Higher National Diploma Home Study

Receive advanced entry to the final year of a degree with a fully-accredited Higher National Diploma or learn everything you need to start your own successful interior design business.

Start Date

Can be started at any time


€4,504 (Easy-pay plan available)


Approximately 18-36 months

Work Placement

Graduates of this course are eligible for a one month work placement with an interior design company. All placements are made in the Dublin and Cork areas.

Read More
Study Option
Home Study
Course Level
Level 5 on the RQF (comparable to level 6 on the NFQ)
Entry Requirements
18 years old or over
Note: If English is not your first language, we recommend you have at least level 5.5 IELTS or equivalent. Or, have completed your last two years of schooling through English.
30 practical assignments
The Interior Design Academy of Ireland has partnered with global educational experts Pearson Education to offer BTEC courses to our 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.

Completing this course will lead to the third or final year of a degree, or enable you to start your own successful interior design business. You will not only create, plan and manage your own design project but produce professionally designed 3D visuals, interpret and apply trend forecasting, explore the design of commercial and residential interior spaces and experience what it means to work collaboratively with other designers.

Designed around 30 practical assignments, you will incrementally develop the skills, advanced techniques and deep understanding of the industry that you need to succeed as an interior design professional.

As a home study student you will have full access to our student area, the Online Learning Centre, which contains course material created by industry experts including: instructional videos, written content and assignments.

Our tutors provide all the support, knowledge and in-depth feedback you need to progress through your course and are always contactable through the Online Learning Centre.

On average a student studying around 15 hours per week can complete the course in 36 months, a student studying around 30 hours a week can complete the course in 18 months*.

*Completion time is based on the approximate time it has taken past students to complete the course. Students have up to 48 months to complete the course.

Send me a brochure


The list below provides an overview of the topics covered in this course.

    • Communication in Art & Design

    Research communication techniques and develop an interior design project, from the first client meeting to the final presentation of your design.

    • Researching communication techniques
    • Surveying
    • Compiling a client brief and sourcing inspiration
    • Technical drawings
    • Creating a sample board
    • Producing final designs for presentation
    • Visual presentation techniques
    • Techniques & Processes

    Develop an awareness of a standard approach to the development and execution of the design cycle through the design of a studio apartment. You will learn about:

    • Evaluating a given brief
    • The design cycle
    • Research and design development
    • Spatial planning
    • Colour rendering
    • Model making (optional)
    • Portfolio presentation to include technical drawing and sample board
    • Contextual Studies

    Research and analyse key historical eras and movements that will allow you to understand the context of contemporary designs. You will learn about:

    • History of interior design
    • Exploring research methods
    • Visual and textual analyses
    • How to present research findings professionally
    • Critical research analyses
    • 3D Practices

    Gain an understanding of the vast variety of materials and their application in different contexts. Explore the properties of materials that are commonly used in interior design and their suitability and application in a wide variety of contexts. You will learn about:

    • Designing residential spaces
    • Interior design communication techniques
    • Analysing materials and finishes for the residential market
    • Presentation techniques
    • History of art through interior design and architecture
    • Interpreting a client brief
    • Technical drawing
    • 3D visuals
    • Health and Safety
    • Workflows and project management
    • Workflows

    Explore the different ways in which workflow can be organised to allow you to plan, execute and deliver your own projects in the future. You will learn about:

    • Exploring specialised industries within the design sector
    • Interior design communication techniques
    • Presentation techniques
    • Workflow mapping
    • Workflow systems
    • Tracking issues and solutions
    • Computer Aided Design (CAD)

    Learn the basics of CAD in order to produce your own computer generated drawings and photorealistic visuals. You will learn about:

    • Understand the use of CAD
    • 2D CAD drawings
    • 3D modelling
    • Visualisation
    • Isometric/Axonometric drawings
    • Detail drawings
    • Dimensions and text
    • Individual Project

