Interior Architecture & Design

BA (Hons) - UCA Farnham - 2019

One of the most established of its kind in the country, this BA (Hons) Interior Architecture & Design course investigates the potential for interiors to affect our everyday lives – from the home to the workplace and the spaces enjoyed in between.

You will explore this through thinking, drawing and making whilst contextual studies and theory interface with units throughout the programme.

The industry-facing nature of this degree provides an authentic interior architecture and design learning experience, giving you vital business skills and knowledge which will help to launch you into a career as soon as you graduate.

You’ll work directly with the local community, industry and businesses, providing you with the opportunity to develop your skills through live projects and design partnerships woven into the structure of the curriculum.

These partnerships are an opportunity for you to push the boundaries of the subject area by working directly with industry and real clients.

You’ll be able to explore new ways of working without the constraints that may be found in industry, while maintaining the programme’s experimental and risk-taking spirit.

The levels of the course are structured to deliver the principles of interior architecture and design in the first year, the processes of interior design in year 2, and the practice of interior design in year 3.

You'll conclude the course by completing a dissertation, a strategic portfolio of work and a capstone personal design project. This final project reflects a culmination of each student’s learning on the course and is the single most significant expression of personal position.

We have a proud history and record of securing graduate positions in a wide range of design areas such as retail leisure, exhibitions and events, offices and conferences, hotels and clubs, residential, transportation, film sets and computer animation.

Many of our graduates have gone on to start their own companies or be creative directors at design agencies such as 20:20, Household and Imagination.

Length of study:

Three years full-time


UCA Farnham

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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

    In the first year, you'll be introduced to the University and the technical workshops and facilities available to you. On the course you’ll learn the technical and conceptual skills that will give you a solid foundation from which to explore your areas of specialist activity.

    Craft, Design and Culture
    This unit is based on a series of illustrated lectures that introduce a number of key historical and contemporary contextual frameworks for craft and design practices, encouraging you to begin to identify changing relationships between creativity and wider social and cultural concerns.

    Narrative and Rational
    You'll examine the process of design development, from initial exploratory brief to final proposal. You'll explore design concepts such as spatial articulation (proportion, scale and placement), user requirements and experimental spatial design concepts. In-depth research will be required at each stage, either individually, in pairs or teams (as required throughout to facilitate and share learning). However, design proposals will be on an individual basis.

    This unit introduces you to the study of the technology of small buildings, forms and materials by experimenting with structural types and methods of construction. Technical drawing skills will focus towards differentiating the smaller scale drawing (used to 'sell in' the concept to the client) from the larger scale drawing (used to communicate with the manufacturer (also known as detailing).

    The technology aspect of this unit looks at a) structural principles and their application to building construction, b) primary elements of buildings such as floors, walls, doors, stairs and windows, and c) wood, metal and glass. These areas of focus will provide you with the necessary vocabulary to understand technical texts and underpin the structural and materials focus of practical project work.

  • Year 2

    The second year focus is on finding your own specialist way of working and you’ll be encouraged and supported to start working more independently. During this year you may also have the opportunity to complete an industry work placement or even study abroad. 

    Contextual and Theoretical Perspectives
    We'll encourage you to position your own practice by recourse to a variety of theories, contextual frameworks and critical evaluations. We'll introduce you to a variety of research methods to facilitate independent study towards coherent, self-reflective argument in written form.

    Spatial Narratives
    This unit focuses on the often conflicting creative and functional requirements of a complex brief. It builds on Year 1 studies in design development, communication and implementation processes.

    Spatial Identities
    This unit further develops communication processes in relation to more complex and diverse scenarios that explore ideas relating to branding and identity. Visual communication techniques, ranging from semantic differentials and matrices to model making and computer animated walk-throughs, will be explored as a means of effectively communicating the issues involved and solutions proposed.

    Study Abroad (optional)
    This optional unit is designed to broaden your educational experience and deepen your understanding of cultural diversity. It will enable you to study within a different cultural context and gain fresh perspectives.

  • Year 3

    The third year will see you achieve a greater level of independence with self-managed research, study and practice, resulting in a final major project and a written dissertation. 

    Final Major Project
    This represents a synthesis of previous technical and theoretical study, and demonstrates a body of work completed to a professional standard. Design outcomes should express your individual approach to interior architecture and design, both in selection of topic and site or subject, in the vocabulary of design used, and in terms of a high level of personal innovation.

    Professional Practice - Portfolio and Practice Experience
    Lectures and tutorials will provide methodologies for the preparation of a portfolio of work, a CV, letter of application and interview techniques. Lectures also introduce you to the professional responsibilities of the designer as a member of the building team and provide the necessary support for you to liaise with industry or gain a work placement.

    Combined Dissertation / Critical Reflection
    You'll undertake a dissertation, by engaging with research appropriate to you chosen subject area. You'll be expected to reflect on and articulate a clear argument that conforms to academic conventions and demonstrates an understanding of the subject through selected and managed analysis and evaluation. You'll also undertake an individually negotiated project of critical research and reflection that provides a contextual framework for, and analysis of, your own practice and/or visual interests.

  • 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:


There are studios with spaces for group tutorials and personal working. On campus, facilities include: 3D workshops including laser cutter, circular and band saws, planer/thicknesser, belt sanders, drilling machines and vacuum forming equipment, laser & plasma cutters, and spot welding equipment; digital media suites with graphic design and computer aided design programmes; and a modern library with a wealth of books, journals, and online resources.

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Course connections

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

  • Industry links

    We’ve established a range of strong industry connections, and companies that often employ our students work for household name clients, including: 

    • Aston Martin
    • Jaguar
    • Mercedes-Benz
    • BBC
    • Virgin
    • AT&T
    • The V&A
    • Science Museum
    • Imperial War Museum
    • Karen Millen
    • All Saints
    • H&M
    • Selfridges
    • Harvey Nichols
    • Hotel Chocolat
    • Ritz-Carlton
    • Four Seasons
    • JW Marriot.
  • Careers

    Recent graduates have secured positions in a wide range of design areas such as retail leisure (restaurant, cafes, bars), exhibitions and events, offices and conferences, hotels and clubs, residential, cruise ships and transportation, film sets and computer animation.

  • Further study

    Some of our alumni also go on to postgraduate study in design management, sustainable design or film set design.

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 A*-C and/or grade 4-9 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. This should include: work in A1 size demonstrating your approach to art and design, sketching, photography, model making, concept development, computer graphics, and 2D and 3D processes. 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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