MA in Interior Design

General

Program Description

Course summary

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 a 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.

Course structure

The following modules are indicative of what you study on this course.

Core modules

  • Decoding the Interior

This module provides a historical overview of Western Architecture, 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. Module material is covered in lectures, film projections, seminars and fieldwork.

  • Interior Design Case Study

This module is focused on a short empirical study into ‘designed’ environments, either as spatial constructs, series of objects or authors, offered for comparative, analytical study. It is seen as a standalone work or as a discrete addition to Thesis Project thematic. The 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. Taking a proposition of a modern urban paradigm to be space in continuous, dynamic flux, students are challenged to observe, learn and interpret space as if directors of a short (animated) film, exploring time, camera angles, effects of editing, sound and other techniques that will give a unique perspective on the invention and interpretation of space with temporal, ephemeral materiality. Narration, sequence building and storyboard planning underpin preparatory work. Skills offered on this module will broaden student’s capabilities beyond the standard, offering a competitive advantage in a crowded, practice market place.

  • 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 a substantially greater commitment than any previous project task and can be either design-based or text-based (or a hybrid). 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, product selection, branding, packaging, promotion, design of an initial ‘pop up’ store, culminating in the fully detailed propositional design of a flagship store in a London location. The module is taught by the practice experts operating in an extremely competitive London design environment, with years of expertise in the field.

  • 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.

Entry Requirements

UK, EU and International

You are normally required to have a good Honours degree in Architecture, Interior Design or related design discipline. If your qualifications are in subject areas cognate to the course you will be considered on merit. In certain cases, and subject to evidence of equivalent prior study, or acceptance of Credit Transfer, the entry may be permitted into the course at an assessment point other than the first. If your background is in another field you may be considered providing you are able to demonstrate practical experience or knowledge of interior design at the appropriate level. Part-time students are normally expected to be employed by an interior design practice or related profession, and to have at least two years’ relevant work experience. Full-time students would normally be expected to have some relevant experience in interior design practice. Students will be asked to submit their portfolio in an electronic format once they have made an application. If your first language is not English, you will need an IELTS score of at least 6.5 (or equivalent) with a minimum score of 6.0 in each component.

Careers

Career path

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:

  • teaching at the senior level (London School of Communication)
  • getting employment and progressing in large multinational companies (Gensler, Benoy)
  • working in world-renowned design practices (David Adaje)
  • starting their own design practice (Catia Interiors – opening April 2017 )

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.

Industry links

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.

Last updated August 2019

About the School

The University of Westminster is a dynamic international education institution with a distinguished 175-year history. With three campuses in central London (Cavendish, Marylebone and Regent) and one i ... Read More

The University of Westminster is a dynamic international education institution with a distinguished 175-year history. With three campuses in central London (Cavendish, Marylebone and Regent) and one in Harrow, it is home to over 20,000 students from over 150 nations. Read less