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Undergraduate study
Design

Interior Architecture and Design (with Foundation Year)
BA (Hons)

W257 BA/IADFY

 
 

Course overview

This course prepares you for an exciting career in the fields of interior architecture and design as you explore how interior architecture can shape and transform spaces to meet the desires of the client.

You explore the design and development of internal spaces in relation to their overall architectural composition, rethinking existing buildings and considering how to convert them to suit a range of uses. Key themes include aspects of interior architecture and design, from psychology and social conditions to structure, furniture design and materials, and decorative elements to structure, form and light.

You use your creative eye alongside an understanding of the structural principles behind buildings, planning and building regulations including sustainable, technical, practical and environmental principles involved in making buildings. And you look at design issues of structure and function in interior architecture and design. This course is fully accredited by the Society of British and International Design (SBID) and Interiors and Teesside University is a recognised SBID National Centre of Excellence.

Browse our final-year students’ work during their Design Degree Show 2019.

 

Course details

In your foundation year (Year 0) you explore the fundamental skills of design through drawing, mark-making and three dimensional workshop practices. You begin to experience the creative process and gain knowledge of art and design history and contexts.

In Year 1 you are exposed to a variety of design thinking and problem solving concepts through design to technical skills and contextual and technical knowledge of interior architecture and design including details, specifications and CAD, as necessary for interior architectural detailing. Modules introduce you to the structural principles behind buildings, planning and building regulations including sustainable, technical, practical and environmental principles involved in making buildings. You work on projects that ask you to create novel solutions to the design of space and place, working both independently and collaboratively in teams. You are introduced to traditional design presentation and concept development skills, key software applications, and the principles of interior architecture and design.

Year 2 develops your design thinking and interior architecture knowledge and understanding through specialist and live projects, designing for outcomes that may be commercial, retail, domestic or conceptual. You develop your personal approach to interior architecture and design through reflective practice. And you develop key software applications further in the context of a professional presentation.

In Year 3 you negotiate your own topic for the final major project, supported by key study skills and academic approaches including critical writing, reflection and evaluation. Throughout the third year you are able to work on live projects and competition briefs, engaging with external practice and industry.

Course structure

Year 0 (foundation year) core modules

Contextual Studies

You are introduced to the contexts of creative and design history, investigating problem solving and themes to inform your current studio practice. You research and learn to analyse ideas about past British and international styles, design and theory. This develops your understanding of the role of the designer, the meanings and vocabulary of space and design, and the relationship between design, society and the environment. You develop skills in research, analysis, communication and critical thinking, and produce and present interpretations of historical material.

Portfolio Project

Building on your skills in the design process, you develop a project portfolio directed towards your favoured design discipline, demonstrating your creative ideas, development and final concepts. You are encouraged to take a questioning, creative and innovative approach to design project work. You focus on experimental exploration, as well as challenging your ability to motivate and organise yourself to manage a design project and work to a deadline. This project culminates with a short presentation of your completed design work.

Research and Analysis - Sketchbooks and Research

You are introduced to the creative design process and methods of researching and recording inspirational ideas which you can then develop for your own project work. You gather inspiration, stimuli and precedent ideas from a multitude of sources and sketchbooks – these are key in developing and experimenting your design, helping you curate ideas and document your design activity.

Specialism Project

You take part in a range of specialist studio activities. You investigate, experiment and explore pathways in fashion, textiles, graphics, interiors and product design. You study creative processes and develop independent project skills to help identify the specialist subject which best suits your interests and abilities.

Thinking Through Drawing

You are introduced to a range of fundamental drawing approaches for a variety of purposes. Practical workshops include measured drawing, scale, composition and perspective as well as creatively using colour, materials and expressive mark making. These experiences increase your observational skills that help you visualise and realise ideas for potential design projects.

Thinking Through Making

You further develop and deepen your knowledge gained from the induction programmes, enhancing your skills in model construction, prototyping, printmaking, and production analysis. You gain greater insight into the complexities of model construction and printmaking by working in detail with various materials, developing techniques and creative skills. This module is project-based – you transfer your knowledge from lectures to hands-on demonstrations in a workshop environment. You primarily learn through producing models and prints from drawings.

 

Year 1 core modules

Building Design: Structures and Technology

You study a range of design requirements, structures and technology related to residential and domestic building spaces, developing a basic understanding of building elements, components and products. You can apply this learning within practical design modules. You study inclusive design practices and sustainable development as well as the roles and responsibilities of some of the industry professions. You take part in group work discussions and develop a personal archive of information to be added to during subsequent stages of the course.

