August Update: All courses continue as planned

KLC School of Design has been operating as close to normal as we finish the Summer Term and the academic year. We look forward to welcoming students on site for all new and continuing courses for the new 2022-23 Academic year commencing this Autumn. Please be assured that whatever the future government guidelines with any new variants, KLC is one of the best prepared UK educators to give students a seamless and quality learning experience whether the course is delivered live online, onsite or in a blended combination. 

This confidence is based on the 2020-21 academic year, where all KLC courses continued successfully throughout the pandemic, switching smoothly between onsite and live online depending on requirements and receiving positive student feedback... READ MORE

We are currently experiencing increased demand for all courses commencing in the new Academic year starting September 2022 - so please APPLY NOW, so you can hold an offer and decide to enrol nearer the time!


Course summary

The full-time Diploma of Higher Education in Applied Interior Design is a specialised vocational qualification, designed to make its students highly employable and industry-ready interior designers in just one year.

Validated by University of Sussex

This is a highly intensive course packed with extensive practical study time, constant direction from tutors, and enhanced contact with career staff and industry experts.

Favoured by career changers, this rigorous programme - covering residential, commercial and hospitality design, equips students with an array of creative, professional and in-depth technical skills, which enable them to gain employment as interior designers in leading design practices. 


Contact us

Our friendly team are ready to help you - Mondays to Fridays, 09.00 to 17.30 - Tel: +44(0)20 7376 3377.   

Make an enquiry Download prospectus Apply now Click to call

Great reasons to apply

  • As a professionally recognised course, graduates of Diploma HE Applied Interior Design are eligible to progress to the BA Hons Interior Design Level 6 with just one extra year of top-up study.
  • You will explore residential, commercial and hospitality design through live projects with unprecedented access to design companies and professionals throughout the year.
  • You will get involved in projects, involving charities, local communities and commercial organisations. Previous collaborations have included Andrew Martin, Tom Faulkner, George Smith, Chesneys and the Royal Hospital of Neuro-disability.
  • Life-time support from KLC's career team that includes: CV & portfolio advice, multiple 1-2-1 career sessions, facilitation to graduate job placements and exclusive access to the industry-connected KLC online Jobs Board.


Register for our next London Open day

Join over 20 staff and alumni for a course by course enhanced open day at the Design Centre Chelsea Harbour or try our virtual online open day from your own home.

Latest News

View the Diploma HE Summer Exhibition 2022

KLC Diploma HE students design new staff area for Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

KLC Diploma HE student competition with Porta Romana

VIDEO: Live and breathe interior design with our immersive year-long Diploma qualification course. Validated by the University of Sussex and entirely career-focused, this inspirational and engaging course will open your eyes to the amazing possibilities of design ...

Student gallery

  • AirBnB - Swat Argal
  • Andrew Martin Project
  • Dip HE Interior Design Project 1
  • Diploma HE Interior Design - Project 5
  • Nina Campbell Project
  • RHN Group Project 2018
  • RHN Restaurant Competition
  • Suzy Hoodless commercial project tour

Course details


The Diploma HE Course at KLC is an intensive, transformative experience, filled with all the knowledge needed to step into a career in interior design. The subjects covered within the course combine both theory and practice. Diploma students are required to attend KLC studios on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays, from 10am until 4pm. Wednesdays and Thursdays are designated to tutor-directed and supported study offsite.

From sketching to the latest CAD software, at KLC we utilise the full range of teaching methods.  The course is underpinned by the KLC Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) where lectures and learning material can be accessed 24/7. As with all of our full time courses, unrivalled levels of tutor interaction are available; we always ensure that the number of tutors working with their groups is adequate to provide full support on a daily basis.

The DipHE is designed to emulate what is like to work in a real interior design studio. The course includes live industry projects (residential, commercial and hospitality), working alongside fellow students, guided visits to showrooms, sourcing fabrics and materials and attending industry panel discussions.

Diploma students often have the opportunity to enter exclusive design competitions. For instance, we often receive a brief from mental health charity Place2Be at the start of Children’s Mental Health Week.

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 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 the 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."

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’.

The culmination of the course is the Online Graduate Exhibition Show much viewed by prospective employers, industry contacts, families and friends and which is live on the KLC website for 11 months after course completion. On Graduation day, many of the awards are judged and presented by leading designers and industry members. This gives students further opportunities to enhance their CVs.

Course Dates

(two entry points)

19 September 2022 to 23 June 2023
19 January 2023 to 24 November 2023

Diploma Higher Education (DipHE) Applied Interior Design - Level 5

Black and White logo for University of Sussex

Validated by the University of Sussex

1 Year

BA (Hons) Interior Design Level 6  (Onsite Full Time)

BA (Hons) Interior Design Top-up  (Online Structured Part Time)

Monday, Tuesday & Friday onsite at KLC Studios.
Tutor-directed and supported offsite study on Wednesday & Thursday (including study trips)

Study Hours
Monday - Friday, 10.00–16.00
Additional 15+ hours of self-directed home study per week

"The highlights for me were most certainly the tutors and fabulous guest lecturers. Their enthusiasm, passion, insight and inspiration truly was infectious and made me more excited to be involved in this industry." Caroline Nicholls

Course units

Term One

Research Project 1* - Textiles, Research & Application
Research Project 2* - Evolution of Style
Foundation Forum - Core skills
Design Project 1 - Residential Design

You are introduced to life at KLC and your studio learning environment through a series of fun, interactive workshops and lectures on the design process, creativity and concepts and trends. There is detailed teaching of new visual communication skills, such as sketching, technical drawing and rendering, and your introduction to computer-aided design (CAD) software, including InDesign, EstiPC and AutoCAD. The groundwork is laid for the forthcoming year by familiarising you with core topics such as professional practice, critical thinking for design, the history of interior design and building construction and regulations. Industry guest lecturers are also interspersed throughout the term to inspire you and give you insight into specific fields of design, such as textiles, bathroom design and sustainability.

