University of Chester

Programme Specification
Interior Design BA (Hons) (Single Honours)
2017 - 2018

Bachelor of Arts (Single Honours)

Interior Design

Interior Design

University of Chester

University of Chester

Kingsway Campus, Chester


Raffles College of Higher Education, Singapore (Level 6 only)

Undergraduate Modular Programme


Classroom / Laboratory,

3 Years

7 Years

Triannual - January - July - September




17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Arts and Humanities Art and Design

Art and Design (QAA Revised 2008)

Art & Design

Friday 29th May 2015

The study of Interior Design at the University of Chester offers students the opportunity to be part of a creative community where they can develop as designers who are confident in constructing engaging content for a wide range of channels and contexts.

The programme’s ambition is for its graduates to be the creative thinkers highly prized by the creative industries that contribute considerably to economic growth. They will develop an individual visual language, and will be able to deal effectively with the demands of an intensively competitive global marketplace. Their learning will be supported within a setting that promotes intellectual growth, while provoking creative challenges and experiences embracing Interior Design as a social and commercial activity. Therefore the programme aims are:

  • To deliver a progressive programme of study that encourages independent thinking, personal responsibility and develops creative practitioners.
  • To enable students to locate their design practice within its theoretical, technical, ethical, social, professional and historical contexts.
  • To prepare students for the changing nature of Interior Design as a profession and its interconnection with the wider construction and creative industries.
  • To promote a multidisciplinary approach to Interior Design and facilitate independent thinking and an entrepreneurial approach to new and emerging practices, materials and contexts.
  • To embed the fundamental principles and theories which form the foundations for effective visual communication while encouraging intellectual enquiry into these theories and principles and the connections between theory, context and practice.
  • To provide a vehicle through which practical skills relevant to Interior Design practice can be experienced, utilised and deployed in an appropriate and informed manner.
  • To provide opportunities for students to think creatively, critically and analytically so that they may be prepared for graduate employment and/or independent practice.

Key areas for this programme are a critical understanding of Interior Design practice and the application of appropriate criteria for evaluating design solutions and prototypes. Students will develop a personal visual language as a means of increasing self-knowledge and self- development through study and practice. Students will demonstrate knowledge of a wide range of historical and contemporary design practices which will contribute to the development of individual methodologies.

Students completing the appropriate level should have the following attributes skills and abilities and consequently be able to:

Level 4: Identify and engage with methods of Interior Design planning and production, history and cultural context. [AD4501, AD4502, AD4503, AD4504]

Level 5: Deploy materials, techniques and technologies in a creative manner related to all aspects of Interior Design solutions. [AD5501, AD5502, AD5503]

Level 6: Demonstrate, through research, prototyping and written work, a sophisticated level of understanding of the Interior Designer’s relationship with client, markets, users, consumers, and/or participants. [AD6501, AD6502, AD6503, AD6110]

Demonstrate the ability to source, navigate, select, retrieve, evaluate, manipulate and manage information from a variety of sources with minimum guidance in written and practical work. [AD6110, AD6305, AD6501, AD6502, AD6503]

Cognitive skills will develop across the three years of study and students will be expected to demonstrate progressive understanding of the contexts and debates surrounding Interior Design practice. Students will demonstrate a sound application of analytical, critical and descriptive language and enter into reasoned and substantiated review and reflection. Students will be expected to engage in critical debate in group situations including prepared contributions to seminars and practical crit sessions. Students will be able to articulate individual concerns and interests within the context of contemporary practice and historical precedent.

Students completing the appropriate level should have the following attributes skills and abilities and consequently be able to:

Level 4: Demonstrate awareness and application of research skills to evaluate Interior Design concepts, prototypes and critiques. [AD4501, AD4502, AD4503, AD4504]

Level 5: Assimilate ideas, form, content, processes and techniques based on reflective evaluation and feedback. [AD5501, AD5502, AD5503, AD5404]

 Level 6: Effectively synthesise and articulate knowledge, understanding, attributes and skills in the contexts of creative practice, employment, further study, research and self-fulfilment. [AD6110, AD6305, AD6501, AD6502, AD6503]

Practical and professional skills are embedded throughout all aspects of the programme. Students will develop practical knowledge of drawing as a method of observational and visual analysis; as a process of visualisation; as a method of problem solving and as a form of visual communication. Students will demonstrate confidence in selecting and experimenting with materials, processes and techniques appropriate to Interior Design practice, with the purpose of communicating concepts and responses to design challenges.

