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Interiors (Architecture and Design) MA

Learn about the course below
September 2024
1 year full-time
2 years part-time
£10,500 (UK)
£16,800 (INT)
Course leader
Michael Westthorp

MA Interiors (Architecture & Design) encourages creative investigation, experimentation and innovation in order to extend your knowledge and skills in the creation of new environments. The potential and limits of the ‘interior’ is explored across a range of contemporary contexts, through field research and interpretation, studio and online workshops, media practices, critical analysis and design. On the course you will develop your individual practice and approach to the design of interior spaces and places, and will be encouraged to explore the notion of interiority from the intimate scale of objects and furniture to the urban context of the city, investigating its specific essence and how its quality and atmosphere affects human perception and emotion.

Why study MA Interiors (Architecture and Design) at Middlesex University?

As public, political and commercial concern grows about the future suitability and sustainability of our urban environments, the need for inspired and innovative leadership in the re-use and transformation of our existing buildings and interiors becomes more urgent. This course will also enable you to investigate and present theories and proposals that will contribute to shaping a better world.

You will generate propositions to test, demonstrate and explain your approach, and to develop in-depth strategies by which your ideas and proposals can be implemented. You will challenge and redefine what constitutes the 'interior' through experimental learning, prototyping, designing, critical analysis, and narrative techniques. You will gain the relevant contemporary knowledge, advanced design skills and subject insights to develop, consolidate, apply and promote a personal design practice that can meet the tests and challenges of tomorrow.

You will be guided and supported by expert practitioners and academics from a range of subject fields, committed to support your learning development.

Course highlights

  • Gain valuable and transferable skills the creative industry is looking for to work as interior designer, interior architect, interior decorator, exhibition designer, space planner
  • Virtual or real access to London's design world with valuable industry links to a range of industry specialists and businesses
  • Access to networking opportunities, world-leading research and expertise
  • Get free access to the resources, learning materials and software.

Find out more

Sign up now to receive more information about studying at Middlesex University London.

What will you study on the MA Interiors (Architecture and Design)?

This course is divided into five modules taken over three terms (if studied full time). Each module is designed to be flexible, allowing you to bring your own interests to the assignments while extending the boundaries of your current creative practice through research, design development and creative exploration via a formal design proposal.

The majority of the course will be centred on the development of 3 books that when combined will read as a collection/3 volumes of study. Ideas will be shown via Faculty Creative Graduate website and digital magazine DRAFT. This will be supported by a series of outputs and reviewed through regular presentations to assist in the progress of each project. You will also address postgraduate research and critical debates in art and design working with students and staff from across the art and design postgraduate community.

In an ever evolving city such as London, we ask students to embark upon a journey of exploration that identifies in-between spaces, questions assumptions, discovers ‘thisness’, and challenges how they see the world. Each student is asked to detect, collect ideas, reflect and propose new interventions that question the interiors we inhabit. Students look at how the interior responds to the continual behavioural flux of the city and celebrate how it informs new, innovative thought by employing new methods of design communication through the variety of media tools appropriate to industry.

What you will gain?

Each student will have the opportunity to learn new research methods, design development mechanisms via CAD and physical 3D prototyping and design communication skills via the production of 3 books. You will gain the necessary knowledge and experience to work within the interior architecture and design industry at a professional level.


  • Modules

    • Explore: Scale and Place (30 credits)

      Explore: Scale and Place is an introductory postgraduate module that will challenge you to define and advance aspirations and set personal and professional goals. It is an explorative opportunity to evolve your individual design interests and a personal ethos following previous study or practice.

      You will be encouraged to explore, through site analysis and detection, the interiority of the city at a scale of street, building and room; from the intimacy of objects and furniture to the wider urban context in order to start questioning what constitutes the interior, and how its resulting design affects human perception, emotion and experience. While the focus of study will be local, in London, the perspective will be global and from multi-cultural view-points, reflecting the international diversity of the student cohort.

    • Encounter: Contexts and Debate (30 credits)

      You will examine key critical and disciplinary debates in contemporary creative and cultural practice and theory relative to Interiors, Architecture and Design at an advanced  level. The module aims to foster interdisciplinary conversations based upon  shared concerns, encouraging and promoting a reflective approach to masters’ level design practice and research.

    • Develop: Personal Practice (30 credits)

      You will develop individual design thinking through advanced innovative techniques that capture the design process as both methodology and an instrument of critical examination. The module aims to develop learning and research knowledge gained from the first two modules and encourages each student to evolve a distinct design language to apply to their chosen area of study.

      You’ll develop an advanced personal approach to reflective and critical practice through the creation of a Design Development Journal that defines the relationship between your independently identified place of study, the context of investigation and its relevant users or occupants.

    • Advance: Thinking and Writing (30 credits)

      You will examine a diverse range of advanced approaches to research in Interiors, Architecture and Design. The module extends research study and thinking carried out in the Encounter: Contexts and Debate module. You will establish an advanced, articulate and coherent body of work that reflects a personal vision that is appropriate both to the discipline of interiors and the student’s chosen area of independent study.

