Image: Rose Bruford College. White Light business development consultant Sarah Cox explores the drawbacks of green screens in her journey of technological developments for XR. Photographer Ben Wilkin.

Course Summary

Design is integral in all parts of live or virtual experiences. This cross-disciplinary course allows you to explore and then specialise in design for set and costume, lighting (live events, festivals and performances), film, virtual production, gaming or virtual reality experiences.

Working collaboratively on group projects, you will explore a wide range of techniques and processes to develop your skills and understand more about the career paths you are interested in.

You will be taught by a wide range of subject experts and build an understanding of how designers fit into the wider context of a project team. Developing your communication and collaboration skills to ensure that the design process from concept to delivery is as smooth as possible.

In the first year, you will not only pursue the craft and techniques of your chosen discipline but constantly share projects and collaborative learning. From the start of the second year, you will follow specific, negotiated pathways to emerge with a Design for Performance degree in your chosen specialism.

Design for Performance at Rose Bruford College

Why choose this course?

Professional expertise (teaching and career)

All visiting tutors are industry professionals working on a wide range of media including live performance, film, TV, games.

Growing career opportunities

Gain experience of new technologies and platforms, collaborating just as you will in the real world. All while gaining a breadth of knowledge and insight into techniques you can put to use across live performances, film, TV, immersive experiences, virtual productions, virtual reality, mixed reality.

Practice based learning

We provide the space to experiment as you develop and learn through practice. You will build a portfolio working on fully realised productions or projects. Our industry links introduce you to an invaluable professional network and students in year 2 and 3 often work as freelancers alongside studying.

Collaborative and creative practice

Collaborate with other designers, creative technologists and performers to present original work using a wide range of platforms.

Flexible learning pathways

You will experience different design approaches on your first year that will inform your choice to focus on your second and third year.

Professional standard studio and production facilities

Alongside mastering industry standard software, you will have access to a Virtual Production stage, a specialist motion capture, virtual reality, green screen technologies, lighting labs and design studios on campus.

design work from a students final project showing models of a set and some painting work

Course breakdown

The course is an exploration of design fundamentals with a mix of specialist training, collaborative working and practical projects.

In the first year, you will have the chance to explore the pathways of design offered (as well as your chosen discipline). By the start of the second year you will focus on your selected discipline, working towards a degree in Design for Performance in your chosen pathway.

Each design pathway has clear and specific ideologies while also embracing a collaborative ethos that will allow you to fully explore the field of Design and make informed choices about developing your own individual career specialisms.

Digital Content

This pathway is focused on exploring a wide range of digital content creation and media formats (photography, videography, 3D modelling, animation, motion capture, illustration, live camera… ) and its application on live performance or recorded media (e.g. Projection Mapping, Film, Online…).


This pathway is focused on Lighting Design. Lighting Designers control how we see the world, whether on screen, on a stage or walking down the street. They create stories and inspire emotions. This course’s design-led approach underpins hands-on learning, which defines the practical and technical craft needed for a career in Lighting.

Set and Costume

This pathway focusses on the physical qualities of design for performance, and the crafts needed to communicate your ideas. We will consider the qualities of set and costume design and how they inform and support the stories they are telling. Projects will explore the elements of set, object and costume, to equip you with the skills for a broad range of careers in performance and recorded media design.

Visual Design for Public Spaces

This pathway explores how we use visual design to enhance, shape and enrich public spaces. You will learn about the use of lighting and digital technologies in the build environment, for example the design of exterior lighting systems to enhance a city scape, or the impact lighting has on airport terminals or museums.

Virtual Technologies

This pathway is focused on devising and creating immersive experiences using digital platforms (exploring the creative aspect but also the complex technology behind it) including Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality, game engines, motion capture technology and Virtual Production.

Teaching and assessment methods

In your first year, you will complete around 360 hours of indicative scheduled learning and teaching activities and 880 hours of independent learning on projects, productions, placements or self-directed study. Assessment will be through: Coursework, presentations, assessed tutorials and portfolios.

