Course specification and structure
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UDINTDGN - BA Interior 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 Design
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 3 YEARS  
Part-time 6 YEARS  
Course leader  

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

The BA (Hons) Interior Design course aims to provide the students with the knowledge and skills for entering the design profession in one of the following areas: interior design, retail design, exhibition design, interior visualisation, commercial design and development, theatre and for entry to Interiors 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 learning and teaching strategies of BA (Hons) Interior Design aim to inspire both vision and practised learning through progressive development of relevant practical and intellectual knowledge and understanding of industry practice and process, providing an environment that encourages critical engagement within a meaningful context. Our philosophy embraces experiential learning. This process of discovery and progressive development through the stages and levels of degree studies encourages students to fully understand not only their discipline through reflection, peer review and self-assessment.

The students work through assignments and projects, steadily building on existing skills, developing and realising new ideas and concepts. This approach ensures that the student is guided through the acquisition of key knowledge, skills and critical development, as the course progresses.

Each year, the course comprises four year-long (30 weeks, 30 credit) modules in the areas of design concept and realisation, Interior Technologies & Production, cultural and contextual studies and professional practice.

As a common basis of engagement, the Design Studio encompasses lectures, seminars, study visits, critiques, workshop activities, group and individual tutorials with tutors, industry professionals and subject specialists. Both project work and theoretical studies offer opportunities for presentation: visual, spoken and textual, using digital technologies, blogs, videos, photography and websites. The course seeks to foster development across a range of learning styles.

Project briefs develop from year to year in accordance with contemporary practice and production techniques furthering research interests and project opportunities in the context of the Faculty ethos. Disciplinary design skills are founded in level 4 modules at the beginning of the course, moving onto a studio (cross-disciplinary) theme-based system in subsequent years. The body of work accumulated at Level 6 is significant, forming the Honours student’s ‘summative’ portfolio of learning: thus demonstrating the essential graduate attributes that are required for employment in interior design practice and/ or for entry to an MA level Course. Sharing design projects across courses and/or years promotes opportunities for peer-to-peer learning.

Critical and Contextual Studies run in parallel to the design and subject-specific technology/ industry practice modules. These modules focus on transferable graduate skills in the field of academic scholarship and writing (alongside professional practice). 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. This learning frames skills of research within the specific context of design history and theory, reflection of relevant theory in interior design practice is integral, illuminating professional, legal, social and environmental contexts. Intensive blocks of seminar and lecture based learning, alongside site visits, design analysis, case studies, workshops, develop skills in presentations, visual and textual.

The course engages with national, international and London-based competitions and encourages students to extend these opportunities as extra–curricular activity, including collaborative publication and exhibition wherever possible.

The course’s use of virtual learning supports students on day-to-day and project basis, enhancing the studio environment through use of blended learning. It encourages students to form learning communities, whilst providing a personal reflective space, offering a knowledge base that supports studio sessions with research banks, exercises, assignments and lecture notes.

The teaching team includes professional interior designers, retail, exhibition, theatre, commercial design and interior architects. Industry links provide students with a clear understanding of future employment opportunities. The Faculty is bustling with creativity and energy and expertise including furniture, architecture, textiles, model-making, filmmaking, digital design, animation etc. The course is taught in the heart of London’s creative district with future employers and commissioning agencies on the doorstep.

Course aims

The course aims are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.

The course aims to provide a high quality design education relevant to commercial interior design. It seeks to ensure that its graduates are knowledgeable, creative, flexible, culturally and environmentally aware, technically proficient and of value to future employers. The course fosters individual curiosity and a sense of enquiry, competence in research, analysis and presentation, independence of thought, self-reliance, confidence and openness to professional development. 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 course aims to:

  1. Promote an exploratory and creative strategy for designing spatial environments, their narrative, function and experience and evidence-based design.
  2. Encourage deep research and analysis, ensuring responsible practice in relation to ethical, cultural, environmental, material, global and commercial needs of people and practices.
  3. Develop confident presentational skills both in promotion to the audience and in complex visual communication, encouraging multidisciplinary approaches and production techniques.
  4. Support the growth of the individual; fostering self-directed study, transferable graduate skills, practice positioning and design responsibility in relation to personal and professional ambitions and working with others.
  5. Combine intellectual and creative ambition with strong technical skills (traditional, digital, conventional and emergent) for detailed resolution and to test the communication of their ideas for interior spaces effectively with their peers and in the wider world.
  6. Develop intellectual rigour relevant to the interior design profession that will enhance practice-based understanding and develop career opportunities.

Course learning outcomes

On completion of this course, students will be able to:
Knowledge and Understanding
1. Recognise the relationship existing between design, culture, environment, manufacture and the economy (both historically and contemporaneously) and their relevance to design intention and critical theories.
2. Describe, understand and explore a range of interior design concepts and contextual theories associated with design intention, process, dissemination and users/ communities.

