BA (Hons) Interior Design is concerned with the occupation of space, how it is used and importantly, how it is experienced. We promote the understanding and subsequent remodelling of existing spaces, in order to create meaningful interventions.
This course views interior design as a distinct, rigorous practice. Through architectural and design interventions, we engage with collaborative and creative ventures to enhance human interaction with their environment. This can be applied at an architectural scale whilst appreciating the detail and fabrication of objects, surfaces and materials.
The core elements of the course are taught by practising designers and architects, touching on all aspects of interior design such as interior architecture, exhibition design, event /set design or object/element design.
The course advocates the synthesis of this ideology as a creative, rigorous and intellectual process. We value ideas, invention and practical resolution in the creation of new, and often unconventional interior identities. We can create experiential, experimental or functional spaces. We shape environments, generate identities, question programmes, detail objects, design or specify materials and furniture.
Ultimately, we place human involvement with space at the centre of all our endeavours.
Regular live projects throughout the course which have included exhibition design with Urbis Museum and Crosby Land Lease Developers, furniture design for The Design Council, office design for McCann Erickson and industry-set briefs for Top Shop and Pret A Manger.
Opportunities to undertake study trips to key design cities, recent trips have including Berlin, Rotterdam, Chicago, Venice and New York.
Students have previously participated in exchange visits to Australia, Canada, the USA and Europe.
Visiting designers and lecturers assist in the course team via lectures, projects and workshops.
You will take part in Unit X, an innovative unit offered to students across Manchester School of Art; it encourages interdisciplinary study and collaboration on an external-facing project.
Graduates from the course go on to work all over the world and have gained successful employment for design agencies and architectural practices such as Johnson Naylor, Sheppard Robson, 5plus Architects, Fosters + Partners, Conran + Partners, Imagination, Casson-Mann, HMKM, Start JG and 20.20 Design. Because of the wide and diverse skill-set taught as part of the courses curriculum, Interior Design graduates have also established other careers within the professional creative industries including exhibition curation, TV and theatre stage set design, furniture design, brand design, event and project management, architecture, teaching and postgraduate study.
The distinctiveness of the BA (Hons) Interior Design at Manchester School of Art lies in its passion for collaborative and entrepreneurial ventures, which are supported and embedded through the School's award winning Unit X.
As an interior specialist, you will more often than not collaborate with a number of like minded practitioners to manifest your ideas and we believe the School of Art's environment is the perfect setting to nurture these endeavours, which allow students to network and professionalise their practise throughout their time on the course.
As well as the core Interiors curriculum which is underpinned by contextual lectures, students on each level of the course undertake Unit X. Students have taken part in a number of highly successful live projects with clients such as the Manchester International Festival and the Royal Northern College of Music, in collaboration with our contemporaries in Graphics, 3D Design, Textiles and Fashion. We further embrace this opportunity for collaboration on an international level, having collaborated with institutions abroad for example ESAD, Portugal, on interventions and installations for the Lisbon Design Biennale, or hosting events with international visitors in our Stirling Prize nominated building. The course also runs regular optional study trips to key cultural cities such as Berlin and New York or to deign/architecture festivals such as Venice Biennale, Lisbon Design Biennale, Milan Furniture Fair and Amsterdam for Dutch Design Week.
The core elements of the course are taught by practising designers and architects, touching on all aspects of interior design such as interior architecture, exhibition design, scene/set design or object/element design.
The first year of the course fosters creative, divergent and critical thinking from the view point of the interior, allowing students to fully engage and explore the experience and atmosphere of spaces. Students learn to express their ideas, primarily through freehand drawing and model making and communicate their ideas through digital software such as Photoshop, In Design and Sketch Up.
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At Level 4, this unit encourages some collaborative, interdisciplinary practice and shared experience. There are lectures and talks from key research staff, students and external experts. Teaching will be in the form of tutorial groups, weekly meetings and presentations. The set projects will vary from year to year and are designed to be responsive to current creative opportunities.
