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Interior Design (MA)

Course Description

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 study.

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.

Core modules

•Decoding the Interior
This module provides a holistic investigation of interior environments, drawing from aspects of various critical theory streams, while at the same time encouraging students to create their own tools for conducting primary research on a range of chosen interiors. You will look at historical and contemporary interior environments, covering psychological, cultural, social and economic codes that underpin their creation.

•Interior Design Case Study
This module is committed to the thorough investigation of a chosen interior environment(s), designed or otherwise, contemporary or historical, and the relationship to/within the architectural setting. It should provide a vehicle for you to examine particular design criteria and articulate your personal philosophical agendas about spatial design, together with the perceived and ambient quality of interior space. Investigation is published both as written work and through a short film media.

•Introduction to Design Computing
This module will introduce you to two-dimensional digital graphics, image manipulation and animation. It considers the use of these techniques in relation to the broader context of architectural/art-based representational practices and conventions.

•Major Thesis Project
The module specifically deals with the research, development, exploration, synthesis and conclusion of your chosen area of study for your Major Thesis Project. The aim is to evolve the project developed from the position formulated in the Thesis Development module. The project requires substantially greater commitment than any previous project task, and can be either design based or text based. You will work individually on the project, which will need to embrace the highest standards of critical review – whether in challenging particular theories and their manifestations in design and architecture, or in demonstrating a personal or innovative approach to the design process.

•Retail Design
This is a vocationally based, applied design module. You will consider in context how design is utilised as an effective and persuasive tool in the contemporary retail environment. You will investigate issues of product marketing, branding, promotion, evaluation of public perception and the potency of image, through several focused design projects.

•Thesis Development
This module prepares you for the subsequent Major Thesis Project by introducing research issues and themes, and covers research methods, analysis, agenda, concept and strategy. You will undertake a series of short projects and/or studies throughout the module. It is important to note that the Major Thesis Project can take a form that is design based or text based, depending on your choice. The course of study for the Thesis Development module will as a consequence depend also on the type/format of research methods that you are evolving for your thesis project.

Associated careers

Former graduates from the Interior Design MA practise in a variety of areas of design. These include interior design, exhibition design, set and lighting design, retail and product design, and interior conservation, as well as multidisciplinary and traditional architectural and design practice. The MA may also form a platform for continuing study with a career in academia or research. For students who take the course and are interested in further study, we offer suitable applicants the opportunity to study for a MPhil/PhD degree, not only through the traditional research mode, but also through a PhD by design route.


At Westminster, we have always believed that your University experience should be designed to enhance your professional life. Today’s organisations need graduates with both good degrees and employability skills, and we are committed to enhancing your graduate employability by ensuring that career development skills are embedded in all courses.

Opportunities for part-time work, placements and work-related learning activities are widely available, and can provide you with extra cash and help you to demonstrate that you have the skills employers are looking for. In London there is a plentiful supply of part-time work – most students at the University of Westminster work part time (or full time during vacations) to help support their studies.

We continue to widen and strengthen our links with employers, involving them in curriculum design and encouraging their participation in other aspects of career education and guidance. Staff take into account the latest data on labour market trends and employers’ requirements to continually improve the service delivered to students.

Visit the Interior Design (MA) page on the University of Westminster website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Lina Vlasovaite

The course was really enjoyable, intense and full of new experiences. The course gave me more than just knowledge of interiors; it gave me a deep understanding of how the world of interiors works in a more philosophical way.

(Student Profile)

Valerie Mace

A highly inspiring programme that allowed me to instigate a new direction in my work. The Course Leader was very supportive while at the same time challenging my work for me to get the best out of it. I learnt a lot and I feel much more confident as a designer. Thanks to the projects set up by the course team and the practice and knowledge I developed from them, I was invited as a guest speaker at the RCA in March 2013 and I presented a paper at the London Electronic Visualisation and the Arts (EVA ) conference in July 2013.

(Student Profile)

Zivile Jureviciute

This course has pushed me to think outside the box... In fact it made me realise that there is no box!


Entry Requirements

You are normally required to have a good Honours degree in architecture, interior design or a related design discipline. If your qualifications are in subject areas cognate to the course you will be considered on merit.

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