HE Diploma in Applied Interior Design - Part Time

Interior Design

Diploma HE in Applied Interior Design - Part Time

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Applications open
Course duration: 2 Years (6 terms)
School: KLC School of Design
Location: London
Scholarships and bursaries: See available funding

Our part-time Diploma HE Applied Interior Design is a unique and specialised vocational higher education qualification designed to make its students highly employable industry-ready Interior Designers.

This two year, part-time course offers the flexibility of studying with tutors, careers staff and industry experts alongside work or family commitments. This includes half-term breaks to support those with school-age children and give additional flexibility to complete project work.

Favoured by career changers, this exciting and varied programme, covering residential, commercial and hospitality design, equips students with the array of creative, professional and in-depth technical skills to gain employment as an interior designer in leading design practices.

Course structure

Studying on this course is as close to being in an actual design studio as we can make it within an academic setting. The course includes live industry projects: residential, commercial and hospitality, and gives you unprecedented access to design companies and professionals throughout the two years, with inspirational guest lectures, site visits, industry panel discussions and occasional lunchtime talks from suppliers.

In one of the five design projects, students work in teams to undertake real design community projects which have included hospitals, youth and community centres.

In addition to the projects mentioned above, students often have the opportunity to enter other exclusive design competitions such as a brief from mental health charity Place2Be at the start of Children’s Mental Health Week. 

The full range of latest teaching methods are utilised from sketching and models to the latest CAD software and the course is underpinned by our Virtual Learning Environment with a full range of learning materials accessible 24/7. As with all of our qualification courses, unrivalled levels of tutor interaction are available; the tutors work with their groups on both part time days in the studio and we keep the student/tutor ratio deliberately low to ensure full support throughout.

Course units

Term One

Research Project 1*   Textiles, Research & Application
Research Project 2*   Evolution of Style

Through a series of fun, interactive workshops and lectures on the design process, creativity and concepts, students are introduced to life at KLC and their studio learning environment. There is detailed teaching of new visual communication skills, such as sketching, technical drawing and rendering, an introduction to InDesign and Photoshop.   The groundwork is laid for the course by familiarising students with core topics such as sustainability, spatial planning, colour, textiles, model making, professional practice, critical thinking for design, the history of interior design and building construction and regulations.  Students are introduced to their first design project. 

Term Two

Research Project 1*   Textiles, Research & Application (continued)
Research Project 2*   Evolution of Style (continued)
Contextual Essay*      Evolution of Style 
Design Project 1         Residential Design

The residential design project continues to be developed and industry guest lecturers are interspersed throughout the term to inspire students.   They give insights into specific fields of design, such as kitchen and bathroom design and lighting.  Workshops on one and two-point perspective sketching form part of the design project and an introduction to AutoCAD takes place in the final week of term

Term Three

Design Project 2         Conceptual Design

This term moves on to focus on commercial design, and further specialist subjects, including exhibition design.   Industry experts introduce students to joinery, ceramics and upholstery, accessibility, building regulations as well as continuing to explore the use of technology within design, including SketchUp.  Students will investigate conceptual thinking and develop their skills in AutoCAD, SketchUp and InDesign.  There is an opportunity for work shadowing during the Summer break*.

Term Four

Design Project 3         Product Design

Detailed working drawings and bespoke design are the focus of this term.  Specialist lectures on hard materials and furniture design.  Visual communication skills are also enhanced and students begin developing their portfolios.  Towards the end of the term, the Group Project will be launched with a site visit and specialist lectures. 

Term Five

Design Project 4         Group Commercial Project

Students round off the last two terms of their course with two large projects.  The first one is a 'live', socially-focused group project, in conjunction with the KLC Design Changes Lives Foundation.  At the end of the term, students will be briefed on their final design project and begin research and conceptual development.

Term Six

Design Project 5         Large Self-directed Project (with options to choose a brief centred on a commercial, residential or hospitality client)

The final major project of students’ choice is a culmination of the knowledge and skills accrued during the preceding terms.  It will form the basis of their exhibition display. There is a strong focus on commercial 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   1-2-1 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

Two days a week - with a minimum of 11 hours of self-directed study per week is required to complete this course. During projects, many students voluntarily spend more time than the minimum.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Giovanni Leone, tutor at West Dean

Giovanni Leone

Giovanni holds a master's degree in architecture and a member of the RIBA. His work integrates diverse disciplines, notably art and psychology. He has worked with numerous studios on projects ranging across commercial and residential design. As a skilled musician, he also seeks to bring design a music together through research and publications. With more than 15 years' experience and practice, he is currently exploring  the integration of artificial intelligence with design.

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 

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.

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