• CollegeCSM
  • Start dateSeptember 2018
  • Course length3 years
  • UCAS codeW460

BA (Hons) Performance: Design and Practice

Challenging assumptions and territories, this course explores theatre, film, video and live art. It emphasises collaborative practice, instilling a strong set of specialist and transferable skills. In the final year you’ll shape your own individual project, anticipating your future in this diverse and expanding sector.

This course is subject to revalidation in 2016/17. Whilst the focus of the course remains the same, some of the detailed content may be subject to change.

This course is part of the Drama and Performance Programme.

Great reasons to apply

  • Collaborating across theatre, film, costume and installation, you’ll find yourself in emerging contexts such as immersive performance, socially engaged projects or cutting-edge experience economies- where practices overlap in unpredictable ways
  • You will combine design and critical thinking with performance practice, to produce new and extraordinary visual work
  • Initially exploratory, there are plenty opportunities for you experiment and collaborate with others. Projects explore and challenge the concepts of performance through the frames of space and screen
  • External partnerships offer unique opportunities for students to create live work in professional environments, getting you ready for work or further study on a Masters Degree
  • The experience and skills you’ll gain will lead you to work in all areas of performance associated industries: theatre design, film, design for dance, event design and immersive theatre and many students set up their own companies
  • Restless, talented and ambitious, exploring performance design through multiple media, disciplines and frames within contemporary culture we welcome those who are bold and brave, who want to be challenged and think critically about performance and how it can engage with the world in a meaningful way.

The Disney Collaboration

Performance: Design and Practice trailer

BA Performance: Design and Practice course highlights.

BA Performance: Design and Practice collaboration with student choreographers and dancers from Central School of Ballet, London Studio Centre and Rambert School.


2015 degree show catalogue

<b>Zahra Mansouri, alum</b>

In order to thrive on the course you need to be open, collaborative and always passionate.

Zahra Mansouri, alum

Course detail

This course is focused on your individual creative potential and critical intelligence. You explore performance creation through design and making. The curriculum content responds to the practice of others, emerging contexts for practice, and diverse perspectives of both audience and maker.

The course presents performance, in its broadest sense, as a dynamic and continuously shifting subject domain. It encourages and facilitates visual practices and processes that challenge the existing conceptions and boundaries of the discipline. You develop as a curious, critically reflective and proactive learner with a unique cultural identity. The course provides a supportive and inclusive environment for the acquisition of skills and knowledge leading you into professional practice and postgraduate study.

Distinctive features from the course programme specification:

 

  • The embodied engagement with design and its relationship to the performance making process is a unique approach and key concept of the course. This approach fosters ‘performance: design and making’, in eclectic, interdisciplinary contexts of contemporary arts including festivals, installations, theatre, and film, challenging traditional territories, processes and assumptions. We value performance-making strategies where the maker’s relationships with audience, space, time, movement, event and duration are parallel concerns
  • A unique position in a specialist arts and design college and university maintain the traditions of the Art School, where collaborations, activities and initiatives take place with other courses and students and that place value on innovation, restlessness, criticality, uncertainty, academic rigor together with the highly developed skills of professional practice. As such the course is in a unique area between Theatre and Fine Art, Fashion Spatial Practices and Design – all subjects within the college
  • Our central London location offers opportunities to take advantage of high quality partnerships and collaborations with industry, for example: The London Sinfonietta, London Studio Centre, the RCA, the National Trust and the V&A. Opportunities for engaging with diverse audiences through collaborations with, for example, Cardboard Citizens Theatre, Duckie, Live Art Development Agency, English Pocket Opera, and The Royal Albert Hall, O’Neill Ross, Trinity Laban and Punchdrunk, all of which provide opportunities for alternative and site based performance and design.
  • We are proud of the range and standing of the professional practitioners that are our students come into contact with throughout their time on the course. Geraldine Pilgrim, Tim Yip, Colleen Attwood, Jacqueline Durran, Gareth Evans (Whitechapel Gallery), Free Theatre of Belarus, Peta Lily, Nitin Sawney and Uchemma Dance, Chrysalis Dance
  • The course is practice based and this is reflected in the breadth of ambitious work that has concerns for the societal, ethical and sustainable contemporary performance making agendas. The course actively engages with and has an effect upon diverse audiences and communities.
  • Performance: Design and Practice attracts an international cohort with diverse skill sets who bring and share their knowledge of diverse traditional and emerging cultural performance practices
  • The integration and application of contextual and critical studies with practice gives our students an argument for not only what they are doing but also the process through which work is created. This is developed through understanding performance as research practice. Delivered through lectures and seminars, the wide range of topics and material consider the principles and history of design for performance. Key practitioners and movements, specific to performance and theatre and from a wider context. These broadly are Semiotics, Phenomenology, Post structuralism & Deconstruction, Psychoanalytic theory, Feminist and Gender Studies, Reception theory, Materialist theory, Postmodern and Post-colonial theory
  • The course is practice based and this is reflected in the breadth of ambitious work that has concerns for the societal, ethical and sustainable contemporary performance making agendas. The course actively engages with and has an effect upon diverse audiences and communities. The course offers opportunities for students to develop a broad portfolio or focus their practice on for example design for dance, costume in film
  • We forefront the dialogic and collaborative skills of performance making combined with the innovative thinking, presentation and design skills that are needed in new creative cultural economies
  • Working in collaboration with students to shape their learning increases individual responsibility for learning, professional identity and direction. As the students develop their own practice we provide the opportunity for them to choose emphasis and orientation in the final year. Sites and spaces at KX and the black and white performance laboratories at CSM are fundamental spaces for developing and presenting practice and for experimentation and testing of ideas.

