2024/25 entry Applications also open for 2025/26

BA (Hons) Interior Architecture with Foundation Year

Start date:
September
Study mode:
Full-time
Course duration:
4 years
Campus:
Mt Pleasant
UCAS Code:
A008
Grades/points required:
DDD-CDD (72-80)

Tuition fees

Home full-time per year
£9,250
International full-time per year
£18,250
All figures are subject to yearly increases. Tuition fees are subject to parliamentary approval.
General enquiries:
0151 231 5090
courses@ljmu.ac.uk
International admissions
international@ljmu.ac.uk

Send a message >

Why study Interior Architecture with Foundation Year at Liverpool John Moores University?

  • An introduction to contemporary art and design practices, including Art History and drawing, alongside core academic skills
  • Students can access study abroad opportunities, apply for overseas travel awards and take exchanges
  • Access to some of the UK's best examples of urban redevelopment and iconic buildings
  • Taught in the RIBA award-winning, purpose-built John Lennon Art and Design Building
  • Direct involvement in live artistic projects
  • International Foundation Year course available offering direct progression onto this degree programme
  • Take a virtual tour of this year's Architecture degree show
  • For news and student-led events, course information and student work and staff research, visit the LJMU Architecture blog

About your course

This programme gives you the opportunity to work on a range of authentic architectural projects with input from practicing architects and interior design specialist in a dynamic studio environment with access to industry standard technical facilities.

The emphasis of this programme is the creative adaptation, repurposing, remodelling, rebranding, restyling and refitting of existing buildings.

Taught principally through a studio environment that is seamlessly underpinned and informed by lectures and workshops, the over-arching ambition is to create graduates with artistic flair, and who are technically skilled and grounded in the demands of the profession.

The learning and teaching environment is progressively informed by research in pedagogy in the creative field. While teaching the curriculum, the programme also develops less tangible skills in students, such as communication, presentation and self-motivation; a key ambition is to create independent thinkers, adept at resolving problems with creativity and originality.

A broad educational experience is offered within which students can develop diverse rigorous and creative approaches to design issues that explore and test appropriate resolutions in relation to contemporary and anticipated contextual issues.

Design projects form the backbone of the core teaching strategy. These projects are seen as primers to a divergent creative and critical thought process: they are characterised by individual interpretation and interest of the subjects that encourage imaginative solutions through discursive studio forums.

As you progress through the degree, the design projects gradually become more complex and ambitious in their intentions and integrative in their nature. At degree level, predominantly, the city of Liverpool is used as a contextual laboratory to test concepts that have a local flavour with global implications.

The aim is to develop graduate skills and knowledge such that you become an autonomous thinker who is capable of analysing, visualising and testing potential solutions to increasingly complex spatial and social issues within an increasingly holistic global scenario.

We regularly host symposia and conferences, for example the recent symposiums included: The Display, Exhibition & Propagation of Architecture and Government and Housing in a Time of Crisis which both featured world-renowned guest speakers from architecture, design and academia.

For news, events, including student-led events, course information and student work and staff research, visit the Architecture blog.

Foundation Year

The Foundation Year pathway (level 3) introduces students to core academic skills needed to thrive in High Education, and provides an introduction to art and design principles and practices that are required for students to study on the BA (Hons) programmes at Liverpool School of Art and Design.

This unique Foundation Year is a preparatory year of study shared by Architecture, Fashion: Design & Communication, Graphic Design & Illustration, and Interior Architecture degree programmes. It is ideal if you have the interest and ability to study for a degree, but do not have the qualifications to enter directly onto the first year of a full honours degree. The Foundation Year allows greater access to the undergraduate programmes through a series of general taught modules that gradually build in exposure to discipline-specific practices, to enable students to be ready to take their place on the first year of their chosen full-time HE course.

