Interior Design Course - Higher National Certificate (Home Study)
Home Study

Home Studycourse

Start Date:  Can be started at any time
Price:  € 1,295 (easy-pay plan available)
Duration:  Approximately 9 months
Assessment:  15 practical assignments
Course Type:  Home Study
Level:  Level 6 on the NFQ
Accreditation:  BTEC
Entry Requirements:  Must be 18 years of age or older.

If English is not your first language, you must have at least level 5.5 IELTS or equivalent. Or, have completed your last two years of schooling through English.
Work Placements:  Graduates of this course are eligible for a one month work placement at an interior design company. All placements are in the Dublin area.

Higher National Certificate course


Learn the practical skills to launch an exciting new career or gain advanced entry to a degree with a fully-accredited Higher National Certificate.

Throughout the course you will complete fifteen practical assignments designed to give you the experience to confidently enter the professional world of interior design. Assignments can be completed at any time within a maximum time frame of three years. Most students complete the course in approximately 9 months.

Can be studied as a stand-alone course.

See below for a full list of topics covered »

Higher National Certificate Course Study Contents:

  • Welcome Letter - from the course director
  • Recommended Materials & Supplementary Reading List
  • Initial Assignments and Submission Requirements
  • All Course Content & Instructional Videos

The Interior Design Academy of Ireland has teamed up with global educational experts Pearson Education to offer BTEC accredited courses to our interior design students.

These courses are a recognised route to university, leading to the final year of a degree course or progression on to other professional qualifications.

Visual Communication

Unit One

In this unit we start to develop the skills that enable the Interior Designer to communicate their ideas visually. We often have wonderful ideas but no idea how to express them. This unit is the perfect place to start. We will teach and cover topics such as:

  • Learning to survey or measure a room
  • Working to Scale
  • Drawing a floor plan
  • Drawing an elevation
  • Room layouts
  • Creating a sample board
  • An introduction to colour rendering plans and elevations

Design Method

Unit Two

In this unit we focus closely on the design develop cycle which gives students the understanding they need to develop new products or services within the industry. We will cover:

  • The design development cycle
  • Project planning
  • Ergonomics
  • Problem solving
  • Production processes
  • Imagination and innovation
  • Window treatments and quotations

Furnishings & Fittings (3D Materials)

Unit Three

The focus of this unit is to look at and research all the various materials that Interior Designers use and come across throughout a project. We look at internal as well as external materials. This unit helps students with the development of their own personal database of suppliers. We will cover the following:

  • Flooring
  • Paint
  • Wallcoverings
  • Fabrics
  • Furnishings
  • Accessories
  • Environmentally friendly materials
  • Compiling specifications
  • Health and Safety
  • Axonometric drawing

Contextual & Cultural Referencing

Unit Four

This unit looks at the History of Interior Design. It examines how we have come to be where we are from an Interior Design perspective, in order to give the student a complete and well rounded education on the subject. We cover the following periods:

  • Ancient Greece and Rome
  • Gothic Architecture
  • Renaissance
  • Italian Baroque & Rococo
  • Georgian
  • Victorian
  • 20th Century Design
  • Arts & Crafts Movement
  • Bauhaus
  • Modernist

Interior Design

Unit Five

We focus on a specific domestic design brief in this unit. We aim to expose learners to the various processes and order involved in an Interior Design project. They will learn the basics of managing a complete Interior Design project. We will cover the following:

  • Design decoration of specific rooms
  • Room layouts
  • Space planning
  • Furnishings, Furniture and Equipment
  • Drawing - Plans
  • Drawing - Elevations
  • Drawing - 3D representations
  • Drawing - Colour rendered drawings
  • Presentation Sample boards
  • Lighting and electrical specification
  • Colour specification

Design Principles

Unit Six

This unit looks at Design through form, function, culture and context. learners will start to gain an understanding of how the end user, designer and cultural context all influence the final design. We will consider the following areas in this unit:

  • Relationship between form and function
  • The structure of design
  • Principles of cultural and contextual association
  • Exploration of materials, processes and techniques
  • Analysis of the client - end user
  • Concept/Mood Boards

Ideas Generation

Unit Seven

The ability to generate an idea and to think creatively is at the core of any design, so in this unit we focus on getting those creative juices flowing. The tasks in this unit should be fun and inspiring while challenging the learner to think outside of their comfort zone. We will cover elements such as:

  • Various idea generating techniques
  • Sketching
  • Sustainable materials
  • Recycling / 'upcycling' of materials
  • Bespoke furniture / product design
  • Technical drawing with prepared specifications

Professional Practice

Unit Eight

This unit covers the aspects necessary for an aspiring Interior Designer to set up their own business or work within an established practise. It encourages learners to analyse the strengths and weaknesses within their own work and to develop a career plan with the help of their tutors. learners will be aware of what is required from a personal and professional presentation point of view. In this unit we will cover the following:

  • Interview techniques
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Career Guidance / Plan
  • Database Compilation
  • Career Paths
  • Portfolio presentation
  • Legal Awareness
  • Business Structures
  • Business promotional material
  • Personal Interview Presentation