Interior Architecture and Design with a Foundation Year - BA (Hons)

  • UCAS Code: W25F
  • Level: Foundation
  • Starting: September 2020
  • Study mode: Full Time (4 years)
  • Location: City Centre

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 excellent opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration and networking with industry partners.

About foundation courses

This four year programme has been specifically designed to allow you to undertake additional level 3 study designed to ensure you are successful on your chosen degree course.

After successful completion of your foundation year, you will have the flexibility to switch (should you wish to change direction) onto a number of related undergraduate degree courses within Birmingham School of Architecture and Design.

What's covered in the 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.

Why Choose Us?

  • You will work with our industry connections, including London-based design consultants Imagination, whose portfolio includes Ford, Jaguar, BT, and Global Colour Research. You’ll have the chance to enter international design competitions and join our past students who have been successfully shortlisted for the Janine Stone Young Designers of the Year.
  • 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 visiting The Guggenheim Museum in New York, and other design-focused European Cities, and/or The London Design Festival.

Students outside Millennium Point

Open Days

Our next Open Day for this course will take place on Saturday 21 March 2020. Register your interest to see our facilities and speak to our staff and students. We'll be in touch once booking is open.

Book your place

This course is open to International students

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Discover Birmingham School of Architecture and Design

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

Concerns Cover

Read our Annual Review

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.

Read the Annual Review 

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • DFD Design
  • Graffiti4Hire Ltd
  • Hinton Properties

And in jobs such as:

  • Interior Designer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Interior Architect

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

Essential Requirements

88 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level.

Typical Offers (UK students)
UK Qualification Requirements
A level  CCD. A maximum of three subjects are considered. Other 6-unit qualifications can be considered in lieu of one or two A-level subjects. 

Must be taken alongside A Levels, BTEC QCF and/or OCR Cambridge Technical, to total 88 points minimum.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma

MMM
Access to HE Diploma 60 credits overall - 15 credits at level 2 and 45 credits at level 3. Construction, Planning, Built Environment subjects preferred but other subjects also considered.

Scottish Higher

Achieve a minimum of 88 tariff points achieved from either five Highers or a combination of two Highers offered with two Advanced Highers.

International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

Obtain a minimum of 24 points overall. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma and who achieve the minimum of 11 points from two Higher Level subjects, will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates.

OCR Cambridge Technical Certificate

Must be offered along with either two A-levels or two BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diplomas of 88 tariff points. Cannot be offered as a standalone qualification.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma

MM. Can be offered along with either one A-level or one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma qualification to achieve a minimum of 88 tariff points.

Scottish Advanced Higher

Achieve a minimum of 88 tariff points achieved in either three Advanced Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers.
Other qualifications
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.
Additional information for EU/International students
Essential

Please see your country page for further details on the equivalent qualifications we accept.

In addition to the academic entry requirements listed above, international and EU students will also require the qualifications detailed in this table.

EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements
IELTS

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.

Mature Applicants

Applications from mature students (21+) with alternative qualifications and/or considerable work experience will be considered on their merits.

  • UK/EU students
  • International students

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2020

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2020

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 4 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.

Guidance for UK/EU students

UCAS

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.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Portfolio Guidance

You are not required to submit a portfolio for this course.

Additional costs

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.

View additional costs for this course

Foundation year

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):
Communication Skills
20 credits

This module focuses on developing the 2D design skills and techniques required to communicate and visualise design concepts around space and form. You will work on a series of mini projects using predominantly manual techniques such as freehand sketching, technical drawing, and physical model-making. You will also be introduced to some digital techniques such as Photoshop and Desktop Publishing via InDesign.

Professional and Academic Development
20 credits

This module is designed to develop your academic skills and make the transition to degree level study. It specifically focuses on your ability to critique, reflect and verbalise your thoughts and concepts through channels such as presentations, blogs and live journals.

You will learn how to use research methods to inform your practice and have the opportunity to advance your academic writing and referencing skills.

Design Techniques
20 credits

This module is designed to give you an introduction to the design processes used by the various disciplines and includes appraisal of design briefs, understanding context, design drivers, and the development of concepts and visuals through design feasibility studies. You will begin to understand how to turn your ideas into designs and the level required to reach a professional standard.

Underpinning the practice, you will explore and discuss fundamental concepts, particularly relating to human scale, ergonomics and anthropometrics, looking at design and its relationship to the physical aspects of the environment.

Design Disciplines
20 credits

This module is designed to encourage you to make connections between theory and practice and engage further in critical analysis. You will explore the historical aspects across the two design disciplines (a major and minor) and scales and current practices.

You will further explore the use of precedent studies, which will provide you with the tools to respond to the challenges and changes in different environments and habitations.

Presentation Techniques
20 credits

This module focuses on developing presentation skills, from visual and graphic presentation techniques to pitching and presenting ideas.

You will have opportunities through workshops and online tutorials to learn Adobe Creative Suite and 3D software such as Sketch-up.

Hands on workshop practice will be introduced across a range of materials.

Place and Space and Objects
20 credits

The aim of this module is to develop a concept design within your chosen discipline. You will document the design process, reflect on the experience and the final outcomes and the reasons for selecting your chosen field. The project will culminate in a comprehensive presentation, which will capture the whole design process via a design portfolio.

Year one

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

Modules include:
Re-ordering Space
20 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.

Manipulating Space
20 credits

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.

Transforming Space
40 credits

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
20 credits

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.

Design Devices
20 credits

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.

Year two

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

Interior Strategies
40 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
40 credits

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.

Design Communication
20 credits

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)
20 credits

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.

Collaborative Practice
20 credits

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.

Live Project
20 credits

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.

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.

Critical Study
20 credits

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.

Design Integration
40 credits

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.

Major Project
60 credits

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.

Hours in the studio

You will spend two full days in the design studio as followed:

  • Integrated Studio is mixed diet of lectures, workshops, and seminars where you build your skills base
  • Tutored Studio is a studio day with practicing interior designers. Here you learn to evaluate design, the design industry and your potential within this.

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 & 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.

Further Study

You can choose to continue your study in higher education by enrolling on one of our postgraduate courses in Design Management, Interior Architecture and Design, or Design and Visualisation.

Trips and visits

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.

Enhancing employability skills

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.

Placements

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.

More about our placement opportunities...

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

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.

Student stories Katarzyna Slopiecka

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 attitude.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.

Graduate jobs

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.

Links to industry

Birmingham School of Architecture and 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:

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

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

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.

Learn more about BCUIC

Popular home countries

Our students come from around the world but our interior design course is most popular with international students from:  

Parkside and Curzon Buildings

Our Facilities

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-Aided 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:

  • Design studios
  • Computer and project laboratories
  • Social learning space
  • Café
  • Meeting point

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. 

Our staff

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.

Korina Zaromytidou

Course Director BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Design

As a qualified architect, Korina has worked in many practices in UK, Italy and Greece on a variety of commercial and residential projects.  Apart from her academic position, she is working as a freelance architect taking on projects that require unique spatial configurations and design solutions.  As an academic she has worked in a variety of higher education institutions in London, Brighton and Norwich. For BCU she holds the position of the Course Director for the Interior Architecture and Design course. 

Dr Maria Martinez Sanchez

Architecture and Design Lecturer

Maria is a lecturer specialising in Interior Architecture and Design. Her PhD research focuses on ‘Dynamic Cartography. Body and movement in the architectural space.’