This post is a little different from my usual interior posts, but I thought I’d take a post to share my experience so far on my Diploma in Professional Interior Design. This course is home-study, meaning that I receive all my course material online and ‘teach’ myself at home, completing regular assignments and submitting them online or by post. I’ve chosen to study my course through the National Design Academy, partly because it was the most affordable course and partly because the syllabus just looked so fun! NDA is an actual academy, and is based about an hour away from me. The course offers optional workshops at the academy, so choosing somewhere in close proximity means that I’ll be able to attend these if I want to, which is a great bonus.
So why did I decide to begin a home-study diploma while I was doing my degree?
I ask myself this question regularly. Maybe because I’m a bit crazy/unrealistic, but really it was because it just looked like so much fun. I was getting sick of my degree and although I still enjoy aspects of it, it was becoming clear that this wasn’t what I wanted to spend all my time doing. I started to think about study after university, and interior design courses looked really appealing. The problem? Most of them wanted art and design experience, and I was lacking considerably in that. I decided that the solution was to take a short home-study course that I could complete on the side of my degree, gaining the experience that I wanted and having some fun at the same time! My plan for next year has completely changed now, but I don’t regret starting the Diploma at all. It’s great to feel productive, even if it is a bit of extra stress now and then.
What does the course actually consist of?
You can check out the course content here, but I’ll give a little overview from my point of view. There are 10 modules, ranging from a basic introduction to interior design, to floor-plans, professional practise, and modules on specific aspects of an interior, like furnishings and wall coverings. Each module is delivered electronically once I have submitted the work for the previous module.
I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to understand the material or that things wouldn’t be clear, but I was completely wrong. Everything is explained very well, and my tutor support has been great whenever I have any questions.
Does home study mean you can take as long as you want?
Yes, in theory, but each course varies so don’t make my mistake and make sure you read the small print! Each assignment takes 15 days to complete, but this is because I chose to have my course partly funded. Due to this, it means I have to show ‘continuous learning.’ Honestly, this has been the only aspect of the course that I’ve disliked. It’s my own fault really for not reading the small print, but more than once I’ve ended up in a position where university and diploma are jostling for attention and I wish I could just put the diploma on hold for a bit. On the plus side, it means I’ve motivated to complete every assignment quickly!
Favourite module so far?
It’s a hard decision, but I think my favourite module was ‘Design Inspiration’. For my project I had to work to a brief for a client, choosing an ‘inspirational’ element of their lifestyle and using it to create an inspiration board for an interior. I chose Morocco, and it was so much fun to use the criteria given to create a scheme for a whole room. I loved completing this assignment, and I’m happy to say it was reflected in my grade! To view my post on this work, click here.
So would you recommend it?
Yes, I’d 100% recommend this course. It’s great for beginners who want a general overview of interior design both as a profession and as a pastime. The skills I’ve learnt have been transferred to my blog and my home and I think that it’s been really worthwhile. A word of caution though: make sure you are committed to completing the course and that you have enough time to dedicate to study. Finding the time and motivating yourself is so important, especially when the only ‘person’ you have to answer to is a computer screen… and yourself!
If you have any questions about interior design courses for beginners feel free to ask! I’ve done quite a bit of research into both undergraduate and post-graduate courses, so hopefully I can help a little.
To check out my page of diploma work which is always being updated click here.