Interior Architecture & Design BA (Hons)

with or without Professional Practice Year or International Year (optional)

UCA Farnham - 2021

Length of study:

Three years full-time

Or, Four years full-time with Professional Practice Year/International Year


UCA Farnham

Entry requirements:

112 UCAS tariff points

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Course entry options:

September 2021

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UCAS institution code:


UCAS code:


UCAS code for course with Professional Practice:


Course overview

With a rich history and strong industry reputation, our Interior Architecture and Design course at UCA Farnham will give you everything you need to make a career in the field.

The course has three main focuses– principles, processes and practice – which you’ll be challenged to question as you work on projects from conception to realisation.

As well as learning refined technical drawing and making skills, you’ll also explore historical and contemporary practices and concepts and gain an in-depth understanding of how interiors affect our everyday lives.

You’ll work closely with our team of respected academics and designers and make the most of our established professional links, with opportunities to take part in off-site workshops at leading design agencies and work on industry project briefs.

Situated within a unique craft and design community, this is a hands-on course that also offers access to exceptional facilities including glass, ceramics, metalwork, woodwork, textiles and digital making environments. 


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Course details

  • Year 1

    Interior Practice Process 1
    You’ll be introduced to fundamental design processes from concept to outcome as well as research methods and visual communication techniques. You’ll learn about historical and contemporary practice, building your skills and confidence so you can begin exploring and experimenting.

    Contextual Studies 1
    Through a series of illustrated lectures and seminars, you’ll be introduced to a range of historical and contemporary contexts, beyond your own subject interests. Encouraging cross-disciplinary thinking as well as instilling the importance of broad contextual frame-working for innovative practice, you’ll be required to develop structured narratives which analyse and evaluate specific examples of crafts and/or design.

    Interior Practice Process 2
    Building on Interior Practice Process 1, you’ll test and develop your skills and material knowledge, enhancing your design ideas, processes and understanding. The study of people’s relationship to a space will further your design decisions. You’ll introduce graphic communication techniques into presentations, and photo collages into your site contexts.

    Interior Practice Process 3
    Developing competency in the range of processes, materials and structures learned in previous units, you’ll extend your understanding of the context of your work through relevant design practice and thinking. This will refine your ability to respond creatively and with confidence to project briefs.

  • Year 2

    Interior Practice Exploration 1
    Through individual and team project briefs, you’ll extend and develop your conceptual thinking and design proposals, while demonstrating your decision making and external industry awareness. Project concepts remain the catalyst for further design development.

    Contextual Studies 2
    Objects and environments are fundamental to our understanding of the world. The purpose of this unit is to introduce a range of contexts demonstrating the importance of meaning, and how this meaning can be used to create and express value within design practices.

    Interior Practice Exploration 2
    Exploring projects in further detail, you’ll consider how a concept develops through to realisation and demonstrate your knowledge of technical drawing, scale model creation, joints and junctions, material efficiency and orthographic drawing, as well as detailed design drawings. Emphasis will be placed upon the production of models and drawings at scales from 1:20 through to full size.

    Interior Practice Exploration 3
    Within a defined framework, you’ll have the opportunity to develop work in response to a live brief, resulting in a full-size built environment. You will be encouraged to develop and refine teamwork as well as individual approaches to research, designing and making, and to reflect upon the full scope what you explored through Year two.

  • Study Abroad International Year

    On this course you'll have the unique opportunity within UCA to add an additional year of study at an overseas institution (either at a higher education establishment or workplace).

    This optional year is designed to broaden your educational experience and deepen your understanding of cultural diversity, enabling you to study within a different cultural context and gain fresh perspectives. 

    Studying abroad can be a life-changing experience. Living in another country, you'll experience new places, people, cultures and possibilities. You'll develop initiative, independence, motivation and, depending on where you go, a working knowledge of another language – all qualities employers are looking for. You will return to complete your degree with all the benefits of the International Year experience behind you.

    To find out more about studying abroad as part of your course please see the Study Abroad section: Study abroad information

    The International Year is not available to students enrolled onto the Professional Practice Year award.

  • Professional Practice Year (if undertaken)

    You may enrol to undertake an additional ‘Professional Practice Year’ as an integral part of this course.  

    This will take place in year three. You will undertake a work placement with a subject appropriate employer to further develop your skills and CV.

    Please note: If you are an international applicant, you will need to enrol onto the course ‘with Professional Practice Year’. It will not be possible to transfer onto the Professional Practice Year after enrolment

  • Year 3

    Professional Practice and Portfolio
    The professional development of a design project is explained through a lecture series based on the Royal Institute of British Architects’ “Stages of Work”. Lectures and tutorials provide methodologies for the preparation of a portfolio of work, curriculum vitae, letter of application and interview techniques.

    Contextual Studies 3
    You’ll conceive, develop and construct a personally meaningful portfolio of contextual research. This research will inform, augment and reflect upon your practice, will critically engage with a range of contextual and theoretical frameworks and will serve to support the positioning of your practice in relation to past, present and possible future endeavours.

    Final Major Project
    The purpose of this unit is for you to realise a graduate major project from a self-initiated brief, within a given framework, that realises individual potential. A selection of topics and sites of a high level of architectural quality will be provided, offering an appropriate level of design challenge.

