Available through Fast Track to Clearing

Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 years

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year (2020/21)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2020/21)

UCAS points

112 (September 2020 entry)

UCAS code

W250

Course level

Undergraduate

Qualification

BA (Hons)

Start date

September

Location

Britannia Mill, Derby Campus

Course description

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.

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.

Professional accreditations and affiliations

The BA (Hons) Interior Design programme is accredited by the SBID (Society of British and International Design). It is also affiliated with IE (Interior Educators) and the BIID (British Insitute of Interior Design).

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. 

BA (Hons) Interior Design student, Iga

I wanted to better understand interior and exterior spaces and be able to communicate my design projects. I've learnt the vital skills to represent interior spaces through our 2D and 3D sketches and projects.

Iga Mackowiak
Interior Design student

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). We are also affiliated with Interior Educators and BIID (British Institute of Interior Design) to ensure we stay up to date on current events taking place in the country.

Wool attached to a sewing machine
BA (Hons) Interior Design student, Prince

The course gives you the freedom to be creative and pull in inspirations - whether it be from the experience or emotion you want to evoke or the colour or style you pictured.

Prince Rosales
Interior Design student

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.

Digital illustration of a light and modern cafe with a wooden floor and lots of plants
Digital illustration of a converted brick industrial building for use as a restaurant
Digital illustration of a modern pink and green cafe with table seating and a bar area

What you will study

Year 1Year 1Year 2Year 2Diploma in Professional Practice (optional)Diploma in Professional Practice (optional)Year 3Year 3

Code: 4ID504

Critical Context: Exploring Global Context & Spatial Typologies

The module enables you to investigate contextual references and develop knowledge appropriate for an interior designer by providing an introduction to the global network, which has, and continues to shape interior design. You will be introduced to the history of interior design, and how this has evolved in relation to various socio-political and cultural contexts. You will also be introduced to theories that are useful in aiding the analysis of design and visual culture.

You will further explore interior design through a globalised perspective investigating spatial typologies and their differences from culture to culture. Learning will take place in the contexts of lectures, seminars and tutorials and we will focus on the close study of images. You will be given written assignments as well as an oral seminar presentation.

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20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 4ID505

Designing Spatial Narratives: Introduction and Exploration

The module provides an introduction to interior design and the role of the designer. It also deals with an introduction to space, design elements and principles required to develop spatial narrative journeys and their activators. You will begin to analyze the inter-relationships between habitation and design through a series of studies of domestic interiors and activities, both real and imagined.

You will use a variety of techniques to map how individual elements and activities interact with the material, environmental, sensual, emotional, functional and cultural qualities of a specific space and situations so that you start to appreciate the underlying principles and elements that underpin interior design practice. The module teaches a number of research and communication skills that allow you to become articulate and comfortable in the delivery to peer groups of your research and design brief projects.

More information
40 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 4ID506

Toolkit: Structural Layers & Materials

This module introduces the knowledge and skills required to become technically competent as an interior designer, by introducing you to the various building layers, i.e. components and materials which make up space. You will engage in two related aspects of interior design practice:- 1) The technology and components often used to define spatial parameters, and technical communication thereof 2) Materials and technology and how these influences and impact the design and use of space.

The sessions look to introduce basic knowledge and technical skills and the importance of basic visualisation and representation of these on a technical level. Various forms of 2D and 3D representation and development are explored to help you communicate your ideas using a range of digital tools and models. Materiality will consider structure and detailing and the appropriate application thereof within spatial environments materials influence architectural design and how, as an interior designer you can maximize the potential of a space through both the use and exploitation of structural and aesthetic materials.

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40 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 4ID507

Visual and Professional Practice: Imagination to Visualisation

The module introduces a basic range of multi-modal communication skills often adopted in the design industry, along with techniques for the representation and communication of space, objects and ideas for Interior Design. You will study the different ways of drawing, measuring and communicating the characteristics of material space and form and become familiar with the standard drawing conventions used within the design profession.

Using a variety of approaches, you will develop basic proficiency in 2D & 3D sketching to ensure adaptability as an interior designer. From these activities you will start to develop a good level of skill in the development of 2D sketched based work and in the production of design drawings. The skills learned in this module will be built upon and enhanced throughout the course, culminating in the production of professional standard orthographic and 3D visualisations in your final year major project.

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20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5ID504

Critical Context: Context Specific Investigations

This module explores place-specific spatial narratives with a focus on genius loci, place, and non-place, and the theories relating to these. Your place and your culture will support a co-creative learning environment. This module is concerned with the notion of identity pertaining to interior design.

