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Ryan Kennett, BA (Hons) Design for Theatre & Film

BA (Hons) Design for Theatre & Screen

Design for Theatre & Screen BA (Hons)

Farnham 3 years full-time, 4 years full-time

Course overview

Our exciting BA (Hons) Design for Theatre and Screen course will help you create dynamic environments, costumes and props for the stage, for film and for television.

In an industry where designers and makers are expected to be all-rounders who can work with a wide range of professionals, you’ll learn all the essential design, making and technical skills you’ll need in your career, and put those skills into practice as you take part in work placements and collaborative projects, such as working with TV Production students at Maidstone Television Studios.

You’ll also gain a deeper understanding of the discipline, learning about the history and theory of theatre and film arts, underpinned by art and design history.

You have the option to complete a Professional Practice Year as part of this course. This will give you the opportunity to develop your professional, academic and personal potential, equipping you to be confident and engaged in creative workplaces. Employers widely recognise these qualities, and a significant proportion of placement students are offered graduate-level jobs or go onto postgraduate study. 

Our standard three year undergraduate degree for those who meet the entry requirements for higher education.

UCAS Code for 3 year/standard: W440

A four year degree programme, including a foundation year to help develop your creativity before you embark on year one of a degree.

UCAS Code for course with Integrated Foundation Year: W44A

A four year course, specifically designed to provide international students with the English language and creative skills before they embark on year one of a degree.

UCAS Code for course with Integrated International Foundation Year: W44C

A four year programme, which sees you spend an entire year gaining valuable industry experience prior to your final year of study.

UCAS Code for course with Professional Practice: W441

A five year course, including a foundation year to help develop your creativity before you embark on year one of a degree, and a year on a professional placement gaining valuable industry experience prior to your final year of study.

UCAS Code for course with Integrated Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year: W44B

A five year course, including an international foundation year concentrating on English language and core creative skills before you embark on year one of a degree, and a year on a professional placement gaining valuable industry experience prior to your final year of study.

UCAS Code for course with International Integrated Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year: W44D

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Course details

Course Details

The content of the course may be subject to change. Curriculum content is provided as a guide.

UCA’s Integrated Foundation Year is designed to give you the skills you’ll need to start your degree in the best possible way – with confidence, solid knowledge of creative practice, study skills and more.

You’ll explore a range of creative techniques and develop your portfolio, with your chosen subject in mind. We’ll work with you throughout the year to ensure you’re on the right track and give you the tools to achieve your highest potential on your degree.

Find out more about the Integrated Foundation Year

For our students coming from a non-UK educational background, UCA has launched an Integrated International Foundation Year, based at UCA Farnham to bring students from around the world to one hub of creativity.

This year of preparatory study is designed to give you the skills you’ll need to start your degree in the best possible way – with confidence, solid knowledge of creative practice, study skills and the English speaking and writing skills you’ll need to succeed.

You’ll explore a range of creative techniques and develop your portfolio, with your chosen subject in mind. We’ll work with you throughout the year to ensure you’re on the right track and give you the tools to achieve your highest potential on your degree.

Find out more about the Integrated International Foundation Year

Launch Week
Launch Week will help you develop your understanding of creativity and different sources of inspiration via different approaches, concepts, and mediums. We want you to see potential in the every day and to draw from personal experience. During this week, you’ll also get an overview of the various resources available and how they can be used as complimentary tools for your study.

Theatre - Design, Skills and Contexts
You’ll create an individual set and costume design response to a specified play. You’ll be introduced to studio practice through research, text analysis, interpretation, storyboard, and 2D/3D processes. You’ll also be introduced to the study histories, theories and practices that inform global performance design.

Equality Diversity and Inclusion
The unit provides an opportunity for you to explore what is meant by equality, diversity, and inclusion and the implications of these concepts for creative practice. It will equip students to understand how our social identities (such as gender, race/ethnicity, class, disability, sexual orientation, and religion) contribute to the inclusion and/or exclusion of individuals in creative spaces.

Design and Agency
This unit will engage you in responding collaboratively to a current socio-cultural issue. Through negotiating and adopting roles within a team, you will create either a time-based or installation-based response to a theme resonating with social justice, environmental concerns or related issues. This unit is all about collaborative working, enhancing awareness of current issues and stimulating resourcefulness in devising an effective response under time and resource constraints.

Opportunity Week
You’ll explore spontaneous filmmaking techniques and approaches in this Opportunity Week, culminating in the production of a short film in 24 hours.

