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BA (Hons)

Design for Stage and Screen (Costume Design and Construction)

Lauren Winfield  BA Costume Design and Making
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Year Of Entry

2021
  • UCAS code(s): W451
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: City Campus
  • Starting: September 2021
  • Course duration: Three years
  • Entry requirements: More information


FIND US ON

Costumes are a vehicle to tell stories, convey character and create atmosphere in a performance. This specialist degree focuses on developing both your costume design and costume construction skills. You’ll learn how to translate your creative ideas into professional, bespoke costumes for theatre, film and television, dance, opera and other performance areas.

You will study subjects exploring visual research, character and text analysis, contemporary design development and innovative 2D to 3D realisation. Explore skills such as corsetry, pattern cutting, tailoring, millinery, costume props, fabric knowledge, and print and dye.

Key features

  • You’ll have the opportunity to complete a work experience placement of up to a year in length. Dependent on the duration of your placement, you could gain an additional Diploma or Certificate in Professional Practice.
  • The course is accredited by The Textile Institute at Associateship (CText ATI) level, reassuring employers that our students graduate with a high standard of professional skills as well as their degree
  • Work in a dedicated studio fully equipped with professional design, sewing, and costume construction equipment. View our School of Art & Design Facilities Hub here.
  • Take part in live industry projects. This has recently involved designing and making costumes for Curve in Leicester, working at Lichfield Garrick Theatre on Cinderella, working with Bruce Asbestos and Nottingham Contemporary on live art catwalk.
  • Receive support for work placements, gaining experience with national organisations such as Scottish Opera, Birmingham Royal Ballet, and Manchester International Festival.
  • Visit design exhibitions at venues like the V&A Museum in London, and the National Theatre costume department.
  • Go on national and international study trips, visit exhibitions and see opera, ballet, theatre and dance performances.
  • Opportunity to apply for an international exchange at one of our partner institutions.
  • Showcase your work in your final year, with the opportunity to be selected to exhibit at other graduate events in London.
  • During your time here, you will be given the opportunity to showcase your work to members of the creative industries. You can view our graduating students’ showcase here.
  • Focus equally on your designing and construction skills.
  • We are proud to be ranked 13th in the UK for Art and Design (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021).
Video Icon
Haydn Cawley - Why I Chose Costume Design and Construction
Hear from current student Haydn about why he chose this course.

What you'll study

Develop the skills you need to become a versatile costume designer and expert in mixed-media construction. You will study subjects exploring visual research, character and text analysis, contemporary design development and innovative 2D to 3D realisation. Explore such skills as corsetry, pattern cutting, tailoring, millinery, costume props, fabric knowledge, and print and dye. You'll learn how to interpret a brief and work with a creative team to create unique and bespoke costume designs.

As a costume student you will collaborate with students across our Design for Stage and Screen courses, as you personalise your learning journey and tailor your skills to meet your career aspirations in this exciting global industry.

  • Year One

    Design for Stage and Screen: Introduction

    (80 credit points)

    Through independent and collaborative projects and practical workshops, you will develop the skills and vocabulary relevant to costume design and construction. Through experimentation with a variety of methods and materials, this module will provide the opportunity to develop your visual communication skills and 3D problem solving, as you work on individual briefs, and a collaborative project with your fellow Design for Stage and Screen students.

    You’ll develop your skills through experimentation with text, character analysis, form, texture, colour and light through a variety of drawing, design work, digital work and construction projects. You will develop the necessary methods to generate ideas and build your 2D and 3D practice using traditional and non-traditional materials and techniques, developing key transferable skills in visual communication, self-evaluation and critical thinking.

    Contextual Studies: Introducing Research

    (20 credit points)

    Explore stage and screen history, cultural and contextual knowledge and its relevance to costume design and construction. You will develop a critical knowledge and understanding of the role that performance, culture, art and design can play within society by examining cultural contexts across a variety of time periods and locations, aiding and enriching your practical work.

