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Interior Design

BA (Hons)
Interior Design
UCAS W250
3 years (full-time)
4 years (with placement year and/or overseas study)

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 Crosby Land Lease Developers, furniture design for The Design Council, office design for McCann Erickson and industry-set briefs for 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 distinctiveness of the BA (Hons) Interior Design at Manchester School of Art lies in its passion for collaborative and entrepreneurial ventures, which are supported and embedded through the School's 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 School of Art's 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 the Manchester International Festival and the Royal Northern College of Music, in collaboration with our contemporaries in graphics, product design, product design and craft, 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, InDesign and Sketch Up.

Unit X

At Level 4, this unit encourages some collaborative, interdisciplinary practice and shared experience. There are lectures and talks from key research staff, students and external experts. Teaching will be in the form of tutorial groups, weekly meetings and presentations. The set projects will vary from year to year and are designed to be responsive to current creative opportunities. 

ID1 Beginnings: Visualising Manchester

An introduction to a foundation of architecture and interiors initiated through observation, research and creative interpretation of the built environment, to challenge own intellectual curiosity and visually communicate emergent ideas.

Contextualising Practice 1: Critical Reflection

This unit is delivered and assessed by individual programmes and relate directly to students’ personal practice and the contexts that inform making in professional art, design and/or craft practices. The unit asks students to begin to form a critical understanding of their own practice.

Contextualising Practice 1: Critical Analysis

Students are allocated to a pathway according to their programme to introduce ideas relevant to their studies. The unit introduces some of the broad over-arching themes and concepts – historical, cultural, social, political, and economic – that affect and inform the production of art, design and/or craft.

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 the second year.

Contextualising Practice 2: Critical Analysis A

For ‘Contextualising Practice 2: Critical Analysis A’, students can choose to study up to two thematic sub-units to develop their contextual studies in new directions. The CP2 Critical Analysis units encourage students to develop their critical analysis skills gained in Level 4 to further investigate the broad over-arching themes and concepts – historical, cultural, social, political, and economic – that affect and inform the production of art, design and/or craft.

ID3.1 Specifics: Poetics

An exploration into the poetics and reasoning for the design of spatial experiences. Students will learn tools and tactics to communicate imaginative ideas and create design narratives that inspire new ways of thinking.

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. You also have the option to undertake a placement in this unit.

Year 3

The third year of the course starts to bring together the poetics of first year and the pragmatics of second year 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.

Contextualising Practice 3: Critical Reflection

Students are allocated to a pathway according to their programme. The unit asks students to draw upon key ideas and methods encountered in their Contextualising Practice studies, as well as other aspects of their programme teaching and individual research, to support the development and critical understanding of their own practice as they approach graduation. 

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.

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

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


Winners of student awards announced

Manchester Metropolitan's influence is seen in design, writing and performance

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.

We will ask you to provide a Digital Portfolio to support your application.

You will be notified of our decision through UCAS.

Entry Requirements

UCAS Tariff Points/Grades Required

104-112.

A levels ­– e.g. BCC-BBC

Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma – DMM

Pass Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 106 UCAS Tariff points

Equivalent qualifications and combinations will be considered, including Extended Project when achieved at Grade C or above 

AS levels (or qualifications equivalent to AS level) are not accepted.

Please contact the University directly if you are unsure whether you meet the minimum entry requirements for the course.

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

Specific GCSE Requirements

GCSE grade C/4 in English Language or Level 2 Functional Skills English pass

International BaccalaureateIB Diploma with minimum 26 points overall or 104-112 UCAS Tariff points from Higher Level. If you plan to meet the Level 2 course requirements through your IB Diploma you will need to achieve Higher Level 4 or Standard Level 5 in English Points

International Students

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

There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.

Tuition Fees 2022 Entry

UK and Channel Island Students

Full-time fee: £9,250 per year. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students.

EU and Non-EU International Students

Full-time fee: £18,000 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A degree typically comprises 360 credits, a DipHE 240 credits, a CertHE 120 credits, and an integrated masters 480 credits. The tuition fee for the placement year for those courses that offer this option is £1,850, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study). The tuition fee for the study year abroad for those courses that offer this option is £1,385, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

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.