Interior Architecture & Design

BA (Hons) - UCA Canterbury - 2019

At the junction of architecture, spatial practice and fine art, our BA (Hons) Interior Architecture & Design course takes a multi-disciplinary approach to transforming underused and unused spaces and places.

Many of our students pursue careers in interior architecture and design or related disciplines and the knowledge, understanding and skills they get from the course are broad and holistic, resulting in graduates going on to work in a variety of fields in the creative industries.

Setting briefs that are progressive and engage with real-world challenges, the curriculum provides a research-intensive, business-focused learning environment, encouraging you to challenge your preconceptions of the discipline and begin to understand the role of the designer in contemporary society.

During your time with us, you will have the opportunity to visit exhibitions, attend study trips, study abroad and enter competitions to further increase your exposure to the sector and expand your network of contacts.

Our BA (Hons) Interior Architecture & Design course is located within the Canterbury School of Architecture, ranked in the top ten Architecture Subject Table of the 2018 Guardian Good University Guide.

This supportive, progressive and experimental educational environment, established 75 years ago, is where you will be taught alongside the BA (Hons) Architecture course with whom it shares a common Year One curriculum and delivery; and the MA Interior Design course which provides graduates of the BA with the opportunity to progress to postgraduate study within the subject area of Interiors.

The arts school heritage of the University places the design studio at the heart of students’ studies. It is a learning environment that nurtures critical thinking and making through collaboration, offering a stimulating range of approaches to design through tutorials, project reviews and workshops.

Project-based learning will be central to your studies and so the curriculum provides a research-intensive learning environment, which will encourage you to challenge your existing understandings of Interior Architecture and Design. You will also be asked to question and consider the role of the designer in contemporary society. Throughout your studies, you will use design as your primary means of inquiry and begin to understand that the process of designing is an intellectually rigorous research activity.

You will be given the freedom and confidence to speculate – to play, to imagine, to take detours – as you explore in ways previously unimagined and engage with design briefs as agents of social, cultural, political and economic change.

Whether designing a structure, situation and/or event, the interior designer responds to how society interacts with, and inhabits space. Making it a human centred and narrative driven discipline that explores new forms of occupancy. With this in mind, it is important to recognise that interior design addresses issues of creative and intellectual stimulation, to ensure design proposals stimulate the mind, as well as the body.

Length of study:

Three years full-time


UCA Canterbury

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Entry requirements:

112 UCAS tariff points

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Next event

20 Feb 2019

Open Day - all campuses

Course details

  • Year 1

    You'll be taught alongside students of BA (Hons) Architecture following a shared programme of study. Year 1 allows familiarity with the teaching and learning methods used across the course and the facilities available on campus. By the end of the year, you'll have gained the depth of knowledge to complete and present a simple design programme drawing on a variety of cultural and technical influences and data sources. And you'll have utilised several techniques for communication as well as appreciated their cultural significance.

    Projects 01
    You'll explore fundamental issues, processes, skills and tools that will be relevant in your studies in architecture, focusing on design in relation to the human body. The role of architecture in defining our spaces and experiences is explored, as a means by which the body might be guided through site-specific design proposals.

    Projects 02
    The content and themes of the previous unit will be synthesised through the design of a small building. You'll be encouraged to think about the way in which all journeys are articulated through space and time. You'll also consider the activities of users in your design projects, as forms of journey that suggest particular sequencings and programming of spaces.

    This unit introduces you to representation as a critical practice. An understanding of the status of modes and techniques of representation in analysis and design development will be of central importance. You'll learn a range of techniques in the context of a number of projects, supported by lectures and seminars, which will provide cultural and technological contexts for your production.

    Through the use of materials, the unit introduces you to some aspects of technology associated with the built environment and to their relationships with design as both a process and an outcome.

    Cultural context 01
    This unit explores the study of the histories and theories of architectural and spatial design, aiming to address the ways in which designed spaces, buildings and cities are situated culturally and providing you with the tools of analysis and interpretation needed to make informed readings of your environment.

  • Year 2

    Design projects will be delivered within a design studio system, with teaching given to groups of approximately 15 students. Each group is led by a member(s) of staff and is explicitly informed by their design practice/research.

    Projects 03
    We'll introduce you to ways of understanding the relationships between the subjective idea (representation) and the physical process of making and installing the idea (realisation). We'll discuss processes, theories and methodologies of fabrication.

    Projects 04
    You'll look at the concept of design activism and develop this to a 'design as activism' agenda. You'll articulate a critical political position in relation to a site and context for the project. This will usually be selected by the studio group and often relates to live projects or sites that teaching staff are involved with.

