On this dynamic course, you’ll cultivate the practical, creative and theoretical skills needed to enter the exciting world of screen-based costume design. You’ll be part of a course designed by industry, for industry, working in an environment that mirrors current industry practices.
This course is new for the entry year 2020.
You'll prepare for a career in contemporary costume design (from 1945-present, and beyond) through interdisciplinary learning across our Fashion & Textiles Institute and School of Film & Television. You'll be supported by professionals working at the forefront of the industry to develop your own distinctive design voice and portfolio.
- Gain core skills such as drawing, pattern cutting, garment construction and fitting techniques, observation, analysis and expansive research practices.
- Explore anthropological, socio-political, psychological and cultural concepts when considering the analysis of character and script, as well as how to plot costumes for moving image.
- Enhance your developing design profile through an exploration of industry applications such as styling for music promos and commercials, costume breakdown and innovative challenge-based design projects.
- Develop essential knowledge of the various roles available across the costume design sector, budget organisation, ideas pitching, collaboration and team working, as well as increased awareness of the freelance practice and self-management techniques.
- Refine your skills as a costume practitioner in your final year through a major collaborative screen production project and portfolio creation, ready for entry into the industry.
What our graduates do
Graduates can look forward to a wide range of costume design roles within the film and TV industry including costume designer, costume maker, costume cutter, costume breakdown artist, costume buyer, costume stand-by (on set looking after hero talent), costume supervisor, styling assistant and celebrity stylist.
What you'll learn
From costume design to garment construction, exploring contemporary fashion history to interpreting scripts and characters and learning how to work as part of a creative team, we'll equip you with the creative, practical and entrepreneurial skills you'll need to succeed in this vibrant industry.
During the first year of this costume design degree, you'll be introduced to fundamental skills such as research, drawing, pattern cutting, garment construction, fitting techniques, script analysis and costume plotting. You'll also learn how to become a costume designer that can analyse characters and scripts through the lens of anthropological, socio-political, psychological and cultural concepts. Practical work will be supported by lectures and written work exploring the history and theory of film and visual culture.
You'll learn foundation skills in pattern cutting and garment construction as well as skills specific to the live fitting of garments on the body.
You'll develop enhanced observational skills and learn how to record, reference and communicate detailed information on the clothes worn by real people and the costumes worn by fictional characters.
You'll learn how to develop costume from written scripts and how to plot an entire screen character's wardrobe. Through live costume fittings, you will develop an increasing awareness of professional etiquette and sensitivity when working with performers.
You'll engage with the historical development of fashion and style, and will be introduced to the conventions of screen genres while developing real costume outputs for scripts based in the past, present or future.
In year two you'll continue to develop your design profile through an exploration of screen theory, costume breakdown and industry applications, such as styling for music promos and commercials. Alongside your creative practice, you'll also gain vital skills for successful freelance practice, including budget organisation, self-management and collaboration.
With industry practices at its centre, this module will teach you about costume buying, hiring and commissioning. You will also explore processes such as costume breakdown and the importance of detail when developing the character 'realness'.
Focusing on the differing roles of the professional costume design team, you will gain an understanding of a variety of working arrangements, including freelance practice. You will get to grips with relevant financial management skills, such as personal and client budget management, as well as team dynamics and ethical interpersonal relationships.
This module provides an opportunity to bring fully-fledged costumes to life. Collaborating on a live project with industry partners or other Falmouth University schools, you'll be provided with a script and assigned a suitable costume design team role.
You'll research areas of design history, film, television and cultural studies to enhance your growing theoretical perspectives on the costume design industry and your own developing design practice.
In your final year, you'll prepare for entry into the industry by refining your skills through ideas pitching, a major collaborative screen production project, and portfolio creation.
This challenge-based module gives you the opportunity to collaborate with outside agencies or with teams from a variety of Falmouth University schools. You will develop character profiles and a range of costume options for main and supporting characters in live collaborative projects, both individually and as part of a costume team. You will also experience industry-standard practices of pitching for leadership or participation.
