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Undergraduate

BA (Hons) Performance: Design and Practice

A student lying down with raised legs wearing chicken feet while another drinks water
Anne Elmholt and Nina Kunzendorf, Liminal Theatre “Phrases to be used upon…”, 2018 Platform Theatre
College
Central Saint Martins
Start date
September 2021
Course length
Three years full-time
UCAS code
W460

BA Performance: Design and Practice is a course for performance-makers and the makers of performance.

Crossing disciplines, this course questions what performance is, how it is made and what it is for. It is part of the Performance programme.

Why choose this course at Central Saint Martins

  • Breaking new ground: You will explore new directions in performance using scenography, dramaturgy and critical theory to create ground-breaking new work.
  • Innovative practices: Collaborating across theatre, film, live art and immersive environments, you will work in contexts where practices overlap in unpredictable ways.
  • Live projects: Projects with external organisations will allow you to create live work in professional environments.
  • Flexible skills: The experience you will gain will lead you to work in all areas of performance-associated industries, including theatre, live art, film and performance events. Many graduates also go on to set up their own performance companies.

Open days

Virtual Open Days:

At Central Saint Martins, the safety of staff, students and visitors is our priority. Following government guidance on social distancing due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak, we’re currently unable to run physical open days at the College.

Instead we will offer virtual open days during the week of the 9 - 13 November 2020. You’ll be able to find out more about any undergraduate course that interests you, as well as the support we offer to prospective and current students.

How to book:

To register your place on any of our undergraduate virtual open days, simply select the relevant virtual open day listing.

Virtual Tours:

You might also be interested in checking out the College’s outstanding facilities and technical spaces in the meantime through our virtual tours

Scholarships, awards and funding

Mead Scholarships and Fellowships

Student work

  • Arielle-Francis-ChairDoor-2016.jpg
  • Dimitra-Petsa-Rice-is-thirst.jpg
  • Joseph-Craig-Performative-Photography-2016.jpg
  • Laura-Albeck-Brave-New-world-.jpg
  • Olivier-de-Sagazan.jpg
  • Valentina-Vasilatou.jpg

Degree Show 2018: Sanghoon Lee

Saul Nash, BA Performance Design and Practice student, on why he chose to study at Central Saint Martins

Facilities

Course overview

On BA Performance: Design and Practice, you will interrogate what performance means in the 21st century. The course challenges the traditional view that performance design is something to look at and performance is something to watch. We will support you to think about performance critically and how it can engage with the world in a meaningful way.

We believe that a dialogue between mainstream traditions and new practices will shape the future of performance. On this course, you will explore the expanding field of performance. In particular, you will study post-dramatic theatre, immersive and interactive events. You will undertake work which takes place outside of traditional theatre spaces. You will study different concepts of performance and its associated objects and materials.  

On BA Performance: Design and Practice, we will develop your ability to think as an artist. Our teaching strategy integrates thinking and making. We acknowledge the varied and specialist skills different roles in the creative industry demand. Our teaching falls broadly into two categories:  

  • Performance design practice – The skills and knowledge required to create the visual components of performance. These include: model making, technical drawing, film shooting and editing, storyboarding and costume.  

  • Contemporary performance practice – The skills and knowledge required to create performance. These include: performance-making strategies, dramaturgy, experimental film-making, resourcing, scheduling, rehearsing and collaborative working. 

BA Performance: Design and Practice challenges traditional British performance culture and its hierarchies. The course questions the long-established model of authorship in performance production. Instead, it promotes a more open structure. It encourages the view that the audio and visual languages of performance are not secondary to written text, but just as important.  

A key element of BA Performance: Design and Practice is sharing and combining ideas and practice. We are proud of the fact that our students have great success doing things we never imagined. Our graduates have gone on to work in a wide range of performance-associated disciplines. These include: visual performance, theatre design, set design for fashion, festivals, design for dance, event design and applied theatre.  

Course units

The BA Performance: Design and Practice curriculum is devised to develop cross-disciplinary skills appropriate to your emerging interests. It includes critical studies and personal and professional development. The course focuses on experiential practice, and personal reflection will inform your choices throughout. Across all stages of the course, we aim to build a shared language and study framework, made up of screenings, guest lectures, artist talks and external events. 

