- Start dateSeptember 2017
- Course length3 years
- UCAS codeW463
BA (Hons) Theatre Design
Places available 2017/18 - This course has places available. View the ‘How to apply’ section for more details. For a full list of UAL courses open for 2017/18 entry, including others at Wimbledon, visit the places available page.
The BA Theatre Design course at Wimbledon College of Arts covers both set and costume design.
We prepare our students to enter the world of contemporary theatre and performance design with the skills, knowledge and sensibilities that professional designers require. The rich mix of practice and theory that each student will encounter on the course ensures that experimentation and critical thinking are equally valued. This enables our students to produce inventive and imaginative design work underpinned by strong practical skills.
BA Theatre Design News
What is a theatre designer?
A theatre designer is responsible for designing the space in which the performance takes place. This includes the set, props and costumes, but can also encompass sound, lighting and other digital aspects.
What skills does a theatre designer need?
As well as having a range of practical skills designers must be confident communicators and collaborators. They must be resourceful, imaginative, self-assured and good problem solvers.
Content: what students can expect
- To focus on different aspects of theatre design practice - interpretation of text, perception of character, dramatic space, the designer’s role within the creative team as well as working on live shows with performers
- A Course Leader and Senior Lecturer who are practicing designers and a wide range of theatre-makers teaching on the course as Associate Lecturers
- To be guided through a broad range of skills and technical areas, including; computer-aided design, costume 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 and technical drafting
- 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
- Collaborative projects with both drama and dance programmes in other universities and institutions, including London Contemporary Dance School, MA Directing at Birkbeck and BA Contemporary Theatre Practice at East 15 Acting School
- To build a strong network of theatre-makers through collaborative projects
- To explore the relationship between drawing and performance
- The chance to get involved in Wimbledon’s annual Acts Re-Acts Festival, which combines performance and fine art
- To engage with a rich mix of ideas, events, discussions and performances through exposure to Wimbledon’s complementary fine art programme
- To have access to Wimbledon's shared workshops. View the Wimbledon facilities section
- 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
- Unit 5: Understanding collaborative practice
- Unit 6: Experimentation and exploring practice
- Unit 7: Research in practice
- Unit 8: Contextualising practice
- 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 designing sets and costume for a wide variety of realised performances including, dance, plays, opera, site-specific theatre and new writing projects.
Students can also study abroad in their second year as part of the college’s erasmus scheme.
Learning and teaching methods
- Exhibition preparation
- Feedback - written and oral
- Film screenings
- Group and individual tutorials
- Group work and crits
- Guided readings
- Independent study
- Online learning
- Orientations and inductions
- Peer review
- Practical work
- Project work
- Research - individual and group
- Study partners and groups
- Visits and trips
- Work placements
- Induction sheets
- Project logbooks and work
- Reflective journals
- Research portfolios and tasks
- Written assignments
- Lucy Algar - Course Leader
- Peter Farley - Designer
- Michael Pavelka - Designer
- Geraldine Pilgrim - Site-specific theatre maker
- Gill Allen - Head of Production, East 15 Acting School
- Dan Bird - Director
- Tony Clark - Director
- Jane Collins - Professor of Theatre and Performance
- Marcel Dolman - Director and Designer
- David Harris - Designer, technical drawing tutor and model maker
- Pamela Howard - Designer
- Rob Howell - Designer
- Sophie Jump - Designer
- James Perkins - Designer
- Uri Roodner - Theatre Director
- Vivian Sendall - Scene painter
- Sjef Tilly - Designer
How to apply
Home / EU applicants
You must apply through UCAS, where you’ll need the following information:
- University code - U65
- UCAS course code - W463
The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) application deadline is 15 January.
All Home / EU applicants for this course will be invited for interview and should bring their portfolio.
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.
There are three ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course at Chelsea College of Arts:
- Through one of our official representatives in your country
- Through UCAS
- By direct application using our international application form (PDF, 243 KB)
Find out more information about applying through UCAS.
Interviews and portfolio reviews - international students can be interviewed in a number of different ways:
- By phone or Skype
- In your country, if your application was made though one of our official representatives
- At our international office based at Chelsea College of Arts
Through the Study Abroad programme international students can apply to join an undergraduate course.
For information on how to apply visit the Study Abroad section.
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.
If English isn’t your first language
All classes are taught in English. If English isn't your first language you must provide evidence at enrolment of the following:
- IELTS level 6.0 or above, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking (please check our English Language requirements)
Portfolios should show the following:
- A range of visual recording, such as drawing, life drawing and photography
- Experimentation which demonstrates idea generation and development
- Visual work which uses form, structure, colour, texture and space
- Design development showing how problems are solved
- Previous experience of theatre work
- Sketchbooks and notebooks
At interview and portfolio review
We look for:
- An interest, commitment and motivation for studying the subject
- An ability to work imaginatively and creatively in 2D and 3D visual media, materials and processes
- An ability to create, investigate and develop ideas independently
- An ability to communicate your ideas visually, verbally and in writing
- Potential for creative problem solving
- An ability to self-direct and evaluate your own work
- An ability to engage with the idea of character in the context of a dramatic situation
- Visual awareness and an understanding of the creative process
- Cultural and historical awareness of theatre design and performance
- Motivation for working in theatre related industries
- A desire to learn and succeed
This course will give consideration to deferred entry application.
Fees and funding
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 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.
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.
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.
Careers and alumni
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. They also possess a range of skills and sensibilities, which enable them to transfer into other areas such as retail design, further academic study and exhibition design.
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. They have also exhibited at World Stage Design.
- Sarah Greenwood - four times Oscar nominated and BAFTA winning production designer for films including Atonement, Anna Karenina, Pride and Prejudice and Sherlock Holmes
- David Harris - Associate Designer for Cameron Macintosh's Les Misérables
- 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
- Cécile Trémolières - Freelance set and costume designer. Finalist of the Linbury Prize Stage Design (2013). Awarded the Royal Opera House Linbury bursary (2015)