HE Diploma Interior Design Course KLC School of Design

Interior Design

Diploma HE in Applied Interior Design - Full Time

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Applications open
Course duration: 1 year
School: KLC School of Design
Location: London
Scholarships and bursaries: See available funding

Our full-time Diploma of Higher Education in Applied Interior Design is a specialised vocational qualification designed to make its students highly employable and industry-ready interior designers in just one year.

This is a highly intensive course packed with extensive practical study time, constant direction from tutors, and enhanced contact with career staff and industry experts.

Favoured by career changers, this rigorous programme - covering residential, commercial and hospitality design, equips students with an array of creative, professional and in-depth technical skills, which enable them to gain employment as interior designers in leading design practices. 

Course structure

The subjects covered within the course combine both theory and practice. Diploma students must attend KLC studios on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays from 10 am until 4 pm. Wednesdays and Thursdays are designated for tutor-directed and supported study offsite.

From sketching to the latest CAD software, at KLC, we utilise the full range of teaching methods.  The course is underpinned by our  Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), where lectures and learning material can be accessed 24/7. As with all of our full-time courses, unrivalled levels of tutor interaction are available; we always ensure that the number of tutors working with their groups is adequate to provide full support daily.

The DipHE is designed to emulate what it is like to work in a real interior design studio. The course includes live industry projects (residential, commercial and hospitality), working alongside fellow students, guided visits to showrooms, sourcing fabrics and materials and attending industry panel discussions.

Diploma students often have the opportunity to enter exclusive design competitions. For instance, we often receive a brief from mental health charity Place2Be at the start of Children’s Mental Health Week.

Course units

Term One

Research Project 1* - Textiles, Research & Application
Research Project 2* - Evolution of Style
Foundation Forum - Core skills
Design Project 1 - Residential Design

You are introduced to life at KLC and your studio learning environment through a series of fun, interactive workshops and lectures on the design process, creativity and concepts and trends. There is detailed teaching of new visual communication skills, such as sketching, technical drawing and rendering, and your introduction to computer-aided design (CAD) software, including InDesign, EstiPC and AutoCAD. The groundwork is laid for the forthcoming year by familiarising you with core topics such as professional practice, critical thinking for design, the history of interior design and building construction and regulations. Industry guest lecturers are also interspersed throughout the term to inspire you and give you insight into specific fields of design, such as textiles, bathroom design and sustainability.

Term Two

Design Project 2 - Conceptual Design
Design Project 3 - Detailed Design
Contextual Essay* - Evolution of Style

This term moves on to focus on more specialist subjects, including lighting design, with industry experts introducing you to joinery, ceramics and upholstery, as well as an exploration of the use of technology within design. Visual communication skills are also improved upon with workshops on one and two-point perspective sketching, and new computer-aided design programmes, such as SketchUp and Photoshop, being introduced. An opportunity for integrated work experience is also available during the Easter break*.

Term Three

Design Project 4 - Group Project
Design Project 5 - Final Project (Residential / Commercial Hospitality)

You round off your course with two large projects – 1) A 'live', socially-focused group project, in conjunction with the KLC Design Changes Lives Foundation, and 2) A final major project of their choice which will form the basis of your exhibition display. There is a strong focus on commercial and residential design, professional practice and industry regulations throughout these final projects, to ensure students are industry-ready. This includes an introduction to a final CAD programme – Vectorworks. At the end of the Diploma course, the KLC Careers Service offers one-to-one sessions for portfolio and CV advice, internships and interviews. The year then culminates in a final Exhibition and Graduation ceremony, which is attended by designers and professionals from the interiors industry.

Contact hours

3 days a week - 10.00–16.00 onsite at KLC School of Design studios.
Tutor-directed and supported offsite study 2 days a week (including study trips)
Additional 15+ hours of self-directed home study per week

Entry requirements

The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows:

  • Previous degree (in any subject)
  • No previous art and design experience is required

We can also accept applications from mature students who do not hold the above qualifications but have achieved sufficient prior learning experience. In this instance, the School will review any short courses, internships or work experience undertaken.

English Language Requirements

  • Good command of written and spoken English is required for all applicants.
  • If you reside in the UK, but English is not your first language, you may be asked to undertake an approved English language test.
  • If you are applying from outside the UK, you may be required to take an approved English Language test to meet the requirements for a visa.

Work placements & careers

Our extensive links with designers, suppliers, manufacturers, specialists and professionals within the interior design and garden design industries allow us to offer our students unmatched opportunities to work on live design projects, work shadowing and employment opportunities.

As part of our commitment to offering industry-ready qualifications, our students are offered guidance on CV preparation, portfolio presentation, professional practice and upon graduation; our careers service also helps graduates find internships, job placements and freelance appointments utilising our jobs board. 

Read more

Course tutors

Ruth Casserly

Ruth Casserly DipHE Interior Design, Dip SCM, AFHEA is our Course Leader Diploma HE Applied Interior Design.

Gerard Puxhe DipHE

Gerard Puxhe is an international award-winning Spanish British multi-disciplinary designer. He's also a researcher, lecturer and senior subject tutor at the KLC School of Design.

Nikoleta Ostreva BA (Hons)

Nikoleta is a qualified interior designer with experience working on residential and commercial projects. She holds a degree from Kingston University, London, and has received an award for sustainable design given by a leading architectural practice – Morrison Design Partnership.

Agnieszka Glowka MA PgDip

Agnieszka is a qualified interior architect with experience working in practices in the UK, Ireland, and Poland. She holds a master's degree in interior architecture from the Academy of Fine Arts of Gdansk and a postgraduate qualification in real estate investment from the University of Gdansk.

KLC School of Design at West Dean

KLC School of Design

Our KLC School of Design offers industry-leading interior design degrees and garden design courses with unrivalled teaching, flexible learning and ongoing career support

KLC School of Design

Fees & funding

Course fees are the same for UK and international students

  • £22,520 

We may routinely increase our course fees from year to year for one-year courses and may review and change such course fees without notice.

There are some funding options available, and it can be complicated to establish the most appropriate route for you, so if you would like any advice, then please do not hesitate to contact our Registrars by telephone 0207 376 3377 or email [email protected]

Find out more about funding

How to apply

Entry onto this course is by interview only. Applications for this course can be made by submitting a completed application form and emailing it to: [email protected].

Students need to prepare a digital portfolio to evidence their experience and their interest in the area of design they have chosen. If applicants cannot provide a portfolio, we will ask you to complete a creative exercise to assess suitability for this programme.

Computer-aided design is a key part of this course; therefore, applicants must be computer literate and able to confidently use their personal laptop.

How to create a portfolio

Do you need help creating a portfolio to apply for one of our Interior Design courses? Read our portfolio advice to learn about the general requirements, what we look for in a good portfolio, and what it should reflect.

Any questions?
Email [email protected]; call us on: (01243) 818 300 and select option 1.

West Dean Professional Knowledge Network

West Dean Professional Knowledge Network

Join industry-leading theorists and practitioners in a series of talks that will offer insights into key topics and areas that are shaping the future of arts, design and conservation

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