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BA (Hons) Interior Design

BA (Hons) Interior Design

Institution code: N39
Course UCAS code: W250
Course length: 3 years

Taking a conceptual approach but employing industry standard design techniques, our BA (Hons) Interior Design degree course approaches interior design both from the outside in and inside out, training you to work with a building, not just within it.

An alliance of conceptual and practical thinking, interior design is a marriage of meaning and relationships in physical form. It defines much of our daily experience.

Your interior design skills

Building a toolbox of essential craft and drawing skills, our undergraduate interior design course will see you develop innovative design propositions for different interior spaces. You’ll master visualisation methods and sketching by hand, as well as industry standard 3D digital platforms, collage, photography and model making.

Enjoying generous contact time with academics and technicians and access to well-equipped facilities throughout your degree, you’ll have the freedom to follow your interests and passions as you identify and shape your own style and approach. You’ll also have the opportunity to engage with industry professionals such as LSI Architects, designer and architect Eva Sopeoglou, and Maria Oliva, Interior Designer at B3 Designers.

Your interior design future

Thinking about how design responds to purpose and need, you’ll learn to consider the social aspects of a design project, including how human wants and emotions are influenced by design aspects such as scale, colour, light, texture, acoustics and materials.

You’ll explore cultural trends and the technological and material innovations shaping the industry. You’ll gain experience designing for a range of interiors, including social, hospitals, large-scale housing, hospitality, commercial and residential spaces, disaster relief and exhibition design, as well as domestic interiors.

Graduates work in a broad range of careers including

  • Interior Designer
  • Space Planner
  • Colour Consultant
  • 3D Model Maker
  • Theatre Set Designer
  • Exhibition Designer
  • Lighting Designer
  • Project Manager
  • Visual Merchandiser
  • Design Contractor
  • Architectural Visualiser
  • Design Technologist

You’ll also get specialist creative careers advice from our Careers Team in the Ideas FactoryNUA to help support you as you plan your career.

Industry workshops in BA Interior Design

Course content

  • Year 1
  • Understand the principles of ideation and communication in interior design through a range of projects, workshops, experiments and exercises
  • Explore the diverse and interdisciplinary nature of the interior and its cultural and historical context
  • Examine new technologies and sustainable materials, as well as manufacturing techniques and their application to interior design
  • Integrate research, analytical and reflective techniques into your creative practice.
  • Year 2
  • Create work from concept to realisation with particular focus on understanding design briefs and user needs
  • Communicate your design ideas through 2D and 3D methods, including technical drawings, 3D visualisation, sketching and model making
  • Apply a flexible and imaginative approach to problem solving through enquiry-based learning, using storytelling and lateral thinking to solve design problems
  • Study cultural, theoretical, and professional issues and apply social, historical and professional contexts to the subject discipline
  • Explore working in a team and developing a creative role through course and university-wide collaborative projects.
  • Year 3
  • Explore materials and technologies for the construction and operation of building interiors with particular focus on sustainability, environmental and performance issues
  • Deliver a final major design project, embracing the full interior design process and demonstrating your approach to, and engagement with, contemporary interior design issues
  • Complete a Research Report that provides broad contextualisation to your practice
  • Participate in national competitions to further enhance your portfolio and professional profile.

Typical UK offers

A / AS Levels – GCE
GCE A/AS Levels 3 A-level qualifications at grades BBB, at least one of which must be in an art, design or media related subject. Where candidates are not taking 3 A-levels, NUA will consider combinations of A-level/AS-level and other Level 3 qualifications.

BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF or RQF)
Distinction, Merit, Merit in an art, design or media related subject

BTEC Diploma (QCF or RQF)
Distinction*, Distinction* in an art, design or media related subject

UAL Extended Diploma

UAL Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design

UAL Level 4 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design

Foundation Diploma in Art and Design

Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design)

International Baccalaureate Diploma
A minimum of 32 points

NUA welcomes applicants of all ages from all backgrounds. Your application will be primarily assessed through interview and portfolio review so even if you have no formal qualifications or do not meet our typical offers it can still be worth applying.

If you are studying at the time of your application and your interview is successful, it is likely that you will receive a conditional offer.

If the qualification that you are studying is not shown, do not worry as we are able to accept other pre-entry qualifications as well as combinations of different qualifications. Please do contact our Student Recruitment Team if you have any queries.

International applications

We accept qualifications from all over the world, to find our entry requirements from a specific country, please check our dedicated international pages.

Most international students are required to hold an English language qualification. Applicants are required to have a minimum UKVI approved IELTS exam score of 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each section. Equivalent English language qualifications are acceptable such as, IB English language syllabus A or B/English Literature (Grade 4).

You can email us on international@nua.ac.uk if you’d like to discuss your application individually.

BA (Hons) Interior Design degree portfolio guidance

Your interview

After you apply to study BA Interior Design at NUA we’ll invite you to an interview on campus or by skype or telephone, depending on your circumstance.

If you apply by the UCAS deadline of 15 January your interview will usually take place in February. We’ll ask you to prepare your portfolio ready to bring with you or submit online ahead of your interview.

Read our tips for interviews at NUA.

Your portfolio

This is your chance to show us what you’re all about. Choose pieces that reflect your creativity and personal interests, as well as demonstrating your technical skills.

How much work should I include?

Choose at least two projects that show the steps you took to develop an idea. This might mean you include experiments, drafts or variations that demonstrate the progression of a project from the earliest stages through to completion. Don’t worry if they’re not perfect drawings, paintings or renderings – we want to understand how you think during the creative process.

What type of work should I include?

