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A career based, validated Diploma course to launch a career as a professional interior designer

The Blended Learning course starts in January and September and combines the structured programme of an onsite course with the flexibility of studying from home. It also provides an opportunity to achieve KLC's prestigious validated Diploma qualification in just over two years and still manage part-time work and/or family commitments. Collaboration with fellow students is encouraged throughout the course and students meet with their class at KLC's studios and online on a regular basis throughout the seven terms. Each class graduates as a unit and, along with students from the full time Diploma courses, attend KLC's graduation ceremony which takes place each July.

The carefully constructed modular programme is built around a series of challenging and varied design projects with extensive tutorial support. Students are gradually introduced to new skills and information and the project work provides regular opportunities to put these into practice in order to build up confidence and ability as the course progresses. These projects will form the basis of a graduate portfolio of increasingly ambitious project work to demonstrate professional competence and the capacity to translate and resolve the needs and aspirations of a client.

Industry links

KLC is raising the standards of British Interior Design by producing exciting, innovative and professional graduates

Sarah Hills, Porta Romana

The extensive range of industry links that the school has built up over the years play a key part in helping to ensure that course content is up to date and are a vital source of potential work shadowing, employment and internships. KLC industry links also provide experts who participate in Blended Learning workshops from time to time, and who lead group project.

Careers service

The KLC Diploma Interior Design is recognised as providing students with the practical knowledge and skills combined with creativity and professionalism to gain entry to the interior design industry. KLC's Careers Service will work closely with individual students if required to help them make a successful transition from course to workplace. Students should be aware that it is becoming increasingly commonplace within the interior design industry for recent graduates to be offered an internship of one to three months before full employment is offered. Many Diploma graduates ultimately hope to run their own design practice but look to gain valuable experience as part of a design team on graduation. Typically, they opt for small or medium size studios where they can gain hands on experience across the board. Assistance with CVs and portfolios is an integral part of the course. In addition individual career advice sessions can be provided and, with regular approaches from some of the leading design companies, it is often possible to put graduating students directly in touch with potential employers.

Students are encouraged to opt for work shadowing during their second year which can be organised by the Careers Service through KLC's extensive range of contacts in the industry. Graduates will be eligible for BIID membership and able to join their Professional Pathway at Level 2.

Course outcome

The many successful graduates working in the industry attest to the effectiveness of the course which they attribute to the high levels of support from tutors and to KLC's practical approach that employers particularly appreciate. The recent validation process has served to further enhance the course and the resulting project work is increasingly well considered and creative.

Entry Requirements

No previous art or design experience is necessary. Normally the entry standard is a degree, but mature students with sufficient prior learning experience are particularly encouraged. Students without a degree who have undertaken short-term courses, internships or work experience are required to write a report on their participation in the course or workplace, and provide a reference from their tutor / employer. Any non-degree holding students that are accepted onto this course will be required to complete the Diploma Preparatory Course.

Numbers are strictly limited and the first step is to arrange an interview the purpose of which is to provide applicants an opportunity to visit the school and learn about the course in detail and for the interviewer to assess the applicant's academic ability, motivation, performance under pressure and the reasons for undertaking the training. English language ability must also be competent and a minimum score of 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System www.ielts.org or its equivalent is required.

NOTE: The interview is the first step in the formal application process for KLC's career orientated courses. Before coming in applicants should check that they are able to study for up to 25 hours per week, have the funding available, are of sufficient age and have the required language ability. To arrange to come and see the school or to set up an interview for this course, please contact Admissions on 020 7376 3377 or email info@klc.co.uk

Overseas applicants can arrange to have the interview by telephone although a follow up meeting prior to the course date and copies of relevant documentation will be required.

Computers

Students are required to have a PC laptop computer for this course (the minimum specification for computer equipment is regularly updated and is available from the Flexible Learning Department). CAD software is provided free of charge as part of the course materials, and optional tuition in Photoshop and InDesign is also included. In order to participate in Photoshop and InDesign training, students will need to download these software packages. It is usually possible to download a free trial of software for these sessions (as long as students have not previously taken advantage of a free trial) however, to support ongoing professional needs, many students choose to purchase the Adobe Creative Suite as it is available at a considerable discount once they have enrolled.

