Interior Design BA (Hons) module details

Year one | Year two | Year three

Year one

Block 1: Understanding Space

This module introduces you to the methods of understanding and communicating ‘space’ in the context of Interior Design. Through intensive workshops, seminars and studio sessions, you will be taught a range of key skills, basic principles of spatial arrangements and tools to conceptualise the scale, qualities and opportunities of a given volume allowing you to communicate design technically in both 2D and 3D format (model making).

You will acquire skills in and develop their understanding of using scale, the principles and importance of space planning including anthropometrics, manual drafting, working in plan, elevation and section (orthographic projection). This module also introduces technical drawing standards and conventions for two-dimensional drawings and an understanding of how these drawings enable the designer to effectively communicate with the wider design community.

You will be taught how to represent the visual aesthetics, character and appearance of an interior space in terms of form, light, ambience, shade, texture and finish, through perspective drawing and rendering techniques.

Assessment: Portfolio, 100%.

Block 2: Exploring Space and Context

This module encourages the exploration of three-dimensional form through: conceptual play, manual sketching and integration of space and light through model making.  You will research and analyse the range and possibilities of interior spaces/environments in the real world, helping you to develop an individual approach to problem solving.

You will explore the iterative design process utilising manual techniques in the form of sketch development and sketch model-making informing the design outcome and in response to the design brief. The brief will require you to extract ideas from an inspirational starting point, and through a limitation of materials, you will investigate the manipulation of modelling materials to develop a concept for an interior space. The outcome from which, will be explored in a prescribed volume with the introduction of light to create a unique interior space.

You will be taught the underlying principles of design methodologies utilised in the industry, such as the design process, research skills and basic visual communication (introduction of basic digital software such as Photoshop and InDesign for presentation and layout).

Assessment: Assignment, 50%. Concept design, 50%.

Block 3: Defining Space 1

This project-based module builds on the understanding and play between objects, space and light and introduces a design purpose and human experience. You will be introduced to the constraints and restrictions which can focus or prohibit creativity.

The following areas are covered in this module: design research, unpacking or breaking down the brief, setting aims and objectives and exploring context through site analysis. The relationship between human spatial needs and the built environment will be explored with particular emphasis on the difference between physical and experiential space. Within this module you will investigate the importance of human centric design for interiors with a particular focus on research and ergonomics to inform design. You will also be introduced to basic material and structural considerations as part of the design process.

The module will support you to experiment with design presentation techniques in both 2D and 3D formats (model making). You will learn to understand the importance of your role in communicating vital information to other designers within the industry.

Assessment: Concept proposal presentation, 25%. Design proposal, 75%.

Block 4: Defining Space 2

Through group work and collaborative design, you will look at commercial interior spaces in response to a specific target audience and basic brand development. You will create a group concept and individual design proposal, which is communicated to a high standard and represents your knowledge and understanding from the first year of study.

The module will cover: focused research concerning demographics and ethnography to establish an audience and need, sustainability in the context of interior design and introduction to building regulations and integrated services. You will be introduced to a range of software which will develop and enhance your visual communication skills both technically and visually. You will also explore integration of technologies and appropriate material specification.

Assessment: Group concept, 40%. Individual design outcome, 60%.

Year two

Block 1: Ideation and Concept

This module introduces you to formal and professional models for design process, design methods and design methodology. You will conceptualise and apply relevant design methods for your own projects and practice.  A proportion of this module will emphasise the importance of a good foundation of research to inform ideas and later concept proposals.

You will be given the choice of commercial interior projects, which will be sited in an existing and local building. You will respond to the brief requirements and your understanding of the building and contextual influences, to generate a variety of ideas (ideation). Through understanding of the design process, you will define a concept for a commercial offering to repurpose the building.

Employability skills relating to interior design will be introduced in this module as a means of preparing for an industry placement year or gaining relevant work experience.

Assessment: Presentation, 25%. Design project, 75%.

Block 2: Design Development

This module builds on the concept presented in Block 1. You will be supported to explore your concept in finer detail and in specific relation to the built environment. Considerable experimentation with scale, shape, proportion, colour, texture and light will be undertaken as well as many spatial arrangements, to establish a workable and comfortable space whilst still embodying the conceptualised experience established in Block 1. The integration of services (lighting, electrics, heating and ventilation, plumbing) will also need to be considered in a final design proposal.

You will continue to develop your understanding of spatial planning, working in both plan and section to explore and develop workable spaces. You will be taught enhanced presentation techniques (digital and manual) to encourage you to develop further their unique presentation style. Employability will continue in this module with the introduction to interview techniques and the design portfolio.

