BA Scenography and Theatre Design / Film and Television Studies

The information on this page relates to September 2016 entry. For 2017 information, including grade requirements, please check our prospectus.

Aberystwyth University offers a wide range of Joint Honours schemes that allow you to study two subjects that best suit your interests. In choosing to study Joint Honours Scenography and Theatre Design / Film and Television Studies at Aberystwyth University you’ll be immersing yourself in a rigorous and challenging discipline that combines practical and theoretical elements. You’ll take a radical and innovative approach to design in the context of making theatre and performance as well as examining film and television histories, productions, institutions and audiences. The intellectual, practical and transferable skills acquired whilst studying Scenography and Theatre Design / Film and Television Studies will prepare you for a variety of careers in the creative media and beyond.

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Overview

The Scenography and Theatre Design / Film and Television Studies degree is your opportunity to develop your own design practice within or alongside the practice of theatre, performance, film and television. You will gain an understanding of how the organisation of space can be an artistic practice in its own right, taking into account the conventions of traditional theatrical disciplines such as set, lighting and sound. Through a combination of theoretical and practical explorations you will critically examine and engage with a wide range of contemporary practices from theatre and performance to film, television and media production.

The Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies at Aberystwyth is the highest rated Arts and Humanities Department in Wales, according to the results of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, with 60% of research submitted being rated world-leading.

Why study Scenography and Theatre Design / Film and Television Studies at Aberystwyth?

The Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies at Aberystwyth is one of the most significant Departments of its kind, with a reputation at local, national and international levels. We offer an integrated scheme of study, combining creative and critical approaches to the discipline through innovative practical work and challenging scholarly enquiry.

We can offer you an unrivalled range of student choice, staff expertise, and state-of-the-art facilities for practical work, including industry standard HD and digital cameras, editing suites, viewing areas and practical work spaces, so that you can utilise your creative skills to the full. Further facilities are available to you through our strategic partnerships with Boom Pictures Cymru, Wales’s largest independent television production company; Theatr Arad Goch, an Aberystwyth-based community theatre; and BBC Wales, whose local offices and studios are housed within the Department. The National Sound and Screen Archive of Wales is also situated next to the campus in the National Library of Wales, so that you can benefit from an unrivalled source of material.

Many of our lecturers are leading professional designers and active researchers, working at the cutting edge of their disciplines, and you will benefit from being taught the latest theories and techniques. Departmental staff have active working relationships with a range of companies including the Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre Wales, Music Theatre Wales, Quarantine, Imitating the Dog and the Magdalena Project, an international network of women in contemporary theatre.

We also make use of the unique geographic resources of Aberystwyth – its landscape, language, history – to explore the challenges posed by working in different places and situations, developing an understanding of how theatre and performance always emerge from, and relate to, specific contexts.

The Aberystwyth Arts Centre, one of the largest campus arts centres in the UK, is situated on the main campus, and is a popular venue where you can enjoy performances and screenings of all kinds. The Department has close links with the Arts Centre, collaborating to produce an annual Theatre Passport of subsidised work specifically for students.

We are enthusiastically committed to the European Erasmus+ exchange scheme and have a one-year North American Exchange scheme, run in conjunction with the Universities of Pittsburgh, Kansas, Vancouver, Alabama, Washington State and a number of other North American institutions.

90% of our 2014 Theatre, Film and Television graduates were in employment or further study 6 months after graduating, a 7 percentage point increase on the previous year (DLHE 2014). This increase reflects our investment in innovative and strategic student-focused employability initiatives which encompass all our academic Institutes and which we firmly believe are likely to improve our employability ratings still further.

The Department also offers a number of degree schemes and modules taught entirely or partially through the medium of Welsh. Further details may be obtained from the department.

Our Staff

All academic staff at the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies are research active and/or involved in Knowledge Transfer projects and have either relevant academic qualifications at doctoral level or equivalent professional experience and expertise.

Course Content

Welsh medium modules available

Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.

