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HND Interior Design Online

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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.

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  • 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.

Further Reading:

Employment Opportunities for Interior Designers

Interior Design Services and Interior Architecture – What’s the Difference?

Top Specialized Fields in the Interior Designing Industry

Student workbooks:

Space Planning Sketchbook for Interior Design Students

Student Lookbook for Interior Design Period Styles

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

htodd from United States on November 13, 2011:

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

ecamper23 on July 06, 2011:

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

LMS on April 13, 2011:

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

agent007 from Florida on February 27, 2011:

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

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on July 30, 2010:

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` from chandigarh on July 01, 2010:

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

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viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on June 17, 2010:

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.


steve nicks on June 17, 2010:

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

sreeiit on March 11, 2010:

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

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on March 03, 2010:

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


viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on March 03, 2010:

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


Ros Webb from Ireland on March 03, 2010:

Good piece of writing.

sreeiit on March 02, 2010:

Cool hub!!!

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on October 19, 2009:

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 on October 19, 2009:

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

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