What’s the Best Interior Design Course? Part 1

So you’re thinking about interior design? Perhaps like me, you revel in the online blogs, pictures and ideas of design, but if you wanted to go about it in a more concerted way, how would you start?

Well (I hope) in answer to that question I have put together a series of articles about that very process: How, what and where to study interior design:

The very basics…

Of course you could go to a specialist college of which there are many and some of the best as you might expect are in London – the Royal College being an example of a small, highly focused college with a high ratio of lecturers to students, but alas it’s not for us – no, the Royal College is purely a post graduate establishment so I thought I would look across the country and also include one of the growing number of “online” offers to see what’s on offer in each area.

In fact originally I had the idea that I would look at one establishment in each of London, the Midlands, Scotland and the South West, although as my research has already established, it isn’t that easy because we’re looking for courses for beginners and not every establishment offers them.


London seems to be awash with institutions of this type and if they’re not wholly specialist, they have dedicated departments.

The University of the Arts London is one such establishment whose courses include foundation courses (that’s for us) and has 6 specific colleges at different locations. With some impressive claims to fame the UAL was set up on 2004 although some of it’s specialist colleges were established in the early 19th century and overall the UAL has over 18,000 students from nearly 100 Countries.

The UAL foundation course is run at Chelsea College of Arts http://www.arts.ac.uk/chelsea/ and for British or European Union students this 2 year course currently costs £9,000 a year.

North Midlands

The National Design Academy Nottingham offers courses from Diploma and Foundation degree to MA and if you the talented enough, perhaps up to 50% of course fee’s from their foundation.


The British Academy of Interior Design offer 3 home study courses and (certificate, diploma and post-grad diploma) with course fees ranging from £350, £495 and £750 respectively for courses of 3, 6 or 12 months. The Academy also runs 2 classroom based courses; A 7 month diploma and 9 month post-grad diploma costing £1,595 and £1,995 respectively.

There are more and more on-line courses of course, although the challenge is knowing whether the qualifications offered would be recognised by those who might employ you!

So “where” to study is a huge issue, as is I think the question of what skills you would need and what you could expect to be taught – all points for my next blog




avatar Name: Alexandra Eager
About: Formerly Finance and Operations Director of anmarketing agency. Now luckily semi-retired. Amateur interior design buff, constantly experimenting on my own home (much to the chargrins of hubby) and passionate about anything to do with home interiors and improvements. Wish my house was bigger!

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Posts by Alexandra Eager (49)