spacious interior design

Interior Architecture and Design MA

Experiment, explore and engage with interior spaces with this Master's degree course. You'll have all the tools you need for a career in interior design.

Key information

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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 could be 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 also supports you to engage with analogue methods of working that focus on the body, human and non-human, at the centre of your practice.  You're encouraged to practice using both digital and analogue methods of working.  

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 with groups including Portsea community and St Luke’s Church 
  • 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

Contact information

Admissions

+44 (0) 23 9284 5566

Contact Admissions

Entry requirements

Eligibility

This course accepts UK, EU, and International students.

September 2024 / January 2025 start

  • A minimum of a second-class honours degree in Interior Design, Architecture or a related subject, or equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications. An online portfolio submission may be required as part of the selection process.

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.

Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (September 2024 / January 2025 start)

  • Full time: £8,900
  • Part time: £2,970 (Year 1) and £5,930 (Year 2)

(including Transition Scholarship)

  • Full time: £8,900
  • Part time: £2,970 (Year 1) and £5,930 (Year 2)

  • Full time: £17,200
  • Part time: £5,840 (Year 1) and £11,360 (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.

Loans, scholarships and bursaries

Browse funding such as the Government Postgraduate Loan, our scholarships for new and returning students, and subject specific loans.

Female Master's student
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Funding for international students

Learn more about sponsorships, scholarships and loans for students applying from outside of the UK.

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Fees and funding for Master's courses

Explore Master's funding options, including loans, scholarships, bursaries and more.

Explore funding

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 as 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.

Modules

What you'll study (full-time)

Core modules

Through creative projects, you'll join debates about social and political issues that shape interior spaces.

You'll get to activate new research strategies and collaborate with specialists to spark innovative, boundary-pushing ideas. By exchanging perspectives, your concepts will develop further.

Ultimately, you'll use a design prototype to express your own unique views on what interiors mean and how they create atmospheres.

The goal is to critically engage with forces that impact interior experiences. You'll reimagine what interior space can be while finding your voice through projects, collaboration, and reflection.

We'll research current trends and debates happening in the design world.

You'll get to test new ideas for sustainable and inclusive spaces. By getting feedback from different views, you'll improve how you communicate concepts.

The goal is to empower you to come up with a compelling personal design philosophy. This will prepare you to tackle complex social issues through innovative interior design in the future.

By the end, you'll have sharpened your creative process for turning ideas into spaces that can positively transform people's lives. The focus is on finding your own voice while learning skills to make an impact through thoughtful interior design.

You'll review research methods from fields like architecture, conservation, urban design, and interior design.

By critically examining different approaches, you'll plan and carry out targeted research investigations. Activities like fieldwork, studying archives, and theoretical inquiry will improve your ability to gather and analyse information.

You'll also refine techniques to effectively communicate insights through writing, design, and multimedia. This module provides key preparation for conceptualising, implementing, and presenting incisive research related to your interests in spatial design.

The goal is to equip you with versatile research capabilities to apply in further academics or built environment professions. You'll evaluate methodologies and hone specialised skills for impactful projects.

In this module, you’ll pick a specific area to explore that excites you and come up with focused research questions. Through seminars that help shape your initial ideas, you’ll work closely with an expert supervisor to critically examine theories, contexts, and visual sources. You’ll test your theories, combining knowledge from different fields into a structured format. This is a chance to show your analytical skills and professional communication through research methods.

By the end, you'll have proven your ability to introduce innovative ideas through a deep and thorough investigation into a specific area of architecture. This advanced experience will prepare you for further study at doctoral level or bring fresh thinking to the industry.

Optional modules

Working in diverse teams, you'll explore new methods and perspectives.

Together, you'll tackle complex themes and challenge ideas through hands-on projects and discussion. By bringing together different viewpoints, you'll address tough problems and improve your critical thinking.

The goal is to help you become better at communicating design concepts and creative solutions. You'll learn how to handle complexity by valuing diversity of thought and approaches.

This module prepares you for the real-world by building skills in teamwork, critical analysis, and sharing ideas across disciplines. The focus is on expanding how you think while empowering you through collaboration.

You’ll set up a customised work agreement that lets you put what you’ve learned into action in a real architectural environment. You’ll critically assess the way the industry operates. Depending on your interests, you could join a practice specialising in sustainable design, heritage conservation, or community regeneration. By meeting the needs of your workplace, you’ll sharpen your abilities and understand the field from the inside. Plus, by working on an academic project, you’ll prove that you meet professional architecture standards. This exploration into the working world will help you create valuable connections and show what you can do.

