This course is designed for creative individuals, who have a keen interest in space and place making, 3D design, architectural design, and design for exhibitions and installations.
About the course
This course is designed for creative individuals, who have a keen interest in space and place making, 3D design, architectural design, and design for exhibitions and installations. The heart of this course content is the making of environments that can change lives, inspire, provide comfort, intrigue; the built environment is your canvas. Whether you follow the career of an architectural designer, set designer, technologist, curator or installation artist, this course will employ you with the fundamental skills, knowledge and understanding to pursue the professional pathway of your choice.
In this course you will develop yourselves to become critical thinkers, competent designers, and strong communicators. Engaging in design projects from the first week of your studies, will enable you to become aware of the creative process of design early on, and capable of designing advanced and complex ideas later on. Acquiring the critical knowledge that surrounds the discipline will empower you to position yourself in the world of architecture and design, and create well-thought, pioneering designs that make a difference. Becoming equipped with the right technical and transferable skillset will make you employable and an effective team member, able to take on the challenging tasks involved in the delivery of a design project; that being a final interior space, competition proposal, or research document.
The course operates on a unique design studio teaching model and culture that invites you to collaborate, share, and become part of a creative design hub that works effectively based on the values of synergy, respect, and debate.
Who we are
We are an enthusiastic team of practitioners and academics, who are very passionate about our disciplines as well as teaching and delivering knowledge. We bring different backgrounds and specialisms into this course and we focus on your success, professional development, making sure that you stay creative, inspired, and that you become the professional you have dreamt of becoming. We are highly qualified in the fields of architecture, visual arts, critical theory, design, and lead research and practice each in their own field, maintaining a high national and international profile. We have designed a course for you that is current and aspirational, and responds to the standards set by the industry and higher education. We believe that design is international and we make sure you stay informed with what is happening in the filed not only in the UK but in Europe as well as globally.
We are committed to excellence and will endeavour to provide you with an exciting student experience and an inspirational learning environment.
Why choose to study with us
We are the only course in the UK to have formally included in its syllabus an innovative model of learning and teaching called the ‘Vertical Studio’. This model promotes collaboration, and symbiosis between groups of students from different levels, who strategically share physical studio space and project material. It prepares students at an early stage in the course to overlook processes and prepare for their future study. It also allows contingency and equips final year students with strong mentorship and management skills. We have written our course in such a way, to include knowledge delivery on current technologies and practices, such as augmented and virtual reality, practice-based research, interactive design, as well as a wide range of theories and philosophies that inform on the discipline. We critically combine digital with physical production to empower our students with a rich professional skillset and a portfolio of work that makes them employable and ready for further study.
We provide our students with a creative learning environment, which simulates the model in a design practice and operates in course allocated studios. In this hub, students have access to course specific resources, such as current architecture and design books and journals, Leap Motion and Arduino technology, projector and PC workstations. The course team is frequently in the studio and provides intensive support on one-to-one or group level. We ensure that the numbers of our student groups allows extensive contact time with team members and operate in empathy, concentrating on the flair, strength points, capabilities and pace of each student to ensure progress and success.
We are part of a young and aspirational institution that looks to build a future and have impact on the regional and national community as well as internationally. We are in direct link with the industry, with the majority of our design projects at Year 2 and 3 being client or competition based. We invite specialists from other institutions and the industry to deliver seminars and workshops, giving an insight of their work to our students. We regularly organise field trips to visit important sites and events to ensure students gain currency of practice and holistic perception of the contemporary design world.
Content and Modules
The BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Design course at UCS offers a wide spectrum, inter-disciplinary approach to the articulation and re-appropriation of spaces. It provides an inspirational learning environment in which conventional architectural values and contemporary approaches merge together. Our students become knowledgeable and capable professionals, not only artistically creative and technically prepared, but also practically and critically informed. The project-based work will offer creative challenges and provides students with growing awareness, confidence and ability to develop innovative design solutions. The theoretical modules integrate and support the project work in a way that enhances reflective and critical thinking and making. The final year provides independence and responsibility for students to develop their own individual design projects and professional profiles, often collaboratively across the design disciplines, which ultimately develops and completes a personal portfolio of work.
