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BA (Hons) in Interior Design

Course Code: LC340


Level

08

Duration

4 years

Department

Built Environment


CAO Points

308

Course Type

Undergraduate - CAO

Location

Limerick

Core foundation skills develop a body of knowledge on approaches to interiors. As the course progresses, students engage in real-life projects. Individual studio practice, group work, vising lecturers, field trips (Nationally/Internationally) enable understanding of best practice and current trends in interiors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are the entry requirements?

Leaving Certificate

A minimum of 2 H5 & 4 O6/H7 grades in six Leaving Certificate subjects, including Mathematics and English or Irish.
 

Mature Applicants

Candidates applying as mature applicants may be required to attend an interview and may be requested to take an aptitude test to prove their suitability for a place on this programme.
 

Who can I contact?

What modules will I study?

  • Year 1

    Title: Design Fundamentals

    Credits: 20 Credits

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    Interior Design Studio 1 introduces the student to space and place, including the composition, elements, and principles of interiors, and their application to the built environment. This studio-based module will incorporate stages of the design process of conception, investigation, formulation, processing, and definition of interior ideas, involving both individual and teamwork.

    Within a creative studio atmosphere student’s abilities in spatial thinking and perceiving will be explored through a series of structured skill blocks, giving them a solid foundation in interior design. These design challenges will develop in complexity with new elements being added as the module progresses, allowing learners to develop their own creativity and imagination.

    Through lectures and hands-on two and three-dimensional exercises, learners will explore basic design theory becoming familiar with the process of designing interior space at an elementary level. Students will also engage in designing practical applications of course content through the setting-up of store and window displays, or other similar vignettes in the studio, or on-site.


    Title: Creative Practice

    Credits: 10 Credits

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    This studio-based module introduces many key approaches to creative visual representation. The student is encouraged to experiment and build confidence in self-directed image-generation so as to showcase their interior schemes. Emphasis is on the process and informal methods where students will learn the development of creative problem-solving techniques. Through exploring basic skills it will give the learner the ability to accept taking risks and potential failures in the pursuit of innovative solutions and design ideas. The nature of the exercises will encourage familiarity and fluidity in the way students use creative methods for communicating concepts.

    Three-dimensional awareness in design, form, and order of the built environment, using scale and proportion, shape, texture and pattern will also be investigated. These various elements will be explored using an array of drawing, rendering, modelmaking, and presentation techniques, so students can freely represent ideas.

    A foundation of behavioural practice will be established in the students which will be encouraged and monitored in other modules throughout the duration of the BA programme.


    Title: Introduction to Materials #-#- Finishes

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    This module is an introduction to finishes and materials for interior design. It aims to provide a good foundation of the understanding, knowledge, and appreciation of the properties and characteristics of commonly used materials and finishes within an interior design context. Issues of affordability, current trends, sustainability, appropriateness of materials and finishes, including installation, durability, cost, life-cycle cost, and cradle to cradle ideology will be explored, in both a domestic and commercial setting. Consideration for how the current Irish building regulations can influence material selection will also be looked at. This will enable the student to develop a better understanding of the various factors that should be considered when specifying products.

    The student will learn the fundamentals of material specification, and selection factors for specifying materials and finishes along with the introductory processes for estimating them. Material and finishes information and application are taught through investigation of design case studies and through a series of discovery-based exercises using actual products and specifications from the interior studio material's library, as well as external sources.


    Title: Interior #-#- Architectural History

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    This module builds an understanding of the origins and the development of architectural and interior design movements, and styles, throughout Western History, from the antiquities until the 19th Century. The main aim of the module is Greek and Roman antiquities, the Renaissance period, the Enlightenment and all the revival movements until late 19th Century. Through a series of lectures and the analysis of different case studies, the studio will focus on the emergence and evolution of different civilizations, their influences, and innovations in architecture, construction techniques and materials, and art and interior expression. The analysis and investigation of different architectural movements, the concepts underpinning them, as well as the architects, designers, and engineers that created them, will play an important part in the curriculum.

    More in particular, the study of architectural movements and influences, the history and the evolution of city planning, the understanding of different styles and the conception of Art for the different civilizations, such as in Ancient Egypt, during the Ancient classical Greek period, the Hellenistic Period, the Etruscans and the Romans, the Byzantium, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the Enlightenment.


    Title: Design Illustration and Communication

    Credits: 10 Credits

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    Words on their own are often not enough to communicate an idea. The use of a range of graphic

    communication techniques are considered a primary design skill in communicating design ideas. This

    module will teach the student how to express and communicate both manually and with the

    use of design software to current professional standards in interior design.

