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BA (Hons) Applied Interior Design

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Meet your lecturers, find out more about the course and view academic and social facilities at an Open Event.

University of Suffolk on Ipswich Waterfront
UCAS code: 
Institution code: 
West Suffolk College


Three years full-time.

Typical Offer: 

2020: 112 UCAS tariff points (or above), BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC).

Please see Entry Requirements below.

This course is delivered at the University of Suffolk at West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds.

Next available intake is September 2020.


  • Vocational course with live projects

  • Unique programme with a holistic approach

  • Lecturing staff are highly qualified with a wealth of Industry experience

  • Diverse mix of practical, technical and theoretical skills

  • Links to industry, visiting lecturers and commercial collaborations

  • Small groups with tutor contact every session

  • Students exhibit their work to the public

  • Based in a lively, mixed media art school

  • Study in a beautiful, historic and affluent town with good cultural links

The aim of the course is to develop an understanding of the whole process and the ability to project-manage a job from start to finish, or find a specific skill within the industry to pursue. This will be achieved by helping you maximise your design creativity and practical skills in specific finishing fields such as decorative applications, lighting, textiles and carpentry together with an understanding of client and sector needs. You will have plenty of opportunity to explore the creative processes that underpin their practical and technical skills. Graduates will leave with a strong sense of what is possible in the field of interior design, understanding the importance of a professional approach to working with clients and related professional practitioners in architecture, construction, building services and computer aided design, opening the door to many career possibilities within this exciting field of interior design.  

Assessments include a combination of portfolio, written and practical studio work. You will work on live briefs developing relationships with customers and delivering your designs via presentations with the client and your peers.

Each year we offer a great trip to a cultural destination. Last year we took the  BA (Hons) Graphic and Communication Design and BA (Hons) Interior Design students to  the Eternal City of Rome. Enriching their courses by putting theory into practice, the trip encouraged students to look beyond the studio to appreciate the plethora of fascinating iconic art and archaeology that the city had to offer.  This year we explored the inspirational Barcelona!

Foreign Residential Trip to Barcelona

February 2018

Barcelona proved to be a perfect destination for our annual Art & Design study trip, allowing our students from the University of Suffolk and West Suffolk College the opportunity to appreciate first hand this city's stunning landmark buildings, such as Sagrada Familia, the MACBA, the Fundació Miró and La Pedrera. The breathtaking works of master architect Antoni Gaudí and his modernist contemporaries truly define Barcelona as a center for creative expression. The student visited a number of key galleries and museums gaining an insight into the ground-breaking work of Joan Miro, Pablo Picasso and Dali. Many other works of art could be found by just strolling around the city's streets and colourful markets. This trip was brilliant for not only the cultural exposure enriching the students wider learning experience but also for forming long lasting memories and new friendships.

Staff Quote

 “An all-round fantastic time was had by all.”  Sian Horn. Course Leader BA(Hons) Graphic and Communication Design.  

Student Quotes

“Great fun, once in a lifetime experience, would love to go back again.”

“An epic team bonding experience, and exciting city”

“A really good trip well organised, cram- packed with lots to see and do”


Each year, the level 4 students work on a local retail outlet whilst the level 5 students get an opportunity to work with a show home, and present their ideas to the developer. 


Course modules

The first year will introduce you to the concept of spatial design and the importance of space, the environment and its ergonomic and aesthetic considerations. This will include looking at design principles and how to approach and resolve an interior design brief.  You will also be introduced to decorative paint finishes and how to recycle furniture and fittings e.g. through repair and decoration.

 You will also learn both free-hand and technical drawing skills, as well as being introduced to industry-standard computer generated plans, elevations and sections.  By the end of the first year you should be able to successfully visualise and communicate accurate design solutions for an interior design brief. You will continue to develop knowledge and understanding of materials, building regulations and the concept of sustainability and its practical implications.  There will also be a live project working alongside a professional architect and interior designer, together with a module covering entrepreneurship and project management skills.

