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Undergraduate study
Interior Architecture and Design (with Foundation Year)

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

Interior architecture is a design discipline that is central to our future built environments. This long-established studio-based degree is accredited by the Society of British & International Interior Design.



Course routes:


Course overview

Work placement

Study interior design at Teesside University

Student Lisa Harrison talks about her experience of studying interior design

About the course

Develop your practice as an interior architect, a professional role that combines creative design with structural change and the enclosure of space. You consider the client and users’ needs, the function of space, building construction, inclusive design and ideas generation alongside how people interact with their surroundings including homes, offices, schools and hospitals.

Whilst studying interior architecture and design degree here at Teesside University, you work in a dedicated design studio with access to high-quality computer-aided design (CAD) and industry-standard workshop facilities. You develop your professional and creative skills and knowledge in architectural drawing techniques, building regulations, materials and technology, lightening design, 2D and 3D visualisation, sustainability, building information modelling (BIM) and the history of architecture.

What you learn

To prepare you as an interior architect, you work on live projects and can enter prestigious design competitions such as the Royal Society of Arts. Recent live projects have been working with a national charity to design an urban farm, designs for a leading eye hospital and concepts for breakout spaces within a commercial office. You network with industry professionals and have the opportunity for national and international educational visits.

Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art

You study at our School of Arts & Creative Industries, led by Teesside University and MIMA (Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art), an international contemporary museum and gallery. You gain a full artistic experience, learning in a social space that inspires dynamic ideas, fuels collaboration and allows you to build local, national and international networks with industry professionals for your future interior architecture and design career.

This course includes a foundation year - ideal if you need additional preparation or if you don't have sufficient grades to join Year 1 of a degree.

Top three reasons to study interior architecture at Teesside University

1. This course is recognised as a Society of British & International Interior Design National Centre of Excellence.
2. You have your own design studio space to work in.
3. You work on live briefs in response to real-world projects.

Teesside is ranked joint 17th out of 73 institutions for Design & Crafts in the Guardian University Guide 2021. (121 institutions participated.)

Download pdf Order prospectus


Course details

Course structure

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

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

Interior architects need to develop an understanding of how buildings are constructed – the use of materials, legislation and regulation, and the programming of building projects. You familiarise yourself with the relevant regulatory texts and apply your learning and knowledge to a design exercise.

CAD: 2D Planning

You gain a foundation in computer aided design (CAD) work, an introduction to the use of computers as design tools, and shown how to use industry-standard software. You become familiar with 2D representations of space and identify the advantages and disadvantages in their use.

Design Project; Residential Space

You gain a basic understanding of the processes, methods of working and design communication involved within a practical interior design framework for a residential space. You experience the analysis of a given building space, understand the needs of a client and explore the translation of initial ideas into finished design proposals. The project takes you through a typical interior scheme from concept to completion.

Drawing Architecture

You gain the skills to visually communicate your design ideas using a variety of 2D and 3D architectural drawing techniques. Plans, elevations and sections are covered as well as calculating scale and introducing some rendering skills.

Making Architecture

You look at prototyping design ideas through 3D modelling and communicating with users and clients through making and constructed detailing. Technology is now available through laser and plasma cutting as well as Rapid Prototyping and Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) machinery – you explore these tools and their applications in the making of scale models as well as full scale end production.

MIMA History of Art, Design & Architecture

You are introduced to key art, design, architectural and cultural histories that are central to studying a creative subject. You explore a range of contexts and influences including art historical, ecological, critical theory, industrial, technological change, social and political movements, examining the changing face of art and design and informing your future research.


Year 2 core modules

Building Design: Analysis and Regulation

During this module you will analyse and compare the performance and design of selected existing buildings. You will consider the construction type and style, building performance and how it might conform to various parts of the Building Regulations. Aspects relating to the theme of sustainability will be covered and you will consider the application of state-of-the-art technologies.