     


    Title: Draughting

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    This module introduces students to the principles of drawing, using manual draughting and sketching techniques as its main tools. Different spacial representation techniques will be introduced and explored in the studio, such as orthographic projection, axonometric, isometric and perspective view. The module will equip students to produce 2D and 3D plans using pencils, markers, pens, scales, drawing boards, set squares, and dividers — necessary to create precise and accurate drawings. As students use these tools, they are obtaining valuable experience and practice in creating appropriately scaled designs, accurate line work, letter work, layout and paper sheet presentation.


    Title: Furniture Design

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    The aim of this module is to equip the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence

    necessary to characterise, select, and utilise materials and finishes within the context of furniture

    design while developing an appreciation of furniture design, development, and progress, in a

    historical context together with an awareness of the underlying principles which influence

    contemporary furniture design.


  • Year 2

    Title: Interior Surveying and Quantification

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    This module will incorporate the collaborative application of existing domestic and simple buildings interior surveying skills and the quantification of the relevant areas, volumes and internal quantities and costs associated with them. It will include the production of dimensional and photographic surveys, budgeting and cost control methods. The module will provide a space for students to communicate interior surveys and quantification information from a client’s perspective, using visual, oral and written methods. Learners writing, presentation and analysis skills will be developed in this module. Relevant ergonomics will be identified in the context of the module. Learners will use MS Word, Excel and Powerpoint in their tutorial time in this module.


    Title: Domestic Interior Design

    Credits: 20 Credits

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    Interior Design Studio 2 builds on the fundamental skills, techniques and processes developed in Year One. More complexity is introduced with technological and contextual considerations from concurrent modules being applied. Engagement in integrated creative briefs will be through set-studio assignments as well as real-life scenarios and clients.

    The elements and principles of interior design which were introduced in the Year One module are developed with consideration placed on the relationship between building technology and the quality of execution of finishes. A design process methodology is introduced which is explored through a number of domestic projects. Students plan and decorate residential interiors implementing design fundamentals, material selection, lighting, furniture arrangement and spatial planning, style and colour theory.

    Through project-based learning, the students will gain competencies in project management and design process. Visual and verbal presentation techniques, image generation and drawing skills will be expanded on and reinforced with greater emphasis on a detailed resolution of design proposals.

    An additional element will be the on-going process of developing design ideas through an individual sketchbook. An online blog will also be maintained to reflect and evaluate research on contemporary interior designers, trends and practices, enabling discussion with peers and lecturers.


    Title: Digital Media & Communication

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    The aim of this skills-based module is to develop both verbal and visual presentation techniques that will assist the student in communicating their design schemes. Expanding on skills learned in the Graphics and Communications 1 module, both verbal and visual representation methods continued to be honed. Skills in drawing convention, composition and layout, and multi-media techniques will be developed and applied to integrated project work. Freehand sketching will continue to be used throughout the module for both problem-solving and as a communication tool.

    Students’ aesthetic appreciation is fostered through hands-on exercises and discussions on case studies of other designer’s approach to representation. Typography, infographics, and graphic harvesting are introduced and utilised for brainstorming, problem-solving and presentation. Creative suite software, such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, are used to manipulate and create photo montages, and collages of innovative design ideas, developing and enhancing students’ hand and digital renders.


    Title: Contemporary Design Studies

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    The aim of this module is to provide students with a knowledge and understanding of contemporary and historic design thinking, principles and their application in the interior design of spaces. Starting from the Industrial Revolution, up to, and including the contemporary era, an overview of influential styles and movements are covered identifying the roots of modern design and studying its subsequent evolution through periods of economic, social, and technological change.

     

     


    Title: Materials Application

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    The aim of the module is to enable the learner to understand the characteristics and application of appropriate material and finishes used for interior design. It will provide the learner with an appreciation of the selection, installation and use of materials and finishes. The module will also address the issues of affordability, sustainability and examine how the current building regulations can influence the slection of materials and finishes for a project.


    Title: Interior Technology and Regulation

    Credits: 10 Credits

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    Source, process, apply the principles and processess of best practice in construction detailing as applied to interior design.

    Overview of current Irish building regulations, identify the constraints imposed by regulation on design , and the ability to apply strategies and techniques to achieve compliance.


    Title: Detailing and CAD

    Credits: 10 Credits

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    Section 1:

    Detailing associated with the refurbishment and renovation of domestic buildings and introduction of interior millwork detailing and fabrication.

    Defects relating to the interior of existing building and the associated remedial works are introduced.

    Technical aspects of refurbishment of building interiors, with a focus on building performance.

