Undergraduate study
Interior Architecture

BA (Hons) Interior Architecture

UCAS code: W255 BA/IA

We are proud to be one of the longest established interior programmes in Europe with our graduates working all over the world. Interior architecture is an exciting creative career based around the structural creation and enclosure of space. The discipline has become increasingly popular through shows such as Grand Designs and is now a recognised professional role.

Course information


  • Length: 3 years

More full-time details

Entry to 2017/18 academic year


  • Up to 6 years

More part-time details

  • Daytime
  • Enrolment date: September
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 384019

Contact details


£500 available to kick-start your degree – for travel, accommodation or other living expenses

Eligibility criteria apply


Over £270m invested in our town-centre campus for your improved student and learning experience

More about the campus


88% of students would recommend Teesside University to others
(National Student Survey 2016)

Why choose Teesside

The interior architect considers the client and users’ needs, how spaces function, building construction and how people interact with their environment. Within the design team the interior architect is responsible for lighting, materials, sustainability and addressing building regulations within the overall design and aesthetic. Interior architecture is essential for our entire built environment – a house, an office, a school or a hospital – every building has a purpose. At Teesside University we encourage you to become a professional creative designer.

On our course you learn building technology, architectural drawing techniques, using 2D and 3D industry-standard CAD and visualisation, the history of architecture and design, plus the essential skills of professional practice and design. These are all applied into your core creative design studio projects. Projects replicate professional practice ensuring you are ready for the design profession.

You can work on live projects with real clients and enter prestigious competitions such as those offered by the Royal Society of Arts. Recent briefs have included working with a national chain to redesign a public house, an international competition to redesign Sydney Harbour, healthcare design for a large hospital trust and a contemporary office design.

You work in a dedicated design studio environment with access to high-quality CAD and superb workshop facilities. This course has an outstanding track record for innovative teaching and supporting students to achieve high grades. Get involved in extra curricula activities – guest lectures and workshops from both professionals in practice and our successful graduates now working throughout the world. Experience iconic architecture through educational visits - recent trips include Paris, Amsterdam and Berlin. We prepare you to become excellent design graduates and successful design professionals.

Can't make our open day?

Contact us at arts@tees.ac.uk and we will arrange a one-to-one visit for you, we would love to see you.

Year 1 focuses on architectural presentation skills, develops creativity and introduces principles of design in relation to space, function and planning. You also study modelmaking in the workshops, concept development, gain an introduction to marketing and study key software applications. In Year 2 you undertake external and competition design briefs and building technology, and develop team practice skills and key software applications further in the context of professional presentation. In Year 3 you negotiate a topic of your own choice for the final major project and dissertation, and you are given opportunities to work on live projects and competition briefs.


Year 1 core modules

Architectural Technology 1

This module will introduce you to some design requirements, legislation and regulation as it relates to residential and domestic building spaces. You will develop an understanding of building elements, components and products enabling you to apply some of this learning within practical design modules on the course.

Inclusive design practices and sustainable development will be introduced as topics relevant to you as novice designers, and the roles and responsibilities of some of the professions and practitioners in the industry will be highlighted and discussed.

You will participate in group work discussions and develop a personal archive of information which can be added to during subsequent stages of the course.

Design Project 1: Visual Language

This module will introduce you to the basic principles of three dimensional design and spatial composition. The module will be underpinned by architectural theory and texts, and you will study some of the key elements of design such as scale, volume, balance and harmonious composition.

Studio sessions will involve practical tasks to demonstrate your awareness of some of these key principles. Vehicles such as sketch and expressive drawing and simple card modelling will be explored in their relationship to design and composition.

You will use your growing understanding of design principles to organise, integrate and present a portfolio of work in a visually engaging way as the submission for this module.

Design Project 2: Spatial Design

This module provides you with a basic understanding of the processes, methods of working and design communication involved within a practical design framework. You will experience the translation of initial ideas into finished design proposals, therefore exposing you to spatial design from concept to completion.

