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BA in Costume for Performance (Full Time)

University of the Arts London

Bachelor Degree , Fashion Design

Course Description

BA (Hons) Costume for Performance prepares students for a career working with costume and fashion in the performance industry, by learning a specialist subject in the heart of a thriving cultural capital city. 

The course benefits from workshops and masterclasses delivered by industry practitioners and work placement opportunities. 

Students design and construct abstract and period accurate costumes for a wide range of performance genres, such as dance, film and television, theatre, circus, opera and performance art. 

What to expect 

  • The course integrates the intellectual demands of interpreting a text, or other written element, with the specialised design and craft skills required for the creation of original costumes. 

  • The cultural and historical context of the subject is explored, enhancing the design and realisation of the practical work. Working in performance is always a collaborative venture, where the success of the production depends upon the joint efforts of many creative and specialised designers and makers, who work together with the director and performers. 

BA (Hons) Costume for Performance prepares students for a career working with costume and fashion in the performance industry, by learning a specialist subject in the heart of a thriving cultural capital city.  The course benefits from workshops and masterclasses delivered by industry practitioners and work placement opportunities.  Students design and...

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Course Content

Year one 

Introduction to Design for Performance aims to introduce you to your course and its subject specialism as well as to effective learning and studentship at undergraduate level. It will orientate you to the practices and knowledge-base needed to understand your discipline and help you to develop your skills for independent & collaborative learning, reflection and your own self development. Students come from many diverse educational backgrounds and a part of this unit will enable to reflect on your own background and how that shapes the way you approach your course. 

This Unit has three core purposes: 

  • to introduce you to your discipline in the context of study at a Higher Education level 

  • to introduce you to learning skills and the requirements of effective studentship at undergraduate level 

  • to orientate you within your course, the College and the University 

Emphasis is placed on the skills needed to locate, navigate and communicate information and ideas effectively and appropriately. You will be introduced to resources that support your studies. We will also discuss studentship, the importance of being an engaged and participatory member of the group and your own personal and professional development. 

The Introduction to Costume for Performance unit will introduce you to some of the fundamental principles and techniques employed by the costume practitioner to enhance and distort the performer body form in the creation of the character required. You will be required to research and record processes and exploration of techniques and approaches in a visually appropriate and informative way. 

The unit encourages your development in technical areas underpinned by an understanding of the principles of costume cut and construction, design interpretation as well as three-dimensional approaches to realising the shape of the performing body. During workshops, you can explore how the human form can be modified, adapted, extended and distorted with additions to the body. You will develop an understanding of how basic techniques can be used creatively and will be encouraged to develop an enquiring approach to the development of costume realisation for performance. 

Fashion Cultures and Histories introduces the Cultural and Historical Studies approach to fashion and related areas. The unit provides a broad overview of the subject and introduces key concepts and ways of thinking that will form the basis of subsequent study. It will also inform decisions regarding the Cultural and Historical Studies unit that is chosen for future study. 

Better Lives: London College of Fashion, UAL (LCF) is a leader in fashion design, media and business education. We have been nurturing creative talent for over a century, offering courses in all things fashion. We encourage students to examine the past and challenge the present. To have inventive, assertive ideas that challenge social and political agendas. We give students the skills, opportunities – and above all, the freedom – to put those ideas into practice. By leading the way in fashion design, business, and the media, we influence culture, economics and our society. 

This unit will provide you with a solid understanding of LCF’ core values and how they connect to your practice. As part of this unit, you will explore diversity, social responsibility and sustainability, themes which you will then apply to a selected project. At this stage, the emphasis is on how you apply your thinking across these important themes to your practice. Your thinking is more important than a finished piece of work at this point. Fashion can change lives. Through teaching, specialist research, and collaborative work, this unit will get you thinking differently. We want you to use fashion to examine the past, build a sustainable future and improve the way we live. That’s why we call this unit ‘Better Lives’. 

