A close up of the midline of a blue victorian style dress

BA (Hons) Costume Design and Making

UCAS CODE: CODM (Full-time) or CDMM (Foundation Year)
TARIFF: 88 - 112 (Full-time) or 32 - 56 (Foundation Year)
  • Study Mode: Full Time
  • Location: High Wycombe / BNU based at Pinewood Studios
  • Duration: Three or Four Years
  • Start Date: September 2024

From film to fashion shows, TV to theatre, all productions depend on great costumes to bring stories to life and capture the imagination of the audience. Develop your skills in costume making, as well as showing the process, creativity and innovation behind your designs.

Split between our High Wycombe campus and BNU teaching base at Pinewood Studios, you’ll have the opportunity to learn the skills and knowledge you need for your future, all whilst studying right in the heart of the famous creative hub.

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No. 1 in England for Student Satisfaction*
*Measured by % of positivity across all questions within the larger providers only: taught or registered population (NSS 2023)
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No. 1 Students' Union in the UK*
*As ranked among taught students at non-specialist HEIs (NSS 2023)
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Top for our response to the cost-of-living-crisis*
*Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023
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5th for learning opportunities*
*NSS 2023
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Top 10 for student support*
*Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023
I am constantly inspired by the people around me. BNU, and specifically the Red Shed facility, is the most amazing place! There are so many creative opportunities and the Red Shed is where I can find resources, as well as collaborate with my peers. Complete with an individual study space for everyone, it is a thoroughly enjoyable place to create. I wouldn’t want to study anywhere else.
Eloise Dobson
Eloise Dobson
Why study BA (Hons) Costume Design and Making at BNU?

Led by a dedicated and experienced course team, you’ll benefit from their industry knowledge and the industry links they bring to the course. You’ll get direct access to guest lectures, who are specialists in the sector, and can benefit from live project briefs, master classes, and networking opportunities. We also have links with the National Theatre and the British Fashion Council.

The University also has a teaching base at the iconic Pinewood Studios, which means there could be opportunities to engage with the community there. You’ll also be able to put your learnt skills and craftmanship to practice, whilst being in the hustle and bustle of the world-renowned studio.

We’ve spent a lot of love and care making the Fashion and Textile Studios the perfect creative space and one of the best-equipped workshops in the country. You'll be working on industry standard equipment, learning latest techniques and future focused methods of costume craftsmanship.

You will master materials, both through traditional methods and using digital software. This includes an in-house fabric and yarn store, screen printing facilities, a dye laboratory and sewing and garment production facilities.

We also have specialist technicians and demonstrators on site to support and share their knowledge with you, when and if you need it.

As well as this you may also have the chance to access to our photography, film and tv and drama studios where you’ll be able to work collaboratively with photography, performance and hair and make-up students to build your portfolio, and network like you would in the industry.

As part of the Art, Design and Performance School at BNU, you’ll benefit from a practiced-based course, supported by contextual studies. You’ll also have the opportunity to work collaboratively across the school with other courses, ensuring during your studies you are building a varied network, like you would in the real world.

With a history of delivering expert craft, art and design education for more than 130 years, Buckinghamshire New University is the perfect place to start your creative career in costume design. 

During your time on the course you’ll lend your hand to a range of styles, techniques and periods. Your modules and briefs allow you to develop the skills that employers are looking for, whilst ensuring you have a varied and desirable portfolio. 

Opportunity modules are a key part of the BNU curriculum. You’ll choose modules in your first year from a broad selection in areas such as sustainability, entrepreneurship, creativity, digital skills, personal growth, civic engagement, health & wellbeing and employment. Opportunity modules are designed to enable you to develop outside the traditional boundaries of your discipline and help you to further stand out from the crowd to future employers.

Our fashion and textiles programmes are ranked 3rd best in the UK (The Guardian University Guide 2023) and we celebrated 95% overall student satisfaction in the 2022 National Student Survey.

Our High Wycombe Campus is only a short train ride away from London, meaning you are only a stones-throw away from the hustle and bustle - enabling you to visit exhibitions, galleries, shows and watch emerging styles, to help you gain inspiration and ideas.

What will I study?

This course is also offered as a four-year programme, including an initial Foundation Year. The Foundation Year will allow you to develop your academic study skills and build confidence in your abilities, identifying your own strengths and development needs for progression onto an undergraduate programme.

With this costume design course you can expect a whirlwind of briefs, from period dresses to futuristic and modern-day costumes - immerse yourself in the scripts, and bring performances to life with your creations.

Creativity, innovation, critical, independent thinking, and the development of your personal design philosophy are at the core of this Costume Design and Making degree. The course aims to develop your knowledge and skills in costume design on both an artistic and professional level. You’ll apply your knowledge and understanding to the range of professional environments where your practice can be developed, from film and television productions to theatre and media performances.

Across the duration of your course, you will learn approaches that will enable you to understand the design process from concept, through design to production and product placement.

On this university-level costume design course you’ll start with the core fundamentals, including contextual studies, 2D and 3D, pattern cutting, manufacturing, illustration and applying your knowledge to character representation through script and story interpretation. 