Term Two

Design Project 2 - Conceptual Design
Design Project 3 - Detailed Design
Contextual Essay* - Evolution of Style

This term moves on to focus on more specialist subjects, including lighting design, with industry experts introducing you to joinery, ceramics and upholstery, as well as an exploration of the use of technology within design. Visual communication skills are also improved upon with workshops on one and two-point perspective sketching, and new computer-aided design programmes, such as SketchUp and Photoshop, being introduced. An opportunity for integrated work experience is also available during the Easter break*.

Term Three

Design Project 4 - Group Project
Design Project 5 - Final Project (Residential / Commercial Hospitality)

You round off your course with two large projects – 1) A 'live', socially-focused group project, in conjunction with the KLC Design Changes Lives Foundation, and 2) A final major project of their choice which will form the basis of your exhibition display. There is a strong focus on commercial and residential 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 one-to-one 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.

Programme specification

Download Programme Specification [PDF 0.4 MB]


Related content

2021 Diploma HE Applied Interior Design Graduate Online Exhibition

"The environment at KLC is very creative but also professional, which prepared me with the necessary interpersonal skills to communicate and apply my design ideas." Gus Goidanich

How to apply

Entry onto the course is by interview only, so please complete the Request an interview  or call our Admissions team to book your appointment.

To prepare for your interview, you will be asked to complete the following:

  • Interview forms, including education and career history
  • A creative exercise
  • A multiple choice spatial awareness exercise.

Computer-aided design is a key part of this course; therefore applicants must be computer literate and able to confidently use their personal laptop.

Please contact our Admissions Team on 020 7376 3377 or if you need any further information or advice about the Entry Requirements for this course.

Request an interview  >

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.

Fees and Funding

Home/EU/International fee


An Instalment Plan is available for this course

Instalment Plan

Course start date: 19 September 2022

Initial enrolment fee: £1,840 non-refundable but deductible from the overall fees.

Followed by 4 quarterly payments of: £4,812.50

     01 July 2022      £4,812.50
  01 September 2022   £4,812.50
  01 December 2022   £4,812.50
  01 March 2023   £4,812.50


  • Please make a careful note of our refund policies, so that you are clear about what you might expect in the event of cancellation.
  • Each instalment includes a charge of £153.75 for using this facility.


There are a number of funding options available and it can be complicated establishing the most appropriate route for you, so if you would like any advice then please do not hesitate to contact our Registrars by telephone (020 7376 3377) or email (

KLC Funding Options graphic - All courses

Student Finance England
This is a government loan to help pay for university or college tuition fees and to help with living costs. Non Degree holding applicants may be able to borrow £6,165 per year towards the cost of a course – you start repaying once you earn over a certain amount.

To check your eligibility and to start your application, please visit the Student Finance website. Our UK provider number is 10008325.

For students to be eligible for Student Finance, they must be studying a designated course. Courses at KLC are designated each year by the Department for Education. Please visit OfS for more information.

Personal Education Loan
There are many different companies offering personal loans, including some that specialise in private education loans which have a reduced repayment through the duration of your course.

Please note that we are unable to accept the 24+ Advanced Learner Loan for our courses.

Alumni and careers


Diploma HE Interior Design students leave KLC with a broad and industry-ready knowledge of interior design. The skills acquired equip graduates to become versatile and individual designers much in demand by the industry.

  • Caroline Nicholls shares her experiences, highlights and challenges while studying at KLC.
  • Santosh Barmola - Leaving behind a career in modelling and acting, Santosh graduated from the Full Time Diploma in July 2016.
  • Anastasisa Schuler reflects on her experiences at KLC and how her career has evolved since graduating.
  • KLC Alumni, Gus Goidanich, has shared some of his career highlights, KLC experiences, advice and his love for lighting and design.
  • Julie Brownson & Anna Romanenko - We caught up with two of our Diploma Alumni who went into business together after the course.
  • Olga Jarvis - After working internationally in Russia & Hong Kong, Olga joined KLC for the Diploma course and transformed her career.
  • With a background in textile design, Full Time Diploma Alumni Michele Longoni used his skills to transition to interior design
  • Josephine Grima - Studying alongside her full-time job was no easy feat, but Josephine used her impeccable time management skills to complete her qualification.
  • Frederic Patoux graduated from the Full Time Diploma in July 2016 after a career change from financial services.
  • Pernille Pahle - After a successful career with Burberry, Pernille graduated from the Full Time Diploma this July 2016.
  • Caroline Newsome made a bold career change over seventeen years ago with KLC and hasn't looked back since!
  • Vertity Roache - Diploma Alumni Verity has been busy launching her own company and fabric line since graduating from KLC in 2010.


Throughout the course, KLC's dedicated Careers service ensures Diploma HE students will receive guidance on CV preparation, portfolio presentation and professional practice with work experience offered part-way through the course. Students benefit from multiple 1-to-1 careers sessions helping to facilitate graduate career entry including access to the KLC Online Jobs Board. On graduation Careers and Alumni support is provided on an ongoing basis.

Out of the Diploma students who used the Careers Service in 2018, 97% are now working in the industry.

KLC Full Time Diploma HE Interior Design Careers Stats 2018