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Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 Years

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year (2020/21)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2020/21)

UCAS points

112 (September 2020 entry)

UCAS code

W450

Course level

Undergraduate

Qualification

BA (Hons)

Start date

September

Location

Markeaton Street, Derby Campus
Derby Theatre

Course description

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.

Derby Theatre
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.

 

Team from Derby Theatre stand for their photo at the UK Theatre Awards

Derby Theatre wins Excellence in Arts Education Award at UK Theatre Awards

Derby Theatre has won recognition of its learning theatre vision and innovative This is Derby project.

View the full storyView the full story
Derby Theatre's Artistic Director Sarah Brigham tells you all about the organisation

View Study at Derby Theatre video transcript

What you will study

Year 1Year 1Year 2Year 2Year 3Year 3

Code: 4TH520

Spotlight on: Industry Practice

This module provides the opportunity for all students to fully interact with the processes involved in the professional theatre environment in which you are based.

You will engage with the various departments within Derby Theatre and explore the plethora of roles and responsibilities involved in theatre and theatre making, from Front of House, to Technical, Learning, Creative, Directing, Marketing and Fundraising. As such, this module will create the connections that you might draw on for your work experience and facilitates your future networking skills and professional opportunities.

More information
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 4TH521

Introduction to Set Design: Process and Application

This module will provide you with an insight into the fundamental skills of set design and enable you to explore what is scenography. You will gain a basic understanding of the processes, research, skills and methods employed by costume and set designers with a focus on set design. In this module you will begin to identify your own skills and interests within the area of set design and begin exploring your personal visual language using experimentation, creative risk-taking and practice-based study.
40 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 4TT506

Theatre Production In Context

This module provides historical and critical frameworks to examine the development of performance, technical production, and design for theatre/performance. Genres and styles of theatre and other forms of performance, both national and international, will be explored and contemporary approaches to theatre and performance will be considered in the context of their precursors. Fundamental aspects of scenography and relevant concepts and theories for interrogating practice will be introduced along with script analysis and interpretation.

You will explore different types of performance venues and spaces and the impact they have on technical theatre and performance production and design, along with aspects of sustainability in theatre production.

Small group seminars will support the lectures.

You will familiarise yourself with a number of performances and practitioners that relate to the topics being studied.

More information
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 4TT507

Introduction to Costume Design: Process and Application

This module will provide you with an insight into the fundamental skills of costume design and introduce you to costume in performance. You will gain a basic understanding of the processes, research, skills and methods employed by costume and set designers, but with a focus on costume design. In this module you will begin to identify your own skills and interests within the area of costume design through experimentation, creative risk taking and practice-based study.
40 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5TT506

Spotlight On: Research Methodologies for Theatre Production

This module will engage you in a deep consideration of your developing interests and skills in creative, academic and work-based contexts. You will consider critical and analytical issues in relation to research methodology and practice. You will also consider your future interests and potential employability. You will build on your developing practice and wider understanding of theatre production and design, through academic study and exploration of professional practice.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5TT507

Creative Project in Performance Design

In this module you will work in an innovative manner with the spatial, technological and material aspects of performance design. You will develop further your design skills as well as exploring new techniques and gaining a deeper insight into contemporary design and scenographic principles. You will have the opportunity to experiment through a wide range of performance design practice (immersive, site-specific, installation, participatory etc.). You will use this knowledge to design and/or realise a piece of practice and reflect critically on your practice.

By undertaking this module, you are expected to see the connectedness, opportunities and links available around your subject and see how your work relates to others (audience) and how it informs and feeds the levels of originality and personal expression. Creativity, innovation, and risk taking will be encouraged.

More information
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5TT508

Exploration of Set Design

In this module you will develop further your set design skills and technical knowledge as well as exploring new techniques and gaining a deeper insight into aspects of performance design and practice. You will investigate the aesthetic and socio-political dimensions of performance design and inform your understanding of scenographic practice.

You will develop your ability to communicate and negotiate ideas and formulate design whilst taking into account the requirements to work within financial, technical, and logistical constraints. You will develop your creative making skills in the disciplines of scenic construction, scenic art, puppet making, and/or props making and further develop your visual language. You will work on a number of designs that will be taken to various stages of completion. This may include designs based upon one of the shows produced by Derby Theatre which could culminate in a public exhibition of your design work.

As part of this, or the parallel module on costume design, you will have the opportunity to contribute to a realised production as a designer.

You will start focussing on your particular areas of interest with a view to your final year of study.

More information
40 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5TT509

Exploration of Costume Design

In this module you will develop further your practical skills and technical knowledge as well as exploring new techniques and gaining a deeper insight into aspects of costume design in a variety of contexts. You will investigate the aesthetic and socio-political dimensions of costume and inform your understanding of costume in performance.

You will develop your ability to communicate and negotiate ideas and formulate professional design proposals whilst taking into account the requirements to work within financial, technical, and logistical constraints. You will develop your creative making skills in costume and related disciplines and further develop your personal visual language.

You will work on a number of designs that will be taken to various stages of completion. This may include designs based upon one of the shows produced by Derby Theatre which could culminate in a public exhibition of your design work.

