Study options

Master's Programme in Interior Architecture

Interior architecture addresses the close human scale of space and furniture to create meaning and value to people and organisations, and to transform and renew the everyday living environment. Dealing with the design of immediate interior and exterior environments, interior architecture requires understanding on human culture, needs and aspirations, the bodily experience and senses, and the spatial, material and technological means to meet these. A skilled interior architect is capable of integrating diverse elements into functional and experiential design solutions that exceed the users’ and clients’ expectations and are socially, environmentally and economically sustainable.

The programme educates interior architects with a distinct design personality. It comprises studies on spatial design and furniture design. Concrete design assignments form a major part of education. The studies emphasise advanced practical design skills combined with conceptual and strategic design thinking and research-driven design. Students are encouraged to expand the frontiers of the discipline by addressing systems level problems and societal challenges across the scale of built environment.
Students graduated from the programme are eligible to work as professional interior architects.
Aalto Learning Centre Interior


Master of Arts (Art and Design)

Application period:

2.12.2019 – 3.1.2020

Language of instruction:



2 years, full-time


Relevant Bachelor's degree

Field of study:

Art and Design


120 ECTS

Organising school:

School of Arts, Design and Architecture

Tuition fees:

For non-EU/EEA citizens, €15000/y (Master’s studies)

The application period has closed

Scholarships and Tuition Fees

Study objectives

Content outcomes

Students learn to manage design processes, learn about the regulations in construction, material knowledge, skills in 3D composition, and understand the spatiality of people and products. They deepen the skills learned in Bachelor's studies and broaden their knowledge in spatial design and furniture design. Students gain knowledge on different design approaches and methods, and learn to practice interior architecture in the broader operational environment of building and construction, product development, business and culture. Examples of themes in the studies include:

  • The human experience, body and senses as basis of interior architecture.
  • Experimental, critical and artistic design practice engaging with the society and instigating change.
  • Human-centred, collaborative and conceptual design in interior architecture.
  • Strategies for adaptive reuse, sustainability and flexibility in interior architecture.

Skill outcomes

Students learn to interpret and transform living environment and culture through their insight and professional skills. They develop an artistic and designerly insight, learn to master their creative design process, and deepen their expertise in materials, knowledge of design tradition, and cultural discussion.

The programme trains students in personal design expression, gives them ability to master design processes, and to understand the discipline’s tradition and presence as a base for curiosity and experimentation. Students develop their practical skills in spatial and furniture design further. They are also trained to develop technical, aesthetic and research skills to support the design process. They become competent in exploring technologies and visualising, creating and demonstrating innovative concepts and experiences using the latest technology. They become professionals versed in multidisciplinary teamwork.

Academic skills

The programme enhances students’ presentation skills in writing and visualisation. The students learn skills in problem-setting and problem-solving relevant to interior architecture. They also learn to gather and analyse information and apply it to design and research. They learn key concepts, theories and research approaches in interior architecture and familiarise with current research in the field.

Education content

The programme is based on an exploratory approach to design-based problem setting, elaboration and solving. It emphasises the skill to manage the entire design process from the beginning to the final outcome. An essential part of the education is project-based hands-on learning. In the projects, the students are encouraged to utilise artistic and experimental approaches and find their personal expression and voice as a designer. This is supported by more analytical, research-driven methods and tools.

The key content in master's programme education is to develop and deepen the skills obtained during the bachelor's phase. Studio-based courses in spatial design and furniture design form the core of education. Other topics include history, theory and methodology of interior architecture and teaching of practical design skills and tools. The student can choose selective courses and a minor according to her interests and professional profile. In the final year, the student completes a master’s thesis on chosen topic.

For further details on the education content, see the study guide for the 2018-2020 academic years

Career opportunities

Career opportunities vary from entrepreneurship to expert tasks in private and public organisations. Graduates work as interior architects in design and architect studios, as independent entrepreneurs, and as in-house designers in industry. They also work as designers, managers, researchers and teachers, and engage in artistic practice. The programme prepares its graduates also for doctoral studies.

Interior architects may focus on various areas, such as workspaces, retail spaces or care environments. Their tasks typically include spatial, surface, interior and lighting design in interior renovations and alterations. They also work on exhibition design and the design of other temporary structures, concept design, branding and corporate identity design, and design of furniture, lighting fixtures and other interior design components. Strategic, conceptual and managerial designer roles are increasingly common.


Students are encouraged to apply for international exchange studies or internships. They are also encouraged to participate in international competitions, exhibitions, conferences, and trade fairs. The department has international research and teaching projects with different universities.

Programme-specific Admission Procedure and Evaluation Criteria

What we look for in an applicant?

The programme seeks students who understand the processes and structures, used to create – both individually and in teams – personal design solutions with artistic insight, ideation skills, goal-orientation and motivation.

Eligible applicants to the programme have earned a Bachelor of Arts or completed equivalent studies.

Evaluation Criteria

  • competence
  • suitability

In the first stage, students are evaluated based on their application as a whole, including portfolio, previous studies, CV and letter of motivation.

In the second stage, the evaluation criteria consists of an interview to evaluate the applicant’s potential to complete the studies successfully.

First stage and required application documents

In the first stage of the evaluation the selection committee evaluates the applications based on the application documents. Study Option’s requirements for the application documents are listed below. Please also note requirements for the application documents presented in the general application instructions.

Attach each of the following application documents to the electronic application form in PDF format:


In the portfolio, applicants display work that shows their artistic expression and design skills. The portfolio must contain diverse samples of the applicant’s previous artistic, professional and/or scientific activity.

The work contained in the portfolio must be catalogued, listing at least the title and/or theme, materials used, size, purpose and year of completion of each piece. The catalogue must also detail where and when the work has been exhibited, displayed or published and whether the work is based on individual or group work. The contribution of the applicant in the work should be stated in case the work has been completed in a group. The applicant’s name, address and phone number and the degree program applied for must be indicated clearly on the portfolio.


The application must include the applicant’s CV with personal data, educational background, work experience, exhibitions, publications and articles, awards and grants, study trips and positions of trust. No links. 

Motivation letter

The applicant must convey his/her motivation for applying for Interior Architecture programme by writing a motivation letter. The applicant can describe his/her strengths and interests, visions in art and design, as well as design, and creative goals. Motivation letter is maximum 4000 characters.

Language of application documents

All the application documents must be submitted in English.

Second stage

Part of the applicants are invited to the second stage. The invitation to the second stage is sent to the applicants at latest 7 days in advance.

The second stage consist of a face-to-face interview, which can be conducted over Skype or telephone if necessary.

Applying to master’s programmes

The application period has closed

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