Your core subjects of creative thinking, drawing, model making, studio design techniques and CAD technologies will give you a solid basis in design fundamentals. From here you’ll explore different techniques, ideas and approaches in a variety of areas, including:
- Remodelling; preserving; restoring; renovating existing sites.
- Create user-centred environments (live; work; rest; play).
- Analyse Client Culture (design language; mood; atmosphere).
- Formulate design strategies
- Creating appropriate places for experience.
- Produce Tectonic Detail information
- Sketching and scaled detail design drawing;
- Model-making and 3D visualising (CAD; Virtual Reality; Perceptual Experience Lab).
- Developing relationships with clients, constructors and other specialists
- Legal and Regulatory Frameworks
You’ll learn about the creative, scientific and functional considerations you need to take into account when you’re dealing with space. And you’ll become familiar with technical, legal and regulatory constraints facing interior designers.
There are many options open to you – from studying abroad to research opportunities and industry experience – so you can get to know different client types and explore the countless career paths you can take as an interior design graduate.
Subject: Studio 1.1 - 40 credits & Studio 1.2 - 20 credits
Spend your first term honing your skills and studying design strategy. You’ll learn how to visualise and present your ideas through sketching, technical drawing, model making, CAD visualisation and verbal presentation. And you’ll start to explore the ethical and social issues – including environmental, ecological and sustainability principles – that this industry deals with. You’ll learn about the synthesis of ‘object’, ‘space’ and ‘experience’.
Field one: Collaborate - 20 credits*
Widen your horizons by joining students from other courses to collaborate on a project. You’ll take inspiration from other disciplines to build on your experience and expand your creativity – and use your skills and artistic insight to apply them to your work.
Constellation: Concept - 40 credits
This module introduces you to the wider world of ideas, theory and contextual studies to help you develop your academic research skills and critical thinking. You’ll focus on particular areas of interest in study groups and you’ll become familiar with the exciting trans-disciplinary research and expertise in Cardiff School of Art & Design.
Subject: Studio 2 - 40 credits
Discover what it means to be an interior designer in the 21st century. You’ll get insight into the working life of a designer and start working both independently and as part of a design team. You’ll create a Place for Experience, considering site-specific restrictions and possibilities – putting your skills and knowledge of client and user identities directly into practice.
Field two: Explore - 40 credits*
You’ll expand your experiences with challenging projects designed to encourage you to explore and experiment outside your immediate discipline. This transformative opportunity leads to new thinking and innovation – and opens up all kinds of future possibilities. You’ll take on exciting projects that challenge you in new ways. You can also choose to travel, take a work placement, start your own business or try something new.
Constellation: Critique - 40 credits
By critiquing literature, journals and exhibitions, you’ll hone your ability to put your design practice into context. You’ll also have opportunities to interact with students and staff and delve deeper into your areas of interest.
The course can also be structured as a sandwich degree. Between years 2 and 3 you can work for a year in an architectural practice or similar design-oriented construction practice. This provides you with an opportunity to further develop the skills gained in Years One and Two and gain valuable experience in a real-world environment. Your CV and therefore your employability will be greatly enhanced.
Subject: Major Project - 40 credits
Effectively hone a project brief for a design project and communicate all aspects of the design solution to a non-expert audience in a professional manner using an appropriate range of communication techniques and media. Demonstrate an ability to synthesise and detail innovative design solutions using a wide range of creative, design-related and transferable skills, requiring autonomous study, research, analysis, and original thought.
Field three: Exposure - 40 credits
Your Exposure module is dedicated to your final project, professional practice and an exhibition of your work. This is where you showcase everything you have learned during the course and is the launch pad to your future career.
Constellation: Contribution - 40 credits
Your practice is underpinned by your knowledge. Demonstrate your research and analysis skills in your final constellation submission, where you’ll explore ideas in both written and practical forms.
*modules available through the medium of Welsh
Learning & Teaching
A significant focus on Studio teaching is maintained, supported by Keynote Lectures and supporting seminars. Individual students will be supported by significant amounts of ‘feedback’ during Group Critiques, single and group tutorials.
During their first year of study each student can expect to receive between 14 and 22 hours of contact time per week via lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical workshops.
Students take a significant lead in their studies, develop their own research focus and expertise base and actively engage with the process of assessment and the manner in which their individual expertise is expressed and tested.
Students will be supported as they work autonomously such that they are able to generate significant and unique learning through rigorous, self-directed and collaborative practice.
Throughout the duration of your studies, you will be evaluated on three main criteria, which underpin all of the disciplines being taught at CSAD:
The practical, technical and conceptual skills you acquire during your course.
Your understanding and knowledge of broader intellectual context within which your discipline and work is located. This includes historical, environmental and ethical issues and will often be explored in your 'Theory and Context' modules.
Your understanding of intellectual and creative ideas from within and beyond your discipline; plus your ability to acquire new concepts and form new ideas. Ideas will be explored in your written work, as well as being evident in your practical progress.
Each of these criteria is given equal weighting during the assessment process. That is to say that they are seen as equally important and critical to your development; an emphasis which is designed, for example, to enable a more well-rounded skill set from a student who may be skilled technically, but weak in generating ideas, or a student with much creative flair who may struggle to hone a broad concept into a strong, individual design.
