Interior design student and lecturer examine furniture
Mode of Study
Part-time, Full-time
Duration
1 year full-time (September start), 17 months full-time (January start), 2 years part-time (September start)
Start Date
January 2023, September 2023, January 2024

Overview

If you're passionate about interiors and the built environment, and you want to explore making with analogue and digital methods, this Master’s is for you.  

This course focuses on the interior and developing  an understanding of the built environment through sensory and affective engagement.  

You’ll study in an interdisciplinary environment with our other architecture courses as you learn to understand your strengths and disciplinary skills in the wider design environment. You'll be encouraged to engage with interior spaces through creative practice, experimentation, material engagement, and tangible and intangible matters, and learn to use advanced technologies and tools such as 3D printers and augmented and virtual reality in our Centre for Creative and Immersive Extended Reality (CCIXR), the UK’s first integrated facility to support innovation in virtual, augmented and extended realities. 

On this course you'll explore the everyday lives of communities and their role in the environment, culture, economy, the political, and the aesthetic. You'll discover practices of care, and consider carefulness and communication as you engage with climate change by looking at city scale infrastructures among other things. You'll explore everyday detail and the relationship between our lived experience and the structures that impact how we live. You'll also explore strategies for reusing of buildings and work with local communities in socially engaged projects.

During the degree you’ll choose and develop your MA thesis by using a personal research project and building a personal manifesto.  You’ll explore your individual design practice and career trajectory in a self-reflective manifesto, which you’ll develop using an online blog and by working with peers. 

The course will support you to engage with analogue methods of working that focus on the body, human and non-human, at the centre of your practice, and will also encourage digital working methods.  

You’ll learn to view your work in different social and cultural contexts and have opportunities to work with others, including communities, and explore your responsibilities relating to climate change and action, ready to graduate with all the tools you need for a career in interior architecture and interior design and associated creative industries.

Eligibility

This course accepts UK, EU, and international students.

Course highlights

  • Build your professional network by meeting practising designers and architects, industry-experienced lecturers, and your peers 
  • Work on live projects in the community of Portsmouth  
  • Benefit from the School of Architecture’s strong links with regional and national architectural and design practices 
  • Work at places such as Wymering Manor to engage with adaptive reuse strategies and community engagement
  • Hear from industry experts including lecturers and guest speakers 
  • Exhibit at shows including our interim show, end of year show and the Interior Educators Exhibition 
  • Have the opportunity to go on visits to European cities, like Venice, or to join in with school visits taking place within the School of Architecture

Studying the MA Interior Architecture and Design has given me the opportunity to understand the narratives of place and approaches to working with historic buildings; it has also encouraged experimental approaches to design using different methods and new technologies. Programmes, materials and availability of staff at the university were very helpful; as well as communicating with people from different cultural backgrounds.

Hiba Krayem, MA Interior Architecture and Design

​What you'll study

Full-time

Modules you'll study
You can take one optional module.

Core

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Use a range of making practices and innovative ways to research the everyday to creatively develop a research strategy for a design project.
  • Integrate sustainability/climate change and ecology emergency into the design strategy.
  • Critically engage with representational theories and practices within interior architecture, how they inform study and practice in the field and their relationship to issues of equality, diversity and inclusion.
  • Critically evaluate a range of theoretical and practice led approaches to interior space through a reflective blog.
  • Communicate an individual position relative to interior architecture and its wider context in matters of care and concern through a design proposition/brief.

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Clearly situate practice relative to current theories, practices, debates within the discipline of interiors and to and from other disciplinary perspectives and in relationship to the crisis of care.
  • Use a range of innovative research methods to express an understanding of user's needs; evidence an engagement with intergenerational needs, and human and non-human occupants.
  • Synthesise knowledge and understanding of the influence of professional, political, social and cultural conditions relating to current climate and ecological emergency upon the design of interior space.
  • Employ expanded forms of representational means in order to communicate ideas effectively, relative to a perceived audience.

