BDes (Hons) Interior & Spatial Design

Undergraduate, Full-time

Interior & Spatial Design BDes (Hons)

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The BDes (Hons) Interior and Spatial Design programme is taught by expert practitioners in Edinburgh's vibrant interior design, exhibition and lighting design industries, producing graduates with a profound understanding of real projects, real clients and real materials.

Underpinned by a studio culture designed to foster collaboration and peer learning, this course offers you the opportunity to undertake live projects with clients such as the National Museum of Scotland, engage with internationally recognised practices for work placements, go on international exchange with partner institutions in countries including Australia, Canada and China, and to immerse yourself in study trips to leading centres of design such as Berlin, Copenhagen and Lisbon.

This experience is backed up by a considerable track record of success, including Best Presentation at the Interior Educators National Student Design Awards, the StarPack Student Design Awards, and Gold in the Creative Conscience Awards.

BDes (Hons) Interior and Spatial Design:

  • Awarded the Interior Educators National Award for Best Student Design Project in the UK 2018

  • 100% of graduates in employment are in professional and managerial positions

  • Opportunities for international study, exchange and work-based learning 

Design for an exhibition stand for the Milan Furniture Fair (design by Agnieszka Mietkiewicz)

Mode of Study:



4 years

Start date:


UCAS code:


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Course details

This is a full-time course studied over four years. Through a carefully choreographed series of projects, you'll explore the large and the small, the public and the private, the old and the new, the solid and the void. Specialist tutors in computer-aided design, technological studies and theoretical perspectives inform and support the core design projects.

You'll design interior and exterior spaces relating to a wide range of themes including social (e.g. schools, hospitals, libraries), commercial (e.g. retail, leisure, offices) and the arts (e.g. theatres, museums, galleries).

The primary focus is to allow you to develop a sophisticated design language and an understanding of the relationship between space, form, structure and materials within the context of building purpose, the end-user and the wider environment.

In addition to traditional skills such as drawing and model making you'll learn to use specific design software (AutoCAD, 3D Studio Max) to articulate design ideas and design processes and to investigate the associated technical issues of design proposals.

You'll gain the skills to develop unique design ideas, establish rigorous design processes, deal with complex design issues, make informed judgements and communicate conclusions clearly to a professional audience.

Design development is supported by research and experimentation and is augmented by conceptual, technical and regulatory studies as the course advances.

In Year 3 you'll have the opportunity to study with one of our overseas partners in Europe, China, or North America, or undertake a work placement.

In the final year you'll devise your major project, articulating an individual design philosophy and further enhancing your subject specific skills and knowledge.

There is a strong studio culture supported by a multidisciplinary staff team of academics and industry-based practitioners. This course will provide you with the increasingly trans-disciplinary skills of the design profession and a thorough understanding of contemporary creative practice.

You'll also gain transferable skills in problem solving, planning, leadership, teamwork, communication and time management.

Graduates are equipped with the collaborative, professional and computer-aided design skills required to operate in design practice and work in fields as diverse as exhibition and museum design, retail design, lighting design, design for responsive environments, exterior spaces and both commercial and residential interiors.

Additional mandatory costs

  • All Years: Printing and model-making material costs, approx. £150 per year
  • Year 2&3: Field trip in January, approx. £350
  • Year 4: Trip to London. The total cost may vary, but you are expected to pay for travel and accommodation for a few nights

  • calendar How you’ll be taught

    You'll learn by a variety of teaching methods including lectures, tutorials, studio projects and independent study.

  • note and pen Assessments

    You'll be assessed through a combination of portfolio reviews, essays and group work.

  • briefcase Work placement

    Underpinned by a studio culture designed to foster collaboration and peer learning, the course offers you the opportunity to undertake live projects with clients such as the National Museum of Scotland, and engage with internationally recognised practices for work placements.

  • study abroad Study abroad

    In Year 3, you'll have the opportunity to study with one of our overseas partners in Europe, China, or North America, or undertake a work placement.

