Year 1 offers tutor-led instruction to the role and responsibility of the designer. Project work consists of the playwright’s text, and establishing industry standard processes for designing.
You’ll begin with text analysis, understanding the story being told followed by how to communicate
a story visually.
Our emphasis is on establishing a secure foundation upon which future projects will rely. Project work is an opportunity to develop a full understanding of the playwright’s narrative, and develop personal points of view through costume design and set design.
Key skills in theatre craft complement the project work – this includes hand sewing and machine sewing, woodwork, metalwork, prop making, digital manipulation and technical drawing.
Visual Narrative One
This unit begins exploring the relationship between historical and contemporary design for performance practices and established or found spaces. It challenges students to create individual responses to a given play text through ‘anticipating a performance’, by way of set and costume design. You will be introduced to how knowledge and research supports creative thinking and design skill development; through a combination of text analysis, contextual research, discussion, observation, storyboard, 2D and 3D speculative enquiry.
Visual Narrative Two
Theatre making is a collaborative professional discipline. While an overall vision might be generated by the creative team involving designers and director, the process of production requires comprehending the dynamics of specialist craft disciplines working together to deliver dramatic impact. In order to develop an understanding of how theatre craft contributes to stagecraft and illusion making, you will explore a range of approaches, methods and techniques where creative manipulation promotes dramatic storytelling.
This unit provides a practical induction into the learning environment for the course. It provides you with the opportunity to develop a ‘toolbox’ of skills needed for the design and fabrication of set models, costume, application of craft skills. Using traditional and contemporary techniques in a workshop-based environment, the unit establishes students’ skills and ability to identify appropriate methodologies for the creation of a range of bespoke scenic elements. You are provided with the working knowledge of processes, materials and techniques; regarded as industry standard. The unit also introduces you to digital skill applications.
Cultural Contexts 1
This unit provides an introduction to the study of histories, theories and practices that inform contemporary performance and production design. It explores the ways in which art history, contemporary art, cultural studies and the wider world influences designers. The unit provides you with the tools for research, analysis and interpretation to make informed readings of scenographic and filmic spaces. It examines the ways in which stories can be told through images, objects and spaces, and the ways in which audiences receive and interact with this information.
Year 2 offers tutor-led insight alongside an emphasis on student-led responsibility when designing.
The second year project work includes embracing current socio-political issues, and establishing in-depth processes for designing and making. Projects are structured to replicate industry practice in working to deadline, and you’ll get your first taste of industry through work experience and professional collaborations.
Project work consists of the contemporary playwright’s text, establishing in-depth processes for design, embracing current socio-political issues of interest to the living playwright, and making stories in your own time.
Year 2 includes work experience and professional collaborations, supporting insight to industry working practice, enhancing networking and key skill development for your employability
Visual Narrative Three
Through reference to a contemporary play text-narrative, this unit explores the dynamics of detailed analysis, research, contextualisation and rehearsal methodologies relating to the ability of theatre to speak of contemporary socio-political contexts. Through a pre-production design process, and its likely consequence from page to stage, design explores the dynamic impact of the visual languages in current theatre making practice.
Cultural Contexts 2
This unit develops your understanding of the critical and theoretical ideas that emerged in the twentieth century within the context of modernity. The unit seeks to engage you in reflecting on creative practices in relation to complex frameworks of criticism and theory via research, seminars, lectures, tutorials and self-determined analytical studies. Through the examination of current critical perspectives on contemporary art, design, film and performance, the unit will prepare you to contextualise your own design practice.
Visual Narrative Four
This unit promotes development of individual identity through in-depth approaches to working within specialist practice. This unit aims to simulate a professional commission, in which the designer as practitioner, embraces knowledge and skill-set comprehension from a wide range of disciplines with the aim to deliver a design within a specified format.
Professional and Collaborative Practice
Working with practitioners in the performance design profession can give exciting and valuable experience in areas of industry practice that help prepare students for life after graduation. This unit promotes the opportunity to engage with a range of work experiences within the creative industries of theatre making, filmmaking and alternate forms of performance.
Study Abroad (optional)
This optional unit will allow you to spend a period of time in an overseas educational institution.
The final year of the course consolidates the various elements of study across two years. It is characterised by independent learning and the ability to fully bring together project experiences, knowledge and skill, with the aim to realise a body of work identifying personal interests.
You'll undertake self-directed design, make proposals, prototypes and output. This will form the basis of your exhibition at the Graduation Show at the end of the year.
Visual Narrative Five
In this unit you'll undertake a design project within the context of a given text/narrative, with the objective to synthesise knowledge, understanding, and practice acquired throughout the first two years of the course.
Visual Narrative Six
This unit promotes opportunity to create a body of work as a development from the previous module. Major Project output may take a variety of forms; yet with the basis of it promoting design cohesion and promoting making strengths as found within industry practice. Emphasis is placed upon the same selected text, as processed within the Minor Project.
Practice in Context
The purpose of this unit is for you to identify and develop research that is contextually meaningful to your studio practice, and articulate arguments around areas of practice which inform their development as designers. This will include a presentation and a written critical reflection.
This course offers the opportunity to study abroad for part of your second year. To find out more about studying abroad as part of your course please see the Study Abroad section:
Fees and additional course costs
The course fees per year for 2019 entry are:
- UK and EU students - £9,250
- International students - £15,500 (standard fee)
- International students - £14,880 (full early payment fee)
The fees for 2020 entry have not been confirmed but will be listed here as soon as possible.
Additional course costs
In addition to the tuition fees please see the additional course costs for 2019 entry.
Find out more about our course fees and any financial support you may be entitled to:
These fees are correct for the stated academic year only. Costs may increase each year during a student’s period of continued registration on course in line with inflation (subject to any maximum regulated tuition fee limit). Any adjustment for continuing students will be at or below the RPI-X forecast rate.
We’re committed to fully preparing you for a successful career in addition to supporting you with the preparation of your portfolio, CV and professional profile, we encourage you to undertake work placements. Our well-established industry connections include:
- Pinewood Studios
- The Royal Opera House
- The National Theatre.