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BA (Hons) Interior Decoration, Design & Styling — Overview

Applying to study with us in September 2021?

This course is currently under revalidation, with the new title BA (Hons) Interior Design & Styling. Degrees listed as subject to revalidation are in the final stage of our rigorous approval process, ensuring our well-established undergraduate curriculum accurately reflects the excellent academic and employment opportunities available to students. Through close consultation with industry experts, academics, students and alumni, you can be sure the course you study will prepare you for a bright future in the ever-changing creative industries.

This new programme is one of very few in the UK to develop your skills in interior decoration, design and styling, emphasising colour, surface, decoration and ambience in a range of interior environments.

The focus of this programme is design, in both public and private spaces – the look of a place, and what it feels like when you walk into it. From the moment you enter a space, the first point of contact – a door handle or a light switch – to the bigger impact of colour, texture, materials, lighting, and the juxtaposition of objects and decoration, the interior can become your space in which to experiment, style and design.

Our programme aims to develop talented, visually intelligent graduates, who are inspired by interior decoration and design and acquainted with manufacturing techniques. 

The projects you’ll work on will introduce you to a diverse range of interior situations – from contract and retail to domestic, large and small, luxurious and purely functional. Given our unique geographical location, the design settings that you’ll consider will also include high-end luxury cruisers and other marine vessels.

You'll have access to industry-standard equipment, including laser cutters in our Fab Lab. 3D scale model of Seasalt clothing concept store by Shearohn Farrell.

What will I achieve?

Through this programme you’ll learn how to develop ideas and present them to clients.

You will develop products, including upholstery, accessories and furniture, and gain smart manufacturing skills through the use of 3D and digital equipment in our Fab Lab. 

Students get practical with interior floor plans.

You will learn how to design for different levels of the market and develop excellent presentation skills. The programme includes projects around design for hard and soft surfaces; we also cover the history of interiors and there will be elements of design styling using photography, for editorial.

Students organise, produce and market their own interiors trade fair for local businesses and designers during the course of the year.

Specialist modules cover interior textiles, surface pattern and surface design. Hard skills that you will develop include drawing, colour pattern and styling, use of Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software, interior decoration and presentation techniques.

Thinking & making

Study with us and you’ll expand your critical approach alongside developing skills in research and analysis. Our academically robust and intellectually stimulating degree programmes are delivered by our team of academics, technical demonstrators and invited experts who together deliver excellence in learning, teaching and assessment. Our programmes encourage diversity in thinking and making - from practical applications through to reflective, analytical writing.

We provide a dynamic, stimulating learning environment from which to test new models of practice, while investing in the rich relationship between practice and theory - based on the potential in material and visual exploration, collaborative working, cross-fertilisation of ideas, and the exploration of histories and contemporary contexts.  

Opportunities for studying abroad are available at our partner institutions, click here for more.

Highlights — BA (Hons) Interior Decoration, Design & Styling:

  • Access impressive facilities, across disciplines.
  • Work on many different kinds of interiors from domestic to commercial.
  • Experience live projects with clients, photographers, filmmakers and designers.
  • Benefit from knowledgeable and well-connected staff.
  • Develop a range of hard skills, including CAD, photography and prototyping in hard and soft surfaces.

Have a question for our team? Email:
FOLLOW US: @pca_interiors


BA (Hons) Interior Decoration, Design & Styling — Modules

Year 1

BAID101 Drawing and Visual Research

In this module, you will develop your existing drawing skills by experiencing a wide variety of different materials and techniques (both traditional and contemporary). You will learn ways of depicting complex 3 dimensional objects in two dimensions and explore 2D design skills. You will develop ways of seeing, looking, thinking and discovering. You will develop your visual language skills and an appreciation of the different ways in which an understanding of drawing in its widest sense can assist in this process. You will approach drawing as a means of expressing elements and principles of a visual language that are relevant to design practice in the context of line, form, light, tone, colour, scale and perspective, pattern and materials.

Practical experience will be augmented by field trips and study of the use of drawings by historical and contemporary artists, designers and makers.

