Full-time: 3 Years
£9,250 per year* (2020/21)
£14,045 per year (2020/21)
112 (September 2020 entry)
Markeaton Street, Derby Campus
This course will guide you in thinking practically, creatively, collaboratively and critically, and will equip you with the technical skills and knowledge to produce original theatre and performance design in a wide range of theatre and performance productions. We prepare graduates for the workplace and embed professionalism throughout the programme.
- We are one of the UK universities to own and run a professional producing theatre, Derby Theatre, a major live performance venue. Your course is delivered as part of the Learning Theatre initiative funded by Arts Council England and offers both real-world industry experience as well as the opportunity to work with students across our performing arts programmes in a broad range of productions.
- You will explore and realise your potential and individual style through research-informed practice and knowledge of critical theory and history. You will also receive expert mentoring and hands-on experience of working within and/or developing your own emerging design-led performance contexts such as site-specific, immersive and participatory performance, public engagement and community projects, mixed-media performance installations, children’s theatre, puppetry and object theatre, etc.
- You will receive tuition from practising professional artists and researchers with expertise in their own specialist fields, alongside staff at Derby Theatre and guest practitioners and companies offering masterclasses, presentations, workshops and direct feedback to your projects.
The UK's unique professional, producing and learning theatre
As a Learning Theatre, Derby Theatre provides a unique opportunity for students to learn to their craft by working alongside both academics and theatre professionals in the heart of a professional producing theatre, to develop your skills in technical theatre or performance.
Students, academics and artists work, create and learn side by side at Derby Theatre. All decisions about the development of both the art and the learning opportunities are made together. At every stage, there is huge potential in the crucible of the arts, learning and research combining to both underpin and inform our future work.
Derby Theatre provides an extraordinary platform for real life learning to take place, not only through the exciting main stage and studio programmes, but also through the work that the Theatre does with young people, young people in care, emerging artists and the community. Graduates of the programme can also be supported by our Artist Development Programme, In Good Company, which is part of a large regional funding programme.
Winner: Excellence in Arts Education Award, UK Theatre Awards 2019
Derby Theatre won the Excellence in Arts Education Award at the annual UK Theatre Awards, in recognition of its learning theatre vision which has transformed the venue and provides opportunities for young people to take part in high-quality arts, sports and cultural activities across the city. The award was also in specific recognition and celebration of This is Derby, a unique project delivered by Derby Theatre and other cultural and sports organisations in the city, including Derby County Community Trust, Cultural Campus: Derby's Cultural Education Partnership and the City's Sports Forum.
Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.
This course involves an inspirational mixture of practical and theoretical work, including speculative and realised performances, research and development of original practice, lectures and seminar activities and work placement opportunities.
You will undertake performance project work and engage with the professional production programme at Derby Theatre. As part of your studies, you will also conduct an in-depth research or practice-led research investigation into an area of costume and set design which particularly interests you, underpinned by analysis, academic argumentation and critical reflection.
Assessment covers a broad range of modes across all levels, including presentations, practical work, journals/portfolios, essays, speculative and realised performances. This enables students to explore their learning and developing practice in a number of ways and communicate successfully to different audiences/professionals/peers.
Where you will learn
You will gain valuable industry experience within Derby Theatre by exploring costume and set designing for both student and in-house shows.
Take a virtual tour of our facilities at Derby Theatre:
Recent field trips and work placements have included:
- Field trips to London including visits to shows and backstage tours.
- Work experience is situated within Derby Theatre (including shows for the main stage, Studio, Youth Theatre and Community productions) and with external partners.
- BA (Hons) Costume and Set Design field trip to Prague for the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space 2019.
We work closely with the School of Arts, the Student Wellbeing Centre, the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching and the Centre for Student Life to provide the best possible experience for our students.
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:
Take a look at highlights from the 2019 Degree Show.
September 2020 typical entry requirements
|Requirement||What we're looking for|
|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|
|IELTS||6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)|
|Interview / Audition||N/A|
Yes - Digital portfolio
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.
£9,250 per year*
£14,045 per year
* The fees stated above are for the 2019/20 academic year; fees for 2020/21 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. We will update this information as soon as it is available.
Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.
Additional costs and optional extras
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.
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
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.
Additional costs and optional extras
We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent 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
- Study Visit to the RSC and National Theatre
- Discounted tickets to all Derby theatre shows during your studies
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
- Correct clothing for practical classes - if not already owned £20 -£30
- There will be occasions when you will be expected to attend exhibitions, screenings, performances and festivals. You will need to budget for these over each academic year.
Optional costs not included in your fees
- Additional course related publications (approx. costs £100)
- Specialist software/hardware (costs up to £1500)
- Students would be expected to build up their own tools for practice in the profession over the period of study on their degree.
- Final year project costs (costs determined by student £200-£600
- Travel for work placement opportunities (costs will vary dependant on location)
- We provide full details of all course fees, but extra costs may include field trips (approx. cost £200-£400)
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.