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Technical Theatre (Production and Design)

BA (Hons)

School - School of Arts & Media

Subject area - Performing Arts

UCAS Code: W445

Start Date(s): September


Three years full-time


UK - £9,250 per year

International - £14,820 per year

In Brief:

  • Study at our state-of-the-art theatre production campus at the New Adelphi Arts Centre.
  • Work in a contemporary creative environment on collaborative live performance and events projects.
  • Create your own career path by choosing from hands-on module options that range from the latest in Sound Production, Lighting and Digital Performance, to Production/Events Management.
  • Work/industrial placement opportunity
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

This is a very hands-on degree in which you will learn technical skills for theatre, as well as having the opportunity to work in range of live event contexts (theatre, dance, fashion shows, live music concerts, and more). You will be working with the latest digital technology in order to create lighting,  sound and digital design for a range of live staged events.

Being based at the New Adelphi Arts Centre, there is a strong emphasis on working with professional theatre/events practitioners, and also with students from other creative programmes. This will help you to discover, as the programme progresses, where your own area of interest lies – sound, lighting,  digital/video,scenic design, production/events management.  

In the second and third years, this programme offers students the opportunity to specialise in different aspects of technical production – be that theatre production, production management, events management or small scale touring. 

Most importantly, at all stages of the programme, you will practically apply the skills and knowledge that you acquire in your classes, to small, medium and large scale live events.

We’re delighted to have officially opened our £55 million New Adelphi building with its 350-seat theatre. Find out more about this, and why renowned playwright Jim Cartwright has chosen the University as the new home for his theatre company, by watching the ITV Granada Reports feature:

Course Details

This programme is designed to produce more than simple stage technicians. At the end of your studies you will, of course, be ready to join a company as a technician. However, the focus of the programme is on the interface between design and technology. Scenography (scenic design) is no longer just about pointed sets but often involves automation and sophisticated technology – designers need to be able to talk to technicians and vice-versa. Throughout your programme, you will be involved in a full range of practical projects ‘in house’ with fellow students and eventually in placements with professional companies and venues.

Year 1                                    

This first year introduces you to basic principles and key technical elements and provides background to the wider theatrical context. Practical projects in both semesters allow you to demonstrate the skills you acquire and to work creatively with Performance students.                                    

Examines key texts and critical approaches central to live performance and media disciplines from the perspective of particular analytical approaches, e.g. semiotics, ideological approaches and structuralism. The theories of key practitioners who influenced the development of particular disciplines        will        be        examined        in        detail.        Small group seminars appropriate to your pathway will support these lectures.                                                      
Provides the historical framework to examine the development of performance from the late 19th century onward. Movements like Realism, Expressionism, Surrealism and Dada are examined in relation to other movements and across performance disciplines. Small group seminars will support the lectures.                                                      

Year 2                                    

In the second year you will focus more on the design process, at the same time allowing you to start  to develop a particular skill base, through your selection of project briefs and option modules.                                    

Core Modules:

You will work as an ensemble under the direction of a professional artist/company and work intensively on a performance project.                        

And you will be able to select an option module from:

This takes the form of either a professional work placement or a student-led performance project which allows you to apply independent and collaborative creative techniques for devising or adapting work for performance. Those who pursue the work-placement option will be assigned a mentor and will work      for      a      performance/arts        event        organisation        in one of a variety of roles (which can include arts administration, stage-management, technical support, assistant director). Those who pursue the project option will receive tuition and supervision to facilitate a self directed performance.                                              

Year 3                            

You final year is a largely practical, project-based year, in which students will work to their particular chosen skill base through the following modules:                            


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
UCAS tariff points 112 points
GCE A level BBC. General studies accepted with two other A levels
BTEC National Diploma MDD in appropriate subject
BTEC Higher National Diploma If you have a relevant HND you can join the course at year 2
Foundation Degree If you have a relevant Foundation Degree, you can join the course at year 2
Scottish Highers 112 points
Irish Leaving Certificate 112 points
International Baccalaureate 31 points, to include 5 or 6 (Higher Level) in a relevant subject
Access to HE Pass level 3 QAA approved Access Diploma, to include Media/Performance

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme

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 formal entry qualifications are required to sit a written assessment which is designed for this purpose. Support in preparing for the written assessment is available from the University. 

Please contact Sheila McCormick the Director of Admissions for further information.

English Language Requirements

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this. If you need to improve your written and spoken English, you might be interested in our English language courses.

Applicant profile

  • We’re looking for hard working students who are passionate about exploring the technical and digital aspects of theatre and live staged events.
  • No specific technical theatre qualifications or practical experience are required to be accepted but we will expect you to show a demonstrable interest in theatre/technical theatre.
  • A professional mindset is a must, alongside a genuine appetite to learn and a willingness to collaborate.

Entry to the programme requires you to attend an informal group seminar discussion. A portfolio of relevant experience or a statement of why you wish to be considered for the course will also be required.

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

You should also consider further costs which may include books and plays (from £100), stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.


  • Teaching is delivered through practical seminars, demonstration workshops, discussion seminars, large group lectures, small group supervision, personal tutorials, and online learning.
  • You will have many opportunities to learn, and to be assessed, through taking part in theatre projects and  other live performance events.
  • The tutors on this course are largely industry experienced or industry active or leaders in their field of academic theory.


  • Assessment is through practical course work, collaborative projects, presentations and formal written essays.  
  • There are no exams on this course
  • You will work both individually and in groups to create a range of projects for assessment


Career Prospects

Graduates from this course will be well qualified to seek work in the theatre/live events industries for entry level roles in different aspects of lighting, sound and digital operations. Small scale touring companies, large production/live events organisations will also be likely destinations. Junior camera, sound recording, and editing roles (in media organisations) would also be within your scope, as we also teach media production skills on this course.

Graduates will also have valuable technical and creative skills that will serve them in other areas of theatre, on-line media and digital creative sector more widely

Transferable skills acquired on the course will also benefit graduates seeking roles in advertising, public relations, digital media, marketing, education, and the entertainment industr

Links with Industry

Greater Manchester has a wide range of theatres – both producing and touring venues. They range from the flagship Lowry Arts Centre to the Salford King’s Arms. All the major venues have been involved in and have welcomed the development of this programme.  And, every year, small-scale companies spring up from graduates of the performance courses. You will have the opportunity of working with exisiting companies and venues and helping to establish and develop new ones.

The Lowry, Manchester Royal Exchange and Z-Arts are ready to welcome applications from graduates of this course.


The  New Adelphi Building is a purpose designed building for the School of Arts and Media, housing the theatre, media and comedy perfomance courses as well as music and dance, and art and design courses. It has a fully equipped professional theatre, which you will help to run, a studio theatre and rehearsal rooms. There are design and prop-making workshops, plus a full range of IT facilities to allow for the development of digital performance work. New Adelphi is designed to encourage collaboration between a whole range of creative artists.

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