Various themes will be explored such as Spatial Identity, Experience Identity, and Retaining Identity, drawing on theoretical approaches relevant to the study of interior design. We will consider how “critical theory” and intellectual approaches can help us to analyse interior design and related fields, with a higher level of understanding. We will consider the ways in which design produces and reproduces ideologies of culture, society, politics and economics. The module teaches a number of research and communication skills that allow you to become articulate and comfortable in the delivery to peer groups of your research and design brief assignments.

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20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5ID505

Designing Spatial Narratives: Contextualised Interventions

Interior design provides creative ideas and solutions that transform peoples’ lives and environments; and interior designers are required to communicate their ideas and proposals to a whole range of diverse people and organisations including clients, statutory authorities, financial institutions, project design team members/professions (architects, structural and services engineers), the media, stakeholders; using a range of appropriate skills and techniques.

This module develops your previous work into working with spatial and narrative journeys in activist, promotional and consumer contexts. You will engage in live projects with real-world briefs which will enable you to directly experience the context, opportunities and challenges of design. You will be encouraged to actively and co-creatively contribute your own voice and cultural context into specified projects. Building on your previous acquired skills, you will further apply your 3D CAD skills and knowledge; and the integration of these within design tasks to develop ‘meaning’ within a designer’s thinking and approach so that substantive and meaningful solutions can be developed. Projects (live or fictitious) will utilize more complex existing and conceptual spaces, and allow you to further develop and demonstrate proficiencies in design process and concept development, project visualization, contextual understanding and the role of narrative within a design task. As a result, this module will look at the notion of Identity in spatial environments with specific focus pertaining to the development and establishment of identity in spaces as well as the retention thereof when adapting existing spaces for new use, to help you develop into a well-rounded designer, with the confidence to make purposeful design decisions.

More information
40 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5ID506

Toolkit: Technical Services & Drawing Systems

Interior design is not only about the aesthetic of spaces and furniture, but requires also the technical knowledge, understanding and communication regarding the assembly and construction of designed spatial environments and related objects. The focus of this module is on developing the necessary technical knowledge and understanding relating to interior design, as well as the skills to accurately communicate multi-modal technical information to relevant parties, who may include a multi-disciplinary team of: joiners, manufacturers, contractors, builders, engineers, architects, carpenters, shop fitters, and suppliers.

Next, the module introduces building services, with a comparative explanation of real-world international & other global national standards/regulations (eg. Uk, Austria, China, etc) affecting these services; how these in turn affect interior spaces, as well as the application thereof to an interior design project, using 2D and 3D visualisation. It requires a professional technical communication pack relevant to industry, its standards & regulations. A series of tasks will be used to help build your technical vocabulary in order to produce professional drawings and specification documentation required to successfully execute a design project. These will align to the Level 5 design projects.

More information
40 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5ID507

Visual and Professional Practice: BIM for Promotion

This module aims to expose you to the Interior Design profession, by equipping you with knowledge and expertise to generate a set of multi-modal visual documentation to professional standards using industry-related technical visualisation tools. Upon completion of this module, you should have a set of professional drawings and multi-modal visuals for inclusion into your own professional portfolio.

You will then have the opportunity to develop your professional practice through: A programme of technical skills development in computer-aided design (CAD) and building information modelling (BIM) which will extend your ability to work in a collaborative professional environment. Opportunities to develop networking and mentorship skills through peer-to-peer mentoring opportunities. You may use your newly developed skills to enhance your CV & Portfolio at the end of this year when you have the opportunity to enter the industry and complete a year out in practice.

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20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5FH886

Applied Professional Practice

This module provides a framework for the development of “lifelong learning” skills appropriate to all areas of professional practice; including objective setting, planning, negotiating, implementing, demonstrating and reflecting. The emphasis in this module is on the analysis and evaluation of the work completed within the organisation. This module also gives students an opportunity to relate their academic knowledge to the work environment.
40 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5FH887

Contemporary Issues in Professional Practice

Students need to be aware of the commercial realities and external factors that influence the success of an organisation. This module provides opportunities for students to acquire an understanding of contemporary issues that may impact on industrial and professional practices relevant to a career within their chosen discipline.

During this period of work experience, students can gain a deeper appreciation of the responsibilities arising from both corporate and individual responses to such issues, thus enabling them to relate to the wider world when exploring a personal direction for potential career development.

More information
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 6ID504

Toolkit: Sustainable Strategies & Innovation

This module furthers your understanding of the professional, environmental and ethical standards which affect the process of designed environment. The first part of the module will focus on sustainability and responsible design in general. The second part of the module will comprise a review of technical components covered in the past and the integration of all technical related components and knowledge relevant to a graduate project. You will be expected to consult industry and suppliers to help you realise your design and assist you in solving complex technical problems.

