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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: 

2018 entry: 112 UCAS tariff points (or above), BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC).

Please see Entry Requirements below.


On this course you will be guided by industry practitioners studying the theory behind interior design. You will gain project management skills which will help you prepare for and adapt to the changing demands of the interior design industry.The aim 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 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.

Trip to Rome February 2017

University of Suffolk at West Suffolk College BA (Hons) Graphic and Communication Design and BA (Hons) Interior Design students came together for a study trip 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. With its wealth of renaissance churches, and Vatican museums packed with fabulous ecclesiastical and artistic treasures, Rome certainly proved to be a great source of inspiration to enrich the students learning experience.  

The itinerary for the trip included visits to the Vatican City and the Vatican Museums, to see a range of world-renowned art, including the Sistine Chapel and La Pieta; the famous Pantheon and the Coliseum; monuments such as the Castle of the Angels, the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps; the Maxxi Gallery; and an open-top bus tour of the city — and walking visits to old markets, churches, shops, parks and restaurants.

The students from the course had a really fun and poignant visit. It coincided perfectly with their Module Historical Influences and study of Classical Architecture. There could not have been a more appropriate destination for them, and the whole experience was a tremendous success.” Sue Winslett. Course Leader BA (Hons) Applied Interior Design. University of Suffolk

In semester 2 2016-17 the level 5 students have presented a show house to Hopkins Homes in Colchester and the level 4students have presented proposals for a high end gift shop “Loft and Spires” in Bury St Edmunds for a spatial design and refurbishment project.



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: £10,080 p.a.


Subject to approval of maximum fee by parliament                    

  • Full-time Tuition fee: £9,250 p.a.
  • Part-time Tuition fee: £1,454 per 20 credit module (Please contact the Infozone for further information).
  • International Tuition fee: £13,000 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

    2018 entry: 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.

    Facilities and Resources

    Your study facilities:

    • 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 UCS student, you will also have access to the library at the Ipswich site.
    • Lecturers are all practitioners in the industry and will allow you to shadow them to get an insight to their vocational areas: They all have links to other professionals and independent local design companies locally and nationally.
    • 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.