Online Interior Design
Diploma Course
Frequently Asked Questions

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Rhodec International - Frequently Asked Questions

1. What qualifications do I need before embarking on this course?

You should have a sound general education and enthusiasm; particularly an enthusiasm to learn about good design. No formal academic qualifications are necessary. There is no upper age limit as we cater to the many people fully capable of pursuing a course who, for one reason or another cannot, did not, or were not able to attend a full time design college.

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2. Do I need to study the Interior Decorator Course first?

No. Although some people with no previous experience opt to study this course first, in order to gain a solid grounding and to test their commitment to the subject, a great many more go directly to the Diploma Course because it is also taught from basic principles and does not assume previous design education or experience.

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3. What are the basic materials required to complete the course?

It is in your best interests to buy the best equipment you can afford. If you can buy good quality materials now, do so - this will save having to replace cheap items, at further expense, if you become a practising interior designer. You will not require drawing equipment until you are studying the Drafting Unit. This list is not exhaustive, and other items may be required during the Course. This will depend to some extent on your own choices of equipment, colouring media, etc. Please note that the course fees do not include the provision of such materials by Rhodec; they must be purchased separately.

  • Computer (PC or Mac) with Internet connection
  • Microsoft Office suite or equivalent programs capable of saving files to Microsoft Office formats such as doc and ppt
  • Digital camera and basic image editing software
  • Flatbed scanner
  • Pads of A4 (or 8.5" x 11") lined paper, and of A4 (or 8.5" x 11") unlined paper
  • Writing pens, and drawing pencils of various grades
  • A drawing board of at least A3 (or 12" x 18") size with parallel motion or tee square and set square (otherwise known as a triangle) - the Drafting text gives more detailed information
  • Soft erasers
  • A scale rule, otherwise known as an architect's scale
  • A clutch pencil or mechanical pencil
  • Technical drawing pens - see Drafting
  • Cartridge Paper (Vellum) or Sketch Paper (good quality paper with a slightly rough surface) and tracing paper to various 'A' sizes (or equivalent). These products are commonly available in various size rolls and sheets in addition to pads
  • Paints, marker pens (art markers) and coloured pencils.
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4. How long does the Diploma Course take to complete?

Students study to suit themselves to an extent, but 36 months in total are allowed for the completion of the Diploma Course, which requires a student to set aside about 15 to 20 hours hours per week. Regular study should become a habit and in this way you will stimulate your mind and be eager for the further knowledge the next lesson will bring. Although a student is permitted to take longer than three years to complete his or her studies, an extension fee will be charged on a pro rata basis if the study period for a Unit or block of Units exceeds the specified allowance.

We offer flexible study options: You can enrol for one course Unit at a time, for one year at a time, or for the full Diploma Course (three years). There are also several opportunities to study Units simultaneously or in any order. See 13 below.

Unit Durations

  • Year One comprises Unit RD1 Materials, Unit RD2 History and Unit RD3 Drafting.
  • Year Two comprises Unit RD4 Design, Unit RD5 Colour, Unit RD6 Furniture & Fittings Part 1 and Unit RD7 Furniture & Fittings Part 2.
  • Year Three comprises Unit RD8 Construction, Unit RD9 Professional Practice and Unit RD10 Final Test.
  • The Full Diploma Course comprises all ten Units.

Unit RD1 Materials 4 months
Unit RD2 A History of Interior Design 4 months
Unit RD3 Drafting for the Interior Designer 4 months
Unit RD4 Design 3 months
Unit RD5 Colour 3 months
Unit RD6 Furniture and Fittings, Part 1 3 months
Unit RD7 Furniture and Fittings, Part 2 3 months
Unit RD8 Construction of Interiors 4 months
Unit RD9 Professional Practice 2 months
Unit RD10 Final Test 6 months
TOTAL 36 months

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5. Where can I get a job after completing the Diploma Course?

Past students work in architects' offices, as well as in interior designers' offices and the design departments of stores offering design services to the public. Many other graduates set up their own freelance consultancy service. The job you get depends on your individual capabilities, and although we cannot guarantee that you will get a first class job immediately, our Diploma Course could set you on the path to such a job.

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6. Is a good command of English important in order to study with you?

The courses are delivered in English, and a good understanding of the English language is required if your course is to be completed successfully.

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7. What does studying the Online Diploma Course entail?

On registration for a Unit or block of Units we will assign you a tutor and grant you access to that Unit or block of Units online using our dedicated VLE (Virtual Learning Environment). Click here for a screenshot of the VLE. Note the pdf symbols next to the Course Orientation, Unit Specification, and Lesson and Test headings, and the link to enable you to submit tests to your tutor. In the foreground is a pop-up window showing a page from the Lesson pdf, in this case Lesson C2 from the Colour Unit explaining the Munsell System of Colour Notation. (Pop-ups must be enabled in order for you to use the VLE.)

