2014/15 Interior Design

Award Bachelor of Design Hons
Attendance Full time
Campus Belfast
Faculty Art, Design and the Built Environment
Level Undergraduate

Entry conditions top

Applicants typical entry is either direct from school or from an Art and Design Foundation Course or equivalent. Students who demonstrate through their portfolio and interview the required skills and creativity will normally be considered for direct entry to Year 1 of this course.

You must satisfy the General Entrance Requirements for admission to a first degree course and hold GCSE passes in English Language and Mathematics at grade C or above (or equivalent). Please note that for purposes of entry to this course the Level 2 Essential / Key Skill in Application of Number is NOT regarded as an acceptable alternative to GCSE Maths.

You will be required to submit a portfolio of work that demonstrates your skills in drawing, modeling and making that illustrates your interest in pursuing studies in Interior Design. You should in your portfolio and at interview be able to demonstrate an aptitude for critical, cultural awareness and the ability to engage in creative problem solving. Preference is given to students who have completed a Foundation Course but applications are welcomed from strong candidates from an A level Art and Design, Technology and Design or Spatial Design or Architectual background.

A level requirements top

A minimum of 240 UCAS Tariff Points to include grades CC.

Irish Leaving Certificate top

A minimum of 240 UCAS Tariff Points to include grades BBCCC.

Other qualifications top

Some students are eligible to enter into second year depending on their qualifications. Students from the Cert HE in Interior Design normally proceed into year 2 of the course.

For international students, the standard University requirements of IELTS 6.0, TOEFL 550 apply.

Attendance top

Duration and Mode of Attendance

Full-time: three years without optional placement / four years with optional placement.


Full-time: studio-based, four days per week.

How to apply top

To apply for any full time undergraduate programme visit www.ucas.com

Overview top

Interior Designsurrounds us in the spaces and buildings we occupy, in the areas we work, live and relax in. Good Interior design can enhance the quality of our lives and improve the user experience creating exciting environments that promote health and well being. Interior design is functional and inspirational, it connects the commerical world with art and design bringing together technology and innovation to create spaces for the future.

English language requirements for overseas applicants top

The University's general English language entry requirement for most programmes of study require you to have a minimum of IELTS equivalent 6.0 (with no contributing band of less than 5.5). Our Centre for English Language Teaching (CELT) is a specialised unit within the University which provides English language teaching and support for registered students who have English as an additional language. CELT offers two Pre-sessional Programmes in June - September each year: Pre-sessional PLUS (IELTS equivalent 5.0) and Pre-sessional standard (IELTS equivalent 5.5), delivered at the Jordanstown campus and designed for those students who need to improve their English language proficiency to allow them to progress to their chosen academic programme of study. CELT also provides in-sessional modules in Semesters I and II at all campuses (Belfast, Coleraine, Jordanstown and Magee). Click here for more details about English language support at the University of Ulster. Please note that individual courses may require a higher level of attainment - please check courses' entry requirements individually.

This course top

This adaptable and unique course is designed primarily for students from either an Art and Design or Spatial and Design background who wish to follow careers within the Interior design industry. It will suit students who wish to teach in either Art and Design or Technology and Design or want to undertake further design related studies at Masters or Doctoral level.

The course engages with current issues: social, economic, education and health to promote positive values of inclusive citizenship through the dynamic design of modern public and private space. 

Interior designers work with other professionals to generate and develop new business opportunities.

It is a fast-paced and stimulating career with a broad range of employment possibilities including: Office Design, Retail Design, Hotel Design, Bars, Restaurants, Design for Leisure, Health and Education.

The course develops students who are forward thinking with creative energy , 3D design skills and intellectual capabilities.

Structure and content top


The course is based on a modular structure with four modules of study in each year of the three years. Students are introduced to key drawing and making skills and design methodologies common to all areas of study in Year 1. They are given the opportunity to develop through short projects and shared modules with architecture on construction and with product design in history and culture. You are encouraged to undertake an optional placement year between years two and three. On the completion of your final year of studies, you will have gained a range of Interior design skills and have developed a personal design project which demonstrates your innovative approach to the practice of Interior designing preparing you for employment or further study.

