Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology
In a nutshell
Costume Design plays an essential role in the realisation of various creative industries from Theatre, Film, TV to events, festivals, Performance and Dance. We'll prepare you to enter the costume industry as an experienced designer and maker through our BA Hons Costume Design Course at the University of Salford.
You'll learn from industry specialists within fully equipped studios and workshops. You'll have the support of a staff team with expertise in designing and creating for Theatre, Film, TV and events from the world of costume and whose own work includes the Star Wars trilogy, Dangerous Liaisons, Coronation Street, and Peaky Blinders.
Studying with us in Greater Manchester means that you'll be surrounded by Theatres, TV and Film production studios, including the BBC and Channel 4 – both located at the world-famous MediaCityUK. The region also provides a wide array of Music and Events venues and organisations. Our university includes the New Adelphi theatre and state-of-the-art performance spaces that allow you to collaborate with students from our courses in Dance and Performance.
From the first year of this Costume Design degree course, you'll learn how costume designers deliver briefs by mirroring industry practice. You'll analyse, interpret, and learn how to apply research skills to generate creative concepts for characters and develop creative ideas from production scripts used for on-screen and live productions. Our students have previously worked on live briefs with the Sun and Moon Theatre Company in Shanghai, China; Flux Moving Science; and Bolton Little Theatre.
In the second year of the Costume Design course, we support you to engage with Work placements to gain essential experience of live events and media productions. In your final year, you’ll have developed the skills and knowledge to enable you the potential to move successfully into professional environments such as live theatre, film/ television, festivals, dance, and light entertainment.
- Develop the skills you need to work in costume and wardrobe supervision, music video design and styling, and museums and heritage events.
- Learn how to analyse and interpret scripts to design costumes that align with characters and their stories.
- Learn practical skills in costume design and get to grips with the history and culture surrounding this craft.
This is for you if...
You’d like to analyse scripts and think creatively to design costumes that properly reflect characters
You’d like to learn how to work with a wide range of materials and specialist equipment to design and constructed costumes.
You have studied art and design and have a portfolio of work that you can share with us.
All about the course
Graduate with teamwork and leadership skills, as well as the commercial awareness needed to embark on a career in the world of film, theatre or live performance.
During your first year on our costume design degree course, you’ll be introduced to the practical skills and knowledge underpinning both design and production. Over a series of projects, you’ll learn the fundamental processes involved in costume design, from designing around scripts and storylines, through to creating the end product.
In your second year, you’ll explore what it’s like to work in the industry through live projects and work placement opportunities. As well as developing your hands-on skills, you’ll also gain valuable first-hand industry experience, working alongside experienced costume and wardrobe professionals.
Your final year will begin with a module that will get you up-to-speed and ready to tackle your final major design project. Alongside this, you’ll expand your research skills and learn how to develop a personal design brief to use as the basis of your final major project.
Find out what you’ll learn in each module by taking a look at the full course breakdown below.
This module introduces you to the fundamental principles of design and builds your awareness of the vocabulary used within the costume design industry. A design project will allow you to develop your understanding of form, space, colour and materials, in short; what makes a costume successful.
Production Skills and Processes for Costume
This module aims to introduce you to the skills and techniques relating to costume making and technology, including traditional pattern cutting, draping, garment construction and costume crafts.
Costume Design for Script
This module is designed to introduce you to the framework and working methodologies which costume designers employ when generating concepts for a script. You will gain a valuable understanding of current industry practice as you develop your design from an initial idea through to reality.
Exploring Creative Contexts: Costume Design
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 professional practice in costume design.
Establishing Professional Practice: Costume Design
Developing your understanding of professional practice is a core theme which runs throughout the programme. This module encourages you to start aligning your skills with the identified requirements of the costume design industry and includes an emphasis on communication including traditional and digital skills.
Design Communication and Realisation
Positioned at the end of the first year this module provides holistic view of the costume design process and gives you an understanding the key roles within the costume design, making and wardrobe supervision process. Working in teams, you will work on a simulated live experience or brief to establish and execute wardrobe needs for both rehearsal and performance of a specific live performance, music performance or event.