Year 1 Core (40 Credits) Joint Honours Scenography and Theatre Design students (other than Joint Honours Scenography and Theatre Design/Drama and Theatre Studies W432) must take the following modules:

Semester 1

Making Scenography (studio) TP11620

Semester 2

Making Scenography (site) TP11720

Year 1 Core (60 Credits) Joint Honours Film and TV Studies students must take the following core modules:

Semester 1

Studying Film FM10120

Semester 2

Studying Television FM10220

Introduction To Media Production (semester 2) FM10520

Year 1 Options Joint Honours Scenography and Theatre Design students must take one of the following modules:

Semester 1

Studying Theatre 1 TP11020

Semester 2

Studying Theatre 2 TP11320

Year 1 Options Joint Honours Film and TV Studies students, may subject to the demands of their other scheme, take one of the following modules:

Semester 1

Studying Media FM10620

Hollywood Cinema: 1917-1960 FM10920

British Cinema FM11020

Semester 2

Studying Communication FM10720

Year 2 Options Joint Honours Film and TV Studies Students must take a minimum of 20 credits and a maximum of 40 credits from the following critical theory modules:

Semester 1

Television Genre FM20620

Documentary Screens FM20720

Film Genre FM20920

Fairy Tales FM26120

Semester 2

Hollywood Cinema (1967-now) FM21020

Contemporary Television Drama FM21220

Case Studies In Contemporary Art Cinema FM24420

Digital Culture FM25520

Year 2 Options Joint Honours Scenography and Theatre Design students must take at least one of the following modules:

Semester 1

Principles Of Scenography TP22320

Scenographic Composition TP22520

Year 2 Options Joint Honours Film and TV Studies students must take a minimum of 20 credits and a maximum 40 credits from the following creative practice modules:

Semester 1

Writing For Film And Television FM21620

Creative Documentary FM26520

Semester 2

Creative Studio FM25420

Year 2 Options You may complete at least 20 credits from the following modules. Students may be alloca recommendation of the Degree Scheme Co-ordinator.

Year 2 Options Joint Honours Scenography and Theatre Design students may, subject to the demands of their other scheme, take the following modules:

Semester 1

Designing TP22620

Semester 2

Scenography Production Project TP31140

Year 2 Options Students may choose their remaining credits from any of the following sets of modules (these modules will be taught at the same time, so it is impossible for students to take more than one module from each set). The following is Set 1

Year 2 Options The following is Set 2

Year 2 Options The following is Set 3

Year 2 Options The following is Set 4

Final Year Options Joint Honours Scenography and Theatre Design students must take at least one of the following modules. Students may, subject to the demands of their ther scheme, take both modules:

Semester 1

Advanced Studio Practice (scenography) TP31240

Semester 2

Advanced Scenographic Project TP35940

Final Year Options Joint Honours Film and TV Studies Students must take at least 20 credits from the following critical theory modules (including the Independent Research Project NB: this is worth 40 credits: 20 in each semester):

Semester 1

Cinema And Stardom FM31320

Experimental Cinema FM34520

Moving Image Technologies: How Pictures Became Animated FM35820

Independent Research Project FM36000

Semester 2

The Surveillance Society FM32420

Film Authorship FM32920

Independent Research Project FM36040

Television And Society In Britain In The 20th Century FM36220

Final Year Options Joint Honours Film and TV Studies students may take up to 40 credits from the following creative practice modules:

Semester 1

Experimental Media Production FM33500

Documentary Production FM33700

Fiction Film Production FM34200

Scriptwriting 1 FM37020

Semester 2

Experimental Media Production FM33540

Documentary Production FM33740

Fiction Film Production FM34240

Scriptwriting 2 FM37120

Final Year Options Joint Honours Scenography and Theatre Design Students may take 20 credits from the following modules:

Semester 1

Contemporary British And Irish Drama TP30820

Place, Space And Landscape TP32820

Documentary Theatre TP33520

Semester 2

Theatre, Gender And Sexuality TP33120

Performance And Architecture TP33420

Performance, Politics And Protest TP35220

Final Year Options Joint Honours Scenography and Theatre Design Students may, subject to the demands of their other scheme, take one of the following modules:

Semester 1

Playwriting TP34600

Creative Entrepreneurship TP35700

Independent Research Project TP36000

Semester 2

Playwriting TP34640

Creative Entrepreneurship TP35740

Independent Research Project TP36040

Final Year Options Students may choose from the following. Please note: TF32410 and TF32820 are linked and may not be taken separately.

