BA (Hons) 3D Effects for Performance and Fashion

Places available 2017/18

This course has places available. View the ‘How to apply’ section on this page for more details. For a full list of UAL courses open for 2017/18 entry, including others available at London College of Fashion, visit the Places available page.

This 3D effects course offers access to our excellent workshops, teaching by industry practitioners and work placement opportunities that will help you to succeed as a 3D effects designer and maker.

3d Effects Course; Mickey Mouse-style headpieces with mohican hairstyles by BA (Hons) 3D Effects for Performance and Fashion graduate Danny Hyland, worn by models in punk-style clothes by Katy Eary.

Mickey Heads for Katy Eary AW14 on the catwalk at London Collections: Men by Danny Hyland, 2013 - view Showtime profile

Hear from current students and a visiting researcher about the course and the facilities at LCF.

Watch student work from media and communication courses, 2016.

Meursault by Chloe Godwin, 2013 - view Showtime profile

Silicone prop by Patrycja Cichocka

Patrycja Cichocka, 2012 - view profile

Issac Newton puppet by Sophie Langsford

Sophie Langsford, 2012 - view profile

Sloth-Sayer, The Triptych of Dr Moreau by Suzi Battersby

Suzi Battersby, 2013 - view profile


Course Director

Caroline Gardener

Course Location

Lime Grove

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


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.

Use UAL's fees and funding calculator as a guide to how much your studies may cost in your first year.

International Fee


Fees are subject to an inflationary increase as students progress through their course.

Use UAL's fees and funding calculator as a guide to how much your studies may cost in your first year.

Autumn Term Dates25 Sep - 8 Dec 2017
Spring Term Dates8 Jan - 16 Mar 2018
Summer Term Dates16 April - 22 June 2018
Application Route


Application DeadlineOpen for 2017/18 entry. Applications for 2018/19 entry will open in Autumn 2017.
UCAS CodeW440
University CodeU65

Content and structure

The BA (Hons) 3D Effects for Performance and Fashion course is situated in the School of Media and Communication, and is for students who want to be designers and makers of 3D effects for performance. This includes the broad categories of theatre, film, music and television, as well as more specialised or multi-disciplinary performances, such as circus and carnival, where several elements are combined. The course integrates the intellectual demands of interpretation of the text or other written element within the performance context, with the specialised design and craft skills required for the realisation of original technical effects. The cultural and historical context of the subject is explored, to enhance the design and realisation of the practical work. Working in performance is always a collaborative venture, where the success of the production depends upon the joint efforts of a number of creative and specialised designers and makers, who work together with the director and performers. Students on this course have the advantage of being able to work with students from the related disciplines of costume and hair, make-up and prosthetics. Students have the opportunity to do a short work placement in the industry, and there are several industry-facing projects within the course. The course receives a number of requests each year for students to work with the industry on live projects, including in 2012 the Olympic Games ceremonies. Our long standing relationship with the National Theatre and other major companies provides our students with work experience. All the subject tutors teaching on the course are practitioners with extensive experience of the industry.

Students on this course might be invited to participate in study trips. This may involve, for example, visits to key areas of capital cities, factories, stores and museums. Attendance on these trips is not compulsory but recommended. Details regarding timings and costs will be issued closer to the relevant trips.

Course Structure

Year One  -  Stage One  -  level 4  -  120 credits 

Term One: Introduction to Design for Performance (20 credits); Introduction to 3D (20 credits)

Term Two: Introduction to Cultural and Historical Studies (20 credits); Modified Human Forms (20 credits)

Term Three: Consolidation and Collaboration (40 credits)


Year Two  -  Stage Two  -  level 5  -  120 credits

Term One: Cultural and Historical Studies (20 credits); 3D Innovation and Design (20 credits)

Term Two: Situating Your Practice: Performance Placement/Situating Your Practice: International Study Performance/Situating Your Practice: Independent Performance Proposal (40 credits)

Term Three: Research Methods for Performance (20 credits); Creative Collaboration (20 credits)


Year Three  -  Stage Three  -  level 6  -  120 credits

Term One: Concept and Design Development (20 credits)

Terms One and Two: Cultural and Historical Studies Dissertation (40 credits)

Term Two and Three: Final Major Project (60 credits)

Travelling across London

The renowned London College of Fashion library is at our John Prince’s Street site, and you will need to travel to this site, and possibly others, during your course to use the library, which is open seven days a week in term time, and for tuition and special events.