The interior design project will aim to expose you to the design and manipulation of interior spaces, coupled with the selection, specification and design of fixtures, fitments and associated materials. You will be encouraged to practice skills in mechanical and technical drawing, freehand sketching, card model building, presentation of research and simple graphic layout.

Within the design framework you will have the opportunity to apply principles of human factors to the area of spatial design and to develop an awareness of the importance of the human being within design.

All students will participate in a verbal presentation of their completed scheme at the end of the module.

Digital Design 1: Professional Presentation

The module aims to provide students with a foundation in computer aided design work. Students are given an introduction into the use of computers as design tools to help them identify the advantages and disadvantages in their use. Students will be introduced to word processing and page layout, 2D drafting and the surveying of interior spaces. Students will be encouraged to experiment with presentation, layout and design in a digital environment.

Historical Studies 1: Style and Design

This module introduces you to the History of Architecture and Interior Design using topics and themes that will inform and contextualise your studio practice. During the module you will research and analyse information and ideas about past British and international styles and design. This will develop your understanding of the role of the designer, the meanings and vocabulary of space and design and the relationship between design and society. This will help you acquire skills in research, analysis, communication and critical thinking as you work both individually and with others to produce and present interpretations of historical material.

Personal Development Planning 1: Communication Skills

This module provides an introduction to the forms and techniques of drawn communication relevant to the spatial designer. You are guided through the standard conventions for mechanical drawing and learn how to create and manipulate vertical transitions through spaces. You practice your skills in developing a portfolio of work, and consider the professional presentation of works on paper.

Finally you acquire a proactive approach to learning and skills development through a self-reflective written report and portfolio review.


Year 2 core modules

Architectural Technology 2

This module develops the themes introduced in Architectural Technology 1 and broadens your appreciation of the requirements associated with a range of building types. You will add to your knowledge of residential and domestic spaces, and begin to explore the characteristics of public and commercial buildings.

You will explore issues relevant to this aspect of the built environment such as accessibility and inclusivity, from the perspective of an interiors specialist.
In the form of a case study you will develop a broad working knowledge of the governing regulations, standards and legislation in this sector, and discuss aspects of the national agenda for sustainable development. A series of lectures and research workshops will support and underpin the organisation and structure of the case study.

Design Project 3: External Projects

This module identifies and explores the many national and international competitions and live projects available to design students. These are valuable because they often allow the opportunity for you to work with actual clients, within real design scenarios and in fields of current design debate. However, the ‘themes’ generally need further definition and analysis by you to fully identify appropriate research and sensitive responses to the brief.

In terms of presentation, you will be able to develop the skills necessary to produce unambiguous, informative and visually compelling work for a range of external situations. In many design competitions and live brief situations the designer is often not available to help explain the solution verbally and, in many instances the design work needs to communicate with the layperson.

Design Project 4: Critical Practice

This module aims to develop critical thinking and an understanding of current issues and debates in the field of spatial design. An effective final design is the result of critical development and decision making that engages the process of synthesis, analysis and evaluation. Students apply these analytical skills to reflect upon and evaluate their work throughout a project and through this iterative practice to progress their work. Students are therefore encouraged to explore a variety of themes to extend their skills in research, analysis, independent study and communication as they investigate and develop designs for their assignment work.

Digital Design 2: 3D Modelling and Visualisation

This module uses advanced digital design techniques; students experiment with form, space, texture and light as a digital entity. Students develop an understanding of the nuances of dimensioned input in a design workspace. Students will work in both 2D and 3D environments to create detailed models and animated walkthroughs of interiors and high-resolution images. Students develop skills in the use of software for both 2D and 3D modelling and visualisation.

