From bars to hotels, live performance spaces to museums, you’ll cover a wide range of venue designs on our accredited BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Venue Design course featuring industry placements and an excellent employment record.
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:
Develop your spatial, aesthetic, and communication skills for a wide range of audiences, applying this to architectural and interior design practice
Understand the significance of professional practice, collaboratively with diverse teams, leading the design of projects, and how to protect your Intellectual Property
Engage in live project briefs in the region and beyond to celebrate the cutting edge of design thinking and innovation, presenting your work to real-world clients
Showcase your work at our end of year exhibition, and as part of our Student Showcase
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.
17thin the UK for student satisfaction**The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023
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.
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).
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.
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 Ceranic: Boris 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.
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.
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.
As a student studying on this course, you will have access to the facilities across the School of Built and Natural Environment including:
The design studio, with integrated modelling space and dry modelling equipment and software equipped PCs
Our 3D printing suite, including FDM, SLA, and SLS machines
Our wood workshop, with laser cutters and large format CNC machine
Our metal workshop, with welding labs, casting area, and large format water-jet cutter
Digital Design Hub, with large format plotters that print across a range of materials
The Media Hub, with loanable access to cameras, measuring equipment, and environmental recording equipment
Project base room, with Virtual Reality and gaming equipment
Makerspace which is a student-led workshop
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.
Open to all students at the University of Derby the Makerspace is a student-led workshop based at our Markeaton Street site. There is a large range of tools in the Makerspace that you are able to use in your own time to design and develop projects.
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:
a glassblowing workshop and cafe on the grounds of a Grade II* listed building
E-sports venue spaces in a redundant quarry
a California Hotel in Malibu
a Boeing 747 restaurant conversion
a Swiss ski resort centre
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.
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.
We're in the fortunate position of having a wealth of expertise and knowledge to help tackle some of the world's greatest challenges. Take a look at examples of how we are responding to the climate emergency.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Hospitality: hotels, bars and restaurants
Leisure: cinemas, theatre, museums, spas and health centres, sports arenas and tourist attractions
Retail: shops, corporate branding and stores
Corporate: offices and production facilities
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:
Theatre and Stage Design
Computer Game Environment Design
Design of Executive Yacht Interiors
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.
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.
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
Studio facilities - glue guns, hotwire cutters, laser cutters in workshops, 3D printers in the workshop
Starter pack including A3 wallet, sketchbook, measuring tape, scale ruler, eraser, 3 x technical pencils
Free membership of accredited bodies from stage 1
Year 1 compulsory Field Trip within the UK including transport and bed+breakfast (Students must pay for their lunch and dinner for all 4 days)
Day trips to free entry venues or construction sites
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
Year 1 UK trip main meals, approx. £20 per day
Day trips to paid entry sites, approx. £10
Printing costs, approx. £30 -£50 per years 1 and 2
Final Year Project from £150 depending on student choice
Printing and Binding costs year 3 approx. £50
Optional costs not included in your fees
Course books - approx. £15-35 per book depending on source
Year 2 - Optional trip to Barcelona - contribution of £100 + coach travel from college). Student contribution approx. £190 which covers flights, 4 day travel pass, B&B in Eurohostel, Entry to museums and other places of interest (Students expected to cover cost of meals other than breakfast)
Printing costs approx. £30-£40 per year
Any travel for paid placements
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.