The course is for anyone who is inspired and moved by interiors and inquisitive enough to find out how to realise these technically. Studying interior design at Derby will help you develop your design skills to create functional and unique spaces with strong spatial identities. You’ll learn how to best use specific spatial qualities, i.e. forms, texture and materials, lighting, colour, architectural components, objects and placement of these, enabling you to make your ideas become a reality. You’ll be inspired to work in a way that is environmentally responsible, memorable and experiential.
If you don't have the appropriate qualifications to start this course, you can study the Year Zero - Arts programme for a year first.
Preparing you for a career in interior design
The roles and responsibilities of an Interior Designer will see you become involved from the initial brief to the final build of a project which could be an existing building, an urban interior or a self-standing entity such as an exhibition or set-stage. The course is dynamic and co-creative, in that it welcomes students’ own voices/cultures and values risk-taking and experimentation. It further aims to equip students with all the relevant skills and knowledge ready for the ‘real’ world upon graduation.
You will gain exposure to the wide field that is interior design, exploring various spatial typologies such as residential interiors, commercial interiors i.e. retail, corporate, set-stage and exhibition design and hospitality, as well as exploring adaptive reuse/regenerative design to name but a few, with a focus on employment opportunities open to an interior design graduate. You will also learn how to collaborate nationally/internationally, and design bespoke artefacts and furniture to compliment your interiors and generate the appropriate visual documentation required for each stage of the design. You will also get to understand how people relate to space and objects, by being exposed to ergonomics, and learn to design spaces that are functional and in accordance to building regulations and health and safety legislation.
The SBID is an internationally recognised accreditation in Interior Design. Our Interior Design students can obtain free student memberships to the SBID for unique promotional opportunities through their 'Get Me 2 The Top' initiative and mentorship programmes.
IE is an organisation that works to better interior design education through knowledge exchange and practice, with an annual exhibition in London where top graduates will be invited to showcase their work.
The BIID offers a free student membership, networking opportunities and CPD (continuous professional development) as well as the chance to take part in the Student Design Challenge in the final year.
Networking and collaboration opportunities
This course sets itself apart from other interior design courses by offering unique collaborating opportunities with other disciplines in national/international partners. Collaboration with design disciplines may include working with other programmes in the university such as Textile Design through the design and manufacturing of interior artefacts or Product Design in the creation of bespoke interior products. International collaboration will be through international vertical studio projects (joint projects between Level 4 to Level 6 cohorts). This course is affiliated with Interior Educators and members of the teaching team are affiliated with the BIID (British Institute of Interior Design) to ensure we stay up to date on current events taking place in the country.
All Art and Design, Film, Photography and Music courses are based at our Markeaton Street site where industry-standard, purpose built studios and labs provide a modern and creative space for our students. Markeaton Street encompasses Chandos Pole Street which is home to our Fashion and Textiles courses and Britannia Mill is home to Fine Art, Illustration and Interior Design studio spaces. Our Theatre students learn from professionals at the professional producing and learning Derby Theatre in the heart of Derby city centre.
Markeaton Street is a 15 minute walk from Kedleston Road, and is serviced by regular free site shuttle buses.
Real world learning
In addition to your lectures and seminars, you will take part in live projects which build upon your ‘real’ world learning and will contribute to your credibility as an interior designer. Live projects to date include: Repurposing of an old barn to a contemporary wedding venue for Victoria Brown; design of Bohn’s restaurant interior now located in Nottingham; design of 1st Crack coffee shop and the design of S.H.E.D. a mobile transforming shed that is travelling the country for the next two years. You will also be able to obtain Building Information Modelling (BIM) training by your second year and construct an online portfolio in readiness for DPP and/or final year and graduation.
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.
You’ll learn in well-resourced, professional design studios at Britannia Mill. Resources include ISKN tables, Macbook Pros, large format scanners, drawing boards, as well as the arts and design library.
You will also be able to make full use of the traditional 3D workshop facilities (wood and metal) at Markeaton Street and the latest 3D computer software. You’ll have access to specialist textiles equipment and machinery in the Digital Design Hub such as the laser cutter and digital fabric print facilities in the textiles department.
We also showcase at Free Range in London along with 50 other Interior Design institutions giving you the opportunity to display your work at one of the largest graduate shows in Europe. This valuable experience will help you to prepare for a career in interior design.
