• CollegeCSM
  • Start dateSeptember 2017
  • Course length3 years
  • UCAS codeW460

BA (Hons) Performance: Design and Practice

Clearing places available
This course has places available for 2017/18 entry. If you are interested in applying for this course, please call us on +44 (0)20 7514 7514. For a full list of UAL courses open for 2017/18 entry, visit the UAL Clearing page.

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

  • 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. 

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

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 two and three, 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.

Course outline

BA Performance: Design and Practice is undertaken in studio/performance practice and in lectures, seminars and assignments, in a sequence of distinct Units. The programme of study enables you to identify with a broad pathway focused on performance design, or performance practice, as described below, presenting your work accordingly. You don't have to opt for a pathway at entry. The options are presented within the units of stages one and two of the course, enabling you to develop your direction by the outset of stage three.

Both pathways are interlinked and involve collaborative and individual practical work, critical and theoretical studies, and personal and professional development. Skills developed include creative, critical and reflective processes, research and analysis, budgeting and marketing. A core studies programme of contextual knowledge and practical skills sessions supports the development of a community of practice across the BA and MA.

Performance Design pathway

This pathway focuses on activities associated with the production and realisation of the visual components of a performance. Forms include theatre, live art, video, and community events. This pathway develops skills in design including drawing, drafting, scale model making and presentation.

Performance Practice pathway

This pathway focuses on a range of overlapping activities that support your development towards roles such as director, performer, devisor, choreographer, writer and dramaturge. Skills developed include writing for performance, movement, performance modes, as well as skills such as pitching ideas and recording work.

Stages of the course

The emphasis in stage one (level four) 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 and collaborative skills so that you can start building an informed personal approach to creating performance.

Stage two (level five) is a year of transition. You'll make progress towards developing an individual creative identity and methodology, and in identifying the areas of particular interest that will inform your choices in stage three. The practical and personal skills you need to communicate your ideas effectively (introduced in stage one) are refined here, particularly regarding the adoption of a 'role' in collaboration. You'll gain practical experience of creating performance within collaboration, either involving external practitioners or via peer group collaboration within a real or replicated professional working context.

A Diploma in Professional Studies is offered between stage two and three 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 the National Theatre or TV companies, on specific events, or as an assistant to a designer or director. The Diploma provides a valuable opportunity to make professional contacts and to develop your personal employability skills.

Stage three (level six) reflects as far as possible the challenges you’re likely to meet in professional practice or during further study at Masters level. stage three units are designed to help you apply, expand and deepen the skills and understanding gained in Ssages one and two. Project work focuses on your development within a creative perspective, such as design, directing, or performing, enabling you to move between activities and contexts, or to pursue a specialist research or practical direction. All units offer flexibility, both to facilitate your personal perspective and to help you choose the best way to demonstrate your abilities.

Unit nine ‘critical practice’, undertaken in stage three, focuses on your chosen topic in a field of research related to your practice and locates it within a theoretical framework. It involves developing of a piece of research work that is documented with a word count and bibliography.

Contextual studies embedded within units consist of explorations of historical and contemporary culture through debate, lectures, presentations and workshops.

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

Developing your skills - external activities

BA Performance: Design and Practice maintains active partnerships with key cultural institutions, venues and commercial enterprises to introduce you to London's networks of creative practice.

Collaborations include work with dance schools such as London Studio Centre and the Rambert School. BA Performance Design and Practice projects specifically target major and specialist galleries and museums in London as research bases. Opportunities within the degree course encourage you to self-direct your learning, utilising the diverse field of performance practice operating in London, via placements and external collaborations. You shape your final year curriculum, anticipating your future in a diverse and expanding industry.

Programme specification: BA Performance Design and Practice (PDF 130kb)

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

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. 

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

 

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.