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BA (Hons) Interior Design

Computer render of mirrored room by BA Interior Design student.

BA (Hons) Interior Design, Chelsea College of Arts, UAL
Chelsea College of Arts
UCAS code
Start date
September 2024
Course length
3 years

BA Interior Design at Chelsea College of Arts aims to define user experiences and interactions with objects and spaces through contemporary scenarios.

Subject to re-approval

This course is undergoing re-approval. This is the process by which we ensure the course continues to provide a high quality academic experience. During re-approval there may be some changes to the course content displayed on this page. Please contact us if you have any questions about the course.

Course overview

BA Interior Design works in partnership with organisations, practices and key individuals from the design industry. The course is professionally recognised by the Chartered Society of Designers.  

During the course, you’ll be able to work on a range of live projects. These include furniture, product design and large-scale proposals for public and private interiors. 

What to expect  

  • A user-centred approach: A wide-ranging programme, with emphasis on user needs.
  • Design skills: Learn technical and professional skills such as how to make scale models, prototypes and digital interior environments.
  • Sustainability: Consider design within the global context of social, economic and ecological sustainability.
  • Teaching: Project-based learning in studios which bring together academic, theoretical and technical study.
  • Presentation techniques: Learn how to communicate complex design ideas and solutions.
  • Contextual study: Understand the historical, social and cultural contexts of interior design.
  • Access to Chelsea's shared workshops: These include laser cutting, photography, metalwork, woodwork and audio-visual editing. View the Chelsea facilities.

Industry experience and opportunities   

BA Interior Design is professionally accredited by the Chartered Society of Designers (CSD) which gives the course global recognition and connects you to the professional standards and ethical conduct expected by the creative industries.

The course enjoys partnerships and collaborations with key organisations and design practices including Fletcher Priest, Conran Studio, Aedas and Brinkworth. Year 2 introduces you to career pathways and preparation for practice. Year 3 builds leadership opportunities for enterprise and business within the taught curriculum.

Further opportunities include external competitions and extra-curricular projects. The course works closely with the University’s Enterprise and Employability team to prepare you for progression into industry or further study.

Mode of study

BA Interior Design is offered in full-time mode. It is divided into 3 stages over 3 academic years. Each stage consists of 30 teaching weeks. You will be expected to commit an average of 40 hours per week to your course, including teaching hours and independent study.

Course units

Year 1 

Unit 1 - Introduction to Interior Design: methods and processes

This unit is an introduction to your course, the College and the University.

Unit 2 - Design objects

The unit explores the ways in which different materials can inform and generate design ideas. You’ll produce technical drawings and sketch models. Experimenting with analogue and digital technologies, you’ll learn how to generate different types of imagery and modelling. You’ll also produce written research that supports your design process.

Unit 3 - Design media

The unit introduces you to tools for mapping, measuring, recording and experimenting with interior space. Using a range of digital and physical media, you’ll explore analogue and digital making processes. This will introduce you to strategies of depiction and interpretation, as well as methods for mapping and recording design data.

Unit 4 - Design  contexts

The unit introduces you to the relationship between users and their social and cultural environments. Examining a small-scale interior, you’ll undertake research to identify individual design practices. Using this knowledge, you’ll create a design proposal which will include drawings, models and written work.

Year 2

Unit 5 - Interior practices

This unit introduces you to a range of interior practices and theoretical principles. During studio workshops, you’ll explore planning processes, technical drawing packages and anatomies of practice. You’ll also learn about the career opportunities within the design sector, which will help you identify your final year specialism and career pathway.

Unit 6 - Collaborative and collective practices

You will be introduced to different ways in which collaborative working can help you to focus and enhance your own creative strengths. You’ll have the chance to work with fellow students and creative communities.

Unit 7 - Material and immaterial practices

This unit will deepen your understanding of the context in which design operates. You’ll explore different approaches to the analysis of space and learn how to use research methods to record and map design data. You’ll develop written work and a presentation to visually demonstrate your research process.

Unit 8 - Public sphere practices

During this unit, you’ll design a public interior, working from a live brief. You’ll build a design proposal that responds to the function and spatial organisation of a public environment. You’ll also present your proposal to industry practitioners. This will give you experience of working in a professional design studio.

Year 3

Unit 9 - Programme research 

The unit is made up of 3 components: enquiry, application and evaluation. You’ll undertake research and testing to analyse and scope out initial ideas. You’ll also produce written work to support your research. This will serve as the blueprint for your final programme proposal, which you’ll complete in unit 10.

Unit 10 - Programme proposal

The unit is made up of 3 components: methods and processes, proposal testing and project presentation. Using the programme research as your foundation, you’ll produce a comprehensive proposal that examines all aspects of an interior environment. You’ll present your proposal at the College show.

Optional Diploma between Years 2 and 3

Between Years 2 and 3 of the course, you’ll also have the opportunity to undertake one of the following additional UAL qualifications:

Diploma in Professional Studies (DPS)

This optional diploma can be taken between years 2 and 3. With support from your tutors, you’ll undertake an industry placement for a minimum of 100 days/20 weeks. As well as developing industry skills, you’ll gain an additional qualification upon successful completion.

Diploma in Creative Computing

Between years 2 and 3, you can undertake the year-long Diploma in Creative Computing. This will develop your skills in creative computing alongside your degree. After successfully completing the diploma and your undergraduate course, you’ll graduate with an enhanced degree: BA (Hons) Interior Design (with Creative Computing).

