Reasons to choose the programme

We equip our graduates with the skills to confidently enter the workplace as designers who will shape the future with sustainability, diversity and equality at the core of every project.
Learning is primarily in a studio environment, encouraging opportunities for individual study or collaboration, mirroring the workplace.
You will get to diversify and specify. In your graduate year, your major project will reflect your own interest in the field.
You will have the opportunity to mix with professional designers, alumni, other year groups and postgraduate learners in our Interior Lab events.  
You will engage with the wider context of interior design, from a sustainable, sociological, material, and architectural point of view.


Our programme provides a dynamic and contemporary training experience in the wide field of the interior built environment, placing emphasis on personal creative freedom, environmental and social responsibility and design innovation. Teaching is delivered by experienced, award-winning practitioners and academics who recognise that 'interior space' spans a vast range of environments, from the short term (e.g. exhibition and pop-up events) to the longer term (e.g. hotels and offices). We encourage students to fully understand their sites, not just within the context and history of the individual building, but also in the wider urban and social context. Teaching is Studio based, replicating the professional design studio environment.

There are three main components to our programme: studio design work; the development of technical skills, such as drawing, modelmaking and CAD; and professional practice focused experiences. Studio design work is based on a series of progressive innovative projects which are a mix of live and theoretical, individual and group, short and long, large and small.  In your design projects you will explore social and environmental responsibility and the implications for designers of responsible materials specification, lighting strategies, energy use and construction methods. You will be exposed to a wide range of skills and briefs prior to your graduate year, when you will devise a major project of your own choosing.

The studio environment allows for research and regular presentation of development work to peers and staff, which encourages discussion and, importantly, self-reflection. Being part of ECA encourages collaboration with other design subjects and Architecture through our elective options. There is also a close relationship between the Interior Design undergraduate programme and the postgraduate MA IASD programme. At undergraduate level we are involved in the University Exchange programme, welcoming students from other international Universities to our studio for a semester, and some of our students taking the opportunity to study abroad for a semester in their third year. These include exchanges with Universities in Melbourne, Hong Kong, Stuttgart and Lahti. Since 2014 we have had a collaborative partnership with Shanghai International College of Fashion and Innovation, where Shanghai based students have the option, both to be taught in China by our flying academics, and to spend two of their four years of study in Edinburgh.


Graduating students have found work in various related design offices, for example with architects, interior designers, lighting designers, and with other areas of the industry, such as materials specification and sales.

Film, TV and computer gaming design, as well as theatre set design have also been destinations, as has further education and teaching.

How to apply and entrance requirements

If you'd like to study on an undergraduate programme at Edinburgh College of Art, you must apply through UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. You can find out how to do this on the University of Edinburgh Degree Finder, where you'll also be able to

  • see the structure of the programme and what you will study each year
  • see detailed entrance requirements for each programme on the Degree Finder
  • get information on what to expect after you apply
  • find out about fees
  • find out where to go for further advice and guidance

Take me to the University of Edinburgh Degree Finder


If you have any questions about the application process, your qualifications or deadlines, our Undergraduate Admissions Office will be happy to help you.

Email the Undergraduate Admissions Office:


Application process

As part of your application, you are required to submit a digital portfolio as evidence of your artistic ability and potential. You should begin to plan your portfolio as soon as you decide to apply. 

Please ensure you allow time for the technical aspects of your portfolio submission such as preparing a template, scanning any drawings and leave sufficient time for upload. Photograph everything carefully, double check for contrast and legibility. When photographing any work consider the background carefully and ensure it is not distracting. Well photographed sketchbook pages can really demonstrate your thinking!  

Assessors are interested in how you have decided to put your portfolio together so your portfolio should be carefully planned and well presented. Add a brief line of text to each page, describing what the page shows and why you have included it.  

You will be judged on your ability to edit work, so be selective and strategic within your page allocations. Aim to show design ambition and outcomes but also your process. 

Portfolios are assessed anonymously by staff within the Interior Design programme. We are looking at four key areas for success: 


Visual research and enquiry: 

  • What have you tried, tested, and explored, why? Have you used any interesting and creative materials/light/colour in your work? 


Idea development: 

  • Show a project that includes design iteration, each stage of your process, tell us what changes you made and why? 


Selection and resolution: 

  • Can you make appropriate design decisions? Show the final outcome of at least one design project (3D/spatial). Ensure it is not only resolved well but presented at its best. 


Contextual awareness: 

  • Show us what current themes interest you and who inspires you in the field of design - interior designers /architects, graphic< textile, set, exhibition or furniture designers, films etc. 


Please try to include: 

  • A design project, either 3D or spatial, from beginning concept and research to end resolution. 
  • A project that engages with people, other than yourself, and communicates the environment and atmosphere you have created to suit their needs. 
  • Hand drawings of spaces and places, preferably drawn in-situ, in a variety of interior environments in colour and/or black/white. e.g., café, gallery, library 
  • Include photographs of any paper models/maquettes/material studies that consider texture/colour/light/spatial options and/or idea development. Show us that you have explored the unfamiliar! 


Finally, provide a page with your design and designer influences and some notes on your selections noting why you chose them.


What happens next?

We will contact you with our decision by mid-May. If you are made an offer, you will be invited to attend an Offer Holder Day.

Offer Holder Days typically take place in April and are opportunities for successful applicants to learn more about their subject areas and life as a student at Edinburgh College of Art and the University of Edinburgh. Whether you visit us in person or attend a virtual Offer Holder Day, you will have the opportunity to meet with academic staff and current students from your programme, tour the studios and other facilities and attend general information sessions.


Gina Olsson

Lecturer, Interior Design

Programme Director UG Interior Design


Facilities and resources

Welding torches, a forge, forming and shaping tools, and a 1-ton gantry crane with access to main workshop areas.

This large wood workshop hosts a huge range of machinery and hand tools for the cutting, shaping, and general fabrication of woods, as well as metals, plastics, and cardboard.


College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Undergraduate Admissions Office

Tel: +44 (0)131 650 3565