Graduate Diploma in Interior Design at Chelsea College of Arts is a full time, one year programme. This course provides students with the skills and experience required for a career in the field of interior design, or further study at MA level.
What students can expect:
- To develop a flexible, open-minded approach to thinking about interior design or critically engaging with contemporary design approaches
- To connect with interior design in a variety of ways such as designing, writing, visual communication and research
- To explore the possibility of making narratives from interior design
- To develop an open way of thinking about interior design, and give students the opportunity to critically engage with contemporary design approaches
- To design small-scale interiors and explore new opportunities within existing architectural spaces
- To be assigned a personal tutor who supports your development
The course runs over a total of 30 weeks and offers a combination of taught study, self-directed negotiated study, personal research and written assignments. There are also two major practical projects undertaken during the year and each is the subject of a book.
The course is studio based and delivered in three units of study:
Unit 1 - Commodity and Design
This is a design programme that explores a small-scale domestic interior. This project focuses on how the client / user can be given a new opportunity to perform within a space and the various methods students have to envisage and communicate this opportunity.
Unit 2 - Negotiated Design Programme
In this unit students are expected to initiate a design project. They will choose a location, make an analysis of an interior and establish a design brief for a new programme of habitation. Students are asked to find a context in the public realm rather than the domestic one, and are expected to reflect upon and discuss how habitation is improved by their contribution.
Unit 3 - Professional Context
This unit is concerned with critical reflection upon professional practice and creative processes. Students will learn about professional communication within the practice of interior design, and specifically the writing requirements of an interior designer when they are reflecting upon and communicating their design proposals. This will prepare students for professional practice and support the critical position of their design proposals.
Work experience and opportunities
During the year students are involved in live projects. One of these, the making of a Christmas-themed installation for a highly regarded hotel in Westminster, has become an annual event.
This course promotes a dynamic and speculative approach to the design of interior spatial environments and values research that seeks to challenge traditional methodologies. It gives you the opportunity to pursue your particular issues of interest in interior design or specialist areas of three dimensional design, through concise and focused studies.
You will cover a range of issues, both theoretical and practical. Design modules deal with contemporary issues in a variety of interior design typologies, including retail, exhibition, gallery, performance and speculative efforts broadly described as installation. Careful studies are made in the pursuit of a fresh approach to their design resolution, through analogous and figurative studies, as well as comparison using suitable contemporary exemplars. The thesis can be undertaken as a design project, a dissertation or a piece of research – effectively a hybrid, both a project and a written summary or theoretical proposition.
The following modules are indicative of what you study on this course.
We have a wide network of architects and interior designers operating in London seeking graduates to join their practices, which is a very important link between our academic environment and professional body at work in London and further afield. We have used this route to place a number of graduates in successful, growing practices with great results.
Our graduates have the knowledge and advantage of already operating within a competitive and demanding academic environment in London. The broad range of skills taught during the MA has enabled our graduates to either strengthen or change their career paths.
Our students have moved on to:
In some cases the course has equipped our graduates to advance their study at PhD level. It has also enabled established fine artists to question their practice and take new directions. Many of our international students have gone back to their country of origin to use their new skills in progressing academia and industry abroad.
This course promotes the investigation and interpretation of interior space, inside and outside of the traditional architectural envelope, whilst considering human occupation, engagement and experience as the catalyst. This may manifest in a variety of outcomes and will allow you to work within your chosen speciality such as building re-use, exhibition or shop design, branding, identities or environmental graphics, performance or set design, temporary installations or ‘event’ design, furniture or artefact design. The specialist workshops provide you with opportunities to explore materiality, fabrication and realisation of your ideas, through technical rigour at a variety of scales whilst studio teaching is underpinned by engagement with industry.
Based in the heart of the School of Art, MA/MFA Design: Interior Design is part of an innovative design network — a community of staff and students exploring design ideas in a discursive, cross-disciplinary studio environment. Critically informed practical designers, the group works experimentally, inspired by new insights and possibilities.