Students are taught together as a non-discipline specific group in four out of six modules with opportunities to split into discipline-specific groups in the Exploring Materials, Process and Practice and Studio Practice Project modules. This non-disciplinary structure is designed to promote cross-disciplinary thinking and learning experiences. Students are also part of a wider level 3 community within the Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies and study two academic skills modules (Preparing for Success: Academic Skills, and Investigating Liverpool) with foundation students across the faculty.

There is a focus on the attainment of core academic skills, including writing, referencing, computer and research skills.

The Foundation Year aims to:

  • Introduce students to contemporary art and design practices, including Art History and drawing
  • Introduce core academic and general skills across four modules and introduce discipline specific subjects in two modules
  • Foster the development of ideas through introductory 'exposures' and 'encounters' with materials, technologies and processes that replicate and simulate real-world interactions for making and collaborative practice
  • Support students induction and orientation to basic resources and workshops in the John Lennon Art and Design Building, and use key workshop areas and resources associated with their programmes in a safe and appropriate manner
  • Acquire and develop the academic skills needed for successful transition into level 4 and completion of the degree
  • Engage students to develop a self-directed and independent approach to learning

Students will have access to specialist workshops and technical support in the John Lennon Art and Design Building to develop their practical skills but no dedicated studio space is provided. You will spent a significant amount of time working online in our virtual learning environment, CANVAS.

Once you pass the Foundation Year you will progress directly onto the first year of the BA (Hons) Interior Architecture degree. If you are a full-time UK student, you will qualify for student financial support for the full duration of your course (subject to eligibility criteria).

  • Take a guided tour of the School of Art and Design

    Take a guided tour of the School of Art and Design

"I wanted to receive an education that gave me the skills required to work in the real world. Studying at LJMU proved to be the best option, since they offered a well rounded education that focused on both design and technology."
Berta Willisch, graduate

Professional accreditation/links

To become a registered architect you usually need to work for an additional year in architectural practice then complete a two-year Master of Architecture (MArch) diploma. Once you have passed the RIBA Part 3 exams, you can practice in any EU or commonwealth country and many other countries outside the EU.

If after graduating you choose not to go down the route of becoming an interior architectural designer, a range of other careers are open to you. Past graduates have pursued successful careers as project managers, property developers, furniture designers, lighting designers, architectural visualisation artists and journalists.

Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund study for home and international students

Fees

The fees quoted above cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • access to programme-appropriate software
  • library and student IT support
  • free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)
  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)
  • student visas (international students only)
  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)

Funding

There are many ways to fund study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you'll find all of the information you need on our specialist funding pages.

Employability

To become a registered architect you usually need to work for an additional year in architectural practice then complete a two-year Master of Architecture (MArch) diploma. Once you have passed the RIBA Part 3 exams, you can practice in any EU or commonwealth country and many other countries outside the EU.

If after graduating you choose not to go down the route of becoming an interior architectural designer, a range of other careers are open to you. Past graduates have pursued successful careers as project managers, property developers, furniture designers, lighting designers, architectural visualisation artists and journalists.

Many of our graduates have successfully secured employment at world-class practices throughout the UK and further afield, while others have remained in the city of Liverpool contributing to its evolution, taking key roles in leading practices that have reshaped the city over the last decade.

Student Futures - Careers, Employability and Enterprise Service

A wide range of opportunities and support is available to you, within and beyond your course, to ensure our students experience a transformation in their career trajectory. Every undergraduate curriculum includes Future Focus during Level 4, an e-learning resource and workshop designed to help you to develop your talents, passion and purpose.

Every student has access to Careers Zone 24/7, LJMU's suite of online Apps, resources and jobs board via the LJMU Student Futures website. There are opportunities for flexible, paid and part-time work through Unitemps, LJMU's in-house recruitment service, and we also offer fully funded Discovery Internships.

One-to-one careers and employability advice is available via our campus-based Careers Zones and we offer a year-round programme of events, including themed careers and employability workshops, employer events and recruitment fairs. Our Start-Up Hub can help you to grow your enterprise skills and to research, plan and start your own business or become a freelancer.

