Interior Design BA (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (3 years)




Develop your creative vision and get a fresh perspective on design. Discover the relationships between design, experience and narrative to become a unique designer with a distinctive creative voice.

Full description


Find out more about working with the creative industries or our placements and work experience.

Our BA (Hons) Interior Design will prepare you to work with architects or in spatial design practices on residential, commercial, hospitality, health, lighting, entertainment or furniture design projects. You might decide to set up your own interior design practice after you graduate, as Bogdan Burcui did with Two B Design.

The creative skills you develop will also help you find a career in the visual arts, film, television, event and theatre design, or exhibition and museum design, while the management skills will be useful for project management roles on creative projects.

Work placements

Our past students have taken up placements or other work experience with organisations such as Alium Design, Robert Mathew Johnson Marshall (architects), Haley Sharpe Design Ltd (global designers), Julia Johnson (interior designer), Monteith Scott (designers), Dalziel & Pow, Penny Banks, Saunders Boston Architects, Loci Design, Arkitektones, Mineheart, and Laura Ashley. Many of these connections have led to employment.

Study trips, collaborations, exhibitions and awards

You’ll have opportunities to visit exhibitions and events in London and other European cities, as well as collaborate in projects with design courses in Breda (Netherlands) and Sydney (Australia). To gain more exposure to the world of design, you can show your work in exhibitions such as Free Range, London, Cambridge Festival of Ideas and also on our interior design tumblr blog, which is followed by many professionals.

Our past students have won significant prizes, allowing them to set up their own businesses and develop prototypes, such as Lucy Tushingham’s Major Project proposal, Flat Pack House.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Interior Design Studio 1
    This studio-based module will develop your foundational design language and visual communication. You can then apply this in studio design questions, some of which can be live projects. Key ideas of this studio include drawing as a creative process, three dimensional awareness in design, form and order of the built environment, using scale, proportion, colour, texture and spatial thinking in a both residential context and a small scale commercial context. you will be assessed by portfolio.
  • Spatial Drawing
    This skills-based module will introduce you to drawing as a designer. You’ll develop freehand observational drawing through to measured perspective drawing and explore some alternate ways of drawing into a site. You’ll learn to survey a site, document this and then use this work to develop studio projects in Interior Design Studio 2. You will be assessed by portfolio.
  • Design Contextual Studies
    In this module, you’ll explore the history and theoretical questions of why objects and spaces look as they do. This strengthens your design knowledge and language, and helps you to place your design decisions in context. You will be assessed by essay.
  • Interior Design Studio 2
    This studio-based module will build on your previous skills and help you to develop technical skills and three dimensional thinking using a site you have previously surveyed and drawn. You’ll explore the multi-functionality of furniture and how this can help you create innovative spaces in a gallery context. You will be assessed by portfolio.
  • Digital Media 1
    This skills module will support your design communication and introduce you to a key set of digital communication tools used in industry. This work is undertaken by class exercises and through your drawing project where you will refine the previous work from your Spatial Drawing module. You will be assessed by portfolio.
  • Building Technology in Interior Design
    This skills module will support your design thinking by informing you about construction and finishing materials to apply in your design work. You'll be introduced to the basic types of construction elements, materials and details, from foundations to primary and secondary interior structures and apply this to a design question which is often a live brief. The module will cover basic information needed by interior designers on building services such as heating, ventilation, water supply and drainage. Spread of fire will be discussed, to make you aware of materials and design solutions required for fire safety in buildings.

Year one, optional modules

  • English for Study 1 & 2
    You'll focus on the advanced writing and organisational skills necessary for essays and other written assignments, including planning, paragraphing, and developing an argument. Your studies will have a particular emphasis on the importance of good academic practice, especially accurate referencing and the use of bibliographies. You'll also practise extracting key points from a variety of spoken or written texts and writing summaries, and develop your discussion skills so as to contribute confidently to seminars and tutorials. You'll also receive guidance about independent learning using the wide range of resources available in our University Library and Language Centre. These two modules are worth 15 credits each.

