Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 Years, Part-time: 6 Years

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year (2019/20)

International fee

£13,250 per year (2019/20)

UCAS points

112 (September 2019 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BA (Hons)

Start date



Markeaton Street, Derby Campus

Course description

This dynamic new course will help you develop a personal creative style as a costume or set designer.  It will equip you with the ideas, vision and technical skills to bring authenticity and ingenuity to a wide range of theatre, film and TV productions.

The aim of the course is to provide you with practical craft skills underpinned by the theory and history of costume and set design. You’ll receive tuition from practising professional artists with expertise in their own specialist fields. Public performance is an integral part of this course. You’ll be involved in public performances including those at Derby Theatre and work with students across our performing arts department. 

To find out more about the work that Derby Theatre do outside of the University, please visit their YouTube Channel.

Why you should study a course within the School of Arts at the University of Derby

What you will study

You will study modules such as:

  • Introduction to History and Theory (PDP)
    This module will provide you with a theoretical structure to support your practical work, within the overall context of theatre and performing arts
  • Introduction to Performance and Production Analysis (PDP)
    This module provides frameworks through which performance and scenography can be analysed in order to understand the decisions made by theatre/performance makers, and the impact this has upon an audience. 
  • Introduction to Costume and Set Design 
    This module will introduce you to fundamental skills of set and costume design giving you the ability to identify your own skills and interests. Working with mini projects to help underpin your learning.
  • Introduction to Costume and Set Design Application
    This module will expand on your introductory knowledge with some areas previously studied explored further and new disciplines introduced.  This will enable you to gain further understanding and awareness of methods employed by practitioners within both disciplines. 
  • Exploration in History and Theory (PDP)
    The aim of this module is to examine the importance of production outside of the mainstream. You will interrogate the relationship between production, politics, society, culture, and national identity. You will consider links between theory and your on-going personal practice and development within your specialist area.
  • Exploration in Research Methodologies (PDP)
    In this module you will continue your work on Personal Development Planning (PDP) in the areas of developing your wider understandingof theatre and performance, your developing place within it  and your future employability. 
  • Exploration: Costume and Set Design 
    Working alongside professionals and theatre production students, you will be able to follow the design process from start to finish. Students will interpret the criteria and the process in order to produce their own designs for elements of this production which will then be publically exhibited throughout the run of the production.
  • Exploration of Costume and Set: Design and Realisation
    You will have the opportunity to choose a play/opera/musical/ballet and study them in depth. You will research, design and produce at least one aspect of this piece to show understanding of the practicalities of design realisation. 

If you want to gain work experience, you can take an optional work placement between stages two and three to apply your academic knowledge in a work environment. During the placement, you'll study an additional qualification, the Diploma in Professional Practice which features modules such as: 

  • Applied Professional Practice 
  • Contemporary Issues in Professional Practice 
  • Independent Study in Costume and Set Design 1       
  • Independent Study in Costume and Set Design 2
  • Professional Practice in Costume and Set Design (PDP) - This module can be collaborative across undergraduate courses and provides opportunity to experience professional practice
  • Major Project in Costume and Set Design
    In this module you will take on a key role in the instigation, creation, planning and realisation of one or more productions/projects. The produced work is intended to be an expression of your professional potential. You will be part of the creative team, working at a high level of responsibility.
Derby Theatre's Artistic Director Sarah Brigham tells you all about the organisation

View Study at Derby Theatre video transcript

Students welcoming guests to a Buxton Open Day

Find out more about Costume and Set Design

The best way to find out if studying at Derby is right for you is to experience an Open Day. Get a feel for the city and campus, tour our first-class facilities and see where you could be living.

Book your Open DayBook your Open Day

How you will learn

This course involves an inspirational mixture of practical and theoretical work, including contextual studies, lecture and seminar activities. You’ll undertake performance project work and engage with the professional production programme at Derby Theatre. As part of your studies, you’ll also conduct an in-depth investigation into an area of costume and set design which particularly interests you, underpinned by research and academic criticism.   

You could even access exchange opportunities in Europe through the Erasmus Plus programme – where you’ll be exposed to a rich variety of performance schools, experiences and techniques.    

Your work will include both written and practical assessments and your independent research will be subjected to academic critique.  

Take a virtual tour of our facilities at Derby Theatre

A 360 look around Derby Theatre

People you'll meet

You’ll be taught by a dedicated teaching team with years of experience as practising professional artists in their own right and expertise in a wide range of specialist fields.  

Degree Show

Every year students from the School of Arts celebrate their time at University by showcasing their work at an end of year Degree Show at Markeaton Street and across the City of Derby. The Show usually runs throughout June and is a fantastic opportunity for potential employers, friends, family, industry and members of the public to see exciting creations by the next generation of artists, designers, creators and makers from Derby. The Show takes the form of:

For a glimpse of last year’s Degree Show take a look at our flickr photo album.

Entry requirements

September 2019 typical entry requirements

UCAS points112 (up to 16 from AS-levels)
Specific requirements at A-level

No specific subject requirements

Specific requirements at GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification
IELTS6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)
Interview / AuditionN/A

Yes - Digital portfolio

Alternative entry qualifications:

We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.

Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.

Fees and funding

2019/20 Fees


£9,250 per year

£1,155 per module


£13,250 per year


Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

UK/EU students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Part-time students should apply directly to the University.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for EU students post-Brexit

International students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree


The course is based in the Derby Learning Theatre and offers opportunities for placement and internships, and designing and making for both student and in-house shows. Upon graduation, you’ll be able to work across a number of industries relating to display, production, theatre companies and performance in live and film contexts.

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

Contact us Contact us

† Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, state-of-the-art facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

Included in your fees

Mandatory costs not included in your fees

Optional costs not included in your fees

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.


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