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Film, TV and Stage Design

BA (Hons)

School - School of Arts & Media

Subject area - Art and Design

UCAS Code:

Start Date(s): September


Three years full-time


UK - £9,250 per year

International - £14,820 per year

In Brief:

  • At Salford, live projects, work placements and strong industry engagement will enable you to gain a real understanding and first-hand experience of the well-established and growing TV and Film industries in the region, making you well placed to succeed in your chosen field
  • You will have the opportunity to study in our new £55 million purpose-built Arts and Media building which boasts state of the arts facilities including extensive design studios, specialist workshops, a 350 seat theatre, rehearsal space, TV performance and recording studios. You will also have the opportunity to use the University of Salford’s renowned state of the art facilities located in MediaCityUK, next door to both the BBC and ITV
  • Supported by a dedicated team of specialist staff and industry professionals you will Learn through practice-based design projects from day one
  • Overseas study available
  • Work/industrial placement opportunity
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

This programme will prepare you to enter the Film, TV and Live Performance industry, working within professional art departments in areas such as film, drama, light entertainment or children’s programme making. The course will equip you with a broad range of skills in scenic/set design and lead to careers as scenic or production designers, location managers, prop buyers or makers. In addition, you will develop the skills necessary to work in related areas such as the locations department within film and television, theatre design, exhibition design, retail design and interior design.

University of Salford has a very-hands on approach to design. Right from the start of this course, project-based modules will enable you to analyse and interpret scripts, generate and evaluate visual concepts and develop communication and presentation skills such as story-boarding, technical drawings, digital design and digital visualisation. You will gain a sound understanding and experience of scenic design and develop the confidence to produce creative and effective design solutions.

Projects will enable you to develop skills in workshop practices and construction methods, to produce three-dimensional scale models and props in order to test and communicate concepts and to apply principles of lighting and camera work. In addition, you will learn about location scouting and surveying, stage and location management, sourcing props and the management of budgets and production schedules. The programme has strong industry links and you will have the opportunity to work on industry-generated live briefs while also being encouraged to pursue opportunities for work placements and / or work experience.

Course Details

The course at Salford covers all aspects of film and TV set and stage Design and is very much about developing practical skills. A combination of lively studio-based design modules and seminar lectures will enable you to shape your studies around areas of set design that particularly interests you.

The course has strong links with the Film, TV and Stage Design industry and is taught by specialist tutors who have established careers in the field. This course also invites key figures and specialist design professionals to deliver guest lectures and contribute to teaching and learning.  Visits  to commercial studios and locations are embedded within the course which supports our practice-based learning approach.

All students will be given the opportunity to undertake a period of international in the second year and can apply for funding to support their studies whilst abroad.

Work placements and industry sponsored projects form a key part of the course allowing you to experience the cutting edge of set and scenic design practice.

Watch our video        

An insight into the design programmes taught within the School of Arts and Media.

Course Structure

The first year is designed to give you the skills and knowledge you need to succeed on the course and which underpin Film, TV and Stage Design.

A challenging series of projects introduce you to the many processes involved with scenic design, including how to interpret scripts, coming up with initial ideas, development of ideas, visual presentation techniques, construction and materials and location work.

The second year introduces you to working more closely with industry through modules which offer live projects and work placement opportunities. This means that in addition to developing your practical skills and understanding, you are also gaining valuable first hand industry experience and making contact with industry professionals.

The final year starts with a 20 credit project module which is designed to get you up-to-speed swiftly, before embarking on an extended design project spanning 2 modules. Within the Research Methods for Film, TV and Stage Design module you are able to develop a personal design brief which forms the basis of your final Negotiated Major Project module. This allows you to produce a detailed, industry-standard project which reflects your strengths, interests and career ambitions, forming a key element of your portfolio when you graduate from the University of Salford.

