BA (Hons)

Interior Architecture and Design

Interior Architecture and Design student Sola Olowo Ake in the Arkwright studio.
  • UCAS code(s): K1W2 / W250
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time / Sandwich
  • Location: City Campus
  • Starting: September 2020
  • Course duration: 3 / 4 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information

This creative course is designed to explore the design and development of internal spaces in relation to their overall architectural composition. You’ll develop an understanding of how form, structure and light are used to create spaces that are both beautiful and functional.

Based in our Grade II* listed Gothic Revival Style Arkwright building, you'll study in a studio culture that reflects modern practice, and an environment that challenges you to work collaboratively, share experiences and experiment with ideas, preparing you for your graduate career from day one.

Why study this course?

  • Inspiring spaces | Work with our industry-standard facilities and studios, including a dedicated model making studio, 3D printing space and workshops.
  • Professional accreditation | Our course is accredited by the Chartered Society of Designers (CSD), recognising the quality and relevance of our course content, and enabling you to become a member free of charge whilst you study.
  • Live projects | Take part in industry-set design projects, with creative briefs from real clients. Recently, students worked with Benoy on a brief exploring possibilities for new retail space, and theatre company Nonsuch, on a project to re-imagine their studio space.
  • Guest lectures | Hear visiting industry experts deliver talks about their work; previous visitors have included Kinnersley Kent Designs, Peldon Rose, FITCH and Checkland Kindleysides.
  • Study trips | Explore local, national and international architectural practice, with some great trips – previously students have visited Venice, Berlin and Rotterdam – included in your course fees.
  • Exhibitions and shows | Exhibit your work at our final year Degree Show, our annual Architecture Exchange event and also at the Interior Educators Graduate Show in London, all attended by industry experts and prospective employers.
  • Placement year | Gain vital skills and experience in the workplace by undertaking a one-year placement on our sandwich route. Previously, students have spent their placements at companies such as Foster + Partners, Dalziel & Pow and Tom Dixon Studio.
  • Outstanding employability | 91% of our BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Design full-time students are in work or further study within six months after finishing their studies (latest DLHE survey, 2016-2017).

What's the difference between this course and a degree in interior design?

Our Interior Architecture and Design degree at NTU will enable you to discover how space can be formed, light can be controlled, and function and history can be considered, to create architectural space and interior environments that are beautiful and practical. A degree in interior design may include how to approach the styling of interior spaces and the applied decoration of them. On our course you'll develop key transferable skills and in practice your role will overlap with architecture, interior decoration and interior design.

Accredited by:

Chartered Society of Designers logo
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What to include in your digital portfolio
Principal Lecturer Ellen shares her top tips for submitting your digital portfolio.

What you'll study

Bringing together the ability to design creative and practical spaces, a sound knowledge of the theory and principles that underpin the construction of space, and advanced communication methods, our course is designed to help you develop the key skills needed for a career in interior architectural design.

  • Year One

    Design Studio 1 (60 credits)

    • This studio-based module will introduce you to a range of design principles, encouraging you to explore through a series of design projects.
    • Through the development of scale models and orthographic drawing, you'll explore three-dimensional form, space and order.

    Design Communication 1 (20 credits)

    • This studio-based module is designed to help you communicate your design ideas, introducing you to  a range of visualisation techniques using traditional and digital media. You'll learn about 2D and 3D methods and techniques, including orthographic drawing by hand, using digital media, and model making.
    • You'll learn about the professional conventions and standards used for the communication of a design idea, from inception through to construction.
    • These critical and fundamental skills establish the foundation of your knowledge, which will extend throughout your degree programme.

    Technical Studies 1 (20 credits)

    • This module is an introduction to the structural principles behind buildings. You'll look at the range of technical, practical and environmental principles involved in the making of buildings, and begin to develop an understanding of the impact buildings and their construction can have on the user's experience.
    • You'll study various building materials and their characteristics, looking at design issues that relate to structure and function.

    Interior Architecture in Context 1 (20 credits)

    • This module looks at how wider social issues – such as politics, the economy and technology – influence interior architecture, both throughout history and in current times.
    • You'll learn to recognise and engage with architectural responses to these influences, by studying a variety of historical and cultural themes within an architectural framework.
  • Year Two

    Design Studio 2 (60 credits)

    • This module will extend the studio work from Year One, engaging with a range of building types and sizes.
    • You'll consider structural, material, environmental and experiential issues, working to detailed briefs. You'll also have the opportunity to develop design proposals that consider very specific issues, including ergonomic needs, finishes and materials, within a focused small-scale design to large-scale project.

