Undergraduate BA (Hons)

Film, TV and Stage Design with Foundation Year

Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology




Four year

Next enrolment

September 2023


In a nutshell

Please note this programme is full for September 2022. The next available intake will be September 2023. 

This programme will prepare you to enter the film and TV 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.

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.

The foundation year of this four-year programme aims to provide you with an understanding of the subject to allow you to progress on to the BA (Hons) Film, TV and Stage Design course.

You will: 
  • Develop a broad range of skills in scenic and set design 

  • Learn to analyse and interpret scripts and generate and evaluate visual concepts 

  • Gain the experience to produce three-dimensional scale models and props in order to test and communicate concepts 

Find out more by signing up to our upcoming Open Day, or if you have any general questions please contact course enquiries.     

You can also find helpful FAQs, learn more about student life at Salford or explore all our Art and Design courses. Continue reading to understand more about this BA (Hons) Film, TV and Set Design with Foundation Year course.  

This is for you if...


You are enthusiastic and interested in art, design, film, TV, theatre and the creative industries in general


You are intrigued by the process of designing for production


You have studied art and design and have built up a portfolio of work

Course details

All about the course

The Foundation Year of this course is the perfect opportunity for people who want more time to explore all of the key principles of art and design before deciding exactly what course they choose to progress onto here at the University of Salford.

It gives you a chance to build a larger portfolio dedicated to your chosen area of Art and Design and provides a good transition period to familiarise yourself with the School of Art and Media and life as a student at Salford.

The Foundation year will provide you with a dynamic, exciting and collaborative environment in which you will become confident self-learners, with the underpinning skills and knowledge to apply in your studies. You will be introduced to the key concepts which underpin the programme, and the ethos that drives all of the teaching and learning you will experience on your course.  

You will be taught alongside students from other Art, Design and Media disciplines and study modules that will help you increase your knowledge and understanding of basic art and design as well as other aspects of creative thinking.

Modules will help you to develop your study skills such as note-taking and structuring reports. In the second semester, you will further develop your creative practice and be introduced to the creative industries.

You will be supported and guided through the extensive range of practice-based, theoretical and skills-based modules that the first year of this course offers. The assignments are flexible enough to allow you to interpret and tailor their submissions to your chosen discipline area. Tutors will support you to build a dedicated portfolio to progress onto the BA course you choose here at the University of Salford.

This programme prepares you to study on one of the following three-year University undergraduate programmes, meaning the duration of your degree is four years in total. The foundation year is not a standalone qualification.

The first year of the BA (Hons) course is designed to give you the skills and knowledge you need to succeed on the course and which underpin film and TV set 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 two modules. Within the Research Methods for Film and TV 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.


Foundation year

Digital Media Applications

This module helps you to become more familiar and confident with technology. As well as learning the creative software and photography skills, it will allow you to explore a creative subject of your choice and give you essential time management and research skills.

Creative Methods

This module will enable you to examine the creative and professional practice of others as a way of reflecting on your own practice. You’ll create a range of outcomes to help you build a dedicated portfolio as well as learning about major influences in art and design.

Creative Risk Taking

This module is all about challenging your creative thought and highlighting the importance of creative risk taking. The briefs allow you to produce a range of outcomes that underpin all of the main art and design disciplines as well as giving you the flexibility to interpret the brief to your area of interest.

Creative Practice Major Project

This module is designed to allow you to bring together all your prior learning from the previous modules. It gives you the opportunity to propose and create your own brief based on a theme, topic, or issue that you are passionate about. Within this module you’ll be supported by tutors who will guide you in creating in a meaningful body of work that demonstrates confidence in your chosen area. Your work will be exhibited in school of Arts and Media end of year show.

Introduction to the Creative Industries

This module enables you explore the creative industries and its career opportunities, You’ll learn about a range of subjects including responsible design and future trends within your chosen area of art and design. It will allow you to build on the technical skills that you have gained in the first semester to produce a creative publication.

Year one

3D Design Principles

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.

Year two

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.

Year three

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?


Design projects




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 and TV 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.


You will assessed through a variety of methods, including:

  • Design projects
  • Group work
  • presentations


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 Student 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 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.

Explore our Art and Design facilities at New Adelphi, or take a 360 tour of our New Adelphi building.


Are you looking to learn more about the background of our Art and Design tutors and technical demonstrators or put a face to a name?

Find out who'll work with you throughout your academic journey at the University of Salford.

Explore the Art and Design faculty at the University of Salford

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

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.

A taste of what you could become

A set designer

A prop maker

A merchandiser

A stylist

An exhibition co-ordinator

And more...

Career Links

This programme 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

Please note this programme is full for September 2022. The next available intake will be September 2023. 

This course isn’t suitable for international students. If you are an international student and interested in studying a foundation year, please visit our International Foundation Year course page.


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.

Standard entry requirements


English and maths GCSE grade C/grade 4 or above


UCAS tariff points

64 tariff points from A-levels (or equivalent) to include an Art and Design qualification

T Levels

Pass: D or E in core subject. 


Access to HE


Alternative entry requirements

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.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2022/23 £8,250 for Foundation Year and £9,250 for subsequent years.
Full-time home 2023/24 £8,250 for Foundation Year and £9,250 for subsequent years.

Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2023

September 2024

UCAS information

Course ID W4C8

Institution S03