You will develop with an advanced professional technical communication pack, which encourages innovation and environmentally responsible interior design strategies and the application and integration thereof in the self-negotiated design project. The outcome will form part of the student’s graduate portfolio in readiness for employment or postgraduate study. Through negotiation and agreement with your tutors, you will develop your own technical pack using CAD/BIM that responds directly to your design project brief appropriate at the end of your L6 study.

More information
40 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 6ID505

Critical Context: Probing and Interrogating Multi-Contexts

In this module you will be working to define the research focuses that will underpin your Level 6 Design Portfolio, through a personal research investigation relevant to your design work and your future academic and professional aspirations.

You will undertake in-depth research and analysis of precedents, theories and practices to form an academic argument. While the precedents and research topic will be of your own choosing, it should relate to your own practice interests and concerns. Your topic should be honed and should lead to a sophisticated intellectual understanding of your design practice. The topic selected should offer enough depth to allow you to identify issues for research, investigation and analysis.

More information
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 6ID506

Designing Spatial Narratives: Reimagining Existing Space

A key focus of interior designers is to use their knowledge and understanding to adapt, develop and improve existing buildings or spaces. In many cases, interior designers are tasked to challenge existing uses or spatial narratives to ensure these remain viable and relevant for modern-day living. As a result, the focus of this module pertains to the responsible reactivation of existing significant spaces, with new contemporary typologies through the act of adaptive reuse and/or addition of new spaces/components.

Spatial narrative journeys about time and dialogue between new and old will be explored, with consideration to macro and micro context, within a self-negotiated brief. The module also embeds a comparison to explain various Heritage councils and charters. In semester one you will be tasked to conduct thorough research and investigation pertaining to your site, understand your client market, develop an appropriate corporate identity, and resolve your final design ideas in readiness for semester two and the delivery of the final design using CAD and/or 3D modeling. This module investigates the synthesis of multiple contexts in spatial environments. It explores adaptive re-use strategies and dialogues (eg co-exiting or rupturing) one may use when designing within spaces of significance. The module provides further opportunity for you to investigate related discipline areas of textiles and product design in terms of the creation of artefacts relevant to your design, and therefore offers opportunities for collaborative practice as appropriate.

More information
40 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 6ID507

Visual and Professional Practice: Networking Strategies

Networking: Collaboration - Interior design is not an isolated profession, with collaboration often occurring both inter-disciplinary (internally) and cross-culturally (externally). Such collaboration opportunities may be in the form of competitions, joint and/or live projects.

Networking: Self-promotion - aims to instill in you an ability to reflect upon your strengths and areas of interest in readiness and to further equip you for employment within the creative industries. Here you will be required to develop a ‘self-promotional pack’ to showcase your knowledge and understanding regarding interior design and the practice thereof, comprising: as part of your professional development and produce a portfolio of evidence. 1 – continuous development of your online portfolio 2 – production of a physical self-promotional pack 3 – mentorship through peer-to-peer teaching 4 – contract writing 5 – costing of interior related components

More information
20 Credits
core
Coursework

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.

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Open Days

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Virtual Open Day

Delve deeper into the course with our Virtual Open Day, packed with subject and course information to help you make your choice, including tours of facilities, 360° views of award-winning accommodation plus advice and insight from students and academics.

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How you will learn

You’ll learn in well-resourced, professional design studios at Britannia MillResources 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. 

Degree Show

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

Who will teach you

Barend Slabbert

Barend Slabbert
Programme leader

Barend Slabbert is a Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for the BA (Hons) Interior Design Programme. He has taught both in Cape Town and London before joining the University of Derby in 2017. He specialises in exhibition and conference set-stage design, and is interested in the responsive adaptation of significant historical interiors to contemporary exhibition spaces.

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Entry requirements

September 2020 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points112 (up to 16 from AS-levels)
Specific requirements at A-level

No specific subject requirements

Specific requirements at GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification
IELTS6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)
Interview / AuditionYes - see interview details
Portfolio

Yes - see interview details

Alternative entry qualifications:

We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.

Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.

September 2021 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points112
Specific requirements at A-level

No specific subject requirements

Specific requirements at GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification
IELTS6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)
Interview / AuditionYes - see interview details
Portfolio

Yes - see interview details

Alternative entry qualifications:

We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.

Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.

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Academic Achievement Scholarship

We’re offering eligible students a £1,000 scholarship to celebrate your hard work and success.

Learn more about the Academic Achievement ScholarshipLearn more about the Academic Achievement Scholarship

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees

 Full-timePart-time
UK/EU

£9,250 per year

N/A

International

£14,045 per year

N/A

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

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

UK/EU students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for EU students post-Brexit

International students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree

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Fast track to Clearing

If you don’t have a place at uni, have had a change of heart about your course, or maybe your gap year plans are on hold – don’t worry. Register with us today and fast forward to your future.

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Careers

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:

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.

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Additional information about your studies

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.

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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