    Professional Studies & Design Communication 2 (20 credits)

    • This lecture and studio-based module will develop your orthographic drawing skills, using specific CAD software, visualisation techniques, and digital media.
    • The module works in tandem with Design Studio 2, exploring communication techniques in 2D and 3D, to meet professional conventions and standards, through multiple projects and short tasks.
    • You'll also develop a professional CV as part of the module to help obtain a professional placement in Year Three, and as preparation for graduate roles.

    Technical Studies 2 (20 credits)

    • Throughout this module, you'll look at a range of building elements including foundations, walls, floors and roofs, and interior elements such as lighting materials, exploring the various types and functions.
    • You'll also develop your appreciation of a range of building materials, learning about their characteristics and application, services, common details, fixtures, fittings and fastenings.
    • This module will develop and apply your knowledge of construction regulations, and their consequences on the design and development of an interior architecture project.

    Interior Architecture in Context 2 (20 credits)

    • The module aims to develop your understanding of, and critical response to, contemporary and emerging debates in architecture and urban design - both locally and globally.
    • You'll explore issues of cultural diversity and the impact this has on the built environment, identifying the needs, perceptions and values of specific cultural communities.
  • Year Three

    In your third year, you'll have the opportunity to take a year-long, full-time placement.

    This year in industry will offer you hands-on experience, adding invaluable knowledge and skills to your CV. Many students return to their placement company after graduation, having developed a useful network of contacts within the industry.

    Recent placement destinations have included Benoy, KSS Architects, FITCH, The Body Shop, and Dalziel & Pow, working in roles such as junior designer, assistant designer, interior architectural assistant, and more.

    Successful completion of the placement year leads to an extra qualification – the Diploma in Professional Practice.

  • Final Year

    Design Studio 3 (60 credits)

    • This self-led module will enable you to explore a subject of interest in depth, both visually and through a series of progressively more detailed design documents.
    • The project provides you with the opportunity to demonstrate your personal design ethos, in generating a complex response to a contemporary design problem.

    Design Communication 3 (20 credits)

    • Building on Design Communication 2 in Year Two, you will develop your orthographic (or language) drawing to an advanced level, using a range of different media.

    Technical Studies 3 (20 credits)

    • This main focus for this module will be the project developed within the Design Studio module, enabling you to integrate research and technological issues, such as acoustics, lighting, structure and material studies, into your designs.
    • You will develop your knowledge of construction, materials, structure, envelope and environmental design, and the consideration and implementation of building services and environmental technologies.

    Research Project (20 credits)

    • This module gives you the opportunity to explore a subject of personal interest. Through a thorough research investigation, you'll present findings on topics and debates of significance, constructing a developed argument through critical debate and analysis.
    • You'll present your findings either in a traditional narrative-based format, or through mixed visual and narrative form.

    Exhibiting as part of our Degree Shows

    In your final year, you'll be invited to display your work as part of NTU's Degree Shows. The events are an opportunity for all final year students studying across NTU's Art and Design-based courses to showcase their work to our network of industry professionals and prospective employers, invited specifically for this purpose.

    Students on this course also get the opportunity to be selected to exhibit their work at Free Range in London. Along with other Interior Architecture and Design graduates from across the UK, you will present your work to industry and be in with a chance of winning industry-sponsored prizes, or securing a graduate role.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

Study on a course accredited by the Chartered Society of Designers and delivered by academics who are members of the Interior Educators Network.

How you’re taught

How will I learn?

  • Based on 40-hour weeks during term time, you'll spend approximately 10 hours per week in scheduled learning. Course content is delivered through lectures, studio projects, study trips and live briefs.
  • Study group tutorials are structured to replicate the team meetings often found in design practices. You will also be involved in self-directed project work with the support of NOW, our virtual learning environment.
  • Outside of timetabled sessions, you'll need to undertake self-direct independent study. This will include preparing for lectures, researching, completing coursework, developing a portfolio, and directed reading to expand your knowledge.

Trips and study visits

Inspiration often comes from the everyday - and in architecture and design, it's so important to keep your mind open to the cultural influences of the world around you.

