The Northern School of Art

Degree level: Undergraduate
Awarded by: Arts University Bournemouth

Costume Interpretation with Design

Make sure you check on the university, college or conservatoire website for any updates about course changes as a result of COVID-19.

Course summary

TEF Gold

The Northern School of Art has opted into the TEF and received a Gold award.

Find out more about the TEF.

We are one of the leading costume degree programmes in the UK, with great links to the industry leaders in costume with an international reputation. Our costume degree leads the way in producing costumiers for the entertainment industry through teaching a mixture of bespoke skills that are unique to this degree and not found elsewhere such as: Leatherwork – leather moulding/embossing • Mask-Making • Millinery (hat making) • Tailoring This creative degree will provide you with the specialist skills required to design, interpret and construct professional costumes for theatre, film, TV, dance and heritage. The degree aims to produce motivated and adaptable graduates, who can respond to the challenges of these constantly evolving industries. If you are serious about a career in costume industry, this is the costume degree for you! Previous work experiences include:

  • Angels Costumes
  • BBC
  • Channel 4
  • Cosprop
  • National Theatre
  • Royal Opera House
  • Royal Shakespeare Company
  • Sands Films
  • Strictly Come Dancing
  • Peaky Blinders
  • ITV
  • House of Mooshki bridal wear
Live projects with industry are embedded throughout the three years of study, we work with companies including:
  • BBC
  • Beamish Museum
  • Bowes Museum
  • Creature Encounters
  • Theatre Royal Newcastle
Our alumni enjoy a great variety of careers which have included working on:
  • Exodus: Gods and Kings, starring Christian Bale and directed by CCAD alumnus Sir Ridley Scott (20th Century Fox)
  • Into the Woods, starring Meryl Streep (Disney)
  • Sherlock Holmes, starring Benedict Cumberbatch (BBC)
  • Wolf Hall, starring Damien Lewis (BBC)
  • Victor Frankenstein, Starring James McAvoy
  • Beowulf
  • Opera North
  • National Theatre
  • West Yorkshire Playhouse
  • ‘Victoria’ starring Jenna Coleman (ITV)
  • Rogue One – Star Wars
  • Northern Ballet
  • ‘SS-GB’ starring Sam Riley (BBC)

Course details


In your first year (Level Four) you will explore: • Costume construction techniques • Critical analysis and costume interpretation • Design and illustration for costume • Fabric manipulation and applied surface decoration • Period and contemporary pattern cutting In your second year (Level Five) you will develop: • Costume communication theory and visualisation skills • Millinery and trimming techniques • Professional and commercial links within the industry • Research, exploration and construction skills for specialist costume • Tailoring for costume industry and specialist sampling • Live briefs In your third year (Level Six) you will produce: • A final project • Dissertation • Exhibition • Portfolios that span traditional and social media routes • Work for competitions and live industry briefs

Assessment method

In course assessment. Each module is assessed upon completion and given a percentage mark.

How to apply

Application deadlines

If your application is completed by the following date, it’s guaranteed to be considered:

15 January

*If you apply after this deadline, universities or colleges don’t have to consider your application if they’ve filled their spaces, so the sooner you apply, the better!

Application codes

You will need these codes when you add a choice to your application.

Course codeW452
Institution code C71
Campus nameThe Northern School of Art
Campus codeH

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1
  • Year 2
  • Year 3

International applicants

We do not currently accept students from outside of the EU.

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

QualificationOfferFurther information
UCAS Tariff 96 - 112 points UCAS tariff points can be made up of a mixture of Level 3 qualifications.
A level CCC - BBC
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) MMM - DMM
Access to HE Diploma Pass Access to HE Diploma
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) Pass Foundation Diploma

Your potential is our main focus when assessing your suitability for the programme you have applied to. Because of this, we take into account all aspects of your application and not just your academic profile. If you are a mature applicant (i.e. 21+ years), we will place more emphasis on your portfolio and the skills and experience you can demonstrate at interview. Your portfolio, which you bring to interview, is an integral part of the assessment. It should demonstrate your current skills, interests and knowledge where appropriate. It is also expected that you will bring evidence of written work to interview and/or have a Level 2 qualification in English/Literacy.

Additional entry requirements



Fees and funding

Tuition fees

England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1

Additional fee information

As with most creative programmes delivered at higher education, this programme will have additional costs such as material and basic tools and contribution towards educational visits to ensure successful completion of the programme. The School offers financial support packages to help with this, whether this be through means-tested bursaries, scholarships or grants. In addition, the School offers subsidised resale of course materials, free use of studios etc. More detailed information is provided at the interview stage; however, if you require this sooner please contact [email protected] Unfortunately The Northern School of Art can no longer accept applicants from students who are not UK residents.
Costume Interpretation with Design at The Northern School of Art - UCAS