Additional costs

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

Course structure

The information outlined is an indicative structure of the course. Whilst we will aim to deliver the course as described on this page, there may be situations where it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, for example because of regulatory requirements or operational efficiencies, before or after enrolment. If this occurs, we will communicate all major changes to all applicants and students who have either applied or enrolled on the course.

Please note that due to staff research agreements or availability, not all of the optional modules listed may be available every year.

In addition, the provision of course options which depend upon the availability of specialist teaching, or on a placement at another institution, cannot be guaranteed. Please check this element of the course with the course team before making a decision to apply.

Webpage updates

We will update this webpage from time to time with new information as it becomes available. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact a member of the course team.



Our excellent resources for educating our students are two-fold: people and premises. People includes everyone at the College who contributes directly in some way to your education, whether as a subject tutor, a technician, an Open Access officer, a librarian or a study support tutor. Premises include the buildings and the facilities contained in them, such as specialist machinery, design studios and workshops, lecture and seminar rooms, and the library.

The Performance courses share an excellent range of facilities across the programmes, including a suite of specialist rooms for casting and mould making, plaster, fibreglass, latex, silicones and other resins, a sculpting studio, several costume-making studios with pattern cutting tables, overlockers and industrial sewing machines, a wig-making and hair styling studio, and prosthetics and make-up studios with live ‘camera to TV’ link. Students also have access to a large VAC former, laser cutter, print and dye room, a large spray booth, and additional access on site to design studios and IT suites.

Caroline Gardener is the Course Leader for BA Technical Effects for Performance. After studying Theatre Design at Croydon College she freelanced as a costume prop maker. West End musical credits include Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables and Chess. Caroline has worked with many ballet companies, including the Royal Ballet, Festival Ballet and various American ballet companies. She has been involved with productions at the Royal Opera House and English National Opera, including working with the designer and cartoonist Gerald Scarfe. As a freelance maker she has worked on film at the Henson’s Creature Shop, and on numerous television programmes and advertisements.

Ali Ruth works as a visual artist and designer in various media across the Performing Arts. He has worked as a fashion designer in Paris and London before starting his research and practice in performance. Initially trained at Central Saint Martins (BA Womanswear) and London College of Fashion (MA Costume Design), Ruth’s practice focuses on the performative nature of costumes with a research interest in costumes as autonomous art objects, questioning the perception of costumes outside the immediate / alternative performance contexts. He currently lecturers Research for Performance across the Undergraduate Performance Courses at London College of Fashion and works as an Associate Lecturer with the MA Fashion Futures Course, where he focuses on studio practice and speculative design approaches. His research interests are in speculative design for the Performing Arts, wearable technology in performance and Critical Design in performance. Ali’s work has received critical acclaim nationally and internationally. Credits include the 2013 Linbury Prize for Stage Design, The 2009 Jenny Packham Bursary and the 2011 BMUKK International Scholarship. Recent design commissions include Scottish Dance Theatre and Extant Theatre Company amongst other international exhibitions. 

Jessica Curtis trained at the Motley Theatre Design Course and has vast experience designing productions. She has been production designer for Grovesnor Park Open Air Theatre for 2013- 2015 seasons and has been elected to Equity's Directors and Designers committee. She has taught at Motley school of theatre design, RADA and designed projects at Central School of Speech and Drama, Trinity College of Music, RADA, and Guildhall. Jess currently teaches design across the Performance programme. Credits include, The Holy Rosenbergs (National Theatre),  The Kingdom (Soho Theatre), The Little Prince (Hampstead Theatre), Endgame (Liverpool Everyman), Dangerous Corner (West Yorkshire Playhouse and West End), The Wizard of Oz (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Local Boy (Hampstead Theatre), Rhapsody, Fantasy (The Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House), Cinderella (Oxford Playhouse), Rookery Nook (Oxford Stage Company), Frankenstein (Frantic Assembly, Royal Theatre Northampton), The Nordic Bar, Rekordelig Bar, Fosters VIP Bar (The Udderbelly, Southbank), Another Door Closed (Peter Hall Company), Man of Mode (RADA), First Person Shooter (The Door, Birmingham Rep), The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (Southbank Centre, Young Vic),  She Stoops to Conquer and Burial at Thebes (Nottingham Playhouse, Barbican PIT, USA tour). Electra (Manteatern, Lund), Pygmalion (Uppsala Statsteatre),  Mary Stuart, Much Ado about Nothing (Hipp, Malmo Stadsteatre), Black Crows (Clean Break at the Arcola and tour), Sugar Sugar (Bush Theatre),  A Special Relationship (York Theatre Royal and tour), Fields of Gold, Soap (Stephen Joseph Theatre), The Daughter in Law, The Beauty Queen of Lenane (Watford Palace Theatre) Jess has also designed several productions for the New Victoria Theatre, Newcastle under-Lyme; The Royal Theatre Northampton, Salisbury Playhouse and the Watermill Theatre.

