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BA (Hons) Technical Arts for Theatre and Performance

College
WIMBLEDON
Start date
September 2021
Course length
3 years
UCAS code
W443

BA Technical Arts for Theatre and Performance at Wimbledon College of Arts teaches you how to make props, puppets and prosthetics for the entertainment industry.

Staff talk about BA Technical Arts for Theatre and Performance at Wimbledon.

Wimbledon Stories

Course overview

BA Technical Arts for Theatre and Performance introduces you to a wide range of processes, techniques and practices within this field. The course covers 4 key areas: 

  • Concept and design
  • Materials used within the field
  • Design fabrication and assembly
  • Interactive and applied technical arts practices 

You will experience a range of techniques used within current industry. This will enable you to select and use appropriate methods and materials.  

You will learn the art of efficiently developing suitable prototypes for the field and be able select the most effective way of realising a variety of design ideas as you progress through your studies. 

Alongside practical work you will also look at creative research theories. These will include a scenographic approach to understanding objects in the contexts of environments and audiences. This will expand your knowledge of industry practices and extend your own ideas to place them within a wider field of performance making. 

Your progression through the course will introduce you to current industry modes of making and designing. This will be complimented by trips to professional technical arts based production studios within the field of entertainment. 

You will have an opportunity to define and refine your specialist area of interest so that you finish the course with a creative technical practice. 

What to expect 

  • An introduction to a range of unique and specialist skills, technical knowledge and understanding
  • To be taught by highly experienced professional practitioners
  • To encounter practice in areas such as mechatronics, electronics and animatronics
  • Sculpting, moulding, casting
  • Fabrication using analogue and digital techniques such as 3D printing
  • Painting and finishing techniques
  • Experimentation within staging, scenographic context and design
  • Prosthetics for the cultural industries
  • To develop your conceptual, creative, critical thinking
  • Collaboration with other design and performance courses and professionals
  • Visits to industry studios and workshops
  • Have access to Wimbledon's shared workshops. View the Wimbledon facilities

Work experience and opportunities 

Work placements are a key feature during the second year of this course, providing essential links for students’ graduate careers within industry and beyond. Students may have the opportunity to visit London television and film studios, scenic workshops, prop houses, makers and suppliers.

Mode of study

BA Technical Arts for Theatre and Performance 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 Technical Arts for Theatre and Performance 

This unit is an introduction to your course, the college and the university. It will set out industry basics within the field of technical arts for theatre and performance.

You will be introduced to key fundamental principles of practice including: 

  • Concept and design
  • Materials
  • Fabrication
  • Applied and interactive arts 

Unit 2 - Designing and Making 1 

This unit will introduce you to: 

  • Working processes of interpreting design and realising ideas to scale and accuracy
  • Initial technical skills used within technical arts theatre practice to explore materials and construction methods
  • Basic principles relating to life modelling
  • An introduction to creating a blog to professional standard 

You will experience this through: 

  • Technical workshops
  • Seminars, lectures, talks and tutorials
  • Project work
  • Developing a personal reflective journal
  • Using your reflective journal to create an online blog 

Unit 3 - Designing and Making 2 

This unit will introduce you to a range of specialist skills and processes such as moulding, casting and digital 3D equivalents. 

  • You will undertake set project work
  • Begin to develop ongoing digital and technical capabilities in taught sessions
  • Reflect upon and record your experiences in your online blog
  • Continue to record techniques, notes and skills in your reflective journal 

Unit 4 - Exploring ideas 

The emphasis of this unit will be to broaden your perspective of technical arts. You will make wider connections to your practice. You will begin to develop responsive and flexible designs.

  • You will encounter complex process involved in practicing technical arts
  • Have an introduction to the mechanics of interactive objects and modelling
  • Expand on your technical skills and experiences of relevant equipment
  • Undertake practical tasks in a variety of formats
  • Research and analyse contemporary and historical viewpoints, relevant to technical arts practice
  • Record your ongoing learning experiences in your reflective journal and update your online blog 

Unit 5 - Who are you? Establishing practice 

In this unit you will develop and make a prototype using your current skills.   

  • You will creatively research and explore a project in your area of interest
  • Produce an outcome that demonstrates your learning and understanding of technical arts to-date
  • Document your experiences on your online blog 

Year 2

Unit 6 - Practice as laboratory

In this unit you will undertake projects that will refine your current interests in technical arts practice.  

  • You will continue to develop your technical skills in the areas of life modelling, digital capabilities and software
  • Work on projects that cover planning, research, technical drawing and representation to implement a technical project
  • Build your awareness of major production houses to expand your knowledge of the current industry
  • Continue to use your reflective journal and online blog 

Unit 7 - Collaborative and collective 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

This unit will allow you to produce a more complex project in the areas of either creature or model design. You will undertake creative technical research to challenge current conventions of practice and understanding to develop your visual and communication skills further. 

