Do you want to learn how to transform spaces? This innovative Interior Architecture and Design degree course covers a broad range of design possibilities, ranging from reordering to transforming space. Situated within Birmingham School of Architecture and Design, our course will provide you with the facilities and education that you’ll need to succeed within the industry, as well as offering excellent opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration and networking with industry partners.
Our BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Design course provides you with the skills to transform or give new life to spaces, as well as teaching you how to plan and design creative interiors.
You will look at hierarchies and relationships between different spaces, describing these relationships in new ways. This industry-aligned degree course offers you the opportunity to study and practise the adaption and re-use of space within new and existing building stock, while also addressing aesthetics, human needs, materiality and more, as well as the ephemeral qualities of atmosphere, character, colour, light and shade.
Alongside the regeneration of existing space, you will discover new interior environments, in a broad range of industry sectors, such as hospitality, retail, leisure and residential, using an experimental approach to design to develop the refined techniques required for effective space planning, conceptual design, development, visualisation and the refurbishment of space.
Our next Open Day for this course will take place on Saturday 28 September 2019. Register your interest and we'll send an email update nearer the time. Visit us to see our facilities and speak to our staff and students.
Concerns is an annual publication by Birmingham School of Architecture and Design. In this issue, you can view final year student work and read more about the activities within the School.
Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:
We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
120 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels.
In addition to qualification applicants will also need a good digital portfolio.
|Typical Offers (UK students)|
|GCE A Level/ AS Level||BBB at A-Level or 120 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A-Levels|
|Access to Higher Education Diploma||Pass overall with 60 credits, 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2. Must be in a relevant subject pathway. Construction, Planning, Built Environment and Art and Design subjects preferred but other subjects also considered.|
|Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF)||DDM. Must be considered along with a minimum of 2 of the following qualifications: A-levels, BTEC Subsidiary Diplomas/ OCR Cambridge Technical Diplomas. Can also be considered in combination with a BTEC Extended Diploma, Art and Design Foundation Diploma or UAL Extended Diploma to obtain 120 pts.|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma||
Obtain a minimum of 30 points overall. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates if they achieve a total of 15 points or above from three Higher Level subjects alongside other acceptable level 3 qualifications to meet 120 UCAS Tariff Points.
|Irish Leaving Certificate||Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 120 tariff points, achieved in four Higher level subjects.|
|Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher||Achieve a minimum of 120 tariff points achieved from either five Highers or a combination of two Highers offered with two Advanced Highers.|
|If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.
Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
In addition to qualifications, EU and international applicants will also need a good digital portfolio. EU students living and studying in the UK are not required to submit a portfolio.
Please see your country page for further details on the equivalent qualifications we accept.
|EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications||Requirements|
Minimum overall score of 6.0, with 6.0 in writing and no less than 5.5 in the remaining three skills.
If you do not meet the required IELTS score, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English courses. Please note that you must have a Secure English Language Test (SELT) to study on the pre-sessional English course. More information.
|International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).|
International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).
Applications from mature students (21+) with alternative qualifications and/or considerable work experience will be considered on their merits.
From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2020||FT||3 years||£9,250 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2020||FT||3 years||£12,800 per year|
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.
UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.
The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.
There are three ways to apply:
Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.
If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.
The following direct entry students will be required to submit a digital portfolio at the point of application.
International and EU students living and applying from outside the UK will need to provide a portfolio.
This can be submitted via your applicant portal. Please see our portfolio guidance page for tips on putting your portfolio together.
UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*
The personal statement gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.
Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:
Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.
You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.
Our courses include activities such as performance, exhibitions, field trips and production of works or artefacts which may require you to purchase specific equipment, instruments, books, materials, hire of venues and accommodation, or other items. Many of these activities are essential and compulsory parts of your learning experience.
The link below gives you an estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on your course. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course.
All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.
If you've got no idea where to start or just want to check you're on the right track, we’ve got expert advice and real examples from our students to help you nail your personal statement. You can even download our ultimate personal statement guide for free.
