BA (Hons) Theatre & Screen: Costume Interpretation

Clearing places 2016

This course has Clearing places available for international applicants. To find out how to make a direct application, call us on +44 (0)20 7514 1852. For a full list of 2016/17 course places at Wimbledon College of Arts and other UAL Colleges, visit the Clearing 2016 page.

Applying for September 2017?

Please visit the BA Costume for Theatre and Screen course page. This new course will bring together Costume Design and Costume Interpretation. If you have any questions contact

BA Costume Interpretation at Wimbledon College of Arts offers students the chance to specialise in the realisation and construction of costumes for theatre, film and television, and is supported by a range of practitioners currently working within the industry.


Course Leader

Elizabeth Dawson

Course Location

Wimbledon College of Arts, Merton Hall Road


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

£9,000 per year (2016/17).

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.

International Fee

£17,230 per year (2016/17).

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.

Start DateSeptember 2016
Autumn Term DatesMonday 26 September - Friday 9 December 2016
Spring Term DatesMonday 9 January - Friday 17 March 2017
Summer Term DatesTuesday 18 April - Friday 23 June 2017
Application Route

Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS)

Application DeadlineOpen for international applicants only for 2016/17 entry. Applications for 2017/18 entry will open in Autumn 2016.
UCAS CodeW491
University CodeU65

Content and Structure

Content: what students can expect 

  • A course team made up of specialist professional costumiers and designers, who ensure the development of a realistic working process informed by current industry practice and debates
  • To study the historical and social context of the evolution of costume in Western Europe through independent research, supported by a 10 week series of lectures
  • Project work to focus on developing an understanding of the subtleties of character in relation to costume, with a strong emphasis on acquiring and refining the necessary sewing, costume construction and textile skills to allow increasingly ambitious work to be set through the course
  • An on-going contextual studies programme that builds our students’ knowledge and helps develop their critical understanding of the changing culture of film, television and the arts
  • Their costume work to be shown to invited and public audiences, both within the college context and by invitation at prestigious locations such as Hampton Court Palace, National Portrait Gallery and the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace
  • Opportunities to exhibit work in our annual Costume Show; a catwalk show for second and third year students

You will be guided through a broad range of specialist and technical skills, including:

  • Beading
  • Corsetry
  • Costume prop techniques
  • History of Dress
  • Millinery
  • Pattern drafting
  • Textile printing and dye work
  • Theatre Tailoring
  • Tutu
  • Wig making


Year One

  • Unit 1: Introduction to study in Higher Education
  • Unit 2: Introduction to practice - Defining the subject
  • Unit 3: Critical and contextual studies
  • Unit 4: Establishing practice

Year Two

  • Unit 5: Understanding collaborative practice
  • Unit 6: Experimentation and exploring practice
  • Unit 7: Research in practice
  • Unit 8: Contextualising practice

Year Three

  • Unit 9: Theorising practice and practising theory
  • Unit 10: Towards independent practice

Work experience and opportunities

Recent students have enjoyed work placements with the Victoria and Albert Museum, milliner Philip Treacy, National Theatre, Royal Opera House and with a number of independent companies.

Students can also study abroad in their second year as part of the College’s Erasmus scheme.


Elizabeth Dawson - Course Leader

Elizabeth Dawson has extensive experience of working in theatre, film and television as well as a specialist background in dress history. She's also worked as a researcher on many period films, including Elizabeth and The Duchess.


  • Abigail Hammond
  • Glenda Haseler

Visiting Staff

  • Sean Barratt - Milliner
  • Linda Cooley - Wig maker
  • Charlotte Dewar - Beading tutor
  • Kerry Goodrich - Tailor
  • Amanda Hall - Corset maker
  • Naomi Isaacs - Ladies cutting tutor
  • Kate O'Farrell - Drawing tutor
  • Rachael Pashley - Tailor
  • Claire Porter - Cutting tutor


Recent graduates from the course have found work as costume makers, assistants and wardrobe supervisors. Some of the College’s alumni are currently working at the Victoria and Albert Museum, whilst others are running costume departments in various regional theatres.


  • Naomi Issacs - Freelance Costume Interpreter whose commissions include costumes for West End production Wicked, Matthew Bourne’s dance productions and Anna Boleyna for the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
  • Jane Petrie - Costume Designer for the Top Boy series on Channel 4, costume supervisor for Bel Ami, costume assistant for Elizabeth the Golden Age

Entry Requirements

We select students based on the quality of their applications, looking primarily at their portfolio of work and personal statements.

Applicants will have, or are expected to achieve, either:

  • A Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
  • 1 GCE A Level
  • 3 GCSEs grade C or above


  • BTEC Extended Diploma or NVQ Level 3
  • 3 GCSEs grade C or above


  • University of the Arts London level 3 Pre-University Diploma and Extended Diploma in Art and Design
  • 4 GCSEs grade C or above


  • International Baccalaureate Diploma pass achieved at 28 points or above 
  • An equivalent level of performance in other internationally recognised national school leaving or university entrance qualifications


  • Other evidence of prior learning and experience via Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning - AP(E)L and / or alternative qualifications assessed as offering the same level as the above requirements 

In exceptional circumstances, applicants may be considered if they present a portfolio of equivalent standard to a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design and have:

  • 2 GCE A Levels
  • 3 GCSEs grade C or above

Where conditional offers are made to GCE A Level applicants these will normally be at grade C or above.

English Language Requirements

All classes are conducted in English. If English isn't a students' first language they must provide evidence at enrolment of the following:

At interview and portfolio review

 We look for:

  • An interest, commitment and motivation for studying the subject
  • An understanding of the subject, including examples of contemporary and historical practice
  • An ability to communicate your ideas visually, verbally and in writing
  • Your portfolio to demonstrate a range of appropriate skills and technical abilities 
  • An ability to self-direct and evaluate your own work

Portfolio advice

Your portfolio should show the following:

  • An interest in contemporary and historical clothing
  • A good level of technical ability in basic costume construction, i.e. sewing, dyeing and printing
  • Ability to work with form, colour, texture and space
  • A range of drawing abilities - including observational and life drawing
  • An ability to understand character in the context of a dramatic situation
  • Notebooks and sketchbooks

Home / EU applicants

All applicants for this course will be invited for interview.

Applicants will be seen by a team of Theatre and Screen tutors.

Interviews will take place between the following dates:

  • 1 - 5 February 2016
  • 22 - 26 February 2016

Applicants may be offered a place on an alternative BA Theatre and Screen course at Wimbledon.

This decision will be based on our assessment of an applicants' creative potential and interests.

International applicants

Interviews and portfolio reviews - applicants can be interviewed in a number of different ways: 

  • By phone
  • In their country, if your application was made though one of our official representatives 
  • At our international office based at Chelsea College of Arts


Use UAL’s scholarship search to find out what funding may be available to you.


Home / EU applicants

You must apply through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), where you’ll need the following information:

  • University code - U65
  • UCAS course code - W491

International applicants

There are three ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course at Wimbledon College of Arts:

To apply through the College, you’ll need to download and complete our international undergraduate application form and send this, along with your portfolio and any supporting documents, to the address below.

Download International Undergraduate application form [PDF, 185 KB]

International Office
Chelsea College of Arts 
16 John Islip Street

Deferred entry

This course will give consideration to deferred entry application from both Home / EU and International applicants.

Study Abroad applicants

Through the Study Abroad programme international students can apply to join an undergraduate course for a period of up to three terms. 

For information on how to apply visit the Study Abroad section

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.

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