets to encourage sales.

  3. Professional Practice

    The Module focuses on starting your own interior business and looks at the marketing and management of a professional interior design practice. You will learn how to accurately cost and select products, tender for jobs and produce a business plan with financial forecasts.

  4. Furniture & Furnishings

    Furniture is often the most visible element of any interior design scheme. Explore the rich history of furniture and furnishings and become familiar with the major international suppliers, designers and manufacturers. Textiles are also a highly visible component of an interior design scheme. Discover how textiles have been used throughout history both practically and ornamentally.

Exit award

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

Discover more about this course

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