Diploma in Design and Decorating (Level 5)

Qualification code OP5030

This programme will give you the knowledge and skills necessary to provide interior and exterior design advice in a residential environment. You will learn about colour schemes, fabric use, room plans, layout and design, and more.

The skills you learn will enable you to seek entry-level employment as an interior designer, or in specialist trade showrooms and design stores, as a consultant or as an assistant to kitchen or bathroom designers, architects or other a industry specialists.

To successfully complete this programme, you need to have an eye for detail and colour, the ability to perform self-directed study and to present work in an attractive and professional manner.

Qualification Update

Change to course durations

From the July 2018 block onwards, all courses in this programme will run for 20 weeks in duration. 

If you enrolled in blocks that began prior to July 2018 you will still have 32 weeks to complete those courses.

New Students

OP5030 Diploma in Design and Decorating (Level 5) will close to new student enrolments on 26 September 2018.

If you wish to enrol in this programme, please apply to enrol before 26 September 2018. Open Polytechnic will not be taking any new student enrolments after this date.

Please note you will need to complete all 12 courses that make up the programme by 31 March 2021.

This is the last date course work can be submitted. If you need help with a study plan to complete the diploma in this timeframe, please email: design@openpolytechnic.ac.nz

Current Students

If you are currently enrolled in OP5030 Diploma in Design and Decorating (Level 5) you can continue to enrol in your next course as normal to complete your qualification.

Please note, you must be enrolled in your last course/s for the block that begins on November 2, 2020 and submit your last course work by 31 March 2021 to complete this qualification.

If you need help with a study plan to complete the diploma in this timeframe, please email: design@openpolytechnic.ac.nz

Enrol in more than one course per enrolment block

You can apply to enrol in more than one course per enrolment block.

If you still have a significant number of courses to complete, we recommend you enrol in at least two courses at a time so that you can complete your qualification before it closes.  We will not be taking enrolments into courses in the diploma after 21 October 2020. Below are the sequence of courses we recommend you enrol in together.

Depending on how much time you can set aside to study, you may be able to apply to enrol in up to a maximum of four courses at a time.

Sequence of courses for enrolment



Principles and Elements of Design





Influences in Design and Decorating







Windows and Walls

Fabrics and Furnishings




Living Spaces



Kitchen and Laundries

Bedrooms and Bathrooms

For more information view the brochure below or request a brochure to be sent to you. If you have any questions please contact us.


Download brochure
Diploma in Design and Decorating (213 KB PDF)

  • Level 5  
    Credits 120 
  • Workload

    For each credit, allow about 10 hours of study. This may be higher near assessment due dates.

  • Study type Open  
  • Cost $3,640 NZ Domestic

    Approximate cost for the full qualification based on 2018 fee information, not including annual administration fees, fee increases, textbooks, course materials or external exam fees.

  • Student loan

    Eligible for student loans, if you meet the criteria. Student loans and eligibility

For information about selecting courses to study towards this qualification, check out the Choose courses tab.

What you will learn

Once you have successfully completed this qualification you will have:

  • a broad range of design skills
  • an awareness of influences on current design
  • the ability to apply design principles, including planning, colour and lighting to practical design tasks.

Important Information

This qualification replaces OP3142 Certificate of Achievement in Interior Design and Decorating (Level 3).  If you have successfully completed certificate courses by gaining an academic pass, you may apply to have the courses credited to this diploma.

The following cross-credits are available:

Certificate Diploma
DEC2  DD1 
DEC4  DD3 
DEC5  DD5 
DEC6  DD6 
DEC7  DD7 
DEC8  DD8 
DEC9  DD9 
DEC10  DD10 
DEC11  DD11 
DEC12  DD12 

To apply for a cross-credit please complete the Application for Cross-Credit /Credit Transfer form


Key dates

Our open courses are open for enrolment every month. Each open course starts on the first Monday of the month you choose for enrolment. You must complete your study within the given start and end dates.

See key enrolment dates

Assessment and exam

This qualification is internally assessed, with two assessments for each course, including case studies and projects. Some assessments may need to be submitted online.

Assessment information

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