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 course is now closed for entry for 2018, please ring our Clearing Hotline 0115 848 6000 to speak to one of our team to discuss current vacancies. *

FIND US ON

This exciting design for performance course is one of the few costume degrees that will allow you to focus equally on developing both your costume design and costume making skills. Learn how to translate your creative ideas into professional costumes for theatre, film and television, dance, opera and other performance areas.

You’ll develop skills in visual research, character analysis, contemporary design development, innovative 2D to 3D realisation, corsetry, pattern cutting, tailoring, millinery and wigs, and costume props, as well as build your fabric knowledge.

Benefit from teaching professionals who all have industry experience, dedicated working spaces and design studios, professional design and costume construction equipment in the beautiful listed Waverley building.

Key features

  • We're delighted to be ranked 8th in the UK for Art & Design. (The Complete University Guide 2019).
  • Focus equally on your designing and construction skills.
  • Work in a dedicated studio fully equipped with professional design, sewing, and costume construction equipment.
  • Take part in live industry projects.This has recently involved designing and making costumes for Nottingham’s Theatre Royal, and Hainsworth Mill Fabrics.
  • Receive support for work placements, gaining experience with 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 to one of our partner institutions, such as RMIT in Australia.
  • Showcase your work at our Degree Show in Nottingham, with the opportunity to be selected to exhibit at other graduate events in London.
  • This course has an excellent employability rate, with 90% of graduates in employment or further study within six months of graduating (DLHE Survey 2016/17).

Student work

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What you'll study

  • Year One

    Costume Design and Making: Introductions (100 credit points)
    Complete costume design projects that will include analytical research, concept and design development, and costume drawing. Explore the use of text and narrative in relation to the design of costume for performance.

    You’ll be introduced to the wider context of the world of costume, covering themes including costume and theatre history, film, and production analysis. Learn the practical skills you need to master the cut, fit and construction of costumes, including period bodices. Other construction projects may focus on millinery and accessories.

    Visual Communication 1 (20 credit points)
    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 through your designs. You’ll also be introduced to digital tools and technologies, that will help you to start building your personal digital portfolio.

  • Year Two

    Costume Design and Making: Explorations (100 credit points)
    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. Focus on professional design practice, using contemporary or classical source materials in a variety of performance methods. Have the opportunity to undertake work experience.

    You’ll also practice the construction of period garments and further develop a technical understanding of fabric, cut, and finish. Specialist costume workshops will help you to develop your skills in areas such as tailoring, corsetry or wig-making.

    Visual Communication 2 (20 credit points)
    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’ll develop your ability to analyse information, and to compare alternative methods and techniques in the visual communication and presentation of your costume design ideas. 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 is your Costume Design and Making Major Project. You’ll negotiate a design and making project brief, informed by research and professional context and you’ll be encouraged to focus on options that support your career aspirations. You’ll evidence research skills, developing a complete design portfolio, and show progression from 2D to 3D through the realisation of character. You may have the opportunity to incorporate live/industry projects and / or competitions.

    Your major project will be exhibited as part of the University’s Degree Show. You will also develop your writing skills, allowing you to develop and express in-depth practical and theoretical knowledge.

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:

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

Assessment

Assessment is 100% through coursework. You will receive feedback throughout each module and will be awarded a grade.

Depending on the module, assessment may include:

  • sketchbooks
  • design development
  • 3D development
  • prototypes
  • final product
  • portfolio of design work
  • essays
  • costume research
  • visual and verbal presentations
  • dissertation.

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 Nottingham Theatre Royal, the V&A Museum in London, the Newstead Abbey costume collection, the National Theatre, and RSC live at Cineworld. Students have also been to watch Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Cinderella, designed by John Macfarlane, and Dr Frankenstein at the Crucible Theatre.

The BA (Hons) Costume Design and Making course within the School of Art & Design has exchange agreements with a number of institutions around the world, including RMIT in Australia. A Costume Design and Making student has recently been on an exchange to Hong Kong Polytechnic University for a semester.

Degree Show

In your final year you will 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 may also be selected for exhibition at other graduate events, such as New Designers in London.

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

Employability is excellent for this course, with 90% of our graduates in employment or further study within six months of graduating (DLHE survey 2016/17).

Modules include initiatives to enhance your professional practice and career prospects. This includes guest lectures, opportunities to enter industry competitions, work placements and may include live projects.

Graduates from this course go into fields such as film, television, theatre, opera, dance, music, heritage projects, advertising, events, and festivals.

Recent graduate roles include 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, Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes, 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 may have the opportunity to be involved with various activities to develop links with industry. Live projects and competitions could offer you the chance to gain professional experience and raise your profile. Organisations and programmes the course has collaborated 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.

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

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
  • costume designer, Christopher Oram
  • 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

You’ll be encouraged to undertake short periods of work experience alongside your studies. Course tutors and the University’s Employability team will be on hand to offer advice and support on how best to approach companies, and get the most from your experience.

Costume Design and Making 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.

This course has an excellent employability rate, with 90% of graduates in employment or further study within six months of graduating (DLHE Survey 2016/17).

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 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 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.

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.

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 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.

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
  • receive £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 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
  • receive £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 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