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Wimbledon College of Arts

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BA (Hons) Costume for Theatre and Screen

Start date
September 2018
Course length
3 years
UCAS code

Course summary

Applications closed 2018/19

Applications for 2018/19 entry to this course have now closed.

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

Course details

What you can expect

  • To gain an understanding of the essential elements of costume
  • 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 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
  • To study historical and social contexts of Western Europe’s evolution in costume. You will do this through a series of lectures and independent research
  • 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 2 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

Course units

Year 1

  • Unit 1: Introduction to study in theatre and screen
  • Unit 2: Designing and making - the principles of practice
  • Unit 3: Designing and making - extending the skill set
  • Unit 4: Looking at ideas - debates in the discipline
  • Unit 5: Who are you? Establishing a specialism

Year 2

  • Unit 6: Collaboration and its’ connections
  • Unit 7: Practice as a laboratory
  • Unit 8: You think what? How to research and review work
  • Unit 9: Where in the world? My specialism in context
  • Unit 10: Where in the world? Extending skills

Year 3

  • Unit 11: Finding your voice - portfolio design, crafting research skills and career planning
  • Unit 12: Show your work - 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.


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

How to apply

Applications for 2018/19 entry for this course are now closed. Applications for 2019/20 entry will open in Autumn 2018.

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.

What is a selection event?

A selection event is similar to an interview. You will be expected to bring your portfolio, which will be reviewed by course teams. 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 selection event will be emailed to you once you have chosen your selection event date.

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.

Applications for 2018/19 entry for this course are now closed. Applications for 2019/20 entry will open in Autumn 2018.

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

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

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.

Entry requirements

We select students based on the quality of their applications, looking primarily at their portfolio of work, personal statements and reference.

The standard minimum entry requirements for this course are:

  • A Level - 2 A levels grade C or above
  • or Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • or Pass, Pass, Pass at BTEC Extended Diploma
  • or Pass at UAL Extended Diploma
  • or Access to Higher Education Diploma
  • or Equivalent EU or non-EU qualifications. For example - International Baccalaureate Diploma pass achieved at 24 points or above
  • and 3 GCSE passes grade C or above

We will also consider 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.

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:

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

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 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

Deferred entry

This course will give consideration to deferred entry application.

Fees & Funding

Home / EU fee

£9,250 (2018/19 fees).

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

£19,350 (2018/19 fees).

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.


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.


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.

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