Diploma HE Interior Design is a unique and specialised vocational higher education qualification designed to make its students highly employable industry-ready Interior Designers
This two year, part time course offers the flexibility of studying with tutors, careers staff and industry experts alongside work or family commitments. This includes half-term breaks to support those with school-age children and give additional flexibility to complete project work.
Favoured by career changers, this exciting and varied 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.
Great reasons to apply
- As a professionally recognised course in interior design, graduates of Diploma HE Interior Design are eligible to progress to the BA Hons Interior Design Level 6 with just one extra year of top-up study
- You'll explore residential, commercial and hospitality design through live projects with unprecedented access to design companies and professionals throughout the two years, plus inspirational guest lectures, site visits, industry panel discussions and occasional supplier talks.
- You'll get involved with live projects, closely collaborating with charities, local communities and commercial organisations. Recent collaborations have included Andrew Martin, Tom Faulkner, George Smith, Chesneys and the Royal Hospital of Neuro-disability
- Life-time support from KLC's Careers team that includes: CV & portfolio advice, Multiple 1-2-1 Careers Sessions, Facilitating graduate job placements and exclusive access to the industry connected KLC online Jobs Board
Join us at our next open day and speak with course advisors, course leaders and alumni. See current students work and have all your questions answered to find out which course and study mode is best suited to you.
This course is designed for those who think "I could never do that!" when coming for an interview or an Open Day 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.
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."
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’.
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 two years, with inspirational guest lectures, site visits, industry panel discussions and occasional lunchtime 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.
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.
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 qualification courses, unrivaled levels of tutor interaction are available; the tutors work with their groups on both part time days in the studio and we keep the student/tutor ratio deliberately low to ensure full support throughout.
16 September 2020 to 8 July 2022
Diploma Higher Education (DipHE) Interior Design - Level 5
Validated by the University of Brighton
2 Years (6 terms)
BA (Hons) Interior Design
Two days a week, Wednesday & Thursday - with a minimum of 9 hours self-directed study per week is required to complete this course. During projects, many students voluntarily spend more time than the minimum.
This course has half-term breaks as follows:
- Terms 1 & 4 - two weeks (this will encompass most schools that have half terms)
- Terms 2 & 5 - one week
- Terms 3 & 6 - one week
"The KLC Diploma was incredibly demanding, but I was totally up for all the challenges it presented. I totally immersed myself in the diverse and inspiring plethora of topics; varying from the “History of Style” to the ever evolving world of “smart home” technology." Camilla Bellord
Research Project 1* Textiles, Research & Application
Research Project 2* Evolution of Style
Through a series of fun, interactive workshops and lectures on the design process, creativity and concepts, students are introduced to life at KLC and their studio learning environment. There is detailed teaching of new visual communication skills, such as sketching, technical drawing and rendering, an introduction to InDesign and Photoshop. The groundwork is laid for the course by familiarising students with core topics such as sustainability, spatial planning, colour, textiles, model making, professional practice, critical thinking for design, the history of interior design and building construction and regulations. Students are introduced to their first design project.
Research Project 1* Textiles, Research & Application (continued)
Research Project 2* Evolution of Style (continued)
Contextual Essay* Evolution of Style
Design Project 1 Residential Design
The residential design project continues to be developed and industry guest lecturers are interspersed throughout the term to inspire students. They give insights into specific fields of design, such as kitchen and bathroom design and lighting. Workshops on one and two-point perspective sketching form part of the design project and an introduction to AutoCAD takes place in the final week of term
Design Project 2 Conceptual Design
This term moves on to focus on commercial design, and further specialist subjects, including exhibition design. Industry experts introduce students to joinery, ceramics and upholstery, accessibility, building regulations as well as continuing to explore the use of technology within design, including SketchUp. Students will investigate conceptual thinking and develop their skills in AutoCAD, SketchUp and InDesign. There is an opportunity for work shadowing during the Summer break*.
Design Project 3 Product Design
Detailed working drawings and bespoke design are the focus of this term. Specialist lectures on hard materials and furniture design. Visual communication skills are also enhanced and students begin developing their portfolios. Towards the end of the term, the Group Project will be launched with a site visit and specialist lectures.
Design Project 4 Group Commercial Project
Students round off the last two terms of their course with two large projects. The first one is a 'live', socially-focused group project, in conjunction with the KLC Design Changes Lives Foundation. At the end of the term, students will be briefed on their final design project and begin research and conceptual development.
Design Project 5 Large Self-directed Project (with options to choose a brief centred on a commercial, residential or hospitality client)
The final major project of students’ choice is a culmination of the knowledge and skills accrued during the preceding terms. It will form the basis of their exhibition display. There is a strong focus on commercial 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 1-2-1 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.
"A life changing experience combined with a lot of hard work. We have learnt so much! I cannot count the endless nights spent with working on my projects. But I can see how we could grow step by step, term by term in knowledge and skills." Lajos Tanczos
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 email@example.com if you need any further information or advice about the Entry Requirements for this course.
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
IELTS score of 6.5 (www.ielts.org)
Fees and Funding
An Instalment Plan is available for this course
The instalment amounts are currently in review, but here is a representative example for illustration processes only:
Initial enrolment fee: £1,840 inc VAT non-refundable but deductible from the overall fees.
Followed by 20 monthly payments of: £908 inc VAT
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VAT will be charged at the rate in force at the date payments are made which may increase the total fees quoted if the VAT rate changes.
Please make a careful note of our refund policies, so that you are clear about what you might expect in the event of cancellation.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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 £4,625 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 Part Time Diploma students who used the Careers Service in 2018, 90% are now working in the industry.