Collaboration One: Design and Production will provide you with an opportunity to demonstrate the progress you have made over the previous block and will enable you to integrate knowledge and principles learned to date, it will also extend other areas of craft skill and design.You will undertake research, design development and presentation principles within a collaborative project, working with students from across the Performance Programme. 

Working together, you will design and realise characters from a script or text. Your Character will exist within an agreed design aesthetic. Through the application of 2D and 3D approaches for Costume students, this should include the development and realisation of a character using appropriate materials and techniques learnt in womenswear costume construction and be suitable for the group aesthetic. You will be encouraged to take an innovative approach to the realisation of your work using both experimental and traditional methods for a contemporary performance context. 

Year two 

To begin you will be able to study a Cultural and Historical Studies unit of your choice that will broaden or deepen your learning of areas relating to your interests in your chosen field. You will have the opportunity to participate in lectures, seminars and workshops with students from other courses within your School, and will read relevant academic texts and complete a formal academic essay for assessment. 

Core Skill: Period and Contemporary Menswear will introduce you to the contexts relevant to the research, design, pattern cutting, and appropriate processes for period and contemporary tailoring. It will develop an awareness of research as the basis for creative cutting and design development and establish the relationship between research, design, cutting and realisation. You will research, develop and design menswear responding to a given narrative. The unit encourages development in technical areas underpinned by an understanding of the principles of period and contemporary men’s costume design, cut and realisation. You will develop an understanding of how techniques can be creatively utilised and will be encouraged to develop an enquiring approach to the technical development of bespoke garments for performance. 

Situating your Practice 

Situating your Practice: Industry Project 
This unit aims to develop your practitioner identity and consider your personal manifesto for performance, by completing a performance proposal for a performance event around a location, and stimulus of your choosing.??This unit brings together the technical skills that you have developed and asks you to now take them further in a performance context. It will allow you to expand your understanding of the work of practitioners who you find useful, inspiring, and interesting, before then applying that knowledge in the creation of your own performance event. 

Situating your Practice: Industry Placement 
This unit aims to develop your professional skills within an industry environment. On your placement, you will be able to experience the pace, atmosphere and discipline of working in the industry. This will give you practical experience of the roles, functions and operations within the industry. The unit requires a minimum of 60 work placement hours. 

LCF Careers provide career guidance and one to one opportunities starting in your first year at LCF, to help you plan ahead and prepare for your work experience. You will be expected to engage and be proactive in securing your own work experience and one that is suitable to your own personal development, skills, course requirements and career aspirations. This means producing an updated CV and directly applying to companies for work experience using LCF CAREERS LIVE, LCF’s own job board, as well as other resources. You will also be expected to feedback on your work experience after your work experience. 

During the Collaboration Two: Interdisciplinary and Experimental unit you will collaborate with other students to design and realise characters for a narrative. Working in a small group you will choose a context for the performance. You are encouraged to look at a context you may not have designed for previously, such as film, television, dance, theatre, opera, music video, advertising or fashion film. You are encouraged to collaborate with performers and students from other disciplines 

Year three 

Innovation and Design requires you to identify an area of personal interest and to investigate, research and experiment to develop your concept and designs for realisation in the following Personal Performance Project unit. You will demonstrate your skills in the creation of an extensive body of work to show development and experimentation. 

You should consider theoretical and professional contexts of your project, and the surrounding industries, to develop your chosen narrative and performance context.You will develop an appropriate methodology, and have the opportunity to explore new ideas, processes, take risks and experiment with design and production values, working to an intended performance location and audience. 

The way that you structure your innovation and design work within this unit is up to you; for example, you may choose to focus on one line of enquiry or explore a range of research and design avenues and methods. 