    • Realise: Independent Research and Design (60 credits)

      This final module, will enable you to summarise previous discoveries made via exploration and development and present a rigorously investigated and detailed concluding proposal. The final outcome will identify and utilise research and design methodologies to promote interrelationships between theory and practice in the realisation of a major project.

      The module outcome will be a single submission that communicates an independent practice proposal in detail. This will be produced as a Final Publication that will also include the collation of edited outputs from the four previous modules that identify and formulate appropriate research.

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information:

Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

We are regularly reviewing and updating our programmes to ensure you have the best learning experience. We are taking what we've learnt during the pandemic and enhancing our teaching methods with new and innovative ways of learning.

How is the MA Interiors (Architecture and Design) taught?

This course is designed to put you at the centre of your learning by using a range of teaching approaches that take into account your individual interests, abilities and ambitions in interior architecture and design. The course is primarily studio and tutorial based, with some activities taking place at our campus workshops.

As part of your learning, you’ll be required to actively participate in activities and engage with your fellow students, both individually and collaboratively, working and learning as part of a small group at times. At the start of the year you will be asked to perform a pitch presentation outlining the area of research for your final project.

Lectures will facilitate discussion, support in key material or approaches, explore questions, concepts and theories, and introduce case study materials. In seminars, some of which are student-led, you will explore ideas through discussion and presentation. In group and individual tutorials you will receive feedback from tutors on work in progress and specific assignments.

Please note, lectures, seminars, presentations and tutorials will be performed via studio sessions. Occasionally some sessions will be held online.


Your skills, knowledge and understanding will be entirely assessed by coursework including practical projects, oral presentations and supporting written work. There are no exams.

Formative feedback is provided during each module assignment, together with summative feedback at the end of each module.

The criteria for the final project are:

  • Critical awareness of contemporary and current knowledge, practice and contexts within your chosen subject area
  • In-depth understanding of how research activity has informed and framed your design decision-making
  • Critical and reflective evaluation of the outcomes from your research and design activity
  • Expertise in a range of technical, communication and professional skills appropriate to your chosen subject
  • The development of a personal practice through the application of knowledge acquired through your research
  • Advanced level work that articulates critical analysis, creative problem solving and reflective practice.

Teaching and learning

Your timetable will be built around on campus sessions using our professional facilities, with online sessions for some activities where we know being virtual will add value. We’ll use technology to enhance all of your learning and give you access to online resources to use in your own time. Project information, recorded presentations and assessment criteria will be provided through our online Module page.

The table below gives you an idea of what learning looks like across a typical week. Some weeks are different due to how we schedule classes and arrange on campus sessions.

Learning structure:


Live in-person on campus learning

Contact hours per week, per level:

10 hours

Tutor set learning activities

Average hours per week, per level:

2 hours

Outside of these hours, you’ll be expected to do independent study where you read, listen and reflect on other learning activities. This can include preparation for future classes. In a year, you’ll typically be expected to commit 1200 hours to your course across all styles of learning. If you are taking a placement, you might have some additional hours.

Definitions of terms

  • Live in-person on campus learning – This will focus on active and experiential sessions that are both:
    • Led by your tutors including seminars, lab sessions and demonstrations We’ll schedule all of this for you
    • Student-led by you and other students, like small group work and presentations.
  • Live online learning – This will include lectures, tutorials and supervision sessions led by your tutor and timetabled by us. It also includes student-led group work that takes place online
  • Tutor set learning activities – This covers activities which will be set for you by your tutor, but which you will undertake in your own time. Examples of this include watching online materials, participating in an online discussion forum, completing a virtual laboratory or reading specific texts. You may be doing this by yourself of with your course mates depending on your course and assignments. Outside of these hours, you’ll also be expected to do further independent study where you’ll be expected to learn, prepare, revise and reflect in your own time.


You have a strong support network available to you to make sure you develop all the necessary academic skills you need to do well on your course.

Our support services will be delivered online and on campus and you have access to a range of different resources so you can get the help you need, whether you’re studying at home or have the opportunity to come to campus.

You have access to one to one and group sessions for personal learning and academic support from our library and IT teams, and our network of learning experts. Our teams will also be here to offer financial advice, and personal wellbeing, mental health and disability support.

  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. International
  3. Additional costs
  4. Scholarships and bursaries

How can the MA Interiors (Architecture and Design) support your career?

This course will prepare you for a diverse range of careers foremost within the interior design, architecture and wider design industry, but also within other creative and cultural industries. These may include product, furniture, exhibition design, spatial design and more. You may also decide to pursue careers in further research and teaching. We encourage students to work in the industry and support links with professional industry during and after graduating.

Our graduates are now working as:

  • Interior designers
  • Architects
  • Teachers
  • Product Designers
  • Researchers
  • Writers
  • Jessica Watts

    MA Interior Architecture

    I was working as an interior designer but always wanted to do a masters. At an undergraduate level you learn the basics you need which helped me start off my career, however I wanted to explore my own area of interest and learn a different way of thinking about design. The masters has expanded my vision, not just in practical terms, but also in terms of research.

    The course is very flexible and caters for whatever you want to do. Our tutors are there to help guide us, but in a very liberal way, allowing us the freedom to go in our own direction.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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