National Design Academy

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Life changing, would recommend to anyone.

I completed my BA in 2013 after studying their Foundation Degree and can honestl...more

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Course provider overview


Introduction to National Design Academy

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"The National Design Academy’s Diploma in Interior Design & Curtain Making & Soft Furnishings are available to study online or in-studio."


The National Design Academy has been teaching Interior Design for 26 years, with an alumni of over 30,000 students in 80 countries. NDA graduates are highly sought after, and prized for their confidence, skills and commercial awareness. NDA is the UK’s leading expert in delivering online Interior Design qualifications.

At the National Design Academy we treat all our students as individuals. NDA has no terms or semesters. Students can choose their own start date and study at their own pace - not the pace of other students.  At NDA every student has their own, individual study plan and their own, highly experienced, personal Tutor. Our Tutor team is based at our Head office & studios in Nottingham and can be contacted 5 days a week, as often as you wish. 

Students study online using our bespoke Virtual Learning Studio (VLS) portal. With our years of experience the VLS has been designed by NDA to make your experience stimulating and informative. You can also make friends with other online students in the lively forum, enjoy online seminars and chat to your Tutor and our Alumni. Work placements, careers and student case studies are all part of the busy VLS.

NDA Level 3 Diploma courses accredited by AIM Awards.

Diploma course fees are subsidised by funding.

The Diploma is accepted for entry onto a degree programme

Diploma courses

NDA degrees are validated by our partners, Staffordshire University.

All undergraduate degrees are eligible for student loans.

Undergraduate Degrees

Post Graduate Degrees

Conversion for those with a BA in a different subject

Masters Degree 

NDA has a unique & flexible ‘Double Degree’ route to achieving BA (Hons)

Life doesn’t always go to plan so at NDA students study the Foundation Degree, for 2 years/levels, & then continue to the final year BA (Hons) top up. If they aren’t able to continue for any reason, they still graduate with a degree (FdA) & can return to study the BA (Hons) later! It’s the same syllabus and cost, but so much more flexible.    

To find out more why not attend one of our monthly open days at the National Design Academy, or visit our website.

Additional course resources

The NDA also offer a range of in-house and online tutorials designed to improve a student's knowledge of Computer Aided Design packages as well as enhance their course skills. Topics include; AutoCAD, Photoshop, Technical Drawing, Rendering, SketchUp, Visual Presentation and Hand Drawing. All NDA Students receive Free CAD software licenses & support, an NUS card, free access to UK university libraries and FREE membership to the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID).

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Subject strengths

For over 26 years, the National Design Academy has helped thousands of students of all ages to achieve professional interior design qualifications, many of whom would have been unable to achieve through conventional study on-campus.

National Design Academy is part of the NDA Foundation. It is a not for profit organisation committed to widening access to further & higher education, through innovative, affordable & flexible delivery.

Profits are re-invested back into the Foundation for the benefit of our students, this means lower course fees for you.

In the National Student Survey NDA scored 100% in 5 different areas with a 98% overall satisfaction score!

As NDA diploma courses are fully accredited by AIM Awards they are all eligible for funding, substantially reducing courses fees for students in the UK.

All NDA degrees are validated and awarded by our partners, Staffordshire University, and qualify for student loans to cover the cost of your tuition fees.

Courses provided include:

Pre-Masters, University Diploma in Education (Interior Design)

Conversion course for those whose degree is in another subject


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Student life

At the National Design Academy we pride ourselves on offering flexible, fully accredited qualifications. The fact that we are an online distance learning academy further helps you to fit studying around other work and family commitments. All of our course materials can be accessed online, 24 hours a day, allowing you to study at the most convenient time.

We understand that some students may be slightly concerned about feeling a touch disconnected from the student commraderie and atmosphere. Consequently, we host a very popular online forum within our Virtual Learning Studio software. This is a closed group, which only NDA students can access. Here you will be offered the opportunity to get in touch with other NDA students on your course or indeed other NDA graduates and join in with design-based discussions. It really is a wonderful opportunity to get in touch with some of your fellow design colleagues and really get a feel for the NDA community.