    Skills Passport

    (20 credit points)

    This module introduces a variety of practical technical skills and the concepts of safe professional practice. Through exploration of a range of materials and processes, you will build relevant skills and develop your practical knowledge base, while allowing flexibility for personal direction and acquiring an understanding of industry needs.

  • Year Two

    Exploration (Costume Design and Construction)

    (60 credit points)

    This module reinforces the interconnectedness of costume design and costume construction and offers the opportunity to deepen your artistic and intellectual enquiry through an experimental exploration of, and personal response to more challenging project work.

    Building on the knowledge and skills you acquired in Year One, you will develop and enhance your creative thinking and technical, visualisation and software skills, giving you a sound and relevant preparation for Year Three and your future career.

    Strengthen your creative and technical skills through innovative, industry relevant practical work. This provides focus to develop your personal and artistic responses to costume design and construction. You will have the opportunity to apply theoretical and practical knowledge and skills and to consider the progression of your individual practice and artistic style within the stage and screen industry.

    Contextual Studies: Research and Impact

    (20 credit points)

    You will further investigate the role of performance and how it can convey meaning within a variety of cultural contexts, with an emphasis on performance analysis and practice within the global industry. You will continue to develop your intellectual curiosity and critical thinking skills which are key to the expression of your knowledge and understanding.

    Co Lab: Research, Exploration and Risk-taking

    (20 credit points)

    Through active participation with team-based problem-solving, you will work together in mixed teams on a project where you will use your creative ideas to generate solutions to the challenge or brief. Your project will allow you to explore how creativity can make an impact in society, as you choose a theme of sustainability, social justice, enterprise and innovation or community. This collaborative learning experience will expose you to a range of new processes and approaches that will develop your creative thinking.

    Optional module

    (20 credit points)

    You will also choose one module from below:

    • Millinery: Object and Narrative
    • Telling Stories
    • Character Ideation
    • Materials and Making
    • Material Stories
    • Model Making: Object and Narrative
    • Storyboarding: Visualising the Story, Enhancing the Narrative
    • Ethical Design
  • Final year

    Exposition (Costume Design and Construction)

    (100 credit points)

    You will negotiate, develop and conduct a self-directed costume design and construction project that is informed by your specific career aspirations and interests within the industry. Your project will combine technical costume design and construction skills with an innovative approach to your work. Sophisticated transferable skills such as reflective independent learning and personal development are emphasised facilitating the development of a personal visual language and creative, critical inquiry in your project work.

    Contextual Studies: Research and Professional Practice

    (20 credit points)

    Undertake a detailed piece of written work that explores either your own final year project, or an industry-related investigation of an area of costume design and construction that is of significance to you. You will hone your research and critical analysis skills as you connect theory to relevant aspects of professional contemporary performance or practice.

NTU have been awarded 5 Stars for Art and Design in the QS Stars Rankings 2022.

How you’re taught

On this course, you will spend your time in creative studio environments. Teaching and learning experiences will include:

  • studio days
  • presentations
  • independent projects
  • demonstrations
  • research
  • reflective journals
  • lectures
  • seminars
  • tutorials
  • study visits.

Collaboration across courses

This course offers our new innovative collaboration module. This gives you the opportunity to work collaboratively with your contemporaries from a range of different art and design subjects and beyond. You’ll be working alongside artists, designers, photographers, illustrators, animators, and filmmakers on daring and creative projects that prepare you for a rewarding career in your chosen industry. Your project will allow you to explore how creativity can make an impact in society, as you choose a theme of sustainability, social justice, enterprise and innovation or community.

International exchanges and study trips

Recent trips have included a visit to the Prague Quadrennial to see international industry experts within the field, a backstage tour of the Nottingham Theatre Royal, the V&A Museum in London, Newstead Abbey’s costume collection, and the National Theatre Open Day. Students have also been to watch Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Cinderella, designed by John Macfarlane, and Dr Frankenstein at the Crucible Theatre. We highlight up and coming performances so students are aware of what is happening relevant to their course work.

