Online BA (Hons)

Design for Outdoor Living

Start Date

Enrol at any time & choose your start date. No term times or semesters.

Course Duration

Three years
flexible online study


No exams — Tutor assessment
of design projects & moderation
by De Montfort University

Affordable Fees

Low fees, and monthly payments for all self paying students (student loans available for UK students)

Course Summary

The BA (Hons) Design for Outdoor Living not only prepares you to become qualified interior designer but provides you with the specialist skills required to design the seamless transition of the interior space to the outdoors. This course includes all the core modules from the BA (Hons) Interior Design with specialist modules dedicated to outdoor living studied in the final year. Core modules include research and contextualisation, space planning, the history of interior design, creative lighting, show home design, & furniture & furnishings.

Specialist modules include design technology & materials, plants & planting for outdoor living and a final outdoor living project to add to your professional portfolio. The degree also includes all elements of the client brief and professional practice to prepare you for your future career in the design industry.

Who Should Do This Course?

This course is the perfect progression for NDA students who have successfully completed the Diploma in Professional Interior Design or Professional Garden Design. It is also ideal for those holding an equivalent UK or international qualification in a design subject or alternatively, have a CV & portfolio of relevant design experience. Direct entry students, transferring students from other institutions, and international students are all welcome. There are no term times – so you can apply and start at any time.

Successful students completing this BA (Hons) will be offered a guaranteed place on the NDA online M.A Interior Design with a generous progression scholarship.

Background – NDA BA (Hons) Student Work

Learning Online

Study flexibly online through our bespoke virtual learning studio (VLS)

The VLS is our exclusive, online resource which replaces the normal lectures given in Colleges and Universities. This provides links to other online resources and may contain videos, images, quizzes and lectures.

Students can rewind and re-watch until they are sure they have understood. No frantic note taking and no missing an important lecture! Study when and where it suits you!

The majority of NDA students will complete their BA (Hons) Degree online in approximately 3 years, others may take a little longer and a few may need the maximum study time of 8 years.

Support & Guidance

Personal Tutors

Every NDA student has a Personal Tutor to guide them through their qualification. You have unlimited access to your tutor and can contact them by email, telephone, Skype or in-person as often as you wish.

Student Support Team

We also have a dedicated Student Support and Administration Team to help deal with any other queries such as payments, student loans advice and anything else you may need a helping hand with.

Our Student Helpline is available Monday–Friday from 9am–5pm.


You will not have to take an exam! Your tutor will assess your design projects as you submit them throughout the course and your portfolio is moderated by De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) who will award your degree.

Student Loans

UK Student loans are the most popular way for NDA students resident in the UK to study as they cover the entire cost of their degree. Loans are not based on income or means tested and most students in England & Wales will qualify (Scotland & NI have different arrangements).


The BA (Hons) Design for Outdoor Living degree is awarded by our academic partner, De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).

What Will I Study?

You will study eleven modules for the BA (Hons) Design for Outdoor Living

Research and Contextualisation

Interior design is a vibrant and exciting industry, and within this module you will be introduced to world leaders in both residential and commercial design. Research underpins all good design projects therefore this module will introduce you to the skills and methods needed to undertake this research. You will gain a comprehensive knowledge of interior design and its history through the ages; knowledge which you will be able to apply to future modules.

Space Planning

However beautiful a space, if it is not functional it will not work for the user. Form and function is essential for good design. In this module you will learn how to design a space to meet the requirements of its function. You will learn how to plan and design an efficient, comfortable and safe space within a number of different briefs for both residential and commercial interiors. You will also start to learn the importance of development work at the initial stages of a project and how a concept will aid the design process.

Design in Historical Context

To understand the present, you need to understanding the past, and in this module you will be encouraged to activity research heritage buildings within your local area, utilising some of the skills developed in the research module. This module examines the factors which have played a part in the development of interior design since the Renaissance and gives you the opportunity to recreate some of the most fascinating design styles throughout history.

Creative Lighting & Technology

Good lighting and the creative use of technology is integral to any good interior design project. This module will cover the vast array of products and technologies which can be used within a space to create a dynamic yet functional scheme for both residential and commercial projects. You will further develop the scheme produced in your Space Planning module, adding lighting and audio-visual technology to an already developed furniture plan, ensuring that the space is fit for the purpose identified by the client.