Students completing the appropriate level should have the following attributes skills and abilities and consequently be able to:

Level 4: Demonstrate an awareness of the methods, tools, traditions and development of Interior Design within its historical, social and cultural context. [AD4501, AD4502, AD4503, AD4504]

Level 5: Critically select, test and make appropriate use of materials, processes and environments in exploring and resolving Interior Design challenges. [AD5501, AD5502, AD5503]

Manage and make appropriate use of the interaction between intention, process, outcome, context, and the methods of dissemination in Interior Design challenges. [AD5501, AD5502, AD5503, AD5404]

Level 6: Demonstrate resourcefulness and entrepreneurial skills to support their own practice, and/or the practice of others. [AD6501, AD6305]

Demonstrate competence in the practice, processes, techniques and methodologies required in the study, research and production of Interior Design solutions. [AD6110, AD6305, AD6501, AD6502, AD6503]

The ability to communicate and the deployment of a design vocabulary are essential skills at every level. Students are required to articulate knowledge and critical understanding of historical and contemporary contexts within spatial design.

Students will demonstrate the ability to identify and gather appropriate source material for practical and theoretical research. They will use increasing sophisticated critical analysis of primary and secondary source materials. Progressive written assignments will demonstrate increasing independence, clarity and confidence in constructing and articulating sound and informed opinion and argument. Written work will evidence the ability to apply aesthetic judgements informed by sound research and ability to analyse complex models and theories within an academic framework supported by accurate citation.

Throughout levels five and six students will demonstrate refined critical and writing ability enabling the clear expression of knowledge and ideas at a sophisticated professional level suitable for publication.

Students completing the appropriate level should have the following attributes skills and abilities and consequently be able to:

Level 4: Competently present ideas and information in visual, oral and written forms within the context of Interior Design practice. [AD4501, AD4502, AD4503, AD4504]

Level 5: Effectively select and employ communication techniques and information technologies to articulate ideas and experience in visual, oral and written forms within the context of Interior Design practice. [AD5501, AD5502, AD5503, AD5404]

Level 6: Present complex ideas and work to expert and non-expert audiences in a range of situations related to Interior Design practice. [AD6110, AD6305, AD6501, AD6502, AD6503]

Demonstrate the ability to develop ideas and construct arguments in verbal and text form and reflect upon these critically. [AD6110, AD6305, AD6501]

The Interior Design programme aims to provide a supportive and stimulating environment for emerging designers to develop a professional approach to contemporary design practice. As students progress they increasingly develop their knowledge, skills, critical understanding and experience of design through individual studio practice, specialist techniques and processes and participating in individual and group critiques.

The course is designed to support personal, creative, and intellectual growth. As practising designers, the course tutors will support, guide and assist students to develop design practice within a well-structured and individual-focused learning environment.

Level 4: This will introduce students to Interior Design-specific skills plus key aspects related to the theory, practice and context of the discipline and relevant technology. Students will experiment with observational drawing, material selection and sourcing and CAD to develop responses to design challenges. Practical creative work will be supported by a history and cultural context programme that together with an introduction to Interior Design as a profession will enable learners to contextualise Interior Design’s history, development and position within the cultural economy. To increase study confidence students will be introduced to a range of study skills to support an analytical and creative approach to the subject.

Level 5: This extends the student’s design ability through engaging with more complex ideas in the relationship between space, society and culture. The challenge of the designer/client relationship is addressed, as well as developing knowledge and understanding of current developments in Interior Design and Architecture as a cultural form, research methods and practice. Students will explore design challenges within domestic, retail and commercial sectors and develop an understanding of the implications of cost, the environment and the sustainability agenda. Students will also have the opportunity to undertake a five-week placement in Interior Design or related industry environment through the Experiential Learning in Art and Design or Enhancing your Employability through Work Based Learning module. There are further employability focused, options available such as WB5004 Learning in the Wider World and WB5008 The Study Abroad Experience.

WB5004 is similar in ambition to WB5101 but facilitates undertaking the work based learning placement at a location outside the UK. WB5004, although available to all students as an alternative to WB5101 this module must be applied for and participation is restricted to students who meet the criteria of interview, attendance and behaviour during Level 5. All students will be required to receive clearance from the PAT prior to departing on their overseas placement. Students are advised that, should their academic performance, attendance or behaviour deteriorate, they may no longer be eligible for WB5004, and will be switched to WB5101 Work-based Learning. Students must complete and have a Risk Assessment approved before they are eligible for this module.

WB5008 This module will be offered as a complementary year of study abroad to students who have successfully completed their second-year of study (level 5). Application will occur in January of Level 5. As such, students may be required to present evidence of successful completion of Level 4, satisfactory on-going assessment, academic references and attendance in order for their application to be accepted. Students must also complete a Risk Assessment to indicate that they are fully aware of the requirements for the exchange, university/college and destination that they are applying for.