At the end of the module, you will be better equipped to visually explore, record and communicate your ideas. You will understand the importance of drawing in relation to the design process for interior decoration, design and styling, enabling you to explore the characteristics of 2D and 3D spatial contexts and develop your ability to manipulate this language in the generation of ideas through drawing and rendering schemes.

BAID102 Workshop Materials and Digital Processes

In this module, you will be taught how to work safely and responsibly in the various workshops.

You will have an opportunity to experience working with a range of materials and processes that cover the analogue and digital skills associated with interior decoration, design and styling. You will be presented with design problems through a series of short projects in which you will be asked to provide solutions and put these into practice in the workshops.

You will be asked to undertake research into the work of established artists, designers, manufacturers and retailers to inform and support the exploration and application of your ideas. You will maintain sketchbooks and technical journals to record your design process.

BAID103 Design for Industry

In this module you will undertake project(s) that will introduce you to the complexities of designing for industry. There will be an opportunity for you to engage in live project briefs, and find solutions for real life issues. You will be involved in conducting market and product research and applying criteria to arrive at creative solutions for interior decoration outcomes.

You will develop your approach to research, market trends and design thinking and test your theoretical, practical and technical skills in response to gathered information to create opportunities to propose intermediate and temporary design solutions to client briefs.

You will study historical and contemporary designers, design movements and relevant industrial models. You will learn all the different parts of the process from design to manufacture and selling a product. As part of this you will also develop project management and communication skills with internal and external clients.

BAID104 Professional Practice & PDP 1

This module is designed to help you explore the shape and patterns of employment in your chosen field and to enable you to start to match your current skills knowledge and creative portfolio to those that you will require to successfully compete for work in your intended career. Having identified areas for development you will work with the module leader to update your Professional Development Plan (PDP) enabling you to identify those experiences and skills you will need to acquire during your degree course. The module will cover a wide range of general skills including personal SWOT analysis, effective professional communication with employers, CVs, applications, looking at freelance working, including issues of contracts, copyright and working with agencies etc.

BAIS300 Interdisciplinary Studies

This module provides an opportunity to expand and develop skills and knowledge, through the introduction of new approaches and methods that broaden and extend the student’s understanding of practices both in their subject area, and the wider creative context in which they work.

The module will introduce students to interdisciplinary approaches and methods in their subject, and open up possibilities for engagement with practices both within and outside their immediate subject area. As such, this Module complements all of the student’s study to date, and contributes to their wider knowledge and understanding of creative practices.

The module will encourage students to explore new skills, knowledge and approaches including team working and problem solving. Above all, it will encourage critical reflection on the range of interdisciplinary approaches and contexts explored within the module.

BCOP100 Contexts of Practice 1

This module introduces students to key theories and ideas, and provides a range of critical approaches to support the investigation, interpretation and analysis of contemporary art, design and media. Students will study a range of concepts that have shaped the way that we understand art, design and media in its wider historical and cultural contexts. Students will develop core research and communication skills to help them to articulate and contextualise their understanding of the themes covered in this module, and the knowledge gained will support creative practice by developing an understanding of the relationship between thinking and making.


Year 2

BAID201 Interior Decoration - Styling

Interior Decoration, Design and Styling will enable you to expand your creative design vocabulary while exploring the links between visual/contextual research, design development and realisation. Visual research will require you to: undertake primary research and project design (brief writing); investigate a range of textual, digital and media/mood based resources; and select suitable material to compile a comprehensive record of your studies, leading to styled proposals for interiors.

As part of the module you will be required to identify your area of interest in interiors, e.g. Contract/domestic/large scale/small scale and understand the terms of reference of your potential clients. Aspects of the module require you to work in groups and engage in role-play to emulate the workings of a professional interiors practice. Where possible you will engage in site visits, attend appropriate trade shows and design festivals and generally increase your awareness of the interiors industry. Studio-based activities will provide the opportunity for you to evaluate your research and develop appropriate styling proposals. 2-D and/or online artwork, that communicates ideas effectively, will enable you to present your work to a wider audience. You will demonstrate your understanding of the module aims through the production of a final design solution for styled interiors that involves presentation schemes, prototyping, model making, rendering and CAD schematics, etc.