While studying towards a particular qualification at MA/MFA level, students experience their subject in the broader context of contemporary design practice.
Dedicated spaces for the postgraduate community have been developed to enable the postgraduate community to flourish. These spaces, for thinking and practice, are located centrally within the School of Art, allowing easy access to an extensive range of workshops where the combination of traditional and state of the art equipment opens up a world of exciting possibilities.
The MA Design: Interior Design is made up of four units totalling 180 credits.
The programme is designed to help you acclimatise to the challenges of MA level research and practice, enabling you to identify and describe a clear direction for your postgraduate design study.
You will be encouraged to develop design propositions that encompass key design issues and have complexity and ambition, taking full consideration of the relative contextual drivers.
You will also be encouraged and supported to extend your experience in the professional sphere either through a practical project, research context, exchange, work experience, or other negotiated professional set of interactions with an external partner, groups of students and creative industry.
Towards the end of the programme you will undertake a major project to consolidate your past research and practice into fully realised collections, pieces, proposals, business plans, or exhibitions – what ever means is appropriate to the work. You will also have developed a strategy for the continuation of your practice located and contextualised to the profession or discipline.
If you choose to progress to MFA Design: Interior Design award you will study a further two units of 60 credits each.
This route is focussed on the continuation of your practice aligned to the research and selection of appropriate public or professional venues and platforms to disseminate a significant body of work. You will be required to produce work for a public audience in the most relevant and appropriate form along with any implicit publicity and dissemination material.
Our MA Interior Design course enables you to develop an individual approach to spatial design within a stimulating, creative and supportive environment.
This degree provides you with a launchpad to potential higher level interior design careers within a diverse range of subjects. These include museum and exhibition design, design for film, television and digital games and brand interpretation for retail, leisure or promotional events.
An emphasis on ecological issues and processes is also a prominent aspect of this course, and underpins all aspects of the course.
You'll explore your area of interest to an advanced level, through establishing new spatial paradigms that build on your existing knowledge. Our course, at UCA Canterbury, combines theoretical and practical skills, and encourages engagement with industry at all levels.
In-depth research into design processes and technologies, along with related work placement opportunities, will prepare you for new career directions. Your project work will be supported by ongoing staff research into sustainability, architecture, design-related digital technologies, experiential environments and brand communication.
You'll be taught through tutorials, seminars, self-directed study in relation to your project proposal, work-in-progress reviews and visits or references to sites of local and international interest.
Part-time students are normally taught on a Tuesday but sometimes field trips, study visits or other events take place on other days of the week. You should check before enrolling if you have concerns about the days your course will be taught on.
We've got extensive contacts across the range of interior design disciplines. Live projects, research analysis and feasibility studies will draw on our wide range of contacts and associations.
Connections include specialists in the related fields of audio-visual technologies, lighting design and interactive design.
Recent guest lecturers have included:
-David Callcott, CADA Design, retail and leisure design consultants (London and Hyderabad, India)
-Emma Vane, Production Designer for Atonement, the Harry Potter series, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and Captain America: The First Avenger
-Finlay White, ModCell, sustainable construction
-Mick Pearce, award-winning international architect (Title: Bio-mimicry and the 3rd industrial revolution)
-Phil Hughes, Ralph Appelbaum Associates, museum and exhibition designers (London, New York, Beijing)
-Uwe R. Brückner, Atelier Brückner, exhibition design (Stuttgart, Germany).
Career opportunities exist within design or architectural consultancies in retail, leisure, exhibition, office, hotel, residential and cruise ship design, as well as in the fields of design management, interior or film-set design.
Our course has a strong ecological focus with opportunities for engaging with both the theoretical and practical aspects of real-world sustainability.
Visit our Postgraduate Virtual Media Space to find out more about our courses, see what it's like to study at UCA and gain access to our campus virtual tours.
