Online Design Courses for Adult Learners

Interior design courses

Interior design courses

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Your search for interior design courses ends here! Interior designers don’t just work with finishes and decorations, they work with interior spaces and their training qualifies them to turn a newly-built concrete shell into a restaurant, a shop or maybe even an office. If you want to design kitchens and bathrooms, focus on high-end residential projects or work in the commercial interior design arena – then this is the interior design course for you… 

Our interior design courses meet most educational requirements where licensing is required and this interior design course is an internationally recognised award (240 UK University credits/64 US Semester credits). This will qualify you for an interior design career in residential and commercial design and when you enrol you’ll be able to join the Professional Interior Design Associations. This is a valuable qualification in its own right (equivalent to Foundation/Associate degree) and you can also achieve a full BA (Hons) Degree in interior design with a one-year “top-up” course. What’s more you can start today with no previous experience or qualifications.

Unlike other interior design courses, our interior design course will train you to work with all the structural elements that define interior space so you can practice as an Interior Designer/Interior Architect. To work effectively in this role you must have a firm understanding of building construction techniques and the way that services (such as plumbing, electrics and heating) are integrated within the structure of a building. That is the only way you will be able to make provisions for these factors and specify accordingly. This all-inclusive knowledge and skill-set will enable you to control and design all the factors that affect internal space and layout, so that you can gut and rebuild an interior if required. This course also encompasses project management techniques, marketing and other specific business skills to complement your design skills, so you can achieve measurable results for your clients and yourself!

STUDY METHOD: 100% online with 1 to 1 tutor support

START DATE: Enrol anytime and work to your own pace and schedule

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: None – just the ability to read & write clearly, commitment and a willingness to learn

DURATION: You will have 3 years to complete the course. Paid extensions are available if required.

HOW IT WORKS: Continuous Assessment/No Exams – This course is divided into 2 stages with 50 in-depth lessons. Each lesson has a learning assignment so you can put what you have learned into practice and make mistakes without penalties. You’ll get detailed feedback from your personal tutor so you can develop & continually improve. You’ll also complete projects at key points throughout the course, which count towards your official grades…
Stage 1 has 20 lessons and 5 projects
Stage 2 has 30 lessons and 6 projects
At the end of Stage 1 you will receive an interim award so you can start working in the interior design industry while you continue studying. You’ll even plan your career path and transition as part of this course.

WHAT YOU’LL GET: An internationally recognised qualification (with university credits) and a fantastic portfolio to support YOUR career path (options to choose residential OR commercial design projects). This will provide you with a powerful tool to SHOW potential clients & employers what you can do so you can secure work as quickly as possible.
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Introduction

Our Higher National Diploma in Interior Design is an internationally recognised award that qualifies you to offer both residential and commercial interior design services.  This course will train you to work with all the structural elements that define interior space so that you can remodel and renovate interiors. You’ll gain a firm understanding of building construction techniques and the way that services are integrated within the structure of a building, so you can plan and relocate them as needed. This knowledge and skill-set is essential if you want to work in high-end residential interior design and especially if you want to specialise in kitchen and bathroom design.

Ordinarily, a HND program requires 2 years of full-time study. However, our online course gives you with the opportunity to achieve this award in as little as two years, while continuing to work in your existing employment. You have maximum flexibility because you can work at your own pace and continue straight onto the final year of a BA degree at a later stage if you choose. Additionally, you can start today with no previous experience or qualifications – just a genuine commitment and willingness to learn.

The full HND program is divided into 2 stages as described below.

PLEASE NOTE: The fees shown are for the full HND course – this includes both Stage 1 and Stage 2. Both course levels and all examination fees are included in the course total and you are given up to 3 years to complete the course. Paid extensions are available if required.

Stage One – The first part of this HND program follows the exact same curriculum and format as our HNC (Higher National Certificate) in interior design. This stage of the course is usually completed within a 12 month period and when you successfully complete it you will be issued with an interim award. At that point we recommend you begin your design career, gaining valuable experience as you continue your studies and while you still have the guidance of expert tutors on hand. In countries where interior designers are regulated (such as the USA, Canada and parts of mainland Europe), official licensing is usually dependent upon training AND practical work experience and this unique program enables you to achieve both concurrently. This is a significant advantage over other programs available and one that can help you progress your career at a faster rate than normal.

Stage one of this full HND course focuses entirely on residential interior design. There are 20 in-depth lessons in stage one and you can view the full details and curriculum here. Once you have successfully completed stage one you will begin stage two

Stage Two – This stage of the HND course introduces you to construction, project management and commercial interior design. There are 30 additional in-depth lessons in this stage of the HND course with relevant learning assignments and projects at key stages. You will have the option to select residential or commercial design projects so that you can build a portfolio that best reflects (and therefore supports) your future career goals. There’s A LOT of content in this course and to give you an overview we have loosely grouped these lessons in sections or modules, which are described as follows…

Building Construction

One of the main differences between an Interior Decorator and an Interior Designer is that Interior Designers can make structural changes to a building. Qualified Interior Designers are able to manipulate space and internal partitions to effect maximum design impact on any building interior. As an Interior Designer, you should be able to work with a building shell and transform it into a one-of-a-kind luxury home, a restaurant or a real-estate office. To do that properly you need to understand the fundamentals of construction and building design…

This section of the course explores building construction in detail from the Interior Designer’s perspective so that you can communicate knowledgably with contractors and architects. With this knowledge you will be able to basically gut and rebuild almost any structure to your own vision or design.

