Interior Architecture and Design - BA (Hons)

Currently viewing course to start in 2024/25 Entry. Switch to 2025/26 Entry

The mission of this innovative Interior Architecture and Design course is to develop autonomous agents of positive change. Our graduates leave capable and eager to define their own career path, equipped with capabilities to challenge the status quo and able to thrive in ever-changing contexts.

  • Level Undergraduate
  • Study mode Full Time
  • Location City Centre
  • School Birmingham School of Architecture and Design
  • Faculty Faculty of Arts, Design and Media

This course is:

Available with Professional Placement year

Open to International Students

Overview

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.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

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.

Professional Placement Year

This course offers an optional professional placement year. This allows you to spend a whole year with an employer, following successful completion of your second year, and is a great way to find out more about your chosen career. Some students even return to the same employers after completing their studies.

If you choose to pursue a placement year, you will need to find a suitable placement to complement your chosen area of study. You will be able to draw on the University’s extensive network of local, regional, and national employers, and the support of our Careers teams. If you are able to secure a placement, you can request to be transferred to the placement version of the course.

Please note that fees are payable during your placement year, equivalent to 20% of the total full-time course fee for that year.

I now know how much I can achieve if I put all my heart into it. My knowledge about Interior Design is now stronger and I can do so much more. I have achieved what I was striving for.

Izabela Bartlomiejczyk, graduate

Elsie-May Gribbon

Elsie initially only intended to study a one year foundation course following a move to Birmingham. However, she found the course, the support and the experience at BCU transformative, leading her to make some big life changes so she could continue to the Interior Architecture and Design degree.

Read in full

Why Choose Us?

  • You will work with our industry connections, have the opportunity to be featured in Dezeen, and as well as the chance to enter international design competitions
  • During each year of study you will be working closely with our team of Industry Professionals that dedicate time each week to working alongside you as students, helping to align all projects and work output with the industry standards, and in context of present day projects.
  • Interior Design is 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. One of our objectives is to provide our students with an interdisciplinary approach to the discipline of Interior Architecture and Design through different collaborations with lecturers and students of other schools within the University. These collaborations will enable you to explore different strategies to face an Interior architecture/design project based on transferable skills from different disciplines.
  • You will benefit from study trips, which could include design-focused European Cities, and/or Clerkenwell and The London Design Festival.
  • Two-thirds of the impact of our research was judged to be very considerable (3*) or outstanding (4*) - REF2021
  • Birmingham School of Architecture and Design is highly respected and has a rich history of providing education and opportunities.

Open Days

Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to learn about this course in detail, chat to students, explore our campus and tour accommodation. In the week before the event, we’ll post you an event programme to plan your day and find your way.

Next Open Day: 29 June 2024

Book Now

Entry Requirements

These entry requirements apply for entry in 2024/25.

All required qualifications/grades must have been achieved and evidenced at the earliest opportunity after accepting an offer to help confirm admission and allow for on-time enrolment. This can also include other requirements, like a fee status form and relevant documents. Applicants can track their application and outstanding information requests through their BCU mySRS account.

Essential requirements

120 UCAS tariff points

Please note: If you qualify for our BCU Accelerate scheme, you could receive an offer that is two grades below our normal entry requirements. Find out more about BCU Accelerate.

Applicants will also need to submit a good portfolio.

If you have a qualification that is not listed, please contact us.

Fees & How to Apply

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

International students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 3 years
  • £16,085 in 2024/25

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library, including: Frame, Elle Decoration, Cereal, Wallpaper and Icon Eye magazines.

Project materials (mandatory)

This course includes project work that requires you to develop and produce a portfolio and in some instances architectural models. You'll be expected to provide the materials for use in your individual projects; costs will vary depending on the materials selected. We suggest you budget about £300 for 3D modelling, laser cutting and portfolio folders for each project. An average budget of about £200 should cover the purchase of your own tools: good quality pencils, scale ruler, a cutting mat, crayons, colour wheel and masking tape.

Media consumable items (mandatory)

This course requires the use of consumables, including a drawing board (£30).

Specialist equipment (mandatory)

This course requires the purchase of specialist equipment.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Books (optional)

All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. You may choose to purchase a copy, in which case we suggest budgeting approximately £300 for this.

Placement expenses (optional)

If you choose to undertake a placement, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst living or working away from home.

Field trips (optional)

This course includes the option of additional trips that may enhance your experience, at extra cost.

Software (optional)

Essential software will be provided but additional software may incur license costs. As a BCU student, you are entitled to educational discounts on these additional software where available.

Personal equipment - laptop (optional)

Whilst not essential, it is recommended you purchase a mid-high spec Windows based laptop due to the hardware requirements of the specialist software we use. If you wish to use an Apple product, please ensure that it meets the minimum specifications and the minimum storage capacity of 256GB so that Windows can be installed. Typical costs range from £650 to £2000.

Personal equipment - digital camera (optional)

You may want to purchase your own digital camera to use during the course, which is likely to be in the region of £300. We also recommend insuring your camera which can cost £40 to £80 per year.

Personal equipment - computer peripherals (optional)

We recommend you purchase a 1TB remote hard drive (approximately £50) and wireless mouse.

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Guidance for UK students

UK 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.

Applying through UCAS

  1. Register with UCAS
  2. Login to UCAS and complete your details
  3. Select your course and write a personal statement
  4. Get a reference
  5. Pay your application fee and submit your application

Guidance for International students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and Equal Opportunities Form, and submit them together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

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.

