Design the way spaces look, feel and function. Blurring the boundaries between interior and exterior, BA (Hons) Spatial Design gives you a unique opportunity to combine the design of spaces and their surfaces, and work on live projects with industry partners. You will learn how to manipulate spaces to create identities, multi-sensory experiences, and innovative events in a sustainable and environmentally conscious context.
Course Leaders and current students talk about how this innovative course prepares you for a dynamic career in design.
Reasons to apply
- The course is interdisciplinary and experimental, enabling you to become a designer who is comfortable working in teams, on a variety of projects.
- Specialise in a range of course pathways: Design for Branded Spaces; Curation and Exhibition Design; Social and Environmental Design and Design for Living.
- We focus on professional skills, with units dedicated to developing your professional profile and industry knowledge, high-profile industry links, live projects, competitions and international connections.
- Making is an integral part of the course. We teach and use practical skills such as design thinking, design practice and presentation techniques. This is supported by extensive technical facilities and staff in the college.
- Contextual and theoretical studies accompany studio work, supported by research-active tutors and invited guests through our lecture series.
Joint: Silvia Grimaldi and Valerie Mace
London College of Communication at Elephant and Castle
|Study Mode||Full time|
|Course Length||3 years full time|
Standard tuition fee for 2014/15: £9,000.
Standard tuition fee for 2014/15: £15,180.
|Start Date||September 2014|
|Autumn Term Dates||Monday 29 September 2014 – Friday 12 December 2014 (Starting with Freshers Week)|
|Spring Term Dates||Monday 12 January 2015 – Friday 27 March 2015|
|Summer Term Dates||Tuesday 27 April 2015 – Friday 26 June 2015|
Through UCAS. Please see the apply tab for more information.
|Application Deadline||Priority consideration is given to those applications received by 15 January deadline, however applications submitted beyond this point will still be considered.|
|University Code||UAL U65|
Content and Structure
Spatial design focuses on the design of branded, exhibition, environmental and interior spaces. This course responds to the growth in working across disciplines such as interiors, surfaces, products and graphics to provide integrated design solutions for customers and audiences.
You will work on spatial design projects that address current social issues and industry needs, using both experimental and traditional techniques. A lively studio culture is enhanced by studies in contextual, theoretical and critical units and the development of business, enterprise and management skills essential in the competitive workplace.
You can expect...
You can expect to gain a range of practical design skills including drawing, printing, model making, computer aided design and visualisation, alongside the analytical and business and management skills needed to excel in diverse professional and industry environments. Collaborative projects are the norm as students explore multiple areas of spatial design, including interiors, surfaces, products and graphics.
There are a number of pathways for specialisation on offer. The branded spaces pathway will equip you with the skills needed to create compelling ways to present brands, whether that’s in store, at an event, a theme park or across a city. Alternatively, if you're passionate to use design to address issues such as health, climate, crime and exclusion, the social and environmental pathway challenges you to create inclusive design with the potential to enhance lives through our everyday surfaces and spaces.
Curation and exhibition design as a specialist pathway, will see you undertaking projects in public and private spaces such as museums, offices, online and in the street, as well as looking at the history and theory of curation and visual merchandising. And, the design for interior spaces pathway highlights the relationship between body and building and the significance of the domestic sphere through history and across cultures.
Whichever pathway best fits your passion and skill you will take part in a series of live, conceptual and collaborative projects. Many of these will be in partnership with students from a across the College, giving you the opportunity to develop the interdisciplinary working practices required by professional clients.
The course runs for 90 weeks full time over three years, and is divided into three Levels, each lasting 30 weeks. The whole course is credit-rated at 360 credits, with 120 credits at each Level.
Under the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications the Levels for a BA are: Level 4 (which is stage 1 of the course), Level 5 and Level 6. There is a progression point at the end of each Level and in order to progress, all units of the preceding Level must normally be passed.
If a student is unable to continue on the course a Certificate of Higher Education (Cert HE) will normally be offered following the successful completion of Level 4, or a Diploma in Higher Education following the successful completion of Level 5.
In order to be awarded a BA (Hons) the student must successfully complete 360 credits. The final award is comprised of the marks from Level 6 units only, weighted according to their credits.
Outline of the course
The course is structured to allow students with an interest in the design of spaces and surfaces to share a common introductory year and then to increasingly specialise in years two and three. The emphasis of the course is on working across disciplines, which takes place in the study of shared units and the opportunity to work with colleagues from other pathways and courses on collaborative projects.
