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Costume Construction BA (Hons) Thurrock Campus

Study our brand new Costume Construction degree, in partnership with the Royal Opera House, accredited by University of the Arts London.

To apply for this course you need to click 'Apply through UCAS' below.

Royal Opera House logoA unique opportunity in partnership with the Royal Opera House. Combining all the expected areas of study with the additional benefits of working alongside professionals from one of the most prestigious theatres in the world. The course emphasises the cut and construction techniques for costume in the following areas: performance art, theatre, opera, dance, music, musical theatre, film and television. Work-related learning is uppermost and includes live projects, competitions, vocational projects and work experience placements. Visits are organised to exhibitions, galleries and professional studios.

The course includes workshops from professionals from the Royal Opera House, giving you real industry practice. The course leaders also work with local employers to ensure that students gain a broad understanding of the creative industries to enhance employment prospects. The course will be delivered from specialist workshops in the new Bob and Tamar Manoukian Costume Centre at the High House Production Park in Purfleet, the first national centre of excellence for technical and backstage skills which is also home to the Backstage Centre and Acme Studios High House Artists’ Studios.

High House Production Park is fully accessible with a Lift to the upper level, there is a lower table for pattern cutting and construction and all industrial machinery can be operated within reason by people with disabilities. The whole complex is accessible including access to the Backstage Centre and Cafe facilities. There is also access to the carparks.

Why should I do this course? 

A unique opportunity in partnership with the Royal Opera House. Combining all the expected areas of study with the additional benefits of working alongside professionals from one of the most prestigious theatres in the world. The course emphasises the cut and construction techniques for costume in the following areas: theatre, opera, dance, musical theatre, production arts, film and television.

Work-related learning is uppermost and includes live projects, competitions, vocational projects and work experience placements. Visits are organised to exhibitions, galleries and professional studios. The course includes workshops from professionals from the Royal Opera House. The course leaders also work with local employers to ensure that students gain a broad understanding of the creative industries to enhance employment prospects. The course will be delivered from specialist workshops in the new Bob and Tamar Manoukian Costume Centre at the High House Production Park in Purfleet, the first national centre of excellence for technical and backstage skills which is also home to The Backstage Centre and Acme Studios, High House Artists’ Studios.

How will my work be assessed? 

You will be regularly assessed both formally and informally on your production including practical work, technical folders, essays, research, design development, technical drawings and illustrations, textiles directory and samples, work placement blog, sketchbook, portfolio and final pieces.

What can I do after this? 

Gain a career in a variety of roles including costume construction, costume design, touring theatre, textiles, dying and breaking down, women’s wear, menswear, tailoring, prop costume, running wardrobe, costume conservation and restoration.

Course delivery hours

Units are either 15 credits or 30 credits (exc. Live Exhibition Project = 45 Credits). 30 credit units are allocated 6 hours of teaching per week and 15 credit units are allocated three hours per week. Where units contain a practical element sessions will involve a mixture of formal teaching and laboratory sessions.

Year one

The first year of the programme will introduce you to concepts of design, pattern cutting and garment production techniques.

Modules

Costume in Context: This unit offers a theoretical understanding of the history of dress and how gender, identity, class and cultural issues impacted on the basic silhouettes of clothing through the eras. It is not intended to provide a comprehensive review of the area, but to introduce students into the theory of the changes of dress and for them to develop, utilise, recognise and analyse the factors involved with this to support their own design and manufacturing work. This unit will also introduce new technologies in production techniques and ideas.

Textiles for Costume Construction: This unit aims to offer a broad exploration of the basic and more developed methods, application and processes of textiles techniques. Students will be introduced to a range of materials, media and processes in relation to both contemporary and traditional applications of textiles construction. Students will be initiated into the use and skill of colour mixing, fabric properties, dying and the application of textiles.

Costume Construction I: This unit introduces the fundamental skills of fabric properties, technical skills, pressing and manufacturing studies in relation to costume construction. The unit also allows for opportunity to progressively develop individual creative solutions by underpinning construction, with an understanding of traditional stitch techniques, technical methodology, relating to pattern cutting, pressing and manufacturing within costume construction.

Costume Construction II: This unit provides the knowledge to translate two-dimensional designs into three-dimensional costume. You will be introduced to historical and advanced pattern cutting and manufacturing techniques to enable you to identify appropriate methods to produce a final/part garment for costume.

Costume Design: This unit offers the opportunity to obtain a design skill that emerges from a process of script breakdown, character analysis based on a particular text. These concepts will be created through visual methods, which will be developed through a variety of media, methods and processes within mark making techniques, enabling the broadening of visual language and help in developing a personal style.

Year two

Expanding on your learning in the first year, year two offers opportunities to work with live briefs and undertake work placements.

Modules

Costume Construction III: This unit will provide the opportunity to further develop their skills in the application of pattern cutting and construction techniques from previously delivered modules from year one & year two. This will be achieved through a range of advanced processes of grading, draping on the stand, soft tailoring and corsetry. Students will be required to demonstrate skills gained through the production of a fully finished garment. (There will be opportunity to engage with simulated work based learning within the module and to mirror good employment practices)

Construction interpretation for Costume: This unit will enable the understanding and development of skills within the processes of construction interpretation for costume, covering the manufacture and deconstruction of garments, considering the principles of body shapes through alteration and fitting processes, movement requirements during performances, alterations and flexible construction. The acquired knowledge will be applied to create a garment for a specific performance. (There will be opportunity to engage with simulated work based learning within the module and to mirror good employment practices)

Costume Conservation: This unit will enable the understanding and application of skills in the care and possible conservation of costume, and an ability to distinguish historical referencing for costume productions, which will not be limited to garments. This will be achieved through a range of both practically based activities, which will include; packaging, storing, cleaning and theory based practice on historical authenticating, to ensure that all costumes are able to be safely stored, moved, referenced, archived and guarded for future practice.