Sustainable Design & Technology

Regardless of the sector you decide to specialise in, you will need to understand how and when to use sustainable products, materials and technologies, as this is a growing concern among clients. As a designer you need to be able to offer your clients the same range of options whilst being conscious of current environmental issues. Within this module you will address these issues and discover a range of architects and designers who specialise in eco-friendly interiors, all whilst exploring the world of restaurant design.

Home Staging & Show Home Design

There are many factors which influence the sale or re-sale of residential properties, and in this module you will focus on how to design interiors that sell! By designing two different properties for clients who will not be the intended residents the way in which you communicate your ideas will be different. As part of this module you will learn how to produce letters to clients, design packs and 3D visuals.

Professional Practice

In this module you will be given the tools you need to create your own design practice and a marketing plan specifically tailored to you and your chosen career path. You will also explore the importance of branding to a business, and be given the opportunity to develop your own brand, which can form part of your portfolio and used to develop your future career prospects. You will also have the skills required to work within an existing practice at a professional level.

Furniture & Furnishings

The main focus on this module is furniture and furnishings, together with everything you have learned at this point to produce an interior design scheme to meet a specific client brief. There is a choice of different briefs within this module, allowing you to tailor the direction of your own study. Alongside this you will explore the history of furniture and furnishings, the placement of these features and look at major high-end suppliers. For this module you will also complete 40 hours of work experience which will give you a unique insight into the design industry.

Design Technology & Materials

This is the first of the specialist Design for Outdoor Living modules, and here you will be able to start tailoring your portfolio towards your specialist sector. Within this module you will explore the principles of outdoor living and designing the transitional space between the indoors and out. Selection of products, materials, finishes and furniture for outdoor living are also covered. You will also start to explore environmental issues, durability of materials and installation techniques.

Plants & Planting for Outdoor Living

This module will focus on the selection and placement of plants and planting to further enhance an environment and how they can be displayed to maximise both the interior and outdoor areas of your design. As part of this module you will create a range of drawings, from development sketches to your final design, with final presentation boards which will form part of your portfolio to display your skills in this specialist sector.

Research & Independent Study

Building on the skills and understanding you have developed in previous modules, and with the support of your tutor, you will be given double the amount of time of previous modules to focus on a design and research based project of your choosing. This will be the culmination of your course and you will be able to add visuals, presentation boards, development sketches and technical drawings to complete your extensive portfolio, together with a written dissertation.

Student Gallery

A sample of work completed by our talented design for outdoor living students

The Final year of this BA (Hons) is available as a ‘top-up degree’

Modules 9, 10 & 11 above for the BA (Hons) Design for Outdoor Living. If you have already studied an FdA, BTEC, HND, or international 2 year degree or equivalent in Interior Design or relevant design subject or have professional interior design experience you may enter directly onto the final year.

Entry Requirements


Applicants should hold one of the following:

English Language

The course is taught in English, so international students will require a good standard of written English to study. IELTS average 6.5 or TOEFL score of 550 is usually required, however all students are considered on an individual basis as we are aware that many international students have already been taught in English at school, college or university.

Don’t Meet the Requirements?

Don’t worry! If you do not have the required qualifications to study a degree you can study an NDA Diploma either online or in-studio, for a guaranteed place on one of our online Bachelor’s Degrees afterwards. Please view our Diploma course guide for more information about NDA Diploma courses.

What's Next?


Student Spotlights

The interior design industry is growing year on year and the demand for qualified interior designers is on the rise globally. Have a look through our Student Spotlights to see what they have achieved.

BA (Hons) Tuition Fees

BA (Hons)
3 Year Degree
Tuition Fee £4,950* Year One
3 ways to pay
for UK students:

UK Student Loan

No Upfront Course Fees!

One Payment

£ 4,950 On Enrolment

10 x Monthly Payments

£ 520 Per Month*
  • £5,200 in total

* Fee per level/year subject to change after 1st August each year.

* Monthly payments include admin fee.

BA (Hons)
3 Year Degree
Tuition Fee $7,650* Year One
2 ways to pay for
International students:

One Payment

$ 7,650 On Enrolment
  • SAVE $600 by paying in full
Most Popular

10 x Monthly Payments

$ 8,250 In total*
  • $1,500 on enrolment
  • + 9 x $750 monthly payments
* Fee per level/year subject to change after 1st August each year.
* Monthly payments include admin fee.
All fees in US Dollars.

Ready to pursue your passion for Interiors & Design for Outdoor Living?

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