module specification

DN4019 - Spatial Design (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Spatial Design
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Total study hours 300
192 hours Guided independent study
108 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Portfolio
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year City Thursday Afternoon
Year City Thursday Morning

Module summary

This module introduces you to the ‘spatial journey’, a critical term used throughout the  field of interior design, describing the spatial programming and planning that leads to the realisation of a concept for an entire and complex space.

The module encourages you to explore and manipulate the spatial qualities of interiors by applying design principles relating to, for example, the rhythm, pattern and differentiation of architectural and environmental elements in their contexts, which are often termed the ‘spatial journey’ in the interior design sector.

It considers human responses, both ergonomic and anthropometric, to commercial and community spaces and environments, and the specific impact of these spaces on people. You will consider the physical and emotional values of spaces and learn how to relate these spaces to their purposes. Examples of existing spatial environments will be surveyed and documented, using industry standard recording and publishing techniques and tools.

You will develop and present proposals relating to a spatial journey, exploring ways to manipulate spatial choices and realising your ideas through drawings, models and visualisation techniques. You will be introduced to sector-specific traditional and digital design modelling techniques, and the visualisation and presentation skills necessary for the practicing designer. This module supports the generation and development of design proposals, and will facilitate the realisation of concepts and projects generated in other modules.

Prior learning requirements



Typically, the syllabus will include the following:

• methods for the survey and recording of spatial environments practised in site-specific team work;
• techniques for the evaluation of human behaviour in relation to the spatial characteristics of built environments;
• ergonomic, anthropometric and geometric principles of design;

• hand and digital drawing techniques;
• site-specific drawing practice;
• perspective drawing;
• orthographic drawing;
• industry standard digital software packages;
• recording, formatting and manipulation of images and sketches, and 3D modelling in traditional and digital media.


Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Scheduled teaching provides the guidance and foundation to ensure that independent study is effective in addressing the module’s learning outcomes and assessment tasks.

In-class activity makes use of varied student-centred approaches such as active, flipped and blended learning, so that a range of learning strategies is deployed, and individual learning styles are accommodated. Information is provided through a range of means and sources to minimise and remove barriers to successful progress through the module. The course team seeks to embed the University’s Education for Social Justice Framework in fostering learning that is enjoyable, accessible, relevant and that takes account of the social and cultural context and capital of its students.

Activities foster peer-to-peer community building and support for learning. Reflective learning is promoted through interim formative feedback points that ask students to reflect on their progress, receive help where they identify the opportunity for improvement in learning strategies and outcomes and make recommendations to themselves for future development. Throughout the module, students build a body of work, including written reflections on progress and achievement.

The School’s programme of employability events and embedded work-based learning within the curriculum supports students’ personal and career development planning. Through these initiatives, students are increasingly able, as they progress from year to year, to understand the professional environment of their disciplines, the various opportunities available to them, and how to shape their learning according to their ambitions.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, to the standard expected at Level 4, you will be able to:

Knowledge and Understanding

1. explore human-centred design techniques for spatial environments considering the effect on users in respect of ergonomic, anthropometric and inclusive design and environmental factors, for public and private spaces;

Cognitive Intellectual Abilities

2. present a plan and programme for a given project that considers the users’ spatial journeys and experiences;

Transferable Skills

3. hand and digitally draw, develop, realise and present proposals for spatial environments using 2D and 3D sketching, modelling, visualisation and presentation techniques, showing understanding of the key principles of scale, proportion and geometry;

Subject Specific Skills

4. analyse, record and present, to scale and in detail, a range of spatial environments, with reference to industry conventions.