A suite of learning experiences, services and opportunities is available to final year students to help ensure you leave with a great onward plan. You can access LJMU's Careers, Employability and Start-up Services after you graduate and return for one-to-one support for life.

Go abroad

LJMU aims to make international opportunities available to every student. You may be able to study abroad as part of your degree at one of our 100+ partner universities across the world. You could also complete a work placement or apply for one of our prestigious worldwide internship programmes. If you wanted to go abroad for a shorter amount of time, you could attend one of our 1-4 week long summer schools.

Our Go Citizen Scheme can help with costs towards volunteering, individual projects or unpaid placements anywhere in the world. With all of these opportunities at your feet, why wouldn’t you take up the chance to go abroad?

Find out more about the opportunities we have available via our Instagram @ljmuglobalopps or email us at: goabroad@ljmu.ac.uk.

A life-changing experience 

There's so much more to university than just studying for a degree.

What you will study on this degree

Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.

This course is currently undergoing its scheduled programme review, which may impact the advertised modules. Programme review is a standard part of the university’s approach to quality assurance and enhancement, enabling us to ensure that our courses remain up to date and maintain their high standard and relevancy.

Once the review is completed, this course website page will be updated to reflect any approved changes to the advertised course.

These approved changes will also be communicated to those who apply for the course to ensure they wish to proceed with their application. Where changes to modules are necessary these will be communicated, as appropriate.

Further guidance on modules

Modules are designated core or optional in accordance with professional body requirements, as applicable, and LJMU’s Academic Framework Regulations. Whilst you are required to study core modules, optional modules provide you with an element of choice. Their availability may vary and will be subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Where changes to modules are necessary these will be communicated as appropriate.

Level 3

Core modules

Exploring Materials, Process and Practice
20 credits

This practical and workshop-based module focuses on guiding you in adopting a cross-disciplinary fusion of learning and thinking through introductory projects. The module introduces you to basic Art & Design practices through introductory 'exposures' and 'encounters' with materials, technologies and processes.

Drawing and Culture
20 credits

The module activities will challenge your understanding of 'drawing' itself, and you will be exposed to novel drawing methods, such as haptico-visual drawing and virtual reality drawing. A series of drawing workshops will introduce you to a variety of basic drawing approaches and encourage experimentation with a range of materials and media. You will be expected to record experiments and visual ideas during these sessions.

Studio Practice Project
20 credits

This module introduces you to key concepts and activities that underpin your discipline-specific study at higher education through participation in practical projects. You will be asked to record primary and secondary visual research in sketchbooks and document experimentations. The module will also include contextual lectures and workshop activities to develop your creative and technical confidence.

Preparing for Success: Academic Skills
20 credits

This module provides you with the integrated skills required for academic success. You will develop your skills of creating posters, constructing bibliographies, and sourcing relevant materials. Alongside this you will learn to identify and understand academic writing and referencing techniques. The multi-disciplinary syllabus and assessment tasks will enable you to acquire the academic skills needed for successful transition into Level 4 and the completion of the degree.

Investigating Liverpool
20 credits

This module provides you with the necessary skills to develop a research project on the Liverpool City region from your particular subject perspective. You will explain academic research methods, write a coherent piece of academic work based on an understanding of Liverpool, and locate relevant research to support your project. The module will help you to develop an independent approach to learning.

Encountering Art History
20 credits

This module introduces you to the discipline of Art History. You will learn: how to undertake visual analyses of art works, how to adopt and understand key art historical terminology, how to acquire knowledge of important periods and artists in art history, and how to review exhibitions.

Level 4

Core modules

History and Theory 1: a global review of architectural Design
20 credits

Within this module you will become familiar with historically significant buildings and to understand the relationship of these buildings to their contexts. You will learn to recognise themes in specific objects, which have influenced architectural and interior design thought and discourse. In doing so, you will become aware of how architectural ideas have emanated from certain cultural conditions, and their relevance to society then and now. This will enable you to develop a coherent argument with reference to the lecture series and individual research. You will be able to demonstrate the personal development discussed above by the production of an illustrated and fully referenced essay.

