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BA (Hons) Design for Performance

  • Award:

    BA (Hons) Design for Performance

  • Awarding body:

    University of South Wales 

  • Location of study:

    Cardiff (RWCMD, Llanishen Studios and Old Library)

  • Start date:

    21 September 2025

  • Duration:

    Three years full time

  • Course code:

    W460 – UCAS


Explore all the elements of set and costume design for theatre, events, TV and film in this intensive practical and performance-based course.

Course overview

Hands-on experience and work placements with some of the biggest names in the industry form the heart of your training.

With our specialist tuition in set and costume design, you’ll learn all the practical and professional skills needed for a career working in events, TV, theatre or film.

It starts with an introduction to design approaches and techniques – such as technical drawing, using design software, constructing costumes and prop making. A series of conceptual and specialist study projects will then allow you to apply your skills and explore your artistic identity unhindered by practical limitations.

Under the guidance of your tutors, you’ll identify particular strengths and interests to develop through advanced skills classes and performance-based work.

You’ll work alongside students from music and drama in some of the near 30 events held at the College each year. You’ll also have work placements with our partner organisations, who are some of the most prestigious names in the industry, including the BBC, Badwolf Studios, Cos Props, Royal Opera House and the National Theatre.

Your course culminates with a student organised showcase of everyone’s practical and project work, collated and refined over the three years. And this will be exhibited in Cardiff and on London’s South Bank where it’ll be visited by potential employers from major theatres and studios.

Why study this course?

  • You’ll gain a deep understanding of the theory and practice of performance-related design to prepare you for a career in theatre, film or TV. It includes a broad range of practical skills, including technical drawing, CAD, SketchUp, model making, pattern cutting, costume construction, millinery, tailoring, scenic art and prop making. 
  • Our impressive list of tutors includes creative artists and practitioners from a range of disciplines – they offer you not only first-rate teaching, but mentorship and networking opportunities as well.
  • We’ve formed strong partnerships with some of the biggest names in the industry, such as the BBC, Badwolf Studios, Cos Props, Royal Opera House and the National Theatre, and you’ll have opportunities to take part in work placements with them during your time here.
  • You can tailor your study to suit your passion and career ambitions – and you don’t have to decide on a specialism until your final year.
  • Our class sizes are small, so you’ll have a high level of individual support from your tutors.
  • From week one, you’ll start developing practical projects, focusing on collaborative costume, props and puppetry. Later on in your first year, you’ll work individually and as a part of a team to create a ‘costume as performance’ event in collaboration with stage management students.
  • As part of your course, you’ll also design set and costumes for a classic text in a traditional theatre setting, working with a tutor in the role of director, with additional staff providing practical guidance.
  • You will also explore puppetry techniques, equipping you for possible placements within the large-scale, site-specific productions staged each summer by the Design for Performance department.
  • Every year, the College produces more than 26 theatre productions including, musical theatre and opera. As part of your second year, you can work on these productions in roles such as design assistant, scenic artist, prop maker, costumer supervisor or maker, depending on your area of specialism. During your final year, possible roles include that of designer or a senior role within the realisation team.
  • Every year, between 20 and 30 leading practitioners visit the College to hold masterclasses with our students, offering you unrivalled insight into the industry.
  • You’ll develop your research skills through lectures, seminars and field trips focusing on important developments in the history of theatre, art, architecture, design and costume.
  • You’ll also learn how to create your own professional website – essential for designers working in today’s industry.

Other course information

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