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Interior Design and Decoration - BA (Hons)

Why study this course?

This undergraduate degree course gives you the knowledge and creative skills you need for a successful career in interior design and decoration. You’ll work in design studios that combine spatial, 2D and 3D decoration and explore the relationship between furniture, textiles and interiors. You’ll also develop your abilities through material and technological workshops, and experience the industry through live briefs, visiting speakers and competitions.

In the most recent (2014-15) Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, 100% of graduates from this course were in work or further study within six months.

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You’ll study the history of interior design, discover its ceremonial and ritualistic role in society through the ages and develop the hands-on skills and techniques you need to succeed in the industry.

Taught by experts in the field, you'll learn about the different decorative, sculptural and textural elements of interior design and examine the relationship between furniture, design, user, product and place. As you develop your skills through hands-on practice and research, you’ll explore your own creative responses to light, colour, acoustics, and graphic and illustrative patternation. You’ll also work with a range of material processes in studios and workshops and use creative and imaginative narratives to develop sensory, intellectual and aesthetic spaces that make an impact on the audience and user.

During the course, you’ll study structural model-making with a range of materials including wood, metal, concrete, upholstery and ceramics. In addition, you’ll gain skills through traditional and digital workshops, helping you develop a comprehensive, clear design vision of residential and/or retail environments. You’ll also have access to important archives kept at institutions such as the V&A and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), which will allow you to research methods and approaches that are so often relevant today.

Led from a sustainable stance, each project will see you discuss the suitability of the materials and processes involved and look at best practice throughout the world. You'll also work with informed and ecological agencies such as the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and the Building Research Establishment (BRE), as well as material libraries, to take into account the importance of using sustainable resources, recycling, upcycling and reusing in order to create a circular economy.

Allied to both the architecture and design school, this course is perfect if you’re interested in either discipline. If you’re keen to focus on decorative interior design, you’ll work closely with a team of furniture, textile and upholstery designers to develop your skills and vision. If you’re more architecturally minded, you’ll work with experts in structural environments, manipulating the qualities and looks of surfaces and materials to create impactful spatial experiences. In both cases, you’ll develop your skills and knowledge to create your own personal design style. You’ll also have the opportunity to undertake a work placement at a leading London design practice, helping you develop the practical skills and contacts you need for your career.


A number of assessment methods will be used throughout the course. These range from formative, summative, diagnostic, peer and self-assessment methods to studio based work, workshops, and CAD and digital projects and exercises.

In addition to the University’s standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • for entry in the 2016-17 academic year: a minimum of 280 UCAS points from at least two A levels or an equivalent Level 3 qualification in relevant art and design subjects
  • for entry in the 2017-18 academic year: a minimum of grades BBC in three A levels one of which comes from a relevant subject area such in the arts, humanities or social sciences (or a minimum of 112 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification in relevant art and design subjects) plus a portfolio review
  • GCSE English and Mathematics at grade C (grade 4 from 2017) or above

We encourage applications from international/EU students with equivalent qualifications. We also accept mature students with diverse backgrounds and experiences.

Suitable applicants living in the UK will be invited to a portfolio interview. Applicants living outside the UK will be required to submit a portfolio of work via email. 

If you do not have traditional qualifications or cannot meet the entry requirements for this undergraduate degree, you may still be able to gain entry by completing the Art and Design Extended Degree (with Foundation Year).

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Portfolios and interviews

Your portfolio should be selective but have enough work to show the range of your interests and talents. We are interested in seeing how you develop a project from beginning to end, not only finished work.

Your portfolio should have a range of 2D and 3D design and material sampling, and demonstrate a keen interest in working directly with materials within workshops, and visualising and problem-solving techniques.

If there are elements you can't bring to your portfolio interview, take photographs and include them.

We always want to see traditional drawing whether observational, life or concept generating, so please include this, even if you already have good CAD skills.

Finally, be ready to talk about your work and how you see your future as an interior designer.

If you're studying full-time, each year (level) is worth 120 credits.

Throughout the course, you’ll study a range of modules designed to develop your creative skills and knowledge of all aspects of interior design and decoration.

In Year 1, you’ll gain a solid foundation in the fundamental principles underpinning interior design and study core modules including visual research and communication and design principles.

In Year 2, you’ll study core modules including creative industry practice, and will also choose from optional modules including human scale.

In the final year, you’ll gain practical experience through a design and development project, and expand your knowledge of specialist areas through optional modules including integrated design practice.

Year 1 modules include:

  • Interior Materials and Technology
  • Design Principles for Interiors
  • Critical and Contextual Studies
  • Manipulation of Space/Workshop Practice

Year 2 modules include:

  • Interior Technologies and Practice
  • Design Details
  • Critical and Contextual Studies 2
  • Human Scale

Year 3 modules include:

  • Major Project Realisation: Interior Design and Decoration
  • Project Design and Development for Interiors
  • Critical and Contextual Studies 3: Dissertation
  • Integrated Design Practice

"The course has excellent contacts in regards to internships, exhibitions and competitions to take part in, giving us the opportunity to get experience in the real world."

"An engaging course and projects that are highly competitive. Great links to people in the industry up-to-date information about the architecture and design world, and great projects led by real clients."

"Flexible, independent and intellectually stimulating."

"...tutors always help with any difficulties you might have... you have the opportunity to meet wonderful people, a friendly environment and much more..."

"Teachers are very helpful and always there for you, you feel very welcome and there's a very friendly atmosphere."

"The course was excellent."

National Student Survey

As an interior decoration specialist, you’ll have the skills and expertise to work in all sectors of the interiors industry, from private clients to high-end residential, hotel and retail work. Following graduation, many of our students have gone on to work for some of the best interior design, furniture and architecture practices in London.

To boost your practical skills, experience and contacts, you’ll also have the opportunity to undertake a work placement at a leading London design practice. In 2016 students were placed at 50 design companies including Foster + Partners, Gensler and turnerbates.

Between 2016 and 2020 we're investing £125 million in the London Metropolitan University campus, moving all of our activity to our current Holloway campus in Islington, north London. This will mean the teaching location of some courses will change over time.

Whether you will be affected will depend on the duration of your course, when you start and your mode of study. The earliest moves affecting new students will be in September 2017. This may mean you begin your course at one location, but over the duration of the course you are relocated to one of our other campuses. Our intention is that no full-time student will change campus more than once during a course of typical duration.

All students will benefit from our move to one campus, which will allow us to develop state-of-the-art facilities, flexible teaching areas and stunning social spaces.

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

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How to apply

UK/EU students wishing to begin this course studying full-time in September 2016 should apply by calling the Clearing hotline on .

Applicants from outside the EU should refer to our guidance for international students during Clearing.

Part-time applicants should apply direct to the University online.

If you're a UK/EU applicant applying for full-time study you must apply via UCAS unless otherwise specified.

UK/EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University.

Non-EU applicants for full-time study may choose to apply via UCAS or apply direct to the University. Non-EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University, but please note that if you require a Tier 4 visa you are not able to study on a part-time basis.

All applicants applying to begin a course starting in January must apply direct to the University.

When to apply

The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) accepts applications for full-time courses starting in September from one year before the start of the course. Our UCAS institution code is L68.

If you will be applying direct to the University you are advised to apply as early as possible as we will only be able to consider your application if there are places available on the course.

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