Theatre Design at Wimbledon College of Arts equips students with both the knowledge and professional skills required in theatre design, covering both set and costume design, as well as realisation for performed events.

  • Facts

    Course Leader

    Lucy Algar

    Course Location

    Wimbledon College of Art, Merton Hall Road


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

    £9,000 per year


    International Fee

    £15,180 per year

    International fees are subject to an inflationary increase as students progress through their course


    Start DateSeptember 2014
    Autumn Term DatesMonday 29 September - Friday 12 December 2014
    Spring Term DatesMonday 12 January - Friday 27 March 2015
    Summer Term DatesMonday 27 April - Friday 26 June 2015
    Application Route

    Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS)

    Application DeadlineWednesday 15 January 2014
    UCAS CodeW462
    University CodeU65
  • Content and Structure

    Content: what students can expect

    • To focus on many different aspects of theatre design practice, such as analysis and interpretation of text, perception of character, dramatic space, the designer’s role and relationship within the creative team as well as working with performers
    • Visiting lecturers who are practicing designers and directors within their specialisms
    • An on-going contextual studies programme that builds our students’ knowledge and helps develop their critical understanding of the changing culture of theatre, film and the visual arts
    • On-going collaborative projects with both drama and dance programmes in other universities

    Students will be be guided through a broad range of skills and technical areas, including:

    • Computer-aided design
    • Costume cutting and construction
    • Costume drawing
    • Fabric dyeing
    • Lighting
    • Metal and wood workshop
    • Recorded digital arts for live performance
    • Scaled precision model-making
    • Sound
    • Story boarding for live performance
    • Technical drafting


    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

    Students gain production experience on the course with our professional practitioners, as well as through specialist work placements with companies or individuals.

    Our students also have the chance to collaborate with established and emerging choreographers and directors in areas such as design for dance and design for drama.

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

  • Staff

    Lucy Algar - Course Leader

    Lucy Algar is a theatre and production designer whose work encompasses design and direction for performance within the areas of theatre and television, as well as site-specific installation artwork.

    Lucy taught design (Costume Design, Scenography and Installation Art) at Royal Holloway, and was also guest lecturer on other courses including; MA Directing, MA Applied Theatre, Physical Theatre and Black and Asian Theatre.


    • Naomi Dawson - Theatre Designer
    • Sophie Jump - Designer
    • Gerry Pilgrim - Director and Designer
    • Richard Sharples - Artist and Designer

    Visiting Staff

    • Gill Allen - Head of Production, East 15 Acting School
    • Nick Barnes - Puppet Designer
    • Harry Bowerman - Production Manager, National Theatre
    • Andrea Brooks - Theatre Director
    • Tony Clark - Director
    • Jane Collins - Professor of Theatre and Performance
    • Carrie Cracknel - Director
    • Marcel Dolman - Director and Designer
    • David Harradine - Theatre Director
    • David Harris - Technical drawing tutor and model maker
    • Cara Newman - Technical drawing tutor and model maker
    • James Perkins - Designer
    • Uri Roodner - Theatre Director
    • Gary Sefton - Theatre Director
    • Vivian Sendall - Scene Painter
    • Sarah Wright - Director and Puppet Designer
  • Careers

    Our graduates progress into a range of roles within the field of theatre and performance after graduation, including designers and collaborators in television and film production, production managers and scenic artists.

    Course alumni have been both finalists and winners of the Linbury Prize for stage design, progressing to being BAFTA and Olivier Award-winning designers with the National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company and the BBC.


    • Sarah Greenwood - four times Oscar nominated and BAFTA winning production designer for films including Atonement, Anna Karenina, Pride and Prejudice and Sherlock Holmes
    • Richard Hudson - Set designer for The Lion King
    • Ann Maskrey - Costume designer for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland
    • Edward Thomas - BAFTA winning production designer who has worked on Dr Who and Torchwood
  • 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

    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 achieved, or expect to achieve:

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

    We also accept applications from students with:

    • An International Baccalaureate or equivalent national school leaving or university entrance qualifications
    • IELTS level 6.0 or above if English isn’t their first language, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking (please check our English Language requirements)

    Portfolio advice

    Your portfolio should show the following:

    • A set model, storyboard sequence and costume drawings from a recent project
    • A good level of drawing abilities, including life drawing
    • Ability to work with form, colour, texture and space, either fictional or architectural
    • An ability to understand character in the context of a dramatic situation
    • An interest in contemporary and historical life
    • An interest in collaboration and making performances
    • Previous experience of theatre work
    • Sketchbooks and notebooks

    Optional Theatre Design project

    This project is optional, but can provide a good opportunity to demonstrate your interpretive skills and design ideas.

    You should choose one from the following list:

    • 'Cabaret' by Kander and Ebb
    • 'The Tempest' by William Shakespeare
    • 'Turn of the Screw' by Benjamin Britten
    • 'Waiting for Godot' by Samuel Beckett

    For your portfolio you should complete at least six designs based on your choice, together with supporting work such as costume reference material, character sketches and fabric swatches. You can also include ideas for staging if you wish. Please ensure you work from the play text rather than a video.

  • Apply

    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 - W462

    The UCAS annual deadline for applications is 15 January.

    For more information please contact us:

    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, 276 KB]

    International Office
    Chelsea College of Arts
    16 John Islip Street
    SW1P 4JU

    For more information please contact our International Office:

    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