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Theatre and Film Production Design - BA (Hons)

Why study this course?

Study in London, the home of the UK's theatre and film industries. The course is situated in the midst of London’s theatre and film companies and offers a rich setting of heritage, contemporary and emergent fields in which to study. The course covers design for theatre and film production design, costume design, and set and costume making for performance. You'll be able to develop specialist skills in a chosen field of interest and develop a strong career plan.

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The Theatre and Film Production BA degree course is run in conjunction with the Theatre and Performance Practice BA and offers a unique opportunity to develop as a collaborative practitioner and designer of performance in all aspects.

You’ll learn how to bring together a range of creative, technical, communicative, organisational and entrepreneurial skills as you work towards being an independent yet collaborative practitioner.

As part of The Cass, this course sits alongside and interacts with a range of art and design disciplines including fashion, textiles, interior design, music and fine art, offering an excellent base for making and collaborative practice. We have an impressive directory of industry contacts in all fields of theatre and film and can offer practice experience, professional expertise and wide-ranging career opportunities.


Assessment methods range from formative, summative, diagnostic, peer and self-assessment, studio based work, workshops, and computer aided design (CAD) and digital projects and exercises.

In addition to the University’s standard entry requirements, you will normally be expected to obtain:

  • for entry in the 2018-19 academic year: (a minimum of grade C in three A levels or minimum grades BC in at least two A levels in relevant humanities, art and design subjects (or a minimum of 96 UCAS points).
  • English Language GCSE at grade C (grade 4 from 2017) or above (or equivalent)

If you do not have traditional qualifications or cannot meet the entry requirements for this undergraduate degree, you may still be able to gain entry by completing the Film, Photography and Media Extended degree.

We encourage applications from international/EU students with equivalent qualifications. We also accept mature students with diverse backgrounds and experiences.

Suitable applicants living in the UK will be invited to a portfolio interview. Applicants living outside the UK will be required to submit a portfolio of work via email.

If you do not have traditional qualifications or cannot meet the entry requirements for this undergraduate degree, you may still be able to gain entry by completing the Art and Design Extended Degree (with Foundation Year).

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Portfolios and interviews

Your portfolio should be selected but have enough work to show the range of your interests and talents. We are interested in seeing how you develop a narrative through a project. You can also include creative writing, story boarding, lighting and photography, costume and CAD work if you have examples of these.

We always want to see traditional drawing whether observational, life or concept generating. Pieces that show us how you conceive ideas, select and emphasise stories through atmosphere and scale. If you cannot bring work within your portfolio to your interview, please take photographs and include them.

Finally, be ready to talk about your work and how you see your future as a film and theatre production designer.

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2017/18 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday afternoon

    The module offers a sequence of three intensive programmes or ‘mini-blocks’, tailored to the interests of specific groups of students. The module engages the student in thinking about their subject area, how it is defined and practised, the richness of its resources, and how it opens up questions of context. In particular, the module investigates how context might be framed, for example culturally, historically, economically, socially, theoretically or through practice. Students are encouraged to see connections and reflect on what they see in ways that build skills of communication and help articulate ideas. The module also helps the student, through learning how to identify, access and use knowledge profitably, to become knowledgeable about their subject area, its extent, its language and conventions, its history and practice.

    The three mini-blocks have equally weighted single assessments. The assessments include a range of different modes of written assignments, for example, patchwork, case study, or essay.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Monday morning

    This year-long first year module will introduce and develop your understanding of design principles and approaches in production for performance design.

    The module asks and enables you to investigate, analyse and explore the context of performance design and practice. Through exercises, projects and workshop scenarios you will examine and consider the process of production design, the different disciplines within performance design and all the various roles of the production designer. Through visits and lectures you will investigate the requirements and focus of both live and recorded production.

    By the end of the module you will have developed an understanding of the role of the production designer in a range of contexts and of your own design process and how it might progress.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning

    This is a year long module that will introduce students to an aesthetics of theatre practice through a range of small scale projects drawing on the craft based activities of puppet and object theatre. They will learn craft based skills that will be utilised and developed throughout their course of study. In the second half of the year long programme, this module will feed into Performing Narratives of Self and Devising, supporting and developing the work as they move towards their final project. Complimented with sound and lighting workshops this will enable students to understand the process and practice of craft based activities in theatre practice.

    The work done on the module will be recorded, curated and evaluated in a Project and Evaluation portfolio that will be handed in at the end of the module as part of the assessment process.

    The students will have the opportunity to further develop these specific skills in year 2 in Installation and Site. It will reference the work of companies such as Blind Summit, Parrot in the Tank, Little Angel, Improbable, Soap Soup Theatre, People Show, Doo cot, Robert Le Page and Complicite.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday morning

    This module provides an introduction to technologies, materials and the communication and making practices of designers working within performance design, developing students’ understanding of the collaborative nature of the process involved in creating performance and performance space.

    Students will develop communication techniques appropriate to the diversity of information designers’ uses and audiences targeted. These will include the use of different orthogonal drawing conventions, diagrams and sketches, and a range of model making and storyboarding approaches.

    The module will use different methods to establish this knowledge, including case studies, making and drawing workshops, lectures, seminars and the utilisation of a wide variety of published sources.