We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.
In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):
This module enables students to [re]order spatial activities and space planning to design creative and innovative interiors by exploring spatial concepts, their design and representation. These are key components in the repertoire of the interior architect and designer. This module focuses on your understanding of the relationships between adjacent spaces/activities, spatial hierarchies, and the more ephemeral qualities of light, shade, and colour.
This design and make module seeks to embed an understanding of human physicality and the manipulation of space, which will enable you to design with user centred considerations in mind and appreciate and develop awareness of the interface between products/artefacts/environments and users. This module explores and challenges the physical, psychological and emotional factors that influence user responses to their environments and actions in their everyday life.
This module is the first one of a series that will culminate in your final major project. You will be asked to develop an interior design project within a given brief. On this first level of the Transforming Space series, you will be approaching the design of a single-function space.
You are expected to undertake research on a programme you are not familiar with and integrate and articulate it within a given site. You will also have to demonstrate the ability to apply relevant knowledge presented through specialised seminars, workshops and lectures to your interior design project.
Twentieth Century Design Cultures
This module engages with the key design ideologies of the 20th Century. The History of Western Architecture has an on-going complex relationship with Modernism. Despite having moved beyond Modernism and post-modernism, at the beginning of the 21st Century, the designed environment; buildings, furniture, interiors and the public realm, still holds traces of and responds to elements of the Modernist ideologies. This Module will enable you to engage with design precedents from the 20th Century through a series of lectures and seminars. You will learn about their history and the social, political and cultural context that gave rise to specific design movements within this period.
This module builds on the introduction you have had to communication approaches within the discipline of interiors and will provide you with a deeper awareness and understanding of a variety of industry relevant communication methods, while also developing the breadth and depth of your visualisation language. This will include ways in which design concepts are demonstrated through appropriate portfolio techniques, leading toward you becoming a design aware and industry aware student.
In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 100 credits):
This module will enable you to approach the challenges that the discipline of Interior Architecture and Design present from an interdisciplinary perspective.
Interior Architecture and Design is a young discipline that draws its language mainly from the discipline of Architecture. It has yet to define its own distinctive methods. It is also a field that draws on many other fields to inform itself, such as the arts, literature, film, photography, fashion, etc. and so, by its nature, touches many disciplines.
Transforming Space 2
This module is the second in a series of Transforming Space modules that will culminate in your final major project. You will be asked to develop an interior design project within a given brief. On this second level of the Transforming Space series, you will be approaching the design of a mix-use space.
You are expected to undertake research on a programme you are not familiar with and integrate and articulate the spatial functions set on the brief. At this level you will be asked to make a critical choice amongst several options that can involve several sites, spatial functions... etc., to further explain the brief.
The main focus of this module is to enable you to develop more advanced CAD skills (SolidWorks) and use these in relation to the design process. As your skills develop you will be expected to utilise and correctly synthesise the SolidWorks program in line with industry recognised production methods and techniques. This will enable you to develop and realise designed concepts using digital technologies and to effectively communicate design intentions within the context of manufacturing and industry.
In order to complete this course you must successfully complete at least 20 credits from the following list of OPTIONAL modules:
Praxis (Work placement)
The purpose of this module is to enable you to develop professional attributes and subject skills through experience in the work place or a live case study, and to critically reflect upon your learning and future options in that context. You will normally be expected to arrange your own placement, with support from academic staff and BCU Careers. Typically, the placement duration is 1 or 2 weeks. This should be achieved in one block where possible. It is also possible to fulfil this module through a case study, via physical interview of a current practise if placement becomes unattainable.