Stage 1 

Unit 1: Performance: Design and Practice: Introduction to Study in Higher 
Unit 2: Right Here Right Now  
Unit 3: Critical Practice 1: Drawing Colour Making  
Unit 4: Performance: Frames and Territories 
 

In Stage 1 you will begin to look at perspectives on the creation of performance. You will explore source material, concepts of space, time and the audience–performer relationship. You will be introduced to practical and writing skills, allowing you to start building your own approach to performance. Stage 1 establishes the critical skills needed to communicate ideas in collaborative, time-based media. These are mostly explored through peer-group projects.  

Stage 2

Unit 5: Further Adventures in Performance: Making Stuff Happen  
Unit 6: Critical Practice 2: Platforms and Communities 
Unit 7: Performance Design in the Expanded Field  

Stage 2 is a year of transition. You will continue to develop your individual creative identity. You will progress your own methods for working and identify the areas of particular interest that will inform your choices in Stage 3. The skills required to communicate your ideas effectively are refined through intensive practical projects. Towards the end of Stage 2, you will begin to prepare and plan for a major piece of written work in Stage 3.  

Stage 3 

Unit 8: Critical Studies 
Unit 9: Design and Performance 

The units in Stage 3 reflect the potential challenges of professional working life or further study at Master’s level. They are designed to help you apply and expand on the skills gained in Stages 1 and 2. Through project work, you will develop your creative perspective, enabling you to move between activities or pursue a specialist interest. These final units offer flexibility, allowing you to choose the best way to demonstrate your abilities.  

Diploma in Professional Studies  

Between Stage 2 and Stage 3 of the course there is an option for you to work within professional fields related to Performance: Design & Practice for the duration of an academic year (across three terms/two blocks) and complete a Diploma in Professional Studies. Whilst the Diploma is an optional aspect of the course, it is designed as an integrated and assessed part of your journey through the course, if you do take up this option. The Diploma results in a standalone qualification (rated at 120 credits), which involves researching, undertaking and reflecting on a 100 day/20-week (minimum) placement related to your professional interests and aspirations. The Diploma provides a valuable opportunity to make professional contacts and to develop your personal employability skills.

Mode of study 

BA Performance: Design and Practice runs for 90 weeks in full-time mode. It is divided into three stages over three academic years. Each stage lasts 30 weeks. 

You will be expected to commit 40 hours per week to study, which includes teaching time and independent study.

Credit and award requirements 

The course is credit-rated at 360 credits, with 120 credits at each stage (level).

On successfully completing the course, you will gain a Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA Hons degree).

Under the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications the stages for a BA are: Stage 1 (Level 4), Stage 2 (Level 5) and Stage 3 (Level 6). In order to progress to the next stage, all units of the preceding stage must normally be passed: 120 credits must be achieved in each stage. The classification of the award will be derived from the marks of units in Stages 2 and 3 or only Stage 3, using a dual algorithm.

If you are unable to continue on the course, a Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) will normally be offered following the successful completion of Level 4 (or 120 credits), or a Diploma in Higher Education (DipHE) following the successful completion of Level 5 (or 240 credits).  

Learning and teaching methods

During your course you will engage with learning and teaching that includes both online and face-to-face modes. Typically, this will include:

  • Lectures, seminars and guest speakers 
  • Workshops and inductions 
  • Blended learning; a combination of online and on-site learning
  • Collaborations and group project work 
  • Work experience, exchange and community opportunities 
  • Personal and group tutorials 
  • Presentations 
  • Study and development-planning with an emphasis on options and choice 
  • Recommended reading, viewings and visits 
  • Independent study 
  • Peer and self-critical evaluation 
  • Formative dialogic and assessment feedback. 

Assessment methods

  • Performance practice and design practice work 
  • Communication, participation and connectivity 
  • Experimentation 
  • Proactivity, enterprise and agility 
  • Verbal and visual presentations 
  • Written and visual work 
  • Peer and self-critical evaluation 

Staff

Kate  Lane

Kate Lane

Course Leader, BA Performance: Design and Practice

Pete  Brooks

Pete Brooks

Lecturer, MA Performance Design and Practice and BA Performance Design and Practice

Dr Andrea Zimmerman

Reader - Lecturer in Dramaturgy and Devising For Performance BA (Honours)

Rosa-Johan  Uddoh

Rosa-Johan Uddoh

Lecturer, BA Performance Design and Practice

Peter  Bond

Peter Bond

Associate Lecturer, BA Performance: Design and Practice

Kane  Husbands

Kane Husbands

Lecturer, BA Performance Design and Practice

Stage Technician: Steve Keay
Specialist Technician: Verity Cleary

Course Leader, MA Performance Design and Practice: Michael Spencer
Programme Director, Performance programme: Fred Meller

