3D Design Principles
Film, TV and Stage Design
Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology
In a nutshell
Designing for Film, Television, and Stage is an exciting prospect for anyone with a passion for making stories come to life. At the University of Salford, we work closely with the Film, Television and Stage industry alongside our campus at MediaCityUK, home of the BBC and ITV. You’ll study in the heart of Greater Manchester, the northwest cultural centre of the UK. We’ll also expose you to engage and learn from the industry whilst benefiting from a world of Theatre, Film and Television production within the University and across our region.
On our Film, TV and Stage Design degree you’ll design right from the start, develop ideas through models and visuals, and learn critical industry-standard technical drawing processes. You'll also experiment with materials and 3D form in our well-equipped workshops and learn alongside like-minded creatives in a collaborative studio environment.
From your first year studying with us, you’ll work through modules that have been written and delivered by subject specialists with contributions from industry experts. We’ll teach you how to create, develop, and present your designs from your early sketch ideas. You’ll also learn and use traditional drawing, craft methods and computer-aided design.
You’ll meet many of our industry friends, who are not only respected Designers but Producers, Art Directors, Event Planners, Production Buyers and Location Managers. You will also hear from successful graduates, currently employed on high profile productions. Our recent Graduate successes include Hollyoaks, Peaky Blinders, Stockyard North Prop Hire and Coronation Street. Whether your end goal after graduating is for employment or setting up your Film TV and Stage design business, we’ll support you. Take a look at some of the work our final year students have produced on this course.
In your second year, we will encourage you to take work placements with our broadcasting neighbours and industry partners. We’ll also look for opportunities to develop projects from the next generation of creatives, our TV and Film Production graduates, based at MediaCityUK.
Globally, the Film, TV and Stage design industry one of the fastest-growing creative sectors and as part of our course, you will be best placed to become one of the next generations of leading designers in this field.
- Develop a broad range of skills and knowledge in scenic and set design for live and filmed production.
- Learn to interpret scripts and develop settings that effectively reflect stories and themes.
- Gain the experience to produce three-dimensional scale models and props to test and communicate concepts.
- Put your skills to the test responding to real-world briefs and work placement opportunities.
This is for you if...
You’re passionate about bringing stories to life through immersive and interesting scenery.
You’d like to learn more about the process of designing sets for live and filmed productions.
You have a background in art and design and have a portfolio of work that you can share.
All about the course
The first year of your Film, TV and Stage Design Degree will lay the foundations for the rest of your time studying with us. You’ll gain all of the skills and knowledge needed to succeed on the course.
Through practical, hands-on projects, you’ll be introduced to the many processes involved in film and TV set design and stage design, including how to interpret scripts, how to come up with and develop your ideas, as well as construction, materials and location work.
In your second year, you’ll get a closer look at what it’s like to work in the industry through modules in which you work on live briefs, as well as work placement opportunities with external organisations. Not only will you get the chance to use and develop the essential skills you’ve learned over your first year on this stage set design course, you will also gain valuable first-hand industry experience and make contact with established professionals.
You’ll begin your third year with a project designed to get you up to speed and ready for your final major design project. Your Research Methods for Film, TV & Stage Design module will teach you to develop a personal design brief which you’ll use as the basis for your final . Negotiated Major Project in which you to produce a detailed, industry-standard project that reflects your strengths, interests, and career ambitions and this will likely become a key part of your portfolio when you begin looking for work once you graduate.
Find out what you’ll be studying in each module by looking at the course breakdown below.
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.
3D Design Procedures and Practice
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 and TV Set Design, helping you generate, develop and realise your design solutions.
Establishing Professional Practice for 3D Design
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.
Exploring Creative Contexts: Film, TV and Stage 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 contemporary practice in Film and TV design.
Design for Script
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.
Design for Location
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.
Design for Studio Set
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.
Design for Drama Set
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.
Developing Professional Practice for 3D Design
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.
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: Film, TV and Stage Design
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.
Design for Short Film Project
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.
Applied Professional Practice for 3D 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.
Research Methods for Film, Television and Stage 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 identify and interpret a script or programme/film type, research different approaches, undertake historical and cultural research and explore the visual metaphor.
Negotiated Major Project
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.
What will I be doing?
As part of your Film, TV and Stage Design degree, 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 Peel Park campus.
On this course, you’ll be taught using a variety of methods, however at The University of Salford, hands-on design work forms the basis of your learning experience. Most modules include a combination of lectures, practical workshops or skills sessions, one-to-one tutorials, group seminars and design studio practice.
You’ll work on a variety of design projects which reflect the real-life opportunities and challenges in Film, TV & Stage Design. In addition to studio projects, you will develop computing skills throughout the course while working on 2D, 3D and multimedia computer applications.
Theory modules will be delivered through a series of formal lectures and seminar discussion groups. Again, these modules reflect contemporary design issues and, where possible, align to studio practice modules.
Assessments are an important aspect of your studies. Through them, you will get a better understanding of where you are excelling and where you need to focus your attention.
During your time on this Film, TV and Stage Design course, you’ll be assessed through a variety of methods, including design projects, group work and presentations.
Be part of a creative, supportive community
All our Art and Design 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.
Art and Design Facilities
This Film, TV and Stage Design degree 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.
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.
Take a 360 tour of our New Adelphi building.
What about after uni?
Once you’ve completed this Film, TV and Stage design course, you’ll have the skills and knowledge to enter a range of careers in the field of film, TV and theatre design. Roles that you’ll be well-placed to apply for include scenic design, stage management, prop making and location sourcing.
As well as that, the skills that you’ll gain during your time studying with us are also sought after in related areas, for example, . you may also want to consider retail design, exhibition design, museum design, or merchandising and styling. It’s up to you where the next step in your journey takes you.
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.
This Film, TV and Stage Design degree has been developed with industry in response to the increasing local, national and international demand for graduates in film and TV set design.
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 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
What you need to know
Our Film, TV and stage design degree will require you to communicate visual ideas effectively. As a result, we would like to see a portfolio of your previous work which showcases your artistic skills.
It doesn’t matter if you have a background in observational drawing or technical drawing, we want to see that you are able to come up with ideas and develop them towards a final piece. We want to see your approach to the design process. It will be helpful if you can show your ability to understand 3D form and scale in your portfolio, this could be achieved through drawings of models, artefacts or structures, for example.
You’ll also have to submit a personal statement and meet our entry requirements. A personal statement is a personal summary (360 to 500 words) of your academic, professional/life experience and future goals. We’ll want to understand:
- what motivates you and what you’ve learnt on your current academic journey;
- why you’re interested in art, design, film, TV, and theatre, as well as the creative industries in general.; and
- why the University of Salford and this course is right 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.
112-128 including Art & Design or Media at grade C
UCAS Tariff Points
112-128 including Art, Design or Media at grade C
BTEC National Diploma
DMM-DDM including Art, Design or Media
Access to HE
Pass Level 3 Access to HE Diploma with 112-128 points with relevant subjects (Media/performance)
31 points including HL 5 in a relevant subject
Pass with 72% overall
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|
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 W4C7
Interested in starting this course in September 2021? Find out how to apply through Clearing.