Screen - Design, Skills and Contexts
In order to develop an understanding of how different elements of a design contributes to a whole, you’ll explore a range of approaches, methods and techniques where creative manipulation and digital interventions promotes dramatic storytelling. You’ll practice the skills needed in costume-making, prop-making, and/or scenic art alongside skills in communication and co-working to develop a cohesive visual language. You’ll also build on your knowledge of histories, theories and practices that inform global performance and production.

Employment Contexts
You’ll be required to deliver an ‘industry report’ on chosen companies or individuals who are directly or indirectly involved in the performance industry, nationally or internationally. In order to begin the process of seeing yourself as part of the professional world, you’ll familiarise yourself with careers websites, be guided to subject-specific resources, and attend Careers and Employability sessions that are deemed relevant for your stage of learning.

Puppetry and Portfolio
Explore new performance design techniques and processes, and refine and develop current skills practice, through the creation of puppets. The unit facilitates opportunities for individual working or for collaborating within or outside of the cohort.

The unit also provides an opportunity for you to consolidate the year’s work within the ATOM unit and PLE digital outcome (see below). These will be supported by personal development tutorials.

ATOM Activities
ATOM activities are tiny pieces of individual learning that facilitate interdisciplinary exposure across the university. Collectively they form a small fraction of your curriculum that is determined through your own personal choice and interest.

PLE Digital Output
In this unit you’ll collate a digital record, reflecting on your learning journey through the first year of your degree. You’ll identify key points and developments within all units undertaken. We are interested in seeing a detailed account of your academic, technical and creative progress and development.

Launch week
A series of interdisciplinary seminars and workshops on how to evaluate your own work and recognise your points of strength. This week will investigate how creative risk-taking, invention and experimentation helps to develop your work.

Theatre or Screen - Adaptation
You’ll be challenged to transform a play text into a new speculative adaptation with contemporary resonance. You may choose to adapt across genres to create an original visual environment or form. Through a close reading and incisive investigation of a text’s contemporary resonance, you will develop the conceptual framework that will underpin the development of your project. Alongside this work you’ll develop your understanding of the critical and theoretical ideas within the context of modernity, postmodernity and post-colonialism. Through the examination of current critical perspectives on contemporary art, design, film and performance, we want you to consider ways in which contemporary work addresses the social and political issues of the day.

The Conscious Practitioner
This unit aims to promote progressive values and attitudes to diversity and inclusion in creative practice. You’ll have the opportunity to explore global perspectives and influences on creative practice, drawing upon interactions with varied identities, cultures, politics, and histories. The unit will explore how beliefs, values and attitudes drive behaviour and practices. Students will reflect on the development of their own creative influences, perspectives, practices, and sense of belonging as developing creative professionals in global and contemporary spaces.

Opportunity Week
This week consists of a series of interdisciplinary seminars, screenings, and workshops on creative game building subjects through the lens of a ‘Games Jam’ event. You’ll see the possibilities and potential of what you could create in a short space of time, with the influence of their individual practises and subjects. You’ll explore further innovation, technique, and technology in the production, distribution and exhibition of a fully functioning and playable video game.

Theatre or Screen – Making
This unit is all about turning design concepts into practical scenic elements. You’ll choose a specific discipline such as model-making, costume realisation, prop making, etc., to make scenic elements that interpret others’ designs – ensuring that what you make works conceptually but also practically. The unit allows for work to be individual or collaborative, speculative or live.

Professional and Collaborative Practice
This unit is all about expanding opportunities within the working world, with several options available. You can undertake a self-initiated work experience spell or placement, a collaborative project with external organisations, or a mix of both. Whichever you choose you’ll have to put together a Learning Agreement plan before you start, a private blog for critical reflection, and a reflective evaluation after you complete the task.

ATOM Activities
This unit is an extension of your Year 1 ATOM Activities.

PLE Digital Outcome
You’ll build your industry community and professional networking footprint, creating a digital folder evidencing that you are actively engaging in sustainable professional development. You’ll showcase current and newly established professional networks and identify common interests.

Elective units
You'll also undertake two elective units across the year - choose from:

