Undergraduate BA (Hons)

Technical Theatre (Production and Design)

Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology




Three year

Next enrolment

September 2021


In a nutshell

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 (such as theatre, dance, fashion shows and live music concerts). 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 in our New Adelphi building, 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 your second and third year, you have 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. 

You will: 
  • Learn all the technical skills required for theatre 

  • Study within a contemporary creative environment on collaborative live performance and events projects 

  • Choose from a range of hands-on module options, from the latest in sound production, lighting and digital performance to production and events management 

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 Performance courses. Continue reading to understand more about this BA (Hons) Technical Theatre (Production and Design) course. 


students accepted

This is for you if...


You want to study at our state-of-the-art theatre production campus at the New Adelphi Arts Centre


You have an interest in theatre and the way it operates behind the scenes

Course details

All about the course

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 painted 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.

The first year introduces you to basic principles and key technical elements and provides background to the wider theatrical context. Practical projects allow you to demonstrate the skills you acquire and to work creatively with other students. 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. Your final year is a largely practical, project-based year, in which you will work to your particular chosen skill base.

Year one

Critical and Textual Studies

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 through lectures including bespoke lectures in comedy. Seminars appropriate to your programme will support these lectures. 

Production Skills

The module combines both technical and creative aspects of media production as you develop a broad awareness of the range of skills required for video production, including camera, lighting, editing and sound – imperative to contemporary theatre technology. 

Introduction to Lighting, Sound and Digital Performance

In this module, students will learn to the broad technical skills required to broadly design and operate digital lighting and sound systems for theatre. The work is primarily practical in nature, and students will also study a selection of scripts to work towards group work for their final assessment, producing and presenting a lighting, sound and visual design concept for a chosen scene. 

Introduction to Design

Students will be learning the concepts behind 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 rear of house 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. External visits will provide ‘real-world’ illustration of examples used in seminar/workshop sessions. Students will be assessed by collaborating with Performance students on the Theatre and Performance course, to produce a day long festival of performances. 

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.

Year two

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 particular areas of study to advance your skills in these areas. 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. 

Performance Project

You will work as an ensemble under the direction of professional artists/theatre companies and work intensively on a performance project. The outcomes will be performed in various spaces, including a double bill with the work of that company at 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 stage engineering, 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)

This module develops your stage and production management skills, to deliver a final performance outcome. This will be achieved via work-based experience in the role of Production Manager, under the supervision of project supervisor. This delivery will include: 

  • Organisation, 

  • Marketing, 

  • Liaising with technical and front of house colleagues, 

  • Web-based, Social and other appropriate platform-based promotion 

The function of the Production Manager/Co-ordinator will be defined, along the range of responsibilities that this role brings with it. 

You will be able to select an optional module from:

Professional Environment

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 event), 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 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/seminars will introduce you to the role of the director, using a range of contemporary and historical play texts.  We will explore and apply appropriate theatrical vocabularies in order to help you develop your own directorial approach. You will also lead small group work in terms of exploring and experimenting with a range of directorial approaches to both script and to performers. Consideration will also be given to the relationship between the director and other key members of the production team (eg set designer, lighting & sound designers and stage manager). 

The middle section of the module offers interpretation and adaptation workshops, which will provide strategies for thinking creatively about how to approach a text for performance. Particular reference will be made to mise-en-scene and aspects of production design. 

The final block comprises practical student-led project work (with tutor guidance) focusing upon: ‘text’ analysis and/or stimuli; research methods; rehearsal preparation and scheduling; interpersonal/communication skills; rehearsal procedure. 

Year three

Advanced Design for the Theatre

This module will be the culmination of the students design and operational studies. The syllabus will be determined by the nature of the student’s 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’s Research Project Modules. 


Production Management Practices

During the course of this module students consider how the role of Production Management works in the professional world. Students will consider the following:   

  • The work of the Production Manager

  • Current principles and practices in Production Management 

  • Project scoping 

  • Working with the director, producer and creative team 

  • Legal and Ethical boundaries

  • Advanced health and society.

Collaborative Project

You will work in groups to produce two theatre-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. 

Professional Practice

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?


Teaching is delivered through:

  • Practical seminars
  • Demonstration workshops
  • Discussion seminars
  • Large group lectures
  • Small group supervision
  • Personal tutorials
  • 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
  • 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.


All our Performance courses are delivered by the Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology

Our School and University have strong and long-lasting relationships with local and national industry. 

Once you graduate with us, you’ll join a thriving alumni community in Greater Manchester and beyond. 


We’re delighted to have officially opened our £55 million New Adelphi building with its 350-seat theatre.

The New Adelphi building is a purpose designed building, 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.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

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 industry.

A taste of what you could become

a Theatre Technician

a Stage or Production Manager

a Lighting/Sound/Stage Director

a Producer/Director

and more...

Career Links

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 existing 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. 


What you need to know


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 via evidence. 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. 

Please note: The entry criteria below are related to entry onto this course in the 2020/2021 academic year. If you’re interested in a future intake year, please check the course entry on UCAS.

Standard entry requirements


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.

A level

112 points including Performing Arts or similar subject 

UCAS tariff points

112 points including Performing Arts or similar subject 

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.

Scottish Highers

112 points including Performing Arts or similar subject 

Irish Leaving Certificate

112 points including Performing Arts or similar subject 

International Baccalaureate

31 points, 5 or 6 (Higher level) in a relevant subject

European Baccalaureate

Pass Diploma with 72% overall 

English Language requirements

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.

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 2020/21 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2020/21 £15,240per year
Full-time home 2021/22 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2021/22 £15600per 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.

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.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2021

September 2022

UCAS information

Course ID W445

Institution S03