This broad programme encompasses training in a wide range of practical skills related to stage management, stagecraft, technical theatre, event production and event management. It provides opportunities for you to gain practical experience in a variety of production roles within a working environment that closely reflects that of the professional theatre and its related industries. The priority is to ensure that you are well equipped to be able to respond to the ever-changing needs of a diverse industry.
The first year of the course runs from September until June of the following year, equipping you with the core skills required to engage in productions. Training in stage management includes a series of practical sessions designed to develop your knowledge and understanding of the roles of ASM and DSM, including projects in prop making and sourcing. Stagecraft sessions build your knowledge and understanding of the skillset required to mark out rehearsal rooms and stages, construct and fit-up basic scenery, and operate stage machinery such as hemp and counterweight flying systems. You will also gain a secure technical knowledge of lighting, sound, video and electrical systems. Health and Safety training is embedded throughout the training.
Your first production placement takes place during the first term in the form of a group project to produce a themed event at the College for all students. Two further production placements take place in the spring and summer terms within the public performance programmes of the College’s in-house theatre company, the Richard Burton Company. Typical first-year roles within these productions include Swing Tech and ASM.
The second year starts in June and ends the following June and is structured into six-week blocks alternating between coursework and production work.
Coursework focusses on developing the student’s skillset while production placements provide opportunities for them to put these skills into practice in a real-world context.
Coursework extends the development of more advanced skills in stage management, stagecraft and technical theatre. You will have opportunities to undertake lighting and sound design projects, plan an international tour and develop skills in using more advanced automated flying systems.
Within production placements, you will take on increasing levels of responsibility in more senior roles across four different Richard Burton Company productions. By the end of the year, there will often be opportunities to gain experience as Stage Manager, Deputy Stage Manager, Lighting Designer etc. By negotiation with your course leaders, up to two of your second-year production placements may be external placements within professional UK theatre or production companies.
The third year starts in June and ends in the following June, with students graduating at the beginning of July. The schedule of alternating six-week blocks of coursework and production work continues.
Coursework in the final year focusses on professionalism, management and preparing for a career in the industry. As well as developing your knowledge of event management, communication studies will also explore important issues such as equality, diversity and inclusion.
You will be a senior member of the production team within your chosen specialist pathway on four separate productions, experiencing a high degree of ownership over the final performances. By negotiation with your course leaders, one of your third-year placements may be an external placement within a professional UK theatre or production company.
The final dissertation component may be submitted in written form or delivered as a presentation. Whichever route you choose, the primary focus will be on creating connections with the industry within your chosen specialisms.
Applicants are selected for interview on the basis of the information provided in their UCAS application.
Equivalent qualifications include WBQ, Scottish Highers, BTEC National Diploma/Certificate, International Baccalaureate, advanced GNVQ, AVCE or Advanced Diploma (Level 3), and recognised international qualifications.
However, any minimum conditions that may be attached to the offer of a place will be determined on the basis of individual applications and interviews. Candidates may be expected to achieve minimum grades of BBC at A level and DDM at BTEC, or the equivalent, prior to entry.
The College may consider applications from people without formal qualifications if they have an exceptional level of practical ability and experience.
International applicants whose first language is not English will need to demonstrate that their English language ability meets the College’s minimum requirements. Please refer to our English Language Requirements page for details of accepted English language tests and required scores.
Tuition Fees for 2023-2024
|Course Duration||Students from the UK, Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands, and Isle of Man||Overseas Students|
|3 years full time||£9,000 *||£23,860 **|
* Undergraduate tuition fees for UK students are set by the Welsh Government. They are reviewed annually and may be subject to an increase in future years.
** Undergraduate tuition fees for overseas students are subject to an annual increase.
Travel costs are low as most parts of the city are easily accessible on foot. The halls of residence, most residential areas and the city centre are a 10-15-minute walk from the campus.
Some teaching will take place at our Llanishen Studios, which is a short bus ride from the campus. A weekly ticket from Cardiff Bus is £15 and students aged 16-21 can apply for a pass which reduces this to £9.60 (prices correct as of October 2019).
You will need an essential tool kit containing the following items in order to start the course:
- Scale ruler (1:25 metric triangular)
- Rigging gloves
- 30m measuring tape
- Multi tool (Leatherman or equivalent)
- Podger (17mm/19mm) / Quad Spanner (13mm/17mm/19mm/21mm)
- Torch/Head torch
You will also need to purchase your own steel toe safety shoes. Students are not allowed into the workshops without safety shoes.
Students will need their own black clothing ‘smart blacks’ (long sleeved shirt/top, trousers and shoes) to wear during shows. You will need enough to cover the period of technical rehearsal and performance run (approximately two weeks).
A mobile phone is an essential tool for anyone working in the entertainment industry. The ability to send and receive email is of high importance, and a smartphone also allows easy access to the College’s online timetabling system.
Students will find it useful to have their own laptop, which is able to run Microsoft Office and basic CAD programmes such as SketchUp.
Students who arrange an external work experience placement in conjunction with Course Leaders can usually apply for a bursary to help towards costs associated with the placement. The bursary will not cover all costs and students are responsible for remainder.
Students are encouraged to attend as many College performances as possible and are eligible for free tickets to Richard Burton Company shows. For other performances, students are eligible for discounted tickets.
Dissertations need to be submitted in hard-copy and the cost of printing and binding is the responsibility of the student.
Students who are required to re-sit assessments may be expected to pay a resit fee.