Cardiff School of Art & Design>Courses>Interior Design - BA (Hons) Degree

Interior Design - BA (Hons) Degree

Entry Year

Design has a profound impact on society, and effective interior design has the potential to change the way we live our lives for the better.

At Cardiff Met, your studies will focus upon objects and their relationships with space, as well as the ways in which they create user experience.

By studying our BA Interior Design degree, you will learn the importance of sustainability and environmentally responsible design; tradition and heritage of place; aesthetics and materiality; as well as the impact design has on human experience and well-being.

Our undergraduate Interior Design course will equip you with a critical and contemporary understanding of interior space. These skills will allow you to remodel the past, create the present and inform the future.

You will undertake collaborative projects spanning a range of contexts, countries and cultures. You will explore and employ a range of technologies, critically engage with live briefs and real-world concerns as you develop your own design identity.

This will enable you to compose, visualise and simulate unique and individual environments, preparing you for your future.


Course information on this page relates to 2023 entry


​Course Content​

​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.

Year One

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.

Year Two

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.

Sandwich Option
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.


Year Three

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.

Assessment

Throughout the duration of your studies, you will be evaluated on three main criteria, which underpin all of the disciplines being taught at CSAD: 

SKILLS: 
The practical, technical and conceptual skills you acquire during your course.

CONTEXT: 
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. 

IDEAS: 
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

Typical Offers

  • Tariff points: 96-120
  • Contextual offer: See our contextual offers page.
  • GCSE: Preferably five GCSEs at Grade C / 4 or above to include English Language / Welsh First Language, Mathematics / Mathematics – Numeracy.
  • English Language Requirement: Academic IELTS 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in all elements, or equivalent.
  • A level: Minimum three A levels. No specific subjects required. Welsh Baccalaureate – Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate considered as a third subject.
  • BTEC National / Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma: MMM-DDM
  • T Level: No specific subjects required.
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma: No specific subjects required.
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma: 24 points. No specific subjects required.
  • Irish Leaving Certificate: No specific subjects required. Higher level subjects only considered with a minimum grade H4.
  • Scottish Advanced Highers: No specific subjects required.
  • Other requirements: Successful interview and portfolio review. Applicants will be required to submit a digital portfolio.

Combinations of the above qualifications are accepted if they meet our minimum requirements. If your qualifications aren’t listed, please contact Admissions or refer to the UCAS Course Search.

Further information on Overseas qualifications can be found here.

If you are a mature applicant, have relevant experience or RPL that you would like us to consider, please contact Admissions.


How to Apply

Further information on how to apply can be found here.

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 

Materials 

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 www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/additionalcosts.

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.

Contact Us

For general enquiries please contact the Admissions Team on 029 2041 6044 or email askadmissions@cardiffmet.ac.uk.

For course specific enquiries, please contact BA (Hons) Interior Design Admissions Tutor, Craig Thomas:

Email: crthomas@cardiffmet.ac.uk
Tel:  029 2041 6147


We endeavour to deliver courses as described and will not normally make changes to courses, such as course title, content, delivery, and teaching provision. However, it may be necessary for the university to make changes in the course provision before or after enrolment. It reserves the right to make variations to content or delivery methods, including discontinuation or merging courses if such action is considered necessary. Please read our Terms and Conditions for the full information.

Key Course Information

UCAS Code: 56F1

Place of Study: 
Llandaff Campus

School:
Cardiff School of Art & Design

Course Length:
Three years full-time. Four years full-time if undertaking year-long sandwich placement.

COURSE OVERVIEW | DEGREE HIGHLIGHTS
Degree Highlights

Professor Carolyn Hayles explains what the BA (Hons) Interior Design degree course at Cardiff School of Art & Design has to offer.

MEET THE TEAM
Meet the Team: Craig Thomas

Senior lecturer Craig Thomas discusses his career as an Interior Designer and how he uses his experience to help prepare our students for the industry.

Meet the Team: Charlie Bull

Technician Demonstrator Charlie Bull discusses how she helps our students to bring their ideas to life through digital design and visualisation.

STUDENT & GRADUATE EXPERIENCE
Buba - Interior Design
How a work placement made my Interior Design dreams come true

Borislava blogs on how she landed her perfect work placement, and what she got from the experience.
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Annabel - Interior Design
How Interior Design at Cardiff Met helped me become an award winner

Annabel shares her experience of the course and how it helped her become an award winner.
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Jarret - Interior Design
How making the most of my course prepared me for an Interior Design career

Jarret blogs about some of the highlights of the course and how it helped him prepare for a career in the industry.
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Julie - Interior Design
Studying Interior Design at Cardiff Met as a mature student

Julie shares her story of returning to education to follow her dream of becoming an Interior Designer.
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