Fundamental Skills: Understanding buildings through drawing
20 credits

This module will introduce you to methods of architectural and spatial analysis, alongside the interpretation of ideas which underpin the creation of architectural space and composition. You will develop the fundamental skills of architectural drawing in a range of media, utilising architectural conventions. This will help you to engage in the fundamentals of analysis of architectural design through an understanding of space, light and order.

Within the module, you will also be introduced to the nature of construction and will develop an understanding of the different construction materials. This module was developed to introduce and formalise a programme of self-learning and key skills for interior architecture students.

Design 1: Light, space and form; narrative and spatial sequencing
20 credits

This module will introduce you to methods of research, exploration and the interpretation of ideas which underpin the creation of space and composition. You will engage in the fundamentals of spatial design through an understanding of space, light and architectural directive through the exploration of physical models.

This module was developed to introduce and formalise a programme of self-learning and key skills for interior architecture students.

Design 2: Exploration for a place for making
20 credits

Within this module you will research and devise a historical and theoretical essay as a means to formulate a design brief and directive. You will be provided the opportunity to design a building incorporating students' urban design ideas and, in particular, the interface condition between building and the street and context. This will enable you to explore and interpret thematic ideas as a poetic process in design.

Design 3: Crafting a Spatial Proposition
10 credits

This module will provide you with an opportunity to refine and conclude the design of a building incorporating urban design ideas and, in particular, the interface condition between building and the street and context. You will explore and synthesise thematic ideas as a process in design. You will have a chance to further develop the phenomenon of 'place' as an interrelated programme of activities embracing techniques of strategy-making, space-planning, building and structural organisation underpinned by spatial investigations through the consideration of light. This will introduce you to the nature of architectural assembly within current sustainable thinking.

Design 4: the Need for Design
10 credits

This module will help you to understand how the needs, wants, desires and behaviours of users and commissioners, shape briefs, opportunities, spaces and projects. In doing so, you will be introduced to the methods of investigation and preparation of a design brief. This will aid you when exploring the role of the designer/architect in translating the needs of a user group into a deliverable spatial outcome.

Environment and Technology 1: Introduction to structural and environmental design
20 credits

This module will introduce you to the role of technology in the process of architectural design from commencement to realisation, as it has existed historically as well as in recent buildings of note. Accent is placed on innovatory thinking and on the present technical and practical horizons possible within the profession of architecture viewed internationally. The module will provide you with grounding in the challenges of building high quality architecture.

Level 5

Core modules

History and Theory 2: Modernism; from the symbol of the present to the medium of the future
20 credits

The aim of the module is to explore Modernism, postmodernism and the emerging metamodernism, its precedents and worldwide antecedents and to help students to develop their analytic voice through a series of lectures, seminars and assignments in preparation for the more detailed and focused tasks of the subsequent final year of study. In addition, you will be encouraged to develop your research, writing and editing skills to have a wider scope of context and a deeper appreciation of how critical theory can help in dissecting the work of practitioners and their creative processes.

Design 5: Adaptive Reuse - Origination
20 credits

This module will help you to understand and appreciate the process of researching and developing a thematic brief and interpreting this into spatial designs. You will then integrate this knowledge into an existing physical context through strategies for sustainable design considering cultural and environmental aims and objectives.

Design 6: Adaptive Reuse - Resolution
20 credits

To module will instil you with an understanding and appreciation of the processes involved to develop a design emerging from module 5121INT in terms of spatiality, materiality and environmental integration clearly exhibited through diagrams, drawings, models and a design journal.

Integrated Design 1: Explorative Project - Design
20 credits

This module will help you to explore the processes in architectural design thinking, production and representation. You will develop your abilities in creative detailed design, design development and resolution, underpinned by thematic architectural inquiry.

