BA (Hons)

Costume Design and Making

  • UCAS code(s): W451
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: City Campus
  • Starting: September 2018
  • Course duration: 3 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information

This specialist course focuses equally on the development of your designing and costume construction skills. Learning fundamental principles together with innovative and bespoke techniques, you will learn how to translate your creative ideas through 2D and 3D design into professional finished costumes. These could be for use in theatre, film, ballet, television, commercials, events, festivals, concerts, and historical contexts.

Key features

  • Focus equally on your designing and construction skills.
  • Work in a dedicated studio fully equipped with professional design, sewing, and costume construction equipment.
  • Receive support for work placements, gaining valuable industry experience.
  • Take part in live industry projects – this has recently involved designing and making costumes for Nottingham's Theatre Royal.
  • Visit design exhibitions at venues like the V&A Museum in London, and the National Theatre costume department.
  • Go on trips to see opera, ballet, theatre and dance performances to stay informed on the latest productions.
  • Apply for an international exchange to destinations such as Barcelona, Hong Kong, the USA, and New Zealand.
  • Exhibit your work in your final year at our Degree Show in Nottingham and, if selected, at New Designers in London.
  • This course has an excellent employability rate, with 100% of graduates in employment or further study within six months of graduating (DLHE Survey 2015/16).

Student work

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What you'll study

  • Year One

    Costume Design and Making: Introductions (100 credit points)
    You will complete costume design projects that will include analytical research, concept and design development, and costume drawing. You will explore the use of text and narrative in relation to the design of costume for performance. You will also be introduced to the wider context of the world of costume, covering themes including costume and theatre history, film, and production analysis. You’ll learn the practical skills you need to master the cut, fit and construction of costumes, including period bodices. Other construction projects focus on puppets, millinery, and accessories.

    Visual Communication 1 (20 credit points)
    You’ll develop your ability to communicate your design ideas through a range of 2D drawing and image-making workshops. Projects will help you to develop your personal visual language, enabling you to communicate your ideas and feelings through your designs. You’ll also be introduced to the digital tools and technologies, such as Photoshop, that will help you to start building your personal digital portfolio.

  • Year Two

    Costume Design and Making: Explorations (100 credit points)
    You will engage in a wider and more sophisticated range of advanced costume design techniques and construction skills to advance your work and understanding of the subject area. You’ll focus on professional design practice, using contemporary and classical source materials in a variety of methods of performances. You'll gain experience through team working activities, and have the opportunity to undertake work experience. You will also practise the construction of period garments and further develop a technical understanding of fabric, cut, and finish. Costume workshops will help you to develop your skills in tailoring, corsetry, wigs, and tutu-making techniques.

    Visual Communication 2 (20 credit points)
    You’ll continue to develop your skills and knowledge in 2D drawing and image-making techniques, using both physical and digital media. Through a variety of visual exercises, you will develop your ability to analyse information and to compare alternative methods and techniques in the visual communication and presentation of your costume design ideas. You will create your own website, and build and refine your personal digital portfolio.

  • Final year

    Costume Design and Making: Exposition (120 credit points)
    This year-long module has two elements. The first is Costume Design and Making Independent Projects, which makes up 85% of your grade for the year. You will negotiate two costume design and making project briefs, informed by research and professional context. You’ll evidence design development, supporting research, progression from 2D to 3D, and the completion of a design portfolio and realised outfit. You will have the opportunity to incorporate live projects, competitions and industry collaborations into your briefs, and you’ll be encouraged to select design options that support your career aspirations. This work will be exhibited as part of the University’s Degree Show.

    The second element is a Costume Research Project, which makes up 15% of your grade for the year. You will produce an independent research project relevant to costume design and making, allowing you to develop and demonstrate in-depth practical and theoretical knowledge. You will present your research in the form of either an illustrated essay or a design rationale.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

Focus equally on your design and construction skills.

How you’re taught

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

  • masterclasses
  • demonstrations
  • creative workshops
  • studio practice
  • visits
  • lectures
  • tutorials
  • seminars
  • presentations
  • self-directed study
  • evaluations
  • feedback.

Assessment

Assessment is 100% coursework.  You will receive feedback throughout.

Depending on the module, assessment may include:

  • visual research
  • sketchbooks
  • design development
  • 3D development
  • prototypes
  • final product
  • portfolio
  • essays
  • costume research projects or rationales
  • visual and verbal presentations.