The three key strands of the course are comprised of studio practice and technical workshops (Design Skills and Creative Practice), theoretical units (Contextual and Theoretical Studies) and professional skills (Business, Management and Professional Practice).
BA (Hons) Spatial Design is comprised of four pathways:
Design for Branded Spaces
The design of immersive, interactive and experiential environments for staging brands in space and exploring the relationship between advertising and its environment through a range of media including innovative print and digital applications. Branded spaces can include flagship and concept stores; virtual, temporary and event spaces; installations; theme parks, expos and museums; and more broadly tourist destinations, regions and cities.
Curation and Exhibition Design
The histories and theories of curating, visual merchandising and display combined with the communication of concept development and implementation of permanent and temporary exhibitions using a range of traditional, digital and experimental methods. Projects are developed for public and private spaces including live events, pop ups, museums, galleries, shops, offices, both online and in the street.
Social and Environmental Design
Inclusive sustainable design that enhances lives through the spaces, surfaces and objects that surround us. The design of space, surface and object is integrated into interior and exterior environments, including architectural form, through texture, colour and light crossing the boundaries between emergent technologies and craft. Design is used as a driver of positive change using natural materials and resources and addressing social and environmental needs such as health, pollution, population, waste, climate, carbon footprint, crime, exclusion and alienation.
Design for Living
Defining and creating designs for living. Designing personal domestic and commercial spaces which relate to human experience and needs through the use of decoration, products, possessions and artefacts. Understanding the relationship between body and space and the significance of the domestic environment, its artefacts, surfaces and spaces in relation to a variety of timeframes and cultures.
BA (Hons) Spatial Design Key Elements:
Design Skills & Creative Practice (indicative content listed)
- Design Project Practice: Visual Research, Design and Concept Development; Design for 2D/3D Environments and Artefacts; Multi Modalities (Light/Sound/Smell); Surface Pattern and Repeat Design; Information Design and Interaction (Way finding/wall text); Communication Design (graphic layout/print production)
- Software, Multimedia and Craft Skills: Drawing (visualisation/technical); Prototyping (Model Making/ Construction/Materials/ Paper Engineering); Multimedia (applications such as digital imaging/3-D modelling/Photoshop/Illustrator/Cinema 4D/InDesign /Vectorworks/After Affects/Video Production); Printing (Printmaking/ Photography/Screen and Digital Printing)
- Communication Skills and Practice: Communication Design, Graphic Layout and Print Production; Online Publishing
Enterprise & Professional Practice (indicative content listed)
- Project Management and Team Working: Collaboration, Co-design, Partnerships, Networking, Negotiation and Communication; Developing a Brief/Working and Presenting Ideas to Clients; Design Management/Design Thinking
- Business Skills: Business Models and Organisational Structures; Resource Management and Planning; Costing, Pricing and Selling; Corporate Social Responsibility; Freelance, Small Business Start Ups, Work Experience, Publicity and Self Promotion, Internships.
- Branding: Marketing, Events, Public Relations and Social Media; Trend Forecasting and Futurising
Contextual & Theoretical Studies (School of Design cross-course delivery)
Year 1 - introduction to histories, theories and debates relevant to spatial design and visual communications.
Year 2 - your knowledge and understanding of the historical, social, theoretical and cultural developments of spatial design and visual communications is broadened and deepened by focusing on specific options.
Year 3 - Depending on whether you choose Route A or Route B you will complete either the dissertation (8-10,000 words) for Route A or a report, rationale, a review, or an article (4-5,000 words) for Route B.
View full descriptions of the Key Elements in the BA (Hons) Spatial Design Course Handbook 13-14.(PDF 583KB)
Each year is divided into units and in order to achieve a BA (Hons) degree you need to pass all units on the course.
Each unit is credit-rated; the minimum unit size is 20 credits. There are always 120 credits per year, and 360 credits make up the BA (Hons) degree.
Introduction to Study in Higher Education (20 credits)
Introduction to Design Skills and Creative Practice (40 credits)
Spatial Design Projects 1 (40 credits)
Contextual and Theoretical Studies 1 (20 credits)
Total 120 credits
Intermediate Design Skills and Creative Practice (20 credits)
Cross-college Collaborative Unit (20 credits)
Spatial Design Projects 2 (40 credits)
Contextual and Theoretical Studies 2 (20 credits)
Introduction to Business and Management 20 (20 credits)
Total 120 credits
Dissertation (Major) (40 credits)
Professional Practice (20 credits)
Spatial Design Major Project (60 credits)
Total 120 credits
Dissertation (Minor) (20 credits)
Advanced Design Skills and Creative Practice (20 credits)
Professional Practice (20 credits)
Spatial Design Major Project (60 credits)
Total 120 credits
BA (Hons) Spatial Design delivery structure
The first year begins with an introductory unit that introduces all four pathways followed by a series of short design skills and creative practice workshops and theory unit linked to pathway related projects. At the end of the spring term students choose two pathways which they work on for the remainder of the year.
