Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Interior Architecture and Design

  • NFQ Level 8
  • Points Required 356*
  • Course Code AU926
  • Award Honours Degree Abinitio
  • Duration 4

Course Summary

Interior Architecture and Design is all about manipulating and forming an internal space, whether it be an existing or new building. It focuses solely on the interior, but takes the architectural form and external environment into consideration. The design of the interior adds the final layer to the crafting of building or space, layering function and the aesthetic as a complete whole, giving definition and character to the space.

Whether it’s developing an existing space or creating a new one, interior architects design comfortable homes, functional workspaces and inspirational public spaces that consider architectural forms, environmental impacts, and psychological and cognitive components of the space. Our students develop their designs and hone their skills under the guidance of experienced architects and interior designers.

The BA (Hons) in Interior Architecture and Design programme at ATU Sligo provides an internationally recognised level of interior education and training aligned with ECIA (European Council for Interior Architecture) excellence in Interior Architecture education and best practice across Europe. This Level 8 degree offers a unique combination of:

  • excellent professional grounding in Interior Architecture and Design
  • focused preparation for enterprise
  • freedom of choice, creative opportunity and expression


 As part of the Yeats Academy, we draw on the existing ‘spirit of place’ of the rugged Atlantic coast – as have generations of creative practitioners who have come from, or been drawn to, this magnificent mythical place with its deep rooted history, evocative landscape, rich culture and creative spirit.

The learning experience in our Interior Architecture and Design degree is designed to be accessible, experiential, self-directed and supported, to scaffold and promote student independence and autonomy. We work with students in small groups to ensure personalised support from lecturers and to foster inter-student collaboration and connection. Students are provided with individual studio space which is accessible throughout the week, and can avail of all on-campus facilities (workshops, computer labs, printing services).

Interior Architecture Studio modules form the core of this programme. Studio projects are carefully selected to give students diverse experience across a range of interior typologies. Students have the opportunity to work both individually and in groups, to work with real clients and on community projects, participate in international design competitions and to liaise with design professionals throughout the degree.

An annual field trip to a European design capital forms part of the curriculum. Where possible, the trip is linked to an international design week event or design industry fair.


The BA (Hons) in Interior Architecture and Design at ATU Sligo is a unique degree. The three core years provide discipline-specific training which is combined with modules that enjoy creative collaboration with programmes across the Yeats Academy of Arts, Design and Architecture. The sandwich year, which takes place after two core years and precedes the final year, is designed in response to the diverse aspirations of our students, offering a unique selection of pathways including:

  • work placements
  • studying abroad- Erasmus+ opportunities
  • training for enterprise
  • a year of studies in another creative discipline in ATU Sligo
  • student’s individual selection of modules from across the Yeats Academy


There are no tests or exams as part of this programme. Students are assessed through design projects and assignments with feedback given as the design and projects progress.

A risk free environment in which learning and creativity can flourish facilitate students to become autonomous professionals capable of responding to design problems contextually, globally, nationally and locally.

“If you want to change student learning then change the method of assessment" George Brown, Assessing Student Learning in Higher education


Our Interior Architecture and Design programme focuses an environmentally conscious approach to the re-use, re-imagination and innovative re-invention of the existing built environment with a strong focus on sculpting interior space. Our graduates are skilled in responding creatively to both the Interior Architectural aspects of place, heritage and building as well as interpretation of client’s identity and design needs.   

Our vision for this programme stems from the following core philosophical aspirations:

  • Care for human experience
  • Inspired, environmentally conscious response to place - community, location and culture
  • Creative communication and global engagement


This programme offers a unique combination of excellent professional grounding in interior architecture and design, focused preparation for enterprise and freedom of choice, creative opportunity and expression.


Modules introduce students to the fundamentals of Interior Design and its position in the wider context of art and design.


Builds upon modules introduced in Year 1 to advance students’ skills. Architecture Technologies, Environment and Advanced Design Elements are new modules introduced around the Studio which remains the primary focus. 


Sandwich Year  – provides an opportunity for work placement, study abroad through an Erasmus programme, studies in another creative discipline or enterprise training.


Students complete a year-long Thesis Design Project based on their personal design interests. Professional Studies and Reflective Portfolio modules prepare students for practice.

Click here to view the Interior Architecture and Design Flickr account and image gallery

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for CAO courses at ATU Sligo are available for download below:

A portfolio is NOT required for CAO applicants.

Applicants with relevant work experience or a Level 6 qualification in Interior Design, Spatial Design or similar are required to submit a digital sample of relevant work and CV to admissions at ATU Sligo. Applicants may be invited for interview following assessment of their submission.

Samples of relevant work should be submitted as digital files, and should include up to 10 representative projects only with a short description of each project (up to 100 words) and must include applicant's name. Suggested format: PDF file up to 10MB. Deadline for submission of portfolios is TBC.

