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
With a playwright’s text as the focus, you begin the exciting process of creative problem solving. Through text analysis and research you begin to discover the context for playwright and the story being told. Through a unique design process you establish interpretations that address character costuming and the look for settings. Designers express themselves through drawing, painting, collage, sculpture and refined scale modelling. Our experienced tutors guide your development towards finding solutions in support of the story being told.
Visual Narrative Two
With multiple ways to communicate an idea effectively, this unit aims to establish an understanding of historical and contemporary visual communication within theatre. To broaden the breadth and depth of understanding, a series of hands-on problem solving projects guide you through exploring the power of visual communication.
Key skills fall into your toolbox across Year 1, through introductions to methods and techniques used in theatre craft making. Training includes introductions to manual-handling of tools, equipment, machinery, and technology. Material and form, and process of making supports toolbox development, and building your confidence in shaping ideas in 3D. This unit consists of a series of workshops, demonstrations, with hands-on problem solving provides experience in woodwork, metalwork, hand sewing and machine sewing, casting, scenic effects, and technical drawing.
Cultural Contexts 1
This unit encourages you to investigate culture and history, providing a philosophical and historical insight into past and present cultures and their ideas, and theoretical frameworks through which to consider art, design and scenography.
Year 2 offers tutor-led insight alongside an emphasis on student-led responsibility when designing.
The second year project work includes embracing current sociopolitical 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
This unit advances on from Visual Narrative One, with emphasis on expanding your creative and practical ability. This unit brings the contemporary playwright and current socio-political issues into focus. A professional theatre visit provides reference to working within professional limitations, where the facility affects your designing. The broadening of personal identity and independent critical thinking becomes integral to the design process. Through project proposals, presentations, digital technology, technical drawing, and craft skill development you will develop further confidence in designing set and costumes.
Cultural Contexts 2
You will draw upon a range of critical frameworks deriving from philosophy, art theory, cultural studies and the social sciences in considering the aesthetics, production and consumption of art, design and scenography.
Visual Narrative Four
This unit promotes making, where a prop, costume, or scaled design of a setting intended for a performance is the focus. Workshop technicians support the development of constructed elements in scale, or making of costume. Understanding the shift from page-to-stage is supported by experienced staff through mentoring. This unit encourages promotion of your creative ideas in taking design through to making.
Professional and Collaborative Practice
This unit of work experience extends your understanding through live projects with partners and collaborators. Work-based project placements are established across the term to provide practical insight to industry. Collaborations provide designing opportunities alongside production management and making. Creative and practical interests for your career pathways are developed further across these weeks.
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 and Six
These units encourage extending design and theatre craft into areas of personal choice. Inspired by narrative you are invited to contextualise your project work and its development in keeping with industry practice for performance. Staff and technicians support self-directed design, your making proposals, prototypes and output. Your work created within Visual Narrative Six forms the basis of your graduate exhibition at year end.
Practice in Context
Substantial, individually negotiated research on a subject that’s related to the contextual concerns of your chosen area of practice. You’ll also develop a portfolio and other promotional material in preparation for professional work that’s relevant to your potential career direction.
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:
The course fees per year for 2019 entry are:
- UK and EU students - £9,250
- International students - £15,500 (standard fee)
- International students - £14,800 (full early payment fee)
The fees for 2020 entry have not been confirmed but will be listed here as soon as possible.
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.