We provide a number of ways for you to track your progress en route to submitting your work for marking. Understanding that the emphases will revolve around the core areas of skills, context and ideas, you will also become familiar with the structured assessment form used by your tutors and learn to relate to your work back to the intended learning outcomes of each brief.
The main types of formative assessment are; academic (feedback from your tutors); peer (from your course-mates or project partners); and self-assessment (which is your own critique, in light of other forms of feedback). You won't just be receiving feedback at the end of a brief, however – your tutors will often assess your progress as your work develops, providing formative feedback at crucial moments where it is hoped to encourage you to take risks, maintain your motivation or shape-up your ideas ahead of deadline.
Employability & Careers
Whilst your learning is designed to develop you into a rounded and capable interior designer/artist and intellectual, your curriculum is similarly structured with your potential in mind. As such, the emphasis that will have been placed upon your work ethic, both creatively and academically, is matched with significant focus on real world experience; from building contacts and undertaking placements to live briefs and, should you choose so, support in forming your own business.
You will have the opportunity to engage with clients and in your final year and have the option of devising a detailed business plan should that be appropriate, rather than submit a dissertation.
Graduates from the programme are well placed to join interior design companies, work as independent designers. Some take further training, for example a PGCE. Some elect to take their studies further by studying at CSAD for a Master's level qualification and there are opportunities to take this further still, through a Professional Doctorate in Design or a PhD.
Entry Requirements & How to Apply
Applicants should have a strong art and/or design portfolio and demonstrate a commitment to art and/or design, and preferably five GCSEs to include' English Language (or Welsh First Language) and Mathematics* at grade C or above / grade 4 or above (for applicants holding newly reformed GCSEs in England)
Following an interview and assessment of portfolio, our typical offers can range between:
96 - 120 points from a successfully completed Art & Design Foundation Diploma or/and
96 - 120 points from at least 2 A Levels; Welsh Baccalaureate – Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate will be considered as a third subject
RQF BTEC National Extended Diploma / Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma: MMM / DDM
96 - 120 points from a combination of Scottish Highers and Scottish Advanced Highers
96 - 120 points from the Irish Leaving Certificate at Highers to include 2 x H2 grades from any subject (minimum grade H4 considered)
96 - 120 points from the Access to HE Diploma within a relevant subject
*For Welsh applicants sitting the reformed Mathematics GCSE, we will accept either GCSE
Mathematics – Numeracy.
For applicants only undertaking 2 A Levels or equivalent, or applying with other life experiences, other qualifications and/or art & design achievements will be considered along with the rest of the academic profile and we may issue a graded offer in lieu of an offer using the UCAS Tariff.
If you are studying combinations of the above, or if your qualification isn’t listed please either contact Admissions or refer to the
UCAS Course Search for the entry requirements. Further information on our entry requirements, including qualifications from the EU can be found by clicking here.
Students whose first language is not English will need to provide evidence of fluency to at least an IELTS 6.0 standard or equivalent. For full details about how to apply and English Language qualifications please visit the
International pages on the website.
Selection Procedure and Interview Days:
Selection is based on the receipt of a completed UCAS application and attendance at a School of Art & Design Interview.
Acceptance at interview is based upon a balance of three criteria:
Personal enthusiasm for and immersion in the practice and theory of Art & Design
Academic achievement and ability
Quality of work, ambition and skills demonstrated in a portfolio
Read more about our Art & Design Interview Days
How to Apply:
Applications for this course should be made online to UCAS at www.ucas.com/apply. Part-time applications should be made direct to the University at
For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/howtoapply.
UCAS Code: 56F1
Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) and Credit Transfer into year 2 & 3
If you are interested in transferring credit from another institution to study at Cardiff Met for a course which accepts entry for year 2 and/or 3, you can find further information on this and information on how to apply on the RPL page. Please contact Admissions for any queries that you have on RPL.
A mature applicant is anyone over the age of 21 who didn't go to university after school or college. Cardiff Met welcomes applications from mature applicants and further advice and information can be found
Tuition Fees, Student Finance & Additional Costs
For up to date information on tuition fees and the financial support that may be available whilst at university, please refer to www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/fees.
Undergraduate costs of study in CSAD
CSAD provides a variety of basic materials. These enable students to develop their competence in a range of skills and demonstrate their technical ability. Materials needed in unusual quantities, or those that are specialised, expensive or unusual are at the student’s expense. Advice will be given about how ‘unusual’ is defined, which materials are deemed to be ‘expensive’, and examples given of what is viewed to be ‘unusual’. CSAD students often elect to spend on materials they prefer to work with, including sketchbooks and pens, as well as specialist equipment of their own choosing.
In the main, no charges are made for the use of equipment, with the exception of some specialist high end equipment such as the Mimaki and 3D printers. Access to
Cardiff FabLab is subject to student membership; it offers reduced fees for student use.
For further information about additional course costs, including fees, equipment requirements and other charges for each undergraduate programme, please visit
Field trips and visits
Field trips that are part of core learning will be paid for by the School. Additional visits are occasionally arranged which are optional and where the students may be asked to share the costs. The costs of study abroad, including exchanges, placements and projects are the responsibility of the individual student.