Critical and Textual Studies
Technical Theatre (Production and Design)
Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology
In a nutshell
Are you looking for an opportunity to develop technical and creative skills in stage management, lighting, sound and visual technologies? Do you want to work on performance sets and make a production come to life? If so, our technical theatre degree could be the right option for you.
Designed to provide you with the skills you need to establish yourself in the theatre industry, you’ll use all the latest digital technologies to create lighting, sound and scenic design for a variety of staged events. As you progress through your studies, you’ll have the chance to work in a range of contexts, from theatre productions to fashion shows.
Based in our New Adelphi building, our technical theatre degree course is strongly focused on working with professional theatre and events practitioners, as well as students from other creative programmes. And with a range of optional modules on offer, you’ll also have the chance to specialise in aspects of technical production – be that theatre production, production management or small-scale touring.
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- Develop the skills you need to take the first step in your professional theatre career
- Study in a creative environment while collaborating on live performance events and projects
- Choose from a range of specialised modules, from sound production and lighting to digital performance and production management
- Build a portfolio of work to demonstrate your skills to future employers
This is for you if...
You want to learn about all aspects of stage design and technology in our state-of-the-art theatre production campus.
You have a passion for theatre and how it operates behind the scenes.
You’re looking to develop the technical skills you need to launch your professional career in theatre production.
All about the course
While this degree in theatre production is a good choice for budding stage technicians, the skills you’ll develop during your time with us will open up a variety of professional roles within the industry. This course offers a combination of studying technical skills work with an integrated stage and production management focus, developing your ability to work as part of a team to bring a production to life.
Your first year will introduce you to key technical elements of theatre production, while also providing wider theatrical context. As you move into your second and third years, you’ll focus more on the design process, while also working on live project briefs.
What’s more, as your studies progress, you’ll be given the chance to pursue a full range of practical projects in placements with professional companies and venues, including the opportunity for international collaboration. This kind of experience provides instant value to future employers, helping you to stand out within a competitive job market.
Want to find out more? Gain a deeper understanding of what you’ll explore within each module below.
Examines key texts and critical approaches central to live performance and media disciplines from the perspective of particular analytical and scenographic 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 through lectures including bespoke lectures in scenography. Seminars appropriate to your programme will support these lectures.
Introduction to Sound Design and Technology for the Stage
This module introduces the fundamental practices of live and recorded sound for the stage, with a focus on theatrical performance. With practical work and understanding enhanced by relevant theory, you will study approaches to sound via primarily digital platforms which will provide the core understanding required for future work. In addition, video for the stage will also be incorporated into studies where there is overlap with the sound specialism.
Introduction to Lighting Design and Technology for the Stage
This module introduces the fundamental approaches and professional practices associated with the use of light for the stage, with a specific focus to theatrical performance. The module will develop knowledge through demonstration and practical project work enhanced by relevant theory where appropriate. You will study approaches to lighting design for the stage using specialist lighting and projection equipment and systems, including various digital platforms, which will provide the core understanding required for future work in this subject area on the programme.
Introduction to Design
Students will be learning the concepts behind spatial design for theatre, via lectures, practical tutorials and workshops. Scripts will be studied from the perspective of technical and spatial design. Upon assessment, students will pitch their ideas to industry-based tutors via oral presentation. This work will then be completed as a scale model and reflective document, produced using paper-based drawing, CAD, and the 3D design workshops of the New Adelphi building.
This module is to introduce core concepts behind development of stage management and operation. Seminars will explore the structure and institutions of the UK theatre industry and the creative processes involved in producing and mounting a theatrical performance. Workshops will inform and develop practical skills of basic stage management and construction skills for rehearsal and performance. Workshops will also provide ‘real-world’ illustration of examples used in seminar/workshop sessions.
Performance in Context
You will gain an understanding of the historical framework to be able to examine the development of performance from the late 19th century onwards. 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.
Design for Theatre
This module will build upon previous design learning and will enable each student to identify an area of technical theatre they wish to pursue. Learning will focus on these particular areas of study to advance your skills in these subjects Your supervised time will encourage and enable you to realise design thinking for live performance, through practical exploration.
Stages and Staging
This focuses upon the development of the performance stage, and associated technical advances, from both a historical and a cultural perspective. The relationship between British/European staging models and non-Western models will be a key consideration. The module will comprise workshops, field trips and project supervision to facilitate small group project work. You will work collaboratively to research and plan for a hypothetical event to a specified budget, which should be designed for a working venue or be site specific.
