Nottingham Trent University

Costume Design and Making Nottingham Trent University Degree level: Undergraduate


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Course summary

TEF Gold

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This exciting design for performance course is one of the few costume degrees that will allow you to focus equally on developing both your costume design and costume making skills. Learn how to translate your creative ideas into professional costumes for theatre, film and television, dance, opera and other performance areas.

You’ll develop skills in visual research, character analysis, contemporary design development, innovative 2D to 3D realisation, corsetry, pattern cutting, tailoring, millinery and wigs, and costume props, as well as build your fabric knowledge.

Benefit from teaching professionals who all have industry experience, dedicated working spaces and design studios, professional design and costume construction equipment in the beautiful listed Waverley building.

The course is accredited by The Textile Institute at Associateship level, reassuring employers that our students graduate with a high standard of professional skills as well as their degree.

Key features of the course:

  • We're delighted to be ranked 8th in the UK for Art & Design. (The Complete University Guide 2019).

  • Focus equally on your designing and construction skills.

  • Work in a dedicated studio fully equipped with professional design, sewing, and costume construction equipment.

  • Take part in live industry projects. This has recently involved designing and making costumes for Nottingham’s Theatre Royal, and Hainsworth Mill Fabrics.

  • Receive support for work placements, gaining experience with national organisations such as Scottish Opera, Birmingham Royal Ballet, and Manchester International Festival.

  • Visit design exhibitions at venues like the V&A Museum in London, and the National Theatre costume department.

  • Go on national and international study trips, visit exhibitions and see opera, ballet, theatre and dance performances.

  • Opportunity to apply for an international exchange to one of our partner institutions, such as RMIT in Australia.

  • Showcase your work at our Degree Show in Nottingham, with the opportunity to be selected to exhibit at other graduate events in London.

  • Our graduates go on to secure jobs in the design for performance industry. 90% of our graduates in employment or further study within six months of graduating (DLHE Survey 2016/17)


Assessment is 100% through coursework. You will receive feedback throughout each module and will be awarded a grade.


Employability is excellent for this course, with 90% of our graduates in employment or further study within six months of graduating (DLHE survey 2016/17).

Graduates from this course go into fields such as film, television, theatre, opera, dance, music, heritage projects, advertising, events, and festivals.

Recent graduate roles include freelance costume designers, trainee costume designers, and wardrobe assistants for a range of theatre, film, and television productions. This includes Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, The Book of Mormon, Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes, and The Winter’s Tale at the Garrick Theatre, London. They are also working for world-renowned organisations such as Angels Costumes in London.

Course details


[Year One] • Costume Design and Making: Introductions (100 credit points)
Complete costume design projects that will include analytical research, concept and design development, and costume drawing. Explore the use of text and narrative in relation to the design of costume for performance.

You’ll be introduced to the wider context of the world of costume, covering themes including costume and theatre history, film, and production analysis. Learn the practical skills you need to master the cut, fit and construction of costumes, including period bodices. Other construction projects may focus on millinery and accessories.

• Contextual and Critical Studies 1 (20 credit points)
Develop your ability to communicate your design ideas through a range of 2D drawing and image-making workshops. Projects will help you to develop your personal visual language, enabling you to communicate your ideas through your designs. You’ll also be introduced to digital tools and technologies, that will help you to start building your personal digital portfolio. [Year Two] • Costume Design and Making: Explorations (100 credit points)
Engage in a wider and more sophisticated range of advanced costume design techniques and construction skills to advance your work and understanding of the subject area. Focus on professional design practice, using contemporary or classical source materials in a variety of performance methods. Have the opportunity to undertake work experience.

• Contextual and Critical Studies 2 (20 credit points)
Continue to develop your skills and knowledge in 2D drawing and image-making techniques, using both physical and digital media. Through a variety of visual exercises you’ll develop your ability to analyse information, and to compare alternative methods and techniques in the visual communication and presentation of your costume design ideas. Create your own website, and build and refine your personal digital portfolio. [Final year] • Costume Design and Making: Exposition (120 credit points)
This year-long module is your Costume Design and Making Major Project. You’ll negotiate a design and making project brief, informed by research and professional context and you’ll be encouraged to focus on options that support your career aspirations. You’ll evidence research skills, developing a complete design portfolio, and show progression from 2D to 3D through the realisation of character. You may have the opportunity to incorporate live/industry projects and / or competitions.

Your major project will be exhibited as part of the University’s Degree Show. You will also develop your writing skills, allowing you to develop and express in-depth practical and theoretical knowledge.

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 code W451
Institution code N91
Campus name City Campus
Campus code 1

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

Qualification Offer Further information
UCAS Tariff 112 points
A level BBC 112 UCAS Tariff points from three A-Levels
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) DMM
Access to HE Diploma Pass your Access course with 60 credits overall with a minimum of 45 credits at level 3
GCSE/National 4/National 5 GCSE English grade C/4 or equivalent
GCSE Maths grade C/4 or GCSE Science grade C/4 or equivalent
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) 112 UCAS Tariff points from your BTEC Level 3 National Diploma and one A-Level or equivalent qualification
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate (first teaching from September 2016) 112 UCAS Tariff points from your BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate and two A-Levels or equivalent qualifications

We also consider equivalent qualifications and combinations. Please contact Nottingham Trent University Admissions team for further information.

Additional entry requirements



Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Channel Islands £9,250 Year 1
EU £9,250 Year 1
International £13,450 Year 1
England £9,250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9,250 Year 1
Scotland £9,250 Year 1
Wales £9,250 Year 1

Additional fee information

Your Course fees will increase each year in line with inflation and as specified by the Government.

Provider information

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Nottingham Trent University
50 Shakespeare Street

Course contact details

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NTU Admissions

+44(0)115 848 4200


+44 (0) 115 848 4200

Fax: +44 (0) 115 848 8869