The module is an opportunity to learn and critically reflect on the skills of collaboration by enabling you to create an interdisciplinary project with students from complementary disciplines, or with academic staff. Collaboration is a vital employability skill within the Creative Industries and this module allows you to develop these skills, making use of University facilities and with the support of academic staff. Within this module framework, several kinds of collaborative opportunities are available. For example, with the approval of your supervisor, you can determine a project based on your own interests; your supervisor may set you a predetermined project to enable you to work with other students in a way that is appropriate to your subject area; or there may be opportunities for you to collaborate with staff on research projects. In all cases, you must apply your subject skills to an interdisciplinary project which will be agreed in advance with your supervisor.
This module provides an opportunity for you to apply your knowledge and skills to an external, professional brief. The brief will be set by an external client/ agency, in consultation with your supervisor, and it could be a ‘real life’ problem to be solved, or a simulation. It is an opportunity for you to engage in a professional manner with an aspect of your subject area, which contributes to the development of employability skills within the supportive infrastructure of the University. Where appropriate, the project may involve interdisciplinary collaboration with students from other courses. In this way, it reflects the collaborative, flexible nature of employment within the Creative Industries.
Core modules are guaranteed to run. Optional modules will vary from year to year and the published list is indicative only.
In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).
Showcase your work to industry leaders looking for new talent, such as Free Range London, presenting yourself as a design aware industry ready interior designer.
The combination of applied contextual research & preparatory analysis is at the forefront of the developmental procedures of design. Often the in-depth investigation and critical analysis of contextual factors not only outlines opportunities for the advancement of design practice, but further defines the constraints of any practical applications in design methods & techniques. In all senses the planning and preparation of relevant materials to support the design process is essential, along with the ability to self-manage individual activities.
This module will enable you to discover the challenges of exploring design feasibility related to multiple projects within the discipline of Interior Architecture and Design from a professional perspective. Taking 2-3 project titles as potential outline briefs, alongside specific existing sites, objectively interrogate them by exploring the potential of design, technology, structure and professional practice. With objectivity you will synthesise each outcome, leading to an emergence of one stronger feasible project.
The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and theoretically informed research project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. It is important that we can support you appropriately, so you will be guided towards choosing a research topic which is relevant to your discipline and in which your lecturers have expertise. The outcome may take the form of a written dissertation or a practice-based portfolio.
In the first year, you will gain invaluable skills in drawing, model-making and concept modelling in our industry-standard studios and workshops.
Taught by experienced practising designers, our interior design course mixes practice with theory, so you can create links between concepts and materials while strengthening your design skills across key industry sectors.
Computer simulation and design is covered by using software such as the Adobe Design Suite, VectorWorks and other 3D rendering tools.
The flavour of your second year is all about creativity and employability. You’ll have the opportunity of internships and live project work, giving you excellent industry connections and experience.
You’ll learn about design and its application while enjoying study trips, the chance of overseas study, international design competitions, and working with clients on real world industry projects.
In your third year you’ll have the opportunity to showcase the skills you have obtained throughout this degree course by embarking on an in-depth design project in an area of personal interest to you, combined with an opportunity to exhibit at our graduate show. Emerging as a design aware and employable graduate.
You will spend two full days in the design studio as followed:
This degree course is a member of interior educators. Interior Educators (IE) is an organisation established by academics representing well-established Interior design courses from across the UK. It is a unique group in that it provides a forum for debate and the exchange of ideas and practice effecting the education of designers of interior space. IE has created Interior Educators Student (IES), represents students on a national level, to graduation and employment. Through IES students can build their own online portfolios, view Interiors specific jobs as well as receiving advice from leading practitioners.
If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.
It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.
You will get the chance to participate in field trips organised by the school. For first year students, you’ll get the experience to visit somewhere within the UK and the trip is organised by the staff and the students.
Our expert staff will help you stand out from the crowd by developing your competitive and transferable interior design skills.
Through our work in live project collaborations, networking and competition success, we have developed strong links with organisations including: RBS Ltd, Tektura, Hartman, Petainer, Hi Macs, Yorkshire Water and the Environment Agency, Orangebox, KI, & Herman Miller to name a few.
