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Postgraduate

Graduate Diploma Interior Design

Close up shot of moulded shapes in a variety of pastel colours

Graduate Diploma Interior Design Chelsea College of Arts, UAL
College
Chelsea College of Arts
Start date
September 2023
Course length
1 year (full time)

Graduate Diploma in Interior Design at Chelsea College of Arts provides you with the skills and experience required for study at MA level.

Course overview

The course is equivalent to the third year of an interior design undergraduate course. As well as helping to progress onto postgraduate level study the course will also aid transition into the professional world of interior design. Students on this course come from many different backgrounds but most have already gained a first degree

What to expect

  • You will learn how to connect with interior design in a variety of ways, for example, through designing, visually communicating, researching and writing
  • Develop a flexible open-minded approach when thinking about interior design and to critically engage with contemporary design approaches
  • To work on various projects across the field of interior design with the opportunity to focus on your personal interests within social, retail, restaurants, hotel and residential spaces. These will help you improve your application of conceptual, production and critical skills within the design process through input from professional practitioners, group crits, workshops, seminars and discussions
  • Personal and professional development with opportunities to improve your skills through bespoke sessions, talks with industry practitioners and postgraduate seminars 
  • Have access to Chelsea's shared workshops. These include ceramics, casting, laser cutting, photography, audio-visual editing suite, metal and woodwork. View the Chelsea facilities

Mode of study

Graduate Diploma Interior Design is offered in full-time mode and consists of 30 teaching weeks over 1 academic year. You will be expected to commit an average of 40 hours per week to your course, including teaching hours and independent study.

Course units

Unit 1 - Elements of Interior Design

This unit is an introduction to your course, the college and the university.

  • Projects that focus on how a client/user inhabits interior space
  • An introduction to research led practice
  • You will explore the design of a series of domestic and other residential interior elements before creating a full design proposal
  • Be introduced to various design and presentation methods you have as interior designers to communicate to different audiences
  • Explore a variety of ways of analysing design problems - sketching, collage, technical drawing and model making techniques
  • Develop your designs by using a selection of materials, construction techniques and technology
  • Work collaboratively with your peers
  • Keep a reflective journal in the form of a personal blog
  • Look at the cultural context of interior design, as well as the wider subject area of design and sustainability.
  • Undertake writing and research that is concerned with professional practice and your creative processes

Unit 2 - Comprehensive Design Project

In this unit you will initiate your own comprehensive design project in the public realm. You will choose a location, make an analysis of an interior and establish a design brief for a new programme of habitation or occupation.

  • You will look at the spatial organisation, material concerns and the experiential qualities of your design proposition
  • Communicate the fabrication, construction and sustainability aspects of your design
  • Written work that clarifies your design methodology, outcomes and use of design precedents
  • Exercises in site analysis
  • Workshops where you will present your negotiated design solution
  • Talks by guest artists, designers and architects
  • Workshops on academic research and writing
  • Group and individual tutorials
  • Seminars on professional practice
  • Present work in the college end of year event

Learning and teaching methods

  • Group crits, demonstrations and workshops
  • Lectures and seminars
  • Group and individual tutorials
  • Peer review
  • Teaching by practitioners
  • Visiting specialists

Student work

  • Chelsea-Graduate-Diploma-Interior-Design-Victoria-Lin.jpg
    Victoria Lin - Graduate Diploma Interior Design
  • Chelsea-Graduate-Diploma-Interior-Design-Anna-Mackie-1860.jpg
    Anna Mackie - Graduate Diploma Interior Design
  • Chelsea-Graduate-Diploma-Interior-Design-Sara-Alrashed-1860.jpg
    Sara Alrashed - Graduate Diploma Interior Design

Staff

  • Scott Gowans - Course Leader
  • Emma Hunter - Senior Lecturer

Fees and funding

Home fee

£12,700

This fee is correct for 2023/24 entry and is subject to change for 2024/25 entry. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Home fees are currently charged to UK nationals and UK residents who meet the rules. However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees and determining your fee status.

International fee

£25,970

This fee is correct for 2023/24 entry and is subject to change for 2024/25 entry.

Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Students from countries outside of the UK will generally be charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about tuition fees and determining your fee status.

Scholarship search

Entry requirements

The standard minimum entry requirements for this course are:

  • BA (Hons) degree or equivalent academic qualifications
  • Evidence of ability in art or design
  • Alternative qualifications and experience will also be taken into consideration
  • Personal statement
  • Portfolio of work

Entry to this course will also be determined by the quality of your application, looking primarily at your portfolio of work and personal statement.

APEL - Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered in exceptional cases. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. 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
  • A combination of these factors

Each application will be considered on its own merit but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

English language requirements

All classes are taught in English. If English isn't your first language you must provide evidence at enrolment of the following:

Selection criteria

We look for:

  • Evidence of visual and conceptual creative abilities
  • Understanding of scale measured drawings, model making and computer aided design (CAD). Some exception may be made with regards to applicants with a different background who can demonstrate an equivalent exploration of spatial ideas.
  • The ability to communicate concepts. Ideas and processes in the development of proposals.
  • Enthusiasm for developing skills in spatial design

Apply now

Apply

Home students apply by direct application.

