Undergraduate

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.

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. 
  • QMU is ranked in the top 12 amongst UK universities for Drama and Dance (Guardian University Guide 2023).

On this course you will:

  • Complete a number of professional practice modules at each level where 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, taking responsible lead roles in Years Three and Four.
  • Design and Construct up to three individual period costumes-which are your personal property.
  • Learn to create designs for three or more theoretical productions ranging from Shakespeare to TV Crime Drama. 
  • Pursue a personal costume interest as research. 

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.

At the heart of the course are the professional practice modules where 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.

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

You will:

  • Complete one practical learning module as a Wardrobe Trainee where 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. 
  • Develop your research and design skills, your analytic and writing skills, and your 
  • Practical  costume construction and practical backstage skills through production workshops. 

Modules

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

Year Two

You will:

  • Complete two practical learning modules as Wardrobe Assistants on ‘Show work’  where 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. 
  • Develop your research and design skills, your analytic and writing skills, and expand your construction techniques in the two 'Advanced' modules.

Modules

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

Year Three

You will: 

  • Begin to specialize by working in greater depth on two or more of the varieties of pathways that costume practice offers, for example Creative Supervision or perhaps masks, puppets and soft props, or the design of costume for film, or historical cut and construction. 
  • Extend your knowledge of these chosen skills in your allocated lead roles as designer, cutter or supervisor on live projects and in your independent practice and research project which you can further explore  through choosing a Student Initated Project as an elective option.  
  • Benefit from a range of module options available, for example you can broaden your knowledge of  performing arts funding, study the history of scenography, find a placement for experiential learning – and more. 

Modules

  • Professional Practice in a Lead Role-Designer, Supervisor or Cutter
  • Practice Informed Research Project-Personal choice of research topic.
  • Creating in Context: Design Project for an Individual Theoretical Production
  • Theatre of Ideas – Introduction to European Theatre with a Costumed Live Presentation.
  • Plus one option

 

Year Four

You will: 

  • Refine your chosen areas of future practice, using the Creating Your Career Module. This asks you to take individual responsibility for finding valuable work experience-and writing an in depth report on the experience itself, the industry context and how it may have informed and expanded your plans for a future in costume or related fields (prop making for example) 
  • Be provided with the practical information for launching a freelance career in the industry through the Creative Enterprise in the Performing Arts module. 

Modules

  • Honours study 
  • Creative Enterprise in the Performing Arts 
  • Creating your Career (Work-based Learning)
  • Plus one option

 

Year Three and Four options

Year Three and Four options may include:

  • Experiential Learning  
  • Student Initiated Module 
  • Directing
  • Designing and Performance 
  • Advanced Theatre Production 
  • The only Way is Ethics  
  • Photography  
  • Site Specific Performance 
  • Cultural and Arts Funding  
  •  Theatre Archiving 
  •  Staging the 20th Century 

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. 

Placement

Yes. 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.

Careers

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.

Am I a Widening Access student?: We apply the minimum entry criteria to applicants who meet one or more contextual factor. To see if this would apply to you, please refer to the access and application page.

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

Direct Entry: Year Two, Relevant HND with CB in the graded units. Visit our College Leavers and Mature Students Advice page for more information.

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.

Teaching staff, class sizes and timetables

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

Awarding body

QMU. More information is in External Review’ section of the ‘How we teach and how you’ll learn’ page of our website.

View specialist facilities film

View Open Day presentation

Additional costs

There will be some additional costs for materials. 

Please note:

  • The modules listed here are correct at time of posting (Feb 2022) but may differ slightly to those offered in 2023. Please check back here for any updates.
  • The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2023/24 Entry Terms and Conditions (Undergraduate).
  • Teaching staff may be subject to change.

 

Course Overview

Duration
3 or 4 years full-time
Start Date
September 2023
Location
On campus
Study Abroad
No
School
School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management
Division
Fees & Funding
UCAS Code
W451

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