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Identify, evaluate and apply appropriate research methods and use professional judgement and critical analysis in research and development of projects.
  • Identify, conceptualise, formulate and communicate comprehensive research for a specific area of study, whether written or design led, and to be able to illustrate how to design, plan and manage a specific programme of investigation.
  • Recognise the information and resource requirements related to a proposed investigation and employ them appropriately.
  • Formulate an appropriate theoretical or design perspective in order to investigate and extrapolate on a specific research problem.
  • Critically analyse, evaluate and discuss the results of simple research findings from appropriate sources.
  • Develop writing skills that eloquently debate and critically evaluate and question research findings both theoretical and design-led.

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Formulate research questions and define a focus within a specific field of study.
  • Critically analyse and synthesise a range of theoretical, contextual and visual sources.
  • Explore and synthesise a research hypotheses, testing within a broader range of disciplines
  • Communicate research findings within a structured format, evidencing analysis and engagement with the process of research.
  • Appropriately present and communicate the synthesis of research according to the outcome.

Explore this module

Optional

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Identify and negotiate professional needs in relation to the practice of the particular subject discipline.
  • Develop and sustain a critical understanding of the concepts, theories and principles which underpin current practice.
  • Conduct a scholarly project that provides evidence of critical and reflective engagement with subject-specific practice.

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Creatively respond to a given project or theme to formulate a multidisciplinary solution.
  • Collaborate on interdisciplinary team projects, demonstrating an ability to argue and defend ideas and positions.
  • Articulate responses to current issues within the areas of interior design, sustainable architecture, historic building conservation and urban design.
  • Critically appraise, analyse and evaluate discipline specific methodologies through the analysis and evaluation of available data and representational material and communicate these appropriately to an audience.

Explore this module

Part-time

Year 1
Year 2
 All modules on this course are core.

Core

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Use a range of making practices and innovative ways to research the everyday to creatively develop a research strategy for a design project.
  • Integrate sustainability/climate change and ecology emergency into the design strategy.
  • Critically engage with representational theories and practices within interior architecture, how they inform study and practice in the field and their relationship to issues of equality, diversity and inclusion.
  • Critically evaluate a range of theoretical and practice led approaches to interior space through a reflective blog.
  • Communicate an individual position relative to interior architecture and its wider context in matters of care and concern through a design proposition/brief.

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Clearly situate practice relative to current theories, practices, debates within the discipline of interiors and to and from other disciplinary perspectives and in relationship to the crisis of care.
  • Use a range of innovative research methods to express an understanding of user's needs; evidence an engagement with intergenerational needs, and human and non-human occupants.
  • Synthesise knowledge and understanding of the influence of professional, political, social and cultural conditions relating to current climate and ecological emergency upon the design of interior space.
  • Employ expanded forms of representational means in order to communicate ideas effectively, relative to a perceived audience.

Explore this module

All modules in this year are core.

Core

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Identify, evaluate and apply appropriate research methods and use professional judgement and critical analysis in research and development of projects.
  • Identify, conceptualise, formulate and communicate comprehensive research for a specific area of study, whether written or design led, and to be able to illustrate how to design, plan and manage a specific programme of investigation.
  • Recognise the information and resource requirements related to a proposed investigation and employ them appropriately.
  • Formulate an appropriate theoretical or design perspective in order to investigate and extrapolate on a specific research problem.
  • Critically analyse, evaluate and discuss the results of simple research findings from appropriate sources.
  • Develop writing skills that eloquently debate and critically evaluate and question research findings both theoretical and design-led.

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Formulate research questions and define a focus within a specific field of study.
  • Critically analyse and synthesise a range of theoretical, contextual and visual sources.
  • Explore and synthesise a research hypotheses, testing within a broader range of disciplines
  • Communicate research findings within a structured format, evidencing analysis and engagement with the process of research.
  • Appropriately present and communicate the synthesis of research according to the outcome.