  • Animation: Industry and Technology – you’ll learn about the development of animation from early cinema to the contemporary, considering both technological shifts and the role of animation studios.
  • Transmedia Worlds - This unit brings together the concepts essential to the understanding of film, media and the performing arts through a consideration of adaptation and transmedia worlds.
  • Audio World building: Sound for Moving Image - The unit will give you the opportunity to explore different forms of sound in relation to genre, and develop your understanding of recording Foley and environments, directing voice artists, and mixing sound.
  • Immersive Production: Developing an Experiential Concept for Film and Television Production - The unit will give you the opportunity to explore cutting edge and future focused technology so that you have a broad comprehension of the expertise and skills required if you want to delve further into immersive media production
  • The Individual Performance Project – You’ll create a short live performance comprising at least two different elements, including things like a monologue, a piece of storytelling, a poem, a piece of dance/movement or a puppet show.
  • Theatre Production – You’ll work together with students from a wide range of courses to make a live theatre production.
  • Applied Music - In this unit you will deliberately expand who you share and create music with to include a wider sense of community.
  • Film Production – You’ll work together with students from a wide range of courses to make a short film, which could also include animated material or a game component.
  • Industry Insight: Crewing Up – Delivered at the Maidstone Studios, this unit gives you insight into the many roles in moving image production.
  • Shakespeare Festival - In this unit you will embrace the language of Shakespeare, staging performances of his work in in an outdoor festival setting at sites around UCA Farnham.
  • Showreels for the Creative Industries - This unit is designed to help you identify your career aspirations within the creative industries, and to build a professional showreel that best showcases your work.
  • Verbatim - you will learn about the history of Verbatim techniques in theatre. You will explore Verbatim texts and performance practices including ‘headphone’ theatre and documentary theatre practices.

If you opt to complete a professional practice year, this will take place in year three. You will undertake a placement within the creative industries to further develop your skills and CV.

While on your Professional Practice Year, you will be required to pay a reduced tuition fee for that year. This fee will be determined using government funding regulations. Based on current regulations, we expect this to be a maximum of 20% of the tuition fee rate that you are charged for your second year of study. You will also incur additional travel and accommodation costs during this year. The University will provide you with further advice and guidance about this as you approach your Professional Practice Year.

Please note: If you are an international applicant, you will need to enrol onto the course ‘with Professional Practice Year’. It will not be possible to transfer onto the Professional Practice Year after enrolment

Launch
Through interdisciplinary seminars, screenings and workshops, Launch Week focuses on ground-breaking, creative work that has had surprised, shocked, and changed the way we view the world. This will help you see the possibilities and potential of what you could create and achieve in your final year.

Minor Project
You’ll undertake a design project within the context of a speculative performance, with the objective to synthesise knowledge, understanding, and practice acquired throughout the first two stages of the course. You may extend this through to your Major Project, with emphasis on developing the same text across both timelines. The unit will comprise three elements – project development, outcome, and professional preparation.

Critical investigation
Your development as a designer-maker is supported in this unit by enabling you to identify research that is contextually meaningful to your studio practice and to articulate critical arguments around this research. You’ll put together a 10 to 15-minute formative presentation of your research and lines of argument, and either a 5,000-word individually negotiated Critical Investigation or a 25 to 30-minute individually negotiated audio-visual presentation.

Opportunity Week
The final Opportunity Week comprises of a series of interdisciplinary lectures, seminars and workshops centred around life after graduation. This week will help students develop their understanding of the creative industries, working professional environment and what they can expect after graduation.

Major Project
For your final project, your output may take a variety of forms. If you chose to work collaboratively through to production presentation/realisation within the Minor Project, you may now embark on a new design project. Or if you developed a comprehensive design proposal in the Minor Project, you can take that further to make fully realised artefacts for your portfolio. There are three elements to this unit – the unit agreement and research document, the creative outcome, and the professional portfolio.

This course offers the opportunity to study abroad for part of your second year. To find out more about studying abroad as part of your course please see the Study Abroad section:

Tuition fees - 2023 entry

UK students:

  • Integrated Foundation Year - £9,250
  • BA course - £9,250

EU students:

  • Integrated International Foundation Year - £9,250 (see fee discount information)
  • BA course - £9,250 (see fee discount information)

International students:

  • Integrated International Foundation Year - £16,950
  • BA course - £16,950

If you opt to study the Professional Practice Year, for 2023 you will be required to pay a reduced tuition fee of £1,850 (UK students) and £3,390 (International students). You will also incur additional travel and accommodation costs during your Professional Practice year. The University will provide you with further advice and guidance about this.

Additional course costs
In addition to the tuition fees there may be other costs for your course. The things that you are likely to need to budget for to get the most out of a creative arts education will include books, printing costs, occasional or optional study trips and/or project materials. These costs will vary according to the nature of your project work and the individual choices that you make. Please see the Additional Course Costs section of your Course Information for details of the costs you may incur.

Further information
For more detailed information about our course fees and any financial support you may be entitled to please see our fees and finance pages.

The fees listed here are correct for the stated academic year only. Costs may increase each year during a student’s period of continued registration on course in line with inflation (subject to any maximum regulated tuition fee limit). Any adjustment for continuing students will be at or below the RPI-X forecast rate.

