1 Year Certificate in Interior Design

Course Description

This internationally recognised 1-year certificate course will provide you with a strong foundation in interior design skills and knowledge. This course is ideal for those who have a keen interest in the area of Interior Design; it will allow you to explore your creativity, and to advance it through technical skills and understanding.

The course focuses on interior design skills for the residential market: apartments, housing schemes and individual homes. You will learn to develop innovative interiors design schemes, and to solve design problems creatively. Throughout the course, you will develop a wide set of skills and knowledge, including concept development, colour theory, design principles, sketching, technical drawing and specifications, sourcing and presenting materials. 

This course will encourage you to discover your own creativity and be confident in applying it in your design work. It will also ensure that you have the technical skills and knowledge needed to present ideas and specifications to clients and colleagues. The programme consists of lectures and studio sessions, and is assessed through a series of design projects and presentations. 

Why study with us?
  • 25 Years experience providing design education
  • Mature student friendly
  • State accredited Institution
  • Strong industry connections
  • Design education taught by experienced design professionals
  • Part time/ full time/ in class/ online options
  • High rates of graduate employment
  • Award Winning Institute
  • Range of payment plans available
Course Content
Design Studio & Research 1A: Interior Design Thinking

This module provides a foundation of interior design skills and knowledge. The question ‘what is interior design’ leads to a series of discursive introductory exercises that focus on process over output. The Learning reflects the main activities and development stages of practice – from appraising situations, establishing briefs through personas, precedents and research, exploring concepts and speculation, to finally presenting a position.

This module introduces the breadth of interior design as a contemporary subject and professional practice. But more, it serves to build confidence in the learner in their ability to relate and debate the subject.

Design Studio & Research 1B: The Room

This module is about the foundational elements and principles of constructed space, brought to focus around a small-scale interior – The Room. Emphasis is on the inhabitation of space, bringing together considerations of function and experience, and how these aspects are all
directed through a language of interior design – the constructed form of typical room elements, alongside light introductions to working with design data, building standards and good practice.

Projects will focus on user scenarios and critical touchpoints to conceptualise and describe the designed experience of a space that is fully graspable at 1:1.

Design Studio & Research 1C: The Scheme

This capstone module applies the learning on interior design elements, principles and processes from 1A and 1B. Emphasis is on practising the role of an interior designer – developing an overall design intent that addresses a complexity of aspirations and requirements.

Projects will build out from ‘The Room’ and focus on schematic designs within medium-scale interiors that set up a range of parallel functions and moods. Group working enables movement between detail and overview and to test and refine a design language. 1B and 1C combine as a substantial portfolio project.

Design Fundamentals 1A: Drawing Interiors

This module focuses on the development of skills relating to the observation, exploration and description of interior space through drawing. Emphasis is on building skills across a range of tools and techniques, with primers on the integration of digital and analogue processes and media.

Understanding of the different formats and functions of drawn information will be developed through individual and group exercises that build from sketching and surveying, principles of orthographic projection and 2-D representational standards, to more exploratory and interpretative methods. It establishes a foundation of core
technical, communication and professional skills.

Design Fundamentals 1B: Communicating Interiors

This module focuses on the development of skills relating to communication of design projects. Emphasis is on building skills across a range of tools and techniques, and the integration of processes and media within presentations for interior design.

Understanding of the different formats and functions of a presentation will be developed through building exercises that addresses visual, verbal and written skills, alongside primers in the software and graphic design

Design Fundamentals 1C: CAD Introduction

This module introduces CAD as a process to create digital design information and technical documentation for interior design and spatial projects.

Demonstrations and structured exercises lead: understanding of CAD software and the digital working environment; drawing and editing
geometry; drawing organisation and working efficiently; production of drawings and documents. The learning builds on hand technical drawing skills established in 1A, and the use of vector and image-based software across 1A and 1B.