Technical Performance Project
You will work as an ensemble under the direction of professional artists/theatre companies and work intensively on a performance project, in a design, technical or stage management role. The outcomes will be performed in various spaces, which could include The Lowry theatre studio, a small scale tour or at the New Adelphi Theatre.
Technology in Performance
This constantly evolving module will advance your knowledge of current performance technologies (rather than on historical perspectives), particularly as regards digital systems, lighting, sound, video graphics and digital performance. Taught sessions will cover:
Training in a range of relevant software packages
Theory and practice re: web technology, audiences and inclusivity
Introduction to online/digital storytelling
Health and safety, and safe working practices regarding the use of new technologies
Practical application of technology to performance projects.
Production Management (Principles)
Early seminars will outline the function of the production manager and will define the range of responsibilities that this role brings with it. These seminars will also explore the ways in which a production manager should engage with developing selected projects.
The second block of the module requires you to undertake work-based experience in the role of production stage manager, under the supervision of a project supervisor.
You will be able to select an optional module from:
The module involves students working, for a minimum of two weeks and a maximum of four weeks (equating to 60 hours), on an agreed workplace project within the University (e.g. assisting technical staff on theatre project or events), or at a theatre or other relevant cultural organisation. External workplace projects are not guaranteed but the programme team will support the student in identifying appropriate working contexts, and in ensuring that they manage their time effectively to meet other learning commitments.
Introduction to Multimedia Performance
This module is delivered as part of the BA (Hons) Media and Performance degree.
This module is designed to develop skills in and approaches to the making of multimedia performance, through practical workshops, which are underpinned by reference to key theories and practitioners in the field. You will focus on a number of different aspects of multimedia performance and in sessions, will develop skills in these areas, through practical experimentation and collaborative creative work. Sessions will also offer examples of practices and concepts relevant to each area, which will be discussed in relation to your developing work.
Introduction to Theatre Directing
In the first part of the module, a series of workshop and inputs will introduce you to the role of the director, using a small selection of play texts, all of which have different directorial challenges. We will explore how the director approaches a text, researches it, and develops a vision for their production.
The second stage of the module looks at working with actors and text. They provide the director with a toolkit of techniques to use with actors. How does a director get actors to understand the play and their characters? How are scenes broken down? How do actors understand what the director wants them to do to change their performance?
You will have the opportunity to lead small group work as a director exploring and experimenting with a range of directorial approaches to scripts.
Costume Design for Theatre
This module is delivered as part of the BA (Hons) Costume Design degree.
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.
Production Design: Tools and Processes
This module s delivered as part of the BA (Hons) Film Production degree.
This module is designed to enable you to gain an understanding of the requirements and practices associated with the art department in the production of a film. The module will focus on developing a critical overview of the role and practices of the production designer, providing a range of opportunities for you to apply your knowledge of production design to practice within the film making process.
Advanced Design for the Theatre
This module will be the culmination of the your design studies. The syllabus will be determined by the nature of your chosen project but will include: initial seminar/s on appropriate project interpretation and response; practice-based research techniques; budgets; health and safety; discipline specific sessions. Students will also be expected to participate in the careers programme associated with the Directorate.
Production Management Practices
During the course of this module you consider how stage and production management works in the professional world. You will consider the following:
The work of the stage and production manager
Current principles and practices in stage and production management
Working with the director, producer and creative team
Legal and ethical boundaries
Advanced health and society.
You will work in groups to produce two theatre and/or event based projects, the nature of which will be determined by the individual skills and interests of the project group as well as the role assumed by individuals within the group.
Project One work is student-led with staff supervision. Students meet with supervisors weekly and are guided through the stages of research, rehearsal and production. The development and rehearsal period extend through the trimester and public performances take place during an intensive performance ‘festival’ immediately following the rehearsal period.
Project Two work may take a variety of forms, but will be agreed between student and supervisor, and will be relevant to the delivery of a live staged event. This may include collaborative work with external and/or international partners.
The module enables students to identify, and to focus upon in depth, your defined area of interest related to theatre/ performance/event production studies that will prepare them for the post University workplace/further study. Learning will take place through individual/collaborative investigation supported by tutorials and employability masterclasses/workshops by creative industry specialists/external academic speakers.
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 technical theatre degree programme, you’ll be provided with a timetable that 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 state-of-the art New Adelphi building.
