Introductory Course in Interior Design and Decoration, 21 - 24 May 2018

Dip HE Garden Design

Dates: Sept 2018 – July 2019

Length: 1 year in 3 terms

Course Director: Andrew Duff MA PGCE MSGD

Location: 32 Eccleston Square, London SW1V 1PB

Course Administrator: Sharon Booth,, Tel: 020 7630 9011

Fee: £25,133.00 inc VAT. An Instalment Plan is available, please ask the Course Administrator.

News:This Diploma has been newly validated by Wrexham Glyndŵr University and as such will form part of the BA (Hons) qualification. It now constitutes a Diploma HE Garden design at FHEQ Level 5. Please contact the School for details as the web is currently being updated.

This course is a recognised exit point and constitutes the first two levels (4 & 5) of the BA Hons. Successful completion of these modules, that attracts 240 credits, will permit progression to level 6 and completion of the BA (Hons).

The skills and knowledge undertaking this programme will be applicable, not only to the situations experienced whilst completing their studies, but also to future work opportunities. The programme aims to acknowledge students’ past and current experiences and offer an opportunity to enhance those experiences in the light of new learning. The opportunity to learn from each other is also significant in relation to co-operative and collaborative practice. Embedding theory into practice, which supports the gaining of new knowledge and skills to underpin existing experience, is a key factor for learners and employers.


  • To develop learner’s knowledge, skills in the creative and technical aspects of interior design and in the specialist skills associated with the profession
  • To promote the attainment of the skills and knowledge required to gain appropriate professional status in the design discipline
  • Develop an awareness and appreciation of design in general and interior design in particular to enable students to work with confidence and skill in their future careers
  • Encourage in depth design analysis
  • Introduce or develop research skills in support of design training and practice
  • Provide a historical context against which students can develop their ideas
  • Encourage individuality and creativity in all design work
  • Understand the nature of design as a problem-solving exercise and as a relationship between functional, technical and aesthetic elements
  • Successfully prepare and present a finalised design solution complete with all the necessary visual material and information to communicate a scheme fully, including a well-organised verbal presentation to their client
  • Make a valuable contribution within the garden profession, or multi-disciplinary design practices; or as self-employed designers
  • Be able to successfully communicate concepts at sketch design stage with freehand sketches, visual material and rationales
  • Be aware of the value of research and sourcing in support of their design work.

Module Structure
Level 4
Module 1. Introduction to Design
Module 2. Research and Learning Skills
Module 3. Skills for Design
Module 4. Initial Design

Level 5
Module 5. Design Development and Communication
Module 6. Design Process
Module 7. Hard and Soft Landscaping
Module 8. Professional Practice

Introduction to Design / Research and Learning Skills

These two modules introduce the subject and examine learning the language of design. Developing and understanding of the differing aspects of interior design, across both spatial and decorative modes, is an essential stage to prepare students for the design projects to follow and the design development and research that will underpin them.

Skills for Design / Initial Design

These modules explore the design process through a residential project and explore the skills required to develop and communicate your design ideas considering a variety of audiences. You will approach visual communication through hand and computer aided drawing, development of a design solution will be progressed through initial concept sketches, orthographic drawing and the exploration of materials both hard and soft. Lectures will introduce design strategies, construction, colour, light and finishes. The development of a client brief and the collection of information to support the design is a major element of these modules.

Design Development and Communication

This module encourages you to experiment and to find your own means of communicating, which can be compared to the standards of the profession. The work varies between orthographic projection and more traditional techniques such as axonometric and perspective drawing to collage, montage, model making and various modes of colour rendering.

The design module is introduced with a series of formal lectures covering the principles of design as they relate to garden design.

As the course proceeds, the projects become more rigorous and detailed. You are encouraged to research the context of their sites, investigating the historical background, the qualities of the site and its location, the needs of the client and the successful integration of functional requirements. In the final project, you will select your own site, researching the detail and context of the location and produce your own brief.

Design Process

This module delivers a range of specific design support information. This includes lighting, irrigation, swimming pool design, ecology and sustainability, soils and geology, grass seeding and turfing, identification and recognition of pests and diseases and the production of written specifications in support of design proposals.

Surveying work is introduced in lectures and supported by site visits and practical groups surveying sessions on a live site. You are encouraged to reflect on the importance of clarity in instructing and conducting survey work on site.

Hard and Soft Landscaping

This module introduces the three dimensional aspects of planting design which are reinforced by site visits, models and supporting cross sections or sketches and sequential design studies to which you are subjected throughout the course. You will be asked to consider the psychological aspects of spatial design with planting, looking specifically for your responses to chosen garden environments and locations.

From the pool of lectures delivered information you are required to explore and apply their understanding of construction theory. Studio teaching sessions provide a basis for such application on an individual basis and tutors aim to customise this extended teaching around the students’ own ideas.

Specialist areas of hard landscape design are introduced as the course progresses, enabling you to increase and diversify your pool of knowledge. The ability to convey and communicate your own detailed design thinking to a range of people including clients, project managers, contractors and specialist suppliers is developed both graphically and in terms of acquired knowledge. The intensity and directed nature of this area of study produces a high standard of understanding and awareness coupled with efficient communication skills.

Professional Practice

The majority of teaching in this module is lecture based although some open up into workshop sessions in which students can explore and analyse comparative systems and approaches in relation to marketing, fee estimating and contract.
Studio based teaching concentrates on the development of detailed costings.

Through this exercise, students learn how to quantify the raw materials that make up their designs and the labour and design support required in their realisation. There is also a requirement that students analyse the impact of their cost findings on the quality of their finished design – they are encouraged through group and individual studio discussion to provide solutions to reducing costs without necessarily reducing design quality.

Entry requirements

All teaching and lectures are conducted in English and the following criteria may be required if English is not your first language: IELTS 6.0 with no individual score below 5.5.

This course is validated by Wrexham Glyndŵr University.


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