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Undergraduate course

Interior Design BA (Hons)

Do you want to work on live projects to create inspiring and beautiful spaces?

interior design tutor in classroom

Interior designers apply creative solutions to spatial and architectural design challenges in a huge range of contexts. From the smaller units approached in your first year to the more ambitious residential or business designs of your final project, you will discover inventive ways to approach these challenges.

100% of Interior Design students were satisfied with their course. (National Student Survey 2020)

100% of Interior Design students felt that their course provided them with opportunities to explore ideas and concepts in depth. (National Student Survey 2020)

York campus

  • UCAS Code – W250
  • Duration – 3 years full-time | 6 years part-time
  • Start date – September 2021
  • School – School of the Arts

Minimum Entry Requirements

    96 UCAS Tariff points

    3 GCSEs at grade C/4 (or equivalent) including English Language

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2021 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2021 entry £12,750 per year full time

Discover why York St John is The One

Course overview

The projects you take on will grow in size and complexity as you progress through the course and your practical, creative and conceptual expertise will grow along with them. Many of these projects will be with real clients, or for entry into prestigious national and international design competitions. This experience prepares you for your professional practice and equips you with the business skills to make your creative ventures a success. You will have the opportunity to work out the areas of interior design which you are most interested in and develop your specialisms, particularly in your final year projects.


Practical design workshops are an essential part of the course, constantly expanding your skills in drawing, modelling, architectural technology, 3D conceptual development, Computer Aided Design, graphical software and key skill sets required to succeed in the world of interior design.

All of our lecturers are practising interior designers with industry experience. We know that practical skills and a professional portfolio are as important to your career as theoretical knowledge and that employability is always central to your learning. Work placements allow you to gain valuable hands-on experience, while our growing industry connections offer opportunities to build a professional network for the future. Visiting lecturers and industry specialists give new perspectives on your work, encouraging you to address contemporary themes and debates and keeping your study relevant in a rapidly changing world.

Course structure

Level 1

Level 1 emphasises the importance of creative communication both in the studio and workshops via a range of practical, skills based assignments. 1st year projects will often be standalone units/areas such as exhibition designs, pop ups or set designs. These will include design fundamentals such as freehand sketching, model-making, measurement and scale drawing.


  • Design Practice (60 Credits): Throughout this module you will be introduced to fundamental skills and principles of 3D design alongside an introduction to the techniques and processes that embody contemporary Interior Design.
  • Specialist Projects (40 Credits): Within this module you will apply the practical and theoretical knowledge you have learnt to real world Interior Design projects. To support this you will also be introduced to some more advanced practical techniques including 3D CAD modelling and architectural drawing conventions.
  • Design research (20 Credits): You will be introduced to design history and theory through a series of lectures, seminars, and gallery/museum visits. You will learn how to inform your practice and design decisions with greater understanding of analysis, research and debate.

Level 2

Level 2 provides you with more advanced and specialised projects which may include live client projects, competition briefs and work related placements. As the programme progresses into year 2 there is greater emphasis on architectural styles and technology, project documentation, site and building analysis, construction and detailing, and building regulations.


  • Specialist Studio Practice (60 Credits): You will undertake a mixture of live client and competition briefs, culminating in a body of work which is specific and unique to your own practice. You will have the opportunity of regular critiques and feedback in which to inform and develop your responses.
  • Design Applications (20 Credits): You will be introduced to fundamental Architectural Design and 3D software packages and develop skills and an understanding of the digital workflow. The skills and knowledge acquired are then applied to practical project work. There is also the opportunity to become Adobe and/or Autodesk accredited.
  • Collaborative Projects (20 Credits): You will work in teams across a range of design courses, including; Interior Design, Product/Furniture Design, Games Design, and Animation. You will learn how to manage yourself effectively and work collaboratively in order to respond to and solve complex design problems.
  • Professional Portfolio (20 Credits): You will learn how to communicate and understand the context of your practice in a professional setting. You will develop and produce a professional portfolio and online presence, showcasing your individual approach to Interior Design

Level 3

In their final year Interior Design students undertake their Major and Client projects. This is when students can start to direct their own destinies in terms of the kinds of projects they wish to undertake in practice. Some are drawn to residential designs, some to performance and stage set design, others may wish to hone their skills in Retail, Hospitality or Leisure design. By the time they leave us we are secure that they are equipped with the knowledge, skills and attitudes they will need to thrive in this fascinating and diverse industry.


  • Major Project (40 Credits): You will undertake a series of self-identified projects which will enable you to demonstrate your areas of expertise and interest. This will be informed by self-initiated research methods and practice. You will be supported by weekly personalised tuition and feedback opportunities along with advanced skills and knowledge lectures and workshops to prepare students for professional practise as an Interior Designer.
  • Client Project (40 Credits): You will undertake a live and/or competition brief, that aligns with your practice and identified areas of interest. There is the opportunity to work with the universities broad range of industry contacts and international design competitions and to make contacts within the design industry to initiate future employment opportunities.
  • Design Research and Innovation (40 Credits): You will explore the context of your practice within thematic areas of visual language and culture, including; social and ethical concerns, politics, sustainability and the environment. The themes researched in this module usually relate directly to the project work of both the Major and Client Projects.