As part of this, or the parallel module on set design, you will have the opportunity to contribute to a realised production as a designer. You will start focussing on your particular areas of interest with a view to your final year of study.

More information
40 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 6TT508

Professional Practice in Theatre Production

This module provides opportunity to experience professional practice related to your programme of study. This may be achieved either through an industrial placement or by engaging with a defined project related to the professional practice of an industrial sector. The precise nature of engagement will be defined by you in consultation with the Module Leader.

Whilst it is expected that most students will seek an opportunity to engage in a short term, full-time placement, it is recognised that this may not be appropriate for some students or their personal circumstances. In this case a project may be more suitable.

More information
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 6TT509

Spotlight On: Industry Preparation

This module is focussed on ensuring you have the skills and knowledge required to seek and gain employment in the theatre industry, wider arts sector, or beyond. You will build upon the job seeking skills, such as CV writing and interview techniques, which you explored in Professional Practice in Theatre Production as well as exploring topics such as Internet presence and social media.

You will also study different types of business structures with a view to possible self-employment or running your own business. Subjects such as Tax, accounts, insurance, business plans, and basic employment law will be discussed.

You will be introduced to organisations and industry bodies, such as trade unions and professional bodies, which you may encounter or take advantage of in your career.

More information
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 6TT510

Research Project in Costume and Set Design

This module gives you the opportunity to develop a focused research project on your area of interest and developing specialism that you identified in your level 5 module Spotlight on Research Methodologies For Theatre Production. This may take the form of practice-research, with a written component, or may be exclusively written, dependant on the relative needs of your area of research.

The module is driven by you as an independent researcher and practitioner, with suitable support and guidance from your teaching team and professionals within Derby Theatre, as appropriate to your project.

The module is designed to enable you to hone your independent critical thinking in relation to materials encountered within your study. Good practice of academic enquiry, research methodologies, and an appropriate level of research is expected.

Research in this module should include both primary and secondary attributed sources. You may utilise practice-based activities including observation or practitioners or participants, workshops, and practical investigations or practice-research were your practice is at the heart of the inquiry and evidences it.

All research should comply with the Derby University policy on Research Ethics and you will be required to gain ethical approval before embarking on your project.

More information
40 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 6TT511

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 public-facing performances or productions. The work should evidence creativity, independent study and competent command of techniques and processes. The produced work is intended to be an expression of your professional potential. You will be part of the creative or technical team, working at a high level of responsibility.

The emphasis of this module is very much on the realisation of productions and performances at the highest level. You will demonstrate independence in your creative and technical choices. The working methods will reflect standard industry practice and the highest levels of professionalism will be expected at all times.

You will undertake a role at a senior level of responsibility such as Head of Department or Designer.

The method used to evidence your engagement and attainment within this module will be negotiated between yourself and the module leaders. Your role and contribution to the production of the work must be agreed to, and confirmed by the module leaders, prior to any work being undertaken. There must be summative, assessable evidence of your contribution to the finished work. Evidence will be project specific and negotiated. The requirements for your project will be discussed and confirmed with the module leaders. A Learning Agreement will be drawn up to document this.

More information
40 Credits
core
Practical
Coursework

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.

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Undergraduate Live Online Events

While we’re not able to welcome you in person to our campuses at the moment, we’re not going to let that stop us showing you all the great things about studying at Derby.

We’re currently planning our autumn Open Events to bring you the best possible online and on-campus experience.

Book your Live Online EventBook your Live Online Event

Virtual Open Day

Delve deeper into the course with our Virtual Open Day, packed with subject and course information to help you make your choice, including tours of facilities, 360° views of award-winning accommodation plus advice and insight from students and academics.

Explore our Virtual Open DayExplore our Virtual Open Day

How you will learn

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:

A 360 look around Derby Theatre

Recent field trips and work placements have included:

Student experience

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.

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:

Take a look at highlights from the 2019 Degree Show.

Personal academic tutoring

Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.

Find out more about personal academic tutoring

Who will teach you

Dr Christina (Xristina) Penna
Programme leader

As Programme Leader and Lecturer on the BA (Hons) Costume and Set Design, Dr Penna is bringing over fifteen-years of professional performance design expertise and her research to teaching within the learning environment of Derby Theatre. Contributing actively to its mission to engage, empower, inspire and enable the widest possible audience through transformational learning and theatre.

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Entry requirements

September 2020 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
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
Portfolio

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.

September 2021 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points112
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
Portfolio

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.

Two students sitting in front of a laptop smiling

Academic Achievement Scholarship

We’re offering eligible students a £1,000 scholarship to celebrate your hard work and success.

Learn more about the Academic Achievement ScholarshipLearn more about the Academic Achievement Scholarship

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees

 Full-timePart-time
UK/EU

£9,250 per year

N/A

International

£14,045 per year

N/A

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

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Fast track to Clearing

If you don’t have a place at uni, have had a change of heart about your course, or maybe your gap year plans are on hold – don’t worry. Register with us today and fast forward to your future.

Register now for ClearingRegister now for Clearing

Careers

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.

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Additional information about your studies

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, 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.

The information below is correct for entry in the academic year September 2020 - August 2021 only. Entry for future academic years may be subject to change.

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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