Course Overview

A flexible route to a professional interior design qualification

Duration - 2 years and 1 term/allows some time for other commitments

Hours - minimum 25 hours self-directed study per week, plus 10 days onsite each year

Entry point - graduate entry

Outcome - entry to mixed residential and commercial interior design practices


The Diploma Interior Design is an in depth, career orientated course designed to be accessible and inspirational and is aimed primarily at career changers.

The carefully constructed modular programme is built around a series of challenging and varied design projects so that the student experience is as close to an actual design studio as possible.  This work forms the basis of a graduate portfolio with increasingly complex projects to demonstrate professional competence and the capacity to translate and resolve the needs and aspirations of a client, all interspersed with the necessary business skills.  Where possible, students are encouraged to undertake work shadowing arranged by the Careers Service.

A unique characteristic of the course is that it covers every aspect of interior design from design process, spatial planning and building construction right through to a study of materials and finishes and their application, enabling students to respond effectively to every aspect of a client’s brief.

Students particularly appreciate the frequent input of inspirational, specialist speakers from the industry which combined with extensive support from the teaching team, gradually builds up confidence and ability as the course progresses.  The practical knowledge and skills gained on the course, combined with creativity and professionalism, prepares students exceptionally well for entry to the industry.

Diploma graduates can also elect to gain a degree with just one year of further study on the BA (Hons) Interior Design.  This progression route can open up broader career opportunities, especially in the commercial sector.

Prospective students can find out for themselves what it is like to study the Diploma Interior Design by joining the one day workshop, Experience Life At KLC.

Course Details

From the outset of the course, students are encouraged to inform design work through research and to underpin proposed design solutions and decisions with critical analysis.  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 are introduced to drawing conventions and 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 are 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.

AutoCAD is used across a wide range of industries, by architects, project managers, engineers, designers, and other professionals. Skills and confidence in AutoCAD 2D are gained throughout the course. These software drawing skills are combined with learning competencies in SketchUp, InDesign and Photoshop.

Students will explore design principles, theory, spatial planning and the vocabulary of architecture.  They are also introduced to the key practical elements that underpin good design including building construction, structural principles, services, building regulations, planning permissions and listed consents.  Consideration of sustainability in design is regarded as a holistic part of the course and students are encouraged to factor this in to any design project.

Equally important is the ability to access creativity and particularly enjoyable aspects of the course include an exploration of colour and light, learning about materials and finishes and their application and consideration of design psychology.  An overview of the evolution of international styles with a specific focus on the history of English and French interior styles to include the work of iconic designers and architects of the 20th century provides a rich source of inspiration for contemporary design.

To provide as authentic a design experience as possible, the major projects during the course are based on a variety of realistic residential and commercial spaces such as restaurants, bars, hotels, spas, retail and listed buildings.  The group project encourages effective teamwork in a creative environment and budgets and time management are also included within this section of the course.  To support their project work students will explore strategies for successful communication with clients through visual, written and spoken means.

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.

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, help to ensure that students are fully prepared for employment on graduation.

Please click here for the detailed Programme Specification.

Study Method

This is a combination of distance learning study, online training and workshops and tutorials held at KLC’s Studios in Chelsea Harbour.  This affords students great flexibility in where and when they study (even allowing the opportunity for students to continue some limited part time work), but with the support and structured programme of an onsite course.

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 and have the advantage of being part of a cohort with all the benefits that this interaction provides.

Although the course is mainly online, the Blended Learning Support Team ensures that students from all intakes of the course are brought together through the KLC Virtual Learning Environment. This allows the team to enhance the collaboration between students, share examples of work and monitor students’ development.

All online course materials are accessible for the full duration of the course, so students can tailor their learning by revisiting particular subject material as many times as they want or need.

In addition to study at home 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 engage in group exercises and discussions with their peers.  Day-to-day support is provided through e-mail and online forums.  In addition, Blended Learning students have the opportunity to book free weekly one to one tutorials at the college or online, which provide detailed feedback on project work and invaluable preparation for future assignments.

The end of year Exhibition and formal Graduation Ceremony is held in July each year, for both the September and January course intakes. 

Entry Requirements

Numbers are strictly limited and suitability for the course is assessed through interview at KLC’s Studios in Chelsea Harbour.

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.  In this instance, the School will review any short-term courses, internships or work experience undertaken.  Any non-degree holding students that are accepted onto this course will be required to complete and pass the KLC Preparatory Course.

Applicants should also have good everyday computer skills and students are required to have a PC laptop computer loaded with AutoCAD (free of charge) and the Adobe Creative Suite.

English language ability must be competent and a minimum score of 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System or its equivalent is required.

To arrange to come in and see the school or to set up an interview for this course, please visit Request An Interview.