Natalie Brown is the Programme Director for the Performance courses, which include BA Costume for Performance, BA Technical Effects for Performance, BA Make-up and Prosthetics for Performance, and FdA Hair and Make-up for Film and TV. She has worked extensively in fashion, accessories and textile design, with a special interest in digital technologies.


Developing your skills

All our undergraduate courses are concerned with the development of your personal and professional skills. On your course you will evolve from learning basic skills in your discipline through to a position where you are an independent creative thinker capable of making an effective contribution to the relevant sector of the fashion industry. Personal and Professional Development (PPD) skills are embedded in all units on every course. Speaker programmes with contributions from alumni, members of industry and others are a part of many courses, as are work placement opportunities in industry. Where relevant, students have the chance to attend trade fairs, enter industry competitions, visit exhibitions and go on field trips and visits. The central position of our John Prince’s Street site in the West End affords students easy access to all sectors of the fashion retail market. In addition, our position as a constituent College in the University of the Arts London means that our students have access to the wide range of activities and events that occur in all the Colleges and at the University’s centre. Last but not least, being in London gives every student opportunities to explore and be inspired by the cultural, intellectual and social life of one of the great capital cities of the world.

Future Careers and Graduate Prospects

Graduates who wish to continue their education at postgraduate level are encouraged to progress to suitable courses within the College, the University or elsewhere.

Many graduates prefer to seek employment as soon as they have completed their undergraduate studies. Recent graduates from this course have found employment with the National Theatre costume props department, with Madame Tussauds and the Tussaud’s studio, and on many film productions, including the Harry Potter films, Hellboy and Hellboy II, Batman Begins, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr Fox, Corps Bride, the new Tim Burton film Dark Shadows and the latest Ridley Scott Alien film. Graduates have also worked with the artists Ron Mueck and Damien Hirst and the fashion designer Hussein Chalayan. Some graduates from 2013 have been selected as finalists for the annual competition, World of Wearable Art, that takes place in New Zealand. The London College of Fashion and the Performance courses have been selected by the organiser as a chosen UK link to the competition.

LCF Careers

LCF Careers provides a comprehensive career management service supporting our students to become informed and self-reliant individuals able to plan and manage their own careers.

Entry requirements

Opportunities for All

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and seek to recruit students from diverse socio-economic, cultural and educational backgrounds. We are committed to supporting all our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

Course Entry Requirements

Entry to this course is highly competitive: applicants are expected to achieve, or already have, the course entry requirements detailed below.

The standard minimum entry requirements for this course are:

  • A Level – minimum of 2 A Level Grades A*- C to total 96 new UCAS tariff; preferred subjects include Art, Design, English, Drama and Film Studies;
  • or a Merit - Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4) with a total of at least 96 tariff points to include at least one A-level pass;
  • or Merit, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma preferred subjects Art & Design;
  • or a Merit at UAL Extended Diploma;
  • or an Access Diploma with at least 45 credits at Merit level’ or ’96 tariff points from the Access to HE Diploma;
  • or 96 new UCAS tariff points (equivalent to 240 old UCAS tariff points) from a combination of the above qualifications or an equivalent full Level 3 qualification;
  • or equivalent EU or non-EU qualifications;
  • And three GCSE passes at grade A*-C.

Exceptionally, applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered if the course team judges the application demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by: 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 when you enrol.

The level required by the University for this course is IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in any one skill.

Please visit the UAL Language Requirements page, read carefully and look at the relevant documents.

Student Selection Criteria 

What We Look For

The course team seeks to recruit students who can demonstrate:

  • A strong interest in design and the performing arts
  • The potential for creative problem solving
  • An approach suited to the demands of the course and the projected career pathways in the chosen field of studies, i.e. 3D Effects.

This might, for example, be demonstrated by: related academic or work experience; the quality of the personal statement, a strong academic or other professional reference; or a combination of these factors. 

Portfolio and Interview Advice

For this course you will be required to upload a mini portfolio. Further instructions will be sent by the course administrator after application submission.

For this course your portfolio should show evidence of: drawing skills; life drawing; research skills; process; 3D; photography; and vocational skills.

