What you'll study
This course covers the total design process – from the initial brief through visualisation to full performance.
You learn from scratch, starting with model making and computer-aided technical drawing then working on text analysis and designing for actual performances. Developing your visual and creative response to text, character, music, physicality and time throughout.
You will design at least two productions in fully-equipped public venues on campus or in London. You will also develop your professional understanding of the role of the designer and how other technical and creative teams work in bringing together an event or performance.
Why choose this course?
Investigate the fundamentals of set and costume design with tutors who are all practising directors/designers and undertake design projects led by visiting professional designers and directors
Studios and software
Create your work in dedicated design studios and learn using AutoCad, SketchUp and Photoshop - three key industry programs (you can use other programs but we focus teaching on these)
Collaboration across the College means you get to know how costume makers, scenic artists, stage managers, actors and others work. Good preparation to join a creative team. And the transferable skills you gain can be used beyond theatre/ events for example on product launches or photo shoots.
Work placements in your second year can be as a design assistant, in a prop, scenic or costume workshop. Recent placements have included the National Theatre, Globe theatre, The Almeida, Oily Cart Theatre Company as well as assisting designers
Learn from working professionals
Tutors are practising directors or designers with great industry links (National Theatre, Nottingham Playhouse, the V&A, Wimbledon Theatre, Greenwich Theatre). Visiting lecturers have included Jamie Vartan (Designer), Michael Walling (Artistic Director, Border Crossings), Laura Keefe (Freelance Director, Royal National Theatre) and Oli Smart (Folded Feather Puppet Company)
Professional links include the National Theatre, Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne, Oily Cart, Manchester Exchange Theatre, Punchdrunk, London Bubble, Fisher Productions, Almeida Theatre, Lyric Theatre Hammersmith, Emergency Exit Arts, Baseless Fabric Theatre
Course content is regularly reviewed to keep it relevant and current. Course modules are therefore subject to change.
- Introduction to theatre design – the essentials of design for performance, the principles of dramatic space and performance narrative
- Conceptual design projects
- The collaborative process between designer and director
- Developing costume designs for performance, the creative relationship between costume maker and designer. The history of dress
- Skills – storyboarding, model boxes, costume drawing, technical drawing
- Research and analysis of performance and the theatre industry
- Collaborative project – design as an ongoing collaborative process from project inception through to performance, looking at the relationship of technology to the creative process
- Industry placement and industry talks
- Conceptual design project for alternative theatre forms
- Design Practice – small scale realised design, in collaboration with students from other courses
- Research and context
- Design practice – designing a full-scale public theatre production
- Contexts of design – investigating the designer’s role for performance or related context, including design for film
- Professional preparation – CV’s, website, mock interview and professional promotion planning
- Independent research project
- Graduate networking
Teaching and assessment methods
In your first year, you will complete around 410 hours of indicative scheduled learning and teaching activities and 790 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 320 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 third year, you will complete around 170 hours of indicative scheduled learning and teaching activities and 1030 hours of independent learning on projects, productions, placements or self-directed study. Assessment will be through: Coursework, presentations, assessed tutorials and portfolios
Get a flavour
Your future career
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 networking event.
Costume Designer, The Silent Hours, Costume Assistant, Spectre, Suffragette, Genius
Set designer for Mobo Awards 2015; Head of Design Studio, London 2012 Olympics
Andy Sinclair Harris
Concept Designer at Walt Disney Imagineering, Hong Kong
Designer, Another World, National Theatre
Set and costume designer for Rapunzel; Designer for Crying in the Wilderness Productions
Assistant Designer to Fly Davis at the National Theatre
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:
- Clothing designers
- Set designers (for stage and performance)
- Interior decoration designers
- Exhibit, display and related designers
Meet the staff
Subject Leader in Design for Theatre and Performance
Pip Nash’s career spans more than 35 years, working within a range of theatre forms, including new writing, devised, classic and contemporary texts, and within main house, touring, open air and studio theatre settings.Read their full profile
Lecturer in Performance Design
Dr Marina Hadjilouca is a lecturer in Performance Design at Rose Bruford College. She is a practising performance designer, working extensively in Europe and the UK.Read their full profile
How to join
For 2022 entry, please apply via UCAS by the UCAS deadline on 26 January to guarantee audition or portfolio.
Institution code: 10005523
Course code: BADTP
64 UCAS points*
This is equivalent to two C’s 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 audition/portfolio review.
PortfolioPortfolio Audition Fee Exemption
Please contact us at [email protected] for information on entry criteria if you are applying from outside the UK or require assistance
Mode of study
Course Fees (2021 Entry)
UK/Republic of Ireland students
Fee Exemption Criteria
- You audition as part of a progression agreement.
- Your household income is under £25,000 per year.
- You are in receipt of benefits including disability benefits: Universal Credit, PIP, DLA.
- You are Care Experienced (Care Leaver/in the care of your Local Authority).
- You have Caring Responsibilities (Young Carer/ Carer).
- You are irreconcilably Estranged with no contact with parents/family due to a relationship breakdown living independently without financial/emotional support from parents/family.
- You can offer other evidence of financial hardship.
- You are being auditioned overseas.
If you think you are eligible for the above fee waivers, our admissions team will be able to provide you with more details when you apply.
Please be aware there is an equipment list for this course. You may also incur additional costs as part of the course; as an indication, this could include the following:
- Theatre tickets: £150-£170 at the beginning of each year
- Course materials: £100 per semester for art, photography and model making material