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Identify and negotiate professional needs in relation to the practice of the particular subject discipline.
  • Develop and sustain a critical understanding of the concepts, theories and principles which underpin current practice.
  • Conduct a scholarly project that provides evidence of critical and reflective engagement with subject-specific practice.

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Creatively respond to a given project or theme to formulate a multidisciplinary solution.
  • Collaborate on interdisciplinary team projects, demonstrating an ability to argue and defend ideas and positions.
  • Articulate responses to current issues within the areas of interior design, sustainable architecture, historic building conservation and urban design.
  • Critically appraise, analyse and evaluate discipline specific methodologies through the analysis and evaluation of available data and representational material and communicate these appropriately to an audience.

Explore this module

Changes to course content

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Careers and opportunities

Careers this Master's prepares you for

During this course you’ll guide and develop your own studies, reflect on your design practice to date, and explore where you would like to go in the future and how you would like to work. You’ll build your portfolio by taking part in competitions and working with others in the School of Architecture.

By engaging with live projects and networking with practicing designers/architects, you’ll build your professional experience and network. You’ll learn to work collaboratively, engage in interdisciplinary projects, and to build your team working skills. You’ll develop your critical thinking and perspective, which gives you an edge over others with undergraduate portfolios. 

You’ll take part in an interim show in June, and the School of Architecture end of year show, where you’ll exhibit your work and network with prospective employers. You may also exhibit at the Interior Educators Exhibition in July. Previous students have had work exhibited at the Oxo Tower, London.

Graduates of this course have gone onto work in areas such as:

  • design practice
  • architectural practice
  • event management
  • exhibition design
  • arts practice
  • education

Some students continue their studies with research degrees.

Career planning

During your course, you'll have expert career support from your tutors and from our Careers and Employability Centre, which you can access for 5 years after you graduate.

Female student standing at careers and employability help desk

You'll benefit from:

  • Networking events
  • 1-to-1 appointments
  • CV and cover letter advice
  • Interview preparation and practice
  • Workshops to enhance your employability skills
  • Recruitment events including the Student and Graduate Opportunities Fair
  • Support starting your own business

Learn more about your career support

How you'll spend your time

We recognise that you'll probably be juggling more demands when you do your Master's degree, as you may be working or you may have family responsibilities.

We'll give you as much indication here as we can of how much time you'll need to be on campus and how many hours you can expect to spend in self-directed study, but please note that these indications are always subject to change. You should receive your full timetable several weeks before you start with us.

It is our expectation that all international students will join us here on campus in Portsmouth.

Course structure

Teaching on this course generally takes place on Wednesday mornings and all day on Fridays.  We also expect you to attend specific School of Architecture events, which may take place outside of these days.  

Full-time study

If you study full-time and start in September, this Master's degree runs over 12 months. If you start your degree in January, this course takes 17 months full-time. 

You can expect to:

  • attend campus for at least 2 days per week
  • complete independent study for 3 days every week
  • attend some meetings online, including year meetings

Part-time study

If you study part-time and start your course in September, this degree takes 24 months. 

You can expect: 

  • to attend campus for at least one day per week
  • to complete independent study for 2 days every week
  • to attend some meetings online, including year meetings

Teaching

Master's study is deeper and more specialised than an undergraduate degree. This means you'll focus on something that really matters to you and your career as you work closely with academics committed to the subject.

You'll spend more time in independent study and research than you did for your undergraduate degree, but the majority of your teaching time will be in-person and face-to-face.

Teaching on this course includes:

  • lectures
  • studio workshops
  • making
  • case study investigations
  • group work
  • designing interior environments
  • independent study

Assessment

You'll be assessed through:

  • studio review
  • research projects
  • design projects
  • evidencing of the design process 
  • portfolio work

Teaching staff

These are some of the expert staff who'll teach you on this course:

Woman with shoulder-length hair smiling

Belinda Mitchell

I joined Portsmouth in 2005. I studied interior design at Kingston Polytechnic and Visual Art at Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton.