Level 6: This will allow students to determine future pathways through live client driven projects, self-generated projects, experimental concept development, competition entries, professional practice research, and a final major Interior Design piece. Modules at level 6 will encourage and support students to position themselves in relation to their strengths and career ambitions. They will be equipped with a detailed, theoretically informed vocabulary with which to analyse the development of Interior Design through Environment and Sustainability, Professional Practice, the Dissertation in Art and Design or Futures, Technology and Materials options. Vocational ambitions will be addressed in Professional Practice and the Major Project modules. The annual public degree show will provide a focus and platform for the publication of the student’s achievement.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
AD4501 4 Interior Design Principles and Concept Development 40 Comp
AD4502 4 Interior Design Methods, Materials and Technologies 40 Comp
AD4503 4 Interior Design History 20 Comp
AD4504 4 Contemporary Professional Context 20 Comp
AD5404 5 Experiential Learning in Art and Design 20 Optional
AD5501 5 Project Design and Development 40 Comp
AD5502 5 Project Realisation and Communication 40 Comp
AD5503 5 Interior Design Culture and Society 20 Comp
WB5004 5 Learning in the Wider World 20 Optional
WB5008 5 The Study Abroad Experience 120 Optional
WB5101 5 Enhancing your Employability through Work Based Learning 20 Optional
AD6110 6 Professional Practice 20 Comp
AD6305 6 Dissertation in Art and Design 40 Optional
AD6501 6 Major Project 60 Comp
AD6502 6 Environment and Sustainability 20 Optional
AD6503 6 Futures, Technology and Materials 20 Optional

Level 4:  A candidate who successfully completes Level 4 will have accumulated 120 academic credit points, and will be eligible for the award of Certificate of Higher Education*. These 120 academic credit points can be carried forward cumulatively towards the award of an honours level undergraduate degree award.

Level 5:  A candidate successfully completing Level 5 will have accumulated 240 academic credit points, and will be eligible for the award of Diploma of Higher Education*. These 240 academic credit points can be carried forward cumulatively towards the award of an honours level undergraduate degree award.

Level 6:  A candidate successfully completing Level 6 will have accumulated 360 academic credit points, and will be eligible for the award of an honours degree*.

(*see the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education: The framework for higher education qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland-August 2008).



For full details connected to University Admissions requirements and procedures, reference should be made to the current University of Chester Prospectus, the University website and UCAS website. 

Single Honours (3 year programme)    

112 UCAS points from GCE A Levels or equivalent, inc. A2 Level Art & Design, Fine Art or Photography. Typical offer: BCC/BBC      

BTEC National Diploma / Certificate (Art and Design): merit / distinction profile            

Irish Highers / Scottish Highers: B in 4 subjects, including Art or an Art-based subject            

International Baccalaureate: 26 points, inc. HL Visual Arts at 5 or above

Appropriate Art Foundation Course, QAA recognised Access course, Open College Units or Open University Credits

Please note: A BTEC National Award or the Welsh Baccalaureate (core) will be recognised in our tariff offer 

Note: Applicants may be required to attend for portfolio interview

The interview process and meeting of prospective candidates on University Applicant Days demonstrates the Department’s desire to meet student's aspirations individually and recognises that individuality in the nature of their artistic ambitions.

Applications to undergraduate programmes are made through UCAS.

APL claims, (Accreditation for Prior Learning), from candidates who wish to be accredited for prior/experiential learning are carefully considered. Applicants who have previously successfully completed study evaluated as equivalent to a total of 240 credits at Levels 4 and 5 in an appropriate related subject will normally be eligible for admission with advanced standing to Level 6 of the programme, depending on their respective profile of achievement [i.e. the merit/distinction profile]. This could include completion of a Foundation Degree, HND or an Advanced Diploma from Florence Institute of Design International or Raffles College of Higher Education in subjects benchmark approved by the University of Chester.

Applications from candidates with special needs are also considered on a case-by-case basis. Mature students are considered on an individual basis and where appropriate relevant work experience will be taken into consideration. Students with non-UK qualifications should consult the Admissions' Tutor or the International Office at the University.

Raffles College of Higher Education Level 6 entry

Successful completion of RCHE Foundation Studies Certificate including successful completion of modules CZFO7006, CZFO7007,CZFO7008;

Or, successful completion of RCHE ELP Advanced English module CZEL9200.

Please note that the starting months for Level 6, Raffles College of Higher Education, Singapore, are January and July.