Following on you will complete a major piece of written work for the Cultural and Historical Studies Dissertation unit. The overall aim of the dissertation is to provide an opportunity for you to demonstrate your understanding of the critical and analytical perspectives developed within cultural and historical theory and your ability to apply those perspectives in a specific study. You will research a topic of your choice that has relevance to the discipline of cultural and historical studies. This may relate to your course discipline and should elaborate knowledge developed in prior cultural and historical studies units. You will undertake a substantial piece of structured primary and secondary research that critically engages with cultural issues relating to fashion, the body, performance, or the media and communications industries and which reflects on the critical debates and concerns addressed in your course. 

Personal Performance Project 
Building on your previous design portfolio created for the Innovation and Design unit, you will now execute the realisation of your designs. You will test your ability to respond innovatively to the challenges involved in your chosen performance context. This is an opportunity to demonstrate your specialist technical skills and specific interests through your individual body of work.
 
This unit will enable you to realise a personal response to your concept. The structure and outcome of your project will be determined by you. You will identify and construct individually negotiated outcomes to communicate your performance concept towards your chosen audience. 

The Modelling your Future unit will prepare you for a number of future employment or postgraduate opportunities. It will expand upon your ability to articulate your practitioner identity. You will reflect upon your professional and/or academic goals after having completed your Personal Performance Project to help you to position yourself creatively and to now construct your industry portfolio accordingly. This unit requires you to evaluate, restructure, and position your work effectively as you create a professional roadmap to your chosen future career. 

Year one  Introduction to Design for Performance aims to introduce you to your course and its subject specialism as well as to effective learning and studentship at undergraduate level. It will orientate you to the practices and knowledge-base needed to understand your discipline and help you to develop your skills for independent...

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Entry Requirements

The standard minimum entry requirements for this course are:

  • Minimum of 2 A Levels at Grades A*- C to total 96 new UCAS tariff points (preferred subjects include Art, Design, English, Drama and Film Studies);
  • Merit, Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4) would ‘normally’ expect Foundation plus at least one A-level, with a total of at least 96 tariff points;
  • Merit, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma preferred subjects Art & Design;
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma; or Access Diploma or 96 new UCAS tariff points from the Access to HE Diploma;
  • 96 new UCAS tariff points (equivalent to 240 old UCAS tariff points) from a combination of the above qualifications or an equivalent full Level 3 qualification;
  • or equivalent EU or non-EU qualifications such as International Baccalaureate Diploma;
  • and three GCSE passes at grade A*-C or grade 9-4.

Entry to this course will also be determined by assessment of your portfolio.

APEL (Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning)

Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered in exceptional cases. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • Related academic or work experience
  • The quality of the personal statement
  • A strong academic or other professional reference
  • OR a combination of these factors

Each application will be considered on its own merit but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

English Language Requirements

IELTS level 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking. 

The standard minimum entry requirements for this course are: Minimum of 2 A Levels at Grades A*- C to total 96 new UCAS tariff points (preferred subjects include Art, Design, English, Drama and Film Studies); Merit, Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4) would ‘normally’ expect Foundation plus at least one A-level, with a total of at...

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Assessment Methods

The following assessment methods are employed to support the integrated aims of the course outcomes:

  • Blogs
  • Essays, reports and ?dissertation
  • Final show examination
  • Mid-year reviews
  • Peer assessment
  • Portfolio of work
  • Presentation
  • Student self-evaluation
  • Tutorials

The following assessment methods are employed to support the integrated aims of the course outcomes:

  • Blogs
  • Essays, reports and ?dissertation
  • Final show examination
  • Mid-year reviews
  • Peer assessment
  • Portfolio of work
  • Presentation
  • Student self-evaluation
  • Tutorials

Additional Information

Autumn term:

Monday 14 September - Friday 4 December 2020

Spring term:

Monday 4 January - Friday 12 March 2021

Summer term:

Monday 12 April - Friday 18 June 2021

Autumn term:

Monday 14 September - Friday 4 December 2020

Spring term:

Monday 4 January - Friday 12 March 2021

Summer term:

Monday 12 April - Friday 18 June 2021