Year 1

This module introduces you to the fundamental principles of 3D design and builds your awareness of the vocabulary used within the scenic design industry. A design project will allow you to develop your understanding of form, space, colour and materials, in short; what makes a design successful.
Design is a creative tool that is employed widely by a number of industries. This module aims to provide you with an understanding of design procedures and ways of working within the context of Film, TV and Stage Design, helping you generate, develop and realise your design solutions.
Developing your understanding of professional practice is a core theme which runs throughout the course at Salford. This module encourages you to start aligning your skills with the identified requirements of industry and includes an emphasis on design communication including traditional and digital skills.
This module encourages you to explore, consider and reflect on a range of perspectives in the wider field of creative practice, particularly in the context of your own practice. By introducing key debates in visual culture, this module aims to increase your visual and critical awareness and demonstrate ways in which varied frameworks can inform contemporary practice in Film, TV and Stage Design.
This module is designed to introduce you to the framework and working methodologies which art departments employ when visualising a script. You will gain a valuable understanding of current industry practice as you develop your design from an initial idea through to reality.
Scenic design does not always stay in the studio and this module is aimed at both the practical and aesthetic considerations art departments need to consider when using locations. Locations often have to be altered to suit the narrative and this module aims to equip you with the specific skills required to find the appropriate site and then to adapt accordingly.

Year 2

Designing for a studio show or ‘Entertainment’ brings with it considerations of a different set of technical and visual requirements. The aim of this module is to understand and explore these requirements through a practical design project.
Expanding upon the skills acquired in the first year, this module aims to explore the production design considerations when designing for drama. Working from a design brief emphasis is placed on visualizing the script, collaboration, camera and lighting.
Building upon the professional practice skills introduced in Year One, this module looks at business, employability and enterprise issues, encouraging you to reflect upon your own work and ongoing development. This module is also used to identify and pursue placement opportunities for the final module of the year.
In this module you will have the opportunity to undertake a period work placement, which enables you to demonstrate and develop your skills while gaining a thorough understanding of working procedures in a professional context.
Further developing your visual and critical awareness of the varied contexts of set design, this module will enhance your understanding of how cultural, commercial and/or historical issues influence current practice. In addition, you will develop an informed view of the disciplines, the relationships between these disciplines and the wider relationships that can be made to other forms of visual, creative and cultural expression.

Year 3

This module requires you to make a short film or promo with the emphasis upon design. It will provide you with as close to an industry experience as possible and will encourage you to reflect upon your current skillset, helping you to recognise your strengths and areas of interest, with a view to developing your major project and future career options
This module supports you in your final year whilst also encouraging you to consider your career options and define your personal objectives. You will take the first critical steps in pursuing your career aspirations by producing a self-directed portfolio of work, which demonstrates your skills, knowledge and understanding via the use of appropriate professional methods and techniques.
The main purpose of this module is for you to undertake the research and develop a Design Brief for your major project. You will be required to identify and interpret a script or programme/film type, research different approaches, undertake historical and cultural research and explore the visual metaphor.
Building upon the work you produced in the previous Research Methods the final self-directed project acts as a conclusion to the course. As such, it enables you to continue in the development of a personalised programme of study, supporting and enhancing your career aspirations. The module also provides a platform for you to initiate engagement with industry over an extended period, providing valuable experience for your potential career direction.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

Entry Requirements

Qualification Entry requirements
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
English and Maths GCSE grade C
GCE A level 112 - 128 points including an A2 in an art and design or a design and technology subject at grade C
BTEC National Diploma DMM - DDM
International Baccalaureate 31-32 points including an Art & Design subject

We positively welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to successfully pursue a programme of study in higher education. Students who do not have the traditional entry requirements may be able to apply through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme

Support in preparing for the written assessment is available from the University.

English Language Requirements

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (with no element below 5.5) is proof of this.

If you need to improve your written and spoken English, you might be interested in ourEnglish language courses.

Applicant profile

Students entering the course come from a variety of backgrounds; A Level, BTEC Diploma, or an Art and Design Foundation year. The important thing is that you have studied Art and Design and have built a portfolio of work.

The UCAS application should indicate, as well as the required academic qualifications, an awareness of design, in the context of Film and Television through your personal applicant statement. This may be evidenced by referencing examples of particularly ‘good’ or ‘bad’ examples of set design. You should look to support your views and opinions in a reasoned and objective way.

Above all at Salford, we want you to be enthusiastic and interested in art, design, film, TV, theatre and the creative industries in general.

All suitable applicants to the course are invited for interview where you will be expected to present a portfolio of Art and Design work.

As with all design courses, good visual communication skills are required. This can include drawing in its broadest sense, from observational drawing through sketch development, to presentation drawings and technical drawing. We are particularly interested in how you generate your design ideas and then develop them towards a final piece; your design process. It is helpful if you can show your ability to understand 3D form and scale within your portfolio, this might include models, artefacts or structures.

If you are called for interview will send you further guidance well in advance.

