BA/BA (Hons) Costume Design and Construction

What is costume design and construction?

Costume design and construction is the process of designing and constructing bespoke sets of clothing for performers in theatre, film, TV and many other aspects of the entertainment and leisure industries. Costume designers and makers research, design, and source or construct these ‘costumes’ for characters, fictional or historical, and for performers of many kinds. The art and craft of creating, delivering and maintaining this essential aspect of performance is the central focus of this course.

About the Course

The course has a strongly vocational element which is embedded in the six professional practice modules (two of them in each of the first three years of the degree). In these, you work as part of a team delivering the costumes for a series of live projects working in collaboration with partner organisations and companies. This unique structure is central to the way we teach. Grouped around this structure and supporting your learning in Years One and Two are a series of modules which will develop your research and design skills, your analytic and writing skills, and your construction and wardrobe management expertise.

In Year Three the preferences and choices available to you within the modules enable you to begin to specialise by working in greater depth on two or more of the variety of pathways that costume practice offers - perhaps millinery and head wear, or the design of costume for film, or historical cut and construction.

You can extend your knowledge of these chosen skills in your industry placement and in your Independent Research and Construction Project - as well as in the responsible key production roles as Designer, Supervisor or Specialist Maker.

In Year Four, if you decide to undertake the honours year as many of our students do, the emphasis is on refining your chosen areas of future practice, using the Independent Professional Practice options to gain practical experience and make contacts in the wider world. Also in Year Four, the Creative Entrepreneurship module is designed to help you focus on developing clarity about your future employment options while proving your expertise and academic research skills through the honours study.

Course Structure

You can opt to study for an honours degree over four years or an ordinary degree over three years. You will complete a range of modules, as outlined, each year and a dissertation in Year Four. We offer the option of a part-time mode of study with considerable flexibility in adjusting the timing of how the modules can be studied.

Entry Requirements

Scottish Higher: BBCC

A Level: CCD

Irish Leaving Certificate: H3 H3 H3 H3

International Baccalaureate: 28 points

Required Subjects: Eng/His/ Drama (or other theatre related subject) and preferably Art, Design or Textiles at Higher A Level or equivalent/English / Maths at S/in2/N5/GCSE

Mature/Access: Applications welcomed from mature students with relevant qualifications/ experience

Advanced Entry:

Year 2

  • HND Theatre Costume Interpretation or other relevant HND with CB in the graded units

Other: Candidates are required to submit an e-portfolio containing 10 images. There will be a 20 minute interview as part of the selection process and candidates are required to bring their general portfolio, two garments or costumes that they have made and complete a short design exercise for discussion.

International: IELTS 6.0 with no element below 5.5


Year One

Introduction to Professional Practice as a Wardrobe Trainee/ Introduction to Garment Cutting and Construction/ Introduction to Visual Communication Skills/ Introduction to Research and Costume Design/ Introduction to Theatre Production/ Professional Practice as a Wardrobe Trainee

Year Two

Introduction to Professional Practice as a Costume Assistant/ Professional Practice as a Costume Assistant/ Costume Design and Scenography/ Complementary Construction Skills/ Advanced Cut and Construction/ Career Management

Year Three

Professional Practice in a Key Role 1/ Professional Practice in a Key Role 2/ Independent Research and Construction Project/ Industry Placement

Year Four

Honours Study/ Creative Entrepreneurial project/ Plus options including: Independent Professional Practice: Work Experience/ Independent Professional Practice: Collaborative Project/ Independent Professional Project: Major Project

NB The modules listed here are correct at time of the printing of our Undergraduate Prospectus 2018 (Feb 2017) but may differ slightly to those offered in 2018. Please check the website for any updates.


You will have developed to an industry entry level of competence, understanding and experience in the design and construction of costumes for performance. You will be able to progress in the cultural and creative industries. Job opportunities exist in the following areas: theatre, including opera and ballet; film; television; exhibition; corporate entertainment; advertising; arts and crafts; and online multi-media.

Quick Facts

  • This practical, vocational course is unique in Scotland in that it blends the theory with practice.
  • The course is highly respected within the theatre industry and graduates consistently gain employment on completion of the course.

Learning and Teaching

>>Click for more information on 'Learning, Teaching and Assessment'In Years One and Two, the first three weeks of each semester will require you to attend class around four days per week. You will also work on a four week ‘live project’ each semester and spend approximately 30 hours per week on that. Your personal workload/tutorials theatre visits etc. will be fitted round class times and live projects. You will also carry out a live project in Year Three. In Year Four, you will be entirely in control of your choice of project and time management.

>>Click for more information on 'Learning, Teaching and Assessment'


There is a formal professional placement in Year Three, but you will have opportunities to work with professional companies throughout the four years.

Please Note:

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2018/19 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Undergraduate).

Special Information for EU Applicants: The Scottish Government has confirmed that undergraduate EU students enrolling in the 2017/8 and 2018/9 academic years will be entitled to free tuition fees in Scotland for the duration of their course. Those assessed as eligible will remain so for the duration of their course. You must apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for funding. For guidance on eligibility and funding please visit the SAAS website.

Each year QMU's BA (Hons) Costume Design and Construction students put on a theatrical runway show which celebrates and showcases their work.

See our QMU Costume Showcase 2017 video below


Course Overview

3 / 4 years
Start Date
September 2018
Study Abroad
School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management
Subject Area
Fees & Funding

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