In the second year at the end of the autumn term students specialise in one pathway and work on a series of studio/live, conceptual and collaborative projects that encourages them to explore and experiment with different disciplines, theories and technical and industry-related skills. At the end of the spring term students decide whether to take Route A or Route B in year 3. The former places greater emphasis on the Contextual & Theoretical Studies elements of their work and latter places greater emphasis on studio work.
In the third year students continue with their specialism and build on the skills and knowledge acquired to develop their own personal design vision. Depending on whether students choose Route A or Route B they will undertake either a major dissertation of 8-10000 words or a piece of written work of 4-5,000 words plus studio project. Both routes are supported by professional practice which extends across the autumn and spring terms. Terms 2 and 3 are devoted to the major project which culminates in a student-curated final show.
Developing your skills
The course is designed to help you develop both transferable and industry specific skills. In the Business, Management and Professional Practice strand you will be introduced to theories and practices that support your development as a professional practitioner. The Contextual and Theoretical Studies strand will build critical analysis, evaluation, interpretation, research and communication skills and the Design Skills and Creative Practice strand will develop your ability to undertake visual research, drawing, design and concept development, printing, model-making, computer aided design and visualisation.
You will be introduced to the issues, organisations and professional frameworks within which the creative and cultural industries operate and will benefit from the course's strong links with a range of organisations such as the Chartered Society of Designers, The Museums Association, The British Institute of Interior Designers, the Design Council The Wallpaper History Society and Interior Educators. Teaching staff are active in working with industry partners such as Liberty's, Paperchase, the Cuming Museum, Imperial War Museum, the V&A, Selfridges and the London Wetlands Centre, creating valuable project opportunities, contacts and networks.
London is a global city offering an exciting and vast range of career opportunities in the creative and cultural sectors. One of the design capitals of the world, the city is both a source of inspiration and an extended site of study. The numerous museums, galleries, theatres, libraries, entertainment and exhibition spaces provide opportunities to explore course content at a practical and immersive level. London also plays host to major temporary events such as Frieze Art Fair, Open House, London Design Festival, Origin, the London Architecture Biennale, Architecture Week, Sustainability Week, 100% Design, Pulse, Top Drawer and Tent.
Students work in a lively studio atmosphere and benefit from access to a wide range of technical resources including computer aided design, screen, digital and heat-transfer printing, 3D workshop, photography, film and TV editing suites. Learning is through lectures, group seminar work, specialist tutor sessions, one-to-one tutorials, technical demonstrations, workshops and visits.
Silvia Grimaldi - Course Leader, BA (Hons) Spatial Design
Valerie Mace - Course Leader, BA (Hons) Spatial Design
Dr Nicky Ryan - Programme Director, Spatial Communication and Contextual & Theoretical Studies
Greg Messiah - Senior Lecturer, BA (Hons) Spatial Design
Tony Braithwaite - Senior Lecturer, BA (Hons) Spatial Design
Betty Minter - Senior Lecturer, Surface Design
Ellen Hanceri - Senior Lecturer, Surface Design
Paul Glavey - Lecturer, Contextual & Theoretical Studies
Victoria Powell - Lecturer, Contextual & Theoretical Studies
Our course tutors are active practitioners and/or researchers working with industry partners such as Liberty’s, Paperchase, the Cuming Museum, Imperial War Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), Selfridges and London Wetlands Centre, creating useful project opportunities, contacts and networks for their students. In addition we have lectures and workshops by a range of invited researchers and practitioners from inside and outside the University.
To help you realise your projects we have a range of technical areas including 3D workshop, specialist IT areas, open access IT hub, printing facilities (screen printing, digital, letterpress, photography), a physical computing area and media-based equipment and IT facilities; students can access the relevant areas for their projects and can make use of technical tutoring and assistance from our technical staff.
Future careers and graduate prospects
Our aim is to develop graduates who combine an experimental and innovative approach to design with an understanding of traditional crafts, the critical and analytical skills to be able to see things differently and the business acumen to adapt to diverse professional and industry situations.