Learning and teaching methods

  • Access to digital design archives and databases
  • Critical workshops and interactive research seminars
  • Group based learning
  • 1:1 tutorials, reviews and support 
  • Group crits, debates and discussions
  • Independent study
  • Lectures and seminars
  • Orientations and inductions
  • Student presentations
  • Design studies and essay tutorials
  • Design studies teaching and supervised study
  • Technical workshops and practical demonstrations

Student work

  • Chelsea-BA-Interior-Design-9-Penthouse-1000.jpg
    Student work - BA Interior Design
  • Chelsea-BA-Interior-Design-3-1000.jpg
    Student work - BA Interior Design
  • Chelsea-BA-Interior-Design-7-1000.jpg
    Student work - BA Interior Design
  • Chelsea-BA-Interior-Design-8-1000.jpg
    Student work - BA Interior Design
  • Chelsea-BA-Interior-Design-6-1000.jpg
    Student work - BA Interior Design
  • Chelsea-BA-Interior-Design-10-terrace-1000.jpg
    Student work - BA Interior Design


Graduate Showcase: Catrinel Visan


Fees and funding

Home fee

£9,250 per year

This fee is correct for entry in autumn 2024 and is subject to change for entry in autumn 2025.

Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students.

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

£28,570 per year

This fee is correct for entry in autumn 2024 and is subject to change for entry in autumn 2025.

Tuition fees for international students may increase by up to 5% in each future year of your course.

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 one or a combination of the following qualifications:

  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • 2 A Levels at grade C or above
  • Merit, Pass, Pass (MPP) at BTEC Extended Diploma
  • Pass at UAL Extended Diploma
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma
  • Or equivalent EU/International qualifications, such as International Baccalaureate Diploma at 24 points minimum
  • And 3 GCSE passes at grade 4 or above (grade A*-C)

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

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:

  • Work that has a spatial awareness - 2D, drawing as well as 3D forms
  • An enthusiasm for making 3D work
  • An interest in the professional aspect of the course
  • An ability to make work that communicates your personal interests and ideas

Apply now

Application deadline

31 January 2024 at 18:00 (UK time)

If there are places available after this date, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.

Apply to UAL

Home students can apply to this course through UCAS with the following codes:

University code:


UCAS code:


Start your application

Apply now

Application deadline

31 January 2024 at 18:00 (UK time)

If there are places available after this date, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.

Apply to UAL

International students can apply to this course through UCAS with the following codes:

University code:


UCAS code:


Start your application

Apply with a UAL Representative

Based across the world, our local UAL representatives can support you with your application from your home country. Check to see if there is a representative available in your country currently.

Find your representative

How to apply

Follow this step-by-step guide to apply for this course

Step 1: Initial application

You will need to submit an initial application including your personal statement.

Personal statement advice

Your personal statement should be maximum 4,000 characters and cover the following:

  • Why have you chosen this course? What excites you about the subject?
  • How does your previous or current study relate to the course?
  • Have you got any work experience that might help you?
  • Have any life experiences influenced your decision to apply for this course?
  • What skills do you have that make you perfect for this course?
  • What plans and ambitions do you have for your future career?

Visit the UCAS advice page and our personal statement advice page for more support.

Step 2: Digital portfolio

We will review your initial application. If you have met the standard entry requirements, we will ask you to submit a digital portfolio.

You’ll need to submit this via PebblePad, our online portfolio tool.

Digital portfolio advice

Your portfolio should consist of recent work that reflects your creative strengths.

It should:

  • be maximum 30 pages
  • include a wide range of 2D and 3D work such as drawing, prints, photography, model making, images and videos of your sketchbooks etc.
  • demonstrates your understanding of spatial awareness
  • communicate your interests and ideas

For more support, see our Portfolio advice and PebblePad advice.

Step 3: Interview

You may be invited to an interview following our review of your application. All interviews are held online and last 15 to 20 minutes.

For top tips, see our Interview advice.

You also need to know

Communicating with you

Once you have submitted your initial application, we will email you with your login details for our Applicant portal.

Requests for supplementary documents like qualifications and English language tests will be made through the applicant portal. You can also use it to ask questions regarding your application. Visit our After you apply page for more information.

Visas and immigration history check

All non-UK nationals must complete an immigration history check. Your application may be considered by our course teams before this check takes place. This means that we may request your portfolio and/or video task before we identify any issues arising from your immigration history check. Sometimes your history may mean that we are not able to continue considering your application. Visit our Immigration and visas advice page for more information.

External student transfer policy

UAL accepts transfers from other institutions on a case-by-case basis. Read our Student transfer policy for more information.

Alternative offers

If your application is really strong, but we believe your strengths and skillset are better suited to a different course, we may make you an alternative offer. This means you will be offered a place on a different course or at a different UAL College.

Deferring your place

You must apply in the year that you intend to start your course. If you are made an offer and your circumstances change, you can submit a deferral request to defer your place by 1 academic year. You must have met your conditions by 31 August 2024. If you need an English language test in order to meet the entry requirements, the test must be valid on the deferred start date of your course. If not, you will need to reapply. Requests are granted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Contextual Admissions

This course is part of the Contextual Admissions scheme.

This scheme helps us better understand your personal circumstances so that we can assess your application fairly and in context. This ensures that your individual merit and creative potential can shine through, no matter what opportunities and experiences you have received.


An important aspect of the course is the personal and professional development programme, which is strongly linked to career progression into the creative industries or onto further study.


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