This module is informed by thematic research, as appropriate to each project. From a given starting point you will be encouraged to explore and define the parameters of the field of inquiry for your project. In so doing, the aim is that you will devise your own objectives for research, brief, developmental interpretation and ultimately detailed design response.

Integrated Design 2: Explorative Project - Technology
20 credits

This module will develop your knowledge of explorative processes in architectural design thinking, production, technical studies, and representation. You will further develop your abilities in creative detailed design and detailed resolution of their design project. Alongside this, you will also explore the integrated consideration of technical issues in relation to your design project. This module comprises one assignment; to demonstrate the tectonic resolution of this design project.

Environment and Technology 2: Use and application of Building Information Modelling
20 credits

This module was developed to inform you about the topics of environmental design and Computer Aided Design. This module builds on the broad introduction given at Level 4, by focussing on the technical realisation of buildings through modelling, analysis, and design.

Optional Modules

Study Semester Abroad - Interior Architecture
60 credits

The aim is to provide students with a semester of study at an approved overseas partner that will replace one semester of their LJMU programme at level 5.This is a semester of full-time study at an approved higher education institution which will replace one semester of level 5 study at LJMU. The modules to be studied must be agreed in advance, and must be an appropriate substitute for the modules being replaced. Assuming successful completion of this semester, mark-bearing credit will be awarded by the Faculty Recognition Group. The grade conversion scale to be used will be made available in advance of the semester abroad.

Level 6

Core modules

Design Project Research - CDP
20 credits

To module will provide you with an understanding of research as a process for enabling the development of a thematic brief, to then be developed spatially as part of module 6121ARC or 6121INT. Alongside this, you will also develop your knowledge of architecture / interior architecture, its theories and contextuality with focus upon contemporary practice. This will help you to engage in analysis of architectural designs of this period and relate them to contemporary philosophical ideas and social phenomena. You will undertake contextual analysis and wider research to inform the initial stages of a Comprehensive Design Project module 6123ARC or 6123INT.

Integrated Design 2: Interior Re-modelling Project
20 credits

This module will provide you with an understanding and appreciation of the process of researching and developing thematic brief then interpreting this into interior spatial design. This will then be transferred through meaningful and considered integration into the existing physical and social context through strategies for transformational design considering social and cultural aims and objectives.

Integrated Design 2: Supporting Studies
20 credits

This module will provide you with an understanding and appreciation of the processes involved to develop a design emerging from module 6121INT in terms of precedent studies and thematic research, materiality and environmental integration clearly exhibited through models, diagrams, drawings, and reports such that it clearly exhibited as appropriate for the purpose that it was intended.

Integrated Design 3: Comprehensive Design Project
40 credits

To module will aid you in the preparation of a fully integrated design for a new interior or existing building adaptation. This work will demonstrate your abilities in conceptual and thematic design, spatial organisation and sequence, materials choice, detailed technical strategies and design and principles of build ability. This exercise will touch on all the key matters which graduates will confront in professional practice.

Practice and Legislation: Ethical design practice and building legislation
20 credits

This module aims to introduce you to the essential knowledge and discussion concerning the practice of Architecture. Emphasis will be placed on demonstrating in-depth skills in both thematic-led design and proven technical competence that are graduate standard and which graduates will confront within offices in their work placement year.

Teaching and work-related learning

Excellent facilities and learning resources

We adopt an active blended learning approach, meaning you will experience a combination of face-to-face and online learning during your time at LJMU. This enables you to experience a rich and diverse learning experience and engage fully with your studies. Our approach ensures that you can easily access support from your personal tutor, either by meeting them on-campus or via a video call to suit your needs.

During Level 4, you will be introduced to fundamental tools and ideas that form the basis for the study of architecture alongside students on the BA (Hons) Architecture programme. The interpretation of themes and conceptual thinking will be established within the years overall focus of Form, Space and Light.

During Level 5, you will explore two core aspects of architectural thinking: the creating adaptation of existing building and experimental design and complete a study trip to a city in Europe. You will also complete modules which will inform and aid your work in the design studio.