3) Through UCAS

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.

Portfolio guidance

If you receive an offer to study this course, you will be required to submit a portfolio. We ask that this is submitted within four weeks of receiving your offer.

Please see our portfolio guidance page for tips on putting your portfolio together.

Portfolio guidance

If you receive an offer to study this course, you will be required to submit a portfolio. We ask that this is submitted within four weeks of receiving your offer.

Please see our portfolio guidance page for tips on putting your portfolio together.

Personal statement

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:

  • Course choice - Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
  • Career plans - If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
  • Work experience - Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
  • School or college experience - Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
  • Non-accredited skills or achievement - 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.

Worried about Personal Statements?

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.

Get personal statement advice

*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.

Course in Depth

Year one

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Modules include:

Year two

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 100 credits):

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete at least 20 credits from the following list of OPTIONAL modules:

Year three

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.

Download course specification

Download now

In the first year, you will build your relationship with the discipline, gaining invaluable skills in drawing, model-making and concept testing in our industry-standard studios and workshops.

Taught by experienced practising designers, our interior architecture and design course mixes practice with theory, so you can create links between concepts and materials while strengthening your design skills across key industry sectors. First year projects focus on key principles, such as lighting, texture, and colour, applied first to surface and then to objects in space. Through engagement with recent graduates, practitioners, and site visits, students have an active experience of the field as it is today.

Computer simulation and design is covered by using software such as the Adobe Design Suite, AutoCAD and other digital design tools.

Second year explores the fringes of the discipline, encouraging you to begin to define your design identity. Building on the fundamentals, project become more complex, dealing with creation of voids, and introducing various approaches to design resolution. Through engagement with suppliers, manufactures, clients, and collaboration with related courses, you will develop your understanding of the potential of the field.

Third year challenges you to define your professional persona. Projects focus on the near future of the discipline. By engaging with work placement, professional bodies, and a range of specialists, you will define your major project to align with your early career ambitions. This is demonstrated in the highly individual and personal responses from our recent graduates, which included:

  • Material investigation, developing and prototyping biomaterials for interior applications.
  • Developing LGBTQI+ space through engagement with local residents.
  • Exploring the influence of graphic design on spatial design, and mirroring this dialogue to experiment with spatial techniques guiding a graphical process.
  • Questioning the relationship between material and immaterial in the re-use of heritage buildings.

You will have the opportunity to showcase the skills you have obtained throughout this degree course by exhibiting at our graduate show, as well as entering national and international design competitions, emerging as a design aware and employable graduate.

Studio activities

  • Interdisciplinary Workshops – such as Fashion collaboration: building inhabitable expanded costumes. Film-making; learn how to design and edit video as a method of communication. Landscape and Interiors: designing the inside outside.
  • Real-life projects, with real local sites to transform and manipulate within the perimeters of your project briefs.
  • Opportunities to work with other students of different disciplines to enhance your understanding of design as a team and accommodate different approaches.

Professional associations

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.

Employability

Enhancing employability skills

Our expert staff will help you stand out from the crowd by developing your competitive and transferable interior design skills through live project collaborations as well as 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 varied design environments, including retail, workplace, exhibitions, events design, or as a set designer for theatre or film

Placements

During your third 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.

More about our placement opportunities

International

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:

Facilities & Staff

Parkside gallery

Our Facilities

When you join Birmingham City University, the first thing you will notice is the exceptional quality of our campuses. With an investment of over £400 million across our buildings and facilities, we are committed to giving you the very best learning environment to help shape your experience.

You will be based in our multi-million pound Parkside building – a state of the art facility located within our City Centre Campus. Here you will have full access to our recently upgraded, high spec CAD (Computer-Aided-Design) workstations situated within our dedicated computer labs and open access areas. We also provide access to leading edge digital design software, enabling you to explore technical drawing, graphics, 3D modelling, visualization, animation, computation, simulation, and virtual reality.

The Parkside Building is also home to our digital fabrication labs, where you will be able to explore 3D printing, laser cutting, CNC machining, ceramics, glass and traditional model-making, guided by our team of expert technicians with access to our on-site material store, and professional printing facilities.

You’ll also benefit from:

  • Design studios
  • Physical and digital library
  • Loanable laptops
  • Dedicated social spaces
  • Cafés

Take a look around on our virtual walkthroughs

Photo Gallery

From industry-standard software, to our workshops and studio spaces, everything you need will be at your fingertips from day one. Working with our dedicated teaching teams and expert technicians, you'll be supported from concept through to completion.

Our staff

Dr Senem Zeybekoglu Sadri

Lecturer in Architecture and Design

Dr. Senem Zeybekoglu Sadri studied architecture at Yildiz Technical University in Istanbul, Turkey. She completed her PhD on “Urban Regeneration and the Right to the City” in 2008. Her post-doctoral research at the City College of New York, USA, focused on urban housing organisations and community-based planning and design.

More about Senem

Josephine Bridges

Lecturer in Interior Architecture and Design & Course Director BA in Interior Architecture and Design

Josephine has been teaching at Birmingham City University (BCU) since September 2019. During this time she has worked with the Level 6 (3rd year) cohort where she has been GradShow Coordinator, EDI Champion and Co:Lab tutor, and with the Level 4 (1st year) cohort as both lecturer and year lead, drawing on her skills from practice and her own...

More about Josephine