skip to main content
an image

MA Costume Design for Performance

College
LCF
Start date
September 2019
Course length
15 months

Course summary

Applications are open for 2019/20 entry.

Scroll down to the How to apply section below.

This costume design course develops confident and experimental practitioners who push the boundaries of costume, both for live performance and film.

About

MA Costume Design for Performance combines theory and practice to nurture creative ideas about costume and performance. Taught largely on a one to one basis, students design, realise and experiment with costume based performance ideas.

Great reasons to apply

  • Graduates find employment as assistant designers and costume supervisors in the theatre and film industry.
  • The opportunity to showcase work to the public on a professional platform such as at Sadler's Wells or the V&A.
  • Access to highly specialist workshop facilities and the expertise of supporting technicians

Location

This course is based at Lime Grove in Shepherd’s Bush. Find out about the local area, including Holland Park and Notting Hill in our local area guides on the Student Life pages.

Student and graduate work

Aesthetica Film Trailer 2018

MA17 Costume Design for Performance Show

MA Costume Design for Performance 2017 teaser film

University of the Arts London and House of Illustration present MarKings festival

Can you perform an illustration? How can art and the human body interact?

Portfolio gallery

Latest news from this course

Graduate Spotlight: MA Costume Design for Performance graduate Hana Zeqa

Graduate Spotlight: MA Costume Design for Performance graduate Hana Zeqa

On Tuesday 5 December our LCFMA18 season begins at Sadler’s Wells with MA Costume Design for Performance graduates showcasing their garments and accompanied performances in what is traditionally one of the most moving and visually captivating parts of the MA season. We spoke to Kosovian […]

Facilities

Library, John Princes Street
Library, John Princes Street Photography by: Ideal Insight

LCF archives and library

Take a tour of LCF's world renowned fashion library, ideal for research and study.

Photo Studio, Lime Grove

Media facilities at Lime Grove

Take a tour of Lime Grove's media facilities from photographic studios to darkrooms.

Mare Street Canteen

LCF's social spaces

Explore our social spaces, for collaborative study and breaks, across our six sites in London.

Course details

Beyond the understanding of performance and the role of character creation through costume, the study of Costume Design at MA level allows you to locate your practice within the wider realms of contemporary culture and art, as well as within the relevant dramatic, social and political contexts.

The course offers many opportunities for collaborations within the college or the wider context of the University of the Arts as well as with practitioners from the large performance and art sector in London and the UK.

The relationship between drawing, practical realisation and performance is central to the way design is approached: ideas are developed on paper, 3D modelling, through movement, as well as through pattern cutting, textile and material manipulation and practical testing. Practical experimentation is achieved through access to the extensive technical facilities available within the college and the expanding knowledge of the uses of analogue and digital methods.

The costume studios are well equipped to enable students to develop their ideas into practical realisation, and expert technical support is provided for students on a weekly basis.

Course structure

15 months, level 7, 180 credits

Term one:

Costume for Live Performance (40 credits)

Research Methods (20 credits)

Term two:

Costume for Film (40 units)

Collaborative Unit (20 credits) - find out more

Terms three and four:

Masters 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.

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.

Course units

The Costume for Live Performance unit explores costume as central to a dramatic narrative developed live by the performer within time and space. Considering theatrical contexts in its broadest sense as performer and audience relationship, it explores contemporary concepts for the creation of narratives and performances that focus on the body and costume as conveyor of meaning.

Practice and theory in the development of concepts and technical realisation are interdependent for the design process and performance creation. Work will develop individually in response to your particular focus, whilst workshop sessions will introduce you to the full range of supporting facilities available.

While generating conceptual costume-based approaches to performance, you will situate your practice within broader performance contexts and in relation to key practitioners, thus connecting your design work to current cultural debates in contemporary performance practice.

You will experiment and explore your design ideas and will be expected to develop solutions through experimentation, demonstrating initiative in researching the professional context while building a network of contacts. You will also develop your technical skills in the realisation of your designs for the performer’s body, considering movement, materials, scale, sound and lighting in your design concept.

You will develop creative, presentation, communication and management skills through shared peer presentations, practical workshops, master classes, and individual tutorials, as well as through the practical performance workshop where your realised design will be explored in its potential for communicating a meaningful narrative.

