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Why study this course?

This research-led Interior Design MA addresses the needs of graduates from interior design and related discipline backgrounds, or those who wish to collaborate with professionals in the field. Our Interior Design MA is one of several postgraduate design courses that co-exist at our School of Art, Architecture and Design, offering rich opportunities for the collaborative multidisciplinary approach that is a feature of the current and future design sector and a requirement for success in the field.

The overall theme and content of the course is intended to encourage independent design thinking in the field of the interior. In this respect, the curriculum focuses in an advanced and systematic way on aspects of the profession and practice. Design and research for design occupies a large proportion of the course and the process of design is rehearsed through the vehicle of project work. There is an emphasis upon putting you in a real, complex and ambiguous context for project work, with many more parameters that cover social, political and economic contexts as well as the physical context.

Modules and projects are delivered within a design studio unit that sets a theme for your design work over the academic year, which creates a collaborative working model. The studio runs projects in a range of research interests, sites, building types, cultural and theoretical contexts. The School's Interiors cluster shares a commitment to contemporary design and its global and local contexts, a passion for building, and desire to test the premises of the interior, theoretically as well as practically.

The course addresses the needs of graduates from interior, spatial and architectural backgrounds where traditional roles are increasingly blurred and design skills may be needed in a variety of guises. It emphasises generic and transferable skills in design of the built environment, and locates the subject in this broader context to encourage you to seek and create opportunities for the practice of their discipline.

You'll want to imbue your work with meaning, to use it to communicate, to engage emotions and inspire response. Interiors are designed to be attractive and desirable in the marketplace and relevant to consumers, meaning you'll need an exhaustive overview of current and forthcoming furniture products in order to be competitive.

Design and research occupy a large proportion of the course; the research and development process of design is rehearsed through your project work. In parallel with theoretical research, you'll generate, communicate and evaluate all kinds of innovative ideas and concepts for furniture. You'll discover that design research will reveal the widest range of proposals for testing, how best to inform the producer of what you have in mind and how best to evaluate concepts.

Our School of Art, Architecture and Design is a community that shares a commitment to contemporary design and its global and local contexts, a passion for design in all its forms, and desire to test the premises of the field, theoretically as well as practically. We aspire to effect real, meaningful and beneficial change through our design work and MA Interior Design is a part of that vision.

Follow @ldnmet_interiors on Instagram to keep up to date with student work and news from the course!

Alternative core module information

The School maintains a portfolio of alternative core MA (level 7) 20 credit modules, two of which will be core to this course in any particular year. Prior to the start of the course each September, the course team will decide which of the alternative core modules should be the core 20 credit modules for the following academic cycle. This decision is based on the project opportunities arising and the balance of students across the portfolio of MA design courses. Please note, students themselves do not choose which of the alternative core modules to take themselves. See the modular structure section below for more details.

Take your career prospects to the next level

This research-led Interior Design MA addresses the needs of graduates from interior design and related discipline backgrounds, or those who wish to collaborate with professionals in the field

Develop your design skills in a variety of contexts

There is an emphasis upon putting you in a real, complex and ambiguous context for project work, with many more parameters that cover social, political and economic contexts as well as the physical context

Work alongside the other design courses in our School

Our School of Art, Architecture and Design offers rich opportunities for the collaborative multidisciplinary approach that is a feature of the current and future design sector and a requirement for success in the field

Course modules

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2024/25 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules

Design Project Development

This module currently runs:
all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon
all year (September start) - Thursday morning

(core, 40 credits)

This module asks you to apply research methods acquired in DN7024 Research Methods: Success in Design to the development of your Major Project. The module is core for a number of MA Design courses, in order to foster cross- and interdisciplinary working with the advantages of knowledge exchange and innovation finding that such working practices bring.

The conduct of a design development project and process will be rehearsed in the first part of the module though a set project, normally with a ‘live’ client. Through this project, you will receive a brief, research its problems, contexts and opportunities for design interventions and present a persuasive design proposition to the client. You will evidence your developing skills as a designer capable of the sophisticated and evidence-based interrogation of a problematic scenario with all its ambiguities and uncertainties. Through applied research methods and investigatory practice, you will discover, select, test, evaluate and apply design strategies through which your emerging individual approach to the design research and development process will be constructed. If carried out thoroughly, this structured process will enable and result in an effective, convincing, realistic and original design.

Opportunities arising from emerging social, environmental, economic and technological contexts will be sought, and worthwhile and defensible projects leading to an identifiable ‘good’ will be expected. You will be encouraged to engage in both evidence-led process and speculative and discursive enquiry, building a comprehensive knowledge of the current state of the context of your discipline and interests. You will be expected to show good self- and project-management throughout, planning, monitoring and reviewing progress, reframing the project as required when the iterative design process reveals new and unexpected challenges and opportunities.

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Interior Contexts

This module currently runs:
autumn semester - Monday afternoon

(core, 20 credits)

The module analyses and reflects upon the interaction of people, space and things that is at the root of interior design. You will explore ways to analyse, contextualise and interpret their relationship in relation to a specific interior.

