Postgraduate study

Interior Design MA

Awards: MA

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Interior Design

The main aim of this programme is not to provide a single definition of interiors, but to support you in developing a definition of your own and the skills you will to need to practice that definition.

The programme covers the study and design of interior spaces in relation to a wide range of public and private environments. We will support you to investigate your own innovative design projects. You will be required to explore the design potential of existing buildings and find new uses for old or redundant spaces through the design of contemporary insertions. We use the city of Edinburgh as a focus for our projects.

You’ll be encouraged to focus on the aspects of interior design that you find most interesting or personally relevant, and take charge of the direction of your coursework. Your main project is supported by a series of smaller projects, allowing you to engage with other elements of interior design, such as competitions and exhibitions.

This programme integrates practical studio work with theoretical and written studies, including professional practice elements to prepare you for employment in the industry, and a lecture/seminar series to examine the wider context of your studies. The aim is to encourage and support postgraduate students who wish to explore interior design as a means of expressing ideas and opinions.

You are also encouraged to undertake a course outside of interior design to develop your design thinking beyond interiors and to gain valuable experience in a related field. You will be encouraged to reflect upon this experience, in relation to your interior paradigm, as part of your wider portfolio.

Projects are based in existing historic buildings in Edinburgh, usually in need of regeneration and often significant to communities or the wider city. There is also an element of exhibition design to the programme, whereby you will be responsible for the design and construction of the ECA Interiors show at the Free Range Exhibition, London.

To successfully engage and complete this programme students will be expected to do the following;

  • Select and use relevant methods to evaluate appropriate material, precedents and courses with critical understanding.
  • Recognise, rationalise and questions thematic strands within practice based research investigations.
  • Demonstrate a sense of purpose and autonomy in the development of lines of inquiry in both theory and practice.
  • Demonstrate independent initiative, autonomy and self-critical generation of their ideas.
  • Develop a critical and contextualised relationship between creative practice and theory.
  • Evaluate and consolidate research with in the production of realised projects.
  • Complete work to an appropriate professional standard, demonstrating an integrated relationship between practice, theory and industry.
  • Disseminate work persuasively within an appropriate professional context.
  • Evaluate their work critically, positioning themselves within and beyond their discipline.

We have an enviable track record of success as our graduates gain interior design work here in the UK and overseas, or set up their own businesses. Graduates have also gone on to undertake further academic study at masters or PhD level around the world.

A UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent, in a relevant subject such as interior design, interior architecture, architecture, landscape architecture, product design or 3D design.

You must submit a portfolio as part of your application. Your portfolio can include:

  • interiors, architectural, landscape or product projects, as well as other artworks
  • a range of media and arenas of enquiry
  • unfinished development work as well as finished projects   As part of your portfolio, you are encouraged to include a personal video, no more than 2 minutes long, talking about your best piece of work.

Please include a personal statement and CV as part of the portfolio. Your personal statement should include why you want to study at ECA and what you feel you would contribute to the programme.

As part of the application process, you might also be invited to interview via phone or Skype.

Selection will be made on key criteria:

  • research and conceptual ambition: what are the big ideas driving your work?
  • development: how have you developed those ideas in your project work?
  • resolution: how have projects been resolved and communicated?
  • awareness: what do you consider interior design to be, and where does your work sit within the discipline?
  • evidence of exploring interior design through a number of media including hand sketching, model making, 3D visualisations

If you do not meet the academic entry requirements, we may still consider your application on the basis of your portfolio and/or relevant professional experience.

*Revised 16 October 2018 to expand on guidance for portfolio.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 67 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.*

(*Revised 8/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates. Revised 22/03/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

Read our general information on tuition fees and studying costs:

Featured funding

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions
  • College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Postgraduate Office, The University of Edinburgh
  • David Hume Tower, George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JX

You must submit a portfolio as part of your application. You won't be able to submit your portfolio immediately, but you'll receive an email prompt within a few days of submitting your application that will explain how to upload your portfolio.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions
  • College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Postgraduate Office, The University of Edinburgh
  • David Hume Tower, George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JX