For more information please contact Programme Chair Masa Ruane Bratusa    

To contact the admissions office please phone 353(0)71 9318510 or email

Career Opportunities

"The global Interior Design Market is estimated to grow at a significant rate*, driven by changes in social structures and standards of living as well as governmental initiatives, regulations and corporate responsibility policies arising from the recognition of global environmental issues." *

Our graduates are equipped with the necessary skills to work as interior architects, interior designers, retail or exhibition designers or to progress to specialist roles such as lighting designers, set designers or other.

In addition to working in commercial practice environment, there are opportunities for our graduates in the design sectors in public bodies as well as in education.

Further Study

Completion of the Level 8 honours degree allows entry to the Level 9 MA in Interior Architecture through Creative Practice at ATU Sligo, as well as serving as a gateway to a wide variety of national and international postgraduate programmes.  

Master of Arts in Creative Practice


"I chose this degree as I find it more challenging in many aspects. From architectural sketches to learning various computer-aided software that allows you to produce your design ideas and precise detail drawings, selecting and proposing furnishing materials, and managing an entire interior design project from A to Z. It is challenging yet allows me to express my creativity!

I also like the opportunity to work with real clients and on community projects, participate in international design competitions and liaise with design professionals throughout the degree. One of the best things about the degree is that you get to help other people to achieve their desired interior spaces whilst creating a beautiful design portfolio for yourself."

Jasmine Lee, BA (Hons) in Interior Architecture and Design and winner of the Interior Architecture category at the Institute Designers Ireland (IDI) Graduate Awards

“The tutors are very approachable and accommodating. They have guided us through the design process from creating the brief, to concept development and on to project completion, instilling in us the importance of each step and teasing out a deeper, more considered creative response along the way.”

Regina Burke, BA in Interior Architecture and Design

“The lecturers are made up an excellent mix of those with academic background and those with industry experience. It is easy see how the material being studied would be useful in a real life design setting. The programme team are very passionate about their topics but also the well being and welfare of students.”

Helen MerrickBA in Interior Architecture and Design

Did you know?

We also offer this degree at Level 7 - AU820 BA in Interior Architecture and Design

The Interior Architecture programmes at ATU Sligo are the first in Ireland to be recognised by the ECIA (European Council of Interior Architects). The programmes are also members of the IDI (Institute of Designers in Ireland) and Interior Educators UK.

Final year YAADA students take part in a creative showcase each year. Check out the Yeats Academy of Arts, Design and Architecture Yearbook to see their work.

The three core years of this degree provide discipline specific training. A fourth sandwich year offers students opportunities for work placements, study abroad, training for enterprise or studies in another creative discipline.

An annual field trip to a European design capital forms part of the curriculum. Where possible, the trip is linked to an international design week event or design industry fair.

There are no tests or exams as part of the programme. Students are assessed through design projects and assignments with feedback given as their designs and projects progress.

Design studio is the core element of the programme in each year. Students enjoy one-on-one contact time with tutors in dedicated studio spaces.

Students take part in exhibitions and design competitions.

The programme includes multi-disciplinary, collaborative projects, involving real clients and live sites.

Click here to view the Interior Architecture and Design Flickr account and image gallery.


“The degree opened my eyes to a new world of creativity and design. I have so many wonderful memories of my time in ATU Sligo, from spending lots of time in the studio with classmates, to our field trips in Sweden, Lisbon and London.

I really love my job; every day I get to work on different projects which keeps things interesting! My current role involves designing residential and commercial projects for the private sector.

This degree really prepared me for the field of work as the industry can be very fast paced. I am extremely grateful for this degree and the steppingstone which helped to pave my career.”

Karen Reilly, BA in Interior Architecture and Design graduate and currently working with Corbwell Design

Course Format

Semester 1

Interior Architecture Studio I: Inhabiting the Interior10
Cultural Context: Interior and Furniture05
Interior Materials and Detailing05
Design Fundamentals: from Concept to Development05
Digital Media for Design: AutoCAD 05

Semester 2

Interior Architecture Studio II: Material Identity10
Architectural Context & Theory I05
Design Realisation I: Refurbishment and Detailing05
Professionalism and Communication I- Interior05
Digital Media for Design: SketchUp & Photoshop05

Semester 3

Interior Architecture Studio III: Re-imagining Place10
Environmental Psychology for Design 05
Design Realisation II: Energy and Interior Environment05
Advanced Design Representation05
Professionalism & Communication for Design II05

Semester 4

Design Research- Reading and Framing Place05
Architecture Technologies and Environment 205
Yeats Academy Creative Interdisciplinary Practice I05
Digital Media for Design: SketchUp and Revit05
Interior Architecture Studio IV: Collaboration and Community 10

Semester 5

Interior Architecture & Design Erasmus 1 Semester Abroad [E]30

Semester 6

Interior Architecture Semester Long Work Placement [E]30

Semester 7

Interior Architecture Stage Long Work Placement [E]60

Semester 8

Interior Architecture Studio V: Thesis Part I15
Research for Design and the Arts I05
Reflective Portfolio10

Semester 9

Interior Architecture Studio VI: Thesis Part II15
Research for Design and the Arts II10
Professional Studies for Interior Architects05

[E] = Elective Module. Modules subject to availability.