Interior Design BA (Hons)
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Course code: W250
This course offers strong industry links with a programme of exciting ‘live’ projects and opportunities for work placements which often result in job offers at the end of the programme.
Why study this degree at University Centre South Essex?
- Professional Interior designers to act as a year mentors
The programme has a strong industry focus providing the students with an educational and industry experience. One of the main distinctive features for the programme is working with local, London and international design companies to support your academic studies
- Interior Design competition projects and additional design work opportunities
You will have the opportunity to take part in additional design work opportunities alongside the programme to help boost your design and academic experience which could result in a greater chance of successful employability.
- Skills-based certificate
The programme delivers sessions on industry software such as AutoCAD
- Partnership with Creative Recruitment agencies
By working with a London-based creative recruitment agency RGB Network in years 2 and 3 you will be exposed to specialists who connect designers to employers
- Personalised career advice tutorials
You will be provided with 1 x 20 minute career’s advice tutorial per semester.
Interior design is an extremely exciting and rewarding career and there are a huge range of career opportunities within the industry. From year one of the course you will be introduced to industry CAD software and industry processes which will include using Photoshop, sketch up, AutoCAD, InDesign, working on live projects, undertaking work experience opportunities and taking part in interesting visits to design studios, exhibitions and educational workshops.
You will be able to explore these job opportunities and find your place within the industry whilst working on projects of your own choice. The course covers a range of interior design such as residential, hospitality design and commercial interiors.
By joining the course, you will become part of our interiors team, which is a unique and supportive learning environment. We have a maximum of 20 student places available per year group, which allows more contact time with all students. Our course team are industry professionals who practise as freelance interior designers, which provides extensive industry involvement to the course with additional opportunities for you to work on live industry projects alongside the course. Each year on the programme you will have access to an industry mentor, over the 3 years this will include a local, national and international interior designer that will provide workshops and 121 tutorials.
You will need a minimum of 64 UCAS points from one or more of the following:
- A Levels
- T Levels
- BTEC/UAL Extended Diploma
- Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (Level 3 or 4)
- Or equivalent EU/International qualifications, such as International Baccalaureate Diploma
- And English GCSE passes at grade 4 or above (grade A*-C)
This list is not exhaustive, other qualifications may be considered. Entry to this course will also be determined by the quality of your application, looking primarily at your portfolio/showreel of work,
personal statement and reference.
Applications from mature students who do not possess the entry requirements as listed above, but who possess related professional experience or professional qualifications are welcome to apply.
13 hours per week, comprising:
- Four times three-hour sessions of practical activities and theory
- One-hour tutorial
- Design Skills Acquisition
- Visual and Cultural Contexts
- Design Exploration
- Design Application
- Design Intervention
- Personal Promotion & Work Placement
- Interior Conversion
- Cultural Context & Dissertation Proposal
- Final Major Project
- Industry Practice
- Design Presentation
This unit allows for the opportunity to develop a critical awareness, in-depth research, and to form a sustainable argument for an area of investigation. You will negotiate with a supervisor, a line of enquiry that is relevant to your chosen field of study and undertake an avenue of research that could, but is not limited to, interior design.
The aim of this unit is to identify a subject of personal significance and a working process that has the potential for sustained investigation. You will review and examine work produced in year two of the programme and address your choice of media and working process through discussion and exploration of alternative practices and media. By establishing a critical statement of intent, you will form an intellectual and creative foundation for their final major project. As well as presenting a feasibility report and statement of intent, you will, in the design development stage, use architectural models as a simulation vehicle to provide an advanced view of what a building or interior will look like when it is constructed. Modelling provides security of knowledge, for validation of intent, for consensual agreement, for the purposes of refining details and ideas and for deeper speculation and contemplation.
This unit is primarily concerned with the professional relationships between members of multi-disciplinary teams e.g. colleagues, clients, contractors, users and the community at large. It explores the work of design-makers, freelance designers, design consultants and in-house designers and the standards and frameworks of practice for each of these modes of employment. You will also have to consider the importance and impact of your End of Year Show, establish the exhibition space, prepare and install your work for exhibition, explain and evaluate the exhibited work and make an effective contribution to the management of the exhibition process.
Work placements are encouraged throughout the duration of the course. However there is particular emphasis on this aspect during year two in relation to the Work Placement unit. On this unit you will work towards securing a work placement either locally or nationally* for 60 hours over the year. Some students take this in one block others over a number of weeks, both in term time and during the holiday period; this is usually negotiated with the placement provider. You will be assisted in gaining a placement, however the emphasis is on you to secure it as part of this Unit. Should you not be able to secure a placement a suitable live or competition brief may be taken on to fulfil the requirements of the Unit. This live brief will be negotiated with your Unit Leader.