The Diploma Course materials are presented as separate pdf files for each lesson and test, which are downloaded and viewed as you progress through the course. You are able, if you wish, to download all pdfs for an entire online Unit as soon as you have access to that Unit.

Essays, including those that incorporate photographs and drawings, must be in pdf (Adobe portable document format), doc or docx (Microsoft Word document), ppt or pptx (Microsoft PowerPoint), jpg, or zip format only.

Drawings, colour renderings, sketch book pages, etc., must be clearly digitally photographed, or scanned at no less than 300dpi (dots per inch) and submitted either in jpg format or as a series of illustrations in a pdf, doc, docx, ppt or pptx file. CAD renderings must also be saved in jpg format or as a series of illustrations in one of the above-named formats. All files that comprise a test can then be compressed into a single zip or zipx file before uploading to the tutor.

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8. With no previous experience will I not find the Drafting Subject in the Diploma Course rather hard? And why do I still have to study it at all? Isn't it a bit old fashioned?

Most students have had no previous experience, and they master Drafting as it is related only to the specific requirements of the Interior Designer. Although it may be an advantage, you do not need to be gifted with a talent for freehand drawing as all the drawn work required can be produced by using the basic drawing equipment which you will be taught how to use. Also, it should be noted that no special mathematical talent is needed for the use of this equipment and the study of this subject.

We still teach drafting because constructing plans, elevations, perspectives, etc. by hand provides a fundamental understanding of how drawings work. Once you have that understanding, you are free to use CAD to its fullest extent during the remainder of the course.

Indeed, this is strongly encouraged. Drawings and illustrations in answer to any test subsequent to Drafting can be rendered using an acceptable CAD program. We have partnered with long-established online providers to provide online AutoCAD training in tandem with our Diploma Course - if you register with them please mention Rhodec.

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9. Am I allowed to write to the tutor, and ask questions about the subject being studied?

Indeed, yes. We can assure you of specialist attention by qualified tutors, who will give you personal service.

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10. Can I contact other students taking the course?

Yes, on a student-run Facebook group and via messaging on the online VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) itself.

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11. Are tests submitted by email?

No, they're uploaded as one or more files directly to the tutors via the VLE itself.

You can contact your tutor by direct messaging via the VLE. These messages will also be received by the tutor, and by you, as emails. You can also append notes, queries, etc., to each test before you submit it.

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12. Can I enrol at any time?

Yes. You can enrol and start studying at any time of the year. Depending on the time we receive your enrolment, you could begin studying the very same day. If not the same day, you'll have access to your course materials the next working day.

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13. Can I study more than one Unit at a time?

In several instances, yes - and this can allow you to complete the Diploma Course much more swiftly provided that you can put the hours in.

  • Year One Units: The first three Units (Materials, History and Drafting) may be studied simultaneously or in any order, but all Year One Units must be completed before any Year Two Units are undertaken.
  • Year Two Units: Design and Colour must be studied in order and completed before the next Units, but then Furniture & Fittings Parts 1 and 2 may be studied simultaneously. All Year Two Units must be completed before any Year Three Units are undertaken.
  • Year Three Units: Construction and Professional Practice may also be studied simultaneously but must be completed before the Final Test.
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14. Can I study the Units in any order?

Not just in any order. For example, you need to have a solid groundng in Drafting - understanding plans, elevations, perspectives, etc. - before submitting work from any later Units. Similarly, we would expect you to be versed in the principles of Design and Colour before attempting the Furniture & Fittings Units. See 13 above for more detail.

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15. What if I exceed the time duration allocated to a Unit or Year?

In order to continue studying any individual Unit once your completion date has passed, whether you're enrolling per Unit or have opted for a Year block or the full Diploma Course, you will be required to pay an extension fee on a pro rata basis. For example, if you wished to extend your Drafting period by two months you would be required to pay an extension fee of 50% of the Unit fee at the time the extension fee is due, since two months is 50% of the original four-month Unit duration. If you wished to extend Colour by one month you would be required to pay an extension fee of 33.33% of the Unit fee at the time the extension fee is due, since one month is 33.33% of the original three-month Unit duration.

No part-month extensions will be granted.

16. If I complete a Unit or Year ahead of schedule, can I get a partial refund or carry the time over into later studies?

No. Even if your study time is shorter than scheduled, our expenses in providing the service to you over a study period of a set number of tests or Units (admininstration and tutorial fees, etc.) remain the same.

17. Can I take a break in my studies between Units?

Yes, to an extent. You will be registering for individual Units, not the entire programme, so at the end of any Unit duration your contract with Rhodec is at an end. However, in order for all Units to count towards your Diploma, you must complete the entire Diploma programme in no more than four years. If you exceed this period you will be required to register again for any modules that were commenced more than four years earlier than your eventual completion date if you wish to receive a Diploma showing all Units completed.

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