The final year, Level 6, focuses on I the repurposing, remodelling, rebranding, restyling and refitting of existing buildings. You will secure the skills and knowledge required to practice interior architectural design via a creative but rigorous approach to design project work.

Work-related Learning

Alongside your development of professional architectural skills, you will gain transferable skills that will enhance your employability once you graduate. You will hear from a range of guest speakers, as part of the School of Art and Design's Masters Series lectures. You will also have opportunities to participate in symposia run by the Architecture department as well as opportunities to enter competitions relating to professional development.

In a recent competition held in association with Finsa, final year Architecture students were asked to design a school or shelter for war torn countries so that children could learn in safety. Read about the competition from the perspective of the winner.

Support and guidance

Dedicated personal tutor, plus study skills support

Independent design project work makes up 60% of this course, and so it is vital that you get the support you need to be able to fully develop your design skills. For this reason, you will be allocated a design tutor who will provide one-to-one teaching and support throughout each project.

The feedback system and the production of a personal development plan with a personal tutor are also designed to help you achieve your full potential, in both your studies and your future career plans.

Assessment

Assessment varies depending on the modules you choose, but will usually include a combination of exams and coursework.

All students perform differently depending on how they are assessed, which is why we use a combination of assessment methods. Typically, you will be assessed on your design and research presentations (group/individual), written work (essays, reports etc), exams (seen/unseen), practical work (workshop abroad), and your portfolio. At the end of your studies there will be a one-to-one interview with an external examiner.

The type of feedback you will receive varies according to the module. For instance, design modules are reviewed twice with formal feedback given by a panel at the second review, and portfolio reviews are conducted at the end of each semester when you will work with your personal tutor to put together a personal development plan. This will address your strengths and weaknesses and help you develop your academic work as well as your career plans.

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

Facilities

What you can expect from your School

Rated a top 10 School of Art in the 2020 Guardian University League Tables. Cross-disciplinary learning in art and design subjects takes place in the Liverpool School of Art and Design 's John Lennon Art and Design Building, based in the Mount Pleasant Campus. Here students studying a variety of disciplines, including Architecture, Art in Science, Exhibition Studies, Fashion, Fine Art, Graphic Design, History of Art and Museum Studies and Interior Architecture, will have the opportunity to develop their work in state-of-the-art workspaces and facilities within a stimulating and critically demanding environment.

Entry requirements

Please choose your qualifications below to view requirements

Grades/points required from qualifications: DDD-CDD (72-80)

Qualification requirements

GCSEs and equivalents

Grade 4 or grade C or above in English Language and Mathematics/ Numeracy.
 
GCSE Equivalences accepted:
• Key Skills Level 2 in English/Maths
• NVQ Level 2 Functional skills in Maths and English Writing and or Reading
• Skills for Life Level 2 in Numeracy/English
• Higher Diploma in Maths/English
• Northern Ireland Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number
• Wales Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number

A levels

DDD-CDD

Minimum Number of A Levels: 2

Maximum AS UCAS Points: 20

BTECs

Extended Diploma: MMP

Access awards

Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
 
Pass overall with a minimum of 72 points

International Baccalaureate

Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications

OCR Cambridge Technical

Extended Diploma: MMP

Irish awards

Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications

T levels

Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications.
 
You need to obtain the required UCAS points from a related subject area.

Additional requirements

  • Assessment required

    Shortlisted applicants will be required to submit a digital portfolio

International requirements

  • IELTS

    6.0 overall with no component below 5.5, taken within two years of the course start date.
     
    https://www.ljmu.ac.uk/study/courses/international-entry-requirements

International entry requirements

Find your country

Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check.

Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

UCAS is the official application route for our full-time undergraduate courses. Further information on the UCAS application process can be found here https://www.ljmu.ac.uk/study/undergraduate-students/how-to-apply.

The university reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the university. Where this does happen, the university operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.
Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.