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 2019
  • Course duration: 3 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information

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. We'll help you develop 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.

Our teaching professionals all have industry experience, and you'll work in 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)
  • We’re delighted that 95% of costume design and making students would recommend studying at NTU. (National Student Survey 2018).
  • Our graduates go on to secure jobs in the design for performance industry. 90% of our graduates in employment or further study within six months of graduating (DLHE Survey 2016/17).
  • 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 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 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.

Student work

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.

    Contextual and Critical Studies 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.

    Contextual and Critical Studies 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 developing your designing and making 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.

Photo taken by student, Sigrid Mularczyk during her time at DHU

The course has exchange agreements with a number of institutions around the world, including RMIT in Australia. Students recently went on an exchange to Hong Kong Polytechnic University for a semester, whilst students have the opportunity to be apply for travel scholarships. Recently, two students secured scholarships to study in Donghua University (DHU) in Shanghai, China.

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 (31%), independent study (69%).
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (27%), independent study (73%).
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (20%), independent study (80%).

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, through guest lectures, opportunities to enter industry competitions, work placements and 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 recent graduates

The course has an excellent reputation for producing graduates who go on to enjoy a successful career in industry.

See what some of our recent graduates are now up to having left NTU.

YouFirst – working with our Employability team

Studying a creative degree in a large university has its benefits, none more so than having access to a large 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

Live projects and competitions could offer you the chance to gain professional experience and raise your profile. Organisations and programmes the degree 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.

We'll also give you the chance to enter and 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 degree 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

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.

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.

We're delighted to be ranked 8th in the UK for Art & Design (The Complete University Guide 2019)

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

All applications welcome

We welcome applications from prospective students with a range of qualifications and experience, and all are assessed on an individual basis. Mature applicants who do not meet the standard entry criteria can still be considered providing they have relevant experience to compliment any qualifications.

All applicants will need to apply through UCAS and will be expected to present a portfolio if invited to attend an interview.

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

All applications welcome

We welcome applications from prospective students with a range of qualifications and experience, and all are assessed on an individual basis. Mature applicants who do not meet the standard entry criteria can still be considered providing they have relevant experience to compliment any qualifications.

All applicants will need to apply through UCAS and will be expected to present a  portfolio if invited to attend an interview.

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.

This course requires a portfolio

How to apply

Apply through UCAS. If your application is successful, you'll be invited to an interview where you'll need to bring with you your portfolio.

Download our portfolio checklist.

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

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

Apply through UCAS. If successful, you'll be invited to an interview where you'll need to bring with you your portfolio.

If you aren't a resident in the UK, we'll ask you to submit a digital portfolio in lieu of an interview.

Get some digital portfolio advice.

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.

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
  • professional body course accreditation (where applicable)
  • infrastructure costs for final year Degree Shows within Nottingham (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.

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 / materials credit for each year of your course (maximum three years) for use
    within Bonington art shop, College workshops and College print facilities
  • materials for induction workshops and activities within the workshops / laboratories
  • Protective Personal Equipment (PPE) as required
  • professional body course accreditation (where applicable)
  • infrastructure costs for final year Degree Shows within Nottingham (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.

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