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Foundation Degree in Scenic Construction

  • Award:

    Foundation Degree in Scenic Construction

  • Awarding body:

    University of South Wales 

  • Location of study:

    Cardiff (RWCMD, Llanishen Studios and Old Library)

  • Start date:

    03 August 2025

  • Duration:

    Two years full time

  • Course code:

    RW01 - UCAS


Through work experience and hands-on training, you’ll learn how to plan, draught, construct and install sets to a professional standard whilst working on our numerous public productions.

Captions for this video are available in English and Welsh.

Course overview

Work placements and hands-on training in our studio workshops are at the centre of this specialist course that focuses on building sets for theatrical productions.

From day one in our state-of-the-art workshops at Llanishen Studios, you’ll learn fundamental construction techniques in carpentry, metalwork and welding. But you’ll also delve into using digital tools that are essential in set construction, such as SketchUp and Auto Cad, and computer numerical control (CNC) equipment.

Following your workshop training, you’ll then become more familiar with the theatre environment, learning basic skills in access equipment, rigging and flying systems. You’ll also gain greater insight into the roles and duties of relevant team members and become involved in the load-in and fit-up of productions here at the College.

The bulk of this course, which is the only one of its kind in the UK, consists of nine six-week work placements – four of which will be held at the College. The other five will take place externally with our professional partners, which are some of the largest and most prestigious companies from the TV, film and theatrical industries in Wales and the UK.

In our welcoming creative environment, you’ll build all the professional, practical and technical skills you need to secure a construction technician role after graduation – a position that’s highly in demand.

Why study this course?

  • Your skills will be in demand – there’s currently a shortage of suitably qualified entry-level technicians in the stage and screen industries.
  • You’ll be guided by expert practitioners who are currently working in today’s industry. They offer you not only first-rate teaching, but mentorship and networking opportunities as well.
  • Your cohort is small – only eight students in total – so you’ll receive a very high level of individual support and attention during your course.
  • We’ve partnered with some of the largest companies in the UK, who offer our students professional work placements and specialist construction roles after graduation – they include the Welsh National Opera, Cardiff Theatrical Services, Bay Productions, Wild Creations, 4Wood and Bad Wolf. We also have connections with some of the most prestigious companies and theatres in the UK and abroad, including the National Theatre, Royal Court and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
  • You’ll take on increasingly high levels of responsibility for creating and installing stage sets for our in-house productions, including opera and musical theatre. You’ll take on the role of construction leader in at least one of your placements. As part of this work, you’ll follow the design process, work with the designer to produce the required construction drawings, lead the construction and the final fit-up of the set.
  • You’ll be based at our large and superbly equipped workshops at Llanishen Studios, which are the largest and best equipped of any competitive conservatoire.
  • At the end of the two-year course, you’ll have the option to ‘top-up’ your qualification and receive a BA (Hons) in Design for Performance by completing an additional year of study specialising in scenic construction.
  • Alongside your placements, you’ll have evening classes at the College to help you develop commercial and financial awareness, as well as project management communications and leadership skills.
  • Collaboration runs through everything we do here. You’ll train alongside other design and stage-management students, as well as those studying our performing arts courses. This kind of work helps you to develop an understanding and empathy of other creative arts disciplines – but it also helps you to build partnerships that can last long after you graduate.
'I had no previous knowledge of carpentry or building, but I knew this was what I wanted to do.
I found the course online after speaking to Screen Alliance Wales, and as soon as I came to the workshop I was like, 'I need to come here!''
Bea MasseyScenic Construction Student

Other course information

'Scenic construction work is thriving alongside the rise of Film and TV production in Wales. We’re delighted to support the College to train the next generation of practitioners to take on new jobs in the industry.'
Hannah RaybouldOperations Manager for Bad Wolf

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