ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Interior Design Education: Online Diploma Program (HND)

Updated on November 15, 2019
viryabo profile image

Working as a professional interior designer for many decades, I've been involved in design-and-build residential building projects.

If your dream career is interior design, an interior design education is imperative if you want to have the ability to communicate your ideas in a very professional manner. A higher national diploma (HND) course is the minimum qualification you need.

With an HND in interior design, you will be able to work on a wide variety of residential projects and therefore increase your chances of success in your career as a designer.

With an education in interior design, you will have a thorough understanding of all the structural elements that define interior spaces and because you will probably work with architects, your designs must work seamlessly with their architectural concepts.

By the end of your 2 years of full-time study, you will not only have professional skills as a designer, you will understand the basics of plumbing, lighting, electricity, heating, and other services integrated within building structures. Important requirements that go with the profession.

Project management skills are also important because you will be working on interior design projects with contractors, subcontractors, artisans, etc… and will require to manage projects that involve a workforce. Marketing and other business skills associated with the interior design industry will be learned to compliment your professional skills.

Obtaining a higher national diploma in interior design will give you the knowledge and technical skills you need to design and control all the factors of internal spacing and layout.

A higher national diploma in interior design education will give you the knowledge and technical skillsrequired to design and control all the factors of internal spacing and layout.
A higher national diploma in interior design education will give you the knowledge and technical skillsrequired to design and control all the factors of internal spacing and layout.

HND in Interior Design – Major Topics Covered

  • History of Design and Period Décor
  • Construction & Structural Renovation
  • Design Communication
  • Design Materials & Furnishings
  • Commercial Design
  • Professional Interior Design Practice

1. History of Design and Period Décor

It is inevitable that throughout the career of an interior designer, there will be times when you may have a project where you have to recreate period interiors to various degrees of authenticity. At the distance learning HND course, you will be taught about historical styles and designs and their relevance in today’s interiors.

You will become familiar with those who have 'moved' the design world and you will be able to carry out research and critical analysis of design styles of the past era.

In this class, you will review the main historical events of the past and discover history's influence on design developments and movements.

Subjects covered in this class include:

  • Critical Analysis

You will be taught how political and social circumstances in the past have influenced styles of today's interior design.

  • Early Design Styles

All design styles, ranging from Egyptian to the Gothic, Victorian and Rococo styles will be covered in this class.

  • Turning Points in History of Design

Learning about the turning points in history such as the Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution, the Dark Ages and the Information Age, and how it has a great impact and influence on the way we live.

  • Global Design Styles

This covers the development of regional variations around the world in terms of western and non-western design styles.

  • Review of Design Styles Throughout History

Design styles from the Baroque to the Victorian ages and onwards will be covered in this topic.

  • Modernism

You’ll learn about modern design styles of the 21st century and possible futuristic designs in the beyond.

2. Construction and Structural Renovation

This HND course topic explores construction in detail as it relates to an interior architect. You must be able to communicate professionally with architects and contractors after learning this class topic.

You will, at the end of this course, be able to basically “gut and rebuild” almost any interior no-load bearing structure to interpret your design concepts.

Subjects covered in this class include:

  • Principles of Building Design

Learning about building construction and understanding how things are done, and why they are done, from foundation to roof construction.

  • Interior Renovations

You will learn how to alter or make major structural changes to an existing structure, which is referred to as renovations. You will also be taught about how to meet legal and building requirements.

  • Planning Building Layouts

Working on commercial project layouts, and how to plan the interior space and partitioning of such structures.

  • Staircases and Disabled Aspects of Design

Learn how to incorporate staircases into your interior design creations, and know how to develop access for the physically challenged.

  • Building Services

Learn how to plan electrical, plumbing and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) layouts and how to do full specifications for all building services.

  • Lighting and Security

Learn how to design commercial lightings systems and the required security regulations that it demands.

  • Whole Building Design

In order to improve the quality of life of the intending occupants of a building, you will have to learn how to plan your building interiors so that layouts, finishes, and systems work together in synchronization and effectively.

3. Design Communication

In this class, you will be taught about specialist techniques on how to produce professional drawings, clear and detailed specifications, and contractual agreements. This ensures that projects are executed correctly without unnecessary and therefore costly mistakes.

Drawings and illustrations cross all language barriers and therefore can be used to illustrate design concepts and ideas at the early stages of any project.

With this, and at this stage, you get the all important feedback and the necessary approvals before the commencement of any construction works.

Subjects to be covered include:

  • Advanced Drawing Techniques

Learn how to achieve clarity, precision, and accuracy in working drawings

  • Detailed Drawings

Prepare detailed drawings to help in communicating construction and installation methods.

  • Design Briefs and Specifications

Learn how to create templates for specifications and how to prepare schedules of works for contractors.

  • 3-Dimensional Representations

Learn how to do axonometric, isometric and perspective drawings. Step by step instructions on how to do these both manually and with the use of 3D software.

  • Rendering

Learn how to produce visually stunning drawings or sketches with great impact, but simple efforts.

4. Design Materials and Furnishings

Interior architects and designers have a wider choice when it comes to materials available for structural designs and how they can or should be used within a design concept.

The design materials available range vastly and include materials such as stainless steel, granite, marble, glass blocks, mirrors, wood, and concrete.