For you to achieve this there are three aspects to the module; first the drawn analysis of the space; second the reading and responding to texts, films and other media that help establish a contextual perspective; and third through the combination of these approaches, the production of an interpretative narrative that offers a new visual and textual reading of the space.
You will be asked to develop your ability to synthesize the spatially analytic understanding of an interior space with the contexts in which it was produced and has subsequently developed. Through this, you should extend and refine a range of representational skills to describe the composition of an interior.

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Project as Professional Practice: Interior Design

This module currently runs:
summer studies - Thursday afternoon
summer studies - Thursday morning

(core, 60 credits)

This module asks you to present a fully developed interior design proposal using a range of industry standard written and representational formats and techniques, including effectively collated and presented research material, to a public and professional audience. It specifically builds on research and preparatory work carried out in DN7017 Design Research for Practice, and DN7018 Design Project Development, and will address a problem or scenario approved by the course team as worthwhile and leading to successful fulfilment of the course learning outcomes.

The context for your project should be researched in the widest possible sense, and presented with a full set of supporting evidence through which you will test and prove the viability, validity and applicability of your designs, in an evidence-based audit of probable outcomes and relative success.

The module and project will enable you to prove your ability successfully to negotiate highly complex problems and situations, to engage in both speculative and well-grounded evidence-based design processes, and to generate valid, applicable and innovative outcomes. You will communicate your individual approach as a designer, your discipline-specific abilities and your professional attributes in an appropriate and convincing manner, in order to enhance your career opportunities upon graduation.

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Research Methods: Success in Design

This module currently runs:
all year (September start) - Monday morning

(core, 40 credits)

This module develops your abilities to identify, evaluate for suitability, synthesise and apply design research methods in support of your practice. It supports the acquisition of a body of research methods and a range of methodological approaches that can be adapted and applied to a wide variety of design challenges, providing the intellectual and technical skills necessary to test and validate design proposition, development and realisation through the collection, appraisal, interrogation and synthesis of bodies of evidence relevant to the design ‘problem’ and its context.

Research tools and methodologies must be carefully selected and applied, and their results appraised for validity in relation to the method and the subject of study, in order to avoid the risk of failure in design and the potentially serious or even dangerous consequences of such failure. You will therefore be introduced to a range of design research methods and asked to consider both their suitability and limitations, including ethical and environmental concerns, for application to research for practice in design.

The study of research methods themselves will be followed by study of exemplars that reveal success and perhaps more interestingly failure in design, seeking to understand the factors in terms of research and development (or their omission) that contributed to that success or failure. The study of these precedents will lead to a greater understanding of the potential but also the potential pitfalls of applied research methods for design, especially when they are applied without proper consideration or caveats as to the scope of their validity or applicability.

The aim is to produce design researchers who not only understand how to research for design, but whose first instinct is always to seek to find the tested and proven evidence base for designing, before embarking upon design development.

The module aims to:

• raise awareness of the beneficial impact of rigorous design research by demonstrating through examples how the quality of the design process and outcomes can be enhanced through the application of valid research methods;
• enable you to critically select and assemble appropriate research methods and methodological approaches into well-constructed design research programmes for application to practice;
• enable the achievement of original findings and proposals through the application of design research methods and methodological approaches to design development and practice;
• strengthen both your ability to work independently as a research active practitioner and your confidence to think and act critically, challenging received ideas and preconceptions.

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Design for Change

This module currently runs:
spring semester - Monday afternoon

(alternative core, 20 credits)

Design for Change focuses on the interaction of people with the designed environment and material culture, and the design characteristics that create meaningful relationships and affect thinking and behaviour. The title of the module recognises that a working definition of what a designer does is, fundamentally, to effect change.

People, objects and environments mutually influence each other, the purpose of this module is to create scenarios through which strategies for understanding these dynamics, and testing and refining design that alters and enhances these experiential relationships can be developed.

When change is deliberately intended or accidentally effected on people in any way, the responsibility to act with care, sensitivity and secure knowledge and information and within an ethical framework is clear. Therefore, the projects undertaken in this module will be founded in deep and rich research into the impact of design on users. You will research the numerous ways, obvious, subtle and covert, in which designed artefacts and environments affect human thinking, behaviour, emotions, relationships and wellbeing. You will adopt well-established research methods, and where appropriate, construct or synthesise their own. Data will be evaluated and analysed before becoming the foundation for a design process that will be collaborative and consultative at its core. People, whether they are clients, consumers or members of society in general, do not necessarily have the means to express, understand, safely and ethically design or construct the answer to their needs. The role of the designer is to expertly mediate between all the parties, conflicting objectives, needs and desires at play in any given project and ensure the best possible outcome through all the constraints imposed on the project.

