skip to main content
an image

BA (Hons) Costume for Theatre and Screen

College
WIMBLEDON
Start date
September 2020
Course length
3 years
UCAS code
W453

BA Costume for Theatre and Screen at Wimbledon College of Arts introduces you to professional costume for theatre, film, television and live performance. The course offers 2 specialist disciplines; costume design and costume interpretation.

Student work

BA Costume for Theatre and Screen Stories

Golden Shears Awards

Smartly tailored looks by Wimbledon BA Costume for Theatre and Screen students earn them a place in the final at Savile Row's answer to the Oscars.

Course overview

The course at Wimbledon views costume as a broad, developing and ever-changing industry. Both specialisms will encourage you to explore and build confidence in both traditional and innovative approaches to costume design and realisation, through new and emerging media and digital presentation techniques. 

A collaborative approach and engagement with live and industry focussed projects as an embedded part of delivery ensures you receive a real experience throughout your study.

What to expect

  • To gain an understanding of the essential elements of costume
  • To explore, create and understand costume in relation to historical, contemporary and conceptual contexts
  • To work on studio and performance based live projects. These might be costume design for historical or contemporary texts and opera. Or they could be for site-specific production, dance, film or theatre
  • To gain experience through live projects. In the past the course has worked with The National Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum and Windsor Castle
  • To explore colour and texture through mixed media experimentation for 2D design and textile work
  • To take a creative approach to problem solving during construction
  • Teaching from industry professionals. They will ensure you develop a realistic working process, that’s informed by current practices and debates
  • An introduction to a broad range of skills and technical areas. These include analysing texts and characters, corsetry, developing a visual language, drawing, millinery, pattern cutting, research, textile manipulation, garment construction and fabrication
  • A contextual studies programme. This builds your knowledge and understanding of film, television and the arts
  • To have access to Wimbledon's shared workshops. View the Wimbledon facilities

The first year is a challenging and exciting exploration of the subject area of costume. You will have an introduction to research methods, practical approaches, design strategies and conceptual and creative problem solving. You will make your costume specialism choice by the end of your first year.  The 2 disciplines of Costume Design and Costume Interpretation are very different.

Costume Design

Costume Design is concerned with visual storytelling.

  • You should have an interest in people, history and geography
  • You will use a range of sources, including text, images and music to analyse and create characters
  • There is a focus on drawing and communicating ideas in 2D, whilst 3D construction skills are also developed to a high level

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 historical and traditional construction processes and skills to provide the foundation for contemporary approaches to a wide range of costume realisation
  • You will have the opportunity to learn specialist traditional skills, such as tailoring and millinery
  • You may also go on to make contemporary work that utilises techniques such as moulding, casting, textile experimentation, metal and leatherwork

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 have the opportunity to take part in the Erasmus scheme to study abroad for a term in the second year of their degree.

Mode of study

BA Costume for Theatre and Screen is offered in full-time mode. It is divided into 3 stages over 3 academic years. Each stage consists of 30 teaching weeks. You will be expected to commit an average of 40 hours per week to your course, including teaching hours and independent study.

Course units

A short description of each unit and what you can expect.

Year 1

Unit 1 - Introduction to Costume for Theatre and Screen

This unit is an introduction to your course, the college and the university.

Unit 2 - Designing and making 1

  • Short projects in research, costume design, construction and exploration of character
  • Lectures on costume theory that will introduce a contextual understanding of dress and its impact on society

Unit 3 - Designing and making 2

This unit will help you understand the specialism options of Design and Interpretation in preparation for you to make your choice between the 2.

  • Further projects to develop your design and making skills
  • Costume related lectures to help you improve your subject knowledge

Unit 4 - Exploring ideas

This unit builds on the broad range of technical processes and key ideas you have been introduced to.

  • An introduction to ideas, debates and critical approaches associated with the uses of costume
  • To work with a real body and creating performance
  • To make your specialism choice of Design or Interpretation. Projects in this unit will support a Design or Interpretation progression into the second year
  • To work on your reflective journal
  • Written work

Unit 5 - Who are you? Establishing practice

In this unit you will work collaboratively in groups to develop, design and produce a fully realised outcome for presentation in a live installation.

  • To use a set text that will allow you to broadly explore time, place and context.
  • To work with a real body to create a performance for an invited audience.
  • Tutorials and technical workshops
  • To work on your reflective journal
  • Written work

Year 2

Unit 6 - Practice as laboratory

This specialist unit gives you the opportunity to build upon the knowledge and skills established. You will work on a more challenging project within your chosen costume specialism.