Costume Design for Film and TV Production
Designing costumes for film and TV brings with it a different set of technical and visual requirements to those of designing for the stage. You will learn about the issues and priorities and be able to adapt accordingly for any problems that might arise while filming. The module will explore these requirements through a practical design project.
Costume Design for Theatre
Expanding upon the skills acquired in the first year, this module aims to explore the theatre design considerations when designing and constructing costumes for theatre. Working from a design brief, emphasis will be placed on visualising the script, set and lighting as well as collaborating with a production team, director and the actors
Developing Professional Practice for Costume Design
Building upon the professional practice skills introduced in the first year, 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.
Design in Practice
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.
Responding to Creative Contexts: Costume Design
Further developing your visual and critical awareness of the varied contexts of costume 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.
Costume for Live Performance
This module requires you to design and make a costume for a specific individual artist/performer within the music, dance or festival arena. Site specific opportunities will also be available. You will be encouraged to develop concepts which effectively communicate and portray key characteristics of the overall theme or message . 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.
Research Methods for Costume Design
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 interpret and breakdown a script, build character analysis, research different approaches and concepts, undertake historical and cultural research and explore visual representation.
Applied Professional Practice for Costume Design
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.
Negotiated Major Project
Building upon the work you produced in the Research Methods for Costume Design module, 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.
Independent Research Project
The emphasis of this module is on independent research, exploration and investigation. This module provides you with the opportunity to pursue a detailed study of relevant creative, cultural and contextual issues in a subject area that is of particular interest to you. You can choose from one of the four following project options: 1. Dissertation, 2. Original visual work with critical text, 3. Presentation with extended essay, or 4. Business report.
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.
What Will I be Doing?
As part of your costume design degree programme, your timetable will include a breakdown of your scheduled lessons with timeslots for you to explore your independent research interests. Your classes will be based at our New
This Costume Design course is taught using a variety of teaching and learning methods. However, at the University of Salford, design projects are the basis for most of the activities on the course as they give you the chance to put your learning into practice. Most modules will include a combination of lectures, practical workshops, 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 what it’s really like to work in costume design for film and TV. In addition to studio projects, you will develop computing skills throughout the course while working on 2D, 3D and multimedia computer applications. Your 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.
Assessments are an important part of your costume design degree at University of Salford. They will give you a better understanding of your progress and any areas that you need to focus on. You’ll take part in a variety of assessments, including coursework, presentations, essays and a dissertation.
BE A PART OF A CREATIVE, SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY
All our Art and Design courses and Fashion courses are delivered by the Salford School of Arts, Media, and Creative Technology. Our focus is to ensure that you have the skills you need to pursue your dreams, and we encourage our students, past and present, to collaborate with each other and achieve great things.
Each year - through the Create Awards – our School rewards the incredible achievements and successes of our final year and postgraduate students.
Whatever you choose to study with us, you’ll be mentored and supported by experts. And once you graduate, it won’t end there. You’ll join a thriving alumni network across Greater Manchester and beyond, meaning you’ll be supported professionally and personally whenever you need it.
This Costume Design degree course is based at our £55 million New Adelphi building, the home of design and creativity on campus.
When you study with us, you’ll learn from our experienced tutors and demonstrators, who’ll teach you how to use our art and design facilities. These include:
Studio space – dedicated areas for each course, giving you room to think and create.
MarkerSpace workshop - create digital rapid prototypes using 3D printers, CNC machines, laser cutters and more.
Photography studios - industry standard photographic studios, which you can use in conjunction with darkrooms and digital printing facilities.
Workshops – from print to textiles, wood to metal, our range of workshops allow you to take your ideas from page to reality and work in a variety of media.
Mac suites - equipped with the industry-standard software you’ll need during your studies and in the world of work.
Take a 360 tour of our New Adelphi building.
You’ll also be able to visit our New Adelphi Theatre. The industry- standard live 350-seat theatre is located in our New Adelphi building. It’s also is open to the public, and it’s three floors of tiered seating, it’s the largest of our performing spaces.