Different projects might seek to allow, enhance or transform thinking, behaviour or experience. Whatever the brief, you will be expected to research, model and test your design development, always seeking to design while holding the interests of the various parties involved in an ethical balance. Innovation is expected, as is the creation of an individual approach to design. This will arise through a personalised application of sector-specific industry standard research methods to the briefs set. The challenge will be to fulfil the task set while expressing creative identity in solutions for complex and sometimes ambiguous situations.

The module aims to:

• enable you to identify and understand the cognitive, sensory, psychological, ethical and social factors that are entailed in relationships with objects and environments;
• engage you with theories about human/ environmental relationships;
• equip you to research and analyse the impact of existing or proposed designs on people and communities;
• provide you with the opportunity to design a collaborative, human-centred design research process;
• test understanding of the issues and abilities in design research in practice and present process and outcomes convincingly.

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Material Culture

This module currently runs:
autumn semester - Monday afternoon

(alternative core, 20 credits)

Material Culture will examine the world of things as an important area for research as well as a way of conducting research. That is, it will consider how people design as well as use, collect, appropriate and curate material objects in a variety of environments and how they are used to help create identities. It will address why consumers desire certain commodities. At the same time, we will consider Material Culture Studies as a key methodological approach for researching design practice. The module will use objects as primary research tools to consider how we make sense of the physical world and how objects acquire a variety of meanings for their users, often in unintended ways. As such it will draw on a range of disciplinary approaches, which could include ethnography, Marxism, psychoanalysis, actor-network theory, etc. as well as social history. These ideas will be considered in our weekly meetings and you will be asked to bring in an object or image to contribute to the group discussions; these will go towards compiling a personal portfolio of examples for assessment.

A close analysis of objects and images in relation to a range of theories will enable you to develop knowledge and skills as a reflective practitioner. You will be able to take a single object and use it as the basis for a small exhibition and catalogue entry in order to consider the wider context of material culture operates in different environments and how individuals and societies value, use and curate objects in a number of different ways.

You will develop an ability to analyse your own research and writing in a critical manner with the opportunity for interim weekly oral feedback from the tutor and peers in response to objects and images produced for discussion which will eventually comprise assessment item one.

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Course details

You will be required to have:

  • a first class or strong upper second class degree, or equivalent, in a related subject

Applicants will also be expected to present a portfolio and provide a statement demonstrating their ambition for the subject area and for studying at postgraduate level.

Employment or consultancy within the field can also be considered alongside the portfolio and statement.

Accreditation of Prior Learning

Any university-level qualifications or relevant experience you gain prior to starting university could count towards your course at London Met. Find out more about applying for Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL).

English language requirements

To study a degree at London Met, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. If you require a Student visa (previously Tier 4) you may need to provide the results of a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. This course requires you to meet our standard requirements.

If you need (or wish) to improve your English before starting your degree, the University offers a Pre-sessional Academic English course to help you build your confidence and reach the level of English you require.

You'll be assessed through portfolios of written, research, visual and physical project work, all directly related to the requirements of practice in the field.

The MA is concluded with a major project in which you'll select an area of study, formulate your own argument or theoretical position and produce an independent body of work. The project challenges you to study in a topic that interests you, which will test your creative ambition. This work will be exhibited at the MA graduation show in our central London location.

Recent studies show that globally, the growth of creative and cultural industries is more than twice the rate of the world economy. The creative industry in the UK is huge and about half of all those involved in the design sector work in London. London supports one of the highest concentrations of designers and design related businesses in the world and our unique location offers many opportunities for students and professionals to showcase cutting-edge design.

Typical career opportunities include work as design consultants, design directors in interior design or architectural practitioner as spatial designers.

Our alumni work internationally for all sectors of design, such as, Workspace, Community and Public Realm projects retail design, exhibition, Museum, gallery design, residential design, digital design and environmental design.

We have alumni who have gone on to work at Gensler, Penson, TP Bennett, Linda Boronkay Interiors, Charles and Co, Perkins and Will, Brinkworths, Black Sheep, Seen Studios, BDP, BDG, Morpheus, Fenton Whelan, Woods Bagot, HLW, Estee lauder, Tollgard and Benoy,

Our MA graduates can also follow career paths in the cultural industries, design journalism, education and marketing.

We currently have three locations in Holloway, Aldgate and Shoreditch. As we evolve as a University, we'll be reviewing the use of these spaces to ensure all our students have access to the facilities and study areas they need to succeed. This means the campus where this course is taught may change over time.

The experience of our students will always be our top priority and we'll notify applicants and students of any changes to their teaching location at the earliest opportunity.

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.

Follow the School of Art, Architecture and Design on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date with everything that's happening in our creative community.

How to apply

Use the apply button to begin your application.

If you require a Student visa and wish to study a postgraduate course on a part-time basis, please read our how to apply information for international students to ensure you have all the details you need about the application process.

When to apply

You are advised to apply as early as possible as applications will only be considered if there are places available on the course.

To find out when teaching for this degree will begin, as well as welcome week and any induction activities, view our academic term dates.

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