Topics covered include:

  • The Prinicples of Building Design – Understanding the how and why of building construction from Foundations to Roofs
  • Renovating Existing Interiors – How to make major structural alterations to an existing building and meet building & legal requirements
  • Planning Building Layouts – Planning layouts and internal partitioning structures horizontally and vertically
  • Changes of Level – Important considerations when planning stairs & disabled access to accommodate changes of level in buildings
  • Building Services – Planning & integrating Electrics, Plumbing and HVAC (Heating, Venitlation & Air Conditioning) and meeting regulations
  • Whole Building Design – Planning building interiors so that systems, layouts and finishes work together in synchronization to increase quality of life for the occupants

Lighting Design

Lighting is not just an obvious necessity, it can be skill-fully used to draw attention to decorative details and it is a wonderful way to create mood and atmosphere. Recent studies have shown that well-designed lighting systems enhance our health and well-being and homeowners and businesses alike can benefit greatly from improved lighting design. However, successful lighting schemes must be planned at the beginning of a design project —so that wiring can be installed before decorating begins…

This section takes a practical approach to lighting. You will learn about the different types of lighting (such as ambient, task and decorative…) and the fundamentals of lighting design for interior spaces. All too often, interiors lack quality lighting systems because of improper planning and retro-fitting is simply impractical after expensive finishes have been installed. After you have completed this section of the course, you will have the knowledge to incorporate lighting into your interior designs successfully and you will have the tools to communicate professionally with architects and electricians. Topics covered include:

  • The technicalities of lighting – what’s relevant and what’s not for interior designers
  • Natural Lighting – why this is an important aspect of any lighting design scheme and ways to improve it
  • Artificial Lighting – Various lighting effects & how to achieve them
  • Quality & Quantity of Light – The right way to choose bulbs & light fittings
  • Switches & wiring – practical issues and safety considerations
  • Electrical Plans & specifications – how to create clear instructions for general contractors and electricians

Designing with Materials

As an Interior Designer you will often be involved in making structural changes to a building. As a result you will have a much wider choice in terms of the materials available and how they can be incorporated within your designs. Creative and functional characteristics are a major consideration when selecting materials and there are other important factors including economic and environmental issues…

Whether you decide to use stainless steel, glass blocks, concrete or marble, this module will examine the main types of materials available and you will evaluate their relative advantages and disadvantages. In addition to seeing how these materials can be used creatively, you will also investigate industry standards and technical specifications to ensure your designs are effective and comply with regulations.

Topics covered in this module include the following:

  • Designing for the Environment – What is “green design” and how our design choices impact the environment
  • Consumer response – analysing beliefs and psychological associations to specific materials
  • Working & Design methods – How production, installation and maintenance factors influence your design decisions
  • Cost versus performance – determining the long-term suitability of products and materials because “cheap materials” are not always low cost!
  • Mass production and bespoke design – how the scale of projects and consumer demand influence design approaches
  • Regulations & Standards – selecting materials that conform to perform and comply with building codes and other legal requirements

Project Management

Did you know that one of the most common reasons that medium to large-scale interior design projects fail is because they run over budget and out of money?

As a designer you may or may not provide complete project management services. Either way, you will need to work closely with the Project Manager to ensure your design projects are completed on time, within budget and to the quality you want. Achieving this isn’t rocket science; the key to success is simply in providing clear direction by planning, co-ordinating and managing the variables involved…

It takes a team of people to execute an interior design project and the team itself is a bit like a chain; one weak link can jeopardize everything. This section of the course has been designed to teach you the fundamentals of successful project management so that YOU control projects rather letting the project control you. You’ll learn these essential skills in the context within which they will be used and we’ll give you clear examples and a series of templates that have been specifically designed for your long-term use. This will help to make the process straight-forward and systematic so that you can concentrate on successfully realising your designs.