Work Placement: This unit will provide the opportunity to develop and demonstrate a dedicated and professional work ethos through understanding of the roles withincostume construction/designer/textiles or conservation. This could be within one of the followingareas: performance art, theatre, opera, dance, music, musical theatre, film and TV. The placement will give awareness to the business of costume construction/design/textiles or conservation and allow students to analyse the roles, responsibilities and the necessities of communication, teamwork and the development of their own personal skills within the industry. The student should complete a minimum of 120 hours this could be several placements throughout the 2nd year period. If unsuccessful in obtaining a work placement, this unit will be linked to a live project brief to attain the credits required. (The live project brief will require a similar time commitment to a placement and will run alongside other on-going projects)

Costume Design II: This unit will allow you to demonstrate design skills for costume, which will emerge from a range of research and script analysis from a given text, allowing you to articulate and debate how a range of context may shape and inform the production and interpretation of works’. This will help develop a level of intellectual rigour and make connections between theory and practice, along with the broader cultural context. This will include; creative analysis, prototyping, and a range of design development; fabric choices, colour ways, textile design, but not limited too. This will enable you to develop a clear understanding of the requirements for costume design. (There will be opportunity to engage with simulated work based learning within the module and to mirror good employment practices)

Students successfully completing Stage 2 may progress to Stage 3 or will be eligible for the award of a Diploma of Higher Education.

Year three

You will undertake a final extended project of your own design which is supported by written elements and a visual portfolio of work.

Modules

Cultural and Historical Study: This unit allows for the opportunity to develop a critical awareness, in-depth research, and to form a sustainable argument for an area of investigation. Students will negotiate with a supervisor a line of enquiry that is relevant to their chosen field of study and undertake an avenue of research that could, but is not limited to conservation of costume, performance art, theatre, opera, dance, music, musical theatre, film and TV.

Live Exhibition Development: This unit will allow individuals to establish and produce a theme/subject/issue relevant to costume construction. The unit will enable learners to produce an in-depth research and development programme which will include; originality, creative analysis, prototyping, textiles, design work, productivity with other learners and generic skills to support learning. This will enable students to have a clear progression route for their live exhibition. The context of the unit will be defined by the learner; through consultation and on-going communication with tutors. It will actively encourage independent learning, self-directed research and time planning and necessitate a rigorous approach.

Professional Portfolio: This unit will underpin professional practice by supporting the student’s understanding of the roles, creative responses and potential progression routes within the Theatre, Film & Television Industry. Students will explore the Theatre, Film & Television industry and their progression areas, investigating the principles of self-promotion and presentation techniques for freelance work, theatre/performance production employment, theatre/performing arts companies and TV & Film employment. Particular attention will be given to an on going portfolio build, where consideration of standards of presentation will impinge directly on the working process.

Live Exhibition: This unit will provide a platform for the realisation of the knowledge, skills and understanding gained from the design and exploration within DCC312 Live Exhibition Development research outcomes. Students will be expected to work to current commercial and industrial standards and articulate their ideas through suitable construction processes. The unit will encourage students to push the boundaries of creative construction and design by implementing and executing a range of skills and knowledge gained during the programme.  The work produced will be of a high level of sophistication and fluency, along with evidence of a dedicated and professional work ethos.

Entry requirements 

You will need a minimum of 64 UCAS points from one or more of the following:

  • at least two A-levels
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma/Diploma/Subsidiary Diploma/Certificate [QCF]
  • BTEC National Award/Certificate/Diploma [NQF]
  • International Baccalaureate
  • AQA Baccalaureate
  • Progression Diploma
  • Advanced Diploma

Portfolio-based interview. Portfolios should include examples of recent project work and may reference a variety of media. You must also be able to talk about recent shows and exhibitions you have seen.

You will also need GCSE English at grade C (old specification) or Grade 4 (new specification) or above OR a Level 2 equivalent such as functional skills.

To find out how many points your qualifications are awarded, view the UCAS Tariff tables.

Portfolio-based interview. Portfolios should include examples of recent project work and may reference a variety of media. You must also be able to talk about recent shows and exhibitions you have seen.

Open Event - Higher Education Degrees, HNCs & HNDs

Saturday, 08 October 2016
Saturday, 03 December 2016
Saturday, 22 April 2017

The Forum

As a higher education student at South Essex College you will get exclusive access to The Forum Southend-on-Sea, a £27 million ultra-modern library and learning zone located opposite our Southend Campus.

Therefore we are holding our higher education open events at The Forum so that you can see for yourself the fantastic new building and learning facilities you will have access to if you choose to study with us.

Venue
Thurrock Campus (High House Production Park, Purfleet)
Starts
Monday, September 18, 2017
Attendance
Full time
Duration
3 years
Provision
Higher Education
Course code
B5L2
Cost
£9,000
Fees are per academic year for home and EU students
Thurrock Campus (High House Production Park, Purfleet)
Address
Vellacott Close
(Off Purfleet Bypass)
RM19 1AS

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