Four Rose Bruford College Scenic Arts students panting

What you'll study

This course will develop your prop making, scenery construction and scenic painting skills.

You will gain hands-on experience and learn from working practitioners.  You will graduate with a forward-looking professional knowledge, based on traditional experience and practice as well as modern materials and emerging technologies.

This solid understanding of the technical arts combined with a core practical skills base can be applied across a wide range of roles, sectors and types of performance-based activity.

Three Rose Bruford College Scenic Arts students designing a floor piece for a production

Why choose this course?

Expert training

Gain construction skills in wood and metal (using hand tools and machinery). Learn scenic painting techniques and explore prop making in a range of materials. And develop advanced skills with computer-aided design (CAD), digital manufacturing and 3D modelling using resins and silicon

Learn from working professionals

Visiting tutors have included: Nigel Hook, freelance designer and Tony Award winner, The Play That Goes Wrong; Jane Broomfield, Co-designer/Art Director, ITV and BBC; Robert Allsopp, Costume props specialist; Sadeysa Greenaway-Bailey production design (residency), Royal National Theatre; Zoe Ross freelance Prop Maker, Royal Opera House

Dedicated facilities

Spacious and equipped workshops on campus, which include CAD facilities, paint frame and specialist fibreglass and plaster room

Professional industry experience

You will undertake at least one industry placement while on the course. Recent placements have included the Royal Opera House, Polka Theatre, Oily Cart Theatre Company, Emergency Exit Arts, Nottingham Playhouse, and commercial scenic workshops such as Scott Fleary (London), Rocket Scenery (Nottingham), Visual Scene (Leicester)

Career focussed

Develop your own areas of specialism through individual project work, productions and work placement. Creating your own unique portfolio, growing your experience and preparing you for a career in the theatre and performance industries

Real experiences

You will manufacture scenic elements to live briefs and see them used in fully realised productions in College and London venues. Gaining an understanding of collaborating with designers, directors and other courses as part of a creative team

Rose Bruford College female Scenic Arts student painting set whilst on a ladder

Course breakdown

Course content is regularly reviewed to keep it relevant and current. Course modules are therefore subject to change.

Year 1

  • Introduction to scenic construction – the workshop environment, scenic construction techniques in wood and metal
  • Introduction to scenic painting
  • Introduction to three-dimensional modelling with materials including clay, plaster, latex, polystyrene, solvents and glues
  • Introduction to stagecraft, technical drawing and CAD
  • Theatre making practice – implement the set design for one or more realised productions
  • Research and analysis of performance and the theatre industry

Year 2

  • Materials, techniques and performance – learn about complex manufacturing techniques and staging technologies
  • Specialise in either prop-making and scenic painting or construction and CAD
  • Industry study – researching the industry through a work placement
  • Production Practice – workshop assistant on two realised productions
  • Research and context

Year 3

  • Production practice: scenic manufacture – manufacture scenic elements to a brief, for a public production
  • Production practice: scenic management – undertake the role of either a Scenic Workshop Manager or Scenic Project Manager
  • Professional preparation
  • Independent research project
  • Graduate exhibition

Teaching and assessment methods

In your first year, you will complete around 350 hours of indicative scheduled learning and teaching activities and 850 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 160 hours of indicative scheduled learning and teaching activities and 1040 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 30 hours of indicative scheduled learning and teaching activities and 1170 hours of independent learning on projects, productions, placements or self-directed study. Assessment will be through: Coursework, presentations, assessed tutorials and portfolios

Programme specification



Get a flavour

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Your future career

Rose Bruford College Scenic Arts students in the work room with their prop food work
Level 4 Scenic Art prop designs

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

We will also help you plan your career and build a portfolio working on productions and projects either in the College or in external venues.

Alumni success

Sadeysa Greenaway-Bailey

Production design assistant - design residency - at the Royal National Theatre

Piers Ross & Danny Hayter

Managing partners at All Scenes All Props - specialist builders for Theatre and the Arts

Darren Joyce

Head of Operations, Cardiff Theatrical Services

Zoe Ross

Freelance Prop Maker, at the Royal Opera House

Careers options

The skills you develop on this course will prepare you to join the next generation of Scenic Artists, Prop Makers, Scenic Carpenters, Scenic Metal Fabricators and Scenic Construction Drafters and enable you to pursue a rewarding career in the performance and media industries including theatre, film, television, museum displays, and themed attractions.

And 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:

  • Artists
  • Carpenters and joiners
  • Interior decoration designers
  • Production managers and directors in construction
  • Painters and decorators
  • Furniture makers and other craft woodworkers
  • Skilled tradesperson
  • Education support assistants
  • Freelancers and Creative start-ups

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: W4W7

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 years

Mode of study

Full time

Start date

September 2023

Course Type

Undergraduate Course


BA (Hons)

Course Fees (2022 Entry)

Fees for 2023 entry have not been published yet.

UK/Republic of Ireland students (Fee per year)


International students (Fee per year)


Funding and Support Additional Costs

So, ready?