Year 1 Semester I

DES 126 Space, Form and Making, 40pts

DES 127 The New and the Modern, 20pts

Year 1 Semester II

INT101 Body & Scale, 40pts

ARC 109 Constructing Architecture, 20pts

Year 2 Semester I

INT301 Spatial Imaging, 20pts

INT302 Fabrication of Space, 40pts

Year 2 Semester II

INT303 Spatial Interaction, 40pst

DES301 Design Debate, 20pts

Placement Year (Optional)

INT305 Industrial Placement PPD, 60pst

INT306 DIAS, 60pts

Year 3 Semester I

DES 510Design Perspectives, 20pts

INT 501 Innovative Interior Practice, 40pts

Year 3 Semester II

INT 502 Major Professional Communication, 20pts

INT 503 Major Design Project, 40pts.

Teaching Methods and Assessment

The course is largely studio and workshop centred with the majority of teaching taking place through practise based projects, Each student has their own dedicated studio workspace and they are strongly encouraged to take full advantage of the courses dedicated model making/prototyping workshop, furniture making workshop, metal working workshops and the supporting technical staff dedicated to each area. Practice based projects are informed and inspired by supporting lectures, group seminars, individual tutorials, demonstrations and studio practice and underpinned thematically by the courses contextual and critical studies strand.

Assessment is based on the submission of a portfolio of work at the end of each taught semester. The work is then assessed against pre-determined criteria for each of the modules covered in that semester. Some modules, in particular those covering contextual or critical studies, have written outcomes in the form of essays and dissertations. The learning outcomes and marking criteria of each module are given to students at the beginning of each module and feedback provided during the module and when it has been assessed and marks allocated.

Exemptions and transferability top

Exemptions and Transferability

Credit for previous study and/or experience, and transfer opportunities exist between related courses.

Career options top

Careers And Postgraduate Opportunities

Graduates from the Interior Design course gain employment in key areas as diverse as Retail and Commercial Design : Office Design, Hotel Design, Design of Bars and Restaurants and Design for Leisure, Health and Education. Working in design consultancies , Architectual practices and becoming in-house designers for major companies.

Students with an additional PGCE go on to teach both Art and Design and Technology and Design at secondary and tertiary level.

Students who achieve grades of a 2:1 can go on to develop their studies further on taught Masters programmes or research degrees offered within the university as well as throughout the UK and further afield.

Contact details top

Student Services Centre:

Belfast campus

Tel: +44 (0)28 9536 7202

Email: adbe@ulster.ac.uk

Course Director:

Ms Olga Harnett-Makem

Tel: +44 (0)28 9536 7306

Email: om.makem@ulster.ac.uk

Programme specification top

The BDes Hons Interior Design Programme Specification can be found at the following link:


Our students say... top

Quotes from past students :


“ The course has really made a difference to my life. As a mature student, gaining the skills I required to get the job I really wanted has been invaluable. Both creative and technical skills are developed on the course, through challenging and inspiring design briefs.” The theoretical and contextual element of the course enabled me to gain a broader understanding of design, that could then be put into practice.”

Nicola :

‘I cannot overstate how much this course has improved my skills and critical thinking. As a mature student, I was searching for a course which would not only improve my employability but also allow me to enhance and build upon my creative and artistic skills. The Interiors degree offered a structured learning environment with modules designed to test and explore specific design concepts. It has changed my life, the best decision I ever made.’

Student Achievements top

2011- Victor Branco Highly Recommended in IDI Student Designer of the Year

2012 - Nicola McAree Highly Recommended in IDI Student Designer of the Year

2012 - Martina Sheilds & Nicola McAree runners up in Victoria Aquares RE-Face the Base

Professional recognition top

Professional Recognition

Students are encouraged to join the Chartered Society of Designers, The Institute of Designers in Ireland as student members, or the IE Interior Educators. Full professional membership is gained after required application and folio interviews after final year of this course.