Email is regularly used as a means of communication and because of the unique online support and teaching that is part of the Blended Learning course, students must have good everyday computer skills (for example, they should be able to confidently create, amend, save and distribute Microsoft Office documents and files, and use mouse or keyboard). For this reason, students must ensure that they are familiar with the general operation and use of computers before starting on the course. In order to create a consistent and more efficient learning experience for students, KLC has recently taken the decision to conduct all software training using the Windows based versions of the programs, therefore students on all courses must have a PC laptop running the Windows operating system.

Course Details

Great emphasis is placed on design process from taking the client brief, site survey, design analysis, conceptual and design development through to implementation and the final evaluation of a project. Students learn how to produce 2D and 3D drawings, both by hand and CAD generated, and to master 3D visualisation techniques, scale models and other methods of visual presentation. The use of sketching, design developmental drawings and computing to generate 2D and 3D models is encouraged in the later projects and students also learn to produce detailed working drawings which are now a vital part of a designer's toolkit for bespoke areas of work.

Vectorworks is introduced into the syllabus at the start of the second term of the FT Diploma and at the end of the first year of BL Diploma. Skills and confidence in Vectorworks are gained throughout the rest of the course. The reason why Vectorworks is chosen over other software drawing packages is that it is easier to learn and quicker to gain competence to allow for greater focus on proficiency in technical drawing skills. The 3-5 day AutoCAD introduction at the end of the course seeks to actively draw parallels between Vectorworks and AutoCAD as a way to make progression between software packages more effective. In addition, students will be shown how to import AutoCAD files into VW, to amend drawings, and thereafter to export them back into AutoCAD. These software drawing skills are combined with learning competencies in SketchUp, InDesign and Photoshop.

Most employers seek Diploma graduates who have skills and experience in CAD drawing and rendering packages. They are happy to interview graduates who have competence in Vectorworks and have had an introduction to AutoCAD. Employers expect that Junior Design graduates will require further training and experience during their first few months. Diploma graduates who continue on to the BA (Hons) course will actively build upon their introduction to AutoCAD skills throughout the year and further their design software techniques by learning 3ds Max.

Students will explore areas such as design principles, theory and process, communication and presentation and the development and vocabulary of architecture. In keeping with the KLC practical approach, students are also made aware of the more practical elements of interior design. Subjects covered include lighting, plumbing, heating, air conditioning and drainage systems, multi-media installations, accessibility and inclusive design. They are also given an understanding of building construction and structural principles and made aware of building regulations and where planning permissions are applicable.

Great emphasis is placed on accessing creativity and aspects of the course particularly enjoyed include creative use of colour and light, textiles, materials and finishes, supported by psychological considerations. An overview of the development of international styles with particular focus on the history of English interior styles to include the work of iconic designers and architects of the 20th century and contemporary design, ensures that graduates are able to recognise key styles and also informs their own design development.

Consideration of environmental issues is regarded as a holistic part of the course and students are encouraged to factor this in to any design project. To support their project work students will explore strategies for effective communication with clients through visual, written and spoken means. The course is rooted in business reality and considerable emphasis is therefore placed on business skills through the study of professional practice which combined with the opportunity for work shadowing are key elements in the preparation of students for employment on graduation.

There are 5 major projects during the course, based on a variety of realistic residential and commercial spaces such as restaurants, bars, hotels, spas, retail and listed buildings. The resultant presentational material will form a comprehensive design portfolio including examples of all the skills which students have acquired during the course.

The group project encourages effective team work in a creative environment and budgets, time management and formal presentations are also included within the course. The final design project requires students to work autonomously on a space and apply a full range of design skills acquired; they will have to demonstrate their ability to plan, timetable and complete their own presentation, showcase their knowledge of current and emerging technologies and major design trends and demonstrate current thinking regarding key issues on professional design practice.

Course Delivery

KLC is committed to providing dynamic, supportive and engaging specialist tuition in a professional inspiring environment that is both challenging and enjoyable. In order to encourage and enable innovation and cutting edge practice and to maintain and develop an exciting and current curriculum the majority of tutors and lecturers are qualified interior designers or architects.

Blended Learning students benefit from all the support services that KLC offer onsite students. Students will work to fixed deadlines for project submission to ensure that they complete their studies within the specified time frame. Teaching strategies include lectures, workshops, group and individual tutorials and presentations. Research, student led debates and discourse are encouraged and form an important aspect of the course.

