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-Friday 9am-6pm.
Teaching and Learning
Typically, there are 20-24 students in each year group and a maximum of 10 students in most classes.
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 students 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.
The RWCMD 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.
The College can offer confidential and professional advice and a range of practical support to ensure that students are able to successfully commence studies at RWCMD, progress through their course, and graduate successfully.
The College employs a dedicated Mental Well-Being Advisor, and provides free access to a confidential counselling service. Its Disability Advisor can provide assistance to students 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:
- the student’s 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
Historical and Contextual Studies modules are assessed on seminar presentations as well as written work including essays, reflective reports, and a third year dissertation (8,000 words).
Final year students also present a major exhibition 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, students must achieve an average of 69.5% or above
- To achieve an Upper Second Class Honours degree, students must achieve an average of 59.5% or above
- To achieve a Lower Second Class Honours degree, students must achieve an average of 49.5% or above
- To achieve a Third Class Honours degree, students 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.