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BA (Hons)

Design for Stage and Screen (Design for Theatre and Live Performance)

Leslie Travers, Designer from Elysium at the Norwegian Opera
100%
Course places still available for September 2021

Year Of Entry

2021
  • UCAS code(s): W460
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: City Campus
  • Starting: September 2021
  • Course duration: Three years
  • Entry requirements: More information

Explore all aspects of contemporary design practice for theatre and the live performance, including set and costume design; construction; digital technologies and design; lighting design and audio visual; site-specific design; puppetry; heritage installation; and design for community and education. The course is facilitated by the highly skilled team of staff and technicians who have years of professional and academic knowledge.

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.
  • This course is a member of the Performance Design Education Collective (PDEC), and the Society of British Theatre Designers (SBTD). Through these, we are also a member of the International Organisation of Scenographers, Theatre Architects and Technicians (OISTAT).
  • Our facilities promote collaboration and innovation. You’ll be working alongside artists, designers, photographers, illustrators, animators, and filmmakers.  View our School of Art & Design Facilities Hub here.
  • All first-year students within the School of Art and Design will work together on a joint project.
  • Study in dedicated facilities, including a studio theatre, construction and paint workshops, and large teaching spaces.
  • Work on live projects with industry such as The Royal National Theatre, Birmingham Opera Company, The National Trust and Nottingham Playhouse.
  • Go on study visits for inspiration, research, and experience, including live performances, museums and heritage and educational organisations.
  • Enter competitions set by organisations such as The Royal National Theatre’s Connections festival, and the Linbury Prize.
  • During your time here, you will be given the opportunity to showcase your work to members of the creative industries. You can view the 2020 graduating students’ showcase here.
  • Opportunity to apply for a European or international exchange to one of our partner institutions, such as Ryerson University in Canada.
  • 100% of students from the Theatre Design course would recommend studying at NTU. (National Student Survey 2020)
  • We are proud to be ranked 13th in the UK for Art and Design (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021).
  • We're ranked 12th best University for Art and Design in the UK. (The Complete University Guide 2021).
  • NTU is ranked the top 15 universities in the UK for Design and Crafts (14th). (Guardian University Guide 2021).

Main image credit: Leslie Travers, Designer from Elysium at the Norwegian Opera.

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100% of our undergraduate students are satisfied with the quality of this course (National Student Survey 2020).

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What you'll study

Throughout your degree, you’ll learn how to develop your creative, technical, communicative, collaborative and organisational skills. We have strong links with performance, heritage, educational and arts organisations, and professional theatre companies, who we regularly collaborate with.

  • 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 design for theatre and live performance. 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 in model making, software packages such as ACAD, Photoshop and SketchUp, live practice work through puppetry, lighting, AV and scenic construction skills.

    Contextual Studies: Introducing Research

    (20 credit points)

    Explore stage and screen history, cultural and contextual knowledge and its relevance to theatre and live performance. 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 (Design for Theatre and Live Performance)

    (60 credit points)

    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 your final year and your future career.

    You’ll work on briefs that further develop your dramaturgical, interpretive, conceptual and visual communication performance practice that takes you beyond the proscenium stage. Craft-based projects will extend and underpin your skills as a designer in areas such as scale-model making, lighting, projection, sound and scenic construction. Performance projects will increase your understanding and your ability to communicate a visual narrative.

    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

    You will also choose one 20-credit module from:

    • Model Making: Object and Narrative
    • Character Ideation
    • Telling Stories
    • Materials and Making
    • Ethical Design
    • 3D Materials and Exploration
    • Millinery: Object and Narrative
    • Storyboarding: Visualising the Story, Enhancing the Narrative
  • Final year

    Exposition (Design for Theatre and Live Performance)

    (100 credit points)

    Work as a practising designer alongside industry professionals from our associate companies, and develop a design project for a specific client or audience, either individually or collaboratively, gaining an understanding of the process of initiating, developing, managing and realising a complex project. You will also develop your professional design portfolio and work on your reflective analysis of each project, developing your skills and preparing you for an exciting career in industry.

    Contextual Studies: Research and Professional Practice

    (20 credit points)

    Undertake a detailed piece of written work that explores either an industry-related investigation of an area of theatre and live performance 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.

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 visits have included:

  • Prague Quadriennial PQ 2019
  • full access backstage tours of Phantom Of The Opera, Les Misérables and Hamilton in London
  • Lady Macbeth of Mstensk, Birmingham Opera.

The course has exchange agreements with a number of institutions around the world, such as Ryerson University

Showcase

You will be given the opportunity to exhibit your work during your time at NTU to members of the creative industries. You may also be selected to showcase at Graduate Fashion Week in London – where many of our previous students have won awards. Last year we celebrated our final year students work in our ‘We are Creatives’ showcase – you can view the 2020 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.

  • 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

Graduates have been employed as designers and assistant designers on a multitude of live productions or have gained employment in specific production roles with companies such as:

  • the English National Opera (drawing room)
  • National Theatre (scenic art)
  • Cameron Mackintosh (model-making).

Graduates have also freelanced alongside internationally renowned designers in and out of the UK and worked on gallery installations, festivals, in film and TV, and for events and as community artists and practitioners.

Connecting with industry

Recent live projects and collaborations have included:

  • Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham
  • Nottingham Playhouse
  • Birmingham Opera Company
  • Nottingham Puppet Festival
  • City Arts Nottingham
  • The Workhouse, Southwell (National Trust)
  • Lakeside Arts Theatre
  • Metronome
  • TV Workshop

Industry experts who have recently shared their knowledge and experience with our students include:

  • Luke Halls, award winning video and projection designer
  • Neil Franklin, creative producer from Stage One
  • Richard Willacy, executive director, Birmingham Opera Company
  • International Opera Designer - Leslie Travers
  • Eco - scenographer- Andrea Carr

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.

Further information on careers and employability

94.1% of our undergraduates are in work or further study within 15 months of finishing their degrees (of those available for work or study, latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2017-18).

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.

Keeping up to date

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

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

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.

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?

The annual fee for our undergraduate degree courses includes a number of items. In addition to expert tuition and access to our first-class workshop and IT resources, you'll receive:

  • mandatory field trips, exhibitions and events required as part of your core studies
  • materials for induction workshops and activities within the workshops and laboratories
  • personal protective equipment (PPE) as required
  • professional body course accreditation (where applicable)
  • infrastructure costs for final year Showcases (where applicable).

You are expected to purchase your own books, standard drawing and writing equipment, and consumables.

Where optional overseas visits are offered, you will need to meet the cost of these.

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?

The annual fee for our undergraduate degree courses includes a number of items. In addition to expert tuition and access to our first class workshop and IT resources, you'll receive:

  • mandatory field trips, exhibitions and events required as part of your core studies
  • materials for induction workshops and activities within the workshops and laboratories
  • personal protective equipment (PPE) as required
  • professional body course accreditation (where applicable)
  • infrastructure costs for final year Showcases (where applicable).

You are expected to purchase your own books, standard drawing and writing equipment, and consumables.

Where optional overseas visits are offered, you will need to meet the cost of these.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418