The purpose of the Research Methods unit is to introduce you to the range of research methods, approaches and tools that are available to you in order to conduct your post graduate project.

The unit will cover philosophy and ethics in research, primary and secondary research methods, including quantitative, qualitative and visual research methods, and how to analyse, evaluate and disseminate research findings.

The unit will consider research in a range of contexts relevant to the cultural and creative industries and enable you to understand the relationship between theory and practice.

The Costume for Film unit focuses on costume for performance viewed through the camera lens, contextualising the practice of costume design for film and all other visual recording media from a broad cultural and artistic perspective. You are expected to situate your practice within theory and in relation to key practitioners.

The presentation of character on the screen is explored in depth through conceptual development, practical design realisation and the ability to utilise the techniques unique to film such as framing and editing, thus developing a practical understanding of professional constraints and opportunities. You will gain such understanding through research and investigation into film makers, production designers and post production technology, as well as through practical workshops for story board, film editing and specialist textile manipulation.

The unit will culminate in a practical film shoot where the realised designs are explored by the performer and recorded as planned from previously developed storyboards.

The Collaborative Unit is designed to enable you to innovate, engage in developmental processes and participate in collaborative working practices. You will be encouraged to develop the professional negotiating and networking skills that you will need in order to be successful in the cultural and creative industries.

The nature of this collaboration may be within your own course, with students on other courses or with industry. The project that you undertake will depend upon your discipline and the specific requirements of your course. Further details will be available in your unit handbook.

The Masters Project is an important piece of work which will provide an opportunity for you to demonstrate your knowledge and skills in relation to your discipline and chosen project.

Throughout the Masters Project, you are guided and supported by tutorials and peer and staff evaluation at interim stages. You will be allocated a supervisor for your project and will complete a learning contract outlining how you intend to develop and deliver your project. The Masters Project may take a variety of forms by negotiation and is assessed by presentation in an agreed format.

Showing your work

All students are advised to set up a profile on portfolio.arts.ac.uk, UAL’s new portfolio platform, which can be done at any point during your time at LCF and will last for up to 12 months after graduation. This platform is often used to source student work for promotional use on the website, social media and for print and can be a great way of getting your work seen. You may also be asked to have a portfolio profile for the selection process when it comes to degree shows.

Staff

Giulia Pecorari, course leader and LCF alumni, is a costume designer for performance and costume maker for films. Her practice focuses on materials and their potential and how they can be used to express the human condition through performance. Initially trained at Polimoda International Institute in Florence in pattern cutting and garment technology, she holds an MA in Costume Design for Performance from LCF. For three years Giulia has worked as a lecturer at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London and prior to her academic career, Giulia worked for Studio XO, one of London’s leading fashion technology companies as their fashion/technology integration manager. At Studio XO she worked on projects for Lady Gaga and Wayne McGregor | Random Dance among others. In film, she has worked for award-winning designers and directors such as Aladdin (Designer Michael Wilkinson, Director Guy Ritchie), Mary Magdalene (Designer Jacqueline Durran, Director Garth Davis), Alien: Covenant (Designer Janty Yates, Director Ridley Scott), Doctor Strange (Designer Alexandra Byrne, Director Scott Derrickson) and The Martian (Designer Janty Yates, Director Ridley Scott) among others. Giulia has exhibited and presented her work internationally at galleries and venues including Prague Quadrennial, Bristol Old Vic, Sadler's Wells Theatre, the V&A, Venice Biennale of Dance, Amsterdam Fashion Week, World Stage Design in Cardiff, Critical Costume in Helsinki, Costume at the Turn of the Century in Moscow, Desenhos de Cena #1 in São Paulo, Brazil and Inifd in Jodhpur, India.