    Section 2:

    Developing from year one "Design Illustration and Comunications ". The use of 2d CAD will be expanded with the focus on the production of construction drawings through CAD, to scale and in compliance with drawing standards and conventions.


  • Year 3

    Title: Professional Placement

    Credits: 25 Credits

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    The aim of this work-based learning module is to enhance formal academic education with experiential learning. Planning in personal development will allow learners to develop and hone transferable and practice-skills valued within the profession of interior design such as visual and verbal communication, technical skills, team working and problem solving. It also affords each student the opportunity to gain an insight into their own personal abilities and aptitudes by relating academic theory to everyday practice in the field of interior design. Communication is a key theme of this module and as part of course work students will begin to compile a portfolio of work required for entry into the industry.

     


    Title: Reflective Journal

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    The aim of this module is to develop the student's professional skills and competencies through experiential learning while on placement within the Interior Design industry.

     


    Title: Commercial Interior Design

    Credits: 10 Credits

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    This one-semester module is project-oriented and builds on Interior Design Studio 2. Students will develop their conceptual and problem-solving skills through responding to multifaceted design questions. The design problems will involve commercial projects, such as retail, leisure, hospitality and working environments, often in non-traditional spaces. The students’ working knowledge of interior design will be broadened through the combination of theory and practical work with more complexity and focus on the psychology of how humans use and interact with space.

    Students will develop their sensitivities to several users and needs within an interior, exploring the multi-functionality of furniture and the flexibility of space. Investigation and exploration of ergonomic and anthropometric criteria through analysing the space utilised by people in their work activities and contexts, along with the consideration of sustainability within design and product selection, will all be central in initiating creative responses.

    A sketchbook and personal blog element will continue to be used so students can reflect on practice and understand their work approaches. Professional visual and verbal presentation will have a strong emphasis and will be delivered in the format of critiques in the studio and were applicable to an actual client, off-site.

    The studio will run similar to a commercial studio model where students will work on several projects at once across different modules, developing key skills of professional communication and project management required of an interior designer. This is in preparation for the professional placement, which will begin in the following semester.


    Title: Advanced Graphics & Communication

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    Advanced Graphics & Communication provide in-depth training and practice in the use of industry standard visualization systems. The main focus of the module is on the development of images, using photorealistic 3dimensional visualizations, animations, and realtime game engine presentation of built assets. The module will also develop the learner's modeling abilities in building freeform and organic objects, using parametric design principles and tools.


    Title: Contextual Design Studies

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    This module will focus on the different established design processes and practices in the information and digital era. How do interior and architectural spaces function today, how are they being conceived, fabricated and finally used. This module is an expansion of the 'Interior and Architectural History' module in Year 1, and the 'Contemporary Design Studies' in Year 2. The module’s central aim is to develop students’ ability to place their design decisions and practice into context, as well as to strengthen students’ design knowledge and expression, using and understanding the new tendencies and vocabulary. Students will become familiar with contemporary concepts and themes in architecture, art and design history, such as computational design, conceptual art, etc. A range of contemporary issues and debates will be introduced concerning design practices of today, with all the philosophical and historical extensions in art, architecture and interior design.


    Title: Services and Regulation

    Credits: 10 Credits

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    This module will focus on the environmental conditions required within buildings to make them function efficiently. In addition regulations relating to environmental comfort of the interior will be addressed.

    An overview of the Irish planning process and legislation appropiate to the Interior Designer will be covered.


    Title: Design Studio - Hospitality

    Credits: 10 Credits

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    The aim of this module is to examine hospitality in the form of concept and experience in tandem with the principles of multi-level spatial organisations and the complexity of a large-scale commercial building. The student will develop an integrated design solution for a hospitality environment considering the anthropometrics and ergonomics of furniture, appropriate use of materials, brand identity, lighting and service design, site evaluation, and building regulations.

     


    Title: Sustainability for Interior Design

    Credits: 10 Credits

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    To evaluate a wide range of topics under sustainable construction which are driving the environmental agenda in the context of interior design. It allows the student to foster knowledge and understanding of functional and environmental aspects of construction technology systems and processes as they relate with occupant's well-being, indoor environmental quality, and global sustainability.


    Title: Conservation for Interior Design

    Credits: 10 Credits

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    The aim of this module is to develop the students' knowledge of conservation principles, technologies and technique's that will allow a well-informed approach in the interior design of historic and contemporary buildings.