Course outline

The course runs for 90 weeks full time over three years, and is divided into three Levels (or Stages), each lasting 30 weeks. The whole course is credit-rated at 360 credits, with 120 credits at each Level (Stage).

Under the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications the Levels for a BA are: Level 4 (which is Stage 1 of the course), Level 5 (Stage 2) and Level 6 (Stage 3).

There’s a progression point at the end of each Level and, in order to progress, all units of the preceding Level must normally have been passed.

There’s a progression point at the end of each Level and, in order to progress, all units of the preceding Level must normally have been passed. 

If you’re unable to continue on the course a Certificate of Higher Education (Cert HE) will normally be offered following the successful completion of Level 4, or a Diploma in Higher Education following the successful completion of Level 5. 

To gain a BA (Honours), students must successfully complete 360 credits. The final award consists of marks from Level 6 units only, weighted according to their credits.

Outline of the course

The course is three years full time and is organised in three stages, which correspond to each year of study. There are nine assessed Units over the three years. The curriculum is designed to provide opportunities to develop cross disciplinary knowledge and skills appropriate to your emerging focus and interest. Your studies in performance includes critical studies, personal and professional development and, in Stage two, elements of choice that will give you experience beyond the course. The course is centred on experiential practice and reflection that informs your choices through the course and in the future.

The course aims to create a common contextual and critical framework across all Stages of the course through screenings, guest lectures, related reading and external events – a shared language.

Stage one introduces a variety of skills, relating to curriculum activity and a range of student needs. These skills workshops are progressive and are prioritised to different Units. In Stage two students choose from options of projects which in Stage three form Communities of Practice with shared interests.

There’s a progression point at the end of each Level and, in order to progress, all units of the preceding Level must normally have been passed.

Stage one

Unit one: Performance: Design & Practice: Introduction to Study in Higher Education (20 credits)

Unit two: Right Here Right Now (20 credits)

Unit three: Critical Practice 1: drawing colour making (40 credits)

Unit four: Performance: Frames and Territories (40 credits)

 

The emphasis in Stage 1 is on introducing perspectives on the creation of performance through explorations of source material, space, time, and the audience-performer relationship. You’ll be introduced to practical, collaborative reading and writing skills so that you can start building an informed personal approach to creating performance.

 

Stage two

Unit five: Further Adventures in Performance: Making Stuff Happen (40 credits)

Unit six: Critical Practice 2: Platforms and Communities (40 credits)

Unit seven: Performance design in the expanded field (40 credits)

Stage two is a year of transition. You’ll make progress towards developing an individual creative identity, methods for working, and identifying the areas of particular interest that will inform your choices in Stage 3. The practical and personal skills you need to communicate your ideas effectively are refined through intensive practical projects. Towards the end of the year your critical practice is focussed towards planning and preparing for your major piece of written work in Stage Three.

A Diploma in Professional Studies is offered between Stage 2 and 3 of the BA (Honours) course. This separate qualification (120 credits) involves researching, undertaking and reflecting on a 20-week placement related to your professional interests and aspirations (e.g. within organisations such as theatre or film companies, on specific events, or as an assistant to a designer or producer). The Diploma provides a valuable opportunity to make professional contacts and to develop your personal employability skills.