Claire Christie is the senior lecturer for BA Costume for Performance. She trained at the University of the Creative Arts at Epsom in fashion design. Following graduation, she began her career in costume for theatre, film and television, working over the years on many notable period and contemporary productions. She has made costumes for Judi Dench, Helena Bonham-Carter, Angelina Jolie, Maggie Smith, Dawn French and many others. Film credits include James Bond 007 films Goldeneye (1995) and Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), Shakespeare in Love (1998), Elizabeth (1998), Topsy Turvy (1999), Tomb Raider (2003), and Vera Drake (2004). Her most recent film work includes Harry Potter (2005), A Mighty Heart (2007) working with Angelina Jolie, and Easy Virtue (2008) working with Jessica Beale. Opera and theatre commissions include productions for English National Opera, the Royal Opera House, Garsington Opera and the Chichester Festival, working with designers including Alison Chitty, Nicky Gillibrand, Maria Bjornson, and William Dudley. Claire’s teaching career has included associate lectureships at Central Saint Martins and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and programme leader on the Costume Design and Interpretation course at Central School of Speech and Drama. She combines her teaching on this course with being a tutor on the MA Costume Design for Performance in the School of Media and Communication Graduate School at LCF.

Agnes Treplin originally trained in Fashion Design in Berlin before undertaking the BA(Hons) Theatre Design at Central Saint Martin’s and some years after that the MA Performance and Culture at Goldsmith University. Since 1995 she has worked as a theatre designer on many productions for opera, dance, theatre, musicals, film and TV in the UK and internationally. Her most recent design credits: Who Do We Think We Are? (Southwark Playhouse) A Dashing Fellow (New Diorama Theatre London) Werther. Die Sprache der Liebe (Hans Otto Theater, Potsdam, Germany), Warsaw Melody (Arcola Theatre), Am Horizont (Hans Otto Theater, Germany) Consultants and Man in the Middle (Theatre 503, London) The Last 5 Years (Barbican) Land of The Gypsies (Grand Theatre, Casino du Liban, Lebanon) The Marriage of Figaro and Don Pasquale (ETO)The Rise of the Phoenix and Gibran The Prophet and Don Quixote for the  Byblos International Festival in Lebanon, Al Mutanabbi (Baalbek Festival, Lebanon, Xenobia (Dubai)) Der Freischuetz (National Theatre of Iceland), Othello (Basingstoke Theatre). She has designed over 40 productions for Guildhall School of Music, LAMDA and RADA and was appointed head of Design at Drama Centre London from 2000 - 2010. Agnes is currently leading the curation for the UK participation at the exhibition Innovative Costumes of the 21st Century: The New Generation opening in Moscow in 2019.  She engages in research projects addressing costume in performance and most recently produced and designed a costume performance and subsequent film in collaboration with the National Gallery, London College of Fashion, exhibited at the NG, Shoreditch Town Hall and as part of the Evolutions in Performance Design exhibition in Beijing in 2014 and at Shanghai Museum of Modern Art in 2015. She has taught Theatre Design at Central Saint Martin’s College for over 10 years and has been course director for the MA Costume Design for Performance at London College of Fashion since 2010. In addition she took on the role as Programme Director for Performance at LCF from 2105 -2016, holds the PG Cert for Teaching Art and Design and provides PhD supervision at LCF. She is contributing to international research forums most recently at the World Stage Design Expo 2017 in Taiwan for the conference ‘Thinking Costume’. View Agnes Treplin's full profile here.


Karl J. Rouse trained as a performer at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and later moved into Performance Studies as a Fulbright scholar (representing the UK government under Tony Blair) at The Tisch School of The Arts, New York University.  Here he studied directing under Richard Schechner and Anna Deavere Smith and performed in the ‘downtown’ experimental scene in venues such as PS122, La Mama, and St Annes Wearhouse.  Karl has represented the Performing Arts for the Fulbright Commission at The White House, Downing Street and in the House of Lords.  He was awarded a Royal Holloway, University of London, Scholarship in 2003 and studied customer service and organisational loyalty with The Disney Institute in 2006.  As a producer, Karl has served as Executive Director of The Accidental Festival (The Roundhouse, The ICA, Battersea Arts Centre) which has included the work of Liz LeCompte, Simon McBurney, Richard Foreman, Katy Mitchel, Felix Barret and Tristan Sharps.  Karl is a fellow of The Royal Society of The Arts, and The Centre for Excellence in Training for Theatre, where he focused upon the role of The Entrepreneurial Artist.  This led to presentations at The Fulbright Conference in Beijing, the European League of Arts Institutes (ELIA) in Amsterdam, and The International Entrepreneurial Educators Conference (IEEC) in Sheffield.  Karl was also the first Director of Performance at Capital City Academy, and an Assistant Principal within the Studio School Trust.  He has therefore developed new curricula in new buildings for students aged 12 to 18, and 18 and above.  For ten years he was a senior lecturer and pathway leader at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London and has previously served as External Examiner at The National Centre for Circus Arts.  Recently he has become a mentor for The Leadership Foundation, specifically working with BAME Academics seeking to move into senior leadership positions.  He is a mental health first-aider and has an interest in Mindfulness in Education.