3. Apply principles and techniques (including ethical and regulatory issues) that are required for the conduct of professional practice and management.
Cognitive Intellectual Skills

4. Apply intellectual skills to resolve design problems; utilising observation, research, independent critical appraisal, articulate reasoned argument, selection, organisation, structure.
5. Develop and challenge design concepts through understanding of contextual and critical issues and make decisions based upon social, ethical, environmental and economic issues.

6. Consider the needs and views of the client, user, brand, community and/or wider public in response to specific projects; investigating physical, practical, functional, experiential and sensory needs of people within interior environments.
Transferable Skills

7. Independently and collaboratively present and communicate concepts and design proposals to ‘design teams’, associated industry professionals, clients, invested communities and the general public, through effective use of appropriate production technologies

8. Communicate ideas, principles and concepts effectively by oral, written and visual means with clarity and confidence

9. Exercise independently led project management skills, including time management, team negotiation and collaboration, reflective practice and self-promotion.
Subject-Specific Practical Skills

10. Generate complex design concepts, narratives and proposals suitable for interior and other multidisciplinary design projects, through sketching, model making and digital processes

11. Develop confident industry-led and entrepreneurial skills to effectively communicate, present, publish and exhibit projects to the interior design profession

12. Exhibit understanding of the roles and expertise of the extended team within the design and construction industries.

Course learning outcomes / Module cross reference

Knowledge and Understanding
1. Recognise the relationship existing between design, culture, environment, manufacture and the economy (both historically and contemporaneously) and their relevance to design intention and critical theories:

CCS1, CCS2, CCS3
Human Scale
Project Design & Development

2. Describe, understand and explore a range of interior design concepts and contextual theories associated with design intention, process, dissemination and users/ communities:

Design Principles, Manipulation of Space
Human Scale, Design Details
Project Design & Development, Major Project Realisation: Interior Design, Creative Industry Practice


3. Apply principles and techniques (including ethical and regulatory issues) that are required for the conduct of professional practice and management:

Human Scale, Design Details, Major Project Realisation: Interior Design, Critical and Contextual Studies 2, Integrated Design Practice


Cognitive Intellectual Skills
4. Apply intellectual skills to resolve design problems; utilising observation, research, independent critical appraisal, articulate reasoned argument, selection, organisation, structure:

Visual Research & Communication
Manipulation of Space
Creative Industry Practice
Project Design & Development
Integrated Design Practice


5. Develop and challenge design concepts through understanding of contextual and critical issues and make decisions based upon social, ethical, environmental and economic issues:

CCS1, CCS2, CCS3
Human Scale
Project Design & Development

6. Consider the needs and views of the client, user, brand, community and/or wider public and assimilate these in pursuit of specific projects; investigating physical, practical, functional, experiential and sensory needs of people within interior environments:

CC2
Integrated Design Practice
Creative Industry Practice
Project Design & Development
Major Project Realisation: Interior Design

Transferable Skills
7. Independently and collaboratively present and communicate concepts and design proposals to ‘design teams’, associated industry professionals, clients, invested communities and the general public, through effective use of appropriate production technologies:

CCS2
Design Principles
Visual Research & Communication
Creative Industry Practice
Major Project Realisation: Interior Design


8. Communicate ideas, principles and concepts effectively by oral, written and visual means with clarity and confidence:

CCS1, CCS2, CCS3
Visual Research & Communication

9. Exercise independently led project management skills, including time management, team negotiation and collaboration, reflective practice and self-promotion:

CCS3
Creative Industry Practice
Project Design & Development
Major Project Realisation: Interior Design
Subject-Specific Practical Skills

10. Generate complex design concepts, narratives and proposals suitable for interior and other multi-disciplinary design projects, through sketching, model making and digital processes:

Design Principles
Human Scale, Design Details
Project Design & Development
Major Project Realisation: Interior Design

11. Develop confident industry-led and entrepreneurial skills to effectively communicate, present, publish and exhibit projects to the interior design profession:

CCS2
Creative Industry Practice, Integrated Design Practice, Major Project Realisation: Interior Design


12. Exhibit understanding of the roles and expertise of the extended team within the design and construction industries:

CCS1, CCS2
Design Details
Project Design & Development

Principle QAA benchmark statements

Subject Benchmark Statement: Design
http://www.qaa.ac.uk/Publications/InformationAndGuidance/Pages/Subject-benchmark-statement---Art-and-design-.aspx

Assessment strategy

A variety of assessment methods are used within the course, ranging from formative, summative, diagnostic, peer and self-assessment, through studio based work, workshops, written assignments and digital projects and exercises. These methods are aligned to the Faculty and University assessment strategies and with the course learning outcomes and curriculum.

Strategies utilised support students’ understanding of their learning by providing timely developmental feedback that promotes a deeper learning approach to their studies. Assessment methods such as reports, essays, critiques, presentations, digital and studio portfolio reviews, blog and website evaluations, allow differing learning styles, whilst encouraging reflective and reflexive approaches.

Each assessment (formative and summative) seeks to build students’ confidence as independent learners, providing pertinent advice for all aspects of learning.