I previously worked in retail practices and for Hampshire County Architects before moving into teaching at London Metropolitan University. I am a founder member of Mitchell Bould, 2000-2008, a collective arts practice that investigated drawing and collaborative processes through inter-disciplinary and interactive projects. My research interests focus on the representation of the interior, and on bodily interactions with space, both strands being strongly collaborative in nature.

Read my full profile

Rachael Elizabeth Brown

Rachael Brown

Before joining the University of Portsmouth in 2008, I was an Associate Director of BDP, one of Europe’s largest interdisciplinary design practices, and worked on a diverse range of award-winning projects including corporate headquarters for BT and Roche Pharmaceuticals; the Royal Alexandra Children's Hospital, Brighton; Glasgow Science Centre and Nike Town London. I have also worked as an interior designer at Hampshire County Architects and for Hassell Architects in Australia.

I have taught art and design in Secondary, Further and Higher Education having completed a full-time post-graduate course at the Institute of Education in London in 2006 and subsequently obtaining a PGCTLHE at the University of Portsmouth in 2009. I am now a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Read my full profile

Term dates

September start

The Master's academic year runs from September to the following September. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter. Over the summer you'll be writing your project / dissertation.

January start

Courses that start in January have the same amount of teaching as September-start courses, but they normally run over a longer time period.

January-start courses normally run between 14–18 months, beginning in January and ending in the spring / summer of the following year. There are breaks at Christmas, Easter and in the summer. In the last few months you’ll be writing your project / dissertation.

See key dates

Joining us as an international student

You'll feel at home in our international community and our diverse city. You'll be joining over 5,000 international students from more than 150 countries who are studying with us.

Learn more about international student life and how we can help you with visas, applications, arrival and settling in. 

Information for international students

Facilities

Female architecture student works on model in studios

Architecture Studios

Our open-plan learning spaces encourage a studio culture of collaboration, creativity and dialogue – preparing you for the ways of working you'll experience in your career.

Explore the Studios

Television broadcasting hub

CCIXR

Create stunning works for film, TV, music, gaming and immersive reality in the UK's first integrated facility of its kind.

Explore CCIXR

A woman using a 3D printer

Eldon Production Centre

Our centre is ideal for modelmaking, with high-grade kit for crafting wood, metal, plastics, polyurethane, concrete and plaster works.

Explore Centre

Supporting your learning

Master's study is more focused on independent learning than undergraduate study, but you'll get lots of support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to postgraduate study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

You'll have regular contact with your personal tutor in learning activities or scheduled meetings. You can also make an appointment with them if you need extra support.

In addition to the support you get from your personal tutor, you'll also have access to a Faculty student support advisor. They can give you confidential, impartial advice on anything to do with your studies and personal wellbeing and refer you to specialist support services.

If you need support with software and equipment or you want to learn additional skills (including skills not covered on your course), our creative skills tutors provide free workshops, activities and one-on-one tutorials. Skills you can learn include life drawing, film camera operation and video production.

You'll have help from a team of faculty academic skills tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • Improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • Delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
  • Understanding and using assignment feedback
  • Managing your time and workload
  • Revision and exam techniques

Computing support staff are always available to give technical support in the Faculty's computer suites during normal working hours. There's also some support available from 5.00pm to midnight at busy times of the year.

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University's Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • Academic writing
  • Note taking
  • Time management
  • Critical thinking
  • Presentation skills
  • Referencing
  • Working in groups
  • Revision, memory and exam techniques

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1-2-1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University's library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

​Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (September 2022 and January 2023 start)

  • Full time: £8,100
  • Part time: £2,700 in year 1 and £5,400 in year 2

(including Transition Scholarship)

  • Full-time: £8,100
  • Part-time: £2,700 in year 1 and £5,400 in year 2

  • Full time: £16,200
  • Part time: £5,400 in year 1 and £10,800 in year 2

University of Portsmouth graduates may receive a 20% alumni tuition fee discount

Fees are subject to annual increase. Read our tuition fees terms and conditions.