Our Interior Architecture and Design course takes a global perspective; you'll gain design inspiration on study trips both in the UK and abroad, the cost of which is included in your course fees. Recent trips have included visits to Liverpool, Manchester and Yorkshire Sculpture Park and international visits to Venice, Rotterdam and Berlin. These will help you understand and apply what you've learnt in a real-world context.

Assessment methods

You'll be assessed via coursework, consisting of individual projects, presentations, and a portfolio.

Year OneCoursework100%Practical work0%
Year TwoCoursework100%Practical work0%
Year ThreeOptional placement year
Year FourCoursework100%Practical work0%

Contact hours

A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:

Year OneLectures/seminars/workshops32%Independent study68%
Year TwoLectures/seminars/workshops31%Independent study69%
Year ThreeOptional placement year
Year FourLectures/seminars/workshops31%Independent study69%

Gain design inspiration on study trips both in the UK and abroad, the cost of which are included in your course fees.

Careers and employability

Our course is designed to prepare you to succeed in the interior architecture and design industry. Through working on real projects from industry, field work, and regularly updated course content, you'll be equipped with the skills and experience to carry with you for the rest of your professional career.

Where do Interior Architecture and Design graduates from NTU work?

NTU has a strong architecture alumni community, with many graduates working in senior positions in leading national and international companies. Recent graduate roles include interior designers, junior designers and consultants, at companies including: Benoy, Foster + Partners, BDP, Tom Dixon Studio, Dalziel & Pow, Fitch, Atelier New York, Macaulay Sinclair, Argent, Leonard Design Architects and HLW International.

Hannah Scrimshaw

Hannah Scrimshaw, BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Design graduate - working as an Interior Designer at Lungfish Architects

Our Employability team

Our expert Employability team will work closely with you at every stage of your career planning, providing personal support and advice. You can benefit from this service at any time during your studies, and for up to three years after completing your course.

Throughout the year, our Employability team runs a series of events specifically for students studying in the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment. Our Architecture Exchange events brings together current students and prospective employers for an evening of presentations, table discussions and networking. We also run a Property, Design and Construction Fair, offering employers the opportunity to advertise graduate roles to our final year students.


Excellent placement opportunities

NTU is ranked sixth in the UK for the number of sandwich undergraduate students studying Architecture (HESA, 2016/17).

By choosing our sandwich (four year) route, you’ll have the opportunity to undertake a year-long work placement during your studies, giving you the chance to gain hands-on experience within the industry. The majority of placement students receive a salary.

Where can I work?

Students typically gain placements in interior design agencies across the UK and abroad, including Italy and New York.

Our recent placement students have worked at the following global companies: Dalziel & Pow, Sawaya and Moroni (Italy), FITCH, Atelier (New York), Bisset Adams, Found Associates, Hirsh Bedner Associates and Johnson Naylor.

You will find diverse jobs available within the industry and our students have covered the spectrum, including Interior Designer, Design Intern, Design Assistant, and Student Placement Designer.

Gain an extra professional qualification

Successful completion of the 36 weeks leads to an extra qualification – the  Diploma in Professional Practice, which will further enhance your CV.

91% of our BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Design full-time students are in work or further study within six months after finishing their studies (latest DLHE survey, 2016-2017).

Study in a studio culture that reflects modern practice, and an environment that challenges you to work collaboratively, share experiences and experiment with ideas.

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

  • A-levels – BBB; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DDM; or
  • 120 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications; and
  • GCSEs – English and Maths grade C / 4.

Use our helpful UCAS tariff calculator to convert your qualifications and grades into points, so you can find out if you meet the course requirements.

Other requirements

All applications welcome

We welcome applications from prospective students with a range of qualifications and experience, and all are assessed on an individual basis. For applicants who do not meet the standard entry criteria can still be considered providing they have relevant experience to complement any qualifications.

All applicants will need to apply through UCAS and will be expected to submit a digital portfolio online.

What are we looking for?

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our courses. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements, please visit our international qualifications page.

Other requirements

Foundation courses

If you need to complete a foundation course to meet our course requirements please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you’re already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification please visit our foundation courses page.

English language requirements

If English isn't your first language, you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. You can check our language requirements and list of accepted English language tests. Your British Council office can tell you where you can take an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test locally.

Next steps

Please also take a look at our international students page and our application guide for international students, which includes advice on how to apply to the University and visa information.