Finished projects that you’re excited about! Remember, we’re interested in you. What motivates your choice in discipline? What shapes your creative identity? You can submit assessed projects and coursework, but we recommend including independent work where possible. Self-initiated projects showcase your ability to generate ideas and tell us more about you and your ambition.

Things to consider

Take your time choosing pieces for your portfolio

You should be confident and passionate talking about each piece. You may not be able to talk us through everything in your portfolio at the interview, so be sure to present the work in a logical way. Choose a layout that tells the story of each project and use a structure that gives a full picture of your creative practice.

Show us the full range of your creative experience and interests

Tell us about contemporary creatives that have influenced your practice. Exhibitions, shows or festivals that have inspired you or influenced your work. Competitions you’ve entered and prizes you’ve won. If you can, avoid too much repetition in style and subject matter.

Your portfolio should be relevant to the course you’re applying to, but you can include a wide range of work that shows your creativity, technical competence and understanding of space.

You may wish to include some of the following:

  • 2D creative work such as drawings, sketches, collages, surface designs, paintings, photographs or illustrations that demonstrate technical ability and creativity.
  • Work in a wide range of different media that demonstrates a variety of skills such as observational, life, fashion, perspective, architectural and technical drawing; use of colour, form, composition and creative imagination and a mix of digital and hand rendered images
  • Drawings, paintings or illustrations that demonstrate your skills, including life drawings, still life, images from observation (people and landscapes) or concept designs of characters and backdrops
  • 3D creative work (usually documented through good quality photographs) such as models, product prototypes, artefacts, sculptures or installations that you have designed and constructed. Try to demonstrate your understanding of scale, form and structure through the work you include
  • Work created using the Adobe suite, Sketch Up, CAD or other architectural design software

Hardcopy portfolios

  • If you’re only submitting hardcopy materials you should aim to submit 20-30 pieces. Portfolios should be ring bound or loose boards between A4 and A1 in size.
  • Include 2-3 sketchbooks with the portfolio to demonstrate idea development, contextualisation and your work strategies.
  • Large, intricate or fragile pieces should be shown as good quality photographs.
  • If you’re submitting a showreel you should also present 10-15 images of other work (see digital portfolios guidance below).
  • Labels should be discreet, neat and used in a consistent manner for clear navigation.
  • Ensure your name is on the portfolio.

Digital portfolios

  • Include up to 30 images, including images from sketchbooks, research, experimental work and finished pieces.
  • If you’re presenting a showreel, your work should be no longer than five minutes, but you can include 10-15 accompanying images.
  • Ensure photographs and scans are in focus and in large enough format to see clearly.
  • Digital work should be presented on an online platform such as your own website, Tumblr, Flickr, Prezi, MeMyArt, YouTube, Vimeo or a personal blog. The link should then be submitted through the Applicant Portal or by emailing the relevant address below.
  • Ensure your digital portfolio is accessible before you arrive for interview, as your interviewer will load it in advance of the interview.
  • UK and EU applicants should send their link to admissions@nua.ac.uk
  • Non-EU and EEA applicants should send their link to international@nua.ac.uk

Written submission

As part of your offer you may be asked to submit a piece of written work in addition to your application, usually after your interview.

Typically an essay, report or completed log of between 500 and 1,000 words, your submission should demonstrate your ability to think critically, make informed analysis and communicate confidently in a subject area related to your proposed course of study.       

Fees and Funding

The cost of your course is determined by your status as either ‘UK/EU’ or ‘International’, so it’s important to check your fee status. If you’re unsure, the UKCISA website will help you determine whether you’re eligible to pay a UK/EU fee (also called a ‘home’ fee). If you’d prefer to speak to NUA directly, please contact student.finance@nua.ac.uk

UK/EU students are eligible for a tuition fee loan from the UK government, meaning you won’t have to pay your fees up front. Further details about tuition fee loans are provided below. International students are not eligible for the UK government tuition fee loan.

2018/19 Tuition Fees For New Entrants

Citizen status



UK/EU nationality

Undergraduate degree (full-time three and four year degree)


International (non-EU)

Undergraduate degree (full-time three and four year degree)


Fees will remain the same for each year of your course. 

International students

Find out more about 2018 fees for international students and the support available.

Financial support for UK/EU students in 2018

Tuition fee loans and loans for living costs are available, as well as non-repayable NUA bursaries that take into account family income. Find how to apply for funding.

Tuition Fee Loan for Undergraduate study

Tuition fee loans are available for UK and EU students.

  • Available to cover the full cost of your tuition
  • You don’t have to pay for your course up front yourself
  • Only start paying back when you are earning over £25,000 per year

Maintenance Loan for Undergraduate study – 2018/19

Student Maintenance Loans are available for UK and eligible EU students to help with living costs such as accommodation, food, clothes, travel and course expenses. The amount students receive is dependent on household income and any maintenance grant received.

  • A loan of up to £8,700 may be available if you live away from home.
  • A loan of up to £7,324 may be available if you live with your parents.

How can you find out more?

To learn more about loans, repayment calculations and other financial support, visit Student Finance. If you have any questions about fees, please email student.finance@nua.ac.uk


Find out about scholarship programmes available to NUA applicants.


NUA offers bursaries to new students whose household income is £42,875 or less.

NUA alumni, staff and feeder staff discount

All NUA alumni are eligible for a £1,000 discount on NUA postgraduate degree fees. All NUA staff and staff from feeder institutions are eligible for a £500 discount on NUA postgraduate degree fees.

Need help? Chat to our friendly recruitment team

Book a place on an Open Day, or to find out more about how to apply for a course at NUA, please contact Lynne, Sam, Tom, or Tori:

Call: +44 (0) 1603 610561

Email: studentrecruitment@nua.ac.uk

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