Stage three

Unit eight: Critical Studies (40 credits)

Unit nine: Design and Performance (80 credits) 

Stage 3 reflects as far as possible the challenges you’re likely to meet in professional practice or during further study at Masters level. Stage 3 units are designed to help you apply, expand and deepen the skills and understanding gained in Stages 1 and 2. Project work focuses on your development with your creative perspective enabling you to move between activities and contexts, or to pursue a specialist research or practical direction. While Unit 8 is a substantial piece of written work in the form of a word and images document both units offer flexibility, both to facilitate your personal perspective and to help you choose the best way to demonstrate your abilities. Your marks for these two units determine the classification of your degree. 

Critical studies embedded within all units and stages consist of explorations of past and contemporary culture through assigned tasks, debate, lectures, presentations and workshops. 

Personal and professional development and creative attributes for employability are also embedded into the Units with practice and critical studies, helps you focus on generic study skills and orientation, becoming more closely related to your chosen professional direction.

BA Performance Design and Practice Programme Specification 2018/19 (PDF, 422KB)

Facilities

  • Studio Theatre

    Find out more about our studio theatre space

  • CAD

    Find out more about our CAD workshop

  • Costume

    Find out more about our costume workshop at King's Cross

Staff

Course Leader: Fred Meller 
Lecturer: Peter Bond
Lecturer: Pete Brooks
Lecturer: Dermot Hayes
Lecturer: Fred Meller
Lecturer: Drew Pautz
Lecturer: Michael Spencer
Lecturer: Jake Strickland
Lecturer: Dr Andrea Zimmerman
Costume Technician: Jenny Hayton
Stage Technician: Steve Keay

 

 

 

 

How to apply

2018/19 entry
Applications for 2018/19 entry will be from October 2017 to mid January 2018 through UCAS. 

When to apply 

The deadline for equal consideration for all applications (Home, EU and International) is the 15 January 2018.

Please note that not all courses are able to consider late applications. Applicants may only change their course choice within 14 days of submitting an application. Any changes made to your application after 15 January 2017 will result in the application being marked as late.

Applying and how your application is considered

You will need to apply through the UCAS online application system

Go to ‘Apply’ from the UCAS homepage, where you will be able to register and create a password that gives you unique access as you complete your online application form. Central Saint Martins (CSM) courses are listed under University of the Arts London.

  • University code: U65
  • Course code: W460
  • There is no 'campus code' for CSM
  • This course does not accept Year 3 Entry.

What happens next

If you meet the entry requirements we will invite you to attend a portfolio review or submit your portfolio digitally. 

  • If you currently live in the United Kingdom and applying from within the UK, you will be invited attend a full portfolio review and interview at the college, in February or March.
  • If you are unable to attend the full portfolio review in person, you will be asked to submit a digital portfolio through UAL’s online portfolio review tool.
  • Please note that we do not accept portfolios by post

Your work should demonstrate creative development, whether for a college project or in your personal work. By creative development, we mean ideas that have originated in your own experience and research and progressed towards potential visualisation. Ideas, visual research and experimentation are more important than finished design solutions and can be shown in 2D work, in made objects or through recorded moving image and live events. It's important that the creative work you include reflects and demonstrates your thinking, initiative and personal commitment to a particular project, theme or idea.

Both through your work and in talking to you at interview we're interested in you as an individual. Our focus is on your personal interests, your creativity and your initiative in finding out about your proposed area of study. We'd like to know about your favourite performers, directors, designers and artists, where you've seen their work at first hand, and how you've gathered more information about the work that interests you.

Before your interview we recommend you read some play scripts and books about theatre - for example 'The Empty Space' by Peter Brook. You should also try to see a cross-section of live performances - for example, West End productions, repertory, experimental or pub theatre, live art, community theatre or street performances.

As part of the application process you'll be asked to submit an 'interview project' designed to demonstrate your initial approach to design for performance. The brief for this project will be sent to you when you are invited for interview.

If you do not have a body of performance related or visual work to present, there is an option to complete a project set by the course prior to interview. This ‘interview project’ gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your initial approach to design for performance. When considering your application, if the course feels it will be helpful for you to complete this project, the brief and guidance will be sent to you when you are invited for interview. The interview project is designed to be completed without access to any special facilities or equipment.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the outcome of your application through UCAS track.

Deferred entry 

Please note that CSM does not accept application for deferred entry. 

2018/19 entry

Applications for 2018/19 entry will be from October 2017 to mid January 2018.

When to apply

The UCAS deadline for all Undergraduate applications for both Home/EU and International is the 15 January 2018.

Please note that not all courses are able to consider late applications. Applicants may only change their course choice within 14 days of submitting an application. Any changes made to your application after 15 January 2017 will result in the application being marked as late.

Applying and how your application is considered

International applicants may apply through one of three routes only:

Further information on applying via UCAS is provided on the Applying through UCAS page.

