Interior Architecture & Design

BA (Hons)

2018 entry

The fast-growing sector of interior architecture and design are responsible for a wide range of interiors – from large commercial shopping centres and airports to cultural spaces such as theatres, cinemas, schools, and even our own homes. Contemporary interior practice will see you work with ambitious ideas in challenging locations to create and execute new designs.

Our School of Architecture has been ranked in the Architecture top five by the 2017 Guardian University Guide.

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Length of study:

Three years full-time


September 2018


UCA Canterbury

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Course overview:

Our BA (Hons) Interior Architecture & Design course is delivered within our School of Architecture, a supportive, progressive and experimental educational environment established more than 60 years ago. It’s taught alongside undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Interior Architecture, Architecture, and Urban Design.

Providing a research-intensive learning environment, you’ll be encouraged to dive in at the deep end, challenging your assumptions and allowing you to push the boundaries of the discipline.

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

Year 1 is an intensive year, where you will begin the process of familiarising yourself with the subject, learning through observing, making, drawing and collaborating.

As you progress into Years 2 and 3, you’ll encounter a variety of challenges that require you to deal with the more specialist demands of designing an interior, fluctuating somewhere between artefact and architecture.

As part of their professional studies, our Year 3 students are also offered placements in leading architecture and design agencies, such as Platform, Bompas and Parr, Piercy and Co, Hawkins Brown and Jason Bruges Studio.

The design studio is at the heart of students’ studies offering a stimulating range of approaches to design; through tutorials, seminars, live projects and project reviews. Alongside studio work, we visit exhibitions and provide the opportunity for students to join study trips, as well as studying abroad.

You’ll also have the opportunity to enter competitions to further increase your exposure to the sector and expand your network of contacts.

Ultimately, you’ll be joining a course that encourages you to embrace more traditional means of designing, alongside emerging technologies, with the intention of creating designers who are versatile, innovative and entrepreneurial.

Open Days

Register for an Open Day to find out more about this course in person.

Course content - 2018 entry

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.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • 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.

  • Communication

    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.

  • Technology

    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.

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.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • 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.

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.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • 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.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

International study

Find out more about studying in the UK, or studying part of your course abroad at one of our partner institutions (study abroad option not available on all courses).

Course connections

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

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.

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.

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

How to apply - 2018 entry

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Entry requirements - 2018 entry:

As a leading creative arts university, we want to attract the best and most creative minds in the country – so we take a balanced approach to candidate assessment, taking both individual portfolios and exam results into account. 

That’s why your portfolio is an especially important part of your application to study with us – and we can help. Our academics can offer you expert advice on how to showcase your creative work and build a portfolio that will make your application stand out. More advice on how to create an exceptional portfolio is also available here.

Entry requirements

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

One of the following:

  • 112 new UCAS tariff points (equivalent to 280 old 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.

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.

Your portfolio

We invite all suitable applicants to a portfolio interview, so 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.

More portfolio advice

Fees & finance

Uncover all the costs involved, as well as the grants, loans and other financial support you may be entitled to.

Student regulations

Find out more about the operation of our courses, student conduct, assessments and examinations.

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