BA

Scenography and Theatre Design

Key Facts

Code W460
  • Typical A-level offer

    BBC-BBB

  • Course Length

    3 Years

Further details on entry requirements

Apply Now

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 your. Supported by our internationally-recognised staff with a wide range of expertise, you will look beyond the established boundaries of set, costume, lighting and sound design and take total view of the performance space.  You will gain an understanding of 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 of the craft, you will critically examine and engage with a wide range of contemporary practices from playhouse theatre to site-specific performance from environmental theatre to performance installation. 

Studying Scenography and Theatre Design and 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: 91% student satisfaction (NSS 2016)

92% of undergraduates from the Department of Film and Television Studies who graduated in 2015 were in employment or further education six months after graduating (DLHE 2015)

  • Overview
  • Modules
  • Employability
  • Teaching & Learning
  • Student Views

Overview

Why study Scenography and Theatre Design at Aberystwyth?

  •  A vibrant and creative department where drama and theatre, film and media, and scenography and theatre design collide.
  • Complementary learning experiences where theory and practice are designed to feed into each other.
  • Excellent teaching staff with a wide range of expertise in research and professional design for theatre and performance.
  • Connections with key industry partners, such as National Theatre Wales, Music Theatre Wales, Quarantine Theatre Company, and Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru.
  • 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.
  • Close links with Aberystwyth Arts Centre, one of the largest arts centres in Wales, which regularly presents national and international theatre and dance work.
  • Aberystwyth University’s energetic student drama societies.
  • Unique geographic location.
  • 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.
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.

Modules

Employability

The Scenography and Theatre Design 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. Many students have gone on to work as set, costume, lighting, production and performance designers, either directly, through association with co-operative and professional companies, or after further postgraduate study. Many graduates have also found employment in a variety of different areas including teaching, administration, marketing, management, and public relations. Furthermore, the degree will help you to begin developing your own ideas into realisable projects, equipping you as a cultural entrepreneur.

Transferable Skills

In addition to subject specific skills and knowledge, studying for a degree in Scenography and Theatre Design 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

The Scenography and Theatre Design 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, and initiating your own practice of making.

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 key practitioners and to theatre theory and aesthetics.

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 also 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 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. 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 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 alongside 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 formal and performed essays, written and practical examinations, critical and creative portfolios, practical productions, seminar presentations and group activities. As you progress through the degree we place increasing emphasis on developing your independence and self-management, allowing you to take responsibility for your own learning.

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

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

Entry Requirements

A Levels BBC-BBB

GCSE requirements (grade C min):
English or Welsh

BTEC National Diploma:
DMM-DDM

International Students

International Baccalaureate:
28-30 points overall

European Baccalaureate:
65-70% overall

Back to the top