An introduction to the subject of interior design, with emphasis on creativity, ideas generation and the acquisition of basic drawing and making skills. Studio and workshop based projects will explore the fundamental tools of interior design: concepts, drawing, making and communication.
This unit continues to build upon the fundamental tools of interior design by combining knowledge gained previously and introducing design thinking to solve practical problems. Studio and workshop based projects will investigate space, form, organisation and occupation of given spaces, whilst introducing the model as design tool, technical drawing conventions and digital communication.
Contextualising Practice with Language 1
You are allocated to one of five pathways addressing programme-based clusters of cognate practice areas. Lectures, seminars, guest speakers, visits will address the historical, critical and cultural contexts of art and design practice. The 15 credit option is taken when you opt to do a 15 credit Uniwide languages unit as well (mmu.ac.uk/uniwide).
Contextualising Practice 1
30 credit unit. You are allocated to one of five pathways addressing programme-based clusters of cognate practice areas. Lectures, seminars, guest speakers, visits will address the historical, critical and cultural contexts of art and design practice.
The second year of the course deals with the pragmatic requirements and materiality of the discipline, teaching students to investigate narrative and occupation of spaces through technical CAD drawing, model making, freehand drawing and material investigations. Projects are underpinned by the disciplines regulatory requirements such as Building Regulations and prepare students for a professional audience, with a number of live projects and appraisals with studios such as Sheppard Robson, 5 Plus and Start JG. Students may undertake a work placement at the end of the second year.
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This unit explores collaborative and interdisciplinary art and design practice. You will have the opportunity to engage in a range of external-facing learning opportunities which will encourage collaborative, interdisciplinary practice and shared experience; this may take the form of spending time outside of the University and working within the creative community and the public domain.
Building upon skills acquired in Level 4, this unit explores specific narratives and occupations in interior design with greater emphasis on idea resolution and creative communication through making, materiality, detailing, and technical drawing. Studio and workshop projects will address real life scenarios in set locations, specific to interior design. Briefs will foster greater independence and risk taking in ideas generation and further refinement and professionalism of technical, making and communication skills.
Contextualising Practice 2
Delivery of critical, historical and professional issues to enhance your development within practice-based clusters. Delivery to clusters of cognate practice areas. Content consists of selected thematic options in critical and historical areas plus cluster-wide professional and employability issues, facilitating and enhancing the development of both studio-based work and identity as a practitioner.
Contextualising Practice with Language 2
Delivery of critical and historical issues to enhance the student's development within practice-based clusters. Content consists of selected thematic options in critical and historical areas facilitating and enhancing the development of both studio-based work and identity as a practitioner. Modes of delivery include lectures, seminars, tutorials, guest speakers, visits and placements.
The third year of the course starts to bring together the poetics of first year and the pragmatics of second year to develop a students own practice in preparation for their future career. Students undertake one or two self-initiated major studio projects, which are underpinned by a theory based extended essay and the collaborative Unit X. Students have project appraisals from studios such as Johnson Naylor and HMKM, and undertake studio visits and portfolio surgeries in preparation for future employment. They also take part in the final degree show, which is the culmination of their three years of study and the course takes part in the Free Range Graduate exhibition in London.
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On the third year Unit X, there is a student authored final project leading to a showcase of finished work. The unit includes a brief generated by the student, which leads to the presentation of a significant body of final work. Collaborative and interdisciplinary work can be incorporated into the project in relation to the professional context and ambition of the student.
ID4 Major Project
This unit comprises of the composition, research, development and technical refinement of a major interior design project based on personal design interests, possibly related to the extended essay. Main components include analysis of host building and occupant, development of appropriate concept and design programme, organisation of space, consideration of building regulations, element detailing, material and furniture specification, verbal and visual professional communication.
Contextualising Practice with a Language 3
Programme of research and critical analysis of cultural and professional issues related to a your individual practice interests. A negotiated project focused around an individually defined area appropriate to your aims and ambitions.