Year two, core modules

  • Interior Design Studio 3
    In this studio module you’ll develop your conceptual and problem solving skills with wider and more complex design questions. You’ll undertake two interior design projects to investigate public spaces. The design questions will involve retail, leisure and working environments often in non-traditional spaces. The studio runs on a commercial studio model where you will work on several projects at once in small project teams, developing key skills of professional communication and project management required in industry. You will be assessed by portfolio.
  • Interior Design Studio 4
    On this studio module, you’ll undertake two design projects, one of which will be a live project with multiple needs and clients in multiple locations. The second project will help you to develop your three dimensional research and material application. It is possible in this studio to undertake a live collaborative film project if you have previously undertaken the Design for the Screen module. You will be assessed by portfolio.
  • Digital Media 2
    This skills module will build on Digital Media 1 and further support your design communication ability. You’ll use palettes of relevant industry software and develop one of your related studio projects to portfolio standard. You will be assessed by portfolio.
  • Debates and Practices
    On this module, you'll explore the links between critical studies and practice, enriching your knowledge and developing your articulacy about your specialism, as well as drawing on wider perspectives in relation to your own work. You will focus particularly on debates about contemporary practice. Your studies will be seminar-based and, where appropriate and possible, held in the studio. In discussions, you'll engage with theory and history alongside your own developing ideas about contemporary production, with an open agenda that will respond to current events, work and interests.

Year two, optional modules

  • Design for the Screen
    You’ll determine how designers collaborate with directors, cinematographers and costume designers to visually portray character, period, place, mood and quality in order to support and develop visual storytelling for the screen. You'll also consider the responsibilities of different roles in pre-production and look at how designers communicate and document collaborative decisions, how they get information to set, and the chain of communication through the art department. During the module, you’ll give presentations, watch and discuss selected screenings covering the material, and practice using the elements of mise-en-scène for a selected script. You’ll also examine different sorts of design typologies that will assist in your visual decisions and, ultimately, your collaborations with key creative members of screen production. At the end of the module, you’ll undertake the breakdown of a script to identify design potential, manipulating the elements of design (colour, texture, scale, lens and stock choices) and the languages of genre.
  • Installation Practice
    On this module you’ll explore various approaches to installation, which as a discipline manifests ideas around context, physical space and the nature of the artwork itself. Work can be developed in a variety of ways including sculpture, paintings, mixed media work, film, video and sound, from collections of ephemeral materials to substantial assemblages. In groups, you'll explore the qualities of specific locations in relation to your practice. For each project, you must demonstrate intensive working practice, research and engagement with the problems, both in the sense of what your own work and ideas require, as well as a sensitivity to the individual space or context itself. You’ll contribute to seminars and critiques and learn about the history of installational practice from the early 1960s to the present. At the end of the module you will have contributed to the staging of your work within an installational framework in your chosen location. Assessment will consider both preparatory research and the final outcome, which will be presented in the form of an exhibition.
  • Business for the Creative Arts
    This module will introduce you to the practical tools needed to set yourself up in business in the creative arts, as a company, a partnership or a freelancer. You'll explore a sector of the creative industries, identifying potential opportunities within it and producing a basic business plan. Your emphasis will be on self-reflection, innovative thinking and communication skills, while the subjects that you'll cover include: the creative industries; developing and analysing a business idea; types of business model; assessing your market; ideas behind marketing; basic accounts; tax and legal issues; and planning for start-up. You'll be asked to translate these into practice by applying them to your own ideas, which will then become part of your own business plan. The module will be delivered through lectures, seminars, student presentations, critiques and workshops. Your formative assessment will involve presentations, while the summative assessment will be based on your critical evaluation of employment opportunities in a sector of the creative industries and your portfolio of work, including a business plan or employment strategy and supporting documents.
  • The Lit Environment
    You’ll develop one of your studio projects and develop a creative lighting scheme supported by the documentation using the language of lighting design. The module covers the theory and the application of knowledge of lighting interior environments and the documentation of creative decisions. You’ll explore the impact of lighting and how it is used to articulate both functional and aesthetic requirements of a design brief. You’ll build a strong foundation of technical knowledge, along with hands-on demonstrations of different light sources. You'll also undertake practical activities, which will allow you to design, visualise and document your own lighting intentions. Your assessment will comprise a written field report and a portfolio of outcomes, while your existing studio work will be used as a basis for the portfolio of outcomes.
  • Anglia Language Programme
    The Anglia Language Programme allows you to study a foreign language as part of your course. You'll take one language module in the second semester of your first year in order to experience the learning of a new language. You must select a language you've never learnt before from the following: Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish.

Year three, core modules

  • Research Project
    The Research Project will foster your independent study with the guidance of a tutor. You'll devise your own project that will reflect on/co-ordinate with/enhance your own studio work and interests, encouraging your self-reflexivity and critical distance. Seminars will give you a forum to learn from each other's research. You will also be supported by individual tutorials with a member of staff. The Research Project may include a variety of relevant topics, including reporting on your own work experience. You can illustrate it with photographs, drawings or video, discussing your approach with your assigned tutor. (30 credits)
  • Interior Design Studio 5
    You will utilise the feasibility study you make in your Research Project to propose and develop two speculative projects related to the site and your selected client. There is an emphasis placed on prototyping elements from your speculative thinking. This speculation will develop through your studio practice to resolved design proposals which will lead to your Major Project. You will be assessed by portfolio.
  • Major Project
    The individual Major Project will allow you to undertake a substantial piece of individual research, focused on a topic relevant to your specific course. Your topic will be assessed for suitability to ensure sufficient academic challenge and satisfactory supervision by an academic member of staff. The project will require you to identify/formulate problems and issues, conduct research, evaluate information, process data, and critically appraise and present your findings/creative work. You should arrange and attend regular meetings with your project supervisor, to ensure that your project is closely monitored and steered in the right direction.


