BA/BA (Hons) Costume Design and Construction

On this highly respected vocational course you will learn how to research, design and construct costumes for performers of many kinds. You will work on live projects with renowned creative companies, and the course has a strong graduate employment record.

Think of a dramatic performance that you loved and you can probably picture the characters costumes. Costume design and construction are vital when it comes to creating successful theatre, film and TV productions. It is a creative and challenging career: you need to know the theory and history of costume design, how to make costumes physically and how to manage the wardrobe of a live production.

Why QMU?

  • This course teaches costume design, period costume construction and practical wardrobe supervision and management in parallel.
  • We have very close links with employers in the theatre industry.
  • Discover your vocation through working on live, audience-facing projects.
  • See your work celebrated in our students’ annual runway show.

About the course

At the heart of the course are the professional practice modules (one in the first year and two in the second and third years of the degree). In these, you will work as part of a team delivering the costumes for a series of live projects working in collaboration with partner organisations and companies.

Supporting this practical learning in Years One and Two are a series of modules that will develop your research and design skills, your analytic and writing skills, and your construction and wardrobe management expertise.

In Year Three you can begin to specialise by working in greater depth on two or more of the varieties of pathways that costume practice offers, perhaps masks, puppets and soft props, 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. You will fulfil key production roles in live projects, at QMU and with partner companies and organisers, as a 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.


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

  • Introduction to Theatre Production
  • The Origins of Theatre
  • Introduction to Wardrobe Practice (including Professional Practice)
  • Introduction to Costume Design

Year Two

  • Advanced Costume Design
  • Advanced Costume Techniques
  • Professional Practice as a Wardrobe Assistant

Year Three

  • Professional Practice in a Lead Role
  • Practice Informed Research Project
  • Creating in Context: Design Project
  • Theatre of Ideas – Introduction to European Theatre
  • Elective 1

Year Four

  • Honours study
  • Creative Enterprise in the Performing Arts
  • Creating your Career, Work-based Learning
  • Elective 2

The modules listed here are correct at time of posting (April 2021) but may differ slightly to those offered in 2022. Please check back here for any updates.

Teaching, learning and assessment

You will be taught in lectures, seminars and practical workshops. You will work in a team delivering the costumes for live productions with well-known companies. 

Below you can read about Teaching and Learning Activities and Assessment Activities. We believe this will give you a good indication of what the course will be like, but the exact balance of activities may differ depending on the academic year and on the modules you choose.

Teaching and learning activities

Our Teaching and Learning Activities are focused on building your confidence, developing your problem-solving skills and preparing you for a successful career. Here you can read about how much time you should expect to spend undertaking these activities for this course along with a general description of the activity for all courses.


You are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and in some cases practical workshops or laboratories. Seminars enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups.

Independent Learning

When not attending lectures, seminars, practicals or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the Learning Resource Centre, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations. You independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities, including the Learning Resource Centre and the Hub.


Courses with placements give you the opportunity to put what you are learning into practice and to observe and work with a wide range of individuals and groups of people in diverse settings. Some courses offer placement opportunities in the UK and overseas.

Assessment Activities

Assessment Activities provide you with opportunities to test your understanding of the subject and receive feedback on your performance. Here you can read about how much of your final mark is based on each type of formal assessment for this course along with a general description of the activity for all courses.


Assessment by written examinations normally takes place at the end of each module or semester, but they may also happen during modules.


Coursework assessments take place in a variety of ways, including assignments, essays, reports, portfolios, project output and your level 4 Honours project. We aim to provide you with feedback on your assessment within 20 working days of the submission date.


Practical assessments can include oral presentations, performance, practical skills assessment, costume design and construction, film making, lab work or clinical practical skills depending on the nature of the course.



In Year Three, you will complete a three-week wardrobe placement with a professional creative organisation, such as a theatre, film company or specialist costume designer. 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 six-week OR two three-week independent practice placements. This is a fantastic way to extend your experience and build contacts in the costume area of your choice.

Exchange opportunities



You will graduate with the competence, understanding and experience that employers in this creative field are looking for. Our graduates have gone on to perform fantastically well in theatre, opera, ballet, film and television. You could use the skills you will learn in museum work, corporate entertainment, advertising, arts and crafts, and online multi-media.

Entry requirements

Scottish Higher: Standard: BBBB, Minimum: BBCC

A Level: BCC

Irish Leaving Certificate: H2 H2 H3 H3

International Baccalaureate: 28 points

International: IELTS of 6.0 with no element lower than 5.5.

Required subjects: Two subjects from Eng/Hist/Drama required and Art/ Design or Textiles preferred at Higher/ A Level/ or equivalent. English required and Maths preferred at Nat 5/ GCSE/ or equivalent.

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

Direct Entry: Year Two, Relevant HND with CB in the graded units see: www.qmu.ac.uk/college-qualifications

Other requirements: You must submit an e-portfolio containing a minimum of 14 images including any completed garments that you may have constructed photographed on a model. Candidates will be asked to complete a short design exercise and invited to take part in a 20 minute phone interview where the candidate will be able to discuss their design and portfolio.


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’.

View specialist facilities film

View open day presentation

Please note:

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2022/23 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Undergraduate).

Teaching staff may be subject to change.

QMU is in the top 3 in Scotland for student satsifaction in Drama

QMU is in the top 3 in Scotland for student satisfaction in Drama (includes QMU’s Drama, Costume Design & Construction and Acting for Stage and Screen courses) (Source: NSS 2020)

Course Overview

3 or 4 years full-time
Start Date
September 2022
On campus
Study Abroad
School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management
Fees & Funding

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