Timetables are normally available one month before registration, though we endeavour to let you know an outline as soon as possible. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week. Typically year groups are expected to attend for 13 hours a week spread over two and a half days. We expect you to build on this learning through Independent Study for at least a similar period. For this time we usually have space available within the campus or at the Forum in Southend.
Live projects and industry involvement
We promote industry awareness as much as possible on the course to enable students to be completely prepared for starting their career in the industry. Live projects are organised to allow students to practise and learn how to become a professional interior designer and work through the industry process of designing. We work with industry suppliers on all projects and visit current design exhibitions to ensure the currency of the programme. Live projects often result in students work being chosen to take forward to the next stage and eventually is turned into a reality.
Students benefit from a wide range of trips including:
- Exhibitions in London
- Visits to design studios in London
- Presentations on job roles and projects, including Chelsea Harbour Design Centre
- Design workshops
The course is timetabled for 13 hours per week, which includes an hour tutorial. Independent study is expected outside timetabled hours to work on projects set and is a full time course.
- G1 Architecture
- Howden Kitchens
- Fiducia interiors, London
Teaching & Learning
Teaching and Learning
You are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and workshops, which enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of the discipline of Interior Design. You will use industry-standard programs and have access to various facilities including the 3D, Fashion, Printmaking & Photography studio. You also have access to hardware such as the laser & vinyl cutters, 3D Printer and scanners.
At Level 4 you typically have around 13 hours contact time per week, typically consisting of:
- Four hours of lectures/seminars
- Six hours of workshops (including dedicated one-to-one tutorials when necessary)
- Two hours of Contextual Studies (either lecture or one-to-one tutorial)
- One hour group tutorials
Units are delivered through a variety of methods of teaching and learning. These will include:
- Technical demonstrations - designed to provide essential inductions for interior design tasks and resources to support the acquisition of essential skills
- Small group teaching - studio based group sessions which are led by a tutor
- Group critiques - will usually occur towards the end of a unit before assessment
- Individual tutorials - The tutor will ask key questions regarding your project and offer advice and suggestions regarding future development
- Independent research and studio practice - during the unit students are expected to follow up on suggested directions regarding project direction
When not attending lectures, seminars and workshops or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, preparing coursework assignments and presentations. A range of excellent facilities, including the library, the Learning Resource Centre and the Forum, supports your independent learning.
Assessment & Feedback
All assessment on BA (Hons) Interior Design is via coursework; there are no exams. Coursework is assessed in a range of different ways in order to accommodate a variety of learning styles.
With progression in mind, students work in a ‘studio environment’ and are assessed on their design ability in line with industry practice. The curriculum and the assessment is designed to prepare students for the workplace. The introduction of group critiques, time management and planning, group and individual assessment, presentation techniques etc, all form part of this strategy.
Design skills are assessed through submissions, individual and group work, individual critical analyses, portfolios, presentations and exhibition of final outcomes.
Students are assessed on their knowledge base and understanding of key concepts, theories and theoretical frameworks in a variety of ways. For example: essays, reports, case studies, classroom contributions, seminar discussions and presentations.
You will receive formative feedback as part of your one-to-one sessions with your unit teachers. You will also receive summative feedback on all formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your unit leader tutor. Feedback can be given in a range of different ways in order to accommodate a variety of learning styles and aptitudes including group critiques, recorded verbal feedback and written feedback.
We aim to provide you with feedback within 20 working days of hand-in (for al formal studio based coursework assessment). For the third year Dissertation Unit you will receive feedback and grades at the same time as your Final Creative Output Unit.
£8000 per year
Fees are per academic year for Home/UK students.
The following course-related costs are included in the fees:
- Guest speakers, visiting lecturers and industry focussed workshops will be included in your course over the three years.
- Third Year students will have the opportunity to showcase their final year work at the end of their studies. This may be a local, national or online platform. Event/exhibition costs will be covered by the Faculty of HE. In the past this has included New Designers. Students will be responsible for any additional costs associated with the production of their personal project (ie: printing, materials).
- Annual £20 of printing credit per year.
Additional course costs can be found here
You can progress to postgraduate study including:
- MA Interior Design
- MA Interior and Spatial Design
- MA Architectural Interior Design
The great majority of students progress into industry following graduation, including:
- Junior designers progressing to midweight designers in a range of industries including residential, retail and leisure
- Prestigious international design companies