Bristol Old Vic Theatre School

FdA Costume for Theatre, TV and Film Bristol Old Vic Theatre School Degree level: Undergraduate UCAS Conservatoires Awarded by: University of the West of England, Bristol


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Course summary

TEF Gold

Bristol Old Vic Theatre School has opted into the TEF and received a Gold award.

Find out more about the TEF.

The Foundation Degree (FDA) in Costume for Theatre and Television is an intensively vocational and highly practical course equivalent to the first two years of a BA Hons degree covering all aspects of costume work for up to 6 students per year.
It prepares the student for a career in the diverse field of Theatre, TV and film costume, with a big emphasis on cultivating relationships with many visiting professionals. The student will go on many work placements within the Industry, eventually tailoring their choices to the area they are most interested in. The placements taken up by the students are many and varied, including within the Theatre; dressing, making, alterations, maintenance and dyeing. TV work includes on set stand by, working with the crowd, dyeing for productions and breaking down.
Examples of placements are as follows;
The National Theatre, English National Ballet, English National Opera, West End show, Wicked, Poldark for Mammoth screen, Vanity Fair for Mammoth Screen, Father Brown for BBC, Bristol Costume Services, The Costume Workshop, Trollied for sky TV.
Classes include pattern drafting, flat and on the stand, costume construction, corset making, millinery, ruffs and rebatos. Foundation wear, stretch wear and body padding. Basic tailoring techniques, hand and machine embroidery, tutu construction. Printing techniques, dyeing and distressing and costume enhancement.
Supervisory elements include Costume Assisting and supervisory roles. Hiring and buying to budget, fitting costumes and altering them as per each show requires. Visiting Costumiers and pulling costumes to the designers brief. Wig care and basic make up. Organising fittings, keeping an organised up to date bible, liasing with Designers and Directors and shopping to specific briefs. The students work to given designs, working with student Designers and visiting professionals, working on up to 14 shows per academic year. These will include TIE productions, various touring shows, large main house shows, small independent theatre shows and up to 4 TV productions produced through the in house BOVTS Television skills Department. This is a full time course, we expect 100% commitment from each student as their first day at the school is the beginning of their professional career. You can top up to a full degree by applying within the Department to join the third and final year, we have facilities for up to 4 students in the third year. The third year (BA Hons) top up is very much a self motivated year with the student specialising in one particular area of study, one in which they will pursue for their placement term. They will also work on a personal research project. They will take on more complicated makes and Supervisory roles within the shows offered in the final term. There is an Exhibition at the end of the year for the students to exhibit their work from their 2 or 3 years at the school to which Industry professionals are invited. We also arrange interviews with visiting professionals who are often in a position to offer our graduating students employment.

Please note: All applicants must be aged 18 or over at the start of the course.

Applications - further details

We will only accept one application per applicant, per year.

We will not accept applications if you have previously applied in four or more consecutive years.

Course details

Principal study options

During the application and audition process, you must select which instrument(s) you wish to specialise in for the duration of your course. On this course, you can choose from the following options:

Single specialism

Only one instrument is studied. It may be possible to study a further instrument formatively, but this will not contribute towards the qualification.


For all courses, you must select at least one specialism from the 'primary' list. For those studying primary/secondary pathways, two instruments may be selected – one from the 'primary' list and one from the 'secondary' list. Joint pathway students may select any two instruments from either list.

Primary instrument/specialism

  • Drama Production


This module map provides a list of the modules that make up your course.

Each module is worth a specified number of credits: All modules are compulsory, enabling you to cover key subject knowledge while developing your own interests.

Year 1

Module Number: UAMPD8-40-1 Module Name: Assistant Costume Supervision in Performance (40 credits)
Module Number: UAMPD9-40-1 Module Name: Basic Millinery and Foundation Skills (40 credits)
Module Number: UAMPE3-40-1 Module Name: Pattern Cutting (40 credits)
Optional Modules: There are no optional modules for this stage of this award.

Interim Award: Cert HE Costume for Theatre, TV and Film

Credit requirements: 120 from the above specific level 1 modules.

Year 2

Module Number: UAMPE4-40-2 Module Name: Costume Supervision (40 credits)
Module Number: UAMPE5-40-2 Module Name: Advanced Pattern Cutting and Costume Construction (40 credits)
Module Number: UAMPE6-20-2 Module Name: Advanced Millinery and Specialist Skills (20 credits)
Module Number: UAMPE7-20-2 Module Name: Preparing for Employment and Work Placement (20 credits)
Optional Modules: There are no optional modules for this stage of this award.

Credit requirements 240 from the above specific Level 1 and Level 2 modules.

Award:Foundation Degree (FdA) Costume for Theatre, TV and Film.

Assessment method

Students are assessed on their professional practice on a pass or fail basis.

Judgements about students’ performance are made against the relevant professional standards.

The UWE qualifications are awarded as non-classified/nondifferentiated.

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!

*If you are an international applicant, or you are applying for a postgraduate course, or are choosing certain audition locations, the 'on time' deadline may be later in the year - please contact the conservatoire directly.

Application codes

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

Course code BOV5
Institution code B65
Campus name Bristol Old Vic Theatre School
Campus code -

This course may be available at alternative locations, please check if other course options are available

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

Qualification Offer Further information

For an Honours degree course you normally need two A-levels or the equivalent, such as a BTEC Diploma or Extended Diploma; IB (International Baccalaureate); or Access to Higher Education Diploma. For foundation courses, you normally need one A-level, or equivalent.
Students who achieve the UCAS Tariff points required (and have passed an English Language qualification) almost always have gained qualifications which meet our minimum entry requirements.

Audition locations

In the event of a successful audition, applicants may be invited for a further interview prior to being made an offer.

Remote audition recordings may be accepted in the event that you cannot attend an audition in person.

Single specialism audition

Location On-time Fee Late Fee
Bristol No fee charged

Joint principal specialism audition

Location On-time Fee Late Fee
Bristol No fee charged

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Channel Islands £9,250 Year 1
EU £9,250 Year 1
International £21,300 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

No additional fees or cost information has been supplied for this course, please contact the provider directly.

Provider information

Visit our website

Bristol Old Vic Theatre School
2 Downside Road

Course contact details

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