You'll be able to pay your fees in instalments. Find out how to pay your tuition fees.

Funding your studies

Explore how to fund your studies, including available scholarships and bursaries.

If you're a UK student, you may be eligible for a Government Postgraduate Master's Loan, which you can use to help with course fees and living costs.

If you're a UK student who achieved a first in your undergraduate degree you may be eligible for a £3,000 University of Portsmouth scholarship.

Additional costs

These course-related costs aren't included in the tuition fees, so you'll need to budget for them when you plan your spending. Additional costs could include:

  • Accommodation: Accommodation options and costs can be found on our accommodation pages.
  • Recommended reading: You can borrow key texts from the library and if you choose to purchase these texts they may cost up to £60 each.
  • General costs: such photocopying, memory sticks, printing charges, binding and specialist printing. We suggest budgeting £75 per year.
  • Final project transport or accommodation: where necessary, which related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

Read more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Entry requirements​

Eligibility

This course accepts UK, EU, and international students.

 January 2023 / September 2023 / January 2024 start

Qualifications or experience
  • A good honours degree in Interior Design, Architecture or a related subject, or equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications.

Please get in touch if you're not sure if your undergraduate subject is relevant to this degree.

Equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will also be considered, such as previous study, employment, voluntary work and training courses, including courses and qualifications you didn't complete. Learn more about our Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

If you're applying as an international student with a non-UK degree, you’ll need to show you meet the UK entry requirements listed above.

To find out if your non-UK degree or other qualification is accepted, please visit our page for your country and view the UK equivalent of your qualification. 

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 (or equivalent) with no component score below 6.0.

You do not need an IELTS or equivalent certification if:

  • you have a UK degree
  • you have a degree from a majority English speaking country (not taught by Distance Learning)
  • you are a national of a majority English speaking country

Degrees taught solely in English from non-majority English speaking countries will be considered on a case by case basis. Find out more about our English language requirements.

If you do not meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

An online portfolio submission may be required as part of the selection process.

For more information on how to put together a portfolio, read our MA Interior Architecture and Design portfolio guide.

How to apply

Unlike undergraduate applications, which go through UCAS, applications for this Master's course are made directly to us.

There's no deadline for applications to this course. We accept applications right up until the start dates in September and January, as long as there are places available. If you wait until your start month to apply, you may find that the course is full. 

If you're applying as an international student, remember that you'll need to leave plenty of time to get your visa organised.

You can find more advice about applying in our Master's application checklist. International students and current students and recent graduates of the University of Portsmouth also have some different application options, which are detailed below.

Extra information for international students

If you're an international student, you can apply directly to us using the same application form as UK students.

You could also get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region. To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.

If you don’t meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Ready to apply?

Standard applications

Start this course in January 2023

Apply now (Full-time)

Start this course in September 2023

Apply now (Full-time)

Apply now (Part-time)

Start this course in January 2024

Apply now (Full-time)

I'm a current Portsmouth student, or a recent Portsmouth graduate

If you're currently in your final year of study at Portsmouth, or you graduated since July 2021, you're eligible to make a fast track application. You'll have:

  • a shorter application form to complete
  • access to the 20% Alumni fee discount
  • a guaranteed conditional offer, for most Master's courses 

Learn more about fast track

After you apply

Once we receive your application, we may ask you for further information. We will then either make you an offer or suggest alternatives if your application is unsuccessful.

You'll usually get a decision within 10 working days, so you shouldn't have to wait too long. Some courses have an interview stage – we'll let you know if you need to prepare for one.

Learn more about how we assess your application.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.