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

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UCAS code: W462 Course Type: Degree and university-level Campus: West Durrington Campus Start Date: September 2022 Duration: 3 Years

Why this course?

Scenic paiting

This set design 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
Validated by University of the Arts London (UAL)

This programme is validated by University of the Arts London (UAL). UAL is a leading education provider in the creative arts, ranked second in the world for art and design (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022). They oversee the standards and quality of our curriculum, which enriches your overall learning experience.

See the full list of our creative arts degrees

  • alumni Views Emily Egleton Theatre design draftsman (War Horse, Book of Mormon, Matilda, Mamma Mia The Party, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time...)

    "Without my education at the MET, from the dedicated and professional team of tutors there, I would definitely not be where I am today. The breadth of practical and design skills that I learned during my time there gave me a solid grounding on which to build my career. The combination of artistic and technical work is a perfect match for a career in theatre."

Course requirements

Each application will be assessed individually, including a review of your grades, interview, portfolio/audition and any experience.

Typical entry requirements are below but offers may vary:

  • a relevant A-Level or Level 3 Extended Diploma

In exceptional circumstances, if you do not meet our entry requirements, your application may still be considered if you demonstrate additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • related academic or work experience
  • the quality of the personal statement
Portfolio and interview

You will also be required to provide a portfolio and interview for this course.

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).

Entry guide

Entry guide for more information about the range of qualifications we accept (including English Language requirements for international students).

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

Alumna story

Emily Egleton graduated from the MET in 2006. She started working freelance as a design assistant and continued to hone her skills alongside a wide range of theatre designers. In 2011 she started working with the National Theatre as a draftsman and for the next four years, she was responsible for the technical drawings for all shows that toured or transferred out of the main building. These shows included War Horse (UK & International), One Man Two Guvnors (UK Tour) and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (London, UK Tour and International).

In 2015 Emily left the NT to work for Unusual Rigging as a Design Engineer. In this role she continues to work with leading international designers to realise their visions on stage.

Her most recent productions include Book of Mormon (UK Tour), Matilda (UK & International Tour), Bat Out Of Hell (Manchester, London, Toronto), & Juliet (Manchester & London), Prince of Egypt (Dominion Theatre, London), Back to the Future (Manchester Opera House) and Mamma Mia The Party (O2 Arena).

Emily is an associate lecturer at Wimbledon College of Art. 

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.

Open events

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Learn more about our degree-level programmes, speak to our expert staff and take a tour of our state-of-the-art facilities.

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Fees and financial support

There are different options to cover the cost of your course, including government loans and bursaries (eligibility criteria applies).

See more details

How is this course delivered?

We have made some changes to the way our courses are taught to keep everyone safe. We will ensure that our students remain connected and involved with their course and college life.

During this academic year, students have a blend of college-based and digitally-enabled remote learning that provides lots of opportunities to interact and engage with lecturers, support teams and other students.

We will continue to respond to Government advice as we plan our curriculum delivery and will regularly update our current students and applicants in respect of course changes and opportunities.

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