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Interior Design

BA (Hons)
Interior Design
3 years (full-time)
UCAS W250

BA (Hons) Interior Design is concerned with the occupation of space, how it is used and importantly, how it is experienced. We promote the understanding and subsequent remodelling of existing spaces, in order to create meaningful interventions. 

This course views Interior Design as a distinct, rigorous practice. Through architectural and design interventions, we engage with collaborative and creative ventures to enhance human interaction with their environment. This can be applied at an architectural scale whilst appreciating the detail and fabrication of objects, surfaces and materials.

The core elements of the course are taught by practising designers and architects, touching on all aspects of Interior Design such as Interior Architecture, Exhibition Design, Event /Set design or Object/Element design.

The course advocates the synthesis of this ideology as a creative, rigorous and intellectual process. We value ideas, invention and practical resolution in the creation of new, and often unconventional interior identities. We can create experiential, experimental or functional spaces. We shape environments, generate identities, question programmes, detail objects, design or specify materials and furniture. 

Ultimately, we place human involvement with space at the centre of all our endeavours.

Special Features

  • Regular live projects throughout the course which have included exhibition design with Urbis Museum and Crosby Land Lease Developers, furniture design for The Design Council, office design for McCann Erickson and industry-set briefs for Top Shop and Pret A Manger. 
  • Opportunities to undertake study trips to key design cities, recent trips have including Berlin, Rotterdam, Chicago, Venice and New York.
  • Students have previously participated in exchange visits to Australia, Canada, the USA and Europe.
  • Visiting designers and lecturers assist in the course team via lectures, projects and workshops.
  • You will take part in Unit X, an innovative unit offered to students across Manchester School of Art; it encourages interdisciplinary study and collaboration on an external-facing project

Course Content

The uniqueness of the BA(Hons) Interior Design at Manchester School of Art lies in it’s passion for collaborative and entrepreneurial ventures which are supported and embedded through the Art Schools’ award winning Unit X.

As an Interior specialist, you will more often than not collaborate with a number of like minded practitioners to manifest your ideas and we believe the Art School environment is the perfect setting to nurture these endeavours, which allow students to network and professionalise their practise throughout their time on the course.

As well as the core Interiors curriculum which is underpinned by Contextual lectures, students on each Level of the course undertake Unit X.  Students have taken part in a number of highly successful Live projects with clients such as Urbis, the Manchester International Festival and the Royal Northern College of Music, in collaboration with our contemporaries in Creative Multi Media, Graphics, 3D, Textiles and Fashion.  We further embrace this opportunity for collaboration on an International level, having collaborated with Institutions abroad for example ESAD, Portugal, on Interventions and Installations for the Lisbon Design Biennale, or hosting events with International visitors in our Stirling Prize nominated building.  The course also runs regular optional study trips to key cultural cities such as Berlin and New York or to deign/architecture festivals such as Venice Biennale, Lisbon Design Biennale, Milan Furniture Fair and Amsterdam for Dutch Design Week. 

The core elements of the course are taught by practising designers and architects, touching on all aspects of Interior Design such as Interior Architecture, Exhibition Design, Scene/Set design or Object/Element design.

Year 1

The First year of the course fosters creative, divergent and critical thinking from the view point of the Interior, allowing students to fully engage and explore the Experience and Atmosphere of spaces.  Students learn to express their ideas, primarily through freehand drawing and model making and communicate their ideas through digital software such as Photoshop, In Design and Sketch Up.

ID1 Beginnings

An introduction to the subject of Interior Design, with emphasis on creativity, ideas generation and the acquisition of basic drawing and making skills. Studio and workshop based projects will explore the fundamental tools of interior design: concepts, drawing, making and communication.

ID2 Occupations

This unit continues to build upon the fundamental tools of Interior Design by combining knowledge gained previously and introducing design thinking to solve practical problems. Studio and workshop based projects will investigate space, form, organization and occupation of given spaces, whilst introducing the model as design tool, technical drawing conventions and digital communication.

Unit X

This unit  encourages collaborative, interdisciplinary practice and shared experience. There are lectures and talks from key research staff, students and external experts, tutorial group meetings, and presentations. The set projects will vary from year to year and will designed to be responsive to creative opportunities. The course encourages students to respond to contemporary media and as such, it is a live unit in which we discuss films, television, comics, games and the news relating to the media in any specific week.

Contextualising Practice 1

You are allocated to one of four pathways addressing programme-based clusters of cognate practice areas. Lectures, seminars, guest speakers, visits around cultural contexts and professional issues.

Contextualising Practice with Language 1

You are allocated to one of four pathways addressing programme-based clusters of cognate practice areas. The unit includes lectures, seminars, guest speakers, visits around cultural contexts and professional issues.

Year 2

The Second year of the course deals with the pragmatic requirements and materiality of the discipline, teaching students to investigate narrative and occupation of spaces through technical CAD drawing, model making, freehand drawing and material investigations.  Projects are underpinned by the disciplines regulatory requirements such as Building Regulations and prepare students for a professional audience, with a number of Live projects and appraisals with studios such as Sheppard Robson, 5 Plus and Start JG.  Students may undertake a work placement at the end of 2ndyr.

ID3 Specifics

Building upon skills acquired in Level 4, this unit explores specific narratives and occupations in Interior Design with greater emphasis on idea resolution and creative communication through making, materiality, detailing, and technical drawing. Studio and workshop projects will address real life scenarios in set locations, specific to Interior Design. Briefs will foster greater independence and risk taking in ideas generation and further refinement and professionalism of technical, making and communication skills.