Blended Learning students are able to utilise the KLC in house library and also have access to a wide range of reference material via the online resources of EBSCO but are also encouraged to use local libraries as well

In addition to at home study and online participation students are required to attend an intensive one week course at KLC's studios in Chelsea Harbour at the beginning of the first two years of study and the final term, and to attend five individual workshops in each of years one and two. During their workshop days, students will participate in separate seminars to present recent work to a small group of their peers and to discuss their progress. In addition, Blended Learning students have the opportunity to book free weekly one-to-one tutorials at the college or online, these are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis and provide detailed feedback on project work and invaluable preparation for future assignments.

Syllabus

The Blended Learning course starts in January and September and combines the structured programme of an onsite course with the flexibility of studying from home. It also provides an opportunity to achieve KLC's prestigious validated Diploma qualification in just over two years and still manage part-time work and/or family.

DESIGN PROCESS AND APPLICATION

This module focuses on the design development process and the acquisition of skills necessary to communicate a design idea or proposal.

  • Client brief, design analysis, development and concepts
  • Spatial planning
  • Ergonomics, circulation, traffic flow
  • Site survey and analysis
  • Introduction to drawing techniques, model making and visual communication skills
  • Research and application
  • Colour theory and psychology
  • Articulation of ideas from inception through development of reflective evaluation to final proposition

DESIGN PRACTICE AND COMMUNICATION

This module introduces design communication and the associated techniques and skills required to convey and communicate a scheme effectively.

  • Design drawing techniques and conventions
  • Visuals and spatial drawings, hand drawn and computer generated in 2D and 3D (to include SketchUp, Vectorworks, Adobe Creative)
  • Introduction to AutoCAD
  • Rendering techniques
  • Graphics
  • Verbal communication skills to convey a design proposal
  • Critical evaluation of design research
  • Critical evaluation of own design work through reflective essays
  • Compilation of professional portfolio of work

MATERIALS & PROCESS

This module allows exploration of the potential of materials and their application and technical performance within an interior design scheme.

  • Building construction and structural principles
  • Structural systems, lighting and services
  • Detailed working drawings
  • Research on technical performance and application of materials within design projects
  • Application of drawing, photography, CAD and technical drawing to show materials and finishes applied to 3D forms
  • Materials and their environmental and sustainable impact
  • Integration of design process from conception to construction
  • Compilation of a reference book on Textiles and their Application

PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE

This module explores the restrictions and processes in place to which the professional designer needs to comply within the wider context of the profession and focuses on the administrative procedures of design practice.

  • Industry codes and standards
  • Compliance with statutory regulations
  • Design proposals
  • Fee structures and proposals
  • Contracts
  • Estimating (and use of EstiMac and EstiPC software)
  • Specifications and schedules
  • Budgets
  • Business ethics

HISTORICAL & CRITICAL STUDIES

This module explores the historical framework of Interior Design from c1660 to 21st century spanning a wider cultural context, where the study of practical and theoretical issues can inform design process and practice. Sustainability, changing production, materials and environments are also explored and evaluated.

  • Development of International Style
  • 1660-2000 English, French, German interior styles
  • 20th century architecture, iconic architects and designers
  • Exploration and evaluation of sustainability, changing production, materials and environment
  • Project work
  • Essay exploring aspects of social, cultural and economic influences and how they inform process and practice

FINAL DESIGN PROEJCT

This module consolidates all previous design studies into a complex design brief/project which is undertaken according to professional standards and spans all aspects of the design process from inception through to final proposal and presentation to client.

  • Site visit
  • Research
  • Rationale
  • Conceptual development
  • Design proposal
  • Project specific sketchbook
  • Presentation to client

PROJECT WORK

Students are required to complete the following:

  • Research paper on Textiles and their Application
  • History of Style reference book and essay on social, cultural and economic influences
  • Personal journals and sketchbooks
  • Five design projects (to include residential, conceptual, commercial, group and final project)

Diploma Interior Design

Next start date:

  • 8 Sep 2014 - 15 Dec 2016
  • Places Available

Fee:

Instalment information

Enrolment fee:

  • £2,200.00 inc VAT
  • Followed by 24 payments of:
  • £612.00 inc VAT

Please read payment information if paying by instalments.

Qualification

Level 5 Diploma validated by the University of Brighton

Progression:

Graduates of the Diploma can progress to the one year BA (Hons) Interior Design Course

Duration:

2 years (plus 1 term) through a combination of courses at the school and Online Learning (a minimum of 20-25 hours study at home per week on average)

Study Method:

Blended learning

Location:

Workshops take place at Chelsea Harbour