Apply

Personal statement

This should be about 500 words long and include:

  • Your reasons for choosing the course.
  • Your current creative practice and how this course will help you achieve your future plans.
  • Any relevant education and experience, especially if you do not have any formal academic qualifications.

Portfolio advice

  • A maximum of 30 pages showing your creative design work. This does not need to be specifically of interior design, ideally spatial aspects - e.g. your design or consideration of images of architecture, architectural elements, furniture, any 3D art and design work, the body in space etc.
  • Hand drawing and works in different media are encouraged.
  • If possible, include drawings to scale.

For more support, please visit our Portfolio advice page and PebblePad advice page.

What happens next

Communicating with you

After you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive a confirmation email providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal. We’ll use this portal to contact you to request any additional information, including inviting you to upload documents or book an interview, so please check it regularly.

Initial application check and selection

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course. If you do, you will be invited to submit a digital portfolio through UAL’s online portfolio review system. These will be reviewed by the academic team.

Following the review of the digital portfolio, a small number of applicants will progress to the interview stage. All interviews are held online and last 15 to 20 minutes. For support with your interview, visit our Interview tips page.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the final outcome of your application through the UAL portal.

Applicants for this course may be given an alternative offer. This decision will be based on our assessment of your creative and potential interests.

Feedback requests:

If you would like to request feedback please contact us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Deferring your place

Read our Admissions Policy for details, and request your deferral by contacting us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Transfers

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units and modules on your current graduate diploma course and wish to continue your studies at Chelsea College of Arts, you can apply to transfer. The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible. Further information can be found in our UAL External Student Transfer Policy.

Application deadline

19 December 2022 and 3 April 2023

For postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 rounds of applications. This is to ensure equal consideration and fairness for all of our applicants. You must apply for 19 December 2022 for Round 1 or by 3 April 2023 for Round 2.

The round 1 deadline has been changed to 19 December to give you more time to make your application.

When you'll hear from us

If this course requires a digital portfolio as part of the application process, you will be invited to submit this through UAL’s online submission tool, PebblePad. We will request this separately after initial processing of your application is complete. Once we request your portfolio, you will have 7 days to submit it.

Once you’ve sent in your application, this will be sent through to our course teams for review. Find out more about what happens after you apply.

Apply

There are 2 ways international students can apply to a graduate diploma course:

Apply

Read our immigration and visa information to find out if you need a visa to study at UAL.

You can only apply to the same course once per year. Any duplicate applications will be withdrawn. Read the UAL international application advice for further information on how to apply.

Personal statement

This should be about 500 words long and include:

  • Your reasons for choosing the course.
  • Your current creative practice and how this course will help you achieve your future plans.
  • Any relevant education and experience, especially if you do not have any formal academic qualifications.

Portfolio advice

  • A maximum of 30 pages showing your creative design work. This does not need to be specifically of interior design, ideally spatial aspects - e.g. your design or consideration of images of architecture, architectural elements, furniture, any 3D art and design work, the body in space etc.
  • Hand drawing and works in different media are encouraged.
  • If possible, include drawings to scale.

For more support, please visit our Portfolio advice page and PebblePad advice page.

What happens next

Communicating with you

After you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive a confirmation email providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal. We’ll use this portal to contact you to request any additional information, including inviting you to upload documents or book an interview, so please check it regularly.

Immigration history check

Whether you’re applying online via UCAS, through a UAL representative or by direct application you will need to complete an Immigration History Check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL. If you don’t complete the check we won’t be able to proceed with your application.

Initial application check and selection

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course. If you do, you will be invited to submit a digital portfolio through UAL’s online portfolio review system. These will be reviewed by the academic team.

Following the review of the digital portfolio, a small number of applicants will progress to the interview stage. All interviews are held online and last 15 to 20 minutes. For support with your interview, visit our Interview tips page.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the final outcome of your application through the UAL portal.

Applicants for this course may be given an alternative offer. This decision will be based on our assessment of your creative and potential interests.

Feedback requests:

If you would like to request feedback please contact us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Deferring your place

Read our Admissions Policy for details, and request your deferral by contacting us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Transfers

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units and modules on your current graduate diploma course and wish to continue your studies at Chelsea College of Arts, you can apply to transfer. The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible. Further information can be found in our UAL External Student Transfer Policy.

Application deadline

19 December 2022 and 3 April 2023

For postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 rounds of applications. This is to ensure equal consideration and fairness for all of our applicants. You must apply for 19 December 2022 for Round 1 or by 3 April 2023 for Round 2.

We recommend you submit your application as early as possible before these deadlines to allow the Admissions team to resolve any initial queries about your application as quickly as possible.

When you'll hear from us

Once you’ve sent in your application, this will be sent through to our course teams for review. Find out more about what happens after you apply.

Careers

Many of our graduates go on to further study programmes in interior design and other related disciplines, and we also encourage students to arrange a meeting with an employability adviser from the University's Student Jobs and Careers service before students leave.

Alumni

Find out how careers and employability helps our students and graduates start their careers.