As you progress through the course, you’ll begin to investigate the fashion, theatre, and film industry, through a series of design and live industry projects, advanced pattern cutting, manufacturing, processes and materials workshops. You will also begin to develop your aesthetic style, leading to the completion of a final collection, an industry ready portfolio and promotion package.

Upon graduation you’ll be able to solve problems and make creative and professional decisions, using your skills and talent to create show-stopping designs. Your portfolio will be well-rounded, ensuring you have what current employers are looking for.

Stay updated with all our latest BA (Hons) Costume Design and Making news by following us on Instagram @bnu_costume.

Costume Design students 14
Costume Design students 9

How will I be taught and assessed?

The BA (Hons) Costume Design and Making degree encompasses a wide variety of teaching and learning methods.

Most of this degree is studio-practice based, here we aim to create the ethos of a professional real-world environment. As Costume Design and Making student you’ll have to complete a series of modules and projects during your time spent studying with us. Projects are designed to present new challenges to you as you progress through the course. By the end of your time with BNU, you’ll benefit from a full portfolio to go to employers with.

We also aim to provide masterclasses and industry brief opportunities for you to apply your knowledge, skills and understanding into real-world contexts, whilst gaining feedback from current industry-leaders. For previous projects, we've collaborated with the V&A Museum and the British Fashion Council.

You’ll also be assessed though; 1:1 or small group tutorials, Portfolio and presentations, written assessments, sketchbooks, group critiques and self-directed study.

By being based at Pinewood Studios for some of the programme, you are exposed, daily, to real world experiences and opportunities.

Pinewood studios exterior building
I decided to study at BNU because of the course syllabus. It covers everything I’m interested in, and so far has been great. The lecturers and tutors push you to do your best, whilst being supportive. I feel this course will give me the groundwork I need to enter the industry.
Olivia Kuras
Olivia Kuras

BA (Hons) Costume Design and Making Programme Specification

BA (Hons) Costume Design Additional Course Costs

BA (Hons) Costume Design and Making Interview Guide

What are the course entry requirements?

A typical offer will require a UCAS tariff score of: 88 - 112 (Full-time) or 32 - 56 (Foundation Year)

UCAS points can be obtained through qualifications such as A levels, T levels, BTEC or an Access to Higher Education course in a relevant subject. Please list all your qualifications on the application form as you will be asked to provide copies when we receive your application.

A minimum of two full A-levels (or equivalent) is required. Every application is considered on an individual basis.

Applicants will need to complete an interview and/or demonstrate portfolio work, further guidance is given on the interview and portfolio advice pages.

Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements for the 3-year undergraduate programme, or those who do not feel fully prepared for a Level 4 course, will be considered for the 4-year programme including a Foundation Year; find out more.

If you wish to enquire further, please send your query along with any academic evidence or references to admissions@bucks.ac.uk.

For further details of our international English entry requirements, please visit our international pages.


This provides a guide of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.

This course has Opportunity modules.

Opportunity modules are a key part of the BNU curriculum. You’ll choose modules in your first year from a broad selection in areas such as sustainability, entrepreneurship, creativity, digital skills, personal growth, civic engagement, health & wellbeing and employment. Opportunity modules are designed to enable you to develop outside the traditional boundaries of your discipline and help you to further stand out from the crowd to future employers. Find out more.

What are the tuition fees

  • Home, Academic Year 2024 - 2025: £9,250 per year
  • Overseas/International, Academic Year 2024 - 2025: £15,150 per year

Additional course costs and financial support

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.
You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Questions about fees?

If you have any questions about the fees above, contact our Enquiries team by calling 0330 123 2023 or emailing advice@bnu.ac.uk.

What are my career prospects? 

Throughout your time with us we’ll support you on the route to your chosen career. We’ll help you to develop crucial skills, encouraging you to become enterprising, employable and good leaders. Our Careers and Employability Team also help you find employment after graduation.

Upon graduation, you will be prepared for a range of career possibilities. Using the skills and knowledge learnt on this course, you could find yourself performing the following roles all over the world:

  • Costume designer for the creative industries
  • Pattern cutter
  • Costume developer
  • Garment technologist
  • Studio manager or costume design coordinator
  • Film/theatre/performance stylist
  • Costume supervisor
  • Costume exhibition or game designer

You may also choose to stay on at Buckinghamshire New University and study a postgraduate programme.

Course leader

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Anca Albani Ph.D
  • Senior Lecturer
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Karen Bartlett
  • Senior Lecturer
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Evangelina Thomadaki
  • Lecturer
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Al Watkins
  • Technical Demonstrator for Digital Arts
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Joseph Davies
  • Technical Tutor
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Rupert Hammerton-Fraser
  • Technical Demonstrator
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Rosie Williams
  • Technical Demonstrator
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Dr Louisa Lee
  • Lecturer
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BA (Hons) Costume Design and Making
BA (Hons) Costume Design and Making with Foundation Year