BA/BA (Hons) 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.

The course is highly respected within the theatre industry and has a strong graduate employment record. On the course you work on live projects with partner organisations and companies.



Why QMU?

  • This course is unique in the UK in that you are taught costume design, period costume construction and practical wardrobe supervision and management in parallel.
  • The course is highly respected within the theatre industry.
  • There is a strong vocational element to the course that gives you experience of live projects.
  • Each year QMU's BA (Hons) Costume Design and Construction students put on a theatrical runway show which celebrates and showcases their work.


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 varieties 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.



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 each year as outlined.



Year One modules

  • 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 modules

  • 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 modules

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

Year Four modules

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

The modules listed here are correct at time of print (Feb 2018) but may differ slightly to those offered in 2019 following the next revalidation. Please check the website for any updates.



In Year Three, you will complete a 3-week wardrobe placement with a professional organisation working with costume within the creative sector (eg theatre or film company or specialist costume designer). You will chose and arrange the placement which can be undertaken at any point following completion of Year Two. If you have difficulty in finding a suitable position, we will assist you. In Year Four, half of your credits will be earned through one 6-week OR two 3-week independent practice placements. This opportunity will allow you to extend your experience and build contacts in the costume area of your choice.


Exchange opportunities



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.


Entry requirements

Scottish Higher: BBCC

A Level: CCD

Irish Leaving Certificate: H3 H3 H3 H3

International Baccalaureate: 28 points

International: IELTS of 6.0 with no element lower than 5.5

Required subjects: Eng/ His/ Drama (or another theatre related subject) and preferably Art, Design or Textiles at Higher/ A Level/ or equivalent. English and Maths/ Lifeskills Maths are required at Int2/ National 5 or GCSE.

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

Direct Entry:

Year 2 – Relevant HND with CB in the graded units — see our website for details at www.qmu.ac.uk/college-qualifications

Other requirements: 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.



Associate student places


Professional registration/ accreditation


Teaching staff, class sizes and timetables

For more information, please see ‘How we teach and how you’ll learn’.

Awarding body

QMU. For more information, please see ‘External Review’ section on the ‘How we teach and how you’ll learn’ page.

Please Note:


The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2019/20 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Undergraduate).

Teaching staff may be subject to change.

 Special Information for EU Applicants The Scottish Government has confirmed that undergraduate EU students enrolling in the 2019/20 academic year 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


See our QMU Costume Showcase 2017 video below





Course Overview

3/4 years
Start Date
September 2019
On campus
Study Abroad
School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management
Subject Area
Fees & Funding

A Student Story - more at foot of page

Jess Hawley - BA Costume Design and Construction "The highlight of this course is how diverse it is in nature. Alongside garment construction we get to do design work, theatre production and have experience on real shows. We are also given many opportunities outside of working hours such as going to see performances and attending events like museum lates." read my story...

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