• Overview
  • Levels and Modules
  • Start Dates
  • Entry and Portfolio Requirements
  • Fees and Discounts
  • Careers
  • Student Discounts and Offers
  • Tutors
  • Course Duration
  • Advanced Entry

Overview

What does the course involve?

On the BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Design programme our experienced tutors will guide you in developing your 3D design skills in order to improve a variety of interior spaces. You will also investigate how people interact with these spaces and devise ways to improve them to meet user needs.

The course includes a number of practical tasks, including technical drawing by hand and using CAD software. You will also learn how to articulate your ideas in a professional manner on a variety of theory based activities.

The course is taught through a combination of individual tutorials within your personal online studio, group discussions within the forum pages, and independent study.

As the BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Design degree is awarded by the University of Hertfordshire, you will be eligible to become a student member of the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID). When you achieve your degree, you will be able to join as an Associate Member on Level 3 of the BIID Professional Pathway, paving the way to becoming a BIID registered interior designer.

All course materials are online and communication is asynchronous, which gives you the flexibility to study at times that suit you.

Subject to minimum student enrolment numbers, you can choose from full-time, part-time or accelerated study modes on all BA (Hons) courses. Find out more about the different modes of study here.

Levels of Study

The programme is broken down into three levels:
  • Level 4: Certificate of Higher Education
  • Level 5: Diploma of Higher Education
  • Level 6: BA (Hons)

Download the Programme Specification for detailed information about the course, or read on to find out more about what is involved in each of the three levels of study, the module descriptions and more.

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Levels and Modules


Level 4: Certificate of Higher Education

Level 4 aims to introduce you to the fundamental skills needed in the interior architecture and design industry. You will also be encouraged to critically examine how people occupy and use their environment to further your understanding of how places are designed for people.

Modules at this level are designed to equip you with a range of skills including the use of CAD, Illustrator, and Photoshop to create 3D models and develop your drawing techniques and maquette (scale model) building abilities. You will also be introduced to the basic design process, which will enable you to undertake investigation and analysis.

Level 4 Module Descriptions

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Design Studio 1: Anatomy of Space

This module will concentrate on developing your ability to understand how people occupy and use their environment and how the basis for the creation of good interior architecture is centred on the design of spaces for people.

For your assessment you will design a cube home for a family of four. You will consider how the interior space available can be organised and how the three dimensions can be utilised to establish a series of creative and functional spaces.

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Communication 1: Visual Thinking

During this module you will study different ways of drawing, measuring and communicating the characteristics of material space and form. You will be introduced to architectural terms and orthographic drawing techniques and begin to develop skills in translating these into spatial configurations.

You will explore and develop these skills through the brief, which asks you to create a contemporary kitchen and dining space; considering spatial layout, colour, materials, light fittings and furniture selection.

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Design Studio 2: Learning to Design

This module will further develop your drawing, modelling and other investigative techniques. You will also begin to understand the issues of different design approaches and develop an understanding of, and practice in, recording and reflecting on your own design process.

Your brief will require you to create a retreat space that provides inspiration for an artist. You will be given the freedom to create a profile for your own client and tailor the brief as appropriate. However, you will be required to select a real site to which you have access and on which you can undertake analysis.

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Technology 1: Introducing Materiality

This module will introduce you to the almost limitless use of materials. You will investigate the visual, tactile and structural impact of material selection within interior architecture and design.

Through research and case studies, you will explore the work of other interior architects and designers to gain an insight into how structural elements, once considered mundane, can be used alongside contemporary thinking on materiality to create innovative and accomplished designs.

Your assessment for this module asks you to produce a contemporary staircase design and provide a successful circulation solution for a museum interior. Beginning with a clear concept approach, you will develop your design with a focus on model-making techniques. You will record your design process and explore visual and functional ideas.

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Communication 2: Digital Skills

During this module you will study 2D and 3D CAD drawing. You will also be introduced to the key principles of CAD drafting and modelling and will begin to apply these skills in the communication of your design process and presentation work.

For the brief, you will be asked to design a new exhibition environment for a fictitious, emerging design company. Your spatial design should attract the attention of passers-by and encourage them to visit the exhibition, engage with the exhibitor and look at the products on display. Your exhibition will also display four furniture products from the company’s new ‘Native Collection’, which you will also design and present in an attractive and practical way.