The assessment consists of one in-course component - an analysis of an existing building including its structures and building technology. You research its relationship to regulations through text and annotated illustrations, and demonstrate alternative design solutions for a proposed change of use.

Design and Shape

You are provided with a foundation in computer aided design work (CAD) and given an introduction into the use of computers as design tools to help you identify the advantages and disadvantages in their use. You look at 2D drafting and the surveying of interior spaces and are encouraged to experiment with drafting, presentation and layout in a digital environment.

Drawing Architecture

You study a variety of architectural drawing conventions and techniques including plans, elevations, sections, isometric and axonometric projects, and one and two-point perspective. These are essential tools for a professional designer - vital to communicating design ideas from initial sketch stage to final client presentations. You apply concepts of scale and geometry, consider viewpoints and composition as well as the introduction of colour.

This is a studio-based, practical module. There is one summative assessment worth 100% of the marks where you create a portfolio of architectural hand drawings including sketch work, a one and two-point perspective, isometric and axonometric drawing as well as a plan, elevation and section. Drawings should demonstrate scale and be appropriately annotated.

Making Architecture

This workshop-based module provides you with the skills to communicate design ideas in three dimensions. It is essential to make models and prototypes to test ideas, providing users and clients with a better understanding of design proposals. There are many current technologies including 3D measuring, laser cutting and rapid prototyping that are increasingly affordable and valuable tools and techniques in the experimental design process.

The assessment consists of one in-course component. You redesign an existing environment considering enveloped space and height. Working with original drawings you redesign the space documenting your ideas through experimentation with sketch models. You then communicate the final design in a detailed client model.

Precedent

This module introduces you to the contexts of architectural and design history investigating problem solving and themes that inform your studio practice. During the module you research and analyse ideas about past British and international styles, design and theory. This develop your understanding of the role of the designer, the meanings and vocabulary of space and design, and the relationship between design, society and the environment.

Space and Place

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

 

Year 2 core modules

3D Solutions

This module uses advanced digital design techniques. You experiment with form, space, texture and light as a digital entity, developing an understanding of the nuances of dimensioned input in a design workspace.

Analysis

During this module you look outside of the studio to observe, make links and understand situations. You consider how design can be a progressive force that impacts and improves lives and environments. You have the ability to shape project work to suit your design interests and can involve yourself with individual, collaborative, entrepreneurial, research-led or externally-situated briefs.

You have the opportunity to connect with wider communities to identify a need for improvement by design. Social design is a driver for our practice and provides the means to underpin deep and meaningful solutions.

Building Design: Analysis and Regulation

This module broadens your appreciation of architectural technology requirements for a range of building types, exploring the characteristics of public and commercial buildings. You explore relevant issues including accessibility and inclusivity from the perspective of an interiors specialist.

Using a case study, you develop a broad working knowledge of the governing regulations, standards and legislation in this sector, and you discuss aspects of the national agenda for sustainable development. Your case study structure is supported and underpinned by a series of lectures and research workshops.

There is one in-course component of assessment. You change the use for a commercial or public building, redesigning the spaces and reporting on how this meets all relevant parts of the building regulations as well as complying with inclusivity legislation. You submit a maximum of three A3 design boards along with an illustrated 2,000-word report.

Connect

Designers operate in a commercial world. It is crucial that you understand the needs of all the stakeholders that your design will impact upon and that you strategically develop products that will service specific market sectors, be user focused and fulfil the needs of business. 

You build your knowledge and understanding of design in a business context. Develop your skills in project management, applied research methods and the design process. You relate the work to real-world business scenarios, problems and situations, considering both manufacturing and end-users. A significant project draws your skills together to consider the strategy behind new product development. You prepare for your third-year studies by developing more independence in your choice and direction of project work.

Critical Practice

This module develops your critical thinking and an understanding of current issues and debates in the field of interior design. An effective final design is the result of critical development and decision making that engages the process of synthesis, analysis and evaluation.

Debates

The post-war to current day period of the built environment is one of rapid change and contextual debate. This history of architectural and interior design module develops your knowledge of both UK and international design within historical, political, economic, social, technological and legislative contexts.

 

Year 3 optional placement year

Final-year core modules

Folio

This module develop the skills you need to make the transition from university to employment and how to present your work and yourself in a variety of situations – from trade shows to formal interviews. You learn to create and develop visual material, both physical and digital, that you can use in a variety of contexts when looking for employment.