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

Exchanges, trips and study visits

There is the opportunity for you to see drama, musical theatre and dance pieces in Years One and Two. Recent trips have included a backstage tour of the National Theatre, the Hollywood Costume exhibit at the V&A Museum in London, the Newstead Abbey costume collection, and the National Theatre and RSC live at Cineworld. Students have also been to watch Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Cinderella, designed by John Macfarlane.

The University is part of the Erasmus programme and has agreements with partner institutions throughout Europe. Our Costume Design and Making students have recently been on exchange to Spain (Barcelona), New Zealand, the USA, and Hong Kong

Degree Show

In your final year you may choose to exhibit your work as part of our Degree Show. This event includes all final year students across NTU’s Art and Design courses. It’s a great platform for you to showcase your work to members of the creative industries.

Costume Design and Making work from our Degree Show is selected for exhibition at New Designers in London, and for entry to prizes and graduate award programmes.

Assessment methods

  • 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 (32%), independent study (68%).
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (28%), independent study (72%).
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (20%), independent study (80%).

Get involved in live projects and enter national and international design competitions.

Careers and employability

This course has an excellent employability rate, with 100% of graduates in employment or further study within six months of graduating (DLHE Survey 2015/16).

A wide variety of graduate career opportunities for this course exist in the live and recorded performing arts, as well as more widely related employment in the areas of film, television, theatre, opera, dance, music, and live performance.

Additional opportunities are available in advertising campaigns, heritage projects, commercials, events, festivals, circuses, pageants, concerts, and light entertainment.

Recent graduates from this course are working as freelance costume designers, trainee costume designers, and wardrobe assistants for a range of theatre, film, and television productions. This includes Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, The Book of Mormon, and The Winter's Tale at the Garrick Theatre, London. They are also working for world-renowned organisations such as Angels Costumes in London.

Hear from our Costume Design and Making alumni

YouFirst – working with our Employability team

Our friendly, experienced careers consultants will work closely with you at every stage of your career planning, providing personal support and advice you won't find in a book or on the Internet. You can benefit from this at any time during your studies, and for up to three years after completing your course.

Links with industry and practice

Throughout the course, you will have the opportunity to be involved with various activities to develop links with industry. Live projects and competitions offer you the chance to develop skills and gain professional experience. Organisations and programmes the course collaborates with include:

  • Scottish Opera’s Leverhulme apprenticeship
  • The Linbury Prize
  • Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith (panto dame)
  • BBC Design Trainee Scheme (costume)
  • MAD (Make and Design) UK Performance Costume competition
  • The Costume Society’s Student Award, Pattern of Fashion Award, and Museum Placement Award
  • The Woodland Trust
  • Magenta Star.

In your final year, there is the opportunity to work with local cultural centres (theatres, museums, events, heritage centres, and festivals). You will also be encouraged to participate in national competitions and costume events.

Industry experts who have recently taught on this course include:

  • directors Ian Woolridge, Hugh Hodgart, and Richard Baron
  • choreographer-designer, Theo Clinkard
  • television costume designer, Debbie O’Brien
  • theatre designer, Ruari Murchison
  • Downton Abbey costume cutter, Sarah Humphrey
  • costumiers Jane Cowood, and Pauline Parker
  • Shepperton Wig Company’s Joanne Foster and Linda Cooley
  • construction specialists Anna Kesteven and Liz Johnson.

Work placement and internship opportunities

We encourage you to undertake work experience alongside your studies. Staff will help and support you by directing you towards work placement and professional practice opportunities.

Our students have recently completed work placements with:

  • Sands Films, London
  • Downton Abbey
  • Scottish Opera
  • Birmingham Royal Ballet
  • Royal National Theatre costume hire
  • Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) costume department
  • Manchester International Festival
  • V&A Museum, London
  • Cosprop, London
  • Angels Costumes, London
  • Sheffield Crucible
  • Leicester Curve Theatre
  • Minack Theatre, Cornwall
  • Derby Live costume department
  • Arts Educational Schools, London.

This course has an excellent employability rate, with 100% of graduates in employment or further study within six months of graduating (DLHE Survey 2015/16).

Work in dedicated workshops and design studios equipped with professional design, sewing and garment construction equipment and machinery.