The starting month for Kingsway Campus, Chester, is September.

The structure of the Interior Design programme reflects the Subject Benchmark for Art & Design 2008, available on the QAA website, and the Higher Education Qualifications Framework 2008 – also available on

Careful consideration has been made in mapping the module learning outcomes against the benchmark requirements and level indicators. Within each module the learning outcomes and the assessment criteria are based on the descriptors of the ‘Characteristics of Learning’ at each level detailed in these national guidelines.

These benchmarks cite a number of common characteristics that should be achieved as a threshold by graduating students. These common characteristics are evident in the learning outcomes and module aims of studio practice modules where they are embedded and which cumulatively, through level progression lead to successful completion of the programme. Also referenced is the development of graduating students’ relationship to professional practice within the discipline. Such developments are evident in the learning outcomes and module aims of theory, contextual and professional practice. Relation of modules and levels of study to the Framework for Higher Education (FHEQ):

Level 4 is consistent with the FHEQ certificate level, where the holder “will have a sound knowledge of the basic concepts of a subject, and will have learned how to take different approaches to solving problems. They will be able to communicate accurately and will have the qualities needed for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility.”

Level 5 is consistent with FHEQ intermediate level, where the holder “will have developed a sound understanding of the principles in their field of study, and will have learned to apply those principles more widely. Through this, they will have learned to evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems. Their studies may well have had a vocational orientation, for example HNDs, enabling them to perform effectively in their chosen field. Holders of qualifications at this level will have the qualities necessary for employment in situations requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making.

Level 6 is consistent with FHEQ honours level, where graduates “will have developed an understanding of a complex body of knowledge, some of it at the current boundaries of an academic discipline. Through this, the holder will have developed analytical techniques and problem-solving skills that can be applied in many types of employment. The holder of such a qualification will be able to evaluate evidence, arguments and assumptions, to reach sound judgements and to communicate them effectively. Holders of a bachelor's degree with honours should have the qualities needed for employment in situations requiring the exercise of personal responsibility, and decision-making in complex and unpredictable circumstances.”

The methods of learning and teaching on the programme are activity-based and recurring in order to support the development of the required attributes and skills for the discipline and to meet the threshold benchmarks. They enable students: to become independent learners; to take responsibility for their learning as well as support the learning of their peers; to help students understand what is needed in order to improve their practice; and, to offer a variety of learner experiences that help students to develop skills in research, analysis, evaluation, making informed judgements, reflection and communication.

Generally, students will explore projects cooperatively. This may involve students working in teams presenting their work to the group and academic staff at various points. Generally teaching and learning methods will reflect the module subject matter and its identified learning styles. Predominantly taught sessions will aim to integrate practice and theory through an interactive classroom setting. Lecturers, Technical Demonstrators, Mentors, practicing designers, researchers and industry-relevant practitioners will have varying involvement in the delivery of module content where possible.

Learning opportunities will take place in both large and small group settings via lectures, seminars, tutorials, tutor and/or student-led discussions and critiques, demonstration workshops, individual and/or group tasks-activities, individually directed and structured reading and study, self and peer review and assessment, self-directed learning and work based learning. Site visits to Interior Design studios and relevant industry fabricators and suppliers and study trips will take place where appropriate. To accommodate this delivery, teaching and learning will take place in a variety of environments including: specialist studios, lecture rooms, seminar rooms, workshops, photography studios and computer rooms and offsite locations.

A range of formative and summative assessment modes are employed which may include some or all of the following: in-class writing exercises, project rationales, strategic planning documents such as production plans, create material samples and mood boards, rationales, project presentations (written, visual and oral), written essays, individual creative projects, project/research journals, production notebooks, sketchbooks, individual and group practical projects and personal development planning.

Dependent on the credit weighting of individual modules weekly academic contact may vary as students progress through the levels of the programme. Academic staff, technician/demonstrator staff and student mentors, where appropriate, will be assigned to a module under the oversight of a Module Leader and/or the Programme Leader.

It is important students recognise that a significant amount of the learning time will involve them identifying and managing the essential tasks as well as effectively managing their time and their own as well as the University’s resources. To this end they will be supported in their development of project and time management skills during their first year of study.

As students are “learning by doing” they will be expected to: regularly undertake practical work; read essential and some recommended texts, journals and periodicals; investigate primary and secondary sources in their research; prepare so that they can offer input in taught sessions, presentations and any small group collaborations/seminars; and, carry out, complete and submit on-time all the required assessment tasks/activities related to their modules.

In addition to the scheduled timetabled feedback sessions, students will be able to arrange additional individual academic tutorials through the departmental system of advertised appointment slots, subject to staff availability.

