If you are looking for a radical and innovative approach to design in the context of theatre and performance, then our Scenography and Theatre Design degree is for you. Supported by internationally-recognized staff with a wide range of expertise, you will look beyond the established boundaries of set, costume, lighting and sound design to take a total view of the performance space. You will gain an understanding of how the organization 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 practical and theoretical explorations of the craft you will critically examine and engage with a wide range of contemporary practices from playhouse theatre to site-specific performance and from environmental theatre to performance installation. Studying Scenography and Theatre Design at Aberystwyth is your opportunity to develop your own design practice within or beyond the practice of theatre and performance.
Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies: 87% student satisfaction (NSS 2017)
98% of our graduates were in work or further study within 6 months, 4% more than Creative Arts and Design graduates nationally (HESA 2018*)
Why study Scenography and Theatre Design at Aberystwyth?
- This course will enable you to explore a radical and innovative approach to theatre and performance design.
- You will be taught and mentored by a team of internationally known designers and experts.
- We are a vibrant and creative department where drama and theatre, film and media, and scenography and theatre design collide.
- All students benefit from our complementary learning experiences where theory and practice are designed to feed into each other.
- As a department, students benefit from our connections with key industry partners, such as National Theatre Wales, Music Theatre Wales, Quarantine Theatre Company, and Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru. These creative partners provide an excellent opportunity to network and liaise with those in the industry before graduation.
- Students in the department have access to our superb facilities and resources for practical work: three rehearsal studios, each with flexible technical facilities; 2 large professionally-equipped studios with digital lighting rigs controlled via ETC Congo and Strand Lighting consoles, Yamaha and Soundcraft PAs, Sanyo AV systems and Strand lighting and two NXAMP; and costume and wardrobe facilities.
- On our campus and situated next door to the Arts Centre is one of the largest Arts Centres in Wales, which regularly presents national and international theatre and dance work.
- Aberystwyth University’s is known for having a large number of clubs and societies, so be assured that your time will be occupied with your studies and taking part in your chosen club / society's activities. The University has a large and energetic drama society, come and say hello during a visit to Aberystwyth.
- If you're looking for an experience beyond Aberystwyth, all students will have the opportunity to take part in a study abroad placement with one of our partnered Universities in Europe through the Erasmus + programme and some further afield through our International Exchange programme. Find out where your adventure could take you!
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.
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.
What can I do with a Scenography and Theatre Design / Drama and Theatre Studies degree?
Many of our students have been successful in obtaining employment in these fields:
- Set, Costume and Lighting Design;
- Production Design and Art Direction;
- Acting and Performing;
- Stage Management;
- Script Writing;
- Teaching and Education;
- Arts administration;
- Management and Project Co-ordination;
- Marketing and Public Relations.
What skills do I gain from this degree?
Students on this degree gain the following valuable skills that are sought after by employers. These include the ability to:
- Gather, assimilate and interpret intellectual and aesthetic material independently and critically;
- Structure and communicate ideas efficiently and creatively through oral, written, visual and performative means to a range of audiences;
- Apply creative, imaginative and problem-solving skills in a variety of situations;
- Work effectively in group settings to develop, rehearse and produce live events;
- Apply creative, imaginative and problem-solving skills in a variety of situations;
- Research, evaluate and organize information;
- Structure and communicate ideas effectively in a variety of situations and using a variety of means;
- Work independently and with others;
- Effectively organize 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.
What work experience opportunities exist whilst studying?
Click here to find out about the various opportunities that our Aberystwyth University Careers team offer.
Enhance your employability prospects with GO Wales and YES (Year in Employment Scheme) managed by our Careers department.
Teaching & Learning
What will I learn?
The breakdown below will provide you with an illustration of what you may study during the three year degree scheme.
In your first year you will discover:
- Approaches to studio-based and site-based scenographic design;
- Key scenographic concepts, methodologies and approaches;
- The function of design within the broader theatrical event.
- The four primary scenographic elements of space, light, sound and body;
- Theories and practices of scenographic exploration;
- Tools and methods for scenographic composition;
- How to conceive, develop and implement a cohesive theatre design project;
- How to collaboratively conceive, develop and realise a design for a departmental production;
- The analysis, evaluation and understanding of scenography and theatre design;
- The development of specialist skills required for the representation and communication of scenographic concepts;
- Optional modules which currently include Directors' Theatre and Shakespeare in Performance to New Media Performance.
In your final year, you will have the opportunity:
- To create advanced independent creative work that prepares you for professional practice;
- To develop a specialism in one scenographic element;
- To create an electronic personal portfolio that documents your work;
- To undertake a major research project;
- To study specialist optional modules that currently include: Space, Place and Landscape; Performance and Architecture; Performance, Politics and Protest; and Theatre, Gender and Sexuality.
How will I be taught?
- You will be taught primarily through small-group practical workshops, tutorials, group based project work and production projects.
- Our teaching is frequently mixed-mode, interrogating theory through practical investigation and practice through the lens of various theoretical perspectives.
- You will be assessed through scenographic performance projects, group presentations, conceptual projects, design projects, formal essays, practical examinations, critical and creative portfolios, practical productions, and seminar presentations.
- 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 are free to contact them at any time for help and advice.
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.
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.
Typical Entry Requirements
A Levels BBC-BBB
GCSE requirements (grade C min):
English or Welsh
BTEC National Diploma:
28-30 points overall
The University operates an inclusive admissions policy and our offers can vary. Please refer to our country-specific pages for details of the international qualifications we accept. For further information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org