Our studio projects will allow you to focus on your creative development, while you’ll also demonstrate your process and creative decisions through a combination of portfolio, written and practical studio work.

Where you'll study

Your department and faculty

Cambridge School of Art has been inspiring creativity since 1858 when it was opened by John Ruskin.

Engaging with current debates surrounding contemporary practice and with the state-of-the-art facilities, Cambridge School of Art houses light, bright studios, industry-standard film and photographic facilities, and 150-year-old printing presses alongside dedicated Apple Mac suites. Our digital art gallery, the Ruskin Gallery, exhibits both traditional shows and multimedia presentations, from national and international touring exhibitions and our own students.

We are the only university in Cambridge offering art and design courses at higher education level. A tight-knit community of artists, academics and over 900 students, we collaborate across our University, the creative industries, and other sectors. Cambridge is a centre for employment in the creative industries and there are rich opportunities for collaboration with the city’s entertainment, technological, scientific, arts and heritage industries.

Our graduates have a history of winning national and international awards and an excellent employment record. They include Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett and Dave Gilmour, Spitting Image creators Peter Fluck and Roger Law, and illustrator Ronald Searle, the creator of St Trinian's.

We’re part of the Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences, a hub of creative and cultural innovation whose groundbreaking research has real social impact.

Where can I study?

Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Additional study information

Specialist facilities

You’ll work in dedicated Interior Design studios using specialist equipment to help you communicate your ideas. You can practice hand skills such as drafting, model making and life-drawing, and you’ll have access to computer labs equipped with suites of industry standard programs. This links with our 3D workshop, where you can prototype your ideas.

You’ll also have access to a technical reference library and our on-campus Ruskin Gallery, complete with digital displays.

Find out more about Cambridge School of Art's facilities

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students starting 2018/19 or 2019/20 (per year)


International students starting 2018/19 (per year)


International students starting 2019/20 (per year)


Fee information

For more information about tuition fees, including the UK Government's commitment to EU students, please see our UK/EU funding pages

Additional costs

Estimated costs of materials across three years £900.

London show £40 per semester (2x £20).

Optional field trips £150 per year.

Freerange magazine participation £140 (3rd years only).

How do I pay my fees?

Tuition fee loan

Most English undergraduates take out a tuition fee loan with Student Finance England. The fees are then paid directly to us. The amount you repay each month is linked to your salary and repayments start in April after you graduate.

How to apply for a tuition fee loan

Paying upfront

If you choose not to take out a loan you can pay your fees directly to us. There are two ways to do this: either pay in full, or through a three- or six-month instalment plan starting at registration.

How to pay your fees directly

International students

You must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments. You will also be asked for a deposit or sponsorship letter for undergraduate courses. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees

Funding for UK & EU students

Most new undergraduate students can apply for government funding to support their studies and university life. This includes Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Loans. There are additional grants available for specific groups of students, such as those with disabilities or dependants.

We also offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

Funding for international students

We offer a number of scholarships, as well as an early payment discount. Explore your options:

Entry requirements

Loading... Entry requirements are not currently available, please try again later.

Interview and portfolio

You will be required to attend an interview of around 20 minutes, during which you will evidence your discussion with a portfolio or, if you are resident outside of the UK, an e-portfolio.

For more information on how to prepare and submit your portfolio please visit our portfolios and interviews page, or go straight to the detailed guidance for BA (Hons) Interior Design portfolios.

Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

We don't accept AS level qualifications on their own for entry to our undergraduate degree courses. However for some degree courses a small number of tariff points from AS levels are accepted as long as they're combined with tariff points from A levels or other equivalent level 3 qualifications in other subjects.

International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for undergraduate courses.

Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry onto a degree course.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

Similar courses that may interest you

Graphic Design

Full-time undergraduate (3 years)



Computer Games Art

Full-time undergraduate (3 years)



Fashion Design

Full-time undergraduate (3 years)



Get more information

UK & EU applicants

01245 68 68 68

Enquire online

International applicants

+44 1245 68 68 68

Enquire online