You will be required to use and further develop your skills in visual research, trend analysis and market awareness. This module offers you the opportunity to consider your own design vision and orientate yourself as a designer relative to the commercial/client based world of interior decoration, design and styling.

BAID202 Self Directed Project

This module will reflect the entrepreneurial creativity of the programme and encourage you to develop knowledge of appropriate professional contexts as you negotiate self-initiated, independent and authorial approaches to Interior Decoration, Design and Styling.

The self-directed project is intended to support your personal creative direction. Critical investigation and exploration should allow you to critically analyse your own personal visual language. You will be encouraged to develop your entrepreneurial skills and take responsibility for the whole process from concept to final product, taking design, manufacture, marketing and distribution into consideration.

The Self Directed Project module provides you with the opportunity to explore self-initiated approaches to Interior Decoration, Design and Styling. You will be expected to define the context for your practice and begin to position yourself according to your strengths across the range of options available to creatives within the interiors industry. Through this module you will develop entrepreneurial skills, taking responsibility of the whole process from finding a space, producing a defined brief, developing multiple concepts, selecting and/or designing furniture, surfaces, textiles, finishes etc. to producing a final proposal. Part of the purpose of this module is for you to realise elements of your own design scheme, for example, produce artefacts, interior textiles, upholstery, etc. Students will also be expected to develop and realise own ideas for self-promotional strategies that sets their Interior Decoration, Design and Styling practice apart from the competition.

To support this outward-looking approach to dealing directly with audiences and markets, you will also research a range of self-promotion and presentation strategies. The module encourages you to experiment with formal or informal creative self-promotion marketing material pertinent to your own career aspiration and develop and realise your own concepts as you adopt strategies for raising your profile and establish your own design studio practice apart from your identified competition.

BAID203 Professional Practice & PDP 2

This module extends skills acquired during Level 4 allowing you to further explore the professional aspects of Interior Decoration, Design and Styling alongside an investigation into in-house employment, commercial freelance design and entrepreneurial opportunities. Running across level 5, it will inform an understanding of the level of professionalism, creativity and adaptability required to negotiate a career in Interior Decoration, Design and Styling and associated professional industries.

You will learn basic organisational techniques, project planning and interior scheme management, costing of projects and services, the basics of marketing and be introduced to the appropriate legal requirements and issues such as Intellectual property right and indemnity insurance. There will be an emphasis on development of appropriate skills in an employment context.

Throughout the module, you will also consider business and practice skills required to plan for a career in Interior Decoration, Design and/or Styling, including the skills and attributes required in contemporary interiors practice alongside developing an understanding of ethical and sustainable responsibilities.

Continuing on from the good practice set up in the level 4 Professional Practice module, reflection will also be an ongoing, continuous process recorded and archived through your PDP blog and further developed to create your own online design portfolio and presence. Industry placements/internships and visits will be encouraged.

GCOP200 Contexts of Practice 2

This module extends and develops the themes, ideas, concepts and critical discourses introduced in Year One. Students will attend core lectures and participate in a lecture/ seminar series designed to deepen their understanding of creative practice in its wider contexts. This themed approach encourages students to make considered and appropriate links between their area of practice and wider contextual and interdisciplinary discourses. You will continue to develop critical approaches to research, which will inform your understanding of the relationship between context and practice.

Year 3

BAID301 Research & Experimentation

This module will stipulate the overarching direction and outline research methodologies that will provide a platform from which your Creative and Professional Conclusion module may develop.

It is a period of reflection on past creative outcomes and the success of your commercial application. The questioning of theories and experimentation in practical processes will allow you to plan your final project and negotiate a course towards its conclusion considering future career or learning aspirations.