The Interior Design programme will primarily prepare students for progression into careers in the domestic design market and the construction industry. Employment opportunities exist in a variety of specialist areas that require Interior Design expertise including domestic, retail and commercial sectors together with property development, refurbishment and renovation. The 2015 UK Government report Construction 2025 identified the challenges to urban planning and construction that will be brought about by the estimate that by 2025, 50% of the world’s population will reside in urban areas. The report highlights the advantage Britain can have in exploiting this development through its established creativity in planning, construction, and spatial design. The report in particular identified the potential for digital design and whilst interior design is not singled out the discipline is well positioned to benefit from the projected up turn in construction and renovation investment. This urbanization of the population will demand more mixed-use projects and more efficient living conditions, for which interior designers are equipped to address.

Interior Design graduates with a strong academic profile may pursue postgraduate study through an articulated route into the MA Design or MRes programmes within the Department. Additional postgraduate options include MBA in Business Consultancy and Marketing and the MSc in Creative Industries Management also offered at the University.

Careers' Advisors have been allocated to the Faculty of Arts & Media and students of Interior Design are able to access information concerning both vocational and educational opportunities during their programme and following graduation.

The University is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms; through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are, in particular, committed to widening access to higher education. Within an ethically aware and professional environment, we acknowledge our responsibilities to promote freedom of enquiry and scholarly expression.


Research scholarship and professional practice are vital components of the programmes within the department of Art and Design. The department contributed to the recent Research Excellence Framework REF assessment of research outputs and was the highest scoring department in the university with 93% of the research graded as being of a quality recognized internationally in terms of originality, significance and rigour. 14% ranked as world leading 4* work and 33% was deemed internationally excellent 3* work. Some of the key contributors to this result are involved in research on narrative drawing and the department is in the process of establishing a Centre for Narrative Drawing. This new development will also support department connections made between, art, design, cultural economy and participatory practice and this is reflected in the public realm cultural economy research with augmented and virtual reality interests in design. Work in materiality and embodied knowledge further enhanced the interdisciplinary opportunities offered.

The department also provides taught and research based postgraduate work with MA programmes in Design and Fine Art and a Masters by Research (MRes) programme that facilitates individual research projects. There are a number of PhD students undertaking research in sound art, painting and the production of sculpture through CNC technology. Recent research projects in collaboration with the Cheshire West and Chester council included the use of Light as infrastructure and members of staff work with the council on its cultural strategy and lead artists scheme.

Induction for New Students A one-week induction period is provided. Sessions typically encompass familiarisation with the structure of the programme and introductory lectures and/or practical workshops. Students are also made familiar with life as an undergraduate and have opportunities to meet fellow students from across the programmes in the Department. Learning Resource Centre inductions will occur and Departmental staff are introduced.

Personal Academic Tutors The department fully endorses and adheres to the University's established Personal Academic Tutor system.  All students on degree programmes are allocated a personal academic tutor, (PAT) and students are advised to see their personal academic tutor regularly and particularly during their first year of study. The personal academic tutor will usually remain with the student throughout their studies, providing advice on academic development and progress and on matters non-academic in nature.

Academic/Learning Support In addition to the personal tutor system, academic members of the Department of Art & Design operate a system of ‘surgery hours'. Students who wish to discuss matters with a member of staff may do so during the advertised surgery hours or by personal arrangement. Although students will receive written feedback on their work, they may also make an appointment to see the relevant lecturer regarding any work submitted.

The Learning Resources Department offers a wide range of IT and library services available to students. Student Support & Guidance provides dedicated support for students who may encounter difficulties with their learning or personal problems that impact on their learning.

Programme Information and University Regulations Students will have access to a student handbook detailing the structure of the programme and relevant information concerning the University's regulations and how to access them. Each module within the programme has a dedicated Moodle page including module information and links to relevant information. All such information is widely available through SharePoint.

Contemporary Art Space Chester The department is home to Contemporary Art Space Chester, (CASC) a contemporary gallery space that exhibits the creative output of students and staff. CASC also hosts external and touring exhibitions by artists and makers of national and international standing.

Guest Speakers, Visiting Lecturers Guest Lecturers The Department as a whole invites a range of guest and visiting lecturers of national and international standing and with specialist interests and concerns to deliver lecture and workshop sessions to students across all levels. Such sessions compliment timetabled sessions and serve to enhance further the student experience.

Study Trips The Department of Art & Design organises and runs a variety of study trips for its students. These have included visits to significant UK destinations and study abroad trips to, for example, Berlin, Paris, New York, Barcelona and Florence.

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