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Interior Design BA (Hons)

Develop your own individual design identity while collaborating with industry experts on exciting live projects.

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Overview

Senior Lecturer Nicky Harding discusses why you should study Interior Design at DMU.

Interior Design challenges us to reimagine existing interiors as well as challenge the idea of ‘space’ to create innovative and experiential spaces. It focuses on the way people interact within these environments, considering comfort, usability, effectiveness, aesthetics and emotional connection.

On this course you’ll explore the regeneration and adaptation of real buildings and sites and learn how to turn old commercial premises into exciting new spaces for exhibition, retail, leisure, eating and socialising purposes. You’ll develop visual communication skills in drawing, 3D modelling, computing, video-modelscope, computer-aided design (CAD) and virtual reality. Your work will respond to future global challenges and reflect the importance of sustainability and inclusivity in contemporary interior design.

You’ll also learn about the importance of design cultures and heritage, and culture and context. This solid foundation will enable you to develop your own personal style and design identity and, as you grow in confidence, you’ll become increasingly autonomous as you pursue individual design projects.

Key features

  • Considerably boost your career prospects with an industry placement. Our students have gained valuable industry work experience at companies such as Ashfield Events, Newman Gauge, Tibbatts Abel and PVH Europe.
  • Gain industry exposure by entering prestigious competitions which have earned students prizes from the British Institute of Interior Design, the Interior Design Association and the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.
  • Learn to design for different spaces – leisure, retail, performance, living, spiritual and exhibition – and communicate your creative solutions with confidence.
  • Benefit from the very latest facilities – CAD, modelscope, drawing studios, video visualisation equipment and prototype workshops. Our award-winning Vijay Patel Building provides both the space and the facilities to foster creative thinking and explore your design potential.
  • Gain valuable international experience as part of your studies with our DMU Global programme, which has taken students from Hamburg to New York to explore the history and evolution of interior design.
  • Our graduates have gone on to work for a range of large, medium and small design practices including Blueprint, SomeBrightSpark, Fitch Design, Faber, Checkland Kindleysides and Leonard Design Architects.

See our student work

 

 

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  • UK
  • EU/International

Institution code: D26

UCAS course code: W250

Duration: Three years full-time, four years full-time with a placement. Six years part-time.

Fees and funding: 

2022/23 tuition fees for UK students: £9,250.

Find out more about tuition fees and available funding.

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.

Duration: Three years full-time, four years with placement.

Fees and funding: 

2022/23 tuition fees for international students: £14,750

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.

Entry criteria

Typical entry requirements 

We welcome applicants from a range of backgrounds.

  • Art and Design Foundation or
  • 112 points from at least 2 A ‘levels 
  •  BTEC Extended Diploma DMM
  • International Baccalaureate: 26+ Points 

Plus five GCSEs grades 9-4 including English Language or Literature at grade 4 or above.

  • Pass Access with 30 Level 3 credits at Merit and GCSE English (Language or Literature) at grade 4 or above

We will normally require students to have had a break from full time education before undertaking the Access course.

  • We also accept the BTEC First Diploma plus two GCSEs including English Language or Literature at grade 4 or above

English language requirements

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.0 overall with 5.5 in each band (or equivalent) when you start the course is essential.

English Language tuition, delivered by our British Council-accredited Centre for English Language Learning, is available both before and throughout the course if you need it.

Interview and portfolio

Applicants with relevant qualifications will be invited to submit a portfolio of work. Please see our portfolio advice page for full details.

Non-standard applicants may be invited to attend an interview via MS Teams with a portfolio.

Varaniyaa Umamaheswaran won the public vote in the ARTSThread Global Design Graduate Show 2021 with her re-earth sustainable department store.

Learn more

Structure and assessment

Education 2030

We want to ensure you have the best learning experience possible and a supportive and nurturing learning community. That’s why we’re introducing a new block model for delivering the majority of our courses, known as Education 2030. This means a more simplified timetable where you will study one subject at a time instead of several at once. You will have more time to engage with your learning and get to know the teaching team and course mates. You will receive faster feedback through more regular assessment, and have a better study-life balance to enjoy other important aspects of university life.

Find out more information about Education 2030.

 

Course modules

Teaching and assessments

 

First year

  • Block 1: Understanding Space
  • Block 2: Exploring Space and Context
  • Block 3: Defining Space 1
  • Block 4: Defining Space 2

Second year

  • Block 1: Ideation and Concept
  • Block 2: Design Development
  • Block 3: Professional Communication and Context
  • Block 4: Professional Design Practice

Third year

  • Block 1: Advanced Research for Interior Design
  • Block 2: Advanced Conceptualisation
  • Block 3: Advanced Design Development and Communication
  • Block 4: Advanced Professional Design Practice

Overview

The course is essentially studio-based, supported by lectures, seminars, tutorials and site visits. Assessment is project-orientated and you will continuously receive feedback on your progress throughout your learning journey.

In your first year you will explore interior design examples of the application of technologies, with an emphasis on understanding and exploring interior space. You will be introduced to the development of conceptual ideas and thinking, alongside a range of manual techniques and computer-aided design (CAD) software. You will also be introduced to cultural, historical and contextual studies.