Critical and Cultural Studies

Critical and Cultural Studies at Level 4 will encourage you to reflect on the relationship between art, photography, design, media histories and cultures and your own creative practices. Links to external sources and support materials will familiarise you with academic writing requirements and develop your skills in critical analysis. A series of activities will give you the opportunity to practise your skills in academic writing and receive feedback before you complete the final essay writing brief.

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Level 5: Diploma of Higher Education

Level 5 enables you to explore opportunities for increasing specialisation within the field of interior architecture and design. At this level of study you will be given the opportunity to acquire professional skills and develop as an individual creative practitioner.

You will continue to develop your computer visualisation skills through the application of texture, lighting and sourcing of furniture and you will be introduced to external factors that impact interior architecture and design, such as sustainability and designing for destruction.

Level 5 Module Descriptions

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Design Studio 3: Close Up

This module sets the framework to enable you to develop inventive and appropriate approaches to the detailed reworking and transformation of existing built spaces. You will engage with materials and construction, and you will be introduced to the important issues of sustainability, maintenance and resource-effectiveness.

Your brief will focus on delivering a detailed design solution for a Nordic shoe company opening a series of unique retail environments within the UK. You have been appointed to deliver an innovative design concept for the first UK flagship interior space. You will also be required to analyse the project requirements, consider areas of investigation and plan a working process.

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Communication 3: Digital Skills 2

During this module you will develop digital modelling techniques for the representation and communication of three-dimensional designs in the digital environment. You will be introduced to CAD animation and will begin to develop an understanding of the importance of narrative for representing and communicating design proposals.

You will explore these skills through the completion of your assessment brief, which involves the creation of an innovative seating and storage solution, which will be communicated through an online blog. You will design a unique element of free-standing furniture which combines both the opportunity to sit or rest, whilst providing storage for items such as books and other home/work media. You will also be required to keep an online blog of the project’s design and development.

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Technology 2: Detail

This module examines design thinking with physical exploration, through continued research of selected interior spaces, supported with the study of lighting, acoustics, sourcing of specific pieces of furniture and other environmental conditions. You will also develop knowledge of structure, construction materials and sustainability within interior architecture and design.

You will use what you have learned in the module to design a workspace for a young, energetic and inventive design company, who are specialists in creative sustainable packaging. The company want their workspace to reflect their own ethos – to be functional yet flexible, easy to construct and easy to adjust, use materials simply and intelligently, and be sustainable and healthy. You must show consideration of these important elements within your design solutions and interpret these creatively.

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Design Studio 4: Inside Out

This module considers the range of possibilities offered by interior architecture and design, from temporary installations and event-based work, to more permanent realisations. You will explore the ways interior architecture and design can act as a catalyst of social space and improve the built environment. You will be required to draw out conceptual ideas from a study of specific historical, social and physical aspects of this context.

Your brief will be to design an architectural pavilion for a film festival in a chosen city centre location. You will need to consider incorporating space for three screening spaces, a café/bar, a ticket office, retail opportunity and WC facilities. You will be expected to evidence your initial research, your spatial planning and design language, and your final design solutions.

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Professional Development 1: Preparing for Industry

This module is designed to provide you with knowledge of career prospects and current industry trends and patterns within interior architecture and design. You will build professional networks, take initiative within agreed frameworks and apply business context to your own working practices.

For the module brief, you will design and create your own self-promotional materials, including a business card, compliments slip and letter headed paper. You will also create a professional persona that will help you to promote yourself effectively. You will be guided through the process of constructing your own PDF portfolio and CV; fundamental tools for your advancement in the industry.

Critical and Cultural Studies

At this level, you will be introduced to critical theories and methodologies relevant to your own discipline. You will learn how to critically engage with your own practice, as well as that of others. The use of links and references to external sources, as an integral part of the learning materials, will introduce you to independent research. Your tutor will guide and support you in the choice of research topic for the final essay brief through continuous feedback and discussion.

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Level 6: BA (Hons)

Level 6 is the ‘portfolio level’ of your programme. The emphasis at this level is on building a portfolio of work in preparation for entering the design profession.

You will have the opportunity to enter national design competitions and to negotiate personal projects with your tutor in order to develop your own personal creativity.

As this is your final level of study before you begin to practise professionally, you will also build on and develop the self promotion and marketing skills that you learned at Level 5 to establish contacts, work experience and employment within the industry.