  • An introduction to more advanced skills and working methods
  • To establish professional working practices including fitting, form and function
  • To carry out research to support your 2D and 3D constructed work
  • Lectures, talks, seminars and tutorials
  • To work on your reflective journal

Unit 7 - Collective and collaborative practices

This unit aims to introduce you to different ways in which collaborative working can focus and enhance your own creative strengths. This unit has 3 core purposes: 

  • To engage with fellow students with different practices and interests in a collaborative project
  • To engage with external audiences, participants or institutions to consider new contexts for your work
  • To develop your creative attributes to enable you to take on future challenges in a variety of contexts

Unit 8 - Where in the world? 1

  • A short practical project specific to your specialism
  • An industry awareness programme that will focus on exploring and defining a context for your own practice
  • To engage with and respond to broader concepts and themes. These might include, but are not limited to body, gender, genre, agency, authenticity, movement, audience, spatiality
  • To attend and review performances and events
  • To apply for work placements to be undertaken in unit 9
  • To work on your CV and professional portfolio

Unit 9 - Where in the world? 2

This unit has 2 elements:

  • Self-directed project - will give you the opportunity to select what and how you want to learn
  • Work placement - will give you an insight into the diverse career opportunities available in costume

Year 3

Unit 10 - Finding your voice: portfolio design, crafting research skills, career planning

The work generated for your final year project will be self-directed and involve extended pieces of work. The unit has 3 elements:

  • Research portfolio - a visual and reflective project that demonstrates your research voice within your studio work
  • Professional portfolio - development of a portfolio for potential employment that articulates your aesthetic and personal identity
  • Dissertation - a research project which can be written, filmed or presented

Unit 11 - Show your work: independent practice

This final unit enables you bring together all the ideas and learning from the course.

  • To continue a self-directed programme of practice and related research
  • To prepare your portfolio to help you enter the costume design profession
  • To present work in the college degree show

Optional Diploma between year 2 and 3

Between year 2 and 3 you can opt to undertake the Diploma in Professional Studies or the Diploma in Creative Computing.

Learning and teaching methods

  • Creating workbooks and sketchbooks
  • Collaboration
  • Group and individual tutorials
  • Feedback - written and oral
  • Independent study
  • Lectures, talks and seminars
  • Presentations
  • Project work
  • Self-evaluation
  • Technical demonstrations, workshops and exercises

Assessment methods

  • Collaborative group project
  • Dissertation
  • Essay
  • Evaluative report
  • Presentation
  • Project work
  • Reflective journal
  • Research portfolio
  • Self-evaluation

Staff

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 minimum entry requirements for this course are one or a combination of the following qualifications:

  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • 2 A Levels at grade C or above
  • Merit, Pass, Pass (MPP) at BTEC Extended Diploma
  • Pass at UAL Extended Diploma
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma
  • Or equivalent EU/International qualifications, such as International Baccalaureate Diploma
  • And 3 GCSE passes at grade 4 or above (grade A*-C)

Entry to this course will also be determined by the quality of your application, looking primarily at your portfolio of work, personal statement and reference.

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
  • The quality of the personal statement
  • A strong academic or other professional reference
  • 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

All classes are taught in English. If English isn't your first language you must provide evidence at enrolment of the following:

Selection criteria

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 and develop new ideas
  • A desire to learn and an ability to 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 costume
  • Motivation for working in costume industry
  • A desire to succeed

Making your application

Portfolio advice

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, colour, texture, structure and space
  • Design development showing how problems are solved
  • Any costume designs or costumes
  • An interest in contemporary and historical clothing
  • Include your sketchbooks and notebooks

Please remember:

  • The quality of the work is more important than the quantity
  • Where possible, large or 3D work should be photographed and scanned
  • To organise your work by project, with supporting work presented alongside final outcomes

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

  • University code - U65
  • UCAS course code - W453

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

Following your UCAS application to this course all home / EU applicants will be invited to choose a date for a selection event.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 15 January for equal consideration.

However, this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Entry to Year 2 or Year 3:

If you have successfully completed 120 credits (year 1) or 240 credits (year 1 and 2) in the equivalent units or modules on a degree course at another institution and wish to continue your studies at Wimbledon College of Arts, you can apply to transfer to year 2 or year 3 respectively. The Admissions Tutor will consider applicants for entry to year 2 and 3 on a case by case basis, subject to places being available on the course. You must apply through UCAS and indicate POE 2 for entry to year 2 or POE 3 for entry to year 3 on your application. Further information can be found in our UAL External Student Transfer Policy.

Deferred entry application:

This course will consider deferred entry applications.

What happens next

Communicating with you

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.

Initial application check

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course. If you do, you’ll be invited to or asked to book onto a suitable date to attend an interview selection event.

Interview selection event

You will be expected to bring your portfolio, which will be reviewed by the academics conducting the event. Please be prepared to talk about your work, what inspires you and your influences. We may not discuss all of these topics at the event.

