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Theatre Design and Production BA

Learn about the course below
October 2023
3 years full-time
£9,250 (UK) *
£14,700 (EU / INT) *
Course leader
Nicola Stammers

This innovative degree will allow you to gain the skills you need to build a portfolio career in the arts. We have a long-held reputation in the industry for producing innovative, highly-skilled and thoughtful graduates who go on to challenge conventions and re-shape how theatre is made and seen both nationally and internationally.

Learn from academics who are experienced theatre practitioners and researchers who will teach you new production and technical skills in: Lighting, Costume, Set Design, Projection, Virtual and Augmented Reality, Sound, Puppetry, Props, Stage Management and Production/Events.

Follow in the footsteps of a long list of decorated graduates including: Alan Carr: Comedian, broadcaster and writer, Tangled Feet: Ensemble theatre company featured on BCC, ITC and The Guardian, Munotida Chinyanga: Director and Sonic Artist, Zakk Hein: Video designer, Associate at Luke Halls Studio, and many more.

Why study Theatre Design and Production* with us?

Wondering whether to choose a university course or a drama school? This course 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
  • Learn in our multiple professional-level studio spaces with industry-standard equipment available 17 hours a day
  • 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.

Learn more about the course and last year’s graduates on our Creative Graduates 2022 exhibition site.

*this course is subject to review. We periodically re-evaluate our programmes to make sure the content and teaching stay up to date and relevant. Please check this page regularly for updates.

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 Design, Projection, Virtual and Augmented Reality, Sound, Puppetry, Props, Stage Management and Production/Events.

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 Actor and Director (30 credits) - Optional

      The module focuses on the relationship between actor, director and play text. You will develop skills in text analysis, speaking text, and staging/performance through a project-based approach. Further, you will engage with a range of acting and performing systems, including training of voice and body. In this module you will investigate more closely the respective roles of the actor and the director working in rehearsal with a play text and engage in close analysis of action. You will also develop your ability to reflect on your practice, learning and personal development.

    • 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

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information about typical course content outside of the coronavirus outbreak:

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. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  4. Interviews
  1. UK
  2. EU / 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.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

Other courses

Theatre Performance and Production BA

Start: October 2023

Duration: 3 years full-time

Code: W401

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