Level 6 Module Descriptions

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Design Studio 5: Generator

A key aspect of interior architecture and design involves the use of design to adapt, transform and improve existing buildings and spaces through enabling new uses and experiences.

In this module, you will investigate how interior architecture and design can take on a truly transformational role by undertaking the design of a residential property in line with the requirements set by a specific client.

For the brief, you are asked to design an environment based on food; for example, a noodle bar, cheesemonger or chocolatier. You will develop your own project proposal, research and development programme which will typically include three elements: a research investigation and analysis, a process of experimentation and testing, and an outline design proposal. Your project development proposal should be suitable to be taken through to detailed design development, resolution, and communication.

Critical and Cultural Studies L6: Degree Essay/Report (Design)

Designers are informed practitioners who engage critically with their discipline, its history, ideas which inform it, and how it is likely to evolve in the future. This module will enable you to conduct an in-depth study of an aspect of design culture of your choosing with the emphasis on the analysis of appropriate social, cultural, economic, technical, historical and aesthetic issues relevant to your chosen topic and creative work.

In this module, you will be able to bring your own interests into your work. Your independent research will be supported through discussion with your peers in the forums and other support materials. You will also develop skills in research, organisation and planning and critical analysis.

The assessed element of this module consists of a 6,000 word essay or negotiated equivalent.

Technology 3: Contemporary Technologies

This module aims to extend your knowledge and understanding of technical principles and methods which inform design development. It will provide the opportunity for self-initiated exploration of thematic cutting edge technologies relating to spatial practices explored in the studio projects. The aim is to encourage you to creatively engage with building technology and environmental considerations as part of an emergent design process.

In the brief, you are asked to design a stool, a table or a light which exploits the digital fabrication techniques of laser or CNC cutting. Your aim must be to minimise waste and employ minimal fixings or adhesive to assemble the design.

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Professional Development 2: Professional Practice and Employability

Throughout the module you will acquire the self promotion and marketing skills necessary to establish contacts, work experience, and employment within the interior architecture and design industry. In addition, this module will introduce you to legislation, tax issues, and grants; all factors that should be considered if you’re thinking about pursuing a career as a freelance designer, business owner, or if you’re looking towards international employment.

As part of your assessment, you will carry out selected research to identify and analyse three potential employers and employment opportunities within the interior architecture and design industry. You will also develop a design manifesto which will incorporate completed work from the module that expresses your creative skills and visions, and will promote your identity to a professional audience. Your manifesto will also provide evidence of your professional knowledge and the key principles of design practice, and will demonstrate the role of legislation and regulation in the design industry, and how the role of a professional designer meets these challenges.

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Design Studio 6: Augment

This module focuses on the development of a personal major project that is closely connected with design research and technological investigations. The project on this module will be a significant part of your portfolio and is intended to indicate your readiness for professional practice or postgraduate study.

At this level of study you will be expected to demonstrate an independent and professional approach to your project, in terms of time and project management and the presentation of your work at the conclusion of the module.

You are asked to develop specific approaches to agreed design problems for a self-selected site(s). The given design problems are intended to encourage an experimental approach to the process of inquiry into interior architecture and design. Your chosen sites should be of sufficient complexity to enable you to fully demonstrate your ability to integrate the different aspects of designing across practical, professional, and expressive requirements. The resultant portfolio of work should allow you to market yourself and enhance your potential to secure future employment.

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Start Dates

Most of our applicants are keen to start their studies as soon as possible, so we have intakes in February, June and October. Depending on the course you choose, you may be able to start in any intake, but there could be some restrictions. You can apply directly on our website at any time for any future intake and your Admissions Advisor will be able to confirm when the next start date for your chosen course will be.

Even if you are unsure about when you would like to start, or which course is best for you, contact us and a member of our Student Recruitment Team will be able to advise you.

start dates

Entry and Portfolio Requirements

We consider all applications on an individual basis and welcome applications from those with non-standard qualifications and from a variety of backgrounds.

Education, Skills and Work Experience

With all applicants, we like to see either some evidence of previous study within art and design or visual (skill) evidence of art and design experience.

UK Applicants

For UK applicants, we require either between 240 and 260 points from GCE A Levels (or equivalent), including art related subjects, and English Language and Mathematics at grade C or above, or a relevant level of equivalent skills and experience.

