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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. This degree is largely based on practical work and during your time with us you’ll develop your skills in costume making, as well as showing the process, creativity and innovation behind your designs.
Taught in collaboration with industry specialists based at our campus and Pinewood Studio base, this course combines theory, industry expertise and hands-on projects through a variety of mediums.
We understand that when it comes to deciding where you’d like to study, there are a lot of things to consider. Come along to our Open Day and discover why BNU could be the place for you. You can find out more about your course, meet the course team, and get all your questions answered.
For everything you need to know about applying, check out our Application Guide. You can find useful information for each stage of your application journey – from before you even apply to what to do if you receive an offer, and everything in between.
Why study this subject?
The costumes you design and create form a key part of an audience’s appreciation of the drama. With this training 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.
Become part of the team working together behind the scenes to create out of this world costumes and designs that engage the audience and help them fall in love with both plot and characters.
Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?
Dream of crafting incredible costumes for stage, screen or the catwalk? At BNU, we’ll help you develop the know-how you need to kickstart your career and bring your ideas alive.
With London on our doorstep, you’ll be near the world’s best cultural centres, such as theatres, museums and galleries. We’ll help connect you with designers in and around the capital, and you’ll have the chance to showcase your work at our exhibitions.
Develop a strong portfolio of work that showcases your creativity to employers, learn from industry experts in top teaching facilities, based on our campus at the iconic Pinewood Studios and benefit from our links with the National Theatre and the British Fashion Council.
What facilities can I use?
Bring your designs to life at the Red Shed, our fashion and textiles facility where you’ll find all the equipment you need, including sewing and garment production facilities, knit machines, screen printing equipment and a dye laboratory.
What will I study?
You’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the industry with live briefs and student design competitions. As well as the chance to join workshops run by other courses. Why not try woodwork, fine metalwork, 3D printing, or even ceramics to enhance your practice?
By the time you graduate you will be able to design, create and bring stories to life with your costumes.
How will I be taught and assessed?
This course is 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 degree.
Exploring the theory and history of art and design, we'll look at period fashion, costume design, textiles and more. Alongside this, you will embed yourself in practice through the exploration of materials, processes, design techniques, and digital software.
Working in our lively studios, you'll explore 2D and 3D design, pattern cutting, manufacturing and illustration. Most importantly, you’ll learn what it takes to respond to different character briefs and how costume brings scripts to life. Because you’ll be taught alongside our fashion and textiles students, you’ll gain invaluable insight into the processes that support costume design.
To put your skills to the test, we'll set you an industry brief. At the same time, we’ll develop your professional skills and support you to go on placement or undertake work-related opportunities. As well as our connection with industry specialists, we work with different producers, designers and organisations in the local area and London. For previous projects, we've collaborated with the V&A Museum and the British Fashion Council.
We’ll challenge you to create a contextual report on your practice- as well as consolidate all your subject knowledge towards the creation of your final project and portfolio. Your portfolio of work showcases your best work and impresses employers in the creative industries.
It might even end up in an exhibition or in our fashion show!
BNU is a Placements Plus university. So, whatever degree you do, you can be sure there’ll be plenty of industry-relevant opportunities on offer, to help you get into your chosen field.
We’ll also prepare you for work beforehand, with special skills for work training, further boosting your CV, and building skills employers will value. In recognition of the value we place on these skills we have incorporated this experience into your study time.
Placements Plus is all about helping you get some valuable experience under your belt while you’re a student, to increase your choices later, and help you get the graduate-level job you want.
What are the course entry requirements?
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. If you wish to enquire further, please send your query along with any academic evidence or references to firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more about our General Entry Requirements.
This module map provides a list of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.
Year 1 Modules
Preparing for Success Knowledge and Creativity
Preparing for Success Self-development and Responsibility
Inquiry Based Learning
Introduction to Fashion and Textiles
Year 2 Modules
Contextual Studies 1
Textiles for Costume
Materials and Processes
Design, Techniques and Concepts
Year 3 Modules
Contextual Studies 2 - Research Strategies
Professional Studies for Costume Design
Year 4 Modules
Contextual Report on Practice
Final Major Project
How much does it cost
Home and EU
Home and EU, Academic Year 2021-2022
£9,250 per year
International, Academic Year 2021-2022
£13,750 per year
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. We also help you find employment after graduation. Have a look at our Careers and Employability pages to find out more.
The industry is constantly evolving to meet shifting customer values and new technologies. By the time you leave, you’ll feel ready to tackle the challenges employers face.
With an impressive portfolio and sought-after skillset, you’ll be ready to work in a range of roles.
Our BA (Hons) Costume Design and Making course will help prepare you for a range of career possibilities, such as:
- Costume designer for the creative industries
- Pattern cutter
- Costume developer
- Garment technologist
- Studio manager or costume design coordinator
- Film/theatre/performance stylist
- Film illustrator
- PR/marketing specialist.
You may also choose to stay on at Buckinghamshire New University and study a postgraduate programme.