Negotiated proposals for outcomes must evidence indicative inclusion of contextual studies subject matter and creative intent for the final year must be clearly definable at the end of this module.

BAID302 Creative & Professional Development

This module will enable you to use personal career ambitions to position yourself for progression to employment, self-employment or to post-graduate study. It will provide multiple opportunities for you to assimilate previous industry experiences and research into both contextual subject matter and creative outcomes of the final year modules.

The module will encourage you to consider audiences, end-users and relevant markets. Relationships with appropriate external agencies, individuals and professionals will be explored and interactions with the creative, commercial and cultural environments will be investigated.

BAID303 Creative & Professional Conclusion

This module represents the culmination of the knowledge, skills and understanding acquired throughout the entirety of your study on the programme through the engagement in a project that is the result of a self-initiated or self-selected brief.

BAID304 Contexts of Practice 3

This module provides students with two pathways. Each pathway supports the development of independent critical thinking and requires them to consider and contextualise their practice by situating it within a wider set of discourses and contexts. 
Pathway One - Written Research Project (WRP) is an opportunity to conduct a substantive piece of independent research, which is focused on an area related to creative practice. 
Pathway Two - Contextual Enquiry Project (CEP) is a practice-led research project with critical commentary, in which students conduct an in-depth inquiry intended to inform and reposition their creative practice.


Module details listed above are indicative content only.
All modules listed are compulsory.

BA (Hons) Interior Decoration, Design & Styling — Staff

Cathryn Bishop

Cathryn Bishop
Senior Lecturer & Subject Leader

Cathryn Bishop, the founder and Director of Cornish Interiors, has designed boutique hotels, restaurants and private residences all over the world, as well as working with the National Trust and designing interiors for Plymouth landmarks such as The Glassblowing House and St Elizabeth’s House. 

With over 15 years experience working in the industry, Cathryn established Cornish Interiors in 2003, specialising in interior design and project management of any size and style of interior. She is currently working on projects in New York, Barbados, the Channel Islands and across the UK, with budgets ranging from £75,000 to multimillion pound levels.

Katie Beasley

Katie Beasley

Katie has taught at Plymouth College of Art since 2009, and is a dedicated and experienced lecturer specialising in print design.

With a decade of experience teaching across both HE and FE programs at Plymouth College of Art, Katie currently teaches on our BA (Hons) Interior Decoration, Design & Styling programme, and previously taught on BA (Hons) Fashion and our pre-degree Foundation course.

Katie’s MA in Textile Design enabled her to link together theory and practice, and understand the importance of ongoing research to delivering any creative subject in a taught environment. Her ongoing design practice has explored print for both fashion and interiors, working on both fabric and paper manipulation techniques.

Katie’s varied teaching experience has allowed her to expand her design knowledge and use this to enhance her pedagogic practice. She has a great deal of experience of developing module briefs such as Interdisciplinary 300, where our first year students take part in a collaborative project, exploring interior styled photoshoots.

Charlotte Beevor

Charlotte Beevor

Charlotte is an award-winning surface pattern designer and stylist, fascinated in the harmonies and relationships between colour in various themes. Combined with her painterly style, mark making and illustrations, she create unique palettes and compositions – her bespoke designs are used for a vast range of products as well as bespoke furniture and original artworks. Charlotte also has a love for interior design and ceramics.​

Charlotte graduated from Leeds College of Art in 2014 and then went on to win the prestigious BDC award for New Designer of the Year 2014. After exhibiting at the New Designers show, she was then selected from a panel of world-renowned industry judges and interviewed to be one of the 'Best in the UK 24' Texprint 2014 Designers. Following Texprint London 2014, she was shortlisted for the Colour, Pattern and Miroglio prizes and then went on to win the Colour, Lululemon Athletica and ComON awards whilst exhibiting at Premiére Vision in Paris. This meant for the next few months she had the unique opportunity to work in Italy, Canada and Paris for worldwide companies such as Lululemon Athletica and Lisa S.P.A.  

