Dip HE Interior Design - Change your career and become an industry-ready Interior Designer in just one year

Diploma HE Interior Design

Full TimePart Time



Validated by

KLC’s Interior Design Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) is a unique and specialised vocational higher education qualification designed to make its students highly employable industry-ready Interior Designers.

The DipHE qualification equates to the second year of a Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Design. However, this course is a qualification in its own right and covers the academic study known as Level 5.

For those wishing to progress to a full BA (Hons), an onsite or online BA (Hons) Interior Design top-up course is available at KLC.

The Diploma HE course is fully validated by the University of Brighton. It is flexible in the way it is taught and you can study either on a part-time (2 years) or full-time (1 year) basis.

The KLC Diploma HE Interior Design is a highly intensive, concentrated course which packs in extensive practical studio time and constant contact with tutors, careers staff and industry experts. This course will rapidly progress you to an industry-ready Interior Design graduate. Favoured by career changers, this rigorous 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.

This course is designed for those who think "I could never do that!" when coming for an interview and looking at current KLC Diploma HE students work, but we know from long experience that you can and this course gives you the full package to facilitate starting your career as a professional interior designer after just one year of intensive study.

The Diploma HE courses are embedded in the industry from the outset and throughout the course there are regular opportunities for students to participate in product design competitions with leading designers, suppliers and manufacturers.  Students have recently competed for the chance to have their designs put into production for Andrew MartinTom Faulkner, George Smith, Chesneys and Andrew Martin

A team from the KLC Diploma also won the Architects for Health Student Design Awards in 2017 with their design proposals for the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, Putney.  This all helps our proactive Careers Team (shortlisted for a Times Higher Education Award for Employer Engagement) to find placements and new career opportunities in the industry for our graduates.  The Team also arrange integrated work experience between term breaks and provide extensive help and support finding employment after graduation.

KLC’s unique career-focused approach on all its validated courses has also been picked up and commented on by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) who have recently said:

"Student employability is a major priority for the School. It seeks to meet local, national and international needs and make a major contribution to development of qualified designers through the provision of highly vocational, skills-focused programmes. This approach manifests itself throughout all curricula and includes provision for case studies, industry placements and visits. Industry specialists, acting as module tutors, also use their current work as live briefs for studio activities. This approach to student employability is appreciated by both employers and students." 

Recently, KLC also won two accolades (out of an available six) at the 2017 Independent Higher Education Awards for ‘Breakthrough in Course Design and Delivery’ and ‘Innovation in Digital Teaching and Learning’.

Above: Professional Interior Designer, Suzy Hoodless talking through a commercial project with Diploma HE Students on a site visit.

Study on KLC’s DipHE courses 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 year, with inspirational guest lectures, site visits, industry panel discussions and occasional lunch time 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.

Below: For the 2018 Group project, Diploma Students worked on a brief to improve the patient and staff areas for the Royal Hospital of Neuro-disability.

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 culmination of the course is the graduate show attended by prospective employers, industry contacts, families and friends.  For Graduation many of the awards are judged and presented by leading designers and industry members giving students further opportunities to enhance their CV’s.

LIVE INDUSTRY PROJECT - CASE STUDY 1 (Above): Nina Campbell Interiors asked students in 2016 to originate designs for part a new collection, as a special competition to put new skills learnt, particularly detailed working drawings, into practice.  Student Sabine Gern’s design was chosen and the centrepiece drinks cabinet is featured in the Nina Campbell showroom window.  Sabine now works in Nina’s design studio.

LIVE INDUSTRY PROJECT - CASE STUDY 2 (Below): Andrew Martin came to KLC in 2018 with a brief to ask Diploma students to design one piece of furniture that could be added to the Andrew Martin range and introduced to the global market. Student Laura Leech won the competition which included a 3-month internship at Andrew Martin. Unfortunately, we can't yet show an image of her design as Andrew Martin are developing it for possible inclusion as part of a future next collection.

The full range of latest teaching methods are utilised from sketching and models to the latest CAD software and the course is underpinned by the KLC Virtual Learning Environment with a full range of learning materials accessible 24/7.   As with all of our full time courses, unrivaled levels of tutor interaction are available (70% of your study time is tutor-led); the tutors work with their groups every day in the studios and we keep the student / tutor ratio deliberately low to ensure full support throughout.   

 Above: Final Project presentation board by Joanna Cartwright showing the full range of skills and methods you will be taught on the Diploma HE course.

This course sounds great. What's the catch?

The Diploma HE course has deliberately been designed to still be a highly intensive learning experience, so that students can gain a recognised qualification and enter the industry in the shortest time possible.  But this means that students need to invest in this intensive course, be highly motivated and prepared to commit to the required hours.  Not necessarily a chore if you’re doing something you love! 

Visit us for a two-way Interview

At KLC we feel a strong duty of care to ensure that you, the prospective student, enrol on the course that is right for you and which will transform you to reach your full potential and meet your learning or career objectives.

The purpose of the interview is to give you the opportunity to visit KLC School of Design and find out more about our courses and teaching methods. Yes, it is also for the interviewer to assess your academic ability and motivation, establish the reasons for undertaking the training and where appropriate to review prior learning and experience. But this is all done to help guide you to make the choice that is right for you to achieve your goals.

If you would like to visit KLC and have a tour and a chat before you apply, then please contact us and we will be happy to arrange it for you.  

Course places are only available on a first come first served basis for those offered places after an interview.

We are still taking enrolments for January, so please contact us to arrange your application and interview in December:

Request an Interview for January 2019

New Bursaries for January 2019

STOP PRESS - KLC has been gifted funding from our Alumni for several new Bursaries for the Diploma HE Full Time course commencing this January 2019, each valued at £5,000. We are now taking applications on a first come first served basis for suitable applicants who qualify for financial assistance - DEADLINE EXTENDED 14/12/2018.

Please visit our Student Funding page for how to apply.

Open Days

If you are interested in potentially enrolling on this or another KLC course in January or September 2019, then we recommend you join us at our next open day and speak with course advisors, course leaders and alumni. Have all your questions answered and find out which course and study option is best suited to you.

Register for our next Open Day on 26 January 2019

  • High levels of tutor and career support with your Course Leader in the studio every day
  • Real-world projects with actual clients and site visits
  • Extensive industry contact, work experience and life-time support from KLC Careers team
  • Achieve a validated qualification to help you progress faster in your new career
Speak with an advisor today
020 7376 3377
  • 7 January - 6 December 2019 (more dates available)07 January 2019 00.00am 06 December 2019 00.00am
  • Diploma Higher Education Interior Design (Level 5 Diploma validated by the University of Brighton)
  • One Year
  • A course specifically designed for career changers which provides complete training for a career as an interior designer
  • BA (Hons) Interior Design
  • Monday – Friday, 10.00am – 4.00pm, Additional 15+ hours outside of class
  • No previous experience necessary, ideal for career changers, applicants must be 18 or over
  • Graduate entry to mixed residential and commercial interior design practices
  • Chelsea Harbour, 503 Design Centre East, Chelsea Harbour, London, SW10 0XF+44 (0)20 7376 3377
  • Student Tuition Fee Loan
    Career Development Loan
    Limited places for funding available apply now
An Instalment Plan is available for this course

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