Interior and Environmental Design BDes (Hons)

  • For Entry: September
  • Duration: 3 years
  • School: Art & Design

Interior & Environmental Design is an exciting discipline involving the creation of interior spaces that enhance the quality of life of those using them. In designing shops, museums, courthouses, theatre sets or other interiors, designers use creative judgement and visual sensitivity as well as carefully resolving the practical aspects of a project. You will study at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD), part of the University of Dundee.  

Interior and Environmental Design at Dundee

Our course covers many areas including interiors, architecture, exhibitions, installation, furniture and digital.


overall student satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2015

Why study this course at Dundee?

Interior & Environmental Design at the University of Dundee’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design is an exciting spatial programme which operates at the creative intersections of design, architecture, art and societal need. New ways of experiences space are emerging and how we dwell, work and play is undergoing profound change as people, spaces and technologies merge. Our programme will help you explore personal responses to these issues. You will develop spatial thinking through materials, objects and place-making projects and international design contexts. 


These include interiors, exhibitions, installation, furniture, digital realms that embrace architectural themes and digital concerns. We will help you to develop your environmental awareness, presentation and communication skills. You will work in a large dynamic open studio environment.


Our teaching team has a wide range of experiences and interests including interior architectural practice, interior design research, furniture, spaces /service design & co-design, workshops and computer-aided design. You will also work with colleagues [staff and students’] from other disciplines.


We are members of the Group for International Design Education (GIDE) which lets you work on shared design themes with design peers from Italy, Germany, Slovenia, Belgium, England, China and Switzerland. Here you will have the option of collaborating at an annual design workshop in a host EU city. We are also members of IE Interior Educators. DJCAD Interior students are eligible to become a members of IE:S bringing you into contact with 4,000 peers across 50+ UK interior schools.



Did You Know?

At the end of the course you will be able to:

  • think strategically as an Interior Environmental Designer
  • apply international and intercultural experiences to industry practice
  • use colour, light, materials to enhance spatial experiences and contexts
  • seek employment in the creative industries and in other sectors
  • apply for a Masters programme in the UK or abroad
  • promote yourself, your skills and your work to the public
  • explore membership of recognized professional organisations


Who should study Interior & Environmental Design?

You are

  • interested in the way we dwell in and experience environments
  • interested in how form, material, surface, skin are used to alter our experience of space
  • interested in the use of colour, light, texture and composition
  • creative, expressive and energetic
  • someone who works well in teams to solve spatial problems


You want to:

  • learn how to remodel and reuse spaces with sensitivity
  • explore the relationship between Interior & Environmental Design and Architecture, Fine Art, Design and new media
  • develop your digital skills
  • establish your own response toward Interior & Environmental Design


A student-led tour of the Interior Environmental Design facilities

Student exchange

The academic perspective is enhanced by opportunities for you to study abroad through exchange schemes that operate with centres of excellence in many European and transatlantic countries.

In addition, the department normally organises an overseas study visit for all Level 3 students.


Learn more about DJCAD

Our course covers many areas including interiors, architecture, exhibitions, installation, furniture and digital. Learn more on the DJCAD webpage

Related Courses

You will occupy a personal work-space and have access to excellent workshop resources across DJCAD and to a motivated teaching team, with expertise in interior architectural practice, interiors research, space, service-design and co-design, furniture, CAD and workshop.

You will be supported with CAD, workshop tasks and design studio experiences. You will study model making, laser-cutting, 3D printing, CNC, furniture, drawing, materials, structures, design studies and have opportunities to develop advanced research and enterprise reports in final year delivered by an interdisciplinary group of staff.

You will also have the opportunity to participate in international ERASMUS and or study-abroad exchanges and competitions.

Learning occurs within a dynamic open studio where social interaction, peer and group learning and inter-year participation contributes to a stimulating environment.