  • Year 4

    Title: Design Studio - User Centered

    Credits: 10 Credits

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    The aim of this module is to give the student-designer an opportunity to polish and refine accumulated knowledge and skills through a focused design problem. A set-project in the community will be allocated that addresses proxemics, anthropometrics, ergonomics, sensory components, health and safety, environmental considerations, special populations, and universal design. Research will be a key element to this studio with findings being applied to a design solution in a real space, and around the needs of an actual client.

    proxemics, anthropometrics, ergonomics, sensory components, diversity, global concerns, health and safety, environmental considerations, special populations and universal (inclusive) design.

     

    The student will develop an understanding of the application of design solutions in these specific contexts, and of how interior design can address human needs for comfort, safety, and well-being. As well as looking at special needs populations, affordability, function, sustainable design, and the sensory and emotional interaction between people and their physical environments will also be addressed.

    Skills will continue to be honed at a more complex level including client brief development, detailed programming, analysis, research, concept development, schematic and detailed design, and visual and verbal presentation techniques. Sketchbooks and personal blog's continue to be used as a tool to record, develop ideas and reflect on practice with an emphasis on personal approach and innovation.


    Title: Final Design Project

    Credits: 10 Credits

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    Interior Design Studio 4.2 provides the design student with an opportunity to demonstrate competence in all areas of interior design. Learners will undertake a substantial piece of individual design work which focuses on a specific topic within a commercial or community setting. The chosen topic will have previously been assessed for suitability to ensure that there is sufficient challenge and scope, and subsequently studied in the Research Project module in the first semester of Stage 4.

     

    The student will utilise a feasibility study carried out as part of the Research Project developing a proposed scheme within a specialised area of Interior Design. Students will be expected to attend practical studio sessions for support in the execution of their design project and to ensure that their work is closely monitored and steered in the right direction. The design proposals submitted at the end of semester two of year four is the final outcome of a period of engagement with a field of research.

     

    With the support of lecturers, the scenario of a real-life client will allow learners to put their studies into practice and help them develop a sense of responsibility as well as interpersonal skills in a space that replicates a professional environment. This final task is preparing students for exiting the course and becoming fully-fledged practitioners of interior design.

     


    Title: Advanced Technology

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    Implementation of technological design factors in order to select materials, components and assembly methods in the context of bespoke interior elements. It develops these abilities by exploring a range of construction solutions , and translating the relevant solutions to drawings and specifications.


    Title: Research Project

    Credits: 10 Credits

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    The focus of this module, Research Project, is on investigating a specific area of interest within the discipline of interior design. A specialised area will be identified by the learner and the appropriate methodology subsequently selected. Students will be provided with the procedures needed to initiate and conduct a research project. This area of interest will feed into a real-life interior design project encompassed in the Interior Design Studio 4.2 module, in semester two.

     


    Title: Design Seminars

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    This module focuses on exemplars of interior design practice. Analysis and examination of best practice case studies are delivered through student-led seminars, workshops, and reading groups. Students achieve a critical and contextual background of the history and contemporary activity of their interior design practice. The module offers students the chance to explore and analyse the way that the designer operates within an ethical, sustainable and socioeconomic context. The seminars’ main aim is to support theoretically the Research Project as well as the Design Studio 4.1.


    Title: Building Information Modelling for Interior Design

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    Building Information Modelling (BIM) for Interior Design contains a blend of theory and practical skill development. The current generation of BIM standards in wide use within the UK and Ireland are examined in the context of interior design projects. Practical skills in BIM authoring and data analysis are also developed.


    Title: Professional Practice

    Credits: 10 Credits

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    The main aim of this module is to provide the student with an understanding of business practice in the design environment.

    Emphasis will be put on the business and contractual setting in which an Interior Designer may be employed. More particularly, the main issues that will be addressed are:

    Practice Management and Branding (business model, start-up structures and procedures, “Design Thinking” principles and Branding design), Roles & Responsibilities (ethics, Health & Safety regulations, Hazard Identification, Risk Assessment), Business Fees and Charges, Liabilities & Insurance, Contract Administration and Dispute Resolution.


    Title: Financial and Project Management

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    To develop an understanding of the Financial and Project Management activities relevant to Interior Design Projects. To develop further knowledge of modern cost control techniques. To enhance the students analytical, intellectual and presentation skills together with competence in designing and implementing appropriate Financial and Project Management procedures relevant to Interior Design Projects. Learners writing, presentation and entrepreneurship skills will be developed and enhanced during this module


Are there opportunities for further study?

Successful candidates can progress to a level 9 in Design. 

What are the career prospects?

Positions that graduates can work in include:                    

  • Interior Design Consultancy (Domestic/Commercial)
  • Interior Design Technician
  • 3D Modelling / Visualisation
  • Colour Consultant 
  • Kitchen Design
  • Retail Design
  • Set Design