Teaching will be delivered in a variety of ways, including practical seminars, demonstration workshops, discussion seminars, large group lectures, small group supervision, personal tutorials and online learning.
You’ll also have many opportunities to learn, and to be assessed, by taking part in theatre projects and other live performance events.
The academic staff who teach on this course are largely industry experienced, industry active or leaders in their field of academic theory.
An important part of your technical theatre degree is the opportunity to showcase your academic strengths in a number of different ways. These might include practical coursework, collaborative projects, presentations and formal written essays. There are no exams on this course. Instead, you’ll work both individually and as part of a group to create a range of projects for assessment.
Be a part of a creative, supportive community
All our Performance 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 degree is based at our £55 million New Adelphi building, the home of performance and creativity on campus.
Our range of performance facilities include:
New Adelphi Theatre – this 350 seat venue provides an opportunity for you to stage shows in front of live audiences. It also regularly hosts professionals shows and performances.
Studio theatre - this classic black-box performance space offers a more intimate venue than the New Adelphi Theatre. It features flexible seating and staging, so you can shape the space to meet your creative needs.
Voice acting studio - from podcasting and video game dialogue to radio drama and foley sound effects, this facility gives you the flexibility to produce a range of audio for your projects.
Screen acting studio – are you passionate about a career on the screen? You’ll learn to hone new skills using our two-screen acting studios. featuring fixed and flexible sets,
Meet the performance teaching staff
Looking to learn more about the background of our Performance 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 Performance faculty at the University of Salford.
What about after uni?
So, what can you do with a technical theatre degree? Graduates of this course will be well equipped to work in a variety of roles within the theatre and live events industries. Whether you’re looking to establish a career within a small scale touring company or a large live events organisation, you’ll have the technical and creative skills needed to work in areas as diverse as advertising, public relations, digital media, marketing, education and entertainment. Whatever your professional goals, our technical theatre degree courses will enable you to achieve them.
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.
As a performance undergraduate student studying at Salford, you’ll be in close proximity to the wide range of theatres the city has to offer. From the flagship Lowry Arts Centre to the Salford King’s Arms, there are a whole host of major venues that have been involved in the development of this programme. You’ll have the opportunity to work in existing companies and venues, and to help and establish new ones.
What you need to know
Do you have a passion for creative theatre production? Can you combine practical theatre skills with an ability to explore text and other key source materials in the development of live performance? If so, this is the course for you. You don’t need specific technical theatre qualifications or experience to be accepted, but we will expect you to demonstrate an interest in the study of theatre. A professional mindset is also a must, with a genuine appetite to learn and a willingness to collaborate.
To gain a place on this Technical Theatre degree, you’ll have to submit a personal statement and meet our entry requirements when you apply.
Within your personal statement (up to 500 words), we’ll want to understand:
- what motivates you and what current experiences do you have in terms of theatre, TV or comedy? This might be in areas of technical or stage management, set design, camera, sound design, lighting, editing.
- have you had active involvement in the arts and what did you do?
- what theatre, performances, or live productions inspire you?
- why do you want to work in the media and performance sector?
- and why the University of Salford and this technical theatre degree is the right choice for your future goals.
For some applicants, you may be asked to take part in a group interview discussion and workshop. If this is the case, we will let you know and provide all the information you need. A sample of critical writing exploring an aspect of theatre production or design will also be required.
Once we have received your application we will be in touch with the next steps.
English Language and Maths at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent).
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
UCAS tariff points
This does not include General Studies.
BTEC National Diploma
DMM including Performing Arts or similar subject
Access to HE
112 UCAS Tariff Points from a Level 3 QAA approved Access programme. Must include Media/Performance.
104-112 points including Performing Arts or similar subject
Irish Leaving Certificate
104-112 points including Performing Arts or similar subject
29 points, 5 or 6 (Higher level) in a relevant subject
Pass Diploma with 72% overall
We accept qualifications from all around the world. Find your country to see a full list of entry requirements.
If you are an international student and not from a majority English speaking country, you will need IELTS 6.0 with no element below 5.5.
A sample of critical writing exploring an aspect of theatre production or design will also be required.
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||2024/25||£9,250.00per year|
|Full-time international||2024/25||£17,040.00per year|
You should also consider further costs which may include books and plays (from £100), 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. Explore our international scholarships.
All set? Let's apply
Course ID W445