Undergraduate Course

Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 years, Part-time: 5 to 6 years

UK fee

£9,250 per year (2024/25)

International fee

£14,900 per year (2024/25)

UCAS code


Course level



BA (Hons)

Start date



Markeaton Street, Derby Campus

If you do not achieve the typical entry points required, you may want to consider studying this course with a non-accredited foundation year.

View with foundation year optionView with foundation year option

Course description

Are you interested in seeing your design ideas through to realisation? This accredited course will equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to create amazing designs spanning across a range of venue spaces for current and future societies. If you are passionate about making a positive impact on society and our environment through design, then Interior Architecture and Venue Design is the course for you. We endeavour to support your personal approach to design through our studio culture, excellent facilities, and committed staff.

Our course aims to empower the next generation of designers through innovative and creative techniques that open doors for industry-ready graduates:

A students drawing of a botanical garden

Interior Architecture and Venue Design at Derby

‌We believe that design can have a significant impact on our lives and is a determining factor on how we experience the world around us and interact with each another. On this course, you will have the opportunity to plan and design for a multitude of project briefs from live performance spaces, social and community spaces, exhibitions, galleries, brand retail, outlets, museums, and music venue, to name but a few. This course therefore appeals to those passionate about design and creating positive spaces.

Interior Architecture encompasses all aspects of interior space, material, use, and structure. You will develop a broad range of construction and technical knowledge that will inform your design process and equip you with the skills to communicate effectively with others in industry. Venue Design focuses on the versatility, excitement, and imagination that great venue spaces can create, and is what makes our course truly unique. We are inspired to examine the changing nature of space and the hybridity of its use, particularly those that adapt to the social, economic, cultural, and ecological characteristics that dynamic, contemporary life requires. Our exciting position between the built environment and design means that we investigate the big, global challenges around climate emergency and the health and wellbeing of building users, but also the creative and social uses a space such as art, dance, fashion, film, music, and theatre, to name but a few.

Students on our Interior Architecture and Venue Design course will develop projects that consider both the aesthetic and technical elements of spaces and venues. There will be opportunity to design completely new structures, but also to design within and around existing buildings, considering their adaptive re-use and appropriateness. You will have the opportunity to develop personal design narratives, evaluate your work and the work of your peers, work independently and in groups, and communicate design atmospheres through the development of your portfolio.

Design is a form of communication that must speak to a range of diverse audiences. This course allows you to challenge design concepts and their realisation through experimentation and exploration, celebrating the ideas of diverse, inquisitive, and curious individuals.

To prepare for this course in Interior Architecture and Venue Design, you must be passionate about all aspects of design and have the desire to draw and make. You must be environmentally conscious with the will to design great spaces and venues and have a sympathetic eye for materials, construction, function, and its users.

Top15for satisfaction with feedback**The Guardian University Guide 2024
Top15for student experience - Architecture subject area**The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2024
Top20for graduate prospects - Architecture subject area**The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2024
A interior design of a communal building

Millie's success has been built on passion and hard work

When Millie Pearson was nominated for the Women in Property Student Awards 2022, it underlined what she already knew: her decision to follow her passion – and do it in Derby – were correct.

Read more about Millie's storyRead more about Millie's story

Professional credibility

This degree is accredited by the Chartered Society of Designers (CSD), so you will develop the creativity, knowledge, professionalism, and skills to meet our professional Body’s Creativity, Professionalism, Skills and Knowledge (CPSK™) competencies that underpin all the society’s initiatives.

The CSD is the internationally recognised body for the design profession, providing support and guidance for designers at every stage of their career. As a student on our course, you are automatically eligible to become an Associate Member of the Chartered Society of Designers (Assoc. CSD) which is your first step to becoming a Chartered Designer with specific exemptions from The Pathways to Chartered Designer as operated by The Register of Chartered Designers.

The CSD provide free student membership during your time at on our course. There is also the annual CEP (Course Endorsement Prize), student prize provided by the CSD to a student who has demonstrated exceptional work throughout their course. Once you have successfully completed the course, you will be eligible to apply to be an Associate member of the Chartered Society of Designers Member (Assoc.CSD). 

The Chartered Society of Designers logo.

Strong employer links and placements

Our course offers students the opportunity to network with a range of employers at local and national levels, enabling students to engage with contemporary, professional debate and enhance their employability skills in the process. The structure of our placements afford any full-time Year Two student to undertake a placement year before commencing their final year of study. We believe this to be a key part of your educational journey, as students learn directly from working in professional contexts and can re-apply these knowledge and skills back into their studies.

Further to this, our School Industrial Advisory Board includes representatives from the architectural and design backgrounds to ensure that opportunities to interact with employers are created through design charrettes, external talks, external critics, awards, and prizes at all levels of our course.

Expert teaching

Throughout your course you'll be taught by our research-active academics who have connections to industry and bring their expert knowledge to their teaching sessions. You'll be taught by:

Valeria Carnevale: Val is an Architect with a Masters in Archaeology. As well as teaching, Val is still engaged in design though personal projects and counselling for old clients. She also designs her own furniture and house interiors. Val's research interests encompass everything, from teaching architecture to building design, especially architects' thoughts now and through history. Val's hobby is in Roman archaeology, particularly Roman glass.

Dr Boris CeranicBoris is an experienced academic, practitioner and researcher. He spent ten years on the construction sites and in his own design and build practice, prior to entering academia. Since then, he has remained research and practice active, publishing on an international level and chairing panels at international conferences, undertaking PhD supervision and examination, and engaging in externally funded research projects and consultancy. He has a wide range of research interests including sustainable architecture and low energy design, healthy buildings, modular design and construction technologies, fire research and feng shui.