Popular modules

Year 1

  • Foundation Digital Media 1
  • Foundation Interior & Spatial Design 1
  • Visual Research Methods
  • Foundation Digital Media 2
  • Foundation Interior & Spatial Design
  • Debating Design 1

Year 2

  • CAD (Construction & Detailing)
  • Designing for Living Spaces
  • Debating Design 2
  • CAD (Digital Visualisation)
  • Designing for Commercial Spaces
  • Design & Business

Year 3

  • Design for Exhibition and Display
  • Light and Colour in the Built Environment
  • Design Research Methods

Option modules:

  • Prototyping Interactive Experiences
  • Design for Public Spaces
  • Design and Urbanism
  • Design and Media Work Based Learning (Minor, Major or Extended)
  • International Design Studies

Year 4

  • Minor Project
  • Design Professional Practice
  • Major Project
  • Design Research Portfolio


Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Placement and study abroad opportunities are subject to UK and Scottish Government health and travel advice.

Full information is available in our disclaimer.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

As part of the selection process suitably qualified applicants will normally be required to submit a portfolio/attend an interview. This applies to all years of entry.

Our entry requirements indicate both Standard and Minimum qualifications with which we normally accept students. Competition for places varies from year to year and you aren't guaranteed a place if you meet the minimum qualifications.

Minimum year 1

SQA Higher

Standard Entry Requirement

BBBC including preferably one of: Art, Product Design, Design, Technology.

Minimum Offer Entry Requirement

BCCC including preferably one of: Art, Product Design, Design, Technology.

You may be given an adjusted offer of entry if you meet our specified minimum entry requirements within our widening participation criteria, and outlined in our Contextual Admissions Policy. Click here for further information about our entry requirements and admissions policies.

A Level

CCC including preferably one of: Art, Product Design, Design, Technology.

Irish Leaving Certificate

H2, H3, H3, H3 at HL including preferably one of: Art, Product Design, Design, Technology.

BTEC (QCF) Extended Diploma Level 3

Minimum grades DMM (Distinction, Merit, Merit) in a related subject.

BTEC (QCF) National Diploma Level 3

Minimum grades D*D*(Distinction*, Distinction*) in a related subject.

International Baccalaureate Diploma

Award of Diploma with 27 points overall with three HL subjects with grades 6,5,4 including preferably one of: Art, Product Design, Design, Technology.

Minimum year 2

SQA Advanced Higher

BBC including preferably one of: Art, Product Design, Design, Technology.

A Level

BBB including preferably one of: Art, Product Design, Design, Technology.


Pass HNC in a relevant subject with Grade B in the graded unit.

Minimum year 3


Pass in a relevant subject with Grade B at SCQF Level 8 in all graded units.

English language requirements

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test and our minimum English language requirements will apply.

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English. Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

International students

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
Entry requirements by country

Please note that non-EU international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:
  • BN Nursing/MN Nursing (Adult, Child, Mental Health or Learning Disability)
  • BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery

Admissions policies

We’re committed to admitting students who have the potential to succeed and benefit from our programmes of study. 

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures, and how we use the information you provide us in your application to inform the decisions we make.

Undergraduate admissions policies
Postgraduate admissions policies

Fees & funding

The course fees you'll pay and the funding available to you will depend on a number of factors including your nationality, location, personal circumstances and the course you are studying. We also have a number of bursaries and scholarships available to our students.

Tuition fees
Students from 2020/21 2021/22
Scotland £1,820 £1,820
England Wales and Northern Ireland £9,250 £9,250
Overseas and EU £15,522 £15,960

Students from England, Wales, and Northern Ireland will be invoiced the tuition fees for 3 years of their 4 years of study. Please note that the tuition fees liable to be paid by EU nationals commencing their studies from 1 August 2021 will be the Overseas fee rate. The University offers a range of attractive Tuition Fee bursaries to students resident in specific countries. More information on these can be found here. For EU students who commenced their studies prior to 1 August 2021 or hold pre or settled status in the UK, fees will remain the same as Scottish Students.

Please note tuition fees are subject to an annual review and may increase from one year to the next.
For more information on this and other Tuition Fee matters please see Frequently Asked Questions about Fees

Click this link for Information of Bursaries and Scholarships

If additional compulsory costs other than the tuition fees are applicable, these will be detailed in the course details.

Frequently Asked Questions about Fees
Information of Bursaries and Scholarships


Student designs at the Creative Degree Show

As a graduate of Interior & Spatial design, you'll find your skills in high demand. The skills you gain will prepare you for work in a number of design and creative disciplines including:

  • Interior design
  • Exhibition and museum design
  • Lighting design
  • Property development
  • Retail design
  • Urban design
  • Sustainable design
  • Design for interactive spaces

You can also apply for postgraduate study on one of our MA/MDes Design programmes.

Students in a design class