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BA in Costume for Theatre and Screen (Full Time)

University of the Arts London

Bachelor Degree , Theatre Studies

Course Description

The course at Wimbledon views costume as a broad, developing and ever-changing industry. Both specialisms will encourage you to explore and build confidence in both traditional and innovative approaches to costume design and realisation, through new and emerging media and digital presentation techniques. 

A collaborative approach and engagement with live and industry focussed projects as an embedded part of delivery ensures you receive a real experience throughout your study.

What to expect

  • To gain an understanding of the essential elements of costume
  • To explore, create and understand costume in relation to historical, contemporary and conceptual contexts
  • To work on studio and performance based live projects. These might be costume design for historical or contemporary texts and opera. Or they could be for site-specific production, dance, film or theatre
  • To gain experience through live projects. In the past the course has worked with The National Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum and Windsor Castle
  • To explore colour and texture through mixed media experimentation for 2D design and textile work
  • To take a creative approach to problem solving during construction
  • Teaching from industry professionals. They will ensure you develop a realistic working process, that’s informed by current practices and debates
  • An introduction to a broad range of skills and technical areas. These include analysing texts and characters, corsetry, developing a visual language, drawing, millinery, pattern cutting, research, textile manipulation, garment construction and fabrication
  • A contextual studies programme. This builds your knowledge and understanding of film, television and the arts
  • To have access to Wimbledon's shared workshops. View the Wimbledon facilities

The first year is a challenging and exciting exploration of the subject area of costume. You will have an introduction to research methods, practical approaches, design strategies and conceptual and creative problem solving. You will make your costume specialism choice by the end of your first year.  The 2 disciplines of Costume Design and Costume Interpretation are very different.

The course at Wimbledon views costume as a broad, developing and ever-changing industry. Both specialisms will encourage you to explore and build confidence in both traditional and innovative approaches to costume design and realisation, through new and emerging media and digital presentation techniques.  A collaborative approach and engagement with live and industry focussed...

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Course Content

Year 1

Unit 1 - Introduction to Costume for Theatre and Screen

This unit is an introduction to your course, the college and the university.

Unit 2 - Designing and making 1

  • Short projects in research, costume design, construction and exploration of character
  • Lectures on costume theory that will introduce a contextual understanding of dress and its impact on society

Unit 3 - Designing and making 2

This unit will help you understand the specialism options of Design and Interpretation in preparation for you to make your choice between the 2.

  • Further projects to develop your design and making skills
  • Costume related lectures to help you improve your subject knowledge

Unit 4 - Exploring ideas

This unit builds on the broad range of technical processes and key ideas you have been introduced to.

  • An introduction to ideas, debates and critical approaches associated with the uses of costume
  • To work with a real body and creating performance
  • To make your specialism choice of Design or Interpretation. Projects in this unit will support a Design or Interpretation progression into the second year
  • To work on your reflective journal
  • Written work

Unit 5 - Who are you? Establishing practice

In this unit you will work collaboratively in groups to develop, design and produce a fully realised outcome for presentation in a live installation.

  • To use a set text that will allow you to broadly explore time, place and context.
  • To work with a real body to create a performance for an invited audience.
  • Tutorials and technical workshops
  • To work on your reflective journal
  • Written work

Year 2

Unit 6 - Practice as laboratory

This specialist unit gives you the opportunity to build upon the knowledge and skills established. You will work on a more challenging project within your chosen costume specialism.

  • An introduction to more advanced skills and working methods
  • To establish professional working practices including fitting, form and function
  • To carry out research to support your 2D and 3D constructed work
  • Lectures, talks, seminars and tutorials
  • To work on your reflective journal

Unit 7 - Collective and collaborative practices

This unit aims to introduce you to different ways in which collaborative working can focus and enhance your own creative strengths. This unit has 3 core purposes: 

  • To engage with fellow students with different practices and interests in a collaborative project
  • To engage with external audiences, participants or institutions to consider new contexts for your work
  • To develop your creative attributes to enable you to take on future challenges in a variety of contexts

Unit 8 - Where in the world? 1

  • A short practical project specific to your specialism
  • An industry awareness programme that will focus on exploring and defining a context for your own practice
  • To engage with and respond to broader concepts and themes. These might include, but are not limited to body, gender, genre, agency, authenticity, movement, audience, spatiality
  • To attend and review performances and events
  • To apply for work placements to be undertaken in unit 9
  • To work on your CV and professional portfolio

Unit 9 - Where in the world? 2

This unit has 2 elements:

  • Self-directed project - will give you the opportunity to select what and how you want to learn
  • Work placement - will give you an insight into the diverse career opportunities available in costume

Year 3

Unit 10 - Finding your voice: portfolio design, crafting research skills, career planning

The work generated for your final year project will be self-directed and involve extended pieces of work. The unit has 3 elements:

  • Research portfolio - a visual and reflective project that demonstrates your research voice within your studio work
  • Professional portfolio - development of a portfolio for potential employment that articulates your aesthetic and personal identity
  • Dissertation - a research project which can be written, filmed or presented

Unit 11 - Show your work: independent practice

This final unit enables you bring together all the ideas and learning from the course.

  • To continue a self-directed programme of practice and related research
  • To prepare your portfolio to help you enter the costume design profession
  • To present work in the college degree show

Year 1 Unit 1 - Introduction to Costume for Theatre and Screen This unit is an introduction to your course, the college and the university. Unit 2 - Designing and making 1 Short projects in research, costume design, construction and exploration of character Lectures on costume theory...

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Entry Requirements

The standard minimum entry requirements for this course are one or a combination of the following qualifications:

  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • 2 A Levels at grade C or above
  • Merit, Pass, Pass (MPP) at BTEC Extended Diploma
  • Pass at UAL Extended Diploma
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma
  • Or equivalent EU/International qualifications, such as International Baccalaureate Diploma
  • And 3 GCSE passes at grade 4 or above (grade A*-C)

Entry to this course will also be determined by the quality of your application, looking primarily at your portfolio of work, personal statement and reference.

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
  • 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

All classes are taught in English. If English isn't your first language you must provide evidence at enrolment of the following:

  • IELTS level 6.0 or above, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking.

The standard minimum entry requirements for this course are one or a combination of the following qualifications: Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (Level 3 or 4) 2 A Levels at grade C or above Merit, Pass, Pass (MPP) at BTEC Extended Diploma Pass at UAL Extended Diploma Access to Higher Education Diploma Or...

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Assessment Methods

  • Collaborative group project
  • Dissertation
  • Essay
  • Evaluative report
  • Presentation
  • Project work
  • Reflective journal
  • Research portfolio
  • Self-evaluation

  • Collaborative group project
  • Dissertation
  • Essay
  • Evaluative report
  • Presentation
  • Project work
  • Reflective journal
  • Research portfolio
  • Self-evaluation

Additional Information

Course dates

Autumn Term:

Monday 21 September - Friday 4 December 2020

Spring Term:

Monday 4 January - Friday 12 March 2021

Summer Term:

Monday 12 April - Friday 18 June 2021

Course dates

Autumn Term:

Monday 21 September - Friday 4 December 2020

Spring Term:

Monday 4 January - Friday 12 March 2021

Summer Term:

Monday 12 April - Friday 18 June 2021