Teaching & assessment


The programme is concerned with ensuring that you have the opportunity to experience a variety of teaching and learning strategies across the modules offered. These are structured to facilitate successful achievement of the learning outcomes of each module.

You will be provided with a range of teaching and learning strategies across the modules, including:

  • Reflective learning
  • Independent learning
  • Collaborative learning
  • Facilitated learning

Teaching methods

Students will be taught using a wide and varied range of teaching methods, including:

  • Lectures
  • Demonstrations
  • Seminars
  • Individual and group tutorials
  • Group and individual presentations
  • Visiting speakers / lectures
  • Use of audio-visual material
  • Use of e-learning
  • Use of appropriate IT
  • Workshops
  • Technical support


The programme recognises that, as a higher education student, you need to gain and develop a range of graduate attributes which is why the programme places a significant emphasis on your independent learning. The programme thus aims to provide an environment in which you are encouraged to take responsibility for your role in managing your learning and outcomes.

Reflection is central to learning on this degree. It encourages you to relate new material you may encounter to your existing knowledge and expertise. In addition to being a part of good quality knowledge transfer, reflection supports learning by enhancing the whole experience. The new programme will offer you the time to reflect in a variety of ways; such as learning journals, formative feedback, the use of portfolios, reflection on work related learning and internships, tutorial interaction, peer and self-assessment, assignments and a review of your own continual professional development (CPD) plan. It will also facilitate an understanding of your own learning processes and their relationship with and to other creative industries.

You will be encouraged to recognise your learning is not confined to formal teaching situations and encouraged to undertake independent preparation as a follow up to your formal teaching sessions. The programme seeks to offer a range of technical support and independent study that might include both theory and practical sessions. The Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) team support staff in using some of the core online student services, such as Moodle (VLE) and Mahara (e-portfolio), which you can openly access as part of your online learning experience.

Assessment & feedback

Project feedback will be undertaken at timely points to enable effective progression into the next project, usually at the same time as a portfolio review to enable ongoing holistic assessment. A personal design and learning portfolio is key to the reflective CPD process and the programme will offer a system for developing a professional design portfolio which will record both the process and outcomes of your design projects, and also enable you to record other professionally relevant achievements and competences. This portfolio will be reviewed regularly, usually three or four times per semester, to track progress and aid with setting objectives for future projects. This will be timed to coincide with appropriate stages in projects and modules. This will also particularly be used to provide context for your specialism decisions at the end of level four and also to guide the independent project choices for level six. The portfolio review will be integrated into the academic tutorial system to provide coherent personal learning support for all design students. Summative feedback, reflecting the formative feedback stages and portfolio reviews, will be communicated within 3 weeks of the final submission at the end of a module.

You will not be expected to undertake any examinations whilst on the degree.

Entry Requirements


The minimum entry requirements for this course are:

96 UCAS Tariff points

3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) including English Language

International Students

If you are an international student you will need to show that your qualifications match our entry requirements. Information about international qualifications and entry requirements can be found on our international pages.

If your first language is not English you must show evidence of English language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

International entry requirements

Personal statement

Essential criteria

As well as a strong standard of written English, we also look for the ability to demonstrate knowledge and interest in the subject. This can be done in a variety of ways, for example, visits to design exhibitions, museums or collections. Applicants will also show an ability to 'think outside the box' and have relevant experience of group work.

Valued criteria

Candidates can demonstrate a real enthusiasm for the subject that goes beyond achieving good grades in exams. Examples of this include involvement in projects or entering competitions, and being aware of any current issues relating to design, such as sustainability. Candidates will also be able to discuss influences including favourite designers, design product or style of design. 

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. These can be accessed through our Admissions webpages.

Fees and funding

To study for an undergraduate degree with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. How much you pay depends on whether you live inside the UK or EU, or internationally (outside the UK/EU). Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

UK and EU 2021 entry

The tuition fee for 202 entry onto this course is

  • £9,250 per year for full time study
  • £6,935 per year for the first 4 years if you study part time.

These prices apply to all UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

You can find out more about funding your degree by visiting our funding opportunities page.

Funding Opportunities

Placement year funding

If you choose to take a placement year, and your course offers it, you can apply for the Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loan for your placement year. How much you are awarded is based on the type of placement being undertaken and whether it is a paid or unpaid placement. The tuition fee for your placement year will be reduced.

International 2021 entry

The tuition fee for 2021 entry to this course is £12,750 per year for full time study.

This price applies to all students living outside the UK/EU.

Due to immigration laws, if you are an international student on a student visa, you must study full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

Find out more about funding your degree.

International Fees and Funding

Additional costs and financial support

There may also be some additional costs to take into account throughout your studies, including the cost of accommodation.

Course-related costs

While studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Study Abroad

For more information on tuition fee reductions and additional costs for studying abroad, please visit our study abroad pages.

Accommodation and living costs

View our accommodation pages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

Financial help and support

Our Funding Advice team are here to help you with your finances throughout your degree. They offer a personal service that can help you with funding your studies and budgeting for living expenses. 

All undergraduates receive financial support through the York St John Aspire card. Find out more about the Aspire scheme and how it can be used to help you purchase equipment you need for your course. 

Aspire Card

Why choose York St John for Interior Design

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