In this class, you are taught how to examine the main materials available and know the advantages and disadvantages of their individual use. You’ll discover how these materials can be used creatively and effectively in design ideas and concepts.

Subjects covered in this class include:

  • Designing the Environment

Learn about how design choices affect our environment, and learn all about 'designing green'.

  • Consumer Response

What people choose and believe in, and the psychological associations attached to individual client choices.

  • Design Methods

Learn how design decisions are based on production, installations and general maintenance.

  • Performance versus Cost

How well and for how long and how suitable the choices of materials are in the long term.

  • Mass Production

How the scale of projects and the demand of consumers has an influence on modern design approaches.

  • Regulation and Standards

Legal standards and ethical standards, and how they should conform to the selections of materials made.

5. Commercial Interior Design

Helping your clients to choose a design style and image that is relevant and appropriate to their corporate identity and business strategies is required in the commercial design area. You need to achieve a theme that will create an impact on clients’ corporate staff and customers, one that will help their business profits.

The many stages of commercial design are identified in this class, and you will be able to produce effective results for your clients without compromising on your own creativity.

You will learn about the latest in neuroscience and architectural fields and know how these can be incorporated to produce more beneficial designs.

Subjects covered include:

  • Ergonomics and Universal Designs

You learn how to create great designs for individuals and the community at large.

  • Business and Design Psychology

Finding out what works and why.

  • Designing for Industries

Learn about designing for industries and identifying the common design requirements of the various industrial sectors.

  • Establishing Goals

Your clients will have goals that you have to adapt to and work around.

  • Commercial Design Cycle

Learning how to create effective designs for medium and large scale projects.

  • Teamwork

How do you work as a team member to achieve success in a design project? Learn how to identify your role and co-ordinate with fellow team members.

  • Effective Selling

Creating designs that sell you and your client’s products and/or services.

6. Professional Practice

As a professional interior designer, you have to possess the ability to plan and implement your projects successfully. You will need project management skills including the ability to organize and schedule your works.

With the HND interior design program, you will discover the various ways you can utilise your talents, either as an employer or an employee.

You will be able to market yourself as a professional interior designer and go out to the world, confidently pursuing your chosen career.

Subjects covered include:

  • Define your Role

Identify the services you wish to provide and how to implement turn-key projects.

  • Project Management

Schedules, work orders and time management of projects. Learn how to use all the effective templates and techniques required for designers.

  • Budgeting

Learn how to prepare a workable budget, making sure to prevent unwanted cost hikes.

  • Project Monitoring

Oversee a successful design execution with progress reports and amendments.

  • Marketing

Learn to research simple ways to help you get the clients.

  • Contracts and Pricing

How to use documents and work with agreements to protect yourself and your clients.

  • Professional Responsibilities

Code of ethics must meet ethical and legal obligations.

  • Career Paths

You will learn about the various options of niches available to interior designers that you can choose from.

  • Presentations

How to have a good portfolio that sells you and presents your works to a variety of audiences

  • Building Contacts and Resources

This subject teaches you the basics of building up a good database of a core team of contractors, sub-contractors, and suppliers.

Going Further From Higher National Diploma

© 2009 viryabo

Comments Are Welcome

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • htodd profile image


      8 years ago from United States

      Distance learning might be great if done in great way..

    • ecamper23 profile image


      9 years ago

      This is a great opportunity for those looking to supplement architecture or design.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      This is a fun and really an innovative kind of work about interior designing. This is the best to read on.

    • agent007 profile image


      9 years ago from Florida

      Another great in-depth article! If I were going to school for interior design this definitely would've swayed me over!

    • viryabo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Thanks for visiting Steve. Glad you find it useful.


      Hi Careerguidance, thanks so much for your nice comments. I appreciate it that you found the time to leave nice comments.


    • careerguidance` profile image


      10 years ago from chandigarh

      I open your hub page and i see your hub page is very fabulous as compare to other hub pages , It is attractive and

      fascinate hub page your content is very impressive. All Employers say they are impressed by job candidates who

      have excellent communication skills and work experience And absolutely possible that one of those not-so- perfect days may happen to coincide

      with the day of a job interview. career guidance

    • viryabo profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago

      Thanks sreeiit for visiting. Glad you find it informative.


      Steve Nicks, studying for an interior design education online is a good alternative if the time to attend classes on campus poses a challenge.

      Thanks for visiting and for your nice comments.


    • profile image

      steve nicks 

      10 years ago

      Nice posting this article to have some views about online interior design schools. It is really cool.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Very good article. You write well and provide some valuable information..

    • viryabo profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago

      RosWebbART, thanks for your nice comments and your valued visits.


    • viryabo profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago

      Many thanks to you sreeiit for your visits to my hubs and your nice comments.


    • RosWebbART profile image

      Ros Webb 

      10 years ago from Ireland

      Good piece of writing.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Cool hub!!!

    • viryabo profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago

      I'm so glad Keira. I'm taking part in the latest hubchallenge so that's why i'm writing many now. One day soon, you must try the challenge. It will give you good traffic and you will start to earn a bit of money too. If you need some tips, just give us a shout. We shall be there for you keira.

      If i can do it, then you can do it well too i know.


    • keira7 profile image


      10 years ago

      Hi, I am always happy when I receive e.mails that you have publish. Thanks for the info. Nice hub.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)