Interior Design students 100 per cent satisfied for second year running

Opportunities to work on a wide range of live projects is one of the reasons Interior Design students at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) are 100 per cent satisfied with their course.

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Interior Design students are based in DMU's impressive Vijay Patel Building

The course has scored the highest-possible rating for the second year running in the National Student Survey (NSS), which asks hundreds of thousands of final-year students about areas such as teaching, learning resources and personal development.

Located in DMU’s landmark Vijay Patel Building, the course was recently streamlined, halving assignments to make room for more live projects in recognition of industry requirements and to improve students’ overall university experience.

Rosemarie Fitton, DMU’s Subject Leader for Interior Design, said: “The better-balanced course content has given students the time and space to experiment and have much more fun on projects.

“Students have a very different response to live projects. They are more engaged and the quality of their work is higher. They are definitely incentivised by the possibility of having their design chosen and built before they even graduate.”

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A winning redesign of HMP Leicester visitation centre

Last year, final-year students successfully redesigned HM Prison Leicester’s visitation centre, following briefings with prisoners, prison officers and the deputy governor.

“The prison struggled to fill the visitation centre before, but since the redesign there are waiting lists and people are now taking their children in for the first time ever,” said Rosemarie.

“The new kitchen means prisoners can get an NVQ in catering and the prison has had to double the money visitors can take in as people are buying more food and drinks.”

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Engaging students in social impact projects has had an “amazing effect” on them, said Rosemarie.

“Our second-year students, who have also explored prison settings, were inspired to research how similar Norwegian projects and other UK projects have reduced reoffending rates, sparking complex discussions about rehabilitation versus punishment.” 

“It’s especially rewarding for me to hear students saying that the course is helping them become better people as well as interior designers.”

Following the success of the visitor centre, HM Prison Leicester has invited DMU students back this year to submit designs for its prisoner reception area and first night wing where vulnerable prisoners spend their first night. DMU has also been invited to redesign the visitation centre at HM Prison Stocken. 

Other diverse opportunities for second and final-year students this academic year include working with the National Railway Museum, Thurnby Lodge Football Club, St Mary’s Church in Melton Mowbray, Leicester’s Helsinki club, Black County Living Museum and Leicester LGBT Centre.

Students on the course are also benefiting from more annual #DMUglobal trips, the university’s international experience programme that enriches studies, broadens cultural horizons and develops key skills valued by employers.

Posted on Monday 6th November 2017

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