For full details on the application process, visit the Undergraduate application page.

Go to ‘Apply’ from the UCAS homepage, where you will be able to register and create a password that gives you unique access as you complete your online application form. Central Saint Martins (CSM) courses are listed under University of the Arts London.

  • University code: U65
  • Course code: W460
  • There is no 'campus code' for CSM.
  • This course does not accept Year 3 Entry.

For further advice on how to apply please visit the UAL International Application page.

Immigration history form (for International applications only)

Whether you are applying online or through a UAL representative you will need to complete an Immigration History form.

We will email you an Immigration History form when we receive your application.

You will need to send this back to us, by email, with copies of the following documents:

  • Your passport photo page 
  • Your current visa (if you have one) and any previous UK study visas
  • Your current English language certificate (if you have this)
  • Your academic qualifications (A2, IB, high school diploma, foundation etc. - if completed. Translated into English)

Please note: If you do not complete and return your Immigration History form we will not be able to proceed with your application and portfolio review.

What happens next

If you meet the entry requirements we will invite you to attend a portfolio review or submit your portfolio digitally. 

  • If you currently live in the United Kingdom and applying from within the UK, you will be invited attend a full portfolio review at the college, between January and March.
  • If you are unable to attend the full portfolio review in person, you will be asked to submit a digital portfolio through UAL’s online portfolio review tool.
  • Please note that we do not accept portfolios by post

Your work should demonstrate creative development, whether for a college project or in your personal work. By creative development, we mean ideas that have originated in your own experience and research and progressed towards potential visualisation. Ideas, visual research and experimentation are more important than finished design solutions and can be shown in 2D work, in made objects or through recorded moving image and live events. It's important that the creative work you include reflects and demonstrates your thinking, initiative and personal commitment to a particular project, theme or idea.

Both through your work and in talking to you at interview we're interested in you as an individual. Our focus is on your personal interests, your creativity and your initiative in finding out about your proposed area of study. We'd like to know about your favourite performers, directors, designers and artists, where you've seen their work at first hand, and how you've gathered more information about the work that interests you. 

Before your interview we recommend you read some play scripts and books about theatre - for example 'The Empty Space' by Peter Brook. You should also try to see a cross-section of live performances - for example, West End productions, repertory, experimental or pub theatre, live art, community theatre or street performances.

As part of the application process you'll be asked to submit an 'interview project' designed to demonstrate your initial approach to design for performance. The brief for this project will be sent to you when you are invited for interview.

If you do not have a body of performance related or visual work to present, there is an option to complete a project set by the course prior to interview. This ‘interview project’ gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your initial approach to design for performance. When considering your application, if the course feels it will be helpful for you to complete this project, the brief and guidance will be sent to you when you are invited for interview. The interview project is designed to be completed without access to any special facilities or equipment.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the outcome of your application through UCAS track.

If you applied through one of our overseas representatives, they will tell you the result of your application.

Deferred entry 

Please note that CSM does not accept application for deferred entry.

Study Abroad applicants

International undergraduate students may apply to join a BA course for a period of up to three terms as a study abroad student.

Please visit the UAL Study Abroad for details of how to apply to one of our courses or contact the UAL Study Abroad Team central offices for more information:

T: +44 (0)20 7514 2249
E: studyabroad@arts.ac.uk
W: UAL Study Abroad

 

Entry requirements

Selection is determined by the quality of the application, indicated primarily in your portfolio of work and written statements. A very high proportion of successful applicants complete a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design.

Minimum entry requirements

Applicants are normally expected to have achieved, or be expected to achieve, the course entry requirements detailed below: 

  • Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
  • A pass in 1 GCE A level
  • Passes at GCSE level in 3 other subjects (grade C or above)

This educational level may be demonstrated by possession of equivalent qualifications; e.g. International Baccalaureate or High School Diploma.

Applicants may be considered exceptionally on the evidence submitted in the application form (personal statement, work experience, reference), if they present a portfolio of equivalent standard to a one-year Foundation course in art and design and have achieved, or expect to achieve:

  • Passes in 2 GCE A Levels (grade C or above)
  • Passes at GCSE level in 3 other subjects (grade C or above)

Additionally applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may also still be considered if the course team judges the application demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might be demonstrated by, for example: related academic or work experience; the quality of the personal statement; a strong academic or other professional reference; or a combination of these factors.

English language requirements

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability in order to apply for a visa, enrol, and start your course. The English language requirement for entry for this course is: 

IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in any one paper, or equivalent.

For further information visit the English Language requirements page.