Fees and Funding


Fees 2019-20

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9,250 per year
Full-time International £14,820 per year

Fees 2018-19

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9,250 per year
Part-time Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Full-time International £14,400 per year

Additional costs from £200 (show in final year), £50 (UK optional trip), international optional trips individually costed.


The course is taught by a variety of teaching and learning methods, however at Salford, the design project forms the basis for the majority of activities on the course. Most modules include lectures, practical workshops or skills sessions, one-to-one tutorials, group seminars and design studio practice.

You will work on a variety of design projects in a way that reflects the range of opportunities and challenges in Film, TV and Stage Design. In addition to studio projects, computing skills are developed throughout the course to develop skills in 2D, 3D and multimedia computer applications. Theory modules are delivered through a series of formal lectures and seminar discussion groups that again reflect contemporary design issues and, where possible, align to studio practice modules.


Dependant on the modules that you choose, you will be assessed through:

Design Projects (70%-90%), Presentations (5% - 15%), Dissertation (5% - 15%)


When you graduate you will have the skills to enter a range of careers in the field of Film, TV and Theatre Design. These include;scenic design, stage management, prop making and location sourcing. In addition, the skills you acquire will be appropriate if you want to work in related areas such as retail design, exhibition design, museum design, merchandising and styling.

Salford has a well-established range of Art & Design and Media courses, all of which can boast an outstanding graduate employment record, both in the local design community and recently further afield. Through the strong industry links and carefully designed visiting lecturer programme the course will provide a stepping stone for those students wishing to work within the Film and TV design industry. Our alumni are now working in premier design organisations such as BDP, Judge Gill, Stephenson Bell, Leach Rhodes Walker, Sheppard Robson, The Co-Op, MBLC, as well as further a field in Hong Kong and Australia. Some students also follow more typically general graduate routes into teacher training, office design and retail, with others undertaking further studies at Masters in Interior Design, CAD.

Links with Industry

This new programme has been developed with industry in response to the increasing local, national and international demand for graduates in Film and TV Set Design. It builds upon the established success and reputation of courses in Interior and Graphic Design, TV, Film and Performance and the strong regional industry partnerships that have been developed over many years.

A Key feature of the course is the location of the University of Salford ,which offers you the opportunity to seek employment with local and national companies, to undertake periods of placements / work experience and benefit from visiting specialist lecturers and professionals. In addition the course will include visits to companies to engage and meet with professional TV and Film designers. The north west has an established and rapidly expanding Film, Drama and TV production industry as evidenced by the investment in MediaCity, the relocation of the BBC to Salford and major international investments in new Film Studios.

The course is supported by the following companies and individuals:

Nicola Shindler : Founder of Red Productions
Rebecca Hodgson : Head of Drama, Lime Pictures
Nic Wareham :  Managing Director, Take 1 Scenic Services
Paul Danson : Managing Director and Founder,  Paul Danson Imagineering
Rosie Mullins-Hoyle : Production Designer, ITV Coronation Street
Gillian Slight: Head of Design, Emmerdale
Julian Perkins : Head of Design, Lime Pictures
Phil Chalk : Managing Director, Factory Transmedia
John Collins : Production Designer
Emma Dibb : Production Designer
Josh Dynevor : Producer / Line Producer
Gavin Lewis : Production Designer
Dominique Molloy : Line Producer
Anthea Nelson : Production Designer

Further Study

The University has a range of Post Graduate programmes which graduates may find appropriate, they include: MA Graphic Design MA Media Production: Animation, Children’s TV Production, TV Drama, TV Documentary, Post–production for Film and TV.


The course is located at the heart of one of the world’s major centres for the Creative Industries and TV and Film production and utilizes the purpose built New Adelphi Building, this £55 million investment includes: design studios, specialist construction workshops, TV Performance Studios, industry-standard digital facilities, photography studios and a 350 seat theatre.

Our TV and radio drama studios are some of the best in the Europe. Our two large TV acting studios are industry standard, and our radio studios are based on the BBC radio studios in MediaCityUK.

The 350-seat theatre at the New Adelphi, with its three floors of tiered seating, is the largest of our 10 performing spaces. It is adjacent to a large outdoor amphitheatre for outdoor music and theatre performances, and has a large backstage area and green room, with showers and changing facilities. The smaller black box studio theatre is a flexible space perfect for smaller, performances.

Salford students also have the opportunity to access the extensive facilities at the University’s MediaCity campus.

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