How to apply

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and to supporting all of our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. If you have a disability (e.g. mobility difficulties, sensory impairments, medical or mental health conditions or Asperger’s syndrome) we strongly encourage you to contact us on disability@arts.ac.uk or +44 (0)20 7514 6156 so that we can plan the right support for you. All enquiries are treated confidentially. To find out more, visit our Disability & Dyslexia webpages.

Entry requirements

The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows:

  • An Honours degree at 2.1 or above in a related discipline. Applicants with a degree in another subject may be considered, depending on the strength of the application;
  • OR Equivalent qualifications;

APEL (Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning)

Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered in exceptional cases. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • Related academic or work experience (for a minimum of three years)
  • The quality of the personal statement
  • A strong academic or other professional reference
  • OR a combination of these factors

Each application will be considered on its own merit but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

English Language Requirements

IELTS level 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking. Please check our main English Language Requirements .

Extra information required for applications to this course

When you are submitting your application form, you will also need to provide the following pieces of documentation in support of your application:

Curriculum vitae

You will be required to submit a Curriculum Vitae (C.V.) in support of your application. This should include your full education and employment history.

Personal statement

The personal statement is your opportunity to tell us about yourself and your suitability for the course that you intend to study.

Some key points to consider:

  • Make sure that personal statement is your own work and is about you.
  • Explain why you want to study the course you are applying to.
  • Try to link your skills and experience required to the course.
  • Demonstrate your interest and enthusiasm for the course and link these with your personality.
  • Make sure it is organised and literate (grammar, spelling, punctuation check).

Essay

You should submit a 1,000 to 1,500 word written essay. Please include bibliography and referencing. The essay title that you should respond to is:

'Analyse the contribution that costume makes to the development of character and narrative in a particular production (theatre, film or TV)'.

Study proposal

Your study proposal should be no more than 400 words (excluding research sources and bibliography). It should:

  • describe the performance context of the proposal, demonstrating your knowledge of the historical and contemporary context of your area of study;
  • suggest the area of study in your project proposal, e.g. a particular text(s)/ subject area(s) you might be interested in exploring/devising around;
  • consider that the study proposal does change in consultation with tutors; however we need to ensure that you are thinking on the right level for MA study.

Portfolio

You will be required to submit a digital portfolio with a maximum of 30 images that you consider would help support your application. Submit your portfolio via the university’s digital portfolio tool, PebblePad. More details will be sent to you after you have submitted your application. Please include digital versions of drawings, photographs of realised designs, speculative design, sketch work, process, photographs, etc. Label and present any visual work with care, including dates and captions

Selection Criteria

The course team seeks to recruit students who can demonstrate:

  • the potential to develop their practical and critical abilities through academic study;
  • critical knowledge of a subject area;
  • a capacity for intellectual enquiry and reflective thought;
  • an openness to new ideas and a willingness to participate actively in their own intellectual development;
  • initiative and a developed and mature attitude to independent study.

Selection for interview will be made on the basis of your application, including the personal statement, the reference, the supporting written

statement, and examples of relevant work.

How we assess your application

Your application form is reviewed when you apply to the University. If you have achieved or expect to achieve the standard entry requirements we will invite you to submit a portfolio. The portfolio is assessed by the course team who will select applicants to attend an interview. Interviews may be conducted in person, via telephone or via Skype. Please note that not all applicants are invited to attend interview. When you have attended your interview we will advise you of your outcome through your UAL portal.

Making your application

This section includes all the information you need on how to apply and how your application is considered, and what happens next.

UK/EU students can apply to a postgraduate course at LCF by completing a direct application.

Application deadline

There are no official deadlines to submit your application. Applications are accepted, and offers are made throughout the year. The course will be closed once spaces are filled so we advise that you apply early.

London College of Fashion does not accept applications for deferred entry. You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

What happens next

All application forms, personal statements and relevant documents are read and considered by the course team against the selection criteria listed in the Entry requirements and Selection Criteria sections.