International Applicants

You will normally have completed either a pre-degree course in visual arts, which may be a Foundation or equivalent course leading to a BTEC National Diploma/Certificate or equivalent international qualification.

All applicants from non-majority English speaking countries need to provide proof of English language proficiency. One of the following qualifications (or equivalent) is required:

  • GSCE English Language grade A-C
  • IELTS 6.0 (with no less than 5.5 in any band)

Portfolio Guidelines

To enrol on the programme, we are looking for work that shows an interest in, and aptitude for, visual communication. It is often sufficient to provide a few examples that demonstrate your drawing skills, but you can also include examples of any work you have done in graphic design, illustration, photography, painting, printmaking, digital media, text based pieces, and other art and design media.

Your portfolio should show evidence of the design cycle, from generating ideas, through development, to a completed outcome. Including examples from your sketchbook or journal is a good way to showcase this. Above all, we want to see evidence of your enthusiasm for creativity and your eagerness to learn more.

For more information, please visit our Portfolio Guidelines page.

Reading and Materials Requirements

During your studies with IDI you will need access to specific pieces of equipment, which will enable you to complete your coursework. Sourcing these will be your responsibility and any costs incurred are not included in your fees. For further information about the equipment requirements, please refer to the programme Reading and Materials List.

The requirement is to have access to the materials, not necessarily to own them. For example, they may be accessed in an open access studio, media resource centre, library, StudyNet or Community Centre. Equipment and materials can be acquired as you work through the course materials, they do not necessarily have to be purchased at the start of your course and what you require may vary in quantity and range depending on the work you carry out.

If you have any problems gaining access to the equipment required, you can contact our Admissions Advisors who will be able to give you more information and answer any queries.

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Fees and Discounts

PAYMENT IN FULL

TOTAL PAYMENT £4,500
  • Our standard fees for degree level courses are £4,500 per level
  • There are three levels in a BA (Hons) degree programme
  • Fees are payable per level

FULL-TIME PAYMENT PLANS

From £576 per month
  • Two instalments of £2,304
    Total payment of £4,608 per level*
  • Eight instalments of £576
    Total payment of £4,608 per level*

 

PART-TIME PAYMENT PLANS

From £288 per month
  • Four instalments of £1,152
    Total payment of £4,608 per level*
  • 16 instalments of £288
    Total payment of £4,608 per level*

 

*Please note these figures include a small administration fee.

Employers and self-employed student discounts

We offer a discount to employers who are supporting their employees to study with IDI. Students who are self-employed can also benefit from this discount.

We can also arrange a group price for employers who want to support a number of employees.

For details of payment options and to find out how this could benefit you and your business please contact Danielle Gray on 0131 777 9321 or Freephone 0800 917 1118 or by e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Future Finance student loans

IDI is partnered with Future Finance to offer current and prospective students on the following courses the opportunity to apply for loans:

  • All MA courses
  • Levels 5 and 6 (equivalent to year 2 and 3) of all BA (Hons) courses

To find out more about fees, funding and Future Finance student loans, please click here.

 

Should our fees be subject to an increase at any time during your studies, your fees will be fixed at the level you paid at the start of your course, as long as you follow your original pattern of study.

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Careers

This course will prepare you for a career in interior architecture and design, as well as for related roles.

Following on from your undergraduate studies, if you decide that you want to further specialise in interior architecture and design, we also offer an MA Interior Design award. You can find out more about our Postgraduate Programme in Art and Design here.

Whichever path you choose, you will have many opportunities to create a strong portfolio of interior architecture and design projects that will be an invaluable advantage when seeking employment.

Potential Careers:

  • Interior Designer
  • Industrial/Product Designer
  • Interior Architect
  • Film/TV Set Designer
  • Spatial Designer
  • Theatre Set Designer
  • Furniture Designer
  • Design Project Manager
  • Industrial Designer
  • Space Planner

Student Discounts and Offers

Through partnerships and initiatives, we are able to offer our students institutional discounts on various products and services to help you gain access to quality materials at an affordable fee.

Adobe Creative Cloud

As an IDI student, you would be eligible for a discount of up to 65% off Adobe Creative Cloud* on production of an approved 'Proof of Student Status' letter.

*Adobe Creative Cloud is only available in selected countries. Find out if you can gain access from where you live by clicking here.

