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BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Design

From bars and restaurants to yacht design, to disaster relief and refuge, our students work on a huge variety of projects.

This course is recognised by the ECIA as one of the leading courses in the UK and Europe.

Interior Architecture and Design course information

This course will offer you the skills, knowledge and work experience you need to become a leader in one of the most dynamic, creative, economically valuable and diverse areas of design. You’ll have the chance to work with real clients on real design projects in a studio-based and professionally-focused learning environment.

Through the adaptive reuse, rebranding, remodelling, recycling and recommunication of existing spaces, structures and environments, this course will offer you the skills, knowledge and work experience that you need to become a leader in one of the most dynamic, creative, economically valuable and diverse areas of design.

Interior Architecture and Design has an enviable record in graduate employment, often working with clients on real design projects in a studio-based, professionally focused learning environment.

We offer you the chance to gain extended work experience in your second year; a uniquely valuable opportunity among UK degree courses and one which increases your graduate employment potential. This course will teach you to understand the three-dimensional potential, the atmosphere, and the identity of the spaces in which we live, work, rest, and play.

Course duration

3 years (full-time)

UCAS course code


UCAS institution code


Level 4 (first year)

Understanding the interior

Level 4 aims to generate a fundamental understanding of space: its analysis, theoretical manipulation, habitation, technological construction and materiality and scale.

The units at Level 4, and throughout your three years, are intended to show how the course looks at both interior architecture (generally considered to be the remodelling of existing buildings and the development of attitudes towards those spaces and structures) and interior design (the creation of a range of interior environments that articulate identity and atmosphere through the manipulation of spatial volume, placement of specific elements and the treatment of surfaces).

Studies at this level may include, but not be limited to:

  • Colour
  • Scale
  • Problem-solving
  • Communication of ideas through differing media
  • Private and public and the effect on the design of spaces
  • Analysing lifestyle and habitation: thinking of spaces as a designer, how people move and inhabit space, utilise space
  • The construction of space and its materiality
  • The intimate – the personal
  • Spatial relationships
  • Historical/contextual basis of design

Level 5 (second year)

Up-thinking the interior

Level 5 aims to consolidate and refine the skills delivered at Level 4 and encourage you to develop your own methods of realisation and visualisation. Your second year has been designed to enhance your development both creatively and professionally.

Technical knowledge (construction/light/sound/materiality) will also be further developed with design units being used to demonstrate how your knowledge and critical understanding of the well-established principles of interior architecture and design have developed.

Technological developments and developments in the nature of interior practice will be explored such as the communication of semiotics, atmosphere and identity, ideas of brand and image, interactivity, the real and the virtual.

In Level 5, design will progress from the concentration on the personal and intimate at Level 4 to ideas of community – and the deeper understanding of scale, complexity and hierarchy in space that this will necessitate. You’ll explore concepts such as gender, ritual, workplace and domesticity, with reference to typologies such as spaces of power, spaces of commerce and spaces of faith.

In the summer term, you can choose between an extended work placement (of 10 weeks) or a comprehensive, research-intensive, design project. Both of these units are worth 40 credits.

You'll also be asked, through discussions with your unit tutor, to determine the broad area for research to be explored in the dissertation and the design project that'll occur in the first unit of the autumn term of Level 6, your third year.

Level 6 (third year)

Redefining the interior

Your final year is your opportunity to bring all of your learning, skills and knowledge together in the production of a package of professionally orientated, creative work that will examine and emphasise your research theme.

One of the fundamental strengths of the course is that it does not attempt to define the interior for you, rather it encourages you, over three years, to challenge, theorise, conceptualise, realise and visualise your notion of the “interior” in contemporary society: in other words we encourage you, in your final year, to look at what the interior can be.

Units at Level 6 will look to consolidate this approach through the work that has been undertaken at Levels 4 and 5. In addition, the course will encourage you to build on your Level 5 experience to contextualise your work in a professional studio environment that emphasises practice, law and the ethical and ecological roles and responsibilities of you as a designer.

At the end of the year you will have produced a comprehensive body of written and design work that will demonstrate to both specialist and non-specialist audiences your practical and thinking skills and intellectual and critical engagement in the complex design of interior spaces.

Having undertaken this work in a professional setting, you will evidence your readiness for the move to either practice or postgraduate study and you will be proud of what you have achieved.

All students are registered for the award of BA (Hons); however, exit awards are available if you leave the course early, having successfully completed one or two levels. If you successfully complete a level of the course, you will automatically be entitled to progress to the next level.

For the award of a Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE), you must have achieved a minimum of 120 credits at Level 4. This qualification may be awarded if you leave the University following successful completion of the first year of your course.

