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With expertise in technical skills and heaps of creativity, production design helps turn scripts into three-dimensional environments for stage and screen. We have designed this course to prepare you for a career in film, TV and theatre.
We will boost your understanding of design, aesthetics, form and function as well as skills in the workshop and production. As well as your studies, you will be able to watch screenings, listen to industry talks and create connections through network platforms.
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?
As a set, production or stage designer, you'll need the expertise, technical skills and creativity to help turn scripts into 3 dimensional environments for stage and screen.
Working in film, theatre or live performance you could take on a number of roles from production designer to model maker, art director to production design co-ordinator, stylist or illustrator.
Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?
We have links with industry specialists based at various studios all over the country as well as teaching staff with ample industry experience. This means you will have the opportunity to gain current knowledge and understanding of the design processes of working within tv, film and theatre. The University also has a base at the iconic Pinewood Studios, which means there could be opportunities to engage with the community there.
What facilities can I use?
We have been awarded £1.6m to fund new development for a range of courses, so you have access to industry-standard kit to undertake your course at our campus at High Wycombe.
You'll benefit from creating sets within a studio environment, complete with props stores and excellent workshop facilities, working with a variety of materials such as wood, metal and plastic. You will also acquire skills in 3D printing with Autodesk Fusion 360.
What will I study?
At the beginning of the course you will be taught basic techniques of drafting by hand then digitally transferred over to CAD to produce 3D printed models. You'll experiment with materials and see how they perform within your design concepts. Learn about materials that are appropriate for prop and model making through to set construction. This will incorporate learning about the craft of the industry and relevant health and safety procedures.
Once you feel confident with the basics, we will show you how production design works as a discipline and collaborates with other departments within filmmaking. You'll analyse scripts and learn how to interpret and work from a brief, demonstrating a professional understanding of the design process.
As you move on to your second year, learning will become more detailed. Your skills will be applied to more complex briefs, involving concepts for sets, and developing them into the final construction stage and learning how to work the set as an assistant art director. This will run along-side the preparation of your cv and understanding professional contexts.
In your last year at Bucks, you will spend the year working on your final project. This will be a project of your choice. It might be a series of props for a particular show, or the design for a historic theatre/film design. You will be asked to write a dissertation to support the project and justify your design concept.
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.
Here at Buckinghamshire New University, as well as the industry experts, we have an experienced team to run workshops and build your technical knowledge. You'll be taught by professionals from industry who have worked in product and set design.
The following assessment activities are used on this programme:
- Written assignments (essays, blogs, contextual reports)
- Workshop exercises and material experiments
- Drawings and CAD work
- Finished pieces in studio
- Essay/presentation/digital assessment drafts
- On-going studio work.
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 Design and Development
Year 2 Modules
Materials and Processes
Design Communication and Visualisation
Design from Script
Contextual Studies 1
Year 3 Modules
The Visual and Spatial Narrative
Collaborative Design and Practice
Professional Studies for Production Design
Contextual Studies 2
Year 4 Modules
Final Major Project
Contextual Report on Production Design
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.
Our BA (Hons) Production Design (Screen and Stage) course will help prepare you for a range of career possibilities, such as:
- Production designer for film, theatre, or live performances
- Design assistant or designer
- Art director or assistant
- Model maker
- Buyer or production specifier
- Studio manager or production design coordinator
- Film/theatre/performance stylist
- Film illustrator
Graduates can also choose to study for a postgraduate course.