BA (Hons) Costume for Theatre & Screen

BA Costume for Theatre and Screen at Wimbledon College of Arts introduces students to professional costume making for theatre, film, television and live performance. The course offers two specialist disciplines; costume design and costume interpretation.

Please note: BA Costume for Theatre and Screen is a new course starting September 2017 and subject to validation.


Course Leader

To be confirmed.

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 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

Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS)

Application Deadline15 January 2017
UCAS CodeW453
University CodeU65

Content and Structure

Content: what students can expect

  • To gain an understanding of the essential elements of costume
  • To work on both studio and performance based live projects such as costume design for historical and contemporary texts and opera, site specific production, dance, film and theatre
  • To explore colour and texture through mixed media experimentation for two-dimensional design and textile work, and take a creative approach to problem solving during construction
  • To be taught by industry professionals, who ensure the development of a realistic working process, that’s informed by current practices and debates
  • To study historical and social contexts of western Europe’s evolution in costume through independent research, underpinned by a series of lectures
  • 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

To be guided through a broad range of skills and technical areas including:

  • Analysing texts and characters
  • Corsetry
  • Developing a visual language
  • Drawing
  • Millinery
  • Pattern cutting, garment construction and fabrication
  • Research skills
  • Textile manipulation

The two disciplines of Costume Design and Costume Interpretation are very different, but for part of both the first and second years, students work on the same projects.

Costume Design

Costume Design is concerned with visual storytelling.

  • Students should have an interest in people, history and geography
  • Students will use a range of sources, including text, images, music, and choreography to analyse and create characters
  • There is a focus on drawing and communicating ideas in 2D, but 3D construction skills are explored
  • All projects are for live or recorded performance. Students are encouraged to fully understand these contexts within their concept and development work

Costume Interpretation

Costume Interpretation is the process of making costumes from a visual reference and developing skills to a very high level.

  • It requires imagination, sensitivity, an understanding of context, and excellent interpersonal skills
  • At Wimbledon we use men’s and women’s period clothing, cut and construction as a template for understanding the complex challenges of the discipline 
  • You will have the opportunity to learn specialist traditional skills, such as tailoring and millinery
  • Students may also go on to make contemporary work that utilises techniques such as moulding, casting, textile experimentation, metal and leatherwork


Year One

  • Unit 1: Introduction to Theatre and Screen
  • 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

As a result of the college's London location and industry links students have the chance to undertake professional work placements during their studies.

Former students have worked for the Royal Opera House, The Globe, Hampton Court Palace, the Rose Theatre and Secret Cinema.

They have also worked on the London Olympic ceremonies, the Warner Bros film ‘The Huntsman’ and Netflix productions ’Game of Thrones’ and ‘The Crown’.

Others have worked with highly respected freelance designers and film directors.

Students will also have the opportunity to take part in the erasmus scheme to study abroad for a term in the second year of their degree.


Abigail Hammond - Costume Design

Abigail Hammond has worked as a professional designer for over 25 years, creating costumes for fringe, community and West End shows. Her specialism is costume design in contemporary dance and she currently collaborates with the Jasmin Vardimon Company. Hammond's sharing and teaching of her skills, as well as her passion for costume and performance, have always run parallel to her design practice.

Elizabeth Dawson - Costume Interpretation

Elizabeth Dawsin has a specialist background in dress history, and extensive experience of working in theatre, film and television. She has worked as a researcher on many period films including Elizabeth: The Golden Age and The Duchess.

Visiting Staff

  • Lea Anderson - Choreographer
  • Nicoline Bailey - Corset maker 
  • Linda Cooley - Wig maker
  • Onyinye Egenti - Film Director / writer   
  • Javier de Frutos - Choreographer
  • Jacqueline Gunn - Designer
  • Geraldine Pilgrim - Director
  • Clare Strickland - Milliner
  • Emily Stuart - Designer
  • Simon Vincezi - Artist
  • Holly Waddington - Designer



Our graduates have gone on to a range of careers within theatre, film and television. Some have found work as costume makers, designers, wardrobe supervisors and assistants, while others choose to carry on their studies at postgraduate level.


Costume Design:

  • Trisha Biggar - Costume Designer
  • Georgina Chapman - Director and designer, Marchesa
  • Kenny Ho - Fashion designer and stylist
  • Martina Trottman - Secret Cinema

Costume Interpretation:

  • Caroline McCall - Costume Emmy Award Winner for Downton Abbey, 2011
  • Naomi Isaacs - Costume Interpreter, with commissions including the West End production of Wicked, Matthew Bournes’s dance productions and Anna Boleyna for the Metropolitan Opera, New York
  • Jane Petrie - Costume Supervisor for Bel Ami, Costume Assistant on Elizabeth: The Golden Age, and Costume Designer on the Suffragette

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 some examples of contemporary and historical practice
  • An ability to communicate your ideas visually, verbally and in writing
  • An ability to self-direct and evaluate your own work

Portfolio advice

Portfolios should show the following:

  • 6 costume drawings from a recent design project
  • A good level of drawing abilities - including life drawing
  • An ability to understand character in the context of a dramatic situation
  • An ability to work with form, colour, texture and space
  • An interest in contemporary and historical clothing
  • An interest in collaboration and making performances
  • Feature any previous experience of costume work
  • Include sketchbooks and notebooks

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.

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.


The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) application deadline is 15 January.

Home / EU applicants

You must apply through UCAS, where you’ll need the following information:

  • University code - U65
  • UCAS course code - W453

International applicants

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

Find out more information about applying through UCAS

Deferred entry

This course will give consideration to deferred entry application from 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

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