In your second year, you will complete around 300 hours of indicative scheduled learning and teaching activities and 1020 hours of independent learning on projects, productions, placements or self-directed study. Assessment will be through: Coursework, presentations, assessed tutorials and portfolios.

In your third year, you will complete around 160 hours of indicative scheduled learning and teaching activities and 1140 hours of independent learning on projects, productions, placements or self-directed study. Assessment will be through: Coursework, presentations, assessed tutorials and portfolios.

Your future career

XR Stage at Rose Bruford College
Design for Performance at Rose Bruford College

This is a course for designers and creative technologists committed to an innovative professional practice. Demand for theatre and live event designers has surged as people return to live experiences and making memories in the post-pandemic world of entertainment, whilst the huge growth in the use of mixed reality, immersive experiences and motion capture technology has created demand in industry for graduates with experience of the facilities we have on campus.

We aim to put you in front of and amongst the profession. This includes the opportunity to network and undertake a placement, as well as introducing your work to the industry at our graduate exhibition in London. Previous Design course graduates include:

Alumni success

Jessica Hung Han Yun

Lighting Designer, includes work at Royal Court, Lyric Hammersmith, Sheffield Crucible, Manchester Royal Exchange, Donmar Warehouse, Edinburgh Festival

Florence Watts

Assistant Designer to Fly Davis at the National Theatre

Hayden Borgars

International rock events and tours including for designer for Fever 333 tour and technician at Reading & Leeds Festival 2018

Joe Vose

Designer, Orlight

Andy Sinclair Harris

Concept Designer at Walt Disney Imagineering, Hong Kong

Charlie Morgan Jones

Wagner Ring Cycle, Avenue Q, Derren Brown: Underground, London Fashion Week, Eden Project - Rainforest at Christmas

Shevokie Allen

Senior Lighting Designer, Nulty+

Luke Dowding

Senior Lighting Designer, Studio Fractal

Careers options

Studying an Arts related subject gives you a wide range of skills that can be put to use in many careers. Recent graduates have gone on to become:

  • Lighting Designer
  • Associated Lighting Designer
  • Head of Lighting
  • Technical Manager
  • Set Designer
  • Assistant Designer
  • Model Maker
  • Event Designer
  • Costume Designer
  • Video Designer
  • Games Designer
  • Motion Capture Specialist
  • Digital Character Designer

Meet the staff

Enrique Munoz Jimenez Rose Bruford College Lecturer in Visual Productions and Creative Technologies
Enrique Munoz Jimenez

Subject Leader in Visual Production

Read their profile
Rose Bruford College Lighting Design Subject leader Ben Ratcliffe
Ben Ratcliffe

Subject Leader Lighting Design

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Dr Marina Hadjilouca

Lecturer in Performance Design

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Hansjörg Schmidt

Programme Director, MA Light in Performance. Subject Leader, Visual Design for Public Spaces

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Chloe Kenward Lighting Design Lecturer at Rose Bruford College
Chloe Kenward

Lecturer in Lighting Design

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How to join

UK/Republic of Ireland and international applicants

For 2023 entry, please apply via UCAS by the UCAS deadline on 25th January 2023 to guarantee an interview.

Institution code: R51

Course code: W461

64 UCAS points*

This is equivalent to two Cs at ‘A’ level or one Merit and two Passes at BTEC (QCF) National Diploma or equivalent.

*We offer places based upon your future potential. We may offer you a place based on lower UCAS points than shown here, or an offer that is not linked to UCAS points if we have evidence of your potential from your application or portfolio review.


Our Portfolio page gives an overview of what we will ask you to provide once we receive your application.


Course Summary


3 or 4 years

Mode of study

Full or part time

Start date

September 2023

Course Type

Undergraduate Course


BA (Hons)

Course Fees (2023 Entry)

UK/Republic of Ireland students (Fee per year)


International students (Fee per year)


Funding and Support Additional Costs

So, ready?