NDA Diploma in Interior Design

I’m now just about half way though my diploma in Interior Design, my only regret is that I didn’t start the course sooner. I thought I would do some posts on the Diploma; the content, the experience and obviously the skills required to have an understanding of Interior Design. The reasons I decided to do this was mainly to share my experience with anyone interested in understanding more about Interior Design, but also to have something to measure my success against in a few years time all being well, a measure of how far I have come….Hopefully!

The course is provided by the National Design Academy, they are a UK based Academy (a stones throw from my house actually) however they support students globally with their unique and interactive learning approach. My course is delivered entirely through online resources, which although I was a little unsure about to begin with, so far it has proven to be an excellent way to learn, I shouldn’t have been concerned. The NDA do however offer workshops in many aspects, although not a mandatory element of the course, they can offer other skills and an opportunity to meet with fellow students and Industry professionals…. Although I am yet to attend one, I hear they are a great addition to the course. I looked at many differing providers but due to the course content and structure, my life commitments and the cost, this was by far the best solution for me.

The boring (but necessary) stuff out of the way, I can now tell you about the actual course!

The Diploma in Professional Interior Design is it’s actual title. The idea behind this course is to give a structured entry route to the fabulous world of Interior Design. No prior knowledge is necessary to start the course and once completed successfully, it gives you the necessary bedrocks to progress on to the Foundation Degree in Professional Interior Design (hopefully exactly where I am heading!).

I won’t discuss the entire course in this post (that would be slight information overload), but the below is what I have/will be studying, I’ve taken directly from the NDA website, but this gives you a flavour. I will cover individual units at some point in the future.


We introduce you to the right materials and equipment and provide you with the knowledge, skills and confidence to survey a room, draw the survey and elevation to scale, apply colour to the drawings and create professional presentations.


How to plan the space using basic dimensions for furniture. How to choose furniture understanding space requirements. How to create professional sample and mood boards.


Understand the types of different lighting; natural, ambient, task and accent lighting. How to choose lamps and fittings to create amazing lighting schemes.


Bring your room to life with fabulous finishes. Investigate floor and wall coverings, fabrics, textures, art work and accessories.

Soft Furnishings

Discover the many different styles of windows. Learn the 5 stages of designing a window treatment and how to choose the type of fabric to suit the treatment. How to visualise your design through a coloured drawing.

Colour Theory

Learn the theory of colour, what works and what doesn’t and the psychological effects of colour. Bring your drawings to life using light and shade and reproduce fabrics using pastels, water colours or paint effects. We will provide you with a glossary of decorative paint specifications.


It’s not all about design. We will give you the skills you need to obtain and interpret a client brief by asking the right questions. Understand who does what and when.

Implementing a Design

How to project manage the design from concept to completion. Stages of work, using tradesmen, who does what and when

Business Advice

How to open trade accounts with names and addresses of relevant suppliers. We provide you with templates for contracts, letters, invoices and quotations. How to keep accurate records and how to keep up-to-date with the latest ideas and trends. An introduction to advertising and marketing.

I am absolutely thrilled to be studying a subject that I have such passion and dedication for. I do hope that everyone has this opportunity at some point in their lives. As I have found, learning and practicing something that truly inspires you is one of the most wonderful experiences; I can wait for each new day to begin knowing that whatever it brings, it will be fabulous.

I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend and enjoying this glorious weather.

Natalie XO

The National Design Academy – perfect building!!!


2 thoughts on “NDA Diploma in Interior Design

  1. Thank you for your post! I’m been thinking about maybe doing some sort of distance learning interior design course myself, and this has been really helpful in gaining a bit more knowledge about it. Best of luck with your diploma 🙂

    • Thank you Shona, I’m really pleased it has helped. I have had a great experience with the NDA, I would certainly recommend. They are offering discounts at the moment, perhaps a good time to speak with them or have a look on their website. Good luck in whatever you do decide to do. :0)

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