Dr Eleni Tracada: Eleni graduated from the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Florence, Italy in 1983. Once qualified she worked as a self-employed architect in Florence from 1983 to 1993. After moving to the UK and being awarded a Masters of Arts in Interior Design in 1996, she went into teaching architecture. Her research interests include recovered landscapes, the history and philosophy of architecture, and sustainable buildings and communities. 



An illustration of a students design of a wooden hut

Scouts keen to build Gary's woodland centre

Gary Dawson, BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Venue Design student, has had one of his second-year projects selected to design a scout hut/community centre for the 172 Alvaston Derby Scout Group in Hippo Wood, a site operated by the Woodland Trust.

Read more about Gary's storyRead more about Gary's story

Derby Property Summit

Over the past few years, students have also collaborated with Marketing Derby at the Derby Property Summit events to showcase their final year projects that are based on ideas and designs for an area within the city of Derby.

Derby Property Summit 2021

View Marketing Derby in Collaboration with the University of Derby for #DPS2021 video transcript

Excellent Facilities

As a student studying on this course, you will have access to the facilities across the School of Built and Natural Environment including:

You also have access to the library at Britannia Mill with a range of Art and Design books and our library at Kedleston Road with an extensive range of architectural and technical books.

Real-world learning 

We strongly believe that design must have a positive impact on society for it to be successful. Therefore, we aim to include live project briefs that involve external partners and stakeholders. Exiting previous project briefs have included:

We believe that creative thinking requires collaboration and as such have worked local and with international partners including, Erasmus funded projects, TRADA, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, and QUAD, and Derby City Council.  

For the last several years we have been working with Down to Earth Derby, on nature-based regeneration and connecting communities with nature and growing food. A major project we are working on at the moment, with the Eden Project, is a community garden on part of Sturgess Fields, a site owned by the University between Kedleston Road and Markeaton Street sites. The plan is to create a New Commons that will be managed with the community. There are opportunities for you to work on this project, designing sustainable buildings and structures.

These project briefs help to boost the quality of your design portfolio - your ticket to the professional context. As a School, we are underpinned by a commitment to ensure that we leave a site in a better condition than when entered, so that Sustainable Development Goals, net positive ecology, and health and wellbeing are at the heart of each of our projects.

An architectural model from the Peak Gateway project.

Student concepts wow real estate developer for PEAK Gateway

Students studying Architectural Degrees and Masters level programmes have worked with Milligan to create inspiring concepts that explore the future vision for the PEAK Gateway development.

Find out more about the projectFind out more about the project
a close up of a sustainable house (window and part of the wooden wall)

Environmental Sustainability Research Centre

Our Environmental Sustainability Research Centre provides exciting opportunities to contribute to urgent global challenges in climate change and sustainable development.

Find out more about our researchFind out more about our research

What you will study

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

Kedleston Road, Derby Campus entrance

Undergraduate Open Days

The best way to find out if studying at Derby is right for you is to experience an Open Day. Get a feel for the city and campus, tour our first-class facilities and see where you could be living.

Book your Undergraduate Open DayBook your Undergraduate Open Day

How you will learn

How you are assessed

Assessment is through 100% coursework. Therefore, you are expected to present your work visually and orally at key stages in the academic year; demonstrating an ability to react to verbal and written feedback from your module tutors. All design work must be submitted as a portfolio, with other modules submitted as report-based or written coursework. In the final year, you can write a comprehensive dissertation on a topic of your choice and deliver a complex design project as part of your portfolio.

Who will teach you

The Architecture team comprise an eclectic mix of individuals from diverse backgrounds and experiences. We each have our personal research interests and are keen to explore the possibility of design with you, as you progress through the Interior Architecture and Venue Design course.

architecture work by a student

Student Showcase 2022

We're showcasing the work of some of our talented Architectural Technologies and Interior Architecture students to celebrate their achievements over the 2021-22 academic year.

View the Student ShowcaseView the Student Showcase

Personal academic tutoring

Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.

Find out more about personal academic tutoring

Who will teach you

Valeria Carnevale
Programme leader

Valeria is programme leader for the Architectural Technology course. She also teaches on both architectural courses. 

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Fees and funding



£9,250 per year

£1,155 per 20 credit module


£14,900 per year


Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.


UK students

If you are in Year 13 and applying for a full-time undergraduate course (including our joint honours courses), we recommend that you apply through UCAS.

Apply through UCAS

If you are applying to study part-time, or already have your qualifications, or wish to join at Year 2 or 3, you should apply directly to the University.

Apply directly to the University


As a BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Venue Design graduate, you are ideally prepared for the wide variety of employment opportunities available to you, covering everything from generic architecture, or interior design, to venue project management and technical consultancy, depending upon where you wish to focus your career.

Some of the more popular choices are:

In all of these areas, you could be involved in new build, refurbishment, change of use or conversions.

Graduates in the past have also secured employment in the areas of:

Your degree and professional qualification will also give you the opportunity to work overseas. Some past students have been employed in Santa Monica, USA and Japan, as well as many other countries.

Graduation from the course also gives you a sound basis for the opportunity of progression onto other professional qualifications, with some graduates having progressed on to RIBA courses and eventually qualifying as Chartered Architects, either whilst working (part-time) or (full-time) at other Educational Institutions.

architecture student looking at wood model for project

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

Contact us Contact us

† Additional information about your studies

4 years with a placement year

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

The information provided on this page is correct at the time of publication but course content, costs and other individual course details do change from time to time and are updated as often as possible, so please do check these pages again when making your final decision to apply for a course. Any updated course details will also be confirmed to you at application, enrolment and in your offer letter.

Included in your fees
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
Optional costs not included in your fees

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

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