Interior Architecture & Design BA (Hons)

with Professional Practice Year (optional)

UCA Farnham - 2020

Length of study:

Three years full-time


UCA Farnham

Start date:


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Entry year(s)


Entry requirements:

112 UCAS tariff points

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UCAS institution code:


UCAS code:


UCAS code for course with Professional Practice:


Course overview

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 concept through critical thinking, drawing and making, whilst contextual studies and theory blend with units throughout the course.

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.

The Interior Architecture & Design course has unique industry partnerships with leading design agencies, where you'll get the opportunity to work with design directors in their studios. These partnerships, along with live projects and high profile industry guest speakers, will bring you into regular contact with new ideas, people spaces and objects that reflect the most exciting thinking in interiors, architecture and design. 

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 the second year, and the practice of interior design in your final year.

You'll conclude your degree by completing a dissertation, a strategic portfolio of work and a capstone personal design project. This final project reflects a culmination of your 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.

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Course details

  • Year 1

    In the first year, you'll be introduced to contextual frameworks and you'll begin to examine the process of design development. 

    Interior Practice Process 1
    The purpose of this unit is to introduce you to the design process from research to final outcome. You will be introduced to fundamental skills and knowledge that provide the learning foundation to help to inform the design process. The unit is informed by close reference to relevant historic and contemporary practice.

    Contextual Studies 1
    This unit introduces you to a range of historical and contemporary contexts that serve to locate crafts and design practices within wider social and cultural frameworks and promotes contextual research as a fundamental aspect of creative practice. Through a series of illustrated lectures and seminars, the unit explores a range of theoretical and practice-based positions in order to demonstrate the rich diversity of existing approaches to crafts and design, and to consider specific aesthetic decisions in relation to their contexts.

    Interior Practice Process 2
    This unit builds on Practice Process 1 and you'll test and develop skills and material knowledge from inception to resolution within the context of a given environment. You'll increasingly synthesise processes of research, ideas generation, exploration, documentation, evaluation, resolution and communication at a fundamental level.

    Interior Practice Process 3
    The purpose of this unit is for you to develop competency in the range of processes, materials and structures learned in previous units and acquire a new range of related skills to further synthesise your ability to respond creatively and with confidence to project briefs.


  • Year 2

    Your second year will focus on fiding your own specialist way of working, developing communication processes and positioning your own practice. 

    Interior Practice Exploration 1
    The purpose of this unit is for you to extend and develop your conceptual thinking. This is undertaken through engagement with project briefs and is seen as an impetus to engage in speculative and conceptually led design proposals; team work will feature. Emphasis is placed upon independent critical decision making and external industry awareness. Project concepts remain the catalyst for further design development.

    Contextual Studies 2
    Objects and environments are fundamental to our understanding of the world. The purpose of this unit is to introduce a range of contexts that demonstrate the importance of meaning, and the ways that this meaning can be used to create and express value within crafts and design practices.

    Interior Practice Exploration 2
    The purpose of this unit is for you to explore projects in further detail. You are required to consider how a concept develops through to realisation. A comprehensive understanding of the technical drawing process should be demonstrated through development of scale models, joints and junctions, material efficiency and orthographic drawing, as well as detailed design drawings. Emphasis will be placed upon the production of models and drawings at scales from 1:20 through to full size.

    Interior Practice Exploration 3
    This unit provides, within a defined framework, an opportunity to develop work in response to a live brief resulting in a full size built environment. You are encouraged to develop and refine teamwork as well as individual approaches to research, designing and making and to reflect upon the full scope of second year exploration.

  • Study Abroad Year (Optional)

    On this course you'll have the unique opportunity within UCA to add an additional year of study at an overseas institution (either at a higher education establishment or workplace).

    This optional year is designed to broaden your educational experience and deepen your understanding of cultural diversity, enabling you to study within a different cultural context and gain fresh perspectives. 

    Studying abroad can be a life-changing experience. Living in another country, you'll experience new places, people, cultures and possibilities. You'll develop initiative, independence, motivation and, depending on where you go, a working knowledge of another language – all qualities employers are looking for. You will return to complete your degree with all the benefits of the International Year experience behind you.

    To find out more about studying abroad as part of your course please see the Study Abroad section:

  • Professional Practice Year (optional)

    If you opt to complete a professional practice year, this will take place in year three. You will undertake a work placement with a subject appropriate employer to further develop your skills and CV.

  • 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. 

    Professional Practice and Portfolio
    The professional development of a design project is explained through a lecture series based on the Royal Institute of British Architects 'Stages of Work'. Lectures and tutorials provide methodologies for the preparation of a portfolio of work, curriculum vitae, letter of application and interview techniques.

    Final Major Project
    The purpose of this unit is for you to realise a graduate major project from a self-initiated brief, within a given framework, that realises individual potential. A selection of topics and sites of a high level of architectural quality will be provided, offering an appropriate level of design challenge.

    Contextual Studies 3
    The purpose of this unit is for you to conceive, develop and construct a personally meaningful portfolio of contextual research that informs, augments and reflects upon practice, towards the provision of structured narratives that critically engage with a range of contextual and theoretical frameworks and serve to support the positioning of individual practice in relation to past, present and possible future endeavours. 

  • Fees and additional course costs

    Tuition fees
    The course fees per year for 2020 entry are:

    • UK and EU students - £9,250 
    • International students - £16,250 (standard fee)
    • International students - £15,600 (full early payment fee)

    Additional course costs
    In addition to the tuition fees please see the additional course costs, these are still to be finalised for 2020 entry but as a guide please see the additional course costs for 2019 entry.

    Further information
    Find out more about our course fees and any financial support you may be entitled to:

    These fees are correct for the stated academic year only. Costs may increase each year during a student’s period of continued registration on course in line with inflation (subject to any maximum regulated tuition fee limit). Any adjustment for continuing students will be at or below the RPI-X forecast rate.

Professional Practice Year

You have the option to complete a Professional Practice Year as part of this course.

You have the option to complete a Professional Practice Year as part of this course. You’ll spend two years learning in our studios and workshops at UCA Farnham, before putting what you’ve learned into practice and extending it through a year-long work placement.

The university will help facilitate your placement, making use of our extensive industry connections to help you find a paid role with a suitable employer. You will receive supervision in line with a pre-agreed schedule. On conclusion of the placement, you’ll return to complete your final year of study – applying your professional practice knowledge to help inform your graduation project work.

Please note if you are an international applicant, you will need to enrol onto the course ‘with Professional Practice Year’. You will not be able to transfer onto the Professional Practice Year at a later date.   


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.

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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

Don't meet the international entry requirements or English language requirements?

You may be able to enter the course through the UCA International College

Learn more about the UCA International College

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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