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 & Performance Programme.

Scholarships and Awards available:

Charlotte and Dennis Stevenson Awards
Foundation for Essex Arts Scholarships
Mead Scholarships and Fellowships

Performance Design and Practice trailer
Edited by Ed Japp

Making Up, Victoria & Albert Museum, May 2014
Film by Monica Alcazar-Duarte

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.

5 great reasons to apply

  • This course enables you to identify and locate your own direction and career aims within the broad discipline of performance design & practice, including designing, devising, writing and performing, in a number of different professional contexts including theatre, film and live art.
  • You'll have the opportunity to incorporate a work placement within the curriculum, (e.g. within organisations such as the National Theatre or TV companies, on specific events, or as an assistant to a designer or director). 
  • The course maintains active partnerships with key cultural institutions, practitioners, venues and commercial enterprises to introduce you to London's networks of creative practice.
  • You'll take part in a variety of ‘hands-on’ experiences, working within a professional collaboration, in order to realise your ideas in one of the colleges four unique performance spaces. 
  • The course has a long and distinguished heritage. Alumni include Maria Bjornson (Phantom of the Opera), Tim Hately (Spamalot), Alison Chitty (Mike Leigh films), Sandy Powell (The Young Victoria, Shakespeare in Love), and more recently Miriam Buether, Garance  Marneur, Gary Card, Ben Stones & Samal Blak. 

Facts

Course Leader

Fred Meller

Course Location

King’s Cross, London. Tel: +44 (0)20 7514 7023

Study LevelUndergraduate
Study ModeFull time
Course Length3 years full time
Home/EU Fee

£9,250 per year (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 academic years for new and continuing students, in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Please visit our Undergraduate Tuition Fees page for full information on tuition fees.

The DPS fees for 2017-18 will be £1,850 for Home/EU students.

Use our Fees and Funding Calculator to estimate how much your studies may cost you in your first year, and what funding may be available to you.

International Fee

£17,920 per year (2017/18).

Please note that fees are subject to inflationary increase.

The DPS fees for 2017-18 will be £3,350 for those on the standard international fee rate in their second year.

Use our Fees and Funding Calculator to estimate how much your studies may cost you in your first year, and what funding may be available to you.

Start DateMonday 25 September 2017
Autumn Term DatesMonday 25 September - Friday 8 December 2017
Spring Term DatesMonday 8 January – Friday 16 March 2018
Summer Term DatesMonday 16 April - Friday 22 June 2018
Application Route

UCAS

Application DeadlineApplications for 2017/18 entry will close on 15 January 2017.
UCAS CodeW460
University CodeU65

Content and structure

All applicants considered for September 2017 entry will be applying for the newly revalidated version of the course.  Further detailed information will be published as it becomes available however the focus of the course remains the same.

BA Performance Design and Practice interprets performance design and practice in eclectic, cross-disciplinary contexts of contemporary arts including theatre, film, video and live art, challenging traditional territories and assumptions.

Distinctive features of the degree course include:

  • Includes an opportunity to take a one-year Diploma in Professional Studies between Stages 2 and 3, involving a 20-week work placement
  • Promotes experimental, investigative approaches to the event-performer-spectator dynamic and the conceptualisation of space and text, exploring their potential for performance through practical experience
  • Enables the pursuit of design, composition/directing and performing perspectives, together with a holistic approach to learning of integrated curriculum elements through live and college-based projects. Research, set design, costume, lighting, sound, project management, performance history and more are explored at increasing levels of directional choice
  • Has a strong emphasis on collaborative practice. Project work develops negotiation, management and team skills, often through activities with professional organisations and venues
  • Develops a wide range of specialist and transferable skills including research, planning, scale drawing, model making, documentation processes, reflective and evaluative writing, visual and verbal presentation
  • Progressively increases individual responsibility for learning and direction, offering the opportunity to choose emphasis and orientation of third year and final award towards theoretical research or practical career.

Staff

Course Leader: Fred Meller (Acting)

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

Careers

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.

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

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.

Apply - UK/EU

When to Apply 

The deadline for equal consideration for all applications (Home, EU and International) is the 15 January 2017.

