6 Great Schools to Study Interior Design Online

February 22, 2016

In our digital era more and more people prefer online education versus studying full time. It offers a number of advantages:

  • First of all you can combine studies and work
  • You can join the best design schools without necessity to live in the country, where they are located
  • You can start to work with actual clients and study in the meantime, so that by the end of your course you will get an impressive portfolio.
  • Online courses are usually much cheaper and hence more affordable.
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Since I write a lot about my interior design course with KLC, I often get emails asking my opinion about it or advice on where to study interior design. So recently I made a poll among interior designers and asked their feedback about schools, where they studied (of course this was only for those who studied interior design online). Here are the answers that I’ve got and short overview of each course:

  1. KLC School of Design, London 

This is my alma mater so I obviously I want to put it on the first place. KLC is one of the most reputable schools in England and its diploma has a great value in the industry. Graduates usually have no difficulty with internships or getting full time job after completing the course. The program is divided into 6 modules, you study at your own pace and then submit a project after each module. The study materials include some printed information, as well as Power point presentations and video tutorials. There is also a chat room, which allows students to interact with each other, ask questions or share information regarding the course. of  interior design students, which and you an interact with them and ask questions regarding the course. If you have any question about studies you can get in touch with tutors through helpline or via email.

Cost: £1850 inc VAT

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2. Inchbald, UK

Unlike KLC, the program of Inchbald suggests some deadlines, which I believe is not a bad thing as it puts some discipline to your studies. The one year course is divided into 4 modules. Each module includes a number of materials that you are supposed to read and study, as well as complete some exercises.  The program requires you to commit to 10 hours of formal learning each week, plus some additional time should be spent on projects. There is a chatroom where you can share your ideas or as opinion about your projects.

Fee – £6,680.84 inc VAT.

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3. NYIAD, New York

The school assigns an experienced designer to review each student’s work and give advice. You have a 18 months timeframe to complete your work, however you can study at your own pace. If you were not able to complete it, you can contact the school to extend your enrollment. If you pay your entire tuition up front you get a big discount plus extras. The course includes information on design trends, color theory, furniture styles, lighting, fabrics. The mentor evaluate projects and give students a detailed feedback. Another important part of this program is that it also covers business aspect of interior design and will focus on necessary business skills to succeed in the industry, such as pricing, schedules, business plans.  The course is divided into 6 units with 270 hours total length.

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4. Rhodec International

The course is divided into 10 Units, you are supposed to register and pay  for one Unit at a time, which gives opportunity to take breaks in between the studies, if you need. The materials are presented in pdf files, which can be downloaded once you get access to the Unit. Upon registration to the Unit you will be assigned a tutor who will help you throughout it. The Final Test is based on all design projects that you’ve done during the course and will then be submitted to Rhodec representing the client.

Cost: £3320

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5. NYSID (New York School of Interior Design )

The non-degree Basic Interior Design (BID) certificate program is a preparatory course, which gives you the very basic knowledge of interior design, and will make you ready for degree programs. It will allow you to pursue entry-level positions in interior design industry. This certificate is not sufficient for being eligible for licensure without further education, however, if you want to make the first steps in the profession and understand whether it is something for you, this course will be a great choice.

The course focuses on fundamental skills, such as drawing, design concepts, design history, as well as basic principles of space planning, colour , drafting, materials and finishes. It can be completed on full-time or part-time basis, onsite or online. You can study at your own pace, watch recorded lectures and access assignments whenever you want.

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6. Open Polytechnic in New Zealand – Diploma in Design and Decorating

This course will provide you enough knowledge and skills for residential interior design. It will cover colour theory, fabrics, space planning, and more. After completion you will be able to work as a junior interior designer or as a specialist in design stores and trade showrooms. Student advisors help to plan studies, as well as provide support throughout the course.

Cost: $3,640 NZ Domestic

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In this post I only covered the schools which were mentioned by interior designers in my poll, and also only those which got positive feedback. I am sure there are other great schools that provide online interior design courses. If you are enrolled in one of them, please share your feedback in the comments below – it might help other people to make the right choice!

Starting your interior design career? Check out my eBooks: the first one is about history of interior styles, second one is about marketing your interior design business and getting more clients: 

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Interested in Interior Design and Decorating Courses? Here’s my top 3 DIY courses if you’re on a budget – Zimmr Decor
January 7, 2017 at 11:03 am


Thanks a lot for this helpful article but in your opinion what is the real difference between the BA and the diploma course at KLC ? i have a BSc In Architecture but i work as an interior designer for five years till now in my home city Cairo, i want to upgrade my knowledge and open up new opportunities in London so it will be a huge investment if i wanted to study there, the online diploma seems interesting too but it’s not accredited like the in-campus courses so i might find some difficulty in finding a good job As it wont open up the opportunity of getting a working visa In London. would really love to hear your opinion.

January 11, 2017 at 7:00 am

Hi Marwa,
As far as I know online course will not give you any opportunities to find jobs in London. You need to have work visa and most of the companies will not bother to make one for foreigners since it costs lots of money. However if you are able to get a work permit, KLC might help you to find internship or even full time job – they post lots of vacancies for students based in London.

January 11, 2017 at 8:40 am

Hi Anna
Yes you’re so right, but do you have any idea about UAL’s ID master course ? , i went to a Christmas short course in 2014 (styling for home decoration) and it was very frustrating. I’m comparing their course with that of KLC but i dont know which course is more interesting or creative.

January 10, 2017 at 5:35 pm

Your article was extremely helpful! However, I’m still struggling with a question maybe you can help me with…I have finally decided that Interior Design is the route I want to pursue and I have about 50 general studies credits.. Do you reccomend taking an online course such as one of the ones mentioned above or would you suggest I enroll into an actual BA degree program of some sort?

January 11, 2017 at 7:02 am

Hello, thank you for reading my blog! I definitely recommend you to take BA degree program in interior design, if you have opportunity to take one. It will give you more knowledge, than online courses and also more opportunities to find good job after. Hope this helps. Anna

January 10, 2017 at 5:38 pm

By the way, I have currently been working as a professional home organizer for the past two and a half years hence my username lol


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