Our graduates also have the chance to take part in training programmes as a Designer in Residence, or enjoy an international exchange opportunities.
You will learn how to confidently present your skills to employers as a designer in interior or architectural practices, and illustrate your strengths working in exhibitions, events design, or as a set designer for theatre or film.
Two of our recent graduates have had their design selected by outdoor furniture manufacturers, Hartman. Amit Fox and Justine Woolley now have their designs on sale on the Hartman website. Other graduates are working at global names such as FITCH, and Gensler.
During your second year there is a work placement opportunity, which is designed to enable you to develop professional attributes and subject skills through experience in the work place or a live case study, and to critically reflect upon your learning and future options in that context.
OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.
It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.
Freelance Designer and Painter
When I was looking for a university I was already 23, so I didn’t want to waste my time with bad choices. I did precise research about universities I could apply to, and chose Birmingham City University because it had a good reputation and I had read a lot of positive opinions from students.
I enjoy everything about the course – I have a passion for design and creating new spaces, I like to explore things, and I love to work with people with similar attitudes. The tutors are really helpful and every time I need advice or help I receive it. English is my second language but I never felt any different – any doubts, questions or problems, the staff were there to help.
Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.
Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.
Due to our overseas interest our graduates, progression is on an international scale, providing graduates with the opportunity to work all over the world including countries such as Norway, Russia, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Turkey, Japan, Sri Lanka, Uganda, UK and China.
Birmingham School of Architecture & Design are proud to be a part of the local design community, and have strong links to many companies across the UK. As an multi-disciplinary school we promote that ethos in everything we do, and work strongly with Professional Companies to ensure we are up to date with industry practise and standards.
Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.
The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.
Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:
The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations for international students.
The first-class experience offered by universities are reflected in the world’s largest survey of international students. International students are more likely to recommend the UK than any other leading English-language study destination.
International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.
BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.
When you join Birmingham City University, the first thing you will notice is the high standard of our campuses. With an investment of £340 million across our buildings and facilities, we are committed to giving you the very best learning environment to help shape your experience.
You’ll be based in the multi-million pound Parkside building – part of our City Centre Campus – with technology and facilities that reflect advanced professional practice. We offer facilities which will accurately reflect the work environment you will enter after graduating. These include Computer-Assisted Design (CAD) and a computer-generated Virtual Building Site, creating real life scenarios for you to work on.
While based in The Parkside Building, you will get sharpen your CAD and digital visual communication skills, prototyping and digital production, while also having access to a range of specialist software, workshops, computer and project learning laboratories, and a social learning space.
You’ll also benefit from:
From industry-standard software, to our workshops and studio spaces, everything you need will be at your fingertips from day one. Working with our expert technicians, you'll be supported from concept through to completion.
All of our staff come from an industry background and bring a wealth of skills, knowledge and experience.
All of this gives you access to the latest thinking, creativity and professional networks.
On the Interior Design course you will be taught by experts who specialise in: Design Communication, Creative Processes, Sustainability, Brand Development, Hospitality and Strategic Design Management.
Maria Jose Martinez holds a PhD in Architecture (Escuela Tecnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid). Her PhD thesis entitled Dynamic Cartographies: Body and movement in the architectural space is an investigation into how architectural and urban space influence the way we relate to space. Her MA in Advanced Theatre Practice at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama enabled her to specialize in space design within devising theatre processes. In 2012 she was awarded the INJUVE prize for young creators in performance for the piece entitled VACIO which was presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art Reina Sofia (Madrid). She has facilitated several workshops focused on space and body movement at the School of Architecture of Madrid (Spain), Universidade de Fortaleza (Brazil) and the University of Winchester (UK). She has been developing her professional career as a scenographer in London and Madrid where she has worked as a designer for several companies and festivals. She has also worked as an exhibition designer. She has presented her work at the Quadrennial of Scenography in Prague (2015) and the Biennal of Dance in Venice.