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

  • A-levels – BBC; 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

Non-standard applicants

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the entry criteria but hold relevant work experience. We will assess applicants of this nature on an individual basis. You must, however, have a creative portfolio to present at interview. If you are a non-standard applicant, you will still need to apply to us using the UCAS form.

The UCAS Tariff

In 2016 the UCAS Tariff changed. In the new tariff, the numbers awarded to qualifications are very different. So, whereas previously a B at A-level was worth 100 points, in the new tariff it is now 40 points. Sound confusing? Don’t worry. We’ve created this calculator to help you work it out.

What are we looking for?

  • A-levels – BBC; 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

Non-standard applicants

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the entry criteria but hold relevant work experience. We will assess applicants of this nature on an individual basis. You must, however, have a creative portfolio to present at interview. If you are a non-standard applicant, you will still need to apply to us using the UCAS form.

The UCAS Tariff

In 2016 the UCAS Tariff changed. In the new tariff, the numbers awarded to qualifications are very different. So, whereas previously a B at A-level was worth 100 points, in the new tariff it is now 40 points. Sound confusing? Don’t worry. We’ve created this calculator to help you work it out.

If you hold international qualifications, take a look at the alternative qualifications we accept for this course.

Are you an international student whose qualifications don't meet the entry requirements? You can prepare for this course at Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). The college is on our City Campus and NTIC students can use all of the University's facilities.

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'll find our language requirements and list of accepted English language tests here. 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 to the University.

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions team or call +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. You can also speak to one of our official NTU representatives in your country.

You'll need a creative portfolio to apply for this course.

How to apply

Application for this course is through the UCAS application form.

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow the instructions for applying. Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Selection for this course takes place through UCAS application form and, where invited, online work submission, interview and portfolio.

If you are invited to attend an interview at the University, you will need to bring your portfolio with you for assessment. For more information about what we look for during an interview, and some useful tips for your portfolio, download our BA (Hons) Costume Design and Making interview and creative portfolio information.

Application deadline

This course starts in September and applications should be submitted by the UCAS deadline – 15 January.

Applications received after this date will only be considered if places are still available, after all applications received by the deadline have been assessed.

Mature students

We welcome applications from mature students (over the age of 21) for this course. We will assess applicants of this nature on an individual basis.

If you are a mature student, you will still need to apply to us by UCAS form, but you don't necessarily need to meet our minimum entry requirements. You must, however, have a portfolio to present at interview.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember that we can only make a decision based on what you tell us, so include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades.

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application – it's your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place. You've got 4,000 characters to impress us, so make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you're applying for.

For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

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.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page.

Getting in touch

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.

Application for this course is through the UCAS application form.

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow the instructions for applying. Make sure you check the international entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Selection for this course takes place through UCAS application form and, where applicable, online work submission, interview and portfolio.

If you are resident in the UK and are invited to attend an interview at the University, you will need to bring your portfolio with you for assessment. For more information about what we look for during an interview, and some useful tips for your portfolio, download our BA (Hons) Costume Design and Making interview and creative portfolio information.

If you aren't resident in the UK, we'll ask you to make an online work submission. Download our BA (Hons) Costume Design and Making work submission information.

Application deadline

This course starts in September and applications should be submitted by the UCAS deadline – 15 January.

Applications received after this date will only be considered if places are still available, after all applications received by the deadline have been assessed.

Mature students

We welcome applications from mature students (over the age of 21) for this course. We will assess applicants of this nature on an individual basis.

If you are a mature student, you will still need to apply to us by UCAS form, but you don't necessarily need to meet our minimum entry requirements. You must, however, have a portfolio to present at interview.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember that we can only make a decision based on what you tell us, so include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades.

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application – it's your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place. You've got 4,000 characters to impress us, so make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you're applying for.

For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

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.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page. Good luck with your application.

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 applying to the University.

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call +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. You can also speak to one of our official NTU representatives in your country.

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

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

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
  • £100 print and materials credit for each year of your course (for a maximum of three years) for use in the Bonington art shop and School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment workshops and print facilities
  • 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 Degree Shows within Nottingham (where applicable)
  • £20 prepaid printing allowance for use in NTU print shops and with library photocopiers.

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.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

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
  • £100 print and materials credit for each year of your course (for a maximum of three years) for use in the Bonington art shop and School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment workshops and print facilities
  • 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 Degree Shows within Nottingham (where applicable)
  • £20 prepaid printing allowance for use in NTU print shops and with library photocopiers.

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.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418