Realisation

This module enables you to bring your design project ideas to fruition, taking into account all aspects of research and development. You are encouraged to demonstrate a high level of professional competence in the realisation of your projects and to have a deep understanding of the social and theoretical context in which you are practising. You are also expected to understand the future possibilities and contexts in which your ideas exist. On completing your design development work, you organise your work for presentation in an exhibition.

Research and Development

You agree the selection, scope and focus of the project through negotiation with your module tutors to ensure appropriate levels of complexity, rigour and acceptable ethical content. This module enables you to explore and define the parameters of your own professional practice and research interests. You are helped and encouraged to develop your understanding and gain experience in research as both an academic discipline and as part of the creative process.

The 3D Environment and Introduction to BIM

Architectural and design practice increasingly takes building performance and sustainability into account. Emerging software means these considerations can become part of the iterative design process across the whole building design team. You are introduced to building information modelling (BIM) and some of the key considerations, terminology and software that an interior architect may take into account.

The assessment consists of one component. You consider how BIM can be used to improve the building performance of a given project and the process of applying new software. The work is submitted as an A0 poster and A4 development booklet demonstrating process, product and analysis.

Thinking

As spatial designers you work within the boundaries, contexts and histories of existing buildings and need to develop skills in research, contextualisation, 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.

 

Modules offered may vary.

 

How you learn

The practice-based elements of all our design courses are taught in a studio environment, supported by a full range of digital resources and workshop facilities. These provide real hands-on experience using equipment and processes which are up to date. In addition to this, we also encourage independent and student-centred learning. Any theoretical work is primarily delivered through illustrated lectures and seminars where you have the opportunity for collective discussion. 

How you are assessed

The work produced is assessed. There are no separate written exams and design projects are a key feature. 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 staff and peer group appraisal.


Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs

 
 

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

32-88 tariff points from any combination of recognised Level 3 qualifications or equivalent. Consideration will also be given to students without formal qualifications but with evidence of relevant experience at an appropriate level. This could, for example be evidenced through a portfolio of work.

Interviews
The interview is to determine your potential to succeed and helps set appropriate entry conditions matched to your personal circumstances and the demands of the course. The interview also enables you to see our excellent facilities, meet staff and students.

If you are unable to attend an interview at the university, we can organise a virtual interview over the telephone or internet. If you have a portfolio of work to submit in support of your application, this can be sent to us electronically.

English language and maths requirement
Normally GCSE English language and maths at grade 4. Alternative equivalent qualifications may be considered.

Non-EU international students who need a student visa to study in the UK should check our web pages on UKVI-compliant English language requirements. The University also provides pre-sessional English language courses if you do not meet the minimum English language requirement.

Alternative progression routes
If you are not eligible to join this course directly then we may be able to help you prepare for admission by studying appropriate pre-degree Winter or Summer University modules. Please contact us to discuss the alternative progression routes available to you.

Mature applicants
We welcome applications from mature students (aged over 21) who can demonstrate, through portfolio or written work and relevant experience, that they have developed cognitive and technical skills through their life experiences.

For additional information please see our entry requirements

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


You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL

 

Employability

Career opportunities

As a graduate you can pursue a career in interior architecture or interior design as a practitioner working for the retail, commercial, exhibition, performance, leisure or domestic sectors, or you might continue to postgraduate study.

Work placement

A work placement officer and the University's award-winning careers service help you with applying for a placement. Advice is also available on job hunting and networking.

By taking a work placement year you gain experience favoured by graduate recruiters and develop your technical skillset. You also obtain the transferable skills required in any professional environment. Transferable skills include communication, negotiation, teamwork, leadership, organisation, confidence, self-reliance, problem-solving, being able to work under pressure, and commercial awareness.

An increasing number of employers view a placement as a year-long interview and, as a result, placements are increasingly becoming an essential part of an organisation's pre-selection strategy in their graduate recruitment process.

Potential benefits from completing a work placement year include:

  • improved job prospects
  • enhanced employment skills and improved career progression opportunities
  • a higher starting salary than your full-time counterparts
  • a better degree classification
  • a richer CV
  • a year's salary before completing your degree
  • experience of workplace culture
  • the opportunity to design and base your final-year project within a working environment.

 

Information for international applicants

Qualifications

International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

Select your country:

  
 

Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

Talk to us

Talk to an international student adviser

 
 

Full-time

Entry to 2020/21 academic year

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£13,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants


What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 4 years (including a foundation year) or 5 years (including a work placement)
  • UCAS code: W257 BA/IADFY
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: Offers are tailored to individual circumstances

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS

 

Part-time

  • Not available part-time
 
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