Final Year Options Students may choose their remaining credits from any of the following sets of modules (these modules will be taught at the same time, so it is impossible for students to take more than one module from each set). The following is Set 1.

Final Year Options The following is Set 2.

Final Year Options The following is Set 3.

Final Year Options The following is Set 4.

Employability

The Scenography and Theatre Design / Film and Television Studies degree provides a balance between critical academic approaches and practical experience and a trajectory of increasingly independent work to develop the skills you need to pursue career opportunities in the creative media and beyond.

The Department has excellent links with local, national and international production companies providing students opportunities to gain an insight into the industry and develop their networking skills. A guest speaker programme gives students access to industry experts to develop their knowledge of the creative industries and showcase their work and ideas.

Work placements are actively encouraged to allow students to develop the transferable and professional skills which will enable them to succeed in the workplace. In recent years students have been able to take placement opportunities with the BBC, Fiction Factory and Boom Pictures.

Many students find employment with film and television companies, working as researchers, editors, floor managers, camera operators, designers or directors. Others find work as set, costume, lighting, production and performance designers. Many graduates have also found employment in a variety of different areas including teaching, administration, marketing, management, and public relations. Your degree will provide you with excellent inter-personal skills and transferable skills including experience in group work, leadership, planning, budget management and personal motivation.

Transferable Skills

In addition to subject specific skills and knowledge, studying for a degree in Scenography and Theatre Design / Film and Television Studies will equip you with a range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. These include the ability to:

·         apply creative, imaginative and problem-solving skills in a variety of situations

·         research, evaluate and organise information

·         structure and communicate ideas effectively in a variety of situations and using a variety of means

·         work independently and with others

·         effectively organise your time and deploy your skills

·         listen to and make use of critical advice

·         be self-motivated and self-disciplined

·         use a range of information technology skills and resources

·         be entrepreneurial in developing cultural projects

You will be able to gather, assimilate and interpret intellectual and aesthetic material independently and critically, deploying creative and imaginative skills developed through the realisation of individual and group practical and research projects. You will also have proven your abilities in structuring and communicating ideas efficiently and creatively through oral, written, visual and performative means to a range of audiences, evaluating and organising information, working effectively with others and working within time frames with specific resources and to specific deadlines.

Year in Employment scheme (YES)

The University operates a Year in Employment Scheme (YES), which offers you a fantastic opportunity to take a year out between your second and third year to work in an organisation in the UK or overseas. YES provides a very rewarding and worthwhile experience, both personally and professionally, and can help you to stand out from the crowd in a very competitive job market. The University’s Career Service will help you to explore your options and secure a suitable work placement.

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

The Scenography and Theatre Design / Film and Television Studies degree has been carefully designed to enable the development of your own way of seeing and thinking, preparing you for a career in performance design, initiating your own practice of making, and developing creative, critical and technical skills.

In your first year you will take a number of introductory modules that develop your skills in making, thinking and studying, examining key historical moments, practices and methods. You will also be introduced to the study of film and television and will develop your practical skills in all stages of the media production process.

In the second year you will take a closer look at scenographic principles and compositional practices, working alongside specialist practitioners and other students. You will continue to develop your production skills and build up expertise in key production techniques. You will also study the specific histories and traditions of film and television and engage with a diverse range of theatre and performances which will introduce you to the critical analysis of practice and develop your skills in communication and presentation. You can also select from a series of modules which explore contemporary European theatre, theatre and contemporary society, new media performance and performance writing as well as directing and devising. You can also choose to develop your skills through involvement in full-scale production work.

