Available through Fast Track to Clearing

Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 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, Derby Theatre

If you do not achieve the typical entry points required, you may want to consider studying this course with foundation year.

View with foundation year optionView with foundation year option

Course description

Talented and creative professionals are in great demand for backstage roles across the live entertainment industry. Offering hands-on experience in a real working theatre, our exciting BA (Hons) Technical Theatre covers all the behind-the-scenes skills which go into staging exciting productions. 

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

Technical Theatre students working

This exciting Technical Theatre programme is taught by practising theatre professionals with expertise in all areas of technical theatre. You will study the traditional technical theatre disciplines but then go on to explore the integration of new media and emerging technologies in live performance. During the course you will encounter a range of practices including stage and production management, lighting, sound, projection, set, props, wardrobe and theatre administration. You will be part of the production team for public performances in the main house and studio at Derby Theatre and other venues around the city and further afield. There is also the opportunity to be involved in extra-curricular activity at the Theatre.

You will develop a broad range of skills and be able to follow your particular interests and specialise in related areas. The general pattern of your work during the course moves from class work and focused practical sessions during the first stage to being part of the production crew for public performances during stage two and on to heading up a department and/or engaging in a design role for public performances in the final stage.

As well as the specialist facilities of Derby Theatre (which include a scenic workshop and dedicated student Production and Design suite) you will have access to a wide range of facilities at the Markeaton Street site including wood and metal workshops, computer labs with specialist design software, LASER cutters, 3D-Printers, audio labs, video equipment and much more. 

Technical Theatre student Aaron Mace
Aaron Mace, BA (Hons) Technical Theatre

'I chose to study a degree at Derby thanks to their outstanding facilities they have on offer. Due to the fact they have their own theatre, I’ve had the opportunity to gain real life learning by working in a professional theatre for the course of my 3 years. This has given me networking opportunities I’ll be able to take with me outside of the University and experiences working on big main house productions that look great on my CV.' - Aaron Mace, BA (Hons) Technical Theatre

A ballet dancer in front of a set of neon yellow chevrons

Fast track to Clearing

Why wait for results day? Jump the queue and fast track to Clearing now. We’ll call you to talk through your options and we may be able to make you an offer there and then.

Register now for fast track to ClearingRegister now for fast track to Clearing

What you will study

You’ll study all the traditional technical theatre disciplines but then go on to explore how new media and emerging technologies can be integrated in live performance. There is also the opportunity to pursue your personal interests to specialise in particular areas.  

You will study modules such as:

The emphasis at this stage is on class work and focused practical sessions with opportunities to observe and shadow professional practitioners at Derby Theatre. 

  • Introduction to Lighting, Sound and Video
  • Digital Media
  • Stage and Production Management
  • Set, Props and Costume
  • Contextual Studies (History and Theory)
  • Personal Development Planning 

At this stage, you’ll become part of the production crew for public performances and have the opportunity to focus on an area of personal interest. 

  • Lighting Design, Operation and Production Electrics
  • Sound Design, Operation and Production Sound
  • Stage Management in rehearsal and production
  • Design Realisation and Digital Design Tools
  • Video, Interactivity and New Media for Performance
  • Advanced Contextual Studies
  • Continuing Personal Portfolio Development

You’ll progress to greater responsibilities within technical theatre, such as heading up a department or engaging in a design role for performances.   

  • Professional Practice in Technical Theatre (Possible work placement)
  • Major Performance Project
  • Independent Studies
  • Personal and Career Development

Watch the video to see what you could get involved with at Derby Theatre...

Derby Theatre's Artistic Director Sarah Brigham tells you all about the organisation

View View our video transcript for "Study at Derby Theatre" video transcript video transcript

* Subject to validation

We are continually looking at enhancing our courses to ensure they are up to date and relevant. This means we may add new courses or update existing courses in our portfolio. As this happens, the courses are advertised as ‘subject to validation’ to make you aware that the course you are looking at may not yet be finalised, or is undergoing changes.

What does 'subject to validation' mean?

Students welcoming guests to a Buxton Open Day

Find out more about Technical Theatre

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

You’ll take part in lectures, seminars, practical workshops, tutorials and self-directed study, while engaging with performance and production activities.  Assessment is through written coursework and practical evaluation.  

You’ll work alongside students on other courses such as the BA (Hons) Contemporary Theatre and Performance to stage work not only at Derby Theatre but also at major events such as Buxton Fringe Festival and the National Student Drama Festival. The nature of technical theatre means that you should expect to work on shows during the evenings, overnight and at weekends occasionally.

Whilst all of your learning is underpinned by classroom based theory this programme has a very practical, hands-on approach to learning and you will spend much of your time working alongside the professionals at Derby Theatre. You might find yourself helping to construct the set, rigging lights or organizing props.

Real world learning is at the core of the Technical Theatre programme. Your work will be grounded in the professional activities of Derby Theatre and you will find yourself involved in production activities from a very early stage. We also work with other theatres and entertainment venues (such as theme parks) to give you exposure to practices in a variety of contexts. As well as professional productions you will work alongside students on a number of programmes and develop valuable skills in collaborating across a number of disciplines.


You’ll benefit from honing your skills in Derby Theatre. 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 innovative Learning Theatre initiative, funded by Arts Council England, which enables you to gain valuable industry experience.   

The vision for the Learning Theatre is to develop the next generation of theatre makers while creating a highly successful regional producing theatre and a city-wide community education programme.  

Such has been the success of the Learning Theatre project that it won the prize for ‘Excellence and Innovation in the Arts’ in the Times Higher Education Awards. It has also become an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation (NPO). 

Take a virtual tour of our facilities at Derby Theatre

A 360 look around Derby Theatre

People you will meet 

You’ll be taught by practising professionals with expertise in their own specialist areas of technical theatre.   

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.

Technical Theatre students working

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 / AuditionYes - see interview details

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



£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


Our graduates have a great employability track record in many areas of the live event industry, including lighting design, project management, stage management, technical support and theatre technician roles.  

Throughout the Technical Theatre course, you’ll discover countless opportunities to showcase your work to a wider audience, make contacts across the industry, and join professional agencies and support networks to help launch your career. We’ll help you to structure an impressive CV and portfolio to plot your course through the complex terrain of the creative industries.  

Notable Graduates

Programme leader

Kit Lane

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.

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† 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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