Nottingham Trent University

Theatre Design Nottingham Trent University Degree level: Undergraduate


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Course summary

TEF Gold

Nottingham Trent University has opted into the TEF and received a Gold award.

Find out more about the TEF.

Explore all aspects of contemporary theatre design practice, including: set and costume design and construction; scenic art; site-specific design; puppetry; heritage installation; and design for events, community and education.

This course will teach you how to bring together the creative, technical, communicative, collaborative and organisational skills needed to make imaginative performance for a range of professional environments.

We have strong links with a wide range of performance, heritage and educational organisations, and professional theatre companies, providing you with fantastic opportunities to raise your profile and grow your professional practice.

Formed originally by designers at Nottingham Playhouse, the Theatre Design course at NTU has been running since 1973

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 both your design and making skills.

  • Study in dedicated facilities, including a studio theatre, construction and paint workshops, and large teaching spaces.

  • Work on live projects with industry such as The Royal National Theatre, Birmingham Opera Company and The Royal Lyceum Theatre (Edinburgh).

  • Go on study visits for inspiration, research and experience, including live performances, museums and heritage and educational organisations.

  • Complete a three to five-week work placement in Year Two.

  • Enter competitions set by organisations such as The Royal National Theatre’s Connections festival, and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

  • Showcase your work at our Degree Show in Nottingham, with the opportunity to be selected to exhibit at other graduate events in London such as New Designers and The Bargehouse.

  • The course is a member of the Association of British Theatre Technicians, the Association of Courses in Theatre Design (ACTD), and the Society of British Theatre Designers (SBTD). Through these, it is also a member of the International Organisation of Scenographers, Theatre Architects and Technicians (OISTAT), and participates in the UK exhibition at the Prague Quadrennial.

  • Opportunity to apply for an international exchange to one of our partner institutions, such as Ryerson University in Canada.


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


This course has an excellent graduate employment rate, with 93% of graduates in employment or further study within six months (DLHE survey 2016/17).

Our graduates go into fields such as scenography and performance design, costume making, events and festival design, and arts management. Recent graduate destinations include Nottingham Playhouse, Sydney Opera House, Royal Shakespeare Company, and The BBC.

Course details


Overall, there are five modules which are assessed; two in both the Year One and Year Two with one module over the whole of your Final Year. [Year One] Introduction to Theatre Design – This module will teach you about the key principles, skills, practices and thinking which informs contemporary theatre design practice. You’ll be taught how to create design models, storyboards and sets and props. You’ll also learn about wardrobe, scenic art and projection techniques which will support your own research project and reflective writing • Visual, Technical and Professional Skills 1 – This module will encourage you to work with contemporary and period texts and themes to develop your ability to communicate research, process and design intention. This module will help you to learn about equipment materials, processes and protocols in theatre design which includes health and safety. [Year Two] Theatre Design Explorations – In the first project of this module you’ll explore aspects of place, performance and public in recent and contemporary theatre. In the second project you’ll focus on the spectacle by looking at aspects of opera and carnival. You’ll work on an individual research project which you’ll present at the end of the module • Visual, technical and Professional Skills 2 – This module will help you to build on the skills which you gained form Year One but will focus more on an understanding of them in terms of the industry. To develop this understanding you’ll complete a work experience placement from a selection of professional performance-related environments. You’ll develop your theatre craft, technology and interactive media skills. Final Year: Theatre Design Exposition – You’ll complete a research project which will combine the skills which you learnt in Years One and Two and complete three projects which will normally include: a design for performance, an independent design project for audience, working with a client and a devised performance project for an audience.

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 W460
Institution code N91
Campus name City Campus
Campus code 1

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
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