Interior Architecture and Design - BA (Hons) (K1W2/W250)




University of Nottingham Trent

Interior Architecture and Design - BA (Hons)

About the course

Interior architects create the atmosphere and identity of spaces in which we live, work, rest and play.

Accredited by the Chartered Society of Designers (CSD) and delivered by academics who are members of the Interior Educators Network, our creative, hands-on course is designed to help you develop your own design approach and style. You'll work on a variety of projects, including live briefs set by industry, that will help you develop the professional skills, knowledge and experience needed for a successful graduate career as an interior architect.

We'll enable you to discover, develop and define yourself and the space around you. In our studio-based learning environment, you'll explore the design principles of space, light and structure, developing the techniques to explain and communicate your ideas through presentation, drawing and modelling.

Why study this course?

  • Our course is accredited by the Chartered Society of Designers (CSD), recognising the quality and relevance of our course content.
  • Work in our inspiring RIBA award-winning buildings, offering industry-standard facilities and studios, including a dedicated model-making studio.
  • Benefit from our outstanding employment rate. 98% of our BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Design sandwich students are in work or further study, just six months after graduation (DLHE, 2015-2016).
  • Explore local and international interior architectural practice, with inspiring trips – both in the UK, and abroad to destinations such as Venice – included in your course fees.
  • Take part in live design projects, with briefs from real clients.
  • Exhibit your work at our final year Degree Shows and FreeRange exhibition in London, attended by industry experts and prospective employers.
  • Hear visiting industry experts talk about their work in our series of Trent Talks lectures. Previous visitors have included Architetto and Zara Hadid.
  • Network with industry professionals and display your work at our annual Architecture Exchange employability event.
  • Gain vital skills and experience in the workplace by undertaking a one-year placement. The majority of our placement students also receive a salary.

What you will study?

Bringing together the ability to design creative and practical spaces, a sound knowledge of the theory and principles that underpin the construction of space, and advanced communication methods, our course is designed to help you develop the key skills needed for a career in interior architectural design.

Year one:

Design Studio 1 (60 credits)

  • This studio-based module will introduce you to a range of design principles, encouraging you to explore through a series of design projects.
  • Through the development of scale models and orthographic drawing, you'll explore three-dimensional form, space and order.

Design Communication (20 credits)

  • This studio-based module is designed to help you communicate your design ideas, introducing you to a range of visualisation techniques using traditional and digital media. You'll learn about 2D and 3D methods and techniques, including orthographic drawing by hand, using digital media, and model making.
  • You'll learn about the professional conventions and standards used for the communication of a design idea, from inception through to construction.
  • These critical and fundamental skills establish the foundation of your knowledge, which will extend throughout your degree programme.

Technical Studies 1 (20 credits)

  • This module is an introduction to the structural principles behind buildings. You'll look at the range of technical, practical and environmental principles involved in the making of buildings, and begin to develop an understanding of the impact buildings and their construction can have on the user's experience.
  • You'll study various building materials and their characteristics, looking at design issues that relate to structure and function.

Interior Architecture in Context 1 (20 credits)

  • This module looks at how wider social issues – such as politics, the economy and technology – influence interior architecture, both throughout history and in current times.
  • You'll learn to recognise and engage with architectural responses to these influences, by studying a variety of historical and cultural themes within an architectural framework.

Year two:

Design Studio 2 (60 credits)

  • This module will extend the studio work from Year One, engaging with a range of building types and sizes.
  • You'll consider structural, material, environmental and experiential issues, working to detailed briefs. You'll also have the opportunity to develop design proposals that consider very specific issues, including ergonomic needs, finishes and materials, within a focused small-scale design project.

Design Communication 2 (20 credits)

  • This lecture and studio-based module will develop your orthographic drawing skills, using specific CAD software, visualisation techniques, and digital media.
  • The module works in tandem with Design Studio 2, exploring communication techniques in 2D and 3D, to meet professional conventions and standards, through multiple projects and short tasks.
  • You'll also develop a professional CV as part of the module to help obtain a professional placement in Year Three, and as preparation for graduate roles.

Technical Studies 2 (20 credits)

  • Throughout this module, you'll look at a range of building elements: foundations, walls, floors and roofs, exploring the various types and functions.
  • You'll also develop your appreciation of a range of building materials, learning about their characteristics and application, services, common details, fixtures, fittings and fastenings.
  • This module will develop and apply your knowledge of construction regulations, and their consequences on the design and development of an interior architecture project.

Interior Architecture in Context 2 (20 credits)

  • The module aims to develop your understanding of, and critical response to, contemporary and emerging debates in architecture and urban design - both locally and globally.
  • You'll explore issues of cultural diversity and the impact this has on the built environment, identifying the needs, perceptions and values of specific cultural communities.
Year three:

In your third year, you'll have the opportunity to take a year-long, full-time placement.

This year in industry will offer you hands-on experience, adding invaluable knowledge and skills to your CV. Many students return to their placement company after graduation, having developed a useful network of contacts within the industry.

Recent placement destinations have included Benoy, KSS Architects, FITCH, and Dalziel & Pow, working in roles such as junior designer, assistant designer, interior architectural assistant, and more.

Successful completion of the placement year leads to an extra qualification – the Diploma in Professional Practice.

Final Year:

Design Studio 3 (60 credits)

  • This self-led module will enable you to explore a subject of interest in depth, both visually and through a series of progressively more detailed design documents.
  • The project provides you with the opportunity to demonstrate your personal design ethos, in generating a complex response to a contemporary design problem.

Design Communication 3 (20 credits)

  • Building on Design Communication 2 in Year Two, you will develop your orthographic (or language) drawing to an advanced level, using a range of different media.

Technical Studies 3 (20 credits)

  • This main focus for this module will be the project developed within the Design Studio module, enabling you to integrate research and technological issues, such as acoustics, lighting, structure and material studies, into your designs.
  • You will develop your knowledge of construction, materials, structure, envelope and environmental design, and the consideration and implementation of building services and environmental technologies.

Research Project (20 credits)

  • This module gives you the opportunity to explore a subject of personal interest. Through a thorough research investigation, you'll present findings on topics and debates of significance, constructing a developed argument through critical debate and analysis.
  • You'll present your findings either in a traditional narrative-based format, or through mixed visual and narrative form.

Exhibiting as part of our Degree Shows

In your final year, you'll be invited to display your work as part of NTU's Degree Shows. The events are an opportunity for all final year students studying across NTU's Art and Design-based courses to showcase their work to our network of industry professionals and prospective employers, invited specifically for this purpose.

Students on this course also get the opportunity to be selected to exhibit their work at Free Range in London. Along with other Interior Architecture and Design graduates from across the UK, you will present your work to industry and be in with a chance of winning a prize, or securing a graduate role.

How you’re taught

How will I learn?

  • Based on 40-hour weeks during term time, you'll spend approximately 10 hours per week in scheduled learning. This includes formal lectures, supported by smaller group sessions including seminars, tutorials, and workshops. The study group tutorials are structured to replicate the team meetings often found in design practices. You will also be involved in self-directed project work with the support of NOW, our virtual learning environment.
  • Outside of timetabled sessions, you'll need to undertake self-direct independent study. This will include preparing for lectures, researching, completing coursework, developing a portfolio, and directed reading to expand your knowledge.

Trips and study visits

Our Interior Architecture and Design course takes a global perspective; you'll gain design inspiration on study trips both in the UK and abroad, the cost of which is included in your course fees. Recent trips have included visits to Yorkshire Sculpture Park and international visits to Barcelona and Berlin. These will help you understand and apply what you've learnt in a real-world context.

Questions about fees?

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