If you need any more help or information, please contact our International team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200. Alternatively, you can speak to one of our official NTU representatives for your country.

How to apply

Apply through UCAS.

As part of your application, you’ll submit a personal statement. Tell us about your ambitions, skills and experience. You have 4,000 characters to impress us – here’s how to make your words count.

We’ll also ask you to provide a submission of work online.

Your portfolio is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your potential as a designer. Take a look at our digital portfolio advice.

Keeping up to date

After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Apply through UCAS (if applying to more than one university in the UK), or through our NTU Applicant Portal if you're not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

If successful, you'll be asked to submit a digital portfolio. Take a look at our digital portfolio advice.

  • For a step-by-step guide on making an application to the University, please visit our how to apply page.
  • For advice on applying for a visa, please visit our visa information page.

Keeping up to date

After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Please also take a look at our international students pages and our application guide for international students, which are full of advice and information about the University.

If you need any more help or information, please contact our International team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200. Alternatively, you can speak to one of our official NTU representatives for your country.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there's no need to feel anxious and confused about it. Take a look at our fees and funding pages for lots of handy advice and guidance.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service by calling +44 (0)115 848 2494.

Our Building Blocks financial package: supporting you throughout your studies

Your course fees cover the cost of studies, and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our modern library, industry-standard workshops and study spaces, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.

As a student at the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment, you’ll also benefit from our Building Blocks financial package, which aims to help minimise the additional costs of study, while you’re here at NTU.

What you’ll receive

  • Free travel and accommodation for all of the mandatory field trips, exhibitions and events included on your course, including overseas trips (where offered).
  • £100 print and materials credit for each year of your course (for a maximum of three years). You’ll be able to spend this at our Bonington art shop, fully stocked with a wide range of art and design materials at student-friendly prices, and at our School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment workshops and print facilities.
  • All of the materials needed for induction workshops and activities, working within our workshops and laboratories.
  • Free personal protective equipment (PPE), which usually includes hard-wearing boots, googles and high-vis vests, to keep you safe on site visits and while working in our workshops.
  • Access to the free professional body accreditation, as appropriate for your course.
  • £20 pre-paid printing allowance for use at the NTU Print Shops, and library photocopiers.

You’ll need to cover the cost of your own books, standard drawing and writing equipment and consumables. However, our City Campus library is home to four floors of books, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! Our library team work closely with our academics to ensure that our library collection closely matches the topics you’ll be studying, to provide relevant resources for you to use, free of charge.

Our Students’ Union shop and Bonington art shop are great places to pick up drawing and writing equipment at reasonable prices and are located right in the centre of our City Campus. Where optional overseas visits are offered, you will need to meet the cost of these.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study at the University.

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there's no need to feel anxious and confused about it. Take a look at our fees and funding pages for lots of handy advice and guidance.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service by calling +44 (0)115 848 2494.

Our Building Blocks financial package: supporting you throughout your studies

Your course fees cover the cost of studies, and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our modern library, industry-standard workshops and study spaces, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.

As a student at the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment, you’ll also benefit from our Building Blocks financial package, which aims to help minimise the additional costs of study, while you’re here at NTU.

What you’ll receive

  • Free travel and accommodation for all of the mandatory field trips, exhibitions and events included on your course, including overseas trips (where offered).
  • £100 print and materials credit for each year of your course (for a maximum of three years). You’ll be able to spend this at our Bonington art shop, fully stocked with a wide range of art and design materials at student-friendly prices, and at our School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment workshops and print facilities.
  • All of the materials needed for induction workshops and activities, working within our workshops and laboratories.
  • Free personal protective equipment (PPE), which usually includes hard-wearing boots, googles and high-vis vests, to keep you safe on site visits and while working in our workshops.
  • Access to the free professional body accreditation, as appropriate for your course.
  • £20 pre-paid printing allowance for use at the NTU Print Shops, and library photocopiers.

You’ll need to cover the cost of your own books, standard drawing and writing equipment and consumables. However, our City Campus library is home to four floors of books, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! Our library team work closely with our academics to ensure that our library collection closely matches the topics you’ll be studying, to provide relevant resources for you to use, free of charge.

Our Students’ Union shop and Bonington art shop are great places to pick up drawing and writing equipment at reasonable prices and are located right in the centre of our City Campus. Where optional overseas visits are offered, you will need to meet the cost of these.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418