Course specification and structure
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UDINARDE - BA Interior Architecture and Design

Course Specification

Validation status Validated
Highest award Bachelor of Arts Level Honours
Possible interim awards Bachelor of Arts, Diploma of Higher Education, Certificate of Higher Education, Bachelor of Arts
Total credits for course 360
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design (The Cass)
Subject Area Architecture
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 3 YEARS 7 YEARS
Part-time 6 YEARS 7 YEARS
Course leader  

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

The teaching and learning strategies applied in BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Design aim to provide the students with an accumulation of knowledge and skill in preparation for entering the design profession in one of the following areas: interior architecture, commercial design and development, theatrical, exhibition or any form of spatial design and for entry into other Architecture or Interior courses at MA level.

The course operates within a unique programme of related Interior Design undergraduate awards, allied to both Architecture and Design Schools, bringing together best practice from related fields. Three cognate BA awards (Interior Architecture and Design, Interior Design, Interior Design and Decoration) enable students to explore the fundamental aspects of design for interiors, through the particular lens of the built environment, the client, and/or decoration/ detailing.

The idea of “designing” is central to the course’s activities, influencing a socially oriented agenda and an interest in creative practice. A number of strong themes inform the students’ project work and thread through the supporting studies. These are gathered under the heading ‘duty of care’ and include: people, communities and citizens; craftsmanship and making; the environment and use of resources; cities and cultures. It involves students in visiting and working in different places and cultural contexts including live projects, real clients, current issues, and areas of social change. Students are encouraged to engage with the social, political and economic factors that influence how new spaces are designed and existing spaces are re-imagined.

Interior Architecture and Design is a mobile and extensive field of study that stretches from technical to conceptual issues therefore, the course necessarily encompasses the study of different aspects of the discipline - technologies, history, professional practice. The course approaches these fields in their own right as subject studies and draws them together under the synthetic activity of design projects.

The teaching and learning of the course is organised through a fourfold modular structure at each level and aims to achieve an integrated and holistic approach to design. At each level, there are two project based Design modules, and two subject-based modules, one focusing on Technology/Subject Studies and the other on Critical and Contextual Studies. All the modules are year long and equally weighted.

The Design modules account for 50% of the course. Design is taught using hands-on project based work in studios. The process of learning how to design is progressive throughout each year where projects are devised for the student to develop the context for design based on observation, creativity, research and testing through various representational media.

Design skills are demonstrated and practised through group and individual tutorials and by attending lectures, seminars, crits and pin-ups, by making precedent studies and by participating in field trips, competitions, workshops and by visiting exhibitions and external lectures given by leading design practitioners’. There is an emphasis on completing live-projects where opportunities arise.

Specifically, Interior Architecture & Design skills involve the process of drawing, modelling, testing and communication, both by hand and using a variety of specialised but industry standard computer software. Students are encouraged - through practice and iteration - to improve their fluency in moving between design ideas and their materialisation across a wide range of parameters and to operate at different scales of investigation.

Design skills are evaluated critically by tutors, external critics and student peers as well as by the students themselves in relation to social, political, cultural and technical analysis. This evaluation develops the student’s judgement and communication contextualised within the design and architectural profession.

Design is taught in a year group at the beginning of level 4 alongside architecture students and then moves to a studio-based system with level 5 and 6 students specializing in Interior Architecture and sharing design studios so that opportunities for peer-to-peer learning are maximized. Design project briefs develop from year to year in accordance with contemporary practice and production techniques and the developing research interests, project opportunities and ethos of the Faculty.

Technology, Subject Studies and Professional Knowledge
Technology introduces the specific disciplines of construction and service engineering, materiality and product specification and the critical roles they play in the realisation and design of interiors as well as understanding the infrastructure of the “existing’ built environment as a whole, this module may be shared with rest of the Interior cluster. Students also consider the complex professional, legal and social responsibilities the designer holds in relation to the built and natural environment, and to their future professional practice. The modules involve lectures, seminars, precedent research and practical components including elements of live testing including trips to manufacturers and built projects. There are components of individual research and an emphasis on learning through recording of experiments and reflection upon the results including. There is a requirement for students to consider the detailed and material resolution of their interior projects using the technology briefs.

Critical and Contextual Studies
The Critical and Contextual Studies (CCS) modules run in parallel to the design and technology modules. These modules focus on transferrable graduate skills in the field of writing. As part of their professional profile students need to be able to retrieve, analyse, interpret, articulate and structure information and knowledge for different purposes and audiences. The CCS modules frame these generic skills within the specific context of architectural history and theory and reflection on the everyday practice of interior architecture, its professional, legal, social and environmental context. The delivery of these modules is organised around intensive ‘mini-blocks’ of seminar and lecture based learning but also involves visits, workshops, presentations, visual and as well as text based media.

Course progression
As with design studies, the basic tenants of technology and CCS are taught and practised in level 4 (alongside their interior design or architecture student counterparts) in a year group where the emphasis is on building and developing skills and confidence in the key areas, then beginning to integrate these skills into design and subject based projects.