Applicants will be expected to demonstrate the following at interview: an understanding of the performing arts; a cultural awareness; visual awareness evidenced through portfolio work; a motivation for working in the performing arts industry; a motivation to succeed on the course; and a vocational focus towards technical effects.

Interview Week

Interviews will be held at an off-site location in London to accommodate those applicants that have received an interview invite. Further details will be sent to you with your interview letter.

Please note that the majority of interviews for Home/EU applicants will take place in the week Monday 20 February to Friday 24 February 2017.

International applicants should contact the Admission Office by emailing about portfolio requirements (if applicable), interview times and dates.

How to apply

Home EU Applicants

You can apply online through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

Go to ‘Apply’ from the UCAS home page, where you will be able to register and create a password that gives you unique access as you complete your application form.

You will need the University code, the UCAS code for this course, and the deadline date for your application. You will find these on the Facts tab.

Contact us on: 

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7514 7973 / 7582 / 7344

Or you can use the UAL Course Enquiry Form

International Applicants

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:

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

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

We continue to accept applications throughout the year, but please note that the equal consideration deadline was 15 January.

For full details on the application process, visit the Undergraduate application page or contact the UAL admissions team who can answer any specific questions that you may have regarding LCF's courses tailored for international students. This can include guidance for your portfolio, advice on the application process and fee advice. We offer a ‘drop-in’ facility for applicants who may be in London and wish to obtain further course and admissions information. 

Deferred Entry

Deferred Entry is normally only allowed in exceptional circumstances. Please contact us before you submit your application if you are considering applying for deferred entry.

What happens next?

All application forms, personal statements and references are read and considered by the course team against the selection criteria listed on the entry Requirements tab, under what we look for. You will be asked to upload your portfolio online, including drawing, and examples from research, character design ideas, documented work placement, or 3D samples. If the course team wish to consider your application further, you will be invited to an interview, with your portfolio, with the course team. If you are successful at the interview stage you will be offered a place. Applicants are not guaranteed an interview.

Please note that if you are unable to attend the College may not be able to re-schedule.

If you applied through UCAS the result of your application will be communicated to you via UCAS through ucastrack. You will only receive further communication directly from the College if your application has been successful. This will be in the form of a full offer pack including details of accommodation, fees, and other important information.

Showing your Work

All final year students are given the opportunity to profile their work online via Showtime. London College of Fashion can make no guarantee that your work (either in sum or in part) will be shown, exhibited or profiled in any way as part of your course. All student work appearing in College organised events, catwalk shows, exhibitions and other forms of showcase, is selected by a panel of senior staff and, in some instances, external industry judges.

Course units

Year One

In the first term you will study two units.

Introduction to Design for Performance introduces you to your course and its subject specialism as well as to effective learning and studentship at undergraduate level. It will orientate you to the practices and knowledge-base needed to understand your discipline and help you to develop your skills for independent & collaborative learning, reflection and your own self development. Students come from many diverse educational backgrounds and a part of this unit will enable to reflect on your own background and how that shapes the way you approach your course.

Introduction to 3D introduces you to the fundamental principles and techniques required by the 3D practitioner to create 3D effects and character. You will research and explore a number of techniques and approaches, and record this in a visually appropriate and informative way. You will develop your understanding of the principles of sculpting and three dimensional approaches to realising form for the performing body. You will develop an understanding of how basic techniques can be used creatively, and will be encouraged to work in an enquiring and innovative way.

In the second term you will study two units.

Introduction to Cultural and Historical Studies introduces you to key concepts and ways of thinking about fashion and its context in society and culture. You will attend lectures, seminars and workshops, and do a significant amount of reading of academic texts in order to complete a formal academic essay for assessment. Completion of this unit will allow you to make an informed choice of subject for study in the second year Cultural and Historical Studies unit.

Modified Human Forms gives you the opportunity to work on a focussed design project. You will extend your design development process through storyboards, experimentation, drawing and 3D exploration. You will increase your understanding of a set of characters from a given narrative, and will produce a set of final designs for a chosen performance context. In workshops you will explore how the human form can be modified to create creature effects by adapting, extending and distorting the body. You will learn how to translate 2D design drawings into 3D outcomes and you will increase your technical skills such as pattern drafting and body fabrications, casting and moulding.