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:

One or a combination of the following accepted full Level 3 qualifications:

  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (Level 3 or 4) and one A Level at grade C or above
  • Two A Levels at grade C or above (preferred subjects include Art, Art and Design or Design and Technology)
  • Merit, Pass, Pass (MPP) at BTEC Extended Diploma (preferred subjects include Art, Art and Design or Design and Technology)
  • Pass at UAL Extended Diploma
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma (preferred subjects include Art, Art and Design or Design and Technology)
  • Equivalent EU/international qualifications, such as International Baccalaureate Diploma

And three GCSE passes at grade 4 or above (grade A*–C).

Entry to this course will also be determined by assessment of your portfolio. A very high proportion of successful applicants complete a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design.

AP(E)L – Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

Exceptionally applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered. 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

Or a combination of these factors.

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

English language requirements

IELTS score of 6.0 or above, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking (please check our main English language requirements webpage).

Selection criteria

Applicants are selected according to their demonstration of potential and current ability to:

  • Provide examples of a variety, breadth and/ or depth of projects
  • Demonstrate a high level of engagement and commitment to projects
  • Demonstrate an interest in performance or time-based projects or medium
  • Demonstrate examples of independent enquiry which breaks away from norms and/ or offers alternative perspectives
  • Demonstrate examples of experimentation, exploration and self-directed practice
  • Demonstrate skills in communication and management of ideas
  • Demonstrate the use of making and drawing as a tool to communicate and develop ideas
  • Provide evidence of intellectual enquiry and critical reflection.

What we are looking for

We are not just looking for a passion for performance – we are also seeking people who are curious, hard-working, open to new ideas and willing to take risks and get involved in the many different disciplines and practices of working in the professional field of performance. Suitable applicants work imaginatively and creatively in performance and visual media, demonstrate a range of skills and technical abilities, intellectual enquiry and cultural awareness.

Making your application

You should apply though Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) and you will need the following information:

University Code:          U65

UCAS Code:               W460

Deferred Entry

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry.  You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Transfers

If you are currently studying somewhere else on a course in an equivalent subject area and would like to transfer to this course, you can transfer to:

Year 2, if you’ve completed 120 credits in Year 1

Year 3, if you’ve completely 240 credits in Years 1 and 2

Apply via UCAS and choose Year 2 or 3 for your POE (Point of Entry).  Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and Year 1/Year 2 unit transcripts.

Please be ready to provide an official document (translated into English) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 15 January 2021 for equal consideration.  However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive an email confirming we have successfully received your application and providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal.  We will request any additional information from you, including inviting you to upload documents / portfolio / book an interview, through the portal.  You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

Please add csm.ukeu@arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates re: your application to UAL.  Also consider altering your spam or junk mail filter to ensure that emails from @arts.ac.uk get through to you.

There are three ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course at Central Saint Martins:

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.

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

University code:          U65

UCAS Code:               W460

Deferred Entry

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry.  You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 15 January 2021 for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Transfers

If you are currently studying somewhere else on a course in an equivalent subject area and would like to transfer to this course, you can transfer to:

Year 2, if you’ve completed 120 credits in Year 1

Year 3, if you’ve completely 240 credits in Years 1 and 2

Apply via UCAS and choose Year 2 or 3 for your POE (Point of Entry).  Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and Year 1/Year 2 unit transcripts.

If you are an International applicant and studying outside the UK, please complete your Direct application and then contact us via your UAL Portal to ask to be considered for Year 2/Year 3.

Please be ready to provide an official document (translated into English) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

Immigration history check

Whether you are applying online via UCAS or through a UAL representative or direct application you will need to complete an immigration history check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL.  If you do not complete the check we will not be able to proceed with your application.

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive an email confirming we have successfully received your application and providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal.  We will request any additional information from you, including inviting you to upload documents / portfolio / book an interview, through the portal.  You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

Please add csm.international@arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates re: your application to UAL  Also consider altering your spam or junk mail filter to ensure that emails from @arts.ac.uk get through to you.


After you apply

What happens next

Initial application check

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course.  If you do, you will be invited to attend a full portfolio review or submit a full portfolio digitally.