Unit X

This unit explores collaborative and interdisciplinary art and design practice.  You will have the opportunity to engage in a range of external-facing learning opportunities which will encourage collaborative, interdisciplinary practice and shared experience; this may take the form of spending time outside of the university and working within the creative community and the public domain.

Contextualising Practice 2

Delivery of critical, historical and professional issues to enhance your development within practice-based clusters. Delivery to clusters of cognate practice areas. Content consists of selected thematic options in critical and historical areas plus cluster-wide professional and employability issues, facilitating and enhancing the development of both studio-based work and identity as a practitioner.

Contextualising Practice with Language 2

Delivery of critical and historical issues to enhance the student's development within practice-based clusters.  Content consists of selected thematic options in critical and historical areas facilitating and enhancing the development of both studio-based work and identity as a practitioner. Modes of delivery include lectures, seminars, tutorials, guest speakers, visits and placements.

Year 3

The Third year of the course starts to bring together the poetics of 1styr and the pragmatics of 2nd yr to develop a students’ own practice in preparation for their future career.  Students undertake one or two self-initiated major studio projects, which are underpinned by a theory based extended essay and the collaborative Unit X.  Students have project appraisals from studios such as Johnson Naylor and HMKM, and undertake studio visits and portfolio surgeries in preparation for future employment. They also take part in the final Degree Show, which is the culmination of their three years of study and the course takes part in the Free Range Graduate exhibition in London.

ID4 Major Project

This unit comprises of the composition, research, development and technical refinement of a major interior design project based on personal design interests, possibly related to the extended essay. Main components include analysis of host building and occupant, development of appropriate concept and design programme, organisation of space, consideration of building regulations, element detailing, material and furniture specification, verbal and visual professional communication.

Unit X

On the third year Unit X, there is a student authored final project leading to a showcase of finished work. The unit includes a brief generated by the student, which leads to the presentation of a significant body of final work. Collaborative and interdisciplinary work can be incorporated into the project in relation to the professional context and ambition of the student.

Contextualising Practice 3

Programme of research and critical analysis of cultural and professional issues related to a student's individual practice interests.

Contextualising Practice with a Language 3

Programme of research and critical analysis of cultural and professional issues related to a your individual practice interests. A negotiated project focused around an individually defined area appropriate to your aims and ambitions.

Placements

Professionalism is embedded in all aspects of the course through visits from respected Professional Critics from industry, Live projects and Unit X. Students are also supported and encouraged to seek self-directed work experience in vacation periods. Students have undertaken work experience in Manchester for companies such as Stephenson-Bell, Ian Simpson Architects, Start Judge Gill and Sheppard Robson, and in London for Imagination, Johnson-Naylor, Conran+Partners, Casson-Mann, Virgile+Stone to name a few. Many enterprising students use the vacation to seek work experience abroad and opportunities have arisen in Japan (Klein-Dytham) and Dubai (Paul Bishop Design), Australia and the US.

Assessment Methods

Continuous formative and summative assessment with feedback and discussion on completion of all units. The programme ends with a School of Art exhibition.

Assessment Weightings & Contact Hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A three year degree qualification typically comprises 360 credits (120 credits per year). The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be—

Study
  • Year 1 25% lectures, seminars or similar; 75% independent study
  • Year 2 30% lectures, seminars or similar; 70% independent study
  • Year 3 25% lectures, seminars or similar; 75% independent study
Assessment
  • Year 1 100% coursework
  • Year 2 100% coursework
  • Year 3 90% coursework; 10% practical

You can find further details about the curriculum in the Programme Specification Document

Student Work

Visit our online galleries to see examples of work by Interior Design students.


Interior Design students recently participated in Mise en Scène, a collaboration between the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) and the Manchester School of Art to create a unique sensory experience.

Staff


Graduates

Graduates from the course go on to work all over the world and have gained successful employment for design agencies and architectural practices such as Johnson Naylor, Sheppard Robson, 5plus Architects, Fosters + Partners, Conran + Partners, Imagination, Casson-Mann, HMKM, Start JG and 20.20 Design.  Because of the wide and diverse skill-set taught as part of the course’s curriculum, Interior Design graduates have also established other careers within the professional creative industries including exhibition curation, TV and theatre stage set design, furniture design, brand design, event and project management, architecture, teaching and postgraduate study.

Making an Application

How to Apply

Apply through UCAS.

If you meet our criteria we will invite you to an Interview and ask you to show us a Portfolio of your work.

You will be notified of our decision through UCAS.

Entry Requirements

UCAS Tariff Points/Grades Required

112 at A2 or equivalent (which can include Foundation Diploma in Art & Design). A Level General Studies is not accepted.

Learn more about MMU's Foundation Diploma in Art and Design.

Specific GCSE Requirements

GCSE English Language at grade C or grade 4. Equivalent qualifications (eg. Functional Skills) may be considered

Non Tariffed Qualifications

Pass Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject with a minimum 112 UCAS Tariff Points

International Baccalaureate26 Points

International Students

A minimum IELTS score of 6.0 with no element below 5.5 is required.

Check our MMU International site for further information if you are applying with non-UK qualifications.

Tuition Fees 2018 Entry

Tuition fees for the 2018/19 academic year are still being finalised for all courses. Please see our general guide to our standard undergraduate tuition fees.

See Money Matters for further information and advice.

Additional Costs

Specialist Costs

Optional £600* All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop up to £100 each year for books and printing. Total optional cost: £600

* All amounts shown are estimates.