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Theatre Design and Production BA

Learn about the course below
October 2020
3 years full-time
£9,250 (UK/EU) *
£13,400 (INT) *
Course leader
Nicola Stammers

We’re planning to teach through a flexible combination of online and face to face learning for the first few months of the new academic year. If you’re thinking about starting with us in autumn 2020 or spring 2021, check back for more detail on arrangements for this course in July and August, and see our current plans for teaching and learning.

This course is now available in Clearing.
Follow this link or call 020 8411 6565 for more info

Theatre and the creative industries are one of the fastest-growing sectors in the UK and the theatre industry is changing rapidly. Our innovative degree will allow you to gain the skills you need to build a portfolio career in the arts. You'll have many opportunities to collaborate and work within the industry while exploring a range of diverse specialisms that will place you at the forefront of emerging design practices.

Why study BA Theatre Design and Production at Middlesex University?

This course has been designed to develop your skills and talents as a designer while equipping you with a wide range of theatre-making and production skills that give you the ability to put your creative ideas into action. We have a long-held reputation in industry for producing innovative, highly-skilled and thoughtful graduates who go on to challenge conventions and re-shape how theatre is made and seen.

As well as scenographic and technical training with leading practitioners, you'll discover a range of production skills essential to making theatre, allowing you to build a wide portfolio of skills and specialisms that will make you highly employable and enable you to build a career in the arts.

If you’re wondering whether to choose a university course or a drama school, Middlesex offers the best of both worlds by combining highly practical teaching and a wide range of production opportunities with the chance to closely examine why and how theatre is made, giving you the freedom to pursue your interests and discover what makes you unique as a designer and practitioner.

Course highlights

  • Learn all the practical and critical skills needed to produce innovative, cutting-edge theatre for contemporary audiences
  • Design and produce work in our five on-campus theatre venues, and at partner venues across London and internationally
  • Opportunities to collaborate with students, professionals and partner organisations are embedded in every part of your programme
  • All students have the opportunity to participate in a work placement or a professional case study
  • Option to specialise in directing and opt onto the BA Theatre Directing and Production exit award in your final year.

Find out more

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What will you study on BA Theatre Design and Production?

This course will develop your skills and talents as a scenographer while equipping you with a wide range of theatre-making and production skills that give you the ability to put your creative ideas into action.

You'll study the key processes and principles of the practice and study of design and production as well as a diverse range of critical, cultural and historical perspectives on theatre as a live art form. You'll also learn how these are applied or considered in scenographic practice. You'll explore ethical approaches to theatre-making and the role of critical analysis in your and others’ design practice, and be introduced to professional networks, contexts and organisations relevant to your future career.

During your studies, you'll develop and refine a broad portfolio of skills, methods, techniques and crafts in scenographic and production practices. You'll gain the key entrepreneurial and administrative skills required for a career in the creative industries, and develop an individual approach to delivering highly creative work underpinned by innovation and critical insight.

What will you gain?

This degree will give you the opportunity to develop new production and technical skills in Lighting, Costume, Set Construction, Projection, VR, Sound including binaural, Puppetry, Props, Stage and Production/Events Management.

You'll gain the ability to identify design challenges and generate and process design ideas and concepts as well as being able to critically reflect on your and others' work  and evaluate a range of creative practices.

You'll learn to effectively communicate your ideas through model boxes, ground plans, CAD, Q-lab, prompt copy and be able to organise, produce and manage events. Your team-work and decision making skills will also be developed through collaborative and individual theatre making.


  • Year 1

    • Introduction to Design and Production (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module introduces you to key principles of theatre design and technical production through practical workshops and group projects. You'll develop an understanding of the role of the theatre designer within a collaborative process, and examine key processes and approaches to designing for live performance.

    • Perspectives on Theatre (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module introduces key contexts, debates and critical frameworks relevant to theatre and performance practice. You'll develop your understanding in a range of research methods, and develop your ability to analyse and critique live performance. You'll combine self-directed study supported by a range of online resources with live seminars and theatre visits.

    • Working with Theatre Technology (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will introduce you to technology and technical processes used as part of contemporary theatre making. You'll explore the key practical skills that underpin production work, such as stage lighting, immersive audio production, video and pixel mapping, pyrotechnics, 3D design, virtual and augmented realities.

    • Making Theatre (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module gives you the opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge you have encountered throughout the first year to develop and realise a collaborative theatre project. Working with a tutor and students from across the Performance and Design programmes, you'll participate in all of the creative and production elements necessary to realise a fully-staged piece of theatre.