 Additional finishing skills will also be covered this year, including lighting design, textiles and soft furnishing solutions.  The second year also prepares you for the research/major project that you will undertake in year three. The final year prepares for professional work in the interior design sector via advanced CGI skills and the presentation of proposals to a professional audience.  You will also produce an undergraduate dissertation with guidance and supervision, on a subject of your choice, together with a final project that encompasses many or all of the skills and ideas developed throughout the course. This work will be presented in an exhibition open to practicing interior design professionals as well as the public, all serving as a celebration of your achievements and a platform for recognition and employability. Timetabled sessions are expected to be over two days a week, with an additional day for self-directed study.  There will be regular weekly tutorials and constructive feedback to develop and challenge each student.

Full downloadable information regarding all University of Suffolk courses, including Key Facts, Course Aims, Course Structure and Assessment, is available in the Definitive Course Record.

Drawing and Design Principles “Space and Place”
Methods and Visualisation
Aesthetics, Functionality and Emotional value
Surface Application
Historical Trending and Influences
Introduction to Computer Generated Imagery
Professional Communication
Ethics and Sustainability in Interior Design
Furniture, Textiles and Lighting in context
Small Project Management
Lens-based Media and Interior Design
Research Methods for Interior Design
Advanced CGI
Signature personal project
Collaborative Project
Undergraduate Dissertation

Career opportunities

Interior Design is a subject that has so many sub categories which equips the student with many transferable skills that are valuable in the creative industry such as architectural knowledge; business acumen; CAD; colour theory and understanding; computer generated images; estimates and quotations; perspective drawing skills; planning and working to scale; project Management; site surveying; soft furnishing design; visualisation. Potential career opportunities following this course could be:

Architectural technician

Art Teacher (after completing PGCE)

Computer Aided Designer

Estate Agent House Doctor Consultant

Exhibition designer

Interior Designer

Lecturer in Design (after completing PGCE)

Magazine stylist for Interiors

New Homes Developer consultant

Property Developer

Retail in Interior Design

 Or you could work as a self-employed interior designer in your own practice. Or you might enjoy studying so much that you decide to take a Masters or PhD course.

Fees and finance


  • Full-time tuition fee: £9,250 p.a.
  • Part-time tuition fee: £1,454 per 20 credits (Please contact the Infozone for further information)
  • International tuition fee: £13,330 p.a.

Further Information                                                       

  • Detailed information about Tuition Fees.
  • Find out more about Financial Support eligibility.
  • Also see Loans and Grants.
  • At University of Suffolk, your tuition fees provide access to all the usual teaching and learning facilities that you would expect. However, there may be additional costs associated with your course that you will need to budget for. See Course Costs.


    Entry requirements

    Academic Requirements

    2020: 112 UCAS tariff points (or above), BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC).

    Also see How to Apply.

    International Requirements

    IELTS 6.0 overall (minimum 5.5 in all components) where English is not the students' first language.

    Also see International and EU.

    Portfolio Guidance

    We do not expect to see any work directly linked Interior Design, (unless you have come from a previous course or employment in Interior Design). However, we look for a mix of creative outcomes to display:

    • Good use of colour.
    • Understanding of 3D form.
    • Composition and balance in artwork.
    • Any form of art that can be evidenced; e.g. photography, textile work, printing.

    If you do not meet the academic requirements, you would be expected to show some written work in addition to proof of your creative ability.

    Transferring Credit

    If you have previously studied at higher education level before you may be able to transfer credits to a related course at the University of Suffolk and reduce the period of study time necessary to achieve your degree.

    Facilities and Resources

    • The facilities at our site comprise technical drawing studios with continually updated apple mac suites supported by IT technicians; studios for drawing; 3D workshops; comprehensive decorating/design workshop at the Milburn Centre staffed by professionals with experience in working with high end London Interior Designers.
    • A well-equipped and extensive library is on site, with plenty of IT resources and librarians to assist you in your research. As a University student, you will also have access to the library at the Ipswich site..
    • Students will have the opportunity to go on an overseas visit in the second year. Design students have previously been to places such as New York, Venice, Barcelona and Berlin. The destination is different each year, and we try to plan it to coincide with an international event.
    • We continuously visit inspiring exhibitions, such as “100% Design” to keep abreast of current trends.
    • Visiting lecturers are brought in on a regular basis to impart their knowledge and experience.