Covering the study and design of interior spaces in relation to a wide range of public and private environments, this programme will guide you through innovative design projects that will enable you to explore the design potential of existing buildings and find new uses for old or redundant spaces through the design of contemporary insertions.
You’ll be encouraged to focus on the aspect of interior design that you find most interesting or personally relevant, and take charge of the direction of your coursework.
Visits from industry practitioners, along with our strong link with commercial design consultancies and architectural practices, are invaluable in providing opportunities for additional expert advice and critical appraisal.
This programme integrates practical studio work with theoretical and written studies, including professional practice elements to prepare you for employment in the industry, and a lecture/seminar series to examine the wider context of your studies. The aim is to encourage and support postgraduate students who wish to explore interior design as a means of expressing ideas and opinions.
Projects are based within existing historic buildings in Edinburgh, usually in need of regeneration, and often significant to communities or the wider city. There is also an element of exhibition design to the programme, whereby in the last semester students are responsible for the design and construction of the ECA Interiors show at the Free Range Exhibition in London.
For assessment, you will produce a body of practical and written work on an agreed self-initiated topic. This may include set projects within the programme curriculum.
We have an enviable track record of success as our graduates gain interior design work here in the UK and overseas, or set up their own businesses.
Integrating sustainable design strategies with new developments in technology and materials, the two-year, full-time professional MFA in Interior Design program prepares a new generation of designers to address social changes and demographic shifts shaping clients’ needs today. A faculty of distinguished practicing professionals work with students to imagine new possibilities for the design of habitable space. The program hosts “AfterTaste,” an international conference dedicated to exploring the connections between interior design and fields including art, architecture, film, science, psychology, philosophy, medicine, and music.
The 60-credit studio-based and research-oriented curriculum challenges students to analyze the relationship between human behavior and perception of the interior. Courses investigate materials and their environmental impact, fabrication and manufacturing processes, building systems and operational energy consumption, drawing and digital representation, and the history and theory of interior design. During the second year, students develop a thesis project, written thesis book, and exhibition. This program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.
Using New York City as an urban laboratory, the curriculum draws on Parsons’ long-standing connections to design firms, manufacturers, galleries, and museums. Students supplement core classes with electives offered throughout Parsons and the rest of The New School in fields such as design and technology, anthropology, psychology, and environmental and urban studies.
You can request more information here: http://www.newschool.edu/m/parsons-constructed?utm_source=find_a_masters&utm_medium=hyperlink_listing&utm_campaign=pm_parsons_grad&utm_term=constructed_environments
Design projects form the core learning and teaching element of the programme. Projects are a mix of both set and self-generated. They will vary in duration and format. In the first term of years one and two of the course, students will work together as mixed vertical groups to enhance peer-to-peer learning. In the second and third terms of the course students work in year specific groups but with timetabled reviews of each others work at key points in their respective curriculum. In the second half of term one, second year students work independently as their final year thesis project is developed. It is expected that individual students will pursue projects of a particular personal interest in relation to their Interior Design studio ‘provocation’.
Design projects will always be concerned with issues in and around the design of interior environments, exploring issues such as proximities, inhabitation and the construction of a range of spatial identities. The context for design projects will vary, but will often include existing buildings, urban spaces, the analysis of site and human occupation and inhabitation, material and spatial identity and so on. Where applicable live briefs will be included in the curriculum where students work with commercial or industry partners. In some cases design projects will take the form of competitions that may be set within the programme or by organisations outside of the College.
The second year of the programme is organised around a number of Interior Design Platforms (IDPs). Their number will depend upon the number of students on the programme at any given time. Each platform will begin around the middle of term one and be based around emergent or current issues in the subject of Interiors and in other built environment/design led contexts. The tutors who run them will position the content of the studios. The studios will be configured in order to respond to a particular overall provocation and location, a site and context that will be set by the Head of Programme and the teaching team.