Graphics Direct

IDI students can also receive additional discounts. Enter ‘IDI’ at the Graphics Direct checkout and you will receive an extra 10% off, even on discounted and sale items.

Tutors

All of our tutors are professionals with first class educational experience. We guarantee our students a consistently high standard of tuition, guidance and support across all of the online art and design courses that we deliver.

Click on the images below to find out more about their practice and experience:

  • Caroline Walsh

    Caroline Walsh

  • Joe Lynch

    Joe Lynch

  • Lorenzo Beretta

    Lorenzo Beretta

  • Rajinderpal Singh

    Rajinderpal Singh

Course Duration

The BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Designprogramme is currently available for part-time study. Subject to minimum cohort numbers, the course can also run full-time. Please contact one of our Student Recruitment Advisors to register your interest in full-time study.

  • Part-time – Completed in twelve semesters (four years)
  • Full-time – Completed in six semesters with two semester breaks (two years, eight months)
  • Accelerated full-time – Completed in six semesters (two years)

Expected minimum studying time commitment per study mode:

  • Part-time – 15 to 20 hours per week
  • Full-time – 30 hours per week

The hours per week indicate time spent on directed activities. However, you will also need to consider the additional time needed to read support materials and other resources, upload your work to the IDI-Study site, communicate with your tutors and interact with your peers within the forums.

If you begin studying and feel that the pace isn’t quite right for you, you can change your study mode within the first four weeks of study, or on completion of a level.

Advanced Entry

If you have a previous qualification in interior architecture and design or a closely related field, or extensive industry experience (at least five years), you may be considered for advanced entry onto either Level 5 or 6 of the degree programme.

Accredited Prior Learning (APL)

Accredited Prior Learning (APL) is the process for accessing and recognising prior experiential learning or prior certificated learning for academic purposes. This recognition gives the learning a credit value and allows it to be counted towards the completion of a degree or other award.

Credit is the common currency of university programmes. Each course module has a credit value and these credits are accumulated towards the full award. For example, an honours degree requires 120 credits at each of Levels 4, 5 and 6.

The APL process is intended to stop learners repeating learning that they have already achieved.

There are two types of APL:

Accredited Prior Certificated Learning (APCL)

Accredited Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) is learning that has been recognised previously by an education provider, evidenced by formal certification, and assessed and recognised for the award of credit.

If you have previously studied a course that has broadly the same learning outcomes as ones on an IDI programme, then you can apply to have these credited against your degree. However, if a qualification or credit is more than five years old, it could be considered out of date and may not be used towards a degree.

If you have international qualifications, we may ask you to provide an official document that states how your international qualification compares to UK qualifications. You are likely to have to pay for this service.

Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL)

Accredited Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) is learning that has been achieved through experiences outside the formal education and training systems, normally associated with a working environment, which has been assessed and recognised for the award of credit by the University. It is different from formal learning, as it is often unstructured and can be more personal and individualised.

APEL applicants can develop skills, strengths and knowledge from a range of experiential learning. Please be aware that learning must be at an equivalent level to that on the modules offered on our programmes and you must be able to evidence it. This is typically done by means of a portfolio. It is usual for this to involve some sort of reflective writing about your learning, but it might involve many other forms of evidence too.

It is important to remember that it is the learning from experience rather than the learning itself that is assessed for credit and so you will need to be able to articulate this.

Making an Advanced Entry Application

When completing an application for advanced entry, you will be asked to provide evidence that you have confidently met the learning outcomes of the level(s) for which you are claiming credit. Your Admissions Advisor will help you with this

Completed applications will be submitted to our Admissions team and forwarded to the Academic Leader for review. After review, a recommended entry level will be given and you will receive feedback on your application. If your claim for Accredited Prior Learning (APL) is full or partly on Accredited Prior Experiential Learning (APEL), you will be invited to attend a viva via Skype to support your claim.

In some rare cases we can offer credits for one or more modules in a level, but this is not common or advisable, as the modules have been developed for you to benefit from the complete learning journey. There are also no payment plans in place for this situation and in most cases you will be required to pay for the full level.

If you are successful in your claim for advanced entry, you will be sent a conditional offer. This condition is based on confirmation of your claim for credits from the University of Hertfordshire’s Board of Examiners who will approve the award of credit on your student record. At this stage you will be invited to confirm your place on the course by making payment.

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