Topics covered include:

  • The Design Cycle – Discover a proven method for working effectively on projects of all shapes and sizes without compromising your creativity
  • Establishing Hierarchy – Learn to identify roles & responsibilities, set up effective communication lines & avoid misunderstandings
  • Detailed Specifications & Design Documents – Take your technical skills to the next level. Learn how to efficiently communicate construction and installation methods through detailed design documentation
  • Budgets – We’ll show you to prepare budgets step-by-step, use them to control costs & monitor them to ensure they stay on track
  • Work Schedules – Discover how to create effective work schedules, verify that work meets standards specified & what to do when it doesn’t
  • Monitoring Projects & Handing Changes – Manage projects with minimum stress by using progress reports and having a clear strategy for handling changes and amendments efficiently
  • Pricing & Payments – Explore various pricing strategies, payment stages and how to use them to protect all parties (namely your clients, your contractors and yourself)
  • Contracts – learn how to create simple yet effective contracts for any scenario to protect you and your clients

Commercial Design

Human beings are visual creatures and like it or not we are judged by how we appear to others. The same is true in business and in today’s marketplace it’s vital for businesses to develop and project a strong and congruent corporate identity through all their visual communications – including their business premises. Successful companies understand this is the key to long-term success and they employ skilful designers to help them produce functional and effective interior designs that will also attract and keep customers long-term…

In this section of the course you’ll review the latest research in neuroscience and design psychology so you can help your commercial clients to choose a style and image that’s appropriate for their business. You’ll learn how to balance fundamental business savvy with your design expertise so you can develop interior design solutions that produce results where it matters most – on the bottom line! Designing commercial interiors can bring bigger rewards and bigger challenges. However, even if you never want to work in commercial design, this knowledge and skillset will help you to successfully brand and position YOUR OWN services in the interior design market. It’s also an opportunity for you to expand your creativity even further and have some fun in the process.

Topics covered include:

  • Designing for Industry – Identifying the various sectors and common design requirements between different business categories
  • Commercial design goals – How to objectively establish your clients’ goals and use your designs to help to achieve them
  • Branding & Identity – Their role & impact on your interior design concepts
  • Business & Design Psychology – The hard facts about what works and WHY; applying neuroscience to achieve better designs
  • Ergonomics & Universal Design – Creating effective designs for individuals and the wider community

Professional Practice

This final section of the course covers two distinct areas in-depth over a series of comprehensive lessons…

Firstly – It takes a team of people to successfully implement any interior design project. As the scale of your projects become larger and more complex the size of those teams will grow. Working within a collaborative team environment has advantages AND some challenges. In addition to communicating through technical documents, you need to know how to give objective accurate feedback so you can get colleagues and contractors to correct errors without causing conflict or creating a negative working atmosphere. You’ll discover how to do that and establish an atmosphere of mutual respect for healthy working relationships.

Secondly – Interior Design is an exciting and lucrative industry and you may already be working in the interior design industry after completing stage one of this course. However, at the end of this course you’ll be able to offer both residential and commercial services and you’ll find there are so many avenues to use your talents. Whether you are starting or growing your interior design career, in this section of the course you’ll map out a clear plan for your future. What’s more you’ll break this down into manageable goals and milestones and identify the practical tasks and steps you need to complete. Whatever your career goals, this module will help you develop a clear strategy to get there.

Topics covered include:

  • Career Paths – Explore your options in-depth (incl. freelance and/or employment) and make short, medium and long-term goals for growing & developing your career
  • Powerful Presentations – Learn techniques for professionally presenting yourself and your portfolio to a variety of different audiences
  • Building Contacts & Resources – Discover how to find your core team of suppliers and contractors because these are critical to your success
  • Working within a team – Discover how to work successfully within a multi-disciplinary design team and establish objective and healthy working relationships
  • Professional Ethics & Responsibilities – Learn how to meet relevant professional and legal requirements and create your own code of ethics
  • Effective communication – learn how to give constructive criticism and objective feedback so you can communicate & negotiate without conflict
  • Marketing for Designers – Essential marketing techniques will give you a step-by-step method to help you find and appeal to potential clients and employers

Conclusion

If are serious about building a career in the interior design industry then this is the course for you. On successful completion of this course you will…

  • Have the skills and knowledge required to enable you to work with building structure and services so you can remodel and renovate interior spaces
  • Have more opportunities because you’ll be able to work in the high-end residential market AND the Commercial Interior Design arena
  • Receive an Internationally Recognised qualification that meets most educational requirements where licensing is required
  • Join Professional Interior Design Associations and benefit from trade discounts, professional indemnity insurance deals and more
  • Achieve a full BA (Hons) Interior Design with just 1 year of additional study. This gives you maximum flexibility and maximum reward for all your work

What’s more – you can Start Today with no previous experience or qualifications. Don’t waste your time or money on a “foundation course” when you can make real progress by enrolling on our HND program. What are you waiting for…..

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IS THIS COURSE FOR YOU?

Our HND course will enable you to work in the residential and commercial interior design industry. You can join the professional interior design associations, benefit from professional indemnity insurance and you’ll have the option to continue further right up to BA Degree level if you wish. Be your own boss or look for employment, job opportunities include the following…
Renovating & remodelling interior spaces
High-end Residential Kitchen & Bathroom Showrooms/Suppliers
High-end Office Supply & fit-out firms (in-house design)

ENROLLING IS AS EASY AS...


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