After completing this module, you’ll stand out in the job market, fully prepared to succeed in the architecture field.

What you'll study (part-time)

Core modules

All modules in the year are core.

Through creative projects, you'll join debates about social and political issues that shape interior spaces.

You'll get to activate new research strategies and collaborate with specialists to spark innovative, boundary-pushing ideas. By exchanging perspectives, your concepts will develop further.

Ultimately, you'll use a design prototype to express your own unique views on what interiors mean and how they create atmospheres.

The goal is to critically engage with forces that impact interior experiences. You'll reimagine what interior space can be while finding your voice through projects, collaboration, and reflection.

We'll research current trends and debates happening in the design world.

You'll get to test new ideas for sustainable and inclusive spaces. By getting feedback from different views, you'll improve how you communicate concepts.

The goal is to empower you to come up with a compelling personal design philosophy. This will prepare you to tackle complex social issues through innovative interior design in the future.

By the end, you'll have sharpened your creative process for turning ideas into spaces that can positively transform people's lives. The focus is on finding your own voice while learning skills to make an impact through thoughtful interior design.

Core modules

You'll review research methods from fields like architecture, conservation, urban design, and interior design.

By critically examining different approaches, you'll plan and carry out targeted research investigations. Activities like fieldwork, studying archives, and theoretical inquiry will improve your ability to gather and analyse information.

You'll also refine techniques to effectively communicate insights through writing, design, and multimedia. This module provides key preparation for conceptualising, implementing, and presenting incisive research related to your interests in spatial design.

The goal is to equip you with versatile research capabilities to apply in further academics or built environment professions. You'll evaluate methodologies and hone specialised skills for impactful projects.

In this module, you’ll pick a specific area to explore that excites you and come up with focused research questions. Through seminars that help shape your initial ideas, you’ll work closely with an expert supervisor to critically examine theories, contexts, and visual sources. You’ll test your theories, combining knowledge from different fields into a structured format. This is a chance to show your analytical skills and professional communication through research methods.

By the end, you'll have proven your ability to introduce innovative ideas through a deep and thorough investigation into a specific area of architecture. This advanced experience will prepare you for further study at doctoral level or bring fresh thinking to the industry.

Optional modules

Working in diverse teams, you'll explore new methods and perspectives.

Together, you'll tackle complex themes and challenge ideas through hands-on projects and discussion. By bringing together different viewpoints, you'll address tough problems and improve your critical thinking.

The goal is to help you become better at communicating design concepts and creative solutions. You'll learn how to handle complexity by valuing diversity of thought and approaches.

This module prepares you for the real-world by building skills in teamwork, critical analysis, and sharing ideas across disciplines. The focus is on expanding how you think while empowering you through collaboration.

You’ll set up a customised work agreement that lets you put what you’ve learned into action in a real architectural environment. You’ll critically assess the way the industry operates. Depending on your interests, you could join a practice specialising in sustainable design, heritage conservation, or community regeneration. By meeting the needs of your workplace, you’ll sharpen your abilities and understand the field from the inside. Plus, by working on an academic project, you’ll prove that you meet professional architecture standards. This exploration into the working world will help you create valuable connections and show what you can do.

After completing this module, you’ll stand out in the job market, fully prepared to succeed in the architecture field.

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.

Facilities

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.

MUSIC FACILITY AND BAL B ROLL 2022
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Centre for Creative and Immersive Extended Reality (CCIXR)

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

AED - Feb 23
Discover the Centre

3D Workshops

Our Workshops are ideal for model-making, with high-grade kit for crafting wood, metal, plastics, polyurethane, concrete and plaster works.

MUSIC FACILITY AND BAL B ROLL 2022
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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.

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.

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. 

If you study part-time and start your degree in January, this course takes 18 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:

Belinda Ann Frances Mitchell Portrait

Ms Belinda Mitchell

Senior Lecturer

Belinda.Mitchell@port.ac.uk

School of Architecture

Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries

Read more
Rachael Elizabeth Brown Portrait

Ms Rachael Brown

Senior Lecturer

Rachael.Brown@port.ac.uk

School of Architecture

Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries

Read more

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

Graduation Class of 2021

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

Career development

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 careers advice from our Careers and Employability Centre, your tutors and our Student Placements and Employability Centre. You can access support from our Careers and Employability Centre for up to 5 years after you graduate.

Female student standing at careers and employability help desk

Career support

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

Supporting you

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 independent 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.

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

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.

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

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

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.

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?

Start this course in September 2024

Apply now (Full-time)

Apply now (Part-time)

Start this course in January 2025

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 2023, 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.