Most recently Charlotte was chosen as a finalist for the IPSE Inspire Freelancer of the Year Award 2017. Winning a string of awards was the springboard for a variety of ongoing high profile collaborations with organisations including,, Marks & Spencer, Mamas & Papas, American Greetings, and a collection for Hillarys Blinds (available at​.

Her work has been seen in publications such as Elle Decoration, Ideal Home, House Beautiful, Living Etc, Mollie Makes, Pantone View, The Times, The Evening Standard and many more. See more on instagram at @charlottebeevor.

Louise Noakes

Louise is a creative interior designer with over twenty years of experience within the architectural and interiors profession; as well as, over twelve years’ experience of lecturing within the further and higher education fields.

She has been responsible for successfully managing a team of designers from concept through to completion; producing NBS, sanitary, ironmongery and FF&E specifications, as well as client liaison. Her experience ranges across projects as diverse as commercial offices, retail and Extra Care facilities, through to award-winning health clubs and spas.

Recent projects include Haydon Court Extra Care in Newton Abbot; complex refurbishments such as at Marjon's in Plymouth; the new Hi-Tech Centre at South Devon College and schemes for several student accommodation providers across the country.

Louise is also an Associate of PATOSS and has worked with SpLD students at the College for the last seven years.

The staff listed on this programme are correct at the time of writing. Students will be notified if there are any changes to key staff (i.e. Programme Leaders and Lecturers).

BA (Hons) Interior Decoration, Design & Styling — Student Work

Georgia Penney

Emma Payne

Shearohn Farrell

Clarissa Collins

Ewan Pogson

CNC Milling Machine in our Woods and Plastics Workshops.

Mimaki Digital Printer.

Fab Lab

BA (Hons) Interior Decoration, Design & Styling — Students Say

BA (Hons) Interior Decoration, Design & Styling — Careers & Alumni

Getting out and seeing the industry in action is central to learning. Our Interior Decoration, Design & Styling programme builds on our existing industry links in this area, including through our industry liaison group; visiting, for example, Decorex, Chelsea Harbour and many other interior-related events in London and Europe will also help you build your network of companies and products.

We have fantastic connections with many well-respected interior material suppliers and they regularly visit the programme to give students lectures and live briefs.

Brume visits our studios to select student designs to put into production.

Our teaching staff have a wealth of experience in creating elements that fit within interiors, including working for major hotel chains. Study trips to the international trade fair Maison & Objet in Paris also give you the chance to experience the many advantages this industry has to offer. 

Our strong international connections allow our students to take a semester of study with one of our partner institutions within Europe and North America, and in turn, we welcome overseas students from those institutions to join us in our design studios, creating an exciting cultural exchange.

Graduates become:

  • Interior & Spatial Designers
  • Interior Product Designers & Makers
  • Set Designers
  • Exhibition Designers
  • Product Stylists
  • Trend Forecasters
  • Retail Buyers/Merchandisers
  • Magazine Stylists
  • Interior Decorators

Careers & Enterprise in the Curriculum’ at Plymouth College of Art 

Professional practice is embedded within all of our programmes.  Throughout your studies, you will have the opportunity to develop the key professional, transferable skills for employability in the creative industries and potentially work in partnership with other sectors locally, regionally, nationally or internationally.

From writing and making the most of your CV to gaining industry experience, the acquisition of professional skills has been written into the programmes of study by our staff teams, who have ‘real world’ experience. They are also supported by our Industry Liaison Groups, who help inform the development of the higher education curriculum.

BA (Hons) Interior Decoration, Design & Styling — Entry Requirements

BA (Hons) Interior Decoration, Design & Styling — Resources

You will work in generously equipped and spacious design studios, with skilled technical support staff. Specific resources that you will have access to include our Fab Lab for digital prototyping, as well as wood, metal and glass prototyping workshops, textile design print and digital print facilities, AVA CAD 3D design software and model making, and design intelligence facilities.

We also have knitting and digital embroidery machines, and dye labs. Our photographic resources are among the best in the country: we provide access to large-format scanners as well as fantastic photographic studios, one of which provides an ‘Infinity Cove’, a large white curved solid backdrop for shoots.