During the unit you will:   

  • Reflect on the previous experiences of collaborative working to design and realise a realistic project within the given time
  • Develop ongoing technical practice
  • Engage with and respond to broader concepts and themes encountered during the unit
  • Write a 2500 word essay responding to a concept or theme you encounter in the unit
  • Apply or undertake work placements or an industry-based research project
  • Work on your CV and professional portfolio 

Unit 9 - Where in the world? 2

In this unit you will develop and complete a self-directed project in one of the following 4 areas - concept and design, material research, fabrication or interactive and applied arts. This unit will allow you to situate your current achievements in an industry context. 

  • You will design and prepare a self-directed project
  • Continue to use your reflective journal
  • Edit your online blog to a professional level
  • During this unit you can undertake a work placement 

Year 3

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

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 practical work
  • Creative research project (also known as a dissertation) which can be written, filmed or presented
  • Personal profile - development of a personal profile for potential employment 

Unit 11 - Show your work: independent practice

This final unit enables you bring together all the ideas and learning from the course. You will undertake a major self-determined, independent, complex project to evidence practice and interests in your specialist area. 

You may engage with a wide field of practice within the entertainment industry. This could relate to film, live production event creation, museum exhibition, digital gaming, VR or other environment creation for screen or live performance.  

  • You will continue a self-directed programme of practice and related research
  • Have seminars and talks on working in technical arts for theatre and performance
  • Plan or mount work of an exhibition standard, to a professional level demonstrating professional standards 

Optional Diploma between Year 2 and 3

Between year 2 and 3 you can opt to undertake the Diploma in Professional Studies or the UAL Diploma in Creative Computing. Whilst these Diplomas are an optional aspect of the course, they are designed as an integrated and assessed part of your journey through the course. 

Learning and teaching methods

  • Briefings, discussions, lectures and seminars
  • Creative research skills training
  • Field trips and off-site, work-based visits
  • Group crits
  • Guided and independent learning
  • Online study
  • Peer learning and review
  • Portfolio review
  • Presentations and tutorials
  • Professional practice talks and workshops
  • Project planning
  • Research - assignments, essays, reports, dissertation, documentation, films, visual communication of ideas through appropriate design techniques, CV/profile writing
  • Studio and workshop based, study and research
  • Workshops on writing styles, research methodology and critical debate

Assessment methods

  • Critical professional practice presentations
  • Exhibition of work
  • Off-site projects
  • Peer evaluation
  • Portfolio building
  • Research journal/reflective blog
  • Self evaluation
  • Technical skills
  • Written work including research assignments, essays, reports, scripts and statements 

Staff

  • Simon Stringer - Course Leader
  • Geraldine O'Reilly - Year 2 Leader
  • Martin Hanson - Course Technician

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 technical arts for theatre and performance
  • An ability to work imaginatively and creatively in 2D and 3D visual media, materials and processes
  • Potential for creative problem solving
  • An ability to create and develop new ideas
  • A desire to learn and an ability to investigate and develop ideas independently
  • Ability to communicate your ideas visually, verbally and in writing
  • Visual awareness and an understanding of the creative process
  • Ability to self-direct and evaluate your own work
  • Cultural and historical awareness of technical arts
  • Motivation for working in the related industries
  • A desire to succeed

Making your application

Portfolio advice

We look for:

  • 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

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 - W443

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.

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.

Please add ccw.ukeu@arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates about your application to UAL.

Initial application check and selection

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course. If you do, you will be invited to submit a digital portfolio through UAL’s online portfolio review system. These will be reviewed by the academic team and a decision will be made on your application.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

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

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

Feedback requests:

This course receives a high number of applications. Unfortunately, we can’t provide feedback to everyone who is unsuccessful. We can only provide feedback after you’ve had an interview.

If you would like to request feedback - please email ccw.ukeu@arts.ac.uk. We are only able to provide feedback to you directly, or to someone you have told us in writing can receive it on your behalf.

Deferring your place

This course allows offer holders to defer. If you have an offer of a place, but you would like to defer starting for a year, please contact our Admissions Service as soon as possible via your UAL Portal. Make sure you check our Admissions Policy before requesting a deferral.

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.

There are 3 ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course:

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

  • University code - U65
  • UCAS course code - W443

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.

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.

Please add ccw.international@arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates about your application to UAL.

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 and selection

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course. If you do, you will be invited to submit a digital portfolio through UAL’s online portfolio review system.

Following receipt of your digital portfolio you will be invited to book a telephone interview selection event.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

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

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

Feedback requests:

This course receives a high number of applications. Unfortunately, we can’t provide feedback to everyone who is unsuccessful. We can only provide feedback after you’ve had an interview.

If you would like to request feedback - please email ccw.international@arts.ac.uk. We are only able to provide feedback to you directly, or to someone you have told us in writing can receive it on your behalf.

Deferring your place

This course allows offer holders to defer. If you have an offer of a place, but you would like to defer starting for a year, please contact our Admissions Service as soon as possible via your UAL Portal. Make sure you check our Admissions Policy before requesting a deferral.

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.

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 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.

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