Master of Interior Architecture (MIA)

Programme overview

Our Master of Interior Architecture (MIA) explores an evolving understanding of interior architecture, the range of materials and technologies available and how these apply to people and their space.

You will address these issues as you progress through the stages of your Master’s qualification. Our courses are designed to lead you to make statements, question ideals and test theories. The combination of these experiences will support you in completing your design-based research thesis.

A dark image of a concrete path with dark concrete walls either side, at the end are chimney-like structures and there is the outline of a person in the foreground.
Coptic Ruins: reincarnated, a prizewinning work in IDEA competition, for INTA 591 Thesis, by Vioula Said.

Part 1

Your first year, you will take courses exploring:

  • interior architecture research issues through advanced modes of design
  • implementation and successful application of chosen design strategies through all stages of the design process, at multiple scales and levels of detail
  • effective presentation methods to communicate research findings, identify questions and explore relevant processes
  • the role of the interior architecture and interior design specialist in legal and institutional frameworks of contemporary multi-disciplinary built environment industries.

Part 2

Your second year of study, you will complete a research portfolio or thesis, with supervision from the academic staff in the School of Architecture.

Current research topics or areas in the School of Architecture include:

  • interior architecture
  • architectural and urban design processes
  • urban space
  • sustainable architecture
  • advanced materials and technologies
  • theory and criticism in interior architecture
  • drawing and modelling for design
  • virtual design visualisation.

Professional recognition

Victoria’s Masters of Interior Architecture programme is internationally recognised through affiliation to the International Federation of Interior Design/Architecture (IFI).


Two years of full-time study or up to four years part-time.

Admission requirements

Entry into the Master of Interior Architecture (MIA) normally requires one of the following:

  • a Victoria University of Wellington Bachelor of Architectural Studies (BAS) degree
  • a Graduate Diploma in Designed Environments (GDipDE) in Interior Architecture
  • an equivalent qualification, at the discretion of the Associate Dean (Teaching, Learning and Students) of the Faculty of Architecture and Design.

Entry into the Master’s programme requires good academic performance in the prerequisite qualification.

An applicant who has completed a relevant four year degree or graduate study to an appropriate level may be exempt from Part 1 and permitted to enrol in Part 2.

Degree requirements

The Master of Interior Architecture degree requirements are outlined below for each year’s course of study.

Part 1

120 points in courses numbered 400-499 including:

INTA 411Interior Architecture Design15 pts
INTA 412Interior Architecture Design Research30 pts
INTA 421Integrated Technologies15 pts
INTA 451Theory and Criticism in Interior Architecture15 pts
SARC 461Professional Practice15 pts
SARC 491Research Methodologies15 pts

one further 15 point courses from courses numbered 400-499

Part 2

One of the following:

INTA 593Research portfolio120 pts
INTA 591Thesis (with the approval of the Head of School)120 pts
INTA 592Thesis, plus at least 30 approved 400-level points90 pts

Parts one and two will both include an appropriate level of practical work, as determined by the Head of School.

Students who complete Part 1 and do not proceed to Part 2 may graduate with a Postgraduate Diploma in Interior Architecture (PDipIA).

Research requirements

All postgraduate students are expected to conduct their research with a high level of competency in the English language.

Victoria University offer a range of University Preparation courses to assist students in English as a Second Language (ESOL) or the English Proficiency Programme.

For a compiled summary of research work from 2012 Master's students, take a look at Design Research @ VUW.

To make an inquiry contact the Faculty of Architecture and Design Student Administration Office. Include a comprehensive description of your qualifications and your initial research interests

Career opportunities

Interior Architecture graduates often become specialists for interior design and architecture firms, and in the interior divisions of large multidisciplinary design firms.

The skills and training you will receive will lead you in many directions outside the mainstream scope of the interior architecture profession including some of the following:

  • interior design
  • exhibition design
  • furniture design
  • retail design
  • lighting design
  • set design for theatre and film production
  • teaching
  • research.

How to find out more

The Faculty of Architecture and Design Student Administration Office offer additional information on:

  • admission
  • qualifications and courses
  • course advice and selection criteria
  • exemptions and prerequisites and
  • your Application to study.

Interior Architecture courses are taught at the School of Architecture, Te Aro Campus, 139 Vivian Street, Wellington.

For further assistance, please contact us:

Phone: 04 463 6200
Email: address

To find out what is available to you as a Master’s student see PostgradLife.