    Read full details.

Year 2 modules include:

Year 3 modules include:

  • Alongside the companies whose raison d'être is to engage with the community, all theatre productions, museums and galleries in receipt of public funding expend considerable resource on community engagement. This is a significant entry route into the professions. Community Engagement is a year-long module introducing and exploring the utilisation of theatre and film production design skills within a community context.

    The module will initially engage with a syllabus covering all aspects of community workshop leading and design, it will then progress to cover the emergent industry agenda of widening participation in the theatrical arts. The module will afford you the opportunity to use community engagement as active research method for production design. The module will address the academic stimuli of art, design and drama as teaching mediums and address the concerns and practical implications of professional/client group communication. This will culminate in a work placement where skills and learning can be translated into experience and practice in workshop creating and leading.

    You will benefit for the university’s links to professional theatrical groups and bodies such as The Victoria and Albert Museum, MakeBelieve Arts, Spare Tyre, Graeae, Islington Shed, Phakama, Clean Break, International Rainbows, Lewisham Youth Theatre, various schools and colleges. There will also be opportunities for forging new links and collaborating with diverse and various community groups.

    The module demands a creative and disciplined approach to collaboration with relevant stakeholders and external partners. Within the module, you will experience work-related learning through a live project set-up and realisation or placement. You will refine a range of transferable skills in communication, management, research and analysis and are encouraged to reflect and report on the work-relevant skills you develop throughout. These skills are both desirable and advantageous for all graduates and include (for example): action planning, contribution to professional meetings, entrepreneurship, goal setting, negotiating, networking, project management, self-appraisal and team working.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday morning

    The module is framed in terms of a dissertation. The student undertakes an enquiry into a topic of his or her own choice and, based on this enquiry, develops an extended critical study. The module involves individual supervision designed to support the student’s ambitions and confidence in becoming an independent learner, building on techniques and knowledge developed in previous years, and providing scope for initiative and development. The dissertation demonstrates the student’s ability to thoroughly research a topic, use appropriate methods of investigation, and work methodically and productively.

    The subject matter of the dissertation can be theoretical, technical, or historical, should be closely related to the student’s main field of study and be complimentary to their practice. It may be envisaged as one of several different types: for example, visual, technical or other non-written material may form the subject of the enquiry and comprise an integral part of the whole; the dissertation may be professionally oriented and include field-work; or it might be academic and theoretical in its source material and methodology. Its form and approach can reflect a broad range of discipline-specific approaches based on discussion and agreement with the supervisor and/or course leader.

    Students may develop their topic independently or, as an option, within a specific dissertation Interest or Subject Group. Interest or Subject Groups will provide a short taught programme. They are offered on an annual basis and may incorporate:

    • research based specialisms
    • areas of scholarly interest in history and theory
    • industry related practice
    • workshop, digital or media based technical studies

    Read full details.
  • No module details available
    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Friday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday morning
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Friday morning

    Together with their Major Project Realisation module, this module is intended to prepare Design students for independent practice, entry into the professional workplace, or for higher studies.

    Through synthesis of knowledge of processes and principles, using an appropriate range of intellectual, creative and practical skills, you will design and develop a self-directed project. This will naturally require in-depth research, a well-constructed design process, and the exercise of practical and thinking skills, resulting in a significant body of creative work for public exhibition.

    A negotiated and approved proposal will confirm your individual project. Using creative exploration and experimentation, you will develop research, concept development, material investigation, modelling or prototyping and visualisation. The final outcome will be produced in Major Project Realisation.

    The module will ensure that you critique and reflect upon your own work and your position in your creative sector. The module emphasizes self-direction and personal focus whilst acknowledging external and professional expectations and constraints.

    Read full details.

This is a new course. Module information is on the way.

The Theatre and Film Production Design BA course will offer opportunities within the film and theatre industries in a number of roles within design and production, including set and costume designer, production designer, art director and a range of making roles. It also prepares you for exhibition design, curation, lighting design, community, and youth work and education.

We're investing in an exciting, multimillion pound transformation of the London Metropolitan University campus, between 2016 and 2020. We’re moving all of our activity to one place, our current Holloway campus in Islington, north London. This will mean the teaching locations of some courses will change over time.

Whether you will be affected will depend on the duration of your course, when you start and your mode of study. The earliest moves affecting new students will be in September 2018. This may mean you begin your course at one location, but over the duration of the course you are relocated to one of our other campuses. Our intention is that no full-time student will change campus more than once during a course of typical duration.

All students will benefit from our move to one campus, which will allow us to develop state-of- the-art facilities, flexible teaching areas and stunning social spaces.

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

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How to apply

If you're a UK/EU applicant applying for full-time study you must apply via UCAS unless otherwise specified.

UK/EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University.

Non-EU applicants for full-time study may choose to apply via UCAS or apply direct to the University. Non-EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University, but please note that if you require a Tier 4 visa you are not able to study on a part-time basis.

When to apply

The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) accepts applications for full-time courses starting in September from one year before the start of the course. Our UCAS institution code is L68.

If you will be applying direct to the University you are advised to apply as early as possible as we will only be able to consider your application if there are places available on the course.

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