#interior design courses manchester

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Interior Design

MA / MFA
Interior Design

MA 1 year ( full-time ). 2 years ( part-time )
MFA 2 years ( full-time ). 4 years ( part-time )

This course promotes the investigation and interpretation of interior space, inside and outside of the traditional architectural envelope, whilst considering human occupation, engagement and experience as the catalyst. This may manifest in a variety of outcomes and will allow you to work within your chosen speciality such as building re-use, exhibition or shop design, branding, identities or environmental graphics, performance or set design, temporary installations or event design, furniture or artefact design. The specialist workshops provide you with opportunities to explore materiality, fabrication and realisation of your ideas, through technical rigour at a variety of scales whilst studio teaching is underpinned by engagement with industry.

Design Network

Based in the heart of the School of Art, MA/MFA Interior Design is part of an innovative design network a community of staff and students exploring design ideas in a discursive, cross-disciplinary studio environment. Critically informed practical designers, the group works experimentally, inspired by new insights and possibilities.

While studying towards a particular qualification at MA/MFA level, students experience their subject in the broader context of contemporary design practice.

Specialist Environment

Dedicated spaces for the postgraduate community have been developed to enable the postgraduate community to flourish. These spaces, for thinking and practice, are located centrally within the School of Art, allowing easy access to an extensive range of workshops where the combination of traditional and state of the art equipment opens up a world of exciting possibilities.

Course Content

The MA Interior Design is made up of five units totalling 180 credits.

The programme is designed to help you acclimatise to the challenges of MA level research and practice, enabling you to identify and describe a clear direction for your postgraduate design study.

You will be encouraged to develop design propositions that encompass key design issues and have complexity and ambition, taking full consideration of the relative contextual drivers.

You will also be encouraged and supported to extend your experience in the professional sphere either through a practical project, research context, exchange, work experience, or other negotiated professional set of interactions with an external partner, groups of students and creative industry.

Towards the end of the programme you will undertake a major project to consolidate your past research and practice into fully realised collections, pieces, proposals, business plans, or exhibitions what ever means is appropriate to the work. You will also have developed a strategy for the continuation of your practice located and contextualised to the profession or discipline.

If you choose to progress to MFA Interior Design award you will study a further two units of 60 credits each.

This route is focussed on the continuation of your practice aligned to the research and selection of appropriate public or professional venues and platforms to disseminate a significant body of work. You will be required to produce work for a public audience in the most relevant and appropriate form along with any implicit publicity and dissemination material.

Year 1 ( MA Full-Time )

The MA Interior Design is made up of five units totalling 180 credits.

Practice 1: Design Intention

This unit is intended to acclimatise you to the challenges of MA level research and practice, enabling you to identify and describe a clear direction for your postgraduate design study.

Practice 2: Design Proposition

This unit enables you to develop design propositions that encompass key design issues and have complexity and ambition, taking full consideration of the relative contextual drivers.

Practice 3 – Interior Design Major Project

This unit is concerned with the development and realisation of complex design concepts with a central focus on Interior Design. The work produced will evidence a synthesis of the research and development undertaken during previous practice and optional units. It will distil into practice and critical reflection, a combination of elements that could be: conceptual, contextual, digital, fabricated, interdisciplinary, material, technological or virtual with technical rigour at a variety of scales.

Professional Platforms

This unit extends your experience into the professional sphere, either through a practical project, research context, exchange, work experience or other negotiated professional set of interactions with an external partner, groups of students and creative industry. Projects and placements take place in a set network of art, design and media organisations in the region, but can also be arranged by individual students if based on similar frameworks of professional development and experience. The PDP also takes place in this unit.

Contested Territories

This unit will address the contested nature of the conceptual and material territories upon which human identities and cultures are developed.

Digital Futures

This unit offers focused opportunity for students to extend and enhance their practice by including, exploring and developing digital content in a wider research community.

Health and Wellbeing

This unit focuses on public health and wellbeing with an emphasis on Inequalities; Prevention; Promotion and Protection. By building on the strong legacy of art/design in clinical environments, this unit will expand your understanding of theory and practice in the emerging public health agenda and through real-life research opportunities, will offer exploration of individual practice in diverse contexts: e.g. mental health, long-term conditions, healthy ageing and proactive wellbeing.

Images and Archives

This unit explores theoretical, critical and practical perspectives on art, photography and the archive.

Making Our Futures – Ecological Arts and Sustainable Design

How might we tackle the most pressing issues of our time? This unit will address the future conceptually, tangibly and critically through ecological arts and sustainable design practices. Adopting a ‘question-based learning’ approach to ‘real world’ challenges, students will consider their potential to intervene and reinvent social and cultural systems, environments and lifestyles. Through presentations, interactive design activities, and Open Space Technology techniques students will engage with the Unit Team from the Ecology In Practice (EIP) research group and the Education for Sustainable Development initiative from the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT ESD). Students will develop a project of their own that will involve different forms of theoretical and practical research methods and may engage third sector organisations and/or place-specific issues.

Negotiated Study

This unit offers you an individual focused opportunity to extend and enhance your practice by including a self-negotiated study. This will enable students to:

  • Extend ideas and proposals developed in Practice 1
  • Facilitate a deeper level of learning in a particular workshop or subject discipline, or conceptual paradigm
  • Pursue an external project or competition brief appropriate to your practice.

Object and Context

This unit will introduce you to notions, ideas, principles and practices concerning objects. A series of delivered lectures, seminars and workshops will discuss and explore the role of objects in design. It will enable the location of these ideas into individual or collaborative practice and give experience of individual and collaborative practice.

The Museum and The City

The unit explores the relationship between the museum and the city and the city as museum. Attention shifts between theoretical and historical models, as well as making use of specific locations and institutions in the city.

Writing Research and Funding Proposals

An introduction to writing proposals to funding bodies such as the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Arts Council England (ACE). This unit will cover such topics as: generating fundable ideas; developing critical and conceptual frameworks; establishing credible methodologies and approaches; awareness of the the parameters of the North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership, AHRC and ACE; the importance of collaboration; working in groups, public engagement and impact; presenting ideas to the group, giving and receiving informed criticism; developing an effective writing style; structuring proposals and writing to length.

Option Unit

Typical option units are listed below.

Year 2 ( MFA Full-Time )

The MFA Interior Design continues with the following two units totalling 120 credits.


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