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Interior Design BA (Hons)

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.

UCAS course code
York St John University
Course fees
2019 - 2020: Home & EU students: £9,250 per annum, International (non EU) students: £12,750 per annum
3 years full-time | Part-time options available on request
Study Abroad
Yes - see our study abroad web pages for more information
Start date
September 2019
Art, Design and Computer Science

Course Overview

Over the course of this Interior Design course students will be guided through a variety of interior design projects, creating and repurposing spaces for both in house and external clients, which will grow in scale and complexity as the programme progresses. In doing so they will acquire the practical, creative and conceptual skillset of a design professional and an understanding of the transformative power of design, and its value to business and society. All our academic staff have industry backgrounds and continue to practice which means that their wealth of experience and specialist knowledge is readily available to students who should feel that no area of practice is off limits to them.

Our Interior Design students will aquire and apply knowledge and skills in such core areas as design research techniques, contextual studies, visual communication, teamworking, architectural technology, 3D conceptual development and ideation. Visiting lecturers from industry and live projects encourage students to address contemporary themes and debates.

89% of Graduates from our Design courses were in employment or further study within six months.

DLHE 2017

Course structure

As part of this Interior Design course, you will cultivate your design skills by undertaking a sequence of practical design workshops to learn and improve on areas of drawing and model making, whilst being sensitive to materials and processes. You’ll explore computer aided design and graphical software applications to help visualise your own ideas.

You will discover a holistic range of design research methodologies to understand how to examine information. You will also build a professional portfolio through a work placement, whilst working on a series of specialist projects, including competitions and client projects.

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.

Modules include:

  • 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.

Modules include:

  • 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.

Modules Include:

  • 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.

Programme specification

Further information on this course is available in the programme specification. Please note that the programme specification relates to course content that is currently being studied by students at the University. For new programmes, the programme specification will be made available online prior to the start of the course.

Disability Advice

York St John University works hard to create an inclusive environment for all our students. We offer a range of disability advice services to assist students throughout their studies.

Teaching & Assessment

The programme has been designed to meet the needs of those of you who wish to undertake a degree in a broad range design related activities and those of you returning to education. Programme delivery will utilise a blended approach incorporating tutor led sessions, group work and individual tutorials, technical support and learning reinforced by virtual learning environments (VLEs).


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 - 112 UCAS Tariff points

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

Calculate your tariff points.

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.

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Discover life as a York St John student by visiting us. You’ll be able to explore our beautiful city-centre campus, meet our friendly staff and find out more about your chosen course.

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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 will depend on whether you're a UK & EU student or an international (non-EU) student. Tuition fees are charged for each year of your course.

Find out more about funding for Foundation Year and/or Placement Year by visiting the Funding Advice pages of our website.

York St John offer special reductions to students graduating from York St John University Undergraduate degrees in 2019 and continuing directly onto Postgraduate study. Find out more about discounts and scholarships.

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


Tuition fees

UK & EU 2019 / 20

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2019 entry to Foundation Degree, BA and BSc, PGCE Primary and Secondary and UG Health Programme degrees is £9,250 per year for UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

Fees & Funding

Overseas 2019 / 20

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2019 entry to Foundation Degree, BA and BSc, PGCE degrees is £12,750 per year for international students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

International Fees & Funding

Student Work

Our Design students have worked on a wide range of real-life design projects in partnership with local and international organisations including Hiscox, TeleWare and Playscheme.

Examples of student work on 3D design courses at York St John (PDF, 2.3MB)

Interior Design Student Work
Interior Design Student Work
Interior Design Student Work
Interior Design Student Work

International students

We welcome international students from all over the world at York St John University and have a vibrant international community. You can find out more on our International Pages about how you can study with us and what it’s like to live and learn in York, one of the UK’s most historic cities.

Unistats data for this course

Ask a question

Do you have a question about this course? Fill out our form to send a question to our Admissions team. Alternatively, you can call us on 01904 876598.

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