Projects will help you work independently, in small Interior teams, in larger groups with students from other disciplines and be better prepared for industry. One-to-one tuition and small group discussions and critiques are the most important features of your dialogue with the teaching team.

Level 1

Level 2

  • Material Matters [Interior material projects, lectures and workshops]
  • 21st Century Designer
  • Overseas Study Trip [self-financed/ optional dates vary]
  • Border Crossings [international collaboration with interior schools in the Netherlands, USA, Slovenia and Scotland]
  • Change by Design

Level 3

  • PNC1: Partnerships, Networks and Connections pt1 [semester 1]
  • ERASMUS / Study Abroad at an international institution [optional]
  • Elective modules [semester 1]
  • PNC2: Partnerships, Networks and Connections pt2 [semester 2]
  • GIDE International Study Workshops Trip [self-financed/ optional mid Feb]
  • Alternative Futures pt1 [semester 2]
  • Research & Creative Practice pt1 or Design Enterprise pt1 or Communications Futures pt1

Level 4

  • Design in Action Honours / Personal Project [semester 1 & 2] and includes CAD, Professional Practice workshops
  • Alternative Futures pt2 [semester 1]
  • Research & Creative Practice pt2 or Design Enterprise pt2 or Communications Futures pt2
  • London FreeRange or New Designers Exhibition [self-financed/ optional after degree show]

Project work is reviewed at the conclusion of modules and assessed at the end of each level. Some theoretical designs are assessed by supporting essays and exams.

With the wide range of skills that you will develop on the design programmes, you will be prepared not only to practise as a designer in your chosen field but also to meet the challenges of a variety of different career paths. Recent graduates have been employed in a wide variety of fields of work and postgraduate activity including:

  • Interior and architectural design
  • TV and film set design
  • Furniture design
  • Lighting design
  • Theatre set design
  • Exhibition
  • Installations
  • Soundscapes
  • Arts management
  • Computer Aided Design
  • games industry
  • Animation
  • Business
  • Teaching

We support students in this initial step by providing the opportunity to exhibit their work annually at events in London. Each year level 4 Interior & Environmental Design students are given the opportunity to exhibit at FREERANGE London, a graduate summer show that provides a platform for graduates to showcase their creative talents at the centre of London's creative scene.


Others have gone on to freelance and establishing their own successful businesses. Extra curriculum activities such as the Enterprise Gym help students cultivate entrepreneurial skills.

Alison Best, Interior & Environmental Design Graduate

“I began Interior and Environmental Design in the mind set that I could never achieve the diverse and creative work everyone was producing within the course. Four years later I can honestly say I have never been happier I made the journey and challenged myself through such an innovative and positive experience. The support from my fellow classmates and tutors has been immense and outstanding during my time at DJCAD. This support and encouragement has pushed me to my limits in succeeding and being in a position I never thought I could reach. The huge range of skills I have gathered have allowed me to develop into the unique and confident designer I am today.”

Eilish Victoria, Interior & Environmental Design Graduate

"The enthusiasm, dedication and support from the tutoring staff in Interior & Environmental Design is what sets the course apart from other programmes. Constantly willing to go above and beyond, tutors push you to succeed and grow. They are always approachable and available to help, there to listen and inspire you. This close relationship between staff and students gives the whole department a team spirit that makes it an energetic, welcoming and collaborative creative environment."

Nicole Tennant, Interior & Environmental Design Graduate

"Spending the past four years as a part of IED has been an amazing experience for me. You are given the opportunity to learn new skills and develop your own style through a wide range of projects which also give you the chance to realise your strengths and interests in the various areas within the discipline. Not only is IED a brilliant course, you also build relationships with people throughout the different year groups, making your time at IED welcoming and sociable - some of the friends I have met on this course will stay my friends for life."

The following are the minimum, up-to-date entry requirements.

You have to obtain your qualifications at the first sitting of examination.