The career opportunities for graduates include working as part of design teams, as freelance designers or establishing their own studios. This could be in interior design, exhibition and museum design, set and stage design, point of sale display and exhibition design, visual merchandising, interior architecture, architecture, installation, art practice, design departments of public and commercial organizations, design-related roles across the building industry, and in the education, media and entertainment sectors, design management, design writing, branding, communications and events.
Postgraduate opportunities include specialised study in interior design and architecture, design history and theory and design management.
Student Jobs and Careers at UAL
We know what it takes to be successful in your chosen field. Your tutors are professionals in their own right and understand what you need to help you establish your career. Student Enterprise and Employability (SEE) are dedicated to helping you build up work-relevant skills, knowledge, experience and networks throughout your time here. You will also benefit from our many relationships with industry, which give our students exclusive opportunities and access to networks and funding.
Creative Opportunities is the UAL job and work placement website for students and graduates, advertising hundreds of creative opportunities each month. This includes ArtsTemps in-house recruitment agency, placing students and graduates in paid temping roles within the University.
Find out more about Student Jobs and Careers
Opportunities for all
We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and seek to recruit students from diverse socio-economic, cultural and educational backgrounds. We are committed to supporting all of our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.
Home/EU minimum entry requirements
Applicants must demonstrate an educational level equivalent to two GCE A levels, and three GCSE's at Grade C or above. Equivalent qualifications include Foundation Diploma, National Diploma and 16 Access credits (12 at level 3, 4 at level 2).
Applicants are expected to evidence an interest in the subject area through their personal statement and during interview. You will be required to have a portfolio of work demonstrating your ability in art and design which might include drawings and visual research, design development, photography, skills, 3D modelling, computer aided design and written work. See portfolio and interview advice below.
Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered if the course team judges the application demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might be demonstrated by, for example, related academic or work experience, the quality of the personal statement, a strong academic or other professional reference or a combination of these factors.
English language requirements
All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability at enrolment. The standard English Language requirement for entry is IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in any one paper or equivalent. Visit the University's Language Centre for more information.
Applicants who will need a Tier 4 student visa in order to study in the UK will have to achieve a minimum of 5.5 in each skill, as well as meeting the University requirements.
The International Office at London College of Communication will help to guide you through the application process and answer any questions that you may have regarding our courses. This may include portfolio advice, the application process and fee advice. We offer a drop-in facility for applicants who may be in London and want to find out more about our courses and admissions. Please contact the International Team for more information.
What we look for
The course team seeks to recruit students who can demonstrate:
- An ability and interest in studying spatial design
- Active interest in spatial design practice. Evidence of your creativity is important and a passion for design and evidence of motivation is crucial.
- Practical applications of the design process. This might, for example, be demonstrated by related academic or work experience, the quality of the personal statement, a strong academic or other professional reference or a combination of these factors.
Portfolio and interview advice
All application forms, personal statements and references will be read and considered. Depending on the quality of your application, you may be invited to a portfolio review where the course team will look at your work.
Your portfolio should include:
- Both 2D and 3D hand drawings (Colour and black and white) and other work that refer to spaces and surfaces in a range of media (models, photography, prints, digital, textiles, ceramics, collage)
- Sketchbook research on design practitioners and artists showing how it inspired your own work.
- Sketchbook design development work that shows how you experiment and test ideas to improve them.
- Evidence of essay writing skills is also desired
You will be given feedback on your work, a tour of the department and information about the course and its content.
A clear indication of the success of your application will be conveyed at the end of your interview. Interviews will last between 15-25 minutes per person and will be with at least two members of staff.
If you are successful at the interview stage you will be offered a place. Applicants are not guaranteed a portfolio review or an interview.
How to Apply
You will need to apply through the UCAS online application system.
Go to ‘Apply’ from the UCAS homepage, where you will be able to register and create a password that gives you unique access as you complete your application form. London College of Communication (LCC) courses are listed under University of the Arts London.
- University code: U65
- Course code: W255
- There is no 'campus code' for LCC.
The UCAS annual deadline for applications is 15 January.
There are three ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course at LCC:
Follow the steps on the UAL International Application page for advice of how to apply.
Study Abroad Applicants
International undergraduate students can apply to join BA (Hons) Spatial Design for a period of up to three terms as a Study Abroad student.
Visit the Study Abroad page for details of how to apply.
Enquire about this Course
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