CAD: 3D Modelling

You learn advanced digital design techniques, experimenting with form, space, texture and light as a digital entity. You develop a greater understanding of industry-standard software and rendering tools, enabling you to represent your design ideas in accurate 3D representations illustrating your appreciation of surfaces, objects, materials and illumination.

Career Context

Develop your understanding of building a career in the creative industries through key skills in creative leadership, collaborative entrepreneurship and sustainability.

Design Project: Commercial Space

You look outside of the studio to observe, make links and understand situations – considering how design can be a progressive force that impacts and improves lives and environments. You are introduced to the design of commercial spaces, extending your knowledge and appreciation of the variety of scenarios that design professionals work within.

Interior Debates in Context

From post war to the current day, the built environment is an area of rapid change and contextual debate. This module develops your knowledge of both UK and international design within historical, political, economic, social, technological and legislative contexts.

Spatial Office Practice

You develop your project management and collaborative skills within a practical entrepreneurial context, to an external brief or competition. You develop skills in project management, teamwork, managing interdisciplinary practice, applied research methods and the design process. Projects evolve from the analysis of problems and situations, allowing you to engage in work-related experiences and develop professionalism and self-management.


Optional work placement year

Work placement

You have the option to spend one year in industry learning and developing your skills. We encourage and support you with applying for a placement, job hunting and networking.

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

Many employers view a placement as a year-long interview, therefore placements are increasingly becoming an essential part of an organisation's pre-selection strategy in their graduate recruitment process. Benefits 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.

If you are unable to secure a work placement with an employer, then you simply continue on a course without the work placement.


Final-year core modules

Building Rehabilitation

You develop your critical thinking and an understanding of current issues and debates in the field of building rehabilitation and conservation. You explore a variety of themes to extend skills in building research, analysis of existing buildings, independent study and communication as you investigate and develop ideas around the construction industry.

You apply analytical skills to reflect upon and evaluate research through a minor design project, and through this iterative practice prepare a personal standpoint for progression towards your final major project.

CAD: Visualisation and BIM

Building performance and sustainability has become increasingly important in building design and refurbishment. You are introduced to the concepts and measurement of Building Information Modelling (BIM) and some of the design technologies that the process can utilise.

Major Project: Realisation

This module aims to enable you to bring your design project ideas to fruition, considering all aspects of research and development. You will be 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.

On completion of your design development and your completed final project, as a group you will organise your work for presentation in either a physical or online digital exhibition involving technical work, interior visualisation, model making and the specification of materials, furniture and finishes.

Major Project: Research and Development

The selection, scope and focus of the final project is agreed through negotiation with tutors to ensure appropriate levels of complexity, rigour and acceptable ethical content. You explore and define the parameters of your own professional practice and research interests. You develop understanding and gain experience in research as both an academic discipline and as part of the creative process, leading to a final design project.

Writing Architecture

As spatial designers you work within the boundaries, contexts and histories of existing buildings and therefore need to develop skills in research, contextualisation, critical thinking and communication. You undertake 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 you produce is assessed. Design projects are a key feature and there are no separate written exams. 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 points, including a creative subject, 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. Students are invited to bring portfolios along on applicant days to show creative skills in art and design.

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.

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 general information please see our overview of 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



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


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 enrolment adviser


Other course routes

Work placement

Study this course with an optional work placement year, at no extra cost. Alongside this, you can gain valuable experience and engagement with the sector through our shorter work placements, internships and work experience opportunities.

Work placements


Entry to 2022/23 academic year

Fee for UK applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£14,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 4 years (or 5 with a work placement)
  • UCAS code: W257 BA/IADFY
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: 32-88 points

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS



  • Not available part-time

Choose Teesside

  • Student work
  • Student and graduate profiles
    Palwasha Farooq

    Palwasha Farooq

    BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Design

    The studios and facilities are great. There is plenty of space for individual and group work.

    Meet Palwasha

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Get in touch

UK students


Telephone: 01642 738801

Online chat

International students


Telephone: +44 (0) 1642 738900

More international contacts


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