The programme employs a variety of different learning and teaching methods to help you achieve your individual aims and objectives, as well as those of the programme.
In addition to the core Interior Design programme content all students at the RCA undertake the Critical & Historical Studies component independently of their studio work. This work culminates in the submission of the dissertation, a 6,000 – 10,000 word essay, at the start of the second year.
This course is aimed at graduates from a wide range of design-related backgrounds.
Interdisciplinary research and practice is promoted throughout the course, and creative collaborations are developed between designers, fine artists, architects and thinkers wanting to follow an advanced course in interior design.
Students share spacious top-lit studios and have their own individual working spaces. There are also dedicated computer suites as well as photographic and workshop facilities.
Staff bringing their expertise to this course include:
During semester 1, the projects set for the Preliminary Design module provide an opportunity for students returning to education to take stock of their position, evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, and identify ambitions for future study. Lecture courses in Technology and Material Practices, Critical Readings and Research Methods run in parallel.
In semester 2, you consolidate and extend the priorities, ideas and strategies established in the preliminary design. Lecture series in Technology and Critical Readings continue. A proposal for the final research project is developed and submitted, which then takes up the whole of semester 3.
The course explores both the intellectual idea and the spatial language of interior environments. Students develop new skills while extending existing design practices to precisely articulate spatial design proposals.
We offer at least one study trip each year. It might be related to the design studio or a trip that offers you direct exposure to and experience of some of the most contemporary spatial design projects in Britain and mainland Europe.
Making sure that what you learn with us is relevant, up to date and what employers are looking for is our priority, so courses are reviewed and enhanced on an ongoing basis. When you have applied to us, you’ll be told about any new developments through our applicant portal.
Our Interior Design MA is designed to promote interdisciplinary research and practice: we are looking to develop creative collaborations between fine artists, designers, architects and thinkers. Our starting point is to acknowledge the complexities and paradoxes inherent in orthodox architectural documentation in order to unearth the dubious simplifications and missed opportunities that result from the tendency to privilege the visual at the expense of our other senses.
In anticipation of 'the creative user', all our proposals originate from a close focus on the existing condition, paying particular attention to local takeovers, autonomous occupations and the blurring of boundaries of ownership and programme. In considering issues of technology, we are concerned as much with intuition, desire and chance as with precedent, economy and established practice.
During semester 1, the projects set for the Preliminary Design module provide an opportunity for students returning to education to take stock of their position, evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, and identify ambitions for future study. Lecture courses in technology and the chosen optional module run in parallel.
Technology and Material Practices
The central concern of the work undertaken in this module is to investigate the ways in which a building’s materiality, systems of construction and service infrastructure provide an opportunity to bring into sharp focus the polemical, ethical and philosophical positions that underpin the project as a whole. The module consists of a series of lectures and workshops focusing on visual, thermal, aural, climatic, structural, constructional and sustainability issues.
During semester 1, you select the module of your choice from a list of options offered by the full range of MA courses across the School of Art, Design and Media.
By semester 2, work undertaken for the Main Design module consolidates and extends the priorities, ideas and strategies established in Preliminary Design (talks and tutorials on Technology and Material Practices continue to run parallel with the studio project).
Throughout this module, you develop your research skills to construct research questions, hypotheses and methodologies, which you will adapt to issues of personal interest. You also develop and submit a research project proposal.
The Masterwork is the culmination of the course and may be undertaken through creative design practice supported by critical text or as a text-based thesis. The development of the Masterwork proposal is supported by research-based seminars and regular seminar presentations with supervisory input from your course tutors.
Our graduates generally succeed in finding challenging and rewarding work in the public and private sectors, nationally and internationally. Brighton graduates enjoy a reputation for being creative and innovative designers, responsive to the needs of people and places. In addition, this postgraduate programme offers opportunities for experimental and exploratory work in spatial design both within and beyond the limits of professional practice.