Dorothy van't Riet Design & Decor Consultants
Design Academy

Design Academy

About the Course

The purpose of this Higher Certificate course is to equip students at higher education level with interior decorating and design skills, so that they can pursue careers as interior decorators and designers, either by assisting specialists in this field, or by using their skills in an entrepreneurial way in their own interior decorating businesses.

The Higher Certificate in Interior Design & Decoration will be offered as a two year long distance correspondence course done via e-learning.

A total of 18 modules will be presented during the two-year period. The content of the modules, the learning experiences and the assignments completed to qualify for the Higher Certificate, will enable students to be competent in the following areas:
  • Collecting relevant research information and material regarding the interior decoration problem.
  • Conceptualising relevant design solutions for various interior decorating and design projects.
  • Presenting interior decorating and design solutions in a clear, creative and visually pleasing way.
  • Identifying, selecting and specifying materials and products relevant to the interior decorating and design project.
  • Applying the theoretical base of interior decorating and design knowledge to design projects.
  • Liaising with relevant resource people in the interior design industry.

Modules (Total of 120 credits):
Design & Décor Studies
  • Presentation & Drawing Techniques (12 credits)
  • Design Elements & Principles (6 credits)
  • Colour (6 credits)
  • History of Interior Design (6 credits)
  • Interior Design Styles (6 credits)
  • Lighting & Electrical (6 credits)
  • Flooring (6 credits)
  • Wall Finishes (6 credits)
  • Architectural Details (6 credits)
  • Textiles (6 credits)
  • Soft Furnishings & Window Treatments (6 credits)
  • Accessories & Styling (6 credits)
  • Accessories & Styling (6 credits)
  • Furniture Selection & Space Arrangement (6 credits)
  • Artwork & Framing (6 credits)
Leadership Studies
  • Aesthetics, Creativity and the Environment (6 credits)
  • Leadership and Communication (6 credits)
Information Skills
  • Information Literacy (6 credits)
Design Project
  • Combination of theoretical and practical knowledge and expertise (12 credits)
Achievement of competency of the various modules will be done via submission of assignments.

Admission Requirements
  • National Senior Certificate or Grade 12 pass
  • 30 years of age, Grade 10 pass and a minimum of 4 years experience in business
  • 40 years of age without any school qualifications
Time Commitment
  • Classes are held in Cape Town and Johannesburg as two block releases of three days each.
  • One block release in year one and one in year two.
  • Work between contact sessions are by e-learning platform and in virtual study groups.
  • Program commences 27th January 2011 in Johannesburg, and 3rd February 2011 in Cape Town.
  • R300 per credit
  • Approximate annual cost R 18 000.00
  • Approximate total cost for two year period: R 36 000.00
Accreditation (pending)
Registered at Cornerstone Christian College with the Department of Education as a private higher education institution under the Higher Education Act 1997. Registration Certificate Number: 2001/HEO8/006 NQF 5

Submit enquiries and applications to:
The Registrar
Cornerstone Institute
11 Lansdowne Road

PO Box 430

Tel: +27 21 671 3506 / 6584
Fax: 086 272 2004


Dorothy van't Riet Design Academy
The Penthouse, Third Floor, i-Trade House, 42 Andries Street, Wynberg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Tel: +27 11 786 2028

History of the DVR Design Academy

Due to Dorothy van’t Riet’s prestigious stand in the design industry and her desire to uplift, train and empower people, the company entered the training and development arena in 1998 when Dorothy wrote a correspondence course in conjunction with Garden and Home Magazine.

By 2001 Dorothy had decided to spread her wings and independently wrote a one-year correspondence course. Approximately 2000 students from all walks of life have attended the DVR Design Academy course since 1998. The course has attracted both women and men of all ages, colours and backgrounds. Students include medical doctors, psychologists, law professors, architects, accountants, bank managers, teachers, housewives, domestic workers and school leavers. A large percentage of students over the last few years have started their own businesses as interior decorators or in related fields.

Students have registered from throughout South Africa, Botswana, Nigeria, Mozambique, Swaziland, Angola, Zimbabwe, DRC, Dubai, UK, Europe and USA. Over the years, several bursaries have also been granted to squatter camp inhabitants and prison inmates.

After 11 years of offering the highly popular, tried-and-tested one-year correspondence course, Dorothy decided to rewrite and upgrade the course, taking it to a new level of excellence. The new two-year correspondence course, a Higher Certificate in Interior Design & Decoration, will be launched in January 2011. The new course is being accredited and will be offered in association with the Cornerstone Institute, a private higher education institute in Cape Town.

Dorothy van’t Riet has been the winner of numerous prestigious international awards, including:
  • The World's Best Contemporary Interior Design Award at Royal Ascot England.
  • The World's Best Classical Interior Design Award at Royal Ascot England.
  • The Anglo American Best Interior Design Award.
  • The Star Home Show Best Interior Designer Award at Featherbrooke.
  • An Award in Recognition of Achievement in South Africa's Best Entrepeneurs.
Tel: +27 11 786 2028, Email:
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