BA Design for Performance: Learning and Assessment

BA Design for Performance: Learning and Assessment

Course timetables 

Each academic year runs from September to July and is split into three terms: Autumn (12 weeks), Spring (12 weeks) and Summer (11 weeks). Timetables are published at the beginning of each term. 

Core teaching hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm. 


Teaching and learning 

Typically, there are 20 to 24 students in each year group and a maximum of 12 to 14 students in most classes in the second year. 

The training is modelled on patterns of professional practice and requires you to adopt working practices that closely reflect those of the professional theatre and its related industries. 

An established and experienced core team of staff deliver practical classes, workshops, tutorials and studio supervision, with considerable input from a wider range of experienced professional practitioners.  

Productions and projects are supervised by designers and design practitioners from within the industry, and you’ll benefit from the experience of working alongside professional theatre directors. 

Outside of teaching hours, you will be expected to undertake independent research and develop your studio-based practice. 

Our library holds more than 50,000 items, including books, journals, newspapers and audio-visual materials. It is home to the UK’s largest lending collection of play sets in English. The library also provides free access to online resources, including databases of thousands of drama texts and recordings of British theatre productions and behind-the-scenes documentaries. 

We can offer confidential and professional advice and a range of practical support to ensure that you are able to successfully commence studies at RWCMD, progress through your course and graduate successfully. 

We employ a dedicated mental well-being advisor and provide free access to a confidential counselling service.  

Our disability advisor can provide assistance to you in applying for Disabled Students Allowance, arranging needs assessments and developing individual support plans, which may include additional specialist tutorial support for students with specific learning difficulties or additional needs. 


Assessment and feedback 

The majority of modules are assessed on a continuous basis. The criteria for assessment reflect the working practices of the professional performance design environment, and the skills required of its practitioners.  

Assessment may take account of group and individual project work; research development and preliminary designs; final set and costume designs; final product; oral and written presentations. Assessment should be considered part of the learning process and not an interruption of it. 

The assessment of Technical Skills modules is based on the following criteria: 

  • punctuality; self-discipline; consistent and regular attendance 

  • co-cooperativeness; motivation; commitment; concentration and application 

  • capacity to offer and accept criticism 

  • flexibility and imagination when confronted with problems and in problem solving 

Projects, Specialist Study and Production Modules are assessed on the basis of: 

  • your level of understanding of the nature and context of a piece of text, music, dance, etc. 

  • the degree of innovation and originality in the design and realisation process 

  • the thoroughness and effectiveness of the research and realisation process 

  • the ability to communicate and collaborate effectively 

Research and Contextual Studies modules are assessed on seminar presentations, as well as written work including essays, reflective reports and a third year major research project (either an 8,000 word dissertation or a 30-minute presentation with a supporting body of research). 

Final year students also present a professional website of their work in the summer term. This can be worth up to 50% of your overall marks towards your degree. 

Students receive the best degree classification outcome from either of the two following classification systems: 

Method 1: Calculate the average of the marks from the best 60 credits at Level 5 and the 120 credits at Level 6. The 60 credits at Level 5 are taken from the 20 credit modules at Level 5. 

Method 2: Calculate the average of the marks from the 120 Level 6 credits. 

  • In order to achieve a First Class Honours degree, you must achieve an average of 69.5% or above. 

  • To achieve an Upper Second Class Honours degree, you must achieve an average of 59.5% or above. 

  • To achieve a Lower Second Class Honours degree, you must achieve an average of 49.5% or above. 

  • To achieve a Third Class Honours degree, you must achieve an average of 39.5% or above. 

A range of alternative exit awards are available for students who fail to complete a level of study. 

You should consider your ongoing dialogue with tutors during classes, projects and productions to be a critical part of the feedback you receive throughout the course, and the advice that will be most useful to you in your future working life. 

You can expect to receive formal feedback, either written or verbal, within 20 days of the last day of a project or production. 

Formal academic transcripts are published at the end of each academic year. 

A copy of the rules and regulations for this course is available.