For the award of a Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE), you must have achieved a minimum of 240 credits of which a minimum of 120 must be at Level 5. This qualification may be awarded if you leave the University following successful completion of the second year of your course.

For the award of a BA (Hons) you must have achieved a minimum of 360 credits of which a minimum of 240 must be at Level 5 or above, of which a minimum of 120 credits must be at Level 6. This qualification will be awarded upon successful completion of your course.

A BA without Honours may be awarded if you have achieved 300 credits, at least 180 of which are at Level 5 or above, and at least 60 of which are at Level 6.

Course team

On the BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Design course, you’ll benefit from the expert guidance from our experienced teaching staff. You can read more about their specialisms by exploring their profiles below.

Emily Manns Senior Lecturer

How to apply

Once you've found the perfect Undergraduate course, you can apply to study via UCAS, including direct entry applications to second and third year.

When applying through UCAS, use the institution code A66. All of our courses take place on one site, so we don't have a campus code. We'll then use your completed UCAS form to make decisions about your application. You can find out more on entry requirements in our apply section.

When you apply to one of our courses, it's important that you help us get a good picture of both you and your work – so you'll need a great personal statement. We want to know more about why you're interested in the course, your key influences, and what you hope to do after your studies.

If you're invited for an interview, many of our courses will ask to see a portfolio of your work so we can get more insight into your ideas and abilities. To help you, we've created guidelines outlining what we expect from your portfolio for each course.

Looking for inspiration? Browse our gallery of student work and take a look at some of the projects that current students have been working on.

Students studying this course have achieved great things, winning awards such as Free Range, Architects for Health Awards, and Creative Conscience.

Portfolio requirements

It's important that your portfolio includes a range of work that enables us to assess both your intellectual and innovative creative ability.

We want to see evidence of creativity and originality, along with a commitment to studying Interior Architecture and Design.

Top tips on how to prepare your portfolio:

The course is positioned with clear aim of creating interior architecture and design graduates who see themselves as creatively confident, technically competent, critically capable, and ready to commence their part within the professional interior architecture and design community of practice, or related fields.

Monica Franchin, Course Leader

Fees and funding

The fee that you pay the Arts University Bournemouth provides the necessary equipment and training for you to complete your course.

You may also choose to buy some items of personal equipment such as a laptop or tablet computer, but this is not required; desktop and laptop computers are available for you to use in common study areas, including a loan system in the Library.

Studios and resources

As a student on the course, you’ll work across our studio and computer spaces.

Design work, tutorials and critiques take place in a dynamic and creative atmosphere using the latest in digital and audio-visual equipment.

A large group of people sitting at tables in a studio space while a person delivers a lecture.

Design Studio

You'll be working in a dedicated design studio, complete with computer suite and team workspace

Students working at computers in a library. A set of stairs leads up to a second landing with a balcony running along.

The Library

The Library at AUB holds an excellent range of print and online collections

Ten rows of empty seating viewed from the front of a large lecture theatre.

Lecture Theatres and Seminar Rooms

We have a number of lecture theatres and seminar room scattered around campus to assist students with their studies.

Teaching and learning

The studio and a studio culture are central to the ethos of the course. From before you join the course (at open days and interviews) you'll have appreciated that, whilst not mimicking practice, the studio's central to your practice. The diversity of the student group brings benefits of cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural experience; you can learn so much from making use of your space.

The course objectives are met by deploying a wide variety of teaching and learning methods including projects, lectures, seminars, group critiques and tutorials. In consultation with the Course Leader, staff are responsible for co-ordinating individual units of study, and for selecting appropriate methods of delivery according to subject matter and student experience.

The methods employed induct you to the disciplines required of a creative practitioner and promote the development of transferable skills.

The study time allocated to each unit in the course incorporates a balance of formal teaching, tutorial support and independent learning.

The course is structured progressively to provide increased opportunities for independent learning as you reach the later stages of the course.

The tutor leading the unit will employ a variety of methods of delivery in order to encourage your participation in the learning process. These will be dependent on the nature of the unit and the progress of the unit. Throughout the units within a year (and year on year) in the course, you are encouraged to gradually become more autonomous, progressively being asked to consider yourself as a professional designer.

The understanding of the role and appropriateness of communication is essential: as designers of space – something that cannot be experienced in reality until it is built, and something that will not be built unless it has been communicated beyond any level of doubt – clarity and professionalism in the verbal, visual and written communication of the self, of ideas and solutions to problems is prioritised on the course from the moment you join us.

