Formerly City College Brighton and Hove and Northbrook College

Production Design for Stage & Screen - BA (Hons) Degree

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Course Type: Degree and university-level Campus: West Durrington Campus Start Date: September 2020 Duration: 3 Years

This course focuses on a holistic approach to the design, construction and painting of sets for theatre and related industries. It develops skills in design through research, creative workshops, illustration, technical drawing and CAD based systems. Students can work in metal, wood, scenic art and model making.

Key features

  • Course includes design, construction and supervision skills
  • Cross-course collaboration with actors, directors, make-up artists, costume designers
  • Excellent industry links and high-profile work placement opportunities
  • Opportunities to work on live and filmed performance
  • On-campus theatre with fly tower, scene dock and professional lighting
  • High contact time with our industry-experienced staff

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Validated by University of Brighton until the end of 2019-20. Validation by University of the Arts London (UAL) from September 2020: Please note that BA (Hons) Production Design for Stage & Screen is ‘subject to validation’. ‘Validation’ is the process by which UAL and the College develops courses. It is developmental in nature and makes sure students get a high quality academic experience. During validation there may be some changes to the course content displayed on this page. Please contact us if you have any questions about this course.

Course requirements

Portfolio and interview.

Individual offer conditions will vary. Normally a relevant A Level or Level 3 Extended Diploma.

Industry experience may be taken into account.

Portfolio advice:

Please bring a portfolio of work or samples, as appropriate, that best demonstrates your abilities. This should include a range of 2D sketchbooks, drawings, paintings, design artwork. 3D models, sculptures etc (or good quality photographs of 3D work).

Cross-college entry guide

(including English requirements for international students) -

Click here to read the cross-college entry guide for higher education

This is course supplies high contact time with staff, most materials, and outstanding workshop facilities and equipment, to enable you to hone your skills to an industry standard. All staff members teaching on the course have current industry experience.

We are equally interested in developing both your design and practical skills. We run workshops in a wide and diverse range of specialisms from woodwork to metalwork through to scenic art, to support your key design skills in model-making and technical drawing. History of style sessions provide a solid foundation from which to experiment and innovate.  

We are highly collaborative in our approach and work closely with other departments, including costume, props, hair and makeup, performers and technical departments. There are opportunities to do live projects, a balance of shows in our fully equipped theatre space and outside commissions. The range of performers we work with is diverse, from dance through musical theatre to highly experimental devised work. We believe strongly in industry links, work experience and ensuring future employability. 

Year 1 (Level 4)

You will design for a Shakespeare play (with collaboration opportunities with costume) and in addition attend a series of history of style classes supported by research work.

You will design, storyboard and make a model, having learnt a series of precision model-making techniques prior to this. Technical drawing, including ground plans, will form an integral part of this training.

There will be workshops in woodwork, metalwork and scenic art. The skills you gain in these will then be applied to show work.

Managing and multi-tasking on live projects will allow you to explore inter-discipline practice and apply existing skills within a wider context. You will initially assist Year 2 students to learn all about production and backstage processes and etiquette and then move on to design and lead in smaller scale productions.

There will be filmed opportunities as part of this in addition to site specific ventures that will include related prop-making skills such as mask making. 

Year 2 (Level 5)

You will develop your design skills further including learning CAD.

Specialist job roles on a major musical and other live/filmed opportunities will be allocated depending on your own individual career aspirations. You will be supported in finding and securing work placement and developing your CV and portfolio accordingly.

There is the opportunity in negotiation with tutors to undertake a unit of study within a related discipline such as Costume or Lighting Design.

Year 3 (Level 6)

In addition to completing a dissertation, you will undertake project work that further extends skills in relation to future career aspirations. We will focus on building your portfolio accordingly and towards your final degree show.

There will be opportunities to apply this to live and collaborative performance where appropriate.

Potential careers

  • Set designer for film, TV, theatre
  • Event designer
  • Set constructor
  • Scenic artist
  • Project manager

Tuition fees, student loans and bursaries

Additional costs for this course

New students will receive a kit list of personal tools and materials costing a maximum of £200.

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