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.
Employable graduates: we’re ranked 15th highest amongst all UK universities and 12th for English institutions with 96% of graduates in work or further study within six months of completing their degree (HESA 2016).
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.
- You can explore costume and set design within our flagship learning theatre, a major live performance venue offering real-world industry experience.
- You will draw on the outstanding expertise of our staff and our excellent manufacturing facilities
- You’ll benefit from honing your skills in Derby Theatre, designing and making for both student and in-house shows. We are one of the only UK universities to own and run a professional producing theatre and your course is delivered as part of the Learning Theatre initiative funded by Arts Council England which enables you to gain valuable industry experience.
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.
Diploma in Professional Practice
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.
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.
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.
September 2019 typical entry requirements
|UCAS points||112 (up to 16 from AS-levels)|
|Specific requirements at A-level|
No specific subject requirements
|Specific requirements at GCSE||GCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification|
|Interview / Audition||Yes - see interview details|
Alternative entry qualifications:
- BTEC - DMM
- Access to HE Diploma 60 credits: 45 at level 3 with a minimum of Dist: 15 Merit: 24 Pass: 6
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.
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.
† Additional information about your studies
Download programme specification
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.
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.