What about after uni?
What will your career prospects look like after you study costume design with us? You’ll graduate with all of the tools needed to become a professional costume designer and maker. You could choose to work in costume design, costume and wardrobe supervision, costume crafts, music video design and styling, as well as museums and heritage events. There are many different routes to explore.
You may go on to work for an established organisation, or as a freelancer, however, the nature of the costume design industry means that self-employment is increasingly the norm. Our aim is that you will graduate with the entrepreneurial skills you need to seek out, secure and undertake work on a freelance basis.
Alternatively, your educational journey doesn’t need to end here. This costume design university course also puts you in a great position to continue to postgraduate study.
Graduates showing strong academic and research skills can pursue a further postgraduate path through our Postgraduate programmes on a full-time or part-time basis subject to a satisfactory proposal.
The Costume Design course is supported by the following companies and individuals:
- Jack Thompson (Technical Director for Manchester International Festival)
- Daniella Pearman (Head of costume for ITV’s Coronation Street)
- Alex Saffer (Assistant Wardrobe Supervisor for ITV’s Coronation Street)
- Amy Stokeld (Freelance wardrobe supervisor)
- John Krausa (Freelance costume designer in film and television)
- James Maciver (Freelance costume designer and maker for light entertainment and theatre)
- Rebecca Hodgson (Head of Drama Lime Pictures)
- Emma Dibb (Production Designer)
What you need to know
To gain a place on this Costume Design degree, you’ll have to submit a personal statement and meet our entry requirements when you apply.
Within your Costume Design degree personal statement (up to 4000 characters), we’ll want to understand:
- what motivates you and what current experiences do you have in terms of art and design and storytelling through costume design?
- how have you been involved and what did you do?
- Do you appreciate the impact that costumes have on the way audiences perceive characters?
- Are you a creative thinker with the imagination and skills to bring your ideas to life?
- do you have any knowledge in the arts and costume design sector; are there any projects/productions that inspire you?
- why do you want to work in the costume design sector?
- and why the University of Salford and this Costume Design degree is the right choice for your future goals.
As part of your application, we will need to see a portfolio of work to provide opportunity for you to share your creative practice with us. Any offers will be conditional upon our subject team having the opportunity to review your portfolio, and we look forward to viewing your work. For some applicants, you may also be asked to take part in an informal group seminar discussion or interview– either live or on camera – to demonstrate your skills.
Once you’ve made your application to study with us, we’ll contact you and let you know the next steps.
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.
English Language at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent). Maths at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) is preferred but not essential.
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below
UCAS Tariff Points
112-128 points to include specific subjects: Art & Design or Design & Technology
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 in a relevant subject
Access to HE
112-128 points to include specific Art & Design or Design & Technology
112 - 128 points to include specific subjects: Art & Design or Design & Technology
Irish Leaving Certificate
112 - 128 points to include Art & Design or Design & Technology
31-32 points including Art & Design/ Design & Technology
Pass in Diploma with at least 73% to include specific subjects Art & Design or Design & Technology
Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
Distinction = 112 UCAS points - if you have a Pass (80 points) or Merit (96 points), you must have additional qualifications to a total of 112 points.
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.
There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.
|Type of study||Year||Fees|
|Full-time home||2021/22||£9,250per year|
|Full-time international||2021/22||£15,600per year|
|Full-time home||2022/23||£9,250per year|
|Full-time international||2022/23||£15900per year|
Additional costs from £200 (show in final year), £50 (UK optional trip), international optional trips individually costed.
You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.
Scholarships for international students
If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships.
We have a range of scholarships available for students applying for courses in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. Our Global Gold Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,500 and our Global Silver Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,000 - both are available for students studying in our 2021/22 intakes.
We also offer the Salford International Excellence Scholarship which offers up to £5,000 discount on tuition fees. As this is a prestigious award we have a limited number of these scholarships available.
See the full range of our International Scholarships.
All set? Let's apply
Course ID W450
Start this course in September 2021. Apply through Clearing to secure your place.