Assessment: Design presentation pack, 75%. Design study, 25%.

Block 3: Professional Communication and Context

This module focusses on the consolidation of design research, design process and interior design concept proposals into professional formats which can be presented to a client or the public. Broken down in to two projects, you will experience how a design process can be a quick and efficient way of communicating a viable and creative concept. You will also experience how a more in-depth research and design study can add significant value to an interior design outcome.

You will continue to develop your understanding of enhanced research methods, report writing, brand analysis and user profiling, precedent studies, graphic communication, enhanced concept and professional visual communication.

Design Cultures contextual teaching will enable you to engage with issues and debates including sustainability, gender and cross-cultural awareness. You will research and explore relevant historical, theoretical, critical and global concepts to underpin your understanding of contemporary issues in the design industry.

Assessment: Design brief, 25%. Design research report, 75%.

Block 4: Professional Design Practice

In this module you will be required to demonstrate your current knowledge and skill in the practice of interior design through a professional presentation of your individual design proposal, with the backup of the technical specification.

Continuing the design concept defined within Block 3 to form a complete design outcome, this module will consolidate knowledge and understanding of the design development methods including spatial planning using a plan and section and 3D exploration using manual and digital process.

Employability will continue in this module with the development of a portfolio to support your search for placement opportunities.

Assessment: Complete design scheme, 65%. Design study, 35%.

Year three

Block 1: Advanced Research for Interior Design

This module enables you to establish the feasibility of your own design brief topic for your Major Design Project. You will conduct in-depth research, primary and secondary, as well as a full analysis of your chosen building and the contextual surroundings (site analysis). ‘Expert’ knowledge will also be sought through a focused element of research, which will be essential for future design decision making and onward communication of the project to others.

The module will include constructing a personal design brief, development and conclusion of a feasibility study which includes appropriate, research, analysis and synthesis of relevant information associated with your chosen design brief topic and building and advanced graphic communication. Considerable emphasis is placed upon the production of 2D/3D visual information which effectively communicates your knowledge and understanding of the chosen location, site/building and the opportunities and constraints as well as targeted research centred on demographics and the intended end-user.

For Design Cultures, you will consolidate your skills of research, organisation, critical analysis and communication in order to develop and agree a self-directed title for an extended essay or alternative assessment. A link between the written assignment and the studio projects is essential to demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between theory and practice.

Assessment: Illustrated report, 50%. Essay, 50%.

Block 2: Advanced Conceptualisation

This module requires you to demonstrate your knowledge, skill and creativity in the construction and communication of design concept; through two projects, one being your own Major Design Project and a second for a short ‘Response to an external brief'. The module covers advanced concept design development (using manual and digital techniques), mood board development, strategic zonal planning, demonstration of design thinking (annotated sketch ideation) and the creation of a concept design framework and set of design principles to take forward to the next design stage.

In response to the research, conclusions and recommendations from the feasibility report in Block 1, you will construct a ‘design framework’ for your Major Design Project. This will include ideation, mood board development, zonal planning and concept imagery or models.

You will also respond to an external live brief or the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) Student Design Awards. This design exercise focuses upon a strategic approach to design problem-solving as opposed to design in detail. This includes an additional research element, which provides opportunity to further develop theoretical analytical skills relevant to professional interior designers whilst adding a unique body of knowledge to your portfolio.

Assessment: Concept design project, 50%. Professional concept proposal and reflective design practice report, 50%.

Block 3: Advanced Design Development and Communication

On this module you will demonstrate your knowledge, skill and creativity in the development of your individual Major Design Project proposal to the client. The work produced should evidence your ability to develop a concept into your chosen building, which is highly original, viable and meets all of the aims the project brief set out to achieve.  The integration of services will also need to be shown within the final proposal.

The module will consolidate knowledge, understanding and synthesis of 2D and 3D design methods, advanced communication techniques and integration of technology and services into the built environment. You will communicate your design proposal in the form a client presentation and will be encouraged to document and respond to feedback.

Assessment: Development and presentation of project design proposal, 100%.

Block 4: Advanced Professional Design Practice

This module aims to consolidate all of the knowledge, skill and creativity that has been established on the programme. You will also be given the support and opportunity to demonstrate your developed ‘unique design personality’ through presenting your major design project at the university degree show and to industry experts. 

Further support will be provided to enhance the confidence and tools required to secure work in interior design or similar complimentary career paths.

The module will consolidate knowledge, understanding and synthesis of personal brand development, advanced visual communication, presentation of design and development of employability tools in the form of an enhanced CV and design portfolio.

Assessment: Design presentation, 60%. Professional employment toolkit, 40%.