Historical Studies 2: Context and Theory

This history of architecture and spatial design module will develop your knowledge of contemporary British and International design within historical, political, economic, social and technological contexts. We will cover themes from the post war period to the present and examine issues of patronage, the divergence of client and user, debates about style, the media and the current role of the profession. The built environment affects everyone within it and we will debate the rapid changes from the architecture of the welfare state to the rise and fall of commercial development and regeneration.

Personal Development Planning 2: Practice Skills

This module supports you in the transition from study to employment, developing your skills in:
• team work
• project planning and management
• self and practice promotion
• advanced verbal presentation
• leadership.

You learn about self-reflection and how to develop and enhance your own learning and personal achievement, through individual portfolio reviews and classroom/virtual learning environment-based exercises.


Final-year core modules

Contextual Writing for Spatial Designers

As Spatial designers you work within the boundaries, contexts and histories of existing buildings and sites and you therefore need to develop skills in research, , critical thinking and communication. This module provides you with the opportunity for extended independent research on a topic of personal interest within the broad field of spatial design. The emphasis is on increasing your independent learning but with the support of an assigned project supervisor to create either an extended essay, a related series of magazine articles or a presentation on a subject agreed between the you and your tutor.

Design Project 5: Experimentation

This module enables you to develop your own fields of interest and negotiate a personal programme of study. It aims to encourage the continued growth of a questioning, creative and innovative approach to design project work and focuses on conceptual and experimental exploration. On this module you may also decide to undertake appropriate external or live projects. The module further aims to expand your abilities in self-motivation and organisation towards a capacity to deal with pro-active and self-directed independent study. On this module you are expected to initiate, develop and expand a brief and carry out effective and focused research. The project culminates with the presentation of completed design work in an appropriate method and media. A fundamental aspect of this module is that you take responsibility for directing your own learning and for organising and managing your own time.

Design Project 6: Research, Development, Presentation

On this module you undertake an individual self-directed final design project in the second part of your final year. It is the culmination of your course of study and provides a platform for the demonstration of knowledge, skills, techniques and theories you have gained from previous programme modules. The selection, scope and focus of the project is agreed through negotiation with module tutors in order to ensure appropriate levels of complexity, rigour and acceptable ethical content. The module covers the development and writing of the brief, research and design development work including the generation of concepts, models and ideas. On completion of your design development work you will organise your work for presentation in an exhibition.

Personal Development Planning 3: Professional Skills

Through self-reflection, mentoring and leadership, this module builds upon your professional attitudes and approaches to design studies and practice to prepare you for professional life. Ongoing progress files and portfolio review sessions support you in developing a personal and professional portfolio of work suitable for employment interview. You are encouraged to develop and deepen your understanding of feedback, and to effectively reflect upon your own learning.


Modules offered may vary.

How you learn

The practice-based elements of all our art and design courses are taught in a studio environment, supported by a full range of digital resources and workshop facilities. This provides real hands-on experience using equipment and processes which are up to date. In addition to this, independent and student-centred learning are encouraged. Theoretical work is primarily delivered through illustrated lectures and seminars where there is opportunity for collective discussion.

How you are assessed

The work produced is the work assessed; there are no separate written examinations and the use of design projects is a key feature. The process of assessment is undertaken against carefully defined criteria and often involves a critique of project-based assignments - this is a process widely used in the design field and allows for both staff and peer group appraisal.

Career opportunities

Graduates typically pursue careers working as interior architects, CAD specialists or as creative members of architectural teams in areas as diverse as nightclub and pub design, retail and commercial, set design, exhibition and museums, and lighting design in a variety of locations from Italy to New York. Further study at postgraduate level is also popular.

Entry requirements

A typical offer is 112 tariff points from at least two A levels (or equivalent) – one must be in an appropriate discipline. And we attach considerable importance to your portfolio of work.

For additional information please see the entry requirements in our admissions section

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country


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Course information


  • Length: 3 years

More full-time details

Entry to 2017/18 academic year


  • Up to 6 years

More part-time details

  • Daytime
  • Enrolment date: September
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 384019

Contact details

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