Digital portfolio review

Your portfolio should be no more than 30 images comprising of your best work showing your skills and thinking. You can create the pages in any layout (For example: presentation boards) but they should be uploaded as jpeg images.

It's important that the creative work you include reflects and demonstrates your thinking, initiative and personal commitment to a particular project, theme or idea.

It should include:

  • A range of work – finished works or works in progress.
  • How you have engaged with experimentation and how well you may have pushed ambition through proposals and perhaps through making.
  • How well you have developed your skills with materials and processes.
  • How you may have applied any relevant research to your ideas and making – perhaps through the use of sketch books and study books.
  • Briefly outline – in one sentence - the ideas and interests behind the works as a title to each page.

The only files that can be uploaded as part of the portfolio are:

  • Images: bmp, gif, jpg, jpeg, png
  • Audio: mp3, mp4, ogg, wav, wma
  • Video: avi, mp4, mpg, mpeg, mkv, mov, wmv

Portfolio advice

Your work should demonstrate creative development, whether for a college project or in your personal work. By creative development, we mean:

  • Ideas that have originated in your own experience and research and progressed towards potential visualisation
  • Ideas, visual research and experimentation are more important than finished design solutions and can be shown in 2D work, or through 3D objects
  • It’s important that the creative work you include reflects and demonstrates your thinking, initiative and personal commitment to a particular project, theme or idea.

Please remember:

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

For more portfolio advice please visit: https://www.arts.ac.uk/study-at-ual/apply/portfolio-advice

Interview

Following the review of the portfolio we select a small number of applicants to move on to the next stage of the process.  These applicants will be invited to an interview either online or by telephone.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

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

Fees and funding

Home fee

£9,250 per year

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students.

Home fees are currently charged to UK resident nationals . However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, depending on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020 or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students.

International fee

£22,920 per year

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry. Tuition fees for international students may increase by up to 5% in each future year of your course.

Students from countries outside of the UK are currently charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about our tuition fees.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, depending on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020 or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

BA Performance: Design and Practice students leave with a broad and valuable understanding of performance practice in its many forms.

Skills acquired enable BA Performance: Design and Practice graduates to become versatile practitioners in exciting and diverse contexts including theatre, film and television.

BA Performance: Design and Practice students find success as production designers, or in related roles such as director or producer, or, increasingly, in 'hybrid' roles such as designer-director or performer-designer.

BA Performance: Design and Practice graduates also apply their knowledge outside the traditional contexts, working within the fine art industry as performance artists or within the fashion industry as creative managers, video directors and fashion show designers. Or they launch their own independent collaborative ventures, creating performance in their own image.

Recent BA Performance: Design and Practice alumni activity demonstrates the breadth of student activity within the subject:

  • Garance Marneur (2007): Winner of prestigious biannual Linbury Prize for Stage Design 2007. Recent design commissions: ‘Dirty Butterfly’ (Debera Tucker Green) Young Vic Theatre, London 2008; ‘Gianni Schicchi’ (Puccini), Mariinnsky theatre, St. Petersburg, 2008 ‘Turandot’ (Brecht), Hampstead Theatre, London 2009, currently designing for RSC Aut ’11 season
  • Will Bock, Georgia Jacobs and Mary Pope (2005): Formed ‘Strangeworks’ collective, creators of live performance events including ‘March of the Dead’ street performance for Halloween, Hoxton, London 2008, and drawing workshops at Tate Britain 2009 – 11
  • Jing Wong (2006): Co-founder of ‘Daydream Nation’, a company creating theatrical fashion events, including ‘Good Night Deer’ at the ICA Theatre, as part of London Fashion Week 2008
  • Samal Blak (2009): Winner of prestigious biannual Linbury Prize for Stage Design 2009. Design Commission ‘Otello’ (Verdi), Birmingham Opera, 2009
  • Jungmin Song (2007): Performance Artist making work at Shunt Vaults, Fierce Festival (Birmingham) and Spill Festival (2011)
  • Nick Docherty (2008): UK Youth Theatre coordinator for National Theatre, South Bank
  • Miriam Buether (2002): Recently awarded Best Design for work at the Royal Court – Evening Standard Theatre Awards. Designed ‘Anna Nicole’ for Royal Opera House – Feb 11
  • Ben Stones (2004): Winner of prestigious biannual Linbury Prize for Stage Design 2007, designs frequently in West End and most recently for newly re-opened Arcola Theatre, London.

For details of the wide range of careers support provided for students, please visit our Careers support page.