  • Year 2

    • Theatre Industry: Applied Practices (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to enhance your critical consideration of the social, political and ethical implications of engaging with an audience through your practice. You'll develop employability and workshop-leading skills, and enhance your awareness and consideration of who theatre is for, why, and how this can impact the work from initial concept through to its practical realisation.

    • The Scenographer (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module builds on key principles that were introduced in year 1 by exploring and interrogating a range of approaches and interpretative strategies employed by key practitioners. You'll examine developments in contemporary theatre design and strengthen your ability to generate, develop and communicate ideas and concepts effectively, and to execute these concepts through a range of practical tasks and projects.

    • Design Project (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module allows you to develop your skills as a designer and theatre-maker, and apply the skills that you have encountered on other modules in a collaborative performance project. You'll collaborate with students on the Performance programme to conceive and realise a collaborative project, working to a shared brief and contributing to the overall thematic and contextual aims of the project.

    • The Performer and Director (30 credits) - Optional

      The module builds on key principles that were introduced in year 1 by focusing on the relationship between actor, director and playtext. You’ll develop skills in text analysis, speaking text, and staging/performance through a project-based approach. Further, you’ll engage with a range of acting and performing systems, including training of voice and body.

    • The Writer and Dramaturg (30 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to develop your critical understanding and application of a range of techniques for dramatic writing and dramaturgical intervention. Through the practical exploration of elements of dramatic structure, it aims to equip you with the tools to conceive of and develop a written project throughout the module, developing your understanding of the dramatic form as a tool to communicate your ideas.

    • Creative Collaborations (30 credits) - Optional

      This module provides opportunities for creative collaboration across the wider University and/or with external partners. You’ll extend and challenge your understanding of collaboration, working with artists/practitioners to push at the boundaries of conventional theatre practice, and there will be opportunities to work on projects led by other creative disciplines beyond theatre.

  • Year 3

    • Theatre Industry: Placement and Portfolio (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module provides the opportunity to engage in a range of externally-facing projects, placements and/or critical investigations into professional practice. You’ll develop your knowledge of professional skills and theories around areas such as producing, fundraising, artistic policies and audience development as well as refining methodologies, attitudes and competencies for seeking work in a professional context.

    • Design: Scenography and Technology * (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module enhances your scenographic practice through the interrogation of approaches and strategies employed by key practitioners. You’ll engage with significant developments in contemporary scenography and explore current trends and technological developments. You’ll further develop your skills and approaches in designing through space, initiating a practical design-led project.

    • Theatre Festival (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module provides the opportunity to work in and across groups to create and contextualise collaborative projects which are curated and presented as a collective Theatre Festival. You will produce the Theatre Festival as an outward-facing public showcase, encouraging you to consider your work in a professional context and apply the practical making skills taught in other modules, alongside the producing skills taught in this module.

    • Directing: Practices and Philosophies ** (30 credits) - Optional

      This module will extend your critical and practical skills in theatre directing. You’ll initiate a series of directing projects enabling you to take a nuanced approach to developing and analysing your professional identity as a director of theatre and/or live performance. You’ll also consider where this practice intersects with other skills and disciplines you have engaged with on your programme.

    • Solo: Stand-up Comedy / Performance Art (30 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to extend your individual performance practices in one of two pathways: Stand-up Comedy or Performance Art. You’ll develop practical skills and contextual knowledge in one of these forms, applying appropriate performance theory and/or performance philosophy to the development of a live performance in a professional comedy venue, or the exhibition of a work of performance art.

    • Theatre Laboratory (30 credits) - Optional

      This module allows you to identify a particular site of exploration and experimentation and to engage in a practice-led Research and Development project relevant to the chosen area. The module incentivises risk and experimentation, encouraging you to consider the practical research process as an end in itself, and introduces you to preliminary skills relevant to Practice as Research study at postgraduate level.

* This module is compulsory for the BA Theatre Design and Production exit award

** This module is compulsory for the BA Theatre Directing and Production exit award

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

  1. Overview
  2. Teaching and learning
  3. Assessment and feedback
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  4. Interviews
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. Additional costs

How can the BA Theatre Design and Production support your career?

This course will prepare you for a career in the creative industries by providing opportunities to engage in a range of externally-facing projects, placements and/or critical investigations into professional practice.

You'll develop your knowledge of professional skills and theories around areas such as producing, fundraising, artistic policies and audience development as well as refining and diversifying methodologies, attitudes and competencies for seeking and undertaking work in a professional context.

You'll be encouraged to establish professional links and enhance onward employability potential through a practice-led understanding of your chosen professional context(s) and contextualise your own creative practice/identity within a wider industry context.