In Level 5, students are able to choose their preferred interiors studio and work alongside Level 6 peers where they are able to rehearse the key components that comprise their later assessments. The year incorporates the consolidation of existing skills and includes practicing many of the key software packages that are used with in industry. It is transitional year that also allows room for individual experiment and innovation.

Level 6 is dedicated to more complex and self- directed projects within the studio-oriented culture. Growing experience enables the student to develop more complex research and design projects. Accumulated skills and learning from all areas of the course become integrated allowing the student to explore and to demonstrate their understanding of the discipline of design practise as a holistic process. The body of work accumulated at level 6 is significant making up an academic portfolio that demonstrates the full range of attributes that are required for employment in a design or architecture office and/ or for entry to MA level Course.

In carrying out all academic work, students are introduced to and are expected to take the opportunity to use all the available facilities and all of the IT platforms that are used for sharing communication and to enhance blended learning. Our facilities include dedicated studio spaces, IT labs, the library and specialist workshops located at Central House and Commercial Road.

The teaching team comprises of university staff who have expertise both in teaching and in the profession as well as specialist consultants from industry. All design tutors are experienced design professionals who possess the highest levels of design expertise and knowledge. Many tutors have their work regularly published in the design press and are invited to peer academic institutions to showcase their work. The use of practise-based teachers allows students to be introduced directly to the practice of design and to learn to be able test their judgments and communication in a context that is comparable to acting within the interiors, architectural and design profession.

Actively practising tutors are fully supported by a range of full-time academics and subject tutors who manage and run the day-to-day administration of the Course and who can offer further and specialised academic support to students. These academics have a full working knowledge of the university processes and the support services it offers.

Students are expected to complement formal teaching with self directed research and independent study and design practise to complete all academic and design-based assignments. Developing skills in time management, being able to make creative decisions, being able to prioritise certain str

Course aims

The overall aim of the course is to enable students from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences to develop their full potential as interior architects, designers and self-directed learners. We aim to provide a high quality design based education that integrates the development of appropriate creative, technical and academic abilities and introduces students to professional skills and to the cultural, ethical and social context in which they will operate. Furthermore, the Faculty is committed to design practice that is actively engaged with the socially orientated and ethical dimensions of design through linking with local and wider communities in design activity. The curriculum encourages students to establish and practise ideas about the “Duty of Care” that a designer holds.

The course in positioned within the Faculty acting as a bridge between the disciplines of Architecture and Design. This position facilitates students to become fluent in both the creative act of design and its expression whilst also supporting the student in becoming fully conversant with all aspects of professional practise.

Interior Architecture and Design is a distinct, rigorous practice that requires a specialist way of thinking about how we occupy complex spaces and how the elements and materiality of these spaces are brought together at a human scale both to accommodate and to delight, however it is rarely carried out independently. Specifically, by studying in close proximity with designers, architects and other disciplines we open up opportunities and provide an atmosphere where students can become creative partners and gain insights about how it will be to practise as specialists in their field whilst actually encouraging multi-disciplinary design practise as a flexible, adaptable, and creatively rich route for delivering design projects.

The course will prepare students to develop specialist skills in the areas of observational and spatial drawing, computer drawing, model making, and technological and material investigations. They will develop individual lines of enquiry, unique creative approaches, facilities in critical thinking and a deep understanding of the design process. We teach students how to comprehensively research, analyse and articulate the culture and context in which their design thinking is being applied. We encourage students to combine intellectual and creative ambition with detailed resolution and to test the communication of their ideas for interior spaces and the re-configuration of existing buildings effectively with their peers and in the wider world.

Through methods of teaching, learning and self directed work, the course enables students to become increasingly self-directed and motivated through their studies; gain the organisational and self-management skills to work effectively both on their own and with others reflect on their progress and make choices about future directions for themselves and within the context of the profession.

Course learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course, students will be able to demonstrate:

Subject Specific Skills (with the ability to):

  1. Create well crafted designs for interiors that satisfy both aesthetic and technical requirements;
  2. Integrate in their spatial designs constructional and structural thinking, environmental strategies as an awareness of the regulatory requirements that apply;
  3. Sustain a conceptual and critical approach to their spatial designs that balances its aesthetic, technical and social demands.

Knowledge and Systematic Understanding (of key technical, cultural and political issues influencing a design proposal, in particular):

  1. Professional, legislative and statuary regulatory processes;
  2. Building technology, environmental design, construction methods, processes of specification and assembly, in relationship to human well-being and sustainability;
  3. Architectural, artistic and design culture and history, their influence, the methodologies and ideologies involved in their theories, criticism and interpretation;
  4. A range of contexts, particularly relating to the existing building; but also to urban and social contexts, and more generally contexts of knowledge including ideas and techniques at the forefront of design.