We also run very popular day-long workshops here at the National Design Academy headquarters in Nottingham. These workshops run from 9:30am – 4:30pm, a day-long workshop costs just £75.

Each workshop is run by one of our own in-house design specialist tutors who will be on-hand throughout the day to answer any questions you may have regarding the course content of the workshop. Students often find that these workshops are an invaluable resource as it allows the attendees to meet other like-minded people, provides an opportunity to spend some quality face to face time with a tutor whilst also getting to grips with the subject at hand.

We also run a range of extremely popular online tutorials. As a distance learning provider, we believe that education should be available for all and the creation of these new online tutorials are just another step in helping students study relevant, core industry information anytime, anywhere.

Computer software is an integral part of our industry, not only to aide in the advancement of the designers’ skills, but how we can use these programmes to communicate our ideas to clients whether they are sitting across the table from us or are in a different country altogether.

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Facilities at the National Design Academy are amongst the best in the country.

National Design Academy studios are fully equipped with specialist drawing boards, design equipment and state-of-the-art interactive screens which link to the our very own bespoke Virtual Learning Studio (VLS). The VLS is where all of our course materials are hosted, alongside a highly popular student-only online forum.

At the NDA we are proud to offer the most advanced state of the art technology to help support all of our in-studio students. Whether looking to fast track your diploma level course and study on our in-studio course options or just popping along for one of our day-long workshops, you'll be surrounded by the most up-to-date technology and software packages. 

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National Design Academy courses are delivered by distance learning or in-studio.

For those who wish to visit the NDA for studio courses, workshops or open days, it is based at Rufford Hall, Waterside Way, Trent Park, Nottingham, NG2 4DP, just around the corner from Colwick Racecourse.

Set in seven acres of parkland next to the River Trent and a stone's throw from Trent Bridge Cricket Ground.

Following increased demand from the UAE, we have recently opened an office in Knowledge Village Dubai. We also run open days and offer student support and advice 5 days a week. The Dubai based office is run by our Development Manager; Rola Al-Zobai and is based at Block 2b, First Floor F29, Knowledge Village, Dubai, UAE.

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How to enrol

The enrolment process for all National Design Academy courses is simple and easy.

Simply visit the NDA website, select the course that you would like to study, click 'enrol online', complete our enrolment form and await a response from our enquiries & enrolments team.

Open days

As our courses can be started throughout the year and don't run to a traditional college timetable, we run our open days throughout the year too! Our website hosts all of the latest dates for these open days which are held both at the weekend and during the week.

The aim of these open days is to give you as much information as possible about each aspect of our courses, from modules, to finance and mode of study.

We'll talk you through the courses, application process, explain the payments and relevant student loan procedure, look at the assessment programme and answer any questions you may have on the day.

The open day schedule commences at 9.45am until approximately 1pm.

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Student story

Student: Leo Hill (51)
Course: Home Study Interior Design Diploma

Leo enrolled onto the Home Study Interior Design Diploma course and is now a student on the Foundation Degree. "I've always held an interest in Interior Design so when my children finished at university and left home, I felt I wanted to do something for me, and follow my dream of setting up my own interior design practice. We're currently working on our new home which will also be the base for my new practice.

I didn't study A-levels at school and my other qualifications are all out of date. The NDA Diploma course brought my knowledge up to date and gave me an automatic place on the Foundation Degree. I'm already working on schemes for my first client - my doctor's surgery waiting room. It's great that the course is flexible; I can study for my degree assignments, work with my clients and still have time for a glass of wine at the end of the day."

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Contact details

Rufford Hall,
Waterside Way, off Racecourse Road, Trent Park,

Tel: 01159 123412
Nearest Train Station: Nottingham