How you will be assessed
Assessment is 100% coursework based including practical production and oral presentation work, along with written assignments. In your final year, you’ll have the opportunity to write a dissertation on a subject of your choice and work on self-negotiated and independent creative projects.
Every year students from the School of Arts celebrate their time at University by showcasing their work at an end of year Degree Show at Markeaton Street and across the City of Derby. The Show usually runs throughout June and is a fantastic opportunity for potential employers, friends, family, industry and members of the public to see exciting creations by the next generation of artists, designers, creators and makers from Derby. The Show takes the form of:
Take a look at highlights from the 2019 Degree Show.
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
September 2021 typical entry requirements
|Requirement||What we're looking for|
|Specific requirements at A-level|
No specific subject requirements
|Specific requirements at GCSE||At least five GCSEs (or equivalent) including Maths and English at grade 4/C or above|
|IELTS||6.0 (with at least 5.5 in each skills area)|
|Interview / Audition|
|Portfolio||Yes - see portfolio details|
Alternative entry qualifications:
- BTEC - DMM
- Pass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 with a minimum of Distinction: 15 Merit: 24 Pass: 6
Offers will be made initially based on your application, including predicted grades and/or grades you have already achieved. Following this, if you submit a strong portfolio we will make you an unconditional offer, to reflect the quality of your work and your potential.
These are the typical qualification requirements for September 2022 entry.
|Requirement||What we're looking for|
|GCSE||At least five GCSEs (or equivalent) including Maths and English at grade 4/C or above|
|Access to HE||Pass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 with a minimum of Distinction: 15, Merit: 24, Pass: 6|
Additional entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS: 6.0 (with at least 5.5 in each skills area)
2021/22 Fees (August 2021 - July 2022)
£9,250 per year
£14,045 per year
Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.
Additional costs and optional extras
A key aim of this programme is to prepare you as a graduate for the professional world of interior designers and we would anticipate that a number of you will seek to pursue your career through either freelance or consultancy practice drawing on the opportunities presented through the curriculum to collaborate with other design-related disciplines.
This course will provide you with an opportunity to examine different sectors within the commercial and residential interior design, enabling you to gain an understanding and appreciation of the many facets and opportunities that are open to an interior design graduate.
After graduation you’ll be prepared for a career in interior design with endless opportunities to choose from such as:
- Styling and window/retail display
- Cinematic interior styling along with TV sets
- Set-stage design and exhibition design
- Retail design, e.g. fashion, gifts, jewellery stores, computer and gaming stores, etc.
- Corporate design, e.g. offices
- Hospitality design, e.g. bars, restaurants, coffee shops
- Health and leisure design, e.g. hotels, spas, sport facilities, etc.
- Interior consultant and sourcing
- Bespoke furniture designer
- Kitchen design
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
Additional information about your studies
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 below is correct for entry in the academic year September 2020 - August 2021 only. Entry for future academic years may be subject to change.
Included in your fees
- Use of workshop resources, 3D imaging software and site visits. Materials kit, paper, card, basic modelling materials are provided
- Additional access to wider University Arts’ facilities including equipment loan store and other facilities, such as digital print workshops traditional 3d making workshop, laser cutter, CNC and basic RP facilities
- Compulsory study visits to local and Regional Construction/ conversion opportunity buildings
- Participation in design competitions and live projects
- Participation in University Degree Show and the London Graduate Show
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
- Interior design materials for making (card, vinyl, acrylic), presentation materials (marker pens, inks, etc.), show printing of student work, production of prototype and final models, production of RP models. Approx. costs - Year 1= £150, Year 2 = £200, Year 3 = £300 (Costs determined by student)
- Additional materials (printing, stationery, portfolio sleeves, folders, USBs/hard drives etc.) approx. costs - Year 1= £150, Year 2 = £200, Year 3 = £300
- Printing of design work Year 1= £100, Year 2 = £200, Year 3 = £300
- Drawing equipment general 'toolbox' (marker pens, pencils, scalpels, layout pads etc.) £50-£75 in each year. A toolkit list will be sent out to you at the start of the year with all equipment requirments
- Student promotion materials, approx. £75
Optional costs not included in your fees
- Specialist software/hardware - approx. £1500 (laptop with software licences)
- Travel for work placement opportunities (costs will vary dependant on location)
- International trips approximately £350 per year
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.