The course is based on the following strands and complies with all relevant current Higher Education QAA Frameworks:
Analysis through Reflection and Evaluation
Performance through Professional Development
Creativity through Imagination
Application through Design Production
Communication through the Language of Design
The nature of the course is integrative, undertaking gradually this integration across the modules, strands and even other disciplines or courses within the School, such as photography, graphic design, film and media, fine arts, etc, increasing the possibilities to enrich the students’ portfolios. The course structure is such to enable you to become independent learners. You will short and prescriptive tasks and assignments in the first year, broaden your knowledge and deepen your understanding with live projects in the second year, and take full responsibility of your design initiatives in the final year.
The course components are structured into year-long modules that cover a gamma of learning and teaching methods such as lectures and seminars, studio tutorials and critiques, presentations and peer review activities, task-based and lab-based learning. Each module is assessed at the end of the academic year with the Design Studio modules being the spine of the course and concluding with the production of a year portfolio.
Your first year
Design Studio 1
Your second year
Design Studio 2
CAD & Digital Imaging
Your final year
Debates on Contemporary Practice
Design Studio 3
Research and Identity
How to apply – preparing for interview
When you apply for our BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Design course, we will ask you to attend an interview in campus or remotely. This is your opportunity to meet with us, view our facilities and the location and demonstrate your potential. To do this we ask that you prepare a creative portfolio and a 500 words personal statement.
Your creative portfolio may be physical or digital and is the visual evidence for your potential to succeed on this course. The content of your portfolio may include but is not limited to a selection of:
Sketches and Painting
We examine each application on its own merit and we will be looking for creative flair, talent, and passion, so please do not hesitate to include perhaps unconventional elements in your portfolio; this may be documentation of a design object or model you have made.
Please ensure that you portfolio reflect your skills gained so far, as well as your potential to develop those under guidance. It is also important that your portfolio is informative, coherent and selective, showing you are able to make critical decisions and that you are aware of the quality of your work. You may include finished projects or projects in progress that you particularly like or think highly of. The physical portfolio you bring in an on campus interview may take the form of an A2 folder or A3 journal or contain a combination of elements, carefully selected and prioritised. If we ask for an e-portfolio, this will usually be a PowerPoint or PDF file comprising of the elements mentioned above and transferred into digital format, and properly annotated.
It is very important that you portfolio contains the following information:
Your name and details of the contents (titles, annotation etc)
Relevant work that inspires you
Work that you have developed and feel proud of
A range of your skills to include technical ability, observation, mapping, creativity, and analysis
Both 2D and 3D work, appropriately documented through drawings and imagery
Any accomplishment or award you may have received
Any group projects that you may have taken part in
We do no request for a specific size or volume of a portfolio but we would normally expect applicants to show 15-30 images of creative, experimental or finalised design work. We also welcome digital portfolios or showreels via Flickr, Behance, Isuu, Vimeo, or similar as well as your personal blog.
Unlike what some people may think, or what the prospects of similar courses are, this program opens an array of career pathways to its students and graduates. Your final year will very much determine your direction and/or specialisation via your independent choice of a subject for your research project (dissertation) and design studio final major project. Upon completing this course you pursue your career or further study to become a(n):
CAD Technician/ Technologist
Meet the team
We encourage prospective applicants and students to visit our campus and meet the team in person to discuss thoughts and expectations. Every year we welcome thousands of visitors on our UCS Open Days and Events, who receive subject-specific information and welcome tours. The team will be delighted to discuss and find out whether this course fulfils your expectation and give you a taste of student work. Human contact is important for us, so please visit or get in touch.
UCS Tuition Fees:
Students starting at UCS in September 2015 will be charged £9,000 per year for a full-time Bachelor degree. Part-time students will be charged £8,490 (pro-rata) per year for Bachelor degrees.