Through intensive practical and performance-based training delivered in a conservatoire setting, this course provides a challenging introduction to the theory and practice of performance-related design in preparation for a career in the theatre and/or its related industries.
First year modules introduce a broad range of practical skills including technical drawing, CAD, Sketchup, model making, pattern cutting, costume construction, millinery, tailoring, scenic art and props-making. Practical projects include collaborative Costume, Props and Puppetry.
A Foundation of Design module during the first term, provides structured introductions to the theoretical and professional processes relating to research for design, practical design development, and the realisation of finished designs.
Research skills are developed through lectures, seminars and field trips focussing on important developments in the history of theatre, art, architecture, design and costume. You will be required to present your research through seminars, essays, and a third-year Research Project.
In the spring term of the first year, you will work individually and as a part of a team to create a ‘costume as performance’ event in collaboration with stage management students.
A series of conceptual and specialist study projects then enable you to apply your skills and explore your creative identity unhindered by practical limitations. You will design set and costumes for a classic text in a given traditional theatre, working with a tutor in the role of director and 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.
Under the guidance of your tutors, you will identify particular strengths and interests to develop through advanced skills classes, conceptual projects and performance-based work throughout the second and third years.
As a member of a team on College productions, you will be expected to shoulder increasing levels of responsibility as you progress through the second and third years of the course. In the second year, you will work in roles such as design assistant, scenic artist, prop maker, costumer maker or milliner, depending on your area of specialism. During the third year, possible roles include that of designer, or a senior role within the realisation team for a College production.
The third provides you with the opportunity to undertake work placements across the industry. The final module of the course is the development of your professional website and the presentation of a major exhibition of your practical and project work, collated and refined over the three years. You will work individually and as part of a group to create a showcase for potential employers in Cardiff and in London.