Our theatre students typically graduate into diverse career paths directly in the theatre industry as well as its many peripheral industries. You could progress to careers in theatre design, lighting, sound, costume, video design and operation, directing, dramaturgy, producing and arts management. You could also advance into arts administration, teaching and non-theatre based careers within film, media, events and other creative industries.

  • Joe Sims, BA Drama and Theatre Studies

    Joe Sims

    Theatre graduate

    Joe graduated from Middlesex University in 2002. In 2012 he won an Offie (People's favourite male performance) for his role as alleged Texan killer Lee Fenton in As We Forgive Them at the Arcola Theatre in London, and in 2013 he starred alongside David Tennant and Olivia Colman in ITV's critically-acclaimed Broadchurch. Joe has more than 50 radio credits to his name, including a run on the much-loved Radio 4 drama The Archers.

    I chose Middlesex because it came with a formidable reputation. Middlesex was one of the universities where alumni went on and forged themselves successful careers in television and theatre, and that was what inspired me to go really.

    The first year was a bit of everything, giving us a veritable smorgasbord of routes into the theatre and laying solid foundations from which to build our careers upon. As the course progressed it gave us the opportunity to specialise in what we really wanted to pursue. There are people from the course who have had successful careers in lighting design and stage management because we had to do all of those things. It also gives you a heightened respect and appreciation for all factors of the theatre, knowing each of the jobs that as an actor you often just see going on around you.

    Middlesex provided a solid foundation and platform for me to spring from. What Middlesex gives you is the chance to be a better professional and it is far-reaching in terms of your subject knowledge. We learned a lot about the pragmatics of performing.

  • Rachel Wood

    Theatre graduate

    I've found the variety of subjects studied on this course, ranging from Solo Performance and Shakespeare in Performance, to full scale collaborative productions, very exciting and I've formed strong foundations in a number of areas I had not previously studied.

    If I had to choose a particular piece of work I am especially proud of, it would be my performance in Simon Stephen's production of 'Pornography'. I am particularly proud of Pornography as it was recently taken to the Brighton Fringe Festival, Europe's third biggest Arts Festival, with Thrust Theatre Company, which I am now a part of along with several other Middlesex Theatre students.

  • Ryan William Funnell

    Theatre graduate

    The passion for the subject from the tutors was evident the moment I walked into the department. I immediately felt comfortable and confident that this was a supportive and enjoyable place to study, and that to me was really important.

    I really like the way the course is put together, with opportunities to explore all aspects of theatrical production through practical, hands on work. I've been able to try my hand at different elements of production and the facilities to be able to do that at Middlesex are wonderful. The ability to then build a course of study over the three years that is unique to you as an individual is a great opportunity.

  • Zayd Wilson

    Theatre graduate

    The course has allowed me to network with people who have studied a wide range of theatrical processes. I have met stage designers, directors, actors, stage managers and sound and lighting technicians. To be successful in this industry you need to know a range of people if you wish to work. The fact that many of the tutors either taught or studied at the major drama schools particularly helps when it comes to facilitating this.

    This year I produced an adaptation of Samuel Beckett's Endgame. It enabled me to take a concept that I had in my head and bring it to life. I directed and performed in this piece so the feel, emotion and the aesthetics reflected particularly upon me. I contributed a great deal to this and I'm really happy with how it turned out.

  • Zoe Sofair

    Theatre graduate

    The tutors here have been amazing, they are always willing to help you, one on one, and they are very supportive and keen to really integrate you into the industry. The tutors, many of whom are also currently working in theatre, clearly love what they do, and their own dedication is really great to see.

    The skills I've learned on this course, especially as a stage manager or production manager, are transferable to many other industries, and vital for employment in the theatre industry. I am about to start my first job as a production assistant working on international theatre tours for a very successful theatre production company.

  • Henry Martin

    Theatre graduate

    This course is extremely vocational, and I have enjoyed the hands on approach to teaching by lecturers who are passionate about their craft. During this last year of study, I have even been involved in taking two of our shows to the Brighton Fringe Festival, as part of the theatre company, Thrust, which I feel could not have happened without the support that the University has provided.

    I would like to go into acting professionally, and Middlesex has given me the knowledge to create my own opportunities. The course is fantastic in equipping us with the tools to form a company and create work of high quality. I have also learnt many new skills that I can take with me into the professional world, such as script writing and solo performance. It is here, also, that I discovered my passion for stage management, which I would not have considered before coming to Middlesex.

Other courses

Theatre Performance and Production BA

Start: October 2020

Duration: 3 years full-time

Code: W401

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