In your second year you will build on the skills and knowledge developed in the first year to start to realise your own disinvite design identity and become more self-directed in your learning and design decision-making. You will have the opportunity to undertake live projects and can explore specialisms in Design for: Exhibition, Leisure & Hospitality, Performance, Retail, Workspace and Event.

In your third year you will select key design projects, with an emphasis on demonstrating the application of previously learned knowledge and skills and clear independent learning. You will be taught through briefings, seminars and mainly group and individual tutorials with support from current industry practitioners. Your studies will culminate in an individual Major Design Project for showcasing, alongside developing a professional employability toolkit which can be used to launch your career after graduation.

You are encouraged to take part in national competitions in which DMU has a proud history of success. Our students have won the Gensler award for Interior Design (New Designers), Aston Martin – rethinking luxury car interior materials and 3 have been shortlisted for the RSA awards. A number of students have also been involved in ‘live projects’ resulting in the installation of their designs in the Heritage Centre and the Energy Lab at DMU, input on the Leicester Castle Business School refurbishment and design for the visitor’s area at HMP Leicester.

Our staff have extensive commercial design backgrounds in display/exhibition and interior architecture. Some run their own interior design practices, working in the leisure industry, domestic and retail sectors of interior design. There are also specialists in design for television and drama productions, exhibitions and spiritual space.

Contact hours

In your first year you will normally attend around 17 hours of timetabled taught sessions each week, and we expect you to undertake at least 23 further hours of independent study to complete project work and research.

 

Facilities and features

Art and Design facilities

The award-winning Vijay Patel Building brings all of our art and design courses together providing inspiring, flexible spaces, studios and facilities which invite creativity and innovation.

The creative industries require imaginative graduates who can develop new ideas and products. Students use our state-of-the-art workshops, labs and studios to experiment and test in the same way they will in industry, while the open and transparent spaces in the building encourage collaboration between disciplines. In doing so, the building supports students to be both ready for industry and future leaders in their respective fields.

Take a look at our stunning showcase of the building at dmu.ac.uk/aad

More flexible ways to learn

We offer an equitable and inclusive approach to learning and teaching for all our students. Known as the Universal Design for Learning (UDL), our teaching approach has been recognised as sector leading. UDL means we offer a wide variety of support, facilities and technology to all students, including those with disabilities and specific learning differences.

Just one of the ways we do this is by using ‘DMU Replay’ – a technology providing all students with anytime access to audio and/or visual material of lectures. This means students can revise taught material in a way that suits them best, whether it's replaying a recording of a class or adapting written material shared in class using specialist software.

Campus Centre

The home of  De Montfort Students' Union, (DSU) our Campus Centre offers a welcoming and lively hub for student life. Conveniently located at the heart of campus, it includes a convenience store, a Subway and a Starbucks. Here you can find the DSU-owned charitable accommodation service Sulets and DSU’s shop, SUpplies, selling art supplies, stationery and clothing, and printing and binding services. The building is also home to the DSU officer team. 

Opportunities and careers

Find the people who will open doors for you

DMU's award-winning careers service provides guaranteed work experience opportunities Learn more
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Placements

This course gives you the option to enhance and build your professional skills to progress within your chosen career, through a placement. Our dedicated team offers a range of careers resources and opportunities so you can start planning your future.

We have excellent industry links, ensuring you work on relevant projects and clients briefs to grow your experience and build your external reputation before you graduate. This invaluable experience can enrich student capabilities and their final-year projects.

Interior Design graduate Sarah Hickin completed a placement with Newman Gauge Design Associates. She said: “The experience was highly rewarding, giving me industry insight into commercial projects, from initial briefings through to on-site completion.

“The highlight of this was the design of a wine bar Arch 13 at Connolly’s in Birmingham, where I was lucky enough to be included in the whole process through to seeing the final design come to life.

“The placement greatly improved my confidence and knowledge as a designer, as well as developed my technical and transferable skills, which I was able to utilise in my final-year studies. Completing a placement cemented my career direction and has left me excited for what future opportunities are available for me.”

Students on the #DMUglobal trip to New York

DMU Global

This is our innovative international experience programme which aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons – helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world.

Through DMU Global you can take advantage of a wide range of opportunities including on-campus and UK activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges.

Students on this course have recently undertaken DMU Global trips to European cities including Copenhagen, where they explored first-hand historical and contemporary Danish design, and Berlin, which provided the opportunity to examine the city’s art, artists and museums to gain a broader interior design perspective. DMU Global trips have also taken students further afield to New York.

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Graduate careers

Our graduates have gone on to work in a variety of areas within interior design, including interior specialists for architects, exhibition and event designers, heritage design, set design consultants, point of sale design and 3D visualisers.

Recent employers include Jack Morton Worldwide (United Arab Emirates), Black Marble, CPMG Architects, Redd Europe Ltd, Leonard Design Architects, and Gensler.

Milena Wiorkiewicz and Zoe Lee secured design roles with Haley Sharpe Design (HSD) upon graduating. HSD is a world-leading exhibition design agency with offices in the UK, Canada and South Africa. 

Take your next steps