This course has exchange agreements with a number of institutions around the world, including the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia and Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Showcase

You will be given the opportunity to exhibit your work during your time at NTU to members of the creative industries. Last year we celebrated our final year students work in our ‘We are Creatives’ showcase – you can view our graduating students’ showcase here.

Assessment methods

Assessment is 100% through coursework. You’ll receive feedback throughout each module and will have opportunities to discuss feedback, identify areas of strength and weakness, and set personal goals. Depending on the module, you may be assessed through speculative design and live performances, artefacts, as well as presentations, written work and peer assessment.

Your final degree mark with be based 100% on your final year work.

  • Year 1 coursework (100%).
  • Year 2 coursework (100%).
  • Year 3 coursework (100%).

Contact hours

A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:

  • Year 1 lectures/seminars/workshops (28%), independent study (72%).
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (22%), independent study (78%).
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (20%), independent study (80%).

Careers and employability

Graduate destinations have included costume designing and / or construction for prestigious companies such as Angels Costumiers and the BBC, and freelance or in-house costume designing, making and assisting for a myriad of stage and screen companies, events and performances both large-scale and small-scale. These include everything from Outlander to Not Just Fish & Ships, Lichfield Garrick Pantomime to wardrobe on a cruise ship, and making props on the latest Marvel feature.

Connecting with industry

Live projects or competitions could offer you the chance to gain professional experience and raise your profile. Organisations and programmes the course has collaborated with include:

  • Making Costumes for the Curve, Leicester
  • Working at Lichfield Garrick Theatre on Cinderella
  • Working with Bruce Asbestos and Nottingham Contemporary on live art catwalk

You’ll also be encouraged to participate in national competitions and costume events, seeking out opportunities to work with local cultural centres.

Industry experts who have recently lectured on this course include:

  • television costume designer, Debbie O’Brien
  • specialist costume designer / maker, Ivo Coveney
  • Downton Abbey costume cutter, Sarah Humphrey
  • Society of British Theatre Designers Chair, Fiona Watt

Creative Industries Federation

We are members of the Creative Industries Federation (CIF), which means students in the School of Art & Design have the opportunity to sign up to free student membership. Creative Industries Federation are an organisation that represents, champions and supports the UK’s creative industries and membership grants students exclusive access to their selection of resources and events to help advance your career and connect with industry.

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

  • A-levels – BBC or equivalent; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DMM; or
  • 112 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels  or equivalent qualifications; and
  • GCSEs – English and Maths or Science grade C / 4.

Other requirements

Other qualifications and experience

We will consider equivalent qualifications and combinations, please see UCAS course search for details and use our calculator to help you work out how many UCAS points your qualifications relate to.

We may also consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for year one entry, or beyond the beginning of a course where applicable, for example, into year 2. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available for this route.

Contextual offers

As well as assessing your application and qualifications, we use contextual data and information to make offers for this course. Depending on your circumstances, we may make you an offer up to two grades below the standard entry criteria. Find out how we assess your application.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

What are we looking for?

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our courses. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements, please visit our international qualifications page.

Other requirements

NTU may admit a student with advanced standing beyond the beginning of a course, through an assessment of that student's prior learning, whether it is certificated or uncertificated. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available to these prospective students, such as recognising experiential learning or transferring to a similar course at another institution, otherwise known as credit transfer.

All prospective students who wish to apply via Recognition of Prior Learning should initially contact the central Admissions and Enquiries Team who will be able to support you through the process.

Foundation courses

If you need to do an art and design foundation course to meet our course requirements please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you’re already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification please visit our foundation courses page.

English language requirements

If English isn't your first language, you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. You can check our language requirements and list of accepted English language tests. Your British Council office can tell you where you can take an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test locally.

Next steps

Please also take a look at our International students page and our application guide for international students, which are full of advice and information about the University.

If you need any more help or information, please contact our International team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200. Alternatively, you can speak to one of our official NTU representatives for your country.

How to apply

Apply through UCAS.