Contextual Studies 1A: Introduction to Design Histories & Practices

This module provides learners with a grounding in the history and principles of design in its broadest terms. Designed to run cross-departmental, the module content addresses design in general terms and the emergence, often out of highly interdisciplinary and contested
movements, of the specialities we recognise in contemporary design practice today.

Interior design as a primary example. Projects draw out identified themes from the lecture series and will range from essays that introduce techniques of formal academic writing, to more exploratory
works produced as a group.

Contextual Studies 1B: Introduction to Interior Design Histories & Practices

This module advances themes of 1A with an increasing focus on interior design. Rather than taking a purely chronological approach, it explores the development of interior design around key themes such as materials and
sustainability, sociology and inclusive design narratives.

The thematic focus allows students to deeply explore individual aspects of interior design, while gaining an insight into the various social, economic, and technological forces that result in the evolution of styles and practices over time. Studies support research activity in Design Studio, with multi-media based projects supporting application of Design Fundamentals skills.

StudioLAB 1

StudioLAB runs in an intensive mode and is framed around industry practices such as collaboration and co-creation, workshops, deep-dives and ideation sprints. It fosters an approach to problem identification and solving, to inform development of the individual design process. Projects
draw out themes and issues relevant to the Design Studio & Research year. ‘Accommodation’ provides an entry to consideration of inclusive and universal design approaches in our everyday communities and environments. A focus on ‘sense of place’ introduces sensitivities and specialist knowledge that can be further developed in Design Studio
& Research 1B.

Admissions requirements

Applicants aged under 23 must have successfully completed the Leaving Cert / comparable secondary school examination, or hold another qualification at Level 5 or higher on the National Framework for Qualifications (NFQ).

Mature applications are welcome and highly valued at Dublin Design. We have a robust Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policy in place to support our approach and acknowledge prior learning. For more information on this type of admission, and to request a RPL admissions form, please contact our Admissions Team by email at admissions@dublindesign.ie or by telephone on 01 6790286.

Payment Options

DDI offer flexible payment plans for this course, which you can access here.  If you have any queries relating to course fees or our payment options please email or call on + 353 1 6790 286

Advanced Entry

Advanced Entry is where an applicant has previous work experience and/or educational achievements that are considered directly relevant to the programme they wish to apply for. In such cases, it is possible to gain module exemptions and / or entry to an advanced stage of a programme. Advanced entry is sometimes referred to as Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) and a specific application form for admission through RPL is available here.

Language Requirements

We welcome international students to our courses. If English is not your first language, evidence of proficiency is required. This can be provided through a recognised English test result or qualified by experience e.g. where an individual has been working in an English speaking environment for 12 months +.


Upon successful completion of this course, you will be awarded the Higher National Certificate in Interior Design, which is equivalent to a Level 6 qualification on the Irish National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).

Progression Options

This course has been structured to allow students advance their studies with DDI.  Upon successful completion of this course, students may progress into Year 2 of our 3-year BA Degree in Interior Design programmes.

We encourage our students to look at our short courses as pathway options to other courses including our nationally accredited and internationally recognised degree programmes.

Career Opportunities

Many of our graduates on this course, progress in to further study options with us from the Higher Diploma and often to the full 3 year BA degree programme, which further increases employment prospects in the area of Interior Design. 

Practical Matters    

As some of our courses are online and others in-class/onsite, please make sure you have checked this specifically for the course that you are interested in.   

Once you have registered for any course, additional information will be provided to you in our ‘Enrolled Student Information Packs’. This pack includes reading lists, materials lists and any other course specific information or equipment, that may be required.  For courses taking place online, please make sure you have access to a computer or laptop, Wi-Fi and that you can access Microsoft Teams. 


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At a Glance

Start Date w/b 25th September 2023
Duration 1 year
Study Mode Part-Time Day (PTD)
Part-Time Evening (PTE)
Delivery Mode Part-Time Day: In-Class
Part Time Evening: In-Class
Class Schedule Tuesdays and Thursdays in class
Saturday (online session)
Fees €3,350 per year
Accreditation QQI - Level 6 (60 Credits) -Pending Validation

Student Work

Student Work