In the third term you will do the Consolidation and Collaboration unit, which allows you to demonstrate your progress through a collaborative project with students from the other performance disciplines. You will undertake research, design development and presentation as part of a group, using 2D and 3D approaches to produce a joint innovative solution to the brief, working within an agreed design aesthetic to design and realise characters from a script or text.. You will use both experimental and traditional methods, such as fibreglass mould making and the use of silicone, to realise your work in a contemporary performance context.

Year Two

In the first term you will be able to study a Cultural and Historical Studies unit of your choice that will broaden or deepen your learning of areas relating to your interests in your chosen field. You will have the opportunity to participate in lectures, seminars and workshops with students from other courses within your School, and will read relevant academic texts and complete a formal academic essay for assessment.

Also studied in the first term, the 3D Innovation and Design unit introduces you to technology and its use in the creative industries to create three dimensional artefacts. You will learn about the software used to create 3D virtual objects and the output methods such as laser cutting and 3D printing. You will research, develop and design responding to a given narrative, and you will develop your awareness of research as the basis for creative design development. This unit encourages design development using digital technologies and traditional craft techniques, and you will be encouraged to adopt an enquiring approach to the development of artefacts for performance and fashion.

Second term options:

Situating Your Practice: Performance Placement aims to develop your professional skills within an industry environment. On your placement you will be able to experience the pace, atmosphere and discipline of working in the industry. This will give you practical experience of the roles, functions and operations within the industry. The unit requires a minimum of 60 work placement hours.

Situating Your Practice: International Study Performance provides an opportunity to apply previous learning whilst studying your subject in a different institution. You will develop skills within your practice and gain credits for your current course whilst engaging with the academic culture of your host institution. The unit also demands a critical approach to the management of your own learning through reflection and planning.

Situating Your Practice: Independent Performance Proposal aims to develop your professional skills as an independent initiator of performance, relevant to your subject discipline. Many contemporary performances are inspired by lost stories, artefacts, paintings or specific spaces reinvented to uncover a narrative appealing to a contemporary audience. Engaging with work from a major cultural institution, you will create a response and propose a live or recorded performance for a contemporary audience.

In the third term you will do two units.

Research Methods for Performance introduces the research methods that you will employ for both your Cultural and Historical Studies Dissertation and your Final Major Project that you will undertake in the third year. You will start to consider the proposal for your dissertation, and you will learn about two key stages, the literature review and the research, how they relate to each other and how they relate in the wider context of Cultural and Historical Studies. You will look at the relationship between primary and secondary sources, ways of developing and originating research, and ways of realising the research appropriate to Cultural and Historical Studies. In parallel with this you will be starting to prepare for your Final Major Project by analysing your career direction and identifying an area of research and practice that you would like to pursue. 

The Creative Collaboration unit gives you the opportunity to work with other students to design and realise characters for a narrative. Working in a small group you will together choose a context for the performance. You are encouraged to look at a new area that you have not designed for before, such as film, television, dance, theatre, opera, music video, advertising or fashion film. You are encouraged to collaborate with performers and students from other disciplines.

Year Three

In the first term you will do the Concept and Design Development unit. This develops the work done in Research Methods for Performance. You will be encouraged to prepare for your Final Major Project by exploring and considering the theoretical and professional contexts of your work through in-depth research, development and experimentation. You will work to a narrative and selected performance context and will develop an appropriate methodology, paying attention to narrative, audience and production values. You will explore new ideas, processes and methods, and take risks and experiment with design and production values, working to an intended location / performance site and audience.

You may choose to focus on one line of enquiry, or produce a series of small test projects, or explore a range of research avenues and methods.

In the first and second terms you will complete a major piece of written work for the Cultural and Historical Studies Dissertation unit. This allows you to demonstrate your understanding of the critical and analytical perspectives developed within cultural and historical theory, and how you can apply these theoretical perspectives in a specific study, which you will have already identified in the third term of the second year. The dissertation gives you the opportunity to undertake primary and secondary research that examines in depth cultural issues relating to a particular aspect of fashion, lifestyle, the body, performance or the media, and to produce a written piece of work that reflects the critical debates around your chosen topic.

The Final Major Project, undertaken in the second and third term, gives you the opportunity to produce a coherent body of original, creative and fully resolved work that will support your entry into the industry. Through your research, design development and project proposal you will produce work that demonstrates innovation, design development, the application of advanced technical skills and a high level of understanding of design for 3D effects for performance. You will be expected to manage your time effectively with reference to your written project proposal produced in the autumn term.

Enquire about this course

If you haven’t found the information you’re looking for or want to ask us a question about this course, please fill out our enquiry form.

Make an enquiry

Funding opportunities

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