We will ask you to provide a digital portfolio. Download some advice on what to include to help make your portfolio stand out. After you have submitted your portfolio, we may also invite you to an online interview to help us make our final decision.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Apply through UCAS (if applying to more than one university in the UK), or through our NTU applicant portal.

We will ask you to provide a digital portfolio. Download some advice on what to include to help make your portfolio stand out. After you have submitted your portfolio, we may also invite you to an online interview to help us make our final decision.

Keeping up to date

After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Please also take a look at our International students page and our application guide for international students, which are full of advice and information about the University.

If you need any more help or information, please contact our International team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200. Alternatively, you can get in touch with our staff at the International Development Office, who are always happy to help. Or speak to one of our official NTU representatives for your country.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there's no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

What's included in the course fees?

As part of the course, we will provide some basic materials and some necessary printed materials.

The School will cover the costs of any mandatory study trips.

In Final Year, the School of Art & Design will provide infrastructure costs for your Showcase. If you’re selected to exhibit your work at a graduate show in London, the School will cover the cost of transporting your work, the exhibition stand and event set-up.

Additional costs

Print and copy costs

We advise you to budget up to £100 per year for printing costs.

The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

Material costs

Depending on the materials you choose to work with, you should budget in the region of £250 (Year One), £350 (Year Two), and up to £500 (Final Year) to cover the production costs associated with your course. This is of course a broad approximation, as your projects are highly personalised.

Stationery and reading materials

Most study modules will recommend one or more core textbooks, which many students choose to purchase. Book costs vary between courses and further information is available in the University’s bookshop, Blackwell’s.

A good supply of these essential text books are available in the University libraries, which students can easily borrow or access on-line/directly whilst studying in the library. You should budget £50 – £100 per year (approximately) for stationery and reading materials.

Field trips

All essential field trip costs will be included in your course fees. There may be the opportunity to take part in optional field trips, which do incur additional costs.

If you choose to join an optional UK study trip, you should budget £40 – 60 per year.  If you choose to join the optional overseas study trips/cultural visits, you should budget £350 (minimum) per year.

Placements

If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

If you undertake work experience or a longer placement, you will have the chance to gain an additional Certificate or Diploma in Professional Practice, dependent on duration.  The Diploma in Professional Practice incurs a fee for the additional placement year.

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there's no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

You might be able to get a scholarship to help fund your studies. We award scholarships to those international students who can demonstrate excellent achievement, passion, and dedication to their studies.

Please take a look at our International students page for information about fees, scholarships for international students, visas and much more.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

What's included in the course fees?

As part of the course, we will provide some basic materials and some necessary printed materials.

The School will cover the costs of any mandatory study trips.

In Final Year, the School of Art & Design will provide infrastructure costs for your Showcase. If you’re selected to exhibit your work at a graduate show in London, the School will cover the cost of transporting your work, the exhibition stand and event set-up.

Additional costs

Print and copy costs

We advise you to budget up to £100 per year for printing costs.

The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

Material costs

Depending on the materials you choose to work with, you should budget in the region of £250 (Year One), £350 (Year Two), and up to £500 (Final Year) to cover the production costs associated with your course. This is of course a broad approximation, as your projects are highly personalised.

Stationery and reading materials

Most study modules will recommend one or more core textbooks, which many students choose to purchase. Book costs vary between courses and further information is available in the University’s bookshop, Blackwell’s.

A good supply of these essential text books are available in the University libraries, which students can easily borrow or access on-line/directly whilst studying in the library. You should budget £50 – £100 per year (approximately) for stationery and reading materials.

Field trips

All essential field trip costs will be included in your course fees. There may be the opportunity to take part in optional field trips, which do incur additional costs.

If you choose to join an optional UK study trip, you should budget £40 – 60 per year.  If you choose to join the optional overseas study trips/cultural visits, you should budget £350 (minimum) per year.

Placements

If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

If you undertake work experience or a longer placement, you will have the chance to gain an additional Certificate or Diploma in Professional Practice, dependent on duration.  The Diploma in Professional Practice incurs a fee for the additional placement year.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418