The event will also give you a chance to meet current students, take a tour of the college and see the facilities.

More details about your interview selection event will be emailed to you once you have chosen or been allocated your date.

Selection for Home/EU applicants happens in a variety of different ways:

  • In person at Wimbledon College of Arts
  • By phone or Skype

If you choose phone or Skype, you will be sent an email requesting that you upload a digital portfolio using UAL’s online portfolio review system.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the final outcome of your application through UCAS track.

Please note that applicants for this course may be given an alternative offer. This decision will be based on our assessment of your creative and potential interests.

There are 3 ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course at Wimbledon College of Arts:

If you are applying via UCAS you will need the following information:

  • University code - U65
  • UCAS course code - W453

You can only apply to the same course once per year whether you are applying via UCAS, UAL representative or using the UAL online application system. Any duplicate applications will be withdrawn. Read the UAL international application advice for further information on how to apply.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 15 January for equal consideration.

However, this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Entry to Year 2 or Year 3:

If you have successfully completed 120 credits (year 1) or 240 credits (year 1 and 2) in the equivalent units or modules on a degree course at another institution and wish to continue your studies at Wimbledon College of Arts, you can apply to transfer to year 2 or year 3 respectively. The Admissions Tutor will consider applicants for entry to year 2 and 3 on a case by case basis, subject to places being available on the course. You must apply through UCAS and indicate POE 2 for entry to year 2 or POE 3 for entry to year 3 on your application. Further information can be found in our UAL External Student Transfer Policy.

Deferred entry application:

This course will consider deferred entry applications.

What happens next

Communicating with you

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.

Immigration history check

Whether you’re applying online via UCAS, through a UAL representative or by direct application you will need to complete an Immigration History Check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL. If you don’t complete the check we won’t be able to proceed with your application.

Initial application check

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course. If you do, you’ll be invited to or asked to book onto a suitable date to attend an interview selection event.

Interview selection event

You will be expected to bring your portfolio, which will be reviewed by the academics conducting the event. Please be prepared to talk about your work, what inspires you and your influences. We may not discuss all of these topics at the event.

More details about your interview selection event will be emailed to you once you have chosen or been allocated your date.

Selection for international applicants happens in a variety of different ways:

  • By phone or Skype
  • In your country, if your application was made through one of our official representatives
  • In person at our international office based at Chelsea College of Arts

If you choose phone or Skype, you will be sent an email requesting that you upload a digital portfolio using UAL’s online portfolio review system.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

  • If you applied through UCAS you will receive the final outcome of of your application through UCAS track
  • If you applied directly or through an agent, we will notify you through the UAL portal

Please note that applicants for this course may be given an alternative offer. This decision will be based on our assessment of your creative and potential interests.

Study Abroad

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.


Fees & Funding

Home / EU fee

£9,250 (2019/20).

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.

International fee

£19,930 (2019/20).

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

Use our search tool to find out more about the scholarships and awards available to students.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

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.

Alumni

Costume Design

  • Tasha Bailey, Olivia Cooper, Saffron Cullane, Charlotte Sewell, Sammie Sheldon - Costume Supervisors
  • Sean Barratt - Freelance milliner
  • Trisha Biggar - Costume Designer
  • Georgina Chapman - Director and designer, Marchesa. Company designs red carpet dresses
  • Matthew Chapman - Production Manager, Rainbow Productions Ltd. Company designed the 2012 Olympic mascots
  • Phoebe de Gaye - Costume Designer, ‘Musketeers’
  • Amanda Hall - Workroom Manager, Royal Opera House
  • Kenny Ho - Fashion designer and stylist
  • Ellan Parry - Freelance Theatre Designer and previous winner of the Jocelyn Herbert Award and a Linbury Prize finalist
  • Martina Trottman - Works for Secret Cinema

Costume Interpretation

  • Linda Cooley - Wig specialist, Shepperton Wig Company
  • Lara Flecker and Keira Miller - Costume Mounting Specialists in the Textile Conservation Department of the V&A museum
  • Naomi Isaacs - Costume Interpreter. Commissions include the West End production of Wicked, Matthew Bournes’s dance productions and Anna Boleyna for the Metropolitan Opera, New York
  • Caroline McCall - Costume Emmy Award Winner for Downton Abbey, 2011
  • Rachael Pashley - Freelance tailor
  • Jane Petrie - Costume Supervisor for Bel Ami, Costume Assistant on Elizabeth: The Golden Age and Costume Designer on the Suffragette
  • Mark Wallis - Co founder, Past Pleasures - costume for Historic Royal Palaces

Find out how careers and employability helps our students and graduates start their careers.

View college guides

Contact

Address

Follow us