    Creative Practice
    This unit is designed to provide an overview of the range of professional practices, established and emergent, within the field of interiors. You'll be introduced to a range of topics: business (including marketing and advertising), economics, law and legal, management, media, systems and operations, design strategies, professional conduct. This is in addition to a series of talks related around the RIBA stages as they apply to interiors: pre-agreement, ideas-design, pre-construction, and construction and completion.

    Cultural Context 02
    This unit is chiefly concerned with theory, specifically the ways in which (design) theories have been made operational through (design) propositions.

    Study Abroad (optional)
    This optional unit is designed to broaden your educational experience and to deepen your understanding of cultural diversity.

  • Year 3

    You'll build on the experience and skills you've already developed. You'll also receive the opportunity to carry out a major project and dissertation on a subject area of your interest. Design projects will be delivered within a design studio system, with teaching given to groups of approximately 15 students. Each group is led by a member(s) of staff and is explicitly informed by their design practice/research. 

    Projects 05
    You'll have the opportunity to undertake an extended piece of interiors design work, synthesising knowledge and understanding gained in the first two years of the course. Typically, studio groups set a research theme and site or sites for the year, and individual students develop their own agendas for design and design research within this context.

    Cultural context 03
    You'll develop a range of research skills appropriate to your chosen topic. A series of lectures and seminars will introduce you to established research techniques and methodologies. You'll undertake research into your chosen topic, supervised by an allocated member of staff, and present your findings as either a written thesis or a research project.

    Professional Practice
    This will be your chance to demonstrate your individual creative identity aligned to your career aspirations. The vehicle for doing this will be through the production of a signature portfolio, consolidating the knowledge and skills you've gained on the course.

  • Study abroad

    This course offers the opportunity to study abroad for part of your second year. To find out more about studying abroad as part of your course please see the Study Abroad section:

  • Fees

    Find out all about the fees for studying with us, as well as the grants, loans and other financial support you may be entitled to:


Open plan studio spaces for each year of the course, used for group tutorials and personal working. Facilities for the course include: laser cutters, 3D printers, virtual reality lab, 3D workshop with machines for working in wood, metals, plastics and ceramics and fully-equipped computer studios with Macs and PCs programmed with software for design and animation.

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Course connections

On this course, you'll be exposed to a world of opportunities

  • Industry links

    You’ll be fully immersed in the architecture and design industries through live projects. In the past these have included work with the leading London architecture firm AKT II, global design and architecture firms such as HOK and SOM, local government organisations and architecture companies in Margate and Folkestone. You’ll also have the opportunity to enter industry competitions.

    As part of their professional studies, all of our third year students are given placements in leading architecture and design companies, such as:

    • Platform
    • Bompas and Parr
    • Piercy and Co
    • Harvey and John
    • Grimshaw
    • Hawkins Brown
    • Jason Bruges Studio.
  • Careers

    Our graduates are equipped to pursue a host of design roles, and many of our alumni work for global design and architecture firms, but also smaller regional UK design companies. As well as the more standard careers in interior design and architectural design, we facilitate a wide range of specialisms that reflect individual interests. 

    These can open up potential future careers in:

    • Product design
    • Lighting design
    • Set design and fabrication
    • Arts delivery
    • Events organisation
    • Branding
    • Emplopyment in the emerging high-tech and coding markets.
  • Further study

    You may also like to consider further study at postgraduate level.


How to apply - 2019 entry

I am a UK or EU citizen ...

I am not a UK or EU citizen ...

When to apply:

If applying via UCAS the application deadline is the 15 January. If applying directly to us, you can apply throughout the year but we recommend you apply as early as possible so you have time to arrange accommodation and visas.

More information:

Go to our how to apply pages

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

Along with your portfolio, the standard entry requirements* for this course are:

One of the following:

  • 112 new UCAS tariff points, see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Distinction, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma
  • 112 new UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject
  • 27-30 total points in the International Baccalaureate Diploma with at least 15 IB points at Higher level, see more information about IB entry requirements.

And four GCSE passes at grade C or above, including English (or Functional Skills English/Key Skills Communication Level 2).

Other relevant and equivalent Level 3 UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis, and we encourage students from diverse educational backgrounds to apply.

*We occasionally make offers which are lower than the standard entry criteria, to students who have faced difficulties that have affected their performance and who were expected to achieve higher results. We consider the strength of our applicants’ portfolios, as well as their grades - in these cases, a strong portfolio is especially important.

International entry requirements

To view the equivalent entry requirements for your country please select it in the list below.

Pick Your Country

Non-UK equivalent qualifications

English language requirements

Your portfolio

For this course we will require you to attend an Applicant Day and bring your portfolio for assessment. We may ask you for an online portfolio comprising design or art projects. If you’re not currently studying art or design, you could include other material – such as written work or photography – to demonstrate your creative potential. Further information on how to compile a portfolio and the specific requirements for examples of work to be included will be provided on the Applicant Portal after you apply.

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