The progressive promotion of independent learning reflects your anticipated maturity as a student and allows you to direct your learning towards individual goals. The teaching across the course is directed at providing you with the judgements necessary to take increasing responsibility for the management of your own learning.

Teaching is directed at supporting individual engagement in learning, although there will be opportunities for you to work in teams to enable you to learn the value of peer co-operation.

Contact hours include all scheduled teaching sessions, but also supervised time in the workshop or studio. In line with national guidance, we include in our calculation of contact hours all the time which is scheduled in the studio for independent study which is also supported by staff (either academic staff, or technicians).

The information provided below gives the proportion of your study time which constitutes contact hours. Where there are optional routes through the course, we have used the figures for the most popular option.

Year 1 (% time) Year 2 (% time) Year 3 (% time)




Assessment and feedback

Each unit is assessed separately, and the assessment forms part of the unit. Assessment both provides a measure of your achievement, and also gives you regular feedback on how your learning is developing.

For every unit of your course, we will inform you of what you are expected to learn; what you have to submit; how your work will be assessed; and the deadline for presenting your work for assessment. This is made available through Unit Information, which is on your course blog.

You will receive a final mark for each unit in the form of a percentage, which will be recorded on your formal record of achievement (transcript). Each component of assessment is graded using a notched marking scale, whereby only certain marks are used within each grade. The only marks available within any ten-point band are *2, *5 and *8 (e.g. 62, 65, 68). These marks correspond to a low, mid, and high level of achievement within each grade band.

All learning outcomes must be passed to successfully complete the unit.

On successful completion of your Honours degree course, you will be awarded a degree classification based on your unit marks. The final classification is determined using all unit marks at Levels 5 and 6 using two different algorithms, which are detailed in the HE Student Regulations. If the two algorithms produce different results, you will be awarded the higher class of degree.

If you have joined Level 6 through either the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) route or having completed a Foundation Degree (FdA), the final classification is determined using only your unit marks at Level 6.

For further information on assessment, progression, awards and classifications, please visit

What our graduates are doing

The ‘interiors’ sector is the fastest growing sector of design in the UK economy. The breadth of areas covered on the course enable graduates to have a wide variety of career opportunities open to them such as: architecture, interior architecture, interior design, set and stage design, point of sale display and exhibition design.

Career destinations from this course are varied. We have graduates working in international, communications agencies, architecture studios, interior architecture and design agencies, theatre companies and fashion brands. Where could this course take you?

On graduating from the course, students find that their studies have prepared them to take-on the challenge of an increasingly diverse creative sector: design companies such as Terry Farrell and Partners, Conran Design and Black Sheep have offered opportunities and internships; international brands, such as Wedgwood, and high-profile, international, communications agencies such as Exposure are working with our students.

The course prides itself on its success in promoting work experience for students and graduates; the variety of positions that the students achieve are a reflection of the philosophy of the course, namely that the study of Interior Architecture and Design is broad, dynamic and exciting and allows you, the student, to work to your strengths and follow the path that's best suited to you.

The breadth of areas covered on the course enables graduates to have a wide variety of career opportunities open to them such as: architecture, interior architecture, interior design, set and stage design, point of sale display and exhibition design.

During the course, students have worked for organisations as varied as the English National Opera and even Formula 1. Here are some examples of companies that our graduates are working for:

Students studying this course achieve great things and have won prestigious and high profile awards, such as:

  • Free Range Award: Best Model in Show, ‘Travelling Studio’ Project
  • Architects for Health Award: 2019 Highly Commended - Best Concept (Lydia Palmer)
  • Architects for Health Award: 2019 First Prize - Best Project Presentation (Jasmine Hunt)
  • Creative Conscience Award: 2020 Highly Commended - Architecture, Engineering and Interior Design (Charlotte Lacey-Clarke)
  • Creative Conscience Award: 2020 Highly Commended - Architecture, Engineering and Interior Design (Lydia Palmer)
  • Creative Conscience Award: 2020 Highly Commended - Architecture, Engineering and Interior Design (Kseniya Silant’eva)
  • Creative Conscience Award: 2020 Bronze - Architecture, Engineering and Interior Design (Daniela Rendon Restrepo)
  • Architects for Health Award: 2021 Best Concept for Interior Design (Isabella Williams)
  • Architects for Health Award: 2021 Best Project for Interior Design (Tom Pritchard)

As a course, we've also been selected as finalists in the HSJ 2022 Awards for Integrated Care System of the Year, for our work with ‘Our Dorset’ on the ‘Think Big’ initiative.

See more of our student work

From bars and restaurants to yacht design, to disaster relief and refuge, our students work on a huge variety of projects.