    Apply all the skills you have learned and develop your creative ability with the design of project with a set theme and topic. Plan the project from start to finish and to review the skills and processes used throughout your work. You will learn about:

    • Designing spaces
    • Interior design communication techniques
    • Analysing and applying materials and finishes
    • The design development
    • Presentation techniques
    • Space planning
    • Technical drawing - CAD
    • 3D Visuals - SketchUp
    • Workflows and project management
    • Sustainable materials
    • Health and safety compliance
    • Specification sheets
    • Professional Development

    Explore how changes in technology and in response to social and cultural change within the industry impact on the interior design profession and the role of the Interior Designer. Reflect on the implications of these changes on your own personal development and career plan. You will learn about:

    • Exploring the development of the interior design profession
    • Assessing own knowledge and skills
    • Identifying areas for personal/professional development
    • Exploring personal career goals
    • Creating a personal development plan
    • 3D Modelling & Rendering

    Build your knowledge of using CAD for a design project. Look in depth at 3D modelling and rendering the technical drawings. Apply different ways in which you can add light and shadow to the 3D visuals to produce professional design documentation. You will learn about:

    • Exploring different modelling and rendering software
    • Developing technical drawings to fully rendered visuals
    • Producing 3D visuals to a professional standard
    • Creating a professional portfolio of work using CAD
    • Trend Forecasting

    Research, interpret, and apply trend forecasting in response to a brief. This will encourage you to develop skills in trend forecasting that can be applied throughout your career. You will learn about:

    • Researching current trends
    • Evaluating future trends
    • Analysing market research
    • Developing a trend forecast for a specific market
    • Presenting a trend forecast based on client needs
    • Project Management

    Explore the theories and practices relevant to the project management of interior design projects. This includes the analysis of key stakeholders, the skills/competencies that an effective project manager needs, as well as the development and presentation of a project management plan within the context of a real-world scenario. You will learn about:

    • Exploring project management theory and practice
    • Analysing the roles of key stakeholders
    • Assessing the skills/competencies of an effective project manager
    • Developing a project plan for an interior design project
    • Presenting a project management strategy
    • Advanced Interior Design Studies

    Explore the design of interior spaces for commercial, residential, retail or cultural environments. Develop your awareness of contemporary and historical contexts in order to inform your design of meaningful spaces that meet client needs. You will learn about:

    • Evaluating contemporary trends
    • Exploring historical precedents
    • Exploring relevant legislation
    • Evaluating a client brief
    • Producing finished design proposals
    • Applied Practice - Collaborative Project

    Develop your collaborative skills through the planning, managing and presentation of a collaborative project. You will be given a set-theme for the project that will be based on current trends and up-to-date industry practices. You will learn about:

    • Building collaborative skills
    • Developing a project plan
    • Managing a collaborative project
    • Presenting collaborative work
    • Evaluating own work and the work of others
    • Professional Practice

    Explore the aspects necessary for an aspiring Interior Designer to set up their own business or work within an established practice. Analyse the strengths and weaknesses within your own work and develop a career plan with the help of your tutor. Learn what is required from a personal and professional point of view. You will learn about:

    • Evaluating skills and abilities
    • Exploring career opportunities
    • Creating a career plan
    • Developing a business plan
    • Creating a portfolio
    • Developing a CV/Resume
    • Preparing for presentation/interview


All our tutors are interior design professionals working in the industry.

The Interior Design Academy of Ireland

Our philosophy at the Interior Design Academy of Ireland is to make high-quality education accessible to all by empowering people to do what they love. Through the power of online and blended learning, our students are able to harness their creativity and practically apply it to succeed in their chosen careers.

Pursue your ambition - because the future is today!

Learn more

Choosing the right course

We offer a range of interior design courses to suit your goals.

Why not contact our experienced staff for advice, or browse to our other courses.

Ask a question

Our experienced team can answer any questions you have about our courses, general enquiries and payment options. Simply complete this form and we will contact you as soon as possible.

Interior Design Academy of Ireland ©2024