Courses starting 2016

Advanced Entry (to Level 2)

Qualification Grade
SQA Advanced Higher BB (Advanced Higher) + BB (Higher) in different subjects
IB Diploma 34 points (including 6, 6, 5, at Higher level)
Essential Subjects Art and Design, or related subject (at SQA Advanced Higher, GCE A-Level, IB Higher Level), an appropriate literate subject (at SQA Advanced Higher, GCE A Level, IB Higher Level) and one other subject outside art & design subjects (at SQA Higher, GCE A Level, IB Higher Level).
EU & International Visit our EU and International webpages for entry requirements tailored to your home country"
Other Qualifications
SQA A recognised Foundation Course or a relevant HND with BB in the Graded Units
Scottish Baccalaureate Pass with BB at Advanced Higher
SWAP Access
EDEXCEL A recognised Foundation Course or a relevant BTEC Extended Diploma with DDM
Advanced Diploma Grade B with ASL A-levels in appropriate subjects at AB
Welsh Baccalaureate Pass with A-levels in appropriate subjects at AB
European Baccalaureate 75% overall with 7.5 in an Art & Design subject and 7.5 in a literate subject

There have been many changes to the arrangements for funding students entering higher education in recent years, yet a degree from the University of Dundee, with its high rate of employment success, remains a cost-effective option.

The fees you pay will depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application. Find out more about fee status.

Fee categoryFees for students starting 2016
Scottish and EU students £1,820 per year of study (for Sept 2015 entry). Fees for September 2016 will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2016.
Rest of UK students £9,000 per year, for a maximum of 3 years, even if you are studying a four year degree. See our scholarships for rest of UK applicants.
Overseas students (non-EU) £12,950 per year of study. See our scholarships for international applicants.

Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government.

Rest of the UK students can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loans Company.

Tuition fees for Overseas (non-EU) students are guaranteed for the length of your course. This means that the tuition fee you pay in your first year (shown above) is the same fee you will pay for each year of your course. We guarantee that this will not increase while you are studying with us. The only exceptions to this are our MBChB Medicine, BSc Medical Sciences and BDS Dentistry degrees which charge a different tuition for the clinical years.

All applicants must submit a comprehensive portfolio of art and design work. The qualifications listed may be modified for an applicant presenting an exceptional portfolio.

Students are selected by assessing the contents of a portfolio of work that should convey a measure of creative, practical skill and intellectual/enthusiastic engagement in the practice of art and design.

This broad and experimental programme will appeal to intellectually curious and creatively flexible individuals who are keen to explore the broad and evolving field of interior & environmental design, from contemporary interiors to architectural interventions, expressive responses to site, place and context.

Applicants should possess an experimental attitude toward their creativity and be willing to respond to a variety of interior, architectural and spatial challenges throughout this unique four year programme. Applicants should have an interest in the various cultural, historical and social issues affecting contemporary and historical interior design, art and architecture.

The programme leads graduates to an exceptionally diverse range of career paths and explores how we live and mentally inhabit 'actual' built places, frequent temporary zones, and occupy 'virtual' spaces. Applicants tend to seek us out, recognising that Interior & Environmental Design at Dundee offers considerable flexibility in how one defines the discipline.

We look for independence of vision, intellectual curiosity and a creative spark backed up by an articulate voice or vision.

Your portfolio of work should showcase interesting ideas that push the boundaries and explore concepts, media and materials relating to the broad and evolving nature of interiors (including forays into small interior projects, grand architectural fantasies, experimental follies, public art, performative spaces, to name but a few). It should contain a very broad example of design, expressive and experimental work from drawing to 3D to experimental creativity. Drawing in all its genres, from the realistically rendered to the spontaneously sketched is helpful, whilst modelling or sculpting can offer an excellent platform in which to demonstrate spatial sensitivity.

Folios need not be dominated by dry technical 'interior design' project work. We are interested in what makes you 'tick' at a creative and intellectual level, and whilst Design Highers and A-Levels are important, we also look for candidates who excel in art, music, architecture and dance, and are capable of making connections between these areas.