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. 

Apply - International

When to Apply

The UCAS deadline for all Undergraduate applications for both Home/EU and International is the 15 January 2017.

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 applicants who want to apply directly to UAL, the direct application form may be found here:

Applications for the academic year 2017/18 will be accepted from November.

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

 

Course related events

The White Box Project

Six famous paintings provide the catalyst for six short fragments of performance – what happened in the moments leading up to the moment of the painting. Designed by second year BA PDP students, directed by second year Drama Centre London BA Directing students and performed by DCL MA Acting students. Presented as one event.

'Hidden' - London Sinfonietta Collaboration

A series of short performances based on original compositions from young composers sponsored by London Sinfonietta Orchestra, and played by soloists from the orchestra. London Sinfonietta are one of Europe’s most prestigious contemporary music orchestras. Designed, directed, performed, lit and constructed by 2nd year PDP students.

'Hidden' - London Sinfonietta Collaboration

A series of short performances based on original compositions from young composers sponsored by London Sinfonietta Orchestra, and played by soloists from the orchestra. London Sinfonietta are one of Europe’s most prestigious contemporary music orchestras. Designed, directed, performed, lit and constructed by 2nd year PDP students.

  • 8 December 2013
  • Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank
  • Tickets available from the London Sinfonietta website

English Pocket Opera Co. Collaboration - this year based on Gluck's opera 'Orfeus and Eurydice'

Designed by 3rd year students from the course in collaboration with English Pocket Opera Co. and professional singers.  A short opera featuring excerpts from Gluck’s classic work is devised for a performance incorporating a physical ‘journey’ for the audience between each excerpt. 

  • 20-25 January 2014
  • Platform Theatre, Studio Theatre and environs at Central Saint Martins, King's Cross
  • Ticket prices tbc, available from Platform Theatre Box Office

The Design for Dance Collaboration

15 original pieces presented in one programme of dance, developed in workshops and designed by 2nd year BA PDP students in collaboration with student dancers & choreographers from leading London Dance Schools. Participating Schools: London Studio Centre, Central School of Ballet & Rambert School.

  • 4 March 2014 and 6-8 March 2014 (tbc)
  • Platform Theatre at Central Saint Martins, King's Cross
  • Ticket prices tbc, available from Platform Theatre Box Office

Dance Lab

Each week for 4 weeks, different groups of choreographers & dancers from the London Studio Centre work with small groups of 2nd year BA PDP students (and exchange students from Ohio University, USA,) to explore a shared theme through the media of dance. No parameters. The work created throughout the week is informally presented on the Friday afternoon of each week.

Classic Comedy Project

3rd year PDP students design fragments of a classic comedy text performed as part of the DCL MA Acting course. The design is period costume based.

  • Week beginning 17 March 2014 (repeat performances and times tbc)
  • Studio Theatre at Central Saint Martins, King's Cross
  • Tickets free, please email drama.performance.admin@csm.arts.ac.uk for more details

 Practice Exchange

3rd year BA PDP students in collaboration with students from CSM BA Fine Art, CSM Moving Image & LCC Sound Design (tbc) devise short pieces of performance based on variety of self-initiated texts/themes to create a sustained performance event.

  • 8-9 May 2014
  • Platform Theatre & Studio Theatre at Central Saint Martins, King's Cross
  • Ticket prices tbc, available from Platform Theatre Box Office

Collaborators

Six pairs of collaborators, each consisting of one 3rd year BA PDP student and one 3rd year DCL BA Directing student, create six ‘Fringe Theatre’ scale plays.

  • 22-23 May 2014 (repeat performances and times tbc)
  • Studio Theatre at Central Saint Martins, King's Cross
  • Tickets free from Platform Theatre Box Office

Screenings

A series of short 10 minute films created by 3rd year BA PDP students (all on the theme of ‘Noah’s Ark/The Flood’) are screened.

Degree Show Exhibition

A selection of current 3rd year PDP work & live performances.

  • Mid June 2014
  • Venue/dates/times tbc

 

 

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2015 Degree Show Catalogue

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