Contextualising Practice 3
Programme of research and critical analysis of cultural and professional issues related to a student's individual practice interests.
Assessment weightings and contact hours
10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises of 360 credits (120 credits per year). The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:
Year 125% lectures, seminars or similar; 75% independent study
Year 230% lectures, seminars or similar; 70% independent study
Year 325% lectures, seminars or similar; 75% independent study
Year 1100% coursework
Year 2100% coursework
Year 390% coursework; 10% practical
Professionalism is embedded in all aspects of the course through visits from respected Professional Critics from industry, Live projects and Unit X. Students are also supported and encouraged to seek self-directed work experience in vacation periods. Students have undertaken work experience in Manchester for companies such as Stephenson-Bell, Ian Simpson Architects, Start Judge Gill and Sheppard Robson, and in London for Imagination, Johnson-Naylor, Conran+Partners, Casson-Mann, Virgile+Stone to name a few. Many enterprising students use the vacation to seek work experience abroad and opportunities have arisen in Japan (Klein-Dytham) and Dubai (Paul Bishop Design), Australia and the US.
Manchester School of Art
Our School of Art is the second oldest design school in Britain, offering courses designed to serve specialist industry needs and give students the tools for their chosen career.
Like the city of Manchester, the school prides itself on being creative, unconventional and professional, providing a broad range of architecture, art, design, media and theatre undergraduate and postgraduate courses in a unique creative environment that encourages creative collaboration across the disciplines.
Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.
UK, EU and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £9,250 per year. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students.
Non-EU international students
Non-EU international students: Full-time fee: £16,000 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).
A degree typically comprises 360 credits, a DipHE 240 credits, a CertHE 120 credits, and an integrated Masters 480 credits. The tuition fee for the placement year for those courses that offer this option is £1,850, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study). The tuition fee for the study year abroad for those courses that offer this option is £1,385, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).
All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop up to £100 each year for books and printing. Total optional cost: £600
For further information on financing your studies or information about whether you may qualify for one of our bursaries and scholarships, follow the links below:
University isn’t just about learning. It’s about living. Find out all you need to know about accommodation here.
Being at university isn’t just about learning. It’s about living. Before you arrive, we’ll make sure you know where to go and what to do. And once you’re settled in, our team’s ready to support you during your stay.
From apartments and eco-friendly townhouses, to en-suite and standard rooms, we have all sorts of accommodation on (or near) campus. Whichever option is right for you, you’ll have a room complete with desk, heater, and storage, together with a shared kitchen, laundry facilities and free WiFi.
And in such a handy location, you’ll never be more than a few minutes from the library, Students’ Union, your next lecture or a bite to eat in one of the many nearby eateries.
We’re incredibly proud to be part of such a distinctive global city – and we think you will be too.
Manchester is a city of enterprise and sport, culture and diversity. Here, connections are formed and futures begun. Art, science and business coexist and collaborate. Actors and accountants, lawyers and linguists – they’ve all found a home for their ambitions.
We have sporting excellence, culinary creativity, digital innovation and thriving commerce. Entrepreneurs and entertainers. Theatre and music. A rich and distinctive culture. We have character, spirit and personality.
Here, you’ll find people of every type, making leaps in technology, taking strides in industry and creating art in every form. We have a proud heritage to look back on, and a vibrant and diverse future to look forward to, full of possibility and promise.
From advice and support to a fantastic Union and sports clubs, we’ve got your time here covered..
Whether you’re coming to Manchester from another continent or down the road, we’re here to help. As well as our Student Hubs, where you can get all sorts of information and advice, we offer a range of professional support services and social groups for our students.
Being part of our community, you’ll find societies, teams and groups that will help you make the most of your time here. This means you’ll have the chance to pursue your passions, but also to meet people with the same interests.
The Students’ Union is your voice in the University. Through the officials that you elect, the Union supports its members and stands up for your issues. And, with its building at the heart of the campus, it also provides you with a bar, shop, café, and event venue.
Programme Review Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.
Important Notice This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.
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