  • Fees and additional course costs

    Tuition fees
    The course fees per year for 2021 entry are:

    • UK students - £9,250 
    • EU students - £9,250 (see fee discount information)
    • International students - £16,950 (standard fee)
    • International students - £16,270 (full early payment fee)

    If you opt to study the Professional Practice Year, you will be required to pay a reduced tuition fee for that year. This fee will be determined using government funding regulations. Based on current regulations, we expect this to be a maximum of 20% of the tuition fee rate that you are charged for your second year of study. You will also incur additional travel and accommodation costs during this year. The University will provide you with further advice and guidance about this as you approach your Professional Practice Year.

    Additional course costs
    In addition to the tuition fees please see the additional course costs for 2021 entry.

    Further information
    Find out more about our course fees and any financial support you may be entitled to:

    These fees are correct for the stated academic year only. Costs may increase each year during a student’s period of continued registration on course in line with inflation (subject to any maximum regulated tuition fee limit). Any adjustment for continuing students will be at or below the RPI-X forecast rate.

Professional Practice Year

You have the option to complete a Professional Practice Year as part of this course.

You have the option to complete a Professional Practice Year as part of this course. You’ll spend two years learning in our studios and workshops at UCA Farnham, before putting what you’ve learned into practice and extending it through a year-long work placement.

The university will help facilitate your placement, making use of our extensive industry connections to help you find a paid role with a suitable employer. You will receive supervision in line with a pre-agreed schedule. On conclusion of the placement, you’ll return to complete your final year of study – applying your professional practice knowledge to help inform your graduation project work.


Our on-site facilities include studios for personal and group working, workshops featuring 3D printing, laser cutter, circular and band saws, planer/thicknesser, belt sanders, drilling machines and vacuum forming equipment, laser and plasma cutters, and spot-welding equipment. There are also digital media suites with graphic design and computer aided design programmes, and a modern library with a wealth of books, journals, and online resources. There are also regular opportunities to visit off-site studios for workshops with industry leaders.

Programme Director

What our students say

Course connections

On this course, you'll be exposed to a world of opportunities

  • Industry links

    We’ve established a range of strong industry connections, and companies that often employ our students work for household name clients, including: 

    • Aston Martin
    • Jaguar
    • Mercedes-Benz
    • BBC
    • Virgin
    • AT&T
    • The V&A
    • Science Museum
    • Imperial War Museum
    • Karen Millen
    • All Saints
    • H&M
    • Selfridges
    • Harvey Nichols
    • Hotel Chocolat
    • Ritz-Carlton
    • Four Seasons
    • JW Marriot.

    Recent guest lecturers have included:

    • Sarah Page – founder, Sarah Page Studio
    • Steve James-Royle – Founder, The Yard Creative
    • Julie Glass, designer
    • Lillie Cannings – designer, Modus
    • William Warren – lecturer and founder of a furniture and product design consultancy
    • Adrian Caddy – founder, Greenspace.
    • Siu-Lan Choi – creative director, Household
    • Nina Eklund – design manager, Marks & Spencer
    • Carl Turner – founding director, Carl Turner Architects
    • Peter Higgins – creative director, Land Design Studio
    • Jason Bruges – founder and creative director, Jason Bruges Studio
    • Matthew Cripps – architectural and interior designer, Stedman Blower Architects.
  • Careers

    Recent graduates have secured positions in a wide range of design areas such as retail leisure (restaurant, cafes, bars), exhibitions and events, offices and conferences, hotels and clubs, residential, cruise ships and transportation, film sets and computer animation.

  • Staffing team

    The Programme Director for this course is Mark Gower, with Michael Thomas as subject leader. You'll also be supported on your studies by:

    • Rentaro Nishimura
    • Ben Smart
    • Julie Glass
    • Adrian Bland
    • Jim Casey
    • Keppel Nowsen
    • Sarah Page
    • Johann-Schnaus
    • Keith Fowler.
  • Further study

    Some of our alumni also go on to postgraduate study in design management, sustainable design or film set design.

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Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

Along with your portfolio, the standard entry requirements* for this course are:

One of the following:

  • 112 new UCAS tariff points, see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Distinction, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma / BTEC National Extended Diploma
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma
  • 112 new UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject
  • 27-30 total points in the International Baccalaureate Diploma with at least 15 IB points at Higher level, see more information about IB entry requirements.

And four GCSE passes at grade A*-C and/or grade 4-9 including English (or Functional Skills English/Key Skills Communication Level 2).

Other relevant and equivalent Level 3 UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis, and we encourage students from diverse educational backgrounds to apply.

*We occasionally make offers which are lower than the standard entry criteria, to students who have faced difficulties that have affected their performance and who were expected to achieve higher results. We consider the strength of our applicants’ portfolios, as well as their grades - in these cases, a strong portfolio is especially important.

International and EU entry requirements

To view the equivalent entry requirements for your country please select it in the list below.

Pick Your Country

Non-UK equivalent qualifications

English language requirements

Don't meet the international entry requirements or English language requirements?

You may be able to enter the course through the following entry courses:

Pre-sessional English courses in the UK or China

UCA International Foundation courses

The UCA International College

Your portfolio

For this course, you’ll be required to submit an online portfolio via your UCA Applicant Portal. This should include: work demonstrating your approach to art and design, sketching, photography, modelmaking, concept development, computer graphics, and 2D and 3D processes. Further information on how to compile and upload your portfolio will be provided once you have applied. If you receive an offer, you’ll be invited to attend an Offer Holder Webinar where you can meet the course team and learn more about the course.

More portfolio advice

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