Depending on the quality of your application, you may be asked to submit a number of images of your work. For this course your portfolio could include: drawings; photographs of realised designs; speculative design; sketch work; process; and photographs. Label and present any visual work with care, including dates and captions.

If the course team wish to consider your application further, you will be invited to attend an interview. Interviews may be conducted in person, via telephone or via Skype.

If you are successful at the interview stage you will be offered a place. Please note that applicants are not guaranteed an interview.

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

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

The result of your application will be communicated to you through your UAL Portal. If your application has been successful, you will receive a full offer pack including details of accommodation, fees, and other important information.

There are two ways international students can apply to a postgraduate course at LCF:

For further advice on how to apply please visit the UAL International Application page.

Application deadline

There are no official deadlines to submit your application. Applications are accepted, and offers are made throughout the year. The course will be closed once spaces are filled so we advise that you apply early.

London College of Fashion does not accept applications for deferred entry. You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

What happens next

Immigration History Check

After you have applied, you will need to complete an Immigration History Check to identify whether you are eligible to study at UAL. Do be aware, if you do not complete the Immigration History Check we will not be able to proceed with your application.

Initial application check

All application forms, personal statements and relevant documents are read and considered by the course team against the selection criteria listed in the Entry requirements and Selection Criteria sections.

Depending on the quality of your application, you may be asked to submit a number of images of your work. For this course your portfolio could include: drawings; photographs of realised designs; speculative design; sketch work; process; and photographs. Label and present any visual work with care, including dates and captions.

If the course team wish to consider your application further, you will be invited to attend an interview. Interviews may be conducted in person, via telephone or via Skype.

If you are successful at the interview stage you will be offered a place. Please note that applicants are not guaranteed an interview.

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

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

The result of your application will be communicated to you through your UAL Portal. If your application has been successful, you will receive a full offer pack including details of accommodation, fees, and other important information.


After you apply

After you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive a confirmation email providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal. We’ll use this Portal to contact you to request any additional information, including inviting you to upload documents or book an interview, so please check it regularly.

Once we’ve reviewed and assessed your application, we’ll contact you via the UAL Portal to let you know whether your application has been successful.

Fees & Funding

Home / EU fee

£10,890

This applies for the 2019/20 academic year.

UAL Home/EU alumni receive a £1,000 discount.

Course fees may be paid in instalments.

International fee

£19,930

This applies for the 2019/20 academic year.

UAL International alumni receive a £1,000 discount.

Course fees may be paid in instalments.

Additional costs

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.

Accommodation

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.

Loans

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are now available for eligible UK and EU students. A full list of eligibility criteria and information on applying can be found on the postgraduate loans webpage.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

All our postgraduate courses offer career development, so that you become a creative thinker, making effective contributions to your relevant sector of the fashion industry.

LCF offers students the opportunity to develop Personal and Professional Development (PPD) skills while studying through:

* Access to to speaker programmes and events featuring alumni and industry.

* Access to careers activities, such as CV clinics and one-to-one advice sessions.

* Access to a graduate careers service

* Access to a live jobsboard for all years.

* Advice on setting up your own brand or company.

Career paths

MA Costume Design for Performance graduates practice as designers in both the text-based mainstream but also the devised/arthouse live performance and film sector. They often take the collaborative performance work initiated during the course further and as a result, their work has been seen in major national and international festivals, including Prague Quadrennial and Edinburgh Festival, Critical Costume Helsinki (Finland), Pamplona Festival (Spain) and has been exhibited at the National Gallery London, the V&A Museum, National Centre of Performance Art in Beijing, Museum of Modern Art Shanghai and in many other venues in the UK and abroad.

Graduates find employment as assistant designers and costume supervisors in the theatre and film industry in leading institutions such as the Royal Opera House, English National Opera and on films such as Star Wars, Harry Potter and Suffragette. Others have built careers as experts in specific technical areas of costume, such as, pattern cutting, surface textiles, print and dye or fabricated, sculptural costumes. Some graduates are currently working for major fashion labels such as Chanel, Dior, McQueen and Lawrence Xu producing often unusual one-off costumes and objects for the designer’s catwalk shows.

Graduates have found work with artists, whose work borders on performance, such as Lucy Orta and Tracy Emin.

View college guides

Contact

Address

Follow us