Research is key to this module: you'll identify a topic that is relevant to your identity as a costume designer before carrying out a sustained and focused investigation into it. You will write, reference and illustrate a critical essay that aligns with your own practice in the field of costume design. You'll also offer an assessment of the screen industries that evaluates the relationship of your research topic with your future career aspirations.
In this final module, you'll showcase the skills that have been acquired throughout the course in a live, challenge-based environment. Your costume design skills will contribute to the completion of real screen output, be it a short film, TV show, advert, still or another collaborative project. You will be allocated an appropriate costume role in the production in line with industry practice, and participate in the teamwork that brings it to fruition. Receiving ongoing feedback from your colleagues, you will record and evaluate your performance in the execution of your professional role.
The modules above are those being studied by our students or proposed new ones. Programme structures and modules can change as part of our curriculum enhancement and review processes. If a certain module is important to you, please discuss it with the Course Leader.
How you'll learn
You'll hone your creative practice and gain invaluable practical and critical skills through a blend of lectures, seminars, masterclasses, workshops, tutorials and guided independent study.
- Coursework assignments with no formal examinations.
- Artefacts, portfolios, projects, reports and dissertation.
- Formative feedback will be ongoing through regular tutorials with academic staff and visiting professionals, and summative feedback will take place following the end of the designated study block assessment periods.
Staff have experience at the highest levels of industry and bring established and innovative new practices to the course. Their experience spans costume design and supervision through to breakdown, plotting and characterisation for companies such as Paramount Pictures, the BBC, The National Theatre and Channel 4.
“This course is an extremely viable prospect for students looking to gain the necessary skills needed to access one of the most interesting and fun industries to work in, with potential earnings in this industry being very good.”
Susie Coulthard, Costume Designer (guest speaker)
- Open plan contemporary studios.
- Industrial sewing machines and specialist construction equipment.
- Dye lab and breakdown facilities.
- Access to digital suites with Adobe CS, Gerber pattern plotting and CLO3D software.
- Wardrobe store with a selection of costumes from contemporary history.
- Access to archive collections of historical and contemporary garments.
- Collaborative opportunities within the School of Film and Television.
How to apply
Apply via UCAS
Ready to join us? If you're applying through UCAS Apply and Track, you'll need to reference the university and course codes below.
- University code: F33
- Course code: W451
Applying as an international student?
International students can apply for a course through UCAS, via an agent or directly with the university.
We consider all applications on their own individual merit and potential. We invite all applicants to an interview day or audition to give them the opportunity to demonstrate this along with what inspires and motivates them in their field. Applicants will also be able to show their portfolio or give a performance depending on the course. We welcome applications from all subject backgrounds, whether you’ve specialised in STEM, the arts or humanities.
As a guide our typical offer at an undergraduate level is 104 – 120 UCAS Tariff points, primarily from Level 3 qualifications such as but not limited to A-levels, a BTEC Extended Diploma or a Foundation Diploma.
For applicants whose first language is English, we require you to have or be working towards GCSE English Language Grade 4 (C), or equivalent.
If English is not your first language you will need to meet the same standard which is equivalent to the IELTS Academic 6.0 overall score, with at least 5.5 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. We accept a range of in-country equivalencies and approved tests.
If you need a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, you’ll need to take an approved Secure English Language Test (SELT). You can read our English Language Requirements for more information.
- UK/EU applications: 15 January 2020 (for equal consideration)
- Late applications will be considered if there are places available.
- International fee payers can apply throughout the year. But we recommend applying as early as possible, to make time for visa and travel arrangements.
Tuition fees 2020-21
- £9,250 - full-time UK/EU
- £16,000 - full-time international
Tuition fees are set annually and are subject to review each year. The University may, therefore, raise tuition fees in the second or subsequent years of a course, in line with inflation and/or the maximum permitted by law or Government policy. Students will be notified of any changes as soon as possible.
About the School
Established in 1902 as Falmouth School of Art, it has grown over a century to become a digital innovation hub. Today, its portfolio of undergraduate and postgraduate courses represents the breadth of ... Read More