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Course Description

A theatre designer designs the environment in which a performance takes place and the performers’ costumes. They may also design sound, lighting and other digital aspects. All these areas are covered on the course. As well as having a range of practical skills, designers must be good communicators and collaborators. They must be resourceful, imaginative, self-assured and effective problem solvers. The rich mix of practice and theory on the BA Theatre Design course ensures that experimentation and critical thinking are equally valued. This will enable you to produce inventive and imaginative design work underpinned by strong practical skills.

What you can expect

  • A staff team of practicing theatre and performance designers, and tuition from freelance theatre-makers
  • Teaching specifically focussed on interpretation of text, perception of character, dramatic space and the role of the designer within the creative team
  • A contextual studies programme which builds your knowledge and understanding of film, television and the arts
  • An introduction to Computer Aided Design (CAD), fabric dyeing, costume construction, lighting and sound, precision model-making and recorded digital arts for live performance
  • To examine the role of drawing in relationship to costume, performance, technical rendering and storyboarding
  • To build a strong network of theatre-makers through collaborative live projects with other institutions, such as The Lyric Theatre, London Contemporary Dance School, MA Directing at Birkbeck and BA Contemporary Theatre Practice at East 15 Acting School
  • To develop a professional portfolio that showcases your practice and personal identity
  • To have access to Wimbledon's shared workshops. 

A theatre designer designs the environment in which a performance takes place and the performers’ costumes. They may also design sound, lighting and other digital aspects. All these areas are covered on the course. As well as having a range of practical skills, designers must be good communicators and collaborators. They must be resourceful, imaginative, self-assured and effective...

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Course Content

Year 1

Unit 1 - Introduction to Theatre Design

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

Unit 2 - Designing and making 1

This unit will introduce you to the creative skills that are essential to working within the world of contemporary theatre design. You will begin to get an idea of the range and scope of current professional practice.

  • To use model-making, basic surveying, 3D modelling techniques and technical drawing to aid analysis and representation of spatial forms and colour
  • Projects will provide a foundation of working methods and processes that you will build on through the course

Unit 3 - Designing and making 2

This unit will focus on costume design.

  • To explore methods for carrying out in-depth costume research and character analysis
  • To look at the impact of the body in the performance space
  • To use drawing as the core process to develop your ideas

Unit 4 - Exploring ideas

In this unit you will create set and costume designs for a set text using a small London theatre as the venue.

  • Structured projects led by academics
  • Self-directed studio-based project work
  • To engage with the debates and ideas around theatre design
  • To begin to evaluate the potential impact of theatre design in a wider cultural context
  • To look at critical approaches to theatre design

Unit 5 - Who are you? Establishing practice

In this unit a range of digital processes used in the theatre design and live performance industry will be demonstrated. You will work on short projects in relation to these.

Year 2

Unit 6 - Practice as laboratory

This unit will enable you to investigate the breadth of contemporary theatre and performance design practice. Areas covered will include, but are not limited to, site-responsive theatre, immersive performance and other aspects of design for performance.

  • To carry out research, practical experiments and speculative design projects
  • To visits to external institutions

Unit 7 - Collaborative and collective 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

This unit will be mainly self-directed with support from academic tutors, theatre directors and performers.

  • To make a realised performance in response to themes from set contemporary and historical texts
  • 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
  • Lectures delivered by a range of industry professionals

Unit 9 - Where in the world? 2

The main component of this unit will be in the form of a complete speculative design proposal for the same text that was used in unit 8. Your proposal will include storyboards, set, costume, lighting and sound design

During this unit you can undertake a work placement.

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
  • Dissertation - a research project which can be written, filmed or presented
  • Professional portfolio - development of a portfolio for potential employment that articulates your aesthetic and personal identity

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
  • Seminars and talks on working in the theatre design industry
  • To prepare your portfolio to help you enter the theatre design profession
  • To present work in the college degree show

Optional Diploma between year 2 and 3

Between year 2 and 3 you can opt to undertake the Diploma in Professional Studies or the Diploma in Creative Computing.

 

Year 1 Unit 1 - Introduction to Theatre Design This unit is an introduction to your course, the college and the university. Unit 2 - Designing and making 1 This unit will introduce you to the creative skills that are essential to working within the world of contemporary theatre design. You...

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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 (please check our English language 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...

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Assessment Methods

  • Presentation
  • Professional and personal development
  • Research portfolio

  • Presentation
  • Professional and personal development
  • Research portfolio

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