Students have access to a large library of sample books and catalogues.

We aim to encourage your creative education, and help you to develop your career through your studies and after. Our Careers & Enterprise office provides support from a dedicated team who are purely focused on developing creative opportunities. And this doesn’t stop when you graduate – we want to keep in contact and help support you through the first two years of your career.

Our FabLab.

Facilities at the college include:

Animation, Film and Photography Studios

Our students make full use of our industry-standard dedicated studio spaces – including our infinity cove, green screen, and specialist sound studio (with Foley pit and vocal recording booth) – plus our stop-motion suite, our darkrooms, and plenty of individual edit suites, all up-to-date with the latest industry-standard software.

Ceramics and Glass Workshops

With a glass furnace that works at 1,100 degrees, 10 potters wheels, resources for hot, warm and cold glass processes, a plaster room for mould making, 16 kilns, a well-stocked glaze mixing area and individual studio space, our Ceramics and Glass Workshops have a real ‘wow’ factor, rivalling any art school around the country.

Drawing Studios

With north-facing windows, a ‘methods and process’ area, individual studio space and a specialist life-drawing studio, our impressive, open-plan, triple-height Drawing Studio is a huge space, perfect for many different activities and specialisms.

Fab Lab

Our ‘fabrication laboratory’ is kitted-out with the latest in digital design technologies – from 3D printers to 3D scanners, a vinyl cutter, CNC milling machine, CNC router and laser cutter. It adds a whole new level of opportunity for students across all creative walks of life.

Fashion Studios

This large professional studio offers a real-life fashion experience in a fabulous space with sea views. Specialist industrial and domestic sewing machines, a range of knitting machines and a wide stock of fabrics and knitting yarns sit alongside a media and marketing Mac suite, a fully operational CAD cutting facility, and a library of designer garments to inspire.

Sewing machines.

Fine Art Printmaking Studios

A fantastic facility supporting fine art printmaking, our dedicated space caters for a wide range of programmes and processes. You’ll get access to a 150-year-old Columbian press, an Albion press, an historic and rare wallpaper press, and an automatic FAG proofing press, plus a broad selection of metal and wood type, vacuum screen-printing beds, and four etching presses.

Jewellery Design Studio

Housed in our fantastic new Craft, Design and Fabrication Workshops, this stunning space provides everything for contemporary and traditional techniques in jewellery design, including benches supplied with gas and oxygen, in-house metal casting resources, hand and machine-forming tools, facilities for vitreous enamelling, and a separate chemical room for etching, anodising and patternation. We also have larger metalwork equipment for welding, brazing, cutting and grinding.

Textile Studios

With views out to sea and 35 metres of print tables to encourage experimentation, our Printed Textile Design Studios also boast a fantastic Mimaki fabric printer, digital embroidery resources, industrial sewing machines, sublimation printers, a dye lab, heat presses, a tufting gun and a Mac suite. It’s got to be one of the best printed textile workshops in the UK.

Our Textile Studios.

Digital Print Bureau and Equipment Resource Centre

Our Digital Print Bureau offers affordable and quick print services for all our students who are looking for anything from large-format or solvent printing, to photo printing, scanning or vinyl cutting, and a wide range of finishing services. Our highly experienced Equipment Resource Centre staff can advise you on which of our 6,000 pieces of industry-standard kit – from underwater cameras to traditional large format cameras and all free to hire – will best meet your needs.

Woods and Plastics Workshop

Alongside the latest in new technology, we value the long-standing traditions of making in wood and plastics – and have developed an excellently-resourced workshop that is open to all our students. It boasts a wide range of kit, including an impressive CNC router, plenty of saws and lathes, and strip-heaters, as well as greenwood-working facilities.

Our Fine Art Printmaking Studio.

Mimaki Digital Fabric Printer.

BA (Hons) Interior Decoration, Design & Styling — Interview

UCAS: 5LWB Full Time / Institution: P65
Part Time