This is a demanding course and before we put you through all that, we want to check that it is really the right course for you; the interview is as much about you asking us questions, meeting current students and seeing the studios. At the interview, we want to hear what you feel about your work, our programme and what it is that makes you 'tick' creatively. We are here to help, and we are very well informed of the other Interior programmes so we can offer guidance too.

A broad range of art, design and other creative related work is important. We are especially keen to see a wide range of drawing, from objective formal studies that are about detail, texture and good observation, to rapid sketches, doodles, mark making and experimentation. In the recent past, successful applicants have brought along images or actual sculptures (in lard as well as clay), architectural studies (such as personal sketchbooks or digital photo experiments or entire design projects), black and white photography, sketch books (lots of them to show exciting process, creative energy and evidence of a hungry visual mind at work), computer graphics, videos, packaging, fashion, furniture (usually images), wonderful mixed media studies either on an abstract or realistic topic, still life, portraits, landscapes and, of course, interior projects. If in doubt, double check the folio guidance notes, call us in advance, or simply please bring it along.

No. We're simply keen to find people who have broad art and design experience and who are really curious about how we experience places. Generally, we get a decent mix of very motivated high school candidates who have very traditional folios that are art focussed, and we get people who have done a one year foundation, (a bit of everything really), and candidates who have done interesting Interior courses. No you don't need to have done technical drawing before, though if you have done so it can help. We introduce you to these skills on the programme both on CAD and by hand.

Yes. But we do get applicants who have neither and are so motivated and excited by what the programme offers them that they can sometimes become some of our best students. Those of you who have these art design qualifications are encouraged to create an exciting entry folio to indicate your potential rather than your current standard.

Yes. We are happy to discuss this if you have an excellent portfolio and demonstrate motivation, have a good HNC or HND, or equivalent experience in a related subject. Check us out on our Open Days and /or degree shows (it's always wise to do a little reconnaissance).

The studios will be your home for 3 or 4 years. We see the design studio as an essential part of a wonderful experience. Our studios are open-plan and this encourages you to wander into other years and see what they are doing. Studios are sometimes noisy, often messy, but also great places to work in and become inspired by colleagues. This is where you work together, make stuff and have fun outside of class too. Interiors is a great place to be and the department is sufficiently small scale (compared to other programmes in the UK) and intimate so you'll feel part of something special.

No. It is far more interesting than decoration though we do look at themes of surface, skin, and transience. IED is a very broad and exploratory four year spatial programme that allows you considerable creative freedom to develop your own disciplinary perspective. There are some interesting overlaps of course, but Interior Environmental Design is less about fickle fashion and more about exploring the fascinating spectrum of places and spaces that we inhabit; we inhabit physical, imaginary and virtual 'interiors'. You do lots of 3D modelling, digital animation and video. Interior Environmental Design is a fascinating discipline that operates at the intersection of related disciplines of architecture, design and art.

If you dig a little deeper, you will find that they are all different. This is part of the fascination that studying Interior Environmental Design will reveal when you join us. Certainly our diversity of approach, (interior projects, furniture, installations, virtual tasks and other wide social issues) is pretty special. We tend not to define Interiors merely through the architectural lens - we think the IED is far more interesting than that.

Our graduates use Interior Environmental Design as an intellectual and creative springboard that leads them to lots of exciting careers in very diverse industries such as interior designers, exhibitions, theatre sets, landscapes, lighting, soundscapes, the movie industry, computer games (someone has to design the environments while animators design the main characters), architects (several of our graduates have become architects), art & design teaching at every level, furniture, museum curators, European conservation, planning, space planning. Our graduates have also ended up working for organisations such as the British Council. Design is no longer about one discipline it's about learning to work with others - we think we prepare students for this better than most traditional interior programmes.

  Degree UCAS Code KIS Data
Apply NowInterior and Environmental Design BDes (Hons)W250