Applicants who will need a Tier 4 General Student Visa should check the Visa and Immigration page which provides important information about UK Border Agency (UKBA) requirements. 

What we look for

What we look for

We're not just looking for a passion for performance - we're also seeking people who are open to new ideas and willing to get involved in the many different disciplines and practices of working in the professional field of performance.

Selection criteria

We select applicants according to your potential and current ability to:

Work imaginatively and creatively in performance and visual media

  • Engage with experimentation and invention
  • Show imagination and ambition in proposals for your work.

Demonstrate a range of skills and technical abilities

  • Demonstrate spatial awareness
  • Show an understanding of narrative and time-based events
  • Use verbal and/or visual and/or physical media appropriately and effectively.

Provide evidence of intellectual enquiry within your work

  • Demonstrate relevant research
  • Reflect critically on your learning.

Demonstrate cultural awareness and/or contextual framework of your work

  • Identify historical and contemporary performance practices
  • Identify social and/or cultural influences on your work.

Articulate and communicate intentions clearly

  • Discuss your work in group situations
  • Present your work appropriately and effectively.

Demonstrate commitment and motivation in relation to the subject and the degree course

  • Develop your own ideas and address project briefs
  • Show willingness to collaborate
  • Reflect your knowledge of this degree course.

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee

£9,250 (2017/18). 

Tuition fees for undergraduate degree courses have been set at £9,250 per year for full-time study. This applies from the 2017/18 academic year, subject to changes in the law. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students, in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Please visit our Undergraduate tuition fees page for more information.

International fee

£17,920 (2017/18).

Additional costs

In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. Please read the information on our additional costs page.

Accommodation

Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.

Scholarships and awards

There are a number of scholarships and awards available to students on this course. Use our search tool to find out more information.

Scholarships search

Careers and alumni

BA Performance: Design and Practice students leave with a broad and valuable understanding of performance practice in its many forms.

Skills acquired enable BA Performance: Design and Practice graduates to become versatile practitioners in exciting and diverse contexts including theatre, film and television.

BA Performance: Design and Practice students find success as production designers, or in related roles such as director or producer, or, increasingly, in 'hybrid' roles such as designer-director or performer-designer.

BA Performance: Design and Practice graduates also apply their knowledge outside the traditional contexts, working within the fine art industry as performance artists or within the fashion industry as creative managers, video directors and fashion show designers. Or they launch their own independent collaborative ventures, creating performance in their own image.

Recent BA Performance: Design and Practice alumni activity demonstrates the breadth of student activity within the subject:

  • Garance Marneur (2007): Winner of prestigious biannual Linbury Prize for Stage Design 2007. Recent design commissions: ‘Dirty Butterfly’ (Debera Tucker Green) Young Vic Theatre, London 2008; ‘Gianni Schicchi’ (Puccini), Mariinnsky theatre, St. Petersburg, 2008 ‘Turandot’ (Brecht), Hampstead Theatre, London 2009, currently designing for RSC Aut ’11 season
  • Will Bock, Georgia Jacobs and Mary Pope (2005): Formed ‘Strangeworks’ collective, creators of live performance events including ‘March of the Dead’ street performance for Halloween, Hoxton, London 2008, and drawing workshops at Tate Britain 2009 – 11
  • Jing Wong (2006): Co-founder of ‘Daydream Nation’, a company creating theatrical fashion events, including ‘Good Night Deer’ at the ICA Theatre, as part of London Fashion Week 2008
  • Samal Blak (2009): Winner of prestigious biannual Linbury Prize for Stage Design 2009. Design Commission ‘Otello’ (Verdi), Birmingham Opera, 2009
  • Jungmin Song (2007): Performance Artist making work at Shunt Vaults, Fierce Festival (Birmingham) and Spill Festival (2011)
  • Nick Docherty (2008): UK Youth Theatre coordinator for National Theatre, South Bank
  • Miriam Buether (2002): Recently awarded Best Design for work at the Royal Court – Evening Standard Theatre Awards. Designed ‘Anna Nicole’ for Royal Opera House – Feb 11
  • Ben Stones (2004): Winner of prestigious biannual Linbury Prize for Stage Design 2007, designs frequently in West End and most recently for newly re-opened Arcola Theatre, London.

For details of the wide range of careers support provided for students, please visit our Careers support page.

Alumni

  • Alisa Heil

    Alisa Heil engages local community through her project ‘Veiled’.

  • Frances Cooper

    Frances explains the thinking behind her project ‘Blue Bunny’.

  • Jo Jo Townsend

    Jo Jo provides an insight into the work which earned her a Nova nomination in 2013.