Industry placement
offer

Preparing graduates for successful careers underpins everything we do, and all students on this course may be offered support to identify and prepare for an industry placement according to their individual needs. We’ll draw on our wide range of contacts within the creative industries to help provide you with opportunities that align with your interests and future career aspirations.

Course specifications

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change in line with our Student Terms and Conditions for example, as required by external professional bodies or to improve the quality of the course.

Facilities

UCA Farnham has well-equipped 3D workshops, providing both hand and mechanical processes and high technology, from ceramic, wood and metal workshops to laser cutting and rapid prototyping.

Metals workshop, UCA Farnham

Design digital suite, UCA Farnham

Digital media suites, UCA Farnham

Library, UCA Farnham

Career opportunities

Career opportunities

We’re committed to fully preparing you for a successful career in addition to supporting you with the preparation of your portfolio, CV and professional profile, we encourage you to undertake work placements. Our well-established industry connections include:

  • BBC
  • ITV
  • Propshop
  • Hothouse
  • Pinewood Studios
  • Evolution
  • The Royal Opera House
  • The National Theatre

Graduate career destinations for this course include:

  • Manufacturing
  • Self-employment
  • Buying
  • Gallery work
  • Designing
  • Marketing
  • Retailing
  • Production
  • Teaching.

You may also like to consider further study at postgraduate level.

Miriam Abou-Shehada
Miriam Abou-Shehada

"The course taught me not only how to make props, sets and costumes, but how to give life to each of them. The wide variety of skills that are taught at UCA meant that I could be useful in many departments of theatres and film productions"

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

BA (Hons) course
BA (Hons) course with Professional Practice Year

The standard entry requirements* for these courses are one of the following:

  • 112 new UCAS tariff points, see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Distinction, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma / BTEC National Extended Diploma
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma
  • 112 new UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject
  • 27-30 total points in the International Baccalaureate Diploma with at least 15 IB points at Higher level, see more information about IB entry requirements.

And four GCSE passes at grade 9-4/A*-C including English (or Functional Skills English/Key Skills Communication Level 2).

Other relevant and equivalent Level 3 UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis, and we encourage students from diverse educational backgrounds to apply.  


BA (Hons) course with Integrated Foundation Year
BA (Hons) course with Integrated Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

The standard entry requirements for these courses are one of the following:

  • 64 new UCAS tariff points, see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Merit, Pass, Pass at BTEC Extended Diploma / BTEC National Extended Diploma
  • Pass at UAL Extended Diploma
  • 64 new UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject
  • 24 points from the International Baccalaureate, see more information about IB entry requirements.

And four GCSE passes at grade 9-4/A*-C including English (or Functional Skills English/Key Skills Communication Level 2).

Other relevant and equivalent Level 3 UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis, and we encourage students from diverse educational backgrounds to apply. 


BA (Hons) course with Integrated International Foundation Year
BA (Hons) course with Integrated International Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

For these courses you need to have completed 12 years* of schooling (with good grades) and show strong evidence of your ability to successfully complete the programme and progress onto your chosen degree. 


*We occasionally make offers which are lower than the standard entry criteria, to students who have faced difficulties that have affected their performance and who were expected to achieve higher results. We consider the strength of our applicants’ portfolios, as well as their grades -  in these cases, a strong portfolio is especially important.

Don't meet the international entry requirements or English language requirements?
You may be able to enter the course through the following entry pathways:

BA (Hons) course
BA (Hons) course with Professional Practice Year

For these courses, we’ll need to see your portfolio for review. We’ll invite you to attend an Applicant Day so you can have your portfolio review in person, meet the course team and learn more about your course. If you would prefer to upload a portfolio digitally, there is also the option to submit it online via your UCA Applicant Portal. Further information will be provided once you have applied. 


BA (Hons) course with Integrated Foundation Year
BA (Hons) course with Integrated Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

These courses don't require a portfolio. If you receive an offer, you’ll be invited to attend an Applicant Day where you can meet the course team and learn more about the course. 


BA (Hons) course with Integrated International Foundation Year
BA (Hons) course with Integrated International Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

These courses don't require a portfolio. If you receive an offer, you’ll be invited to attend an Applicant Day where you can meet the course team and learn more about the course. 


More portfolio advice

Apply Now

Please use the following fields to help select the right application link for you:
  • UCAS Institution

    C93

  • UCAS Code for 3 year/standard

    W440

  • UCAS Code for course with Professional Practice

    W441

  • UCAS Code for course with Integrated Foundation Year

    W44A

  • UCAS Code for course with Integrated International Foundation Year

    W44C

  • UCAS Code for course with Integrated Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

    W44B

  • UCAS Code for course with Integrated International Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

    W44D

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