Cognitive and Intellectual Skills (with the ability to):

  1. Evaluate and analyse the ethical and professional issues involved in the design, construction and occupancy of the building;
  2. Communicate through verbal, written and visual representations, design propositions at a range of scales and to different audiences;
  3. Apply appropriate theoretical concepts to studio design projects;
  4. Devise and sustain arguments whilst appreciating the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of knowledge.

Transferable Skills (with the ability to):

  1. Work individually or collaboratively to seek, handle and interpret visual, written and verbal information for the purpose of proposing realisable and coherent solutions;
  2. Be flexible and adaptable in approaches to, and the development of, an issue, problem or opportunity;
  3. Manage learning, make use of original, scholarly and professional knowledge, and relate it to wider personal and career goals.

Principle QAA benchmark statements

Architecture (2010)
Art & Design (2008)

Assessment strategy

All the course modules are assessed at the end of the academic year. The course fosters a culture of continuous production and feedback at all levels and in all the modules. The programme for the production of work and the presentation of work for feedback is carefully structured, allowing students to plan their detailed schedules. The general expectation is that feedback is provided to enable the student to improve their work and what it represents as learning. The summative assessment informs the student of their level of attainment.

The student is encouraged to see their work as a whole. Although each module is assessed separately against specific outcomes and criteria, the assessed work fits together in the form of an overarching academic ‘portfolio’. This includes work in a wide variety of media and modes and is what the students take with them when they apply for work or further study.

Course specific regulations

To qualify for the award of BA (Hons) Interior Architecture & Design, students must:
1. Satisfy the requirements for a degree with Honours (see Undergraduate Awards Framework; regulations for undergraduate assessment), and additionally:
2. Pass all modules at Level 3, 4, 5 and 6 (40% pass mark); students on this course cannot carry any failed modules and progress to the next level.
3. Part-time Study

Part-time study is defined as 60 credits per year. Consequently, the pattern of study shall be as follows:
Year 1 – AR4001 & AR4002
Year 2 – CP4010 & DN4008
Year 3 – DN5010 & DN5002
Year 4 – CP5010 & DN5004
Year 5 – DN6001 & DN6017
Year 6 – CP6010 & AR6004

Modules required for interim awards

All modules are core and compulsory for students to qualify for an award of BA (Hons) Interior Architecture & Design:

• AR4001 DESIGN 1.1
• AR4002 DESIGN 1.2



Career opportunities

The collaborative nature of this course prepares you to work with confidence as a specialist in design or architectural practice where interacting with other professionals and construction industry processes requires a range of skills and experience beyond the purely creative.

Recent graduates have been employed by design companies including Brinkworth, Casson Mann, Claudio Silvestrin, Conran Design Group and Softroom.

Other graduates have chosen to continue to study architecture or design at postgraduate level.

Every student on our three interiors courses has the opportunity of a work placement at a leading London design practice. In 2016 students were placed at 50 design companies including Foster + Partners, Gensler, turnerbates and Sundae.

Entry requirements

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • a minimum of grades BBC in three A levels from relevant subject areas in the arts, humanities and social sciences (or a minimum of 112 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg BTEC National Diploma in an art related subject with DDM and at least five merits in the final year, excluding common skills entry from appropriate Foundation and Access and courses will also be considered) plus a portfolio review
  • GCSE English and Maths grade C (grade 4 from 2017) or above (or equivalent)

We look for potential in spatial design, creative imagination and visual or constructive aptitude, together with motivation and ability to complete the course.

If you do not have traditional qualifications or cannot meet the entry requirements for this undergraduate degree, you may still be able to gain entry by completing the Architecture and Interior Design Extended Degree (with Foundation Year).

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.


Students must pass a portfolio interview where they'll be required to demonstrate an interest in, aptitude for and knowledge of the field of architecture, or where not possible submit portfolio of art and design work for review.

Please be aware that digital portfolios cannot be viewed at the interview.

The interview day includes a general introduction a tour of spring house and you'll have the chance to meet a variety of staff and talk to students.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2014/15 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 18 Jun 2014 Last validation date 18 Jun 2014  
JACS codes K100 (Architecture): 100%
Route code INARDE

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 04 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
AR4001 Design Skills 1.1 Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR MON AM
AR4002 Design Project 1.2 Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR THU AM
CP4015 Critical & Contextual Studies 1 (Interiors) Core 30 CITY SPR+SUM    
DN4008 Interior Materials and Technologies Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR TUE AM
          CITY SPR+SUM    

Stage 2 Level 05 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
CP5015 Critical & Contextual Studies 2 (Interiors) Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR THU PM
DN5002 Human Scale Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR TUE AM
DN5004 Design Details Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR TUE AM
DN5010 Interior Technologies and Production Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR THU AM

Stage 3 Level 06 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
CP6015 Critical & Contextual Studies 3: Dissertation (... Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR WED AM
DN6017 Major Project Realisation: Interior Architectur... Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR TUE AM
DN6020 Project Design and Development for Interiors Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR TUE AM
DN6029 Integrated Design Practice Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR FRI AM