The third year offers you the opportunity to create independent creative work, undertake a major research project and engage in advanced theoretical study. You will have the opportunity to focus on a specific area including experimental media, documentary, narrative fiction or scriptwriting. You will demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate the underlying intentions of your proposed practice and to convey these intentions clearly prior to the process of realisation. You will also demonstrate the ability to realise and spatially/temporally articulate an independently conceived aesthetic event, based upon clearly expressed principles and presented within the public domain. You can also select from modules that test and extend your skills through creating an Applied Theatre project or exploring the production and curation of cultural events. Specialist optional modules in the third year enable you to engage with staff research specialisms in place, space and landscape, architecture, performance and politics, and theatre, gender and sexuality. You will also be given opportunities to apply relevant Media; IT systems; graphical, presentation and DTP software appropriate to the development of independent proposals and a personal, electronically published portfolio. You may also undertake work experience as part of your course, which will enhance your employability prospects and enable you to gain and reinforce transferable skills. In the third year you have the opportunity to demonstrate your achievement as an emergent maker, thinker and researcher, preparing to enter the worlds of employment, entrepreneurship and postgraduate study.

How will I be taught?

The Scenography and Theatre Design / Film and Television Studies degree at Aberystwyth is taught by dedicated and committed practitioners, many of whom have published extensively in their particular disciplines. You will be taught through practical workshops, small-group seminars and tutorials, screenings, technical demonstrations, group-based project work and traditional lectures. In smaller group settings teaching is frequently mixed-mode, interrogating theory through practical investigation and practices through the lens of various theoretical perspectives. This diversity of activity is an essential part of our teaching and learning philosophy, and creates a uniquely exciting and productive learning environment.

You will be assessed through group-devised productions, individual film and video projects, research projects, practical analyses, production diaries and creative scriptwriting, formal essays, written and practical examinations, critical and creative portfolios, practical productions and seminar presentations. In addition, supplementary assessment methods such as storyboards, screenplays, pitches, treatments and films are designed to generate a working portfolio of material which you will be able to present to potential employers.

You will be assigned a personal tutor throughout your degree scheme, who will help you with any problems or queries, whether these are academic-related or personal issues. You should feel free to contact them at any time for help and advice.

You will also have the opportunity to complete a Personal Development Plan (PDP) at Aberystwyth. This is a structured process of self-appraisal, reflection, and planning, which will enable you to chart your personal, academic and professional development throughout your time at university. By recording your academic performance, and highlighting the skills you already have and those you will need for future employability, the PDP portfolio will equip you with the necessary tools to plan effectively, develop successful approaches to study, and consider your future career options and aspirations.

Student Views

Scenography and Theatre Design allows new, young and enthusiastic designers to take their first steps towards changing how the future is viewed. Endless opportunities to create and to challenge existing design ideologies are made available to students, allowing them to not only find the best outcome, but to discover the style of the designer they want to be. Design is everywhere. Whether a student wants to delve into the events industry, television, architecture or marketing, design is the strongest element that is required.
Tabitha Thomas

Film and Television Studies at Aberystwyth University is brilliant. The course has a great atmosphere which you can tell from how well-connected the students and lecturers are. The academic side of the course is illuminating, touching on a wide variety of topics and dealing with each of these in detail, which works well even for those students who want to focus more on the more practical modules. In addition the department provides plenty of opportunities for work experience as well as chances for students to hone their skills out of the classroom with departmental equipment. There is also a well-supported film society.
Joe Williams

Since graduating I have been living in London. I have worked for the multi award winning musical Wicked! at the Apollo Theatre, where I am both a Costume Assistant and Dresser. Aside from my work on Wicked! I freelance further as a Costume Assistant on a variety of theatre productions including The Railway Children (Waterloo Station) working closely with designers and costume supervisors to realise their work on stage. The flexibility and structure of the Scenography and Theatre Design degree combined with the expertise of the tutors means that not only do you feel you are getting a hand crafted, meaningful degree, but a course that teaches the skills and methodology you need to work in the industry. Aberystwyth University is an infectious place to study (and play!) with amazing staff, inspiring surroundings, endless opportunities and friends for life. I would certainly recommend it.
Ed Parry

What I love about Film and Television Studies is the variety of different areas I've had the opportunity to be a part of. Last year I would never have had the confidence or know-how to organise a production team, to make and market short films and to work in a 3 camera studio. What I wanted from Aberystwyth University were the skills to become a film-maker; what I got were practical skills, knowledge of academic debates, and contacts that have given me an insight into the film and television industry.
Peter Gosiewski

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