The course team provides ongoing opportunities for scheduled tutorial ‘drop in’ sessions and the course’s virtual learning environment offers students opportunities to discuss (with tutors and peers) their assessment strategies. Further support is available via personal academic tutors, Library Services and University Student Services.

Organised work experience, work based learning, sandwich year or year abroad

Work-based experience improves professional understanding, increases confidence and makes the design process relevant. The course keeps close associations with current practices within Interior Design:

• Industry professionals mentor and present/ brief regularly throughout the course.
• Internships and work experience opportunities are developed through client competitions and continued and valued associations to design practices.
• All students will undertake a mandatory Work placement with associated preparation, feedback, assessment and evaluation.
• Students are encouraged to attain work experience (wherever possible) throughout the course in order to enhance their professional knowledge and attributes.
• Collaborative design workshops (i.e. charrettes) are provided during the course
• The Erasmus exchange programme is available for students who want to experience the teaching and cultures of other courses abroad.

Course specific regulations

In BA (Hons) Interior Design, the following course regulations shall apply:

ACADEMIC PROGRESSION: As a condition of progressing from level 4 to 5 and level 5 to 6, students are required to have gained 120 credits per level, that is, by achieving pass marks (40%) in all four modules in the preceding level of study.

PROGRESSION FROM ‘EXTENDED DEGREE’;

i) The structure and scope of learning in the ’extended degree’ programme shall permit alternative course progression. In other words, students who succeed in passing all modules and who wish to, based on their learning experience in Level 3, may elect to alter the designation of the ‘extended degree’ they had embarked upon and to instead migrate onto another cognate degree title within the purview of the Faculty portfolio; that is not restricted to the original choice of course title upon admission. Progressing students may of course choose to continue onwards following the ‘early specialist’ route they joined at point of entry.

FACILITATED COURSE TRANSFER

ii) The structure and scope of learning within Level 4 of this course can permit (if appropriate) related programme course-transfer. In other words, students who succeed in passing all modules at Level 4 who wish to based on their learning experience, seek review and revision of their course title (within the related areas),

Career opportunities

You’ll graduate from the course with all the skills and confidence you need to succeed in commercial practice. Past graduates have found work as interior designers, interior architects, retail and exhibition designers, and many now work for some of the most successful practices in London representing leading high street brands and international companies. Others have gone on to work in TV and film set design, animation, lighting design and journalism.

As part of your course, you’ll also have the opportunity to undertake a work placement at a leading London design practice, helping you develop the skills and contacts you need to succeed in your future career. In 2016 students were placed at 50 design companies including Foster + Partners, Gensler and turnerbates.

Entry requirements

In addition to the University’s standard entry requirements, you will normally be expected to obtain:

  • a minimum grade BBC in three A levels from relevant subject areas such as the arts, humanities and social sciences (or a minimum of 96 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification in relevant art and design subjects), plus a portfolio review
  • English language GCSE at grade C (grade 4 from 2017) or above

We encourage applications from international/EU students with equivalent qualifications. We also accept mature students with diverse backgrounds and experiences.

Suitable applicants living in the UK will be invited to a portfolio interview. Applicants living outside the UK will be required to submit a portfolio of work via email.

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 Art and 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.

Portfolios and interviews

Your portfolio should be selected but have enough work to show the range of your interests and talents. We are interested in seeing how you develop a project from beginning to end, not only finished work.

Interior designers make models as well as flatwork, so 3D work may be relevant as well as 2D.

If you cannot bring it to portfolio interview, take photographs and include them.

We always want to see traditional drawing whether observational, life or concept generating, so please include this, even if you have good CAD skills already.

Finally, be ready to talk about your work and how you see your future as an interior designer.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2013/14 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 01 Sep 2013 Last validation date 01 Sep 2013  
Sources of funding HE FUNDING COUNCIL FOR ENGLAND
JACS codes W250 (Interior Design): 100%
Route code INTDGN

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 04 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
CP4015 Critical & Contextual Studies 1 (Interiors) Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR TUE PM
DN4003 Manipulation of Space Core 30        
DN4008 Interior Materials and Technologies Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR TUE AM
DN4009 Design Principles for Interiors Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR MON PM
          CITY AUT+SPR MON PM
          CITY AUT+SPR THU AM
          CITY AUT+SPR MON AM

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
          CITY AUT+SPR TUE PM
          CITY AUT+SPR FRI AM
          CITY AUT+SPR FRI PM
DN5004 Design Details Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR TUE AM
          CITY AUT+SPR TUE PM
          CITY AUT+SPR FRI AM
          CITY AUT+SPR FRI PM
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
          CITY AUT+SPR WED PM
DN6018 Major Project Realisation: Interior Design Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR TUE AM
          CITY AUT+SPR TUE PM
          CITY AUT+SPR FRI AM
          CITY AUT+SPR FRI PM
DN6020 Project Design and Development for Interiors Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR TUE AM
          CITY AUT+SPR TUE PM
          CITY AUT+SPR FRI AM
          CITY AUT+SPR FRI PM
DN6029 Integrated Design Practice Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR FRI AM