Costume Design and Making (BA (Hons))

For more information about Costume Design and Making at Nottingham Trent University, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award
BA (Hons)

How long you will study
3 years

Domestic course fees
GBP 9250 per year

How you will study

Course starts

International course fees
GBP 13450 per year

All study options

About Costume Design and Making at Nottingham Trent University

This specialist course focuses equally on the development of your designing and costume construction skills. Learning fundamental principles together with innovative and bespoke techniques, you will learn how to translate your creative ideas through 2D and 3D design into professional finished costumes. These could be for use in theatre, film, ballet, television, commercials, events, festivals, concerts, and historical contexts.

Key features

  • Focus equally on your designing and construction skills.
  • Work in a dedicated studio fully equipped with professional design, sewing, and costume construction equipment.
  • Receive support for work placements, gaining valuable industry experience.
  • Take part in live industry projects – this has recently involved designing and making costumes for Nottingham's Theatre Royal.
  • Visit design exhibitions at venues like the V&A Museum in London, and the National Theatre costume department.
  • Go on trips to see opera, ballet, theatre and dance performances to stay informed on the latest productions.
  • Apply for an international exchange to destinations such as Barcelona, Hong Kong, the USA, and New Zealand.
  • Exhibit your work in your final year at our Degree Show in Nottingham and, if selected, at New Designers in London.
  • This course has an excellent employability rate, with 100% of graduates in employment or further study within six months of graduating (DLHE Survey 2015/16).

Student work

  • Work by Chloe Crabtree
  • Work by Chloe Roche
  • Work by Eleanor Barlow
  • Work by Dominika Dzienisz
  • Work by Hannah Bogianno
  • Work by Laura Leathley
  • Work by Sophie Bowyer
  • Work by Lizzy Douglas

How you're taught

On this course, you will spend your time in creative studio environments. Teaching and learning experiences will include:

  • masterclasses
  • demonstrations
  • creative workshops
  • studio practice
  • visits
  • lectures
  • tutorials
  • seminars
  • presentations
  • self-directed study
  • evaluations
  • feedback.


Assessment is 100% coursework.  You will receive feedback throughout.

Depending on the module, assessment may include:

  • visual research
  • sketchbooks
  • design development
  • 3D development
  • prototypes
  • final product
  • portfolio
  • essays
  • costume research projects or rationales
  • visual and verbal presentations.

Your final degree mark will be based 100% on your final year work.

Exchanges, trips and study visits

There is the opportunity for you to see drama, musical theatre and dance pieces in Years One and Two. Recent trips have included a backstage tour of the National Theatre, the Hollywood Costume exhibit at the V&A Museum in London, the Newstead Abbey costume collection, and the National Theatre and RSC live at Cineworld. Students have also been to watch Birmingham Royal Ballet's Cinderella, designed by John Macfarlane.

The University is part of the Erasmus programme and has agreements with partner institutions throughout Europe. Our Costume Design and Making students have recently been on exchange to Spain (Barcelona), New Zealand, the USA, and Hong Kong

Degree Show

In your final year you may choose to exhibit your work as part of our Degree Show. This event includes all final year students across NTU's Art and Design courses. It's a great platform for you to showcase your work to members of the creative industries.

Costume Design and Making work from our Degree Show is selected for exhibition at New Designers in London, and for entry to prizes and graduate award programmes.

Assessment methods

  • Year 1 coursework (100%).
  • Year 2 coursework (100%).
  • Year 3 coursework (100%).

Contact hours

A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:

  • Year 1 lectures/seminars/workshops (32%), independent study (68%).
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (28%), independent study (72%).
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (20%), independent study (80%).

Careers and employability

This course has an excellent employability rate, with 100% of graduates in employment or further study within six months of graduating (DLHE Survey 2015/16).

A wide variety of graduate career opportunities for this course exist in the live and recorded performing arts, as well as more widely related employment in the areas of film, television, theatre, opera, dance, music, and live performance.

Additional opportunities are available in advertising campaigns, heritage projects, commercials, events, festivals, circuses, pageants, concerts, and light entertainment.

Recent graduates from this course are working as freelance costume designers, trainee costume designers, and wardrobe assistants for a range of theatre, film, and television productions. This includes Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, The Book of Mormon, and The Winter's Tale at the Garrick Theatre, London. They are also working for world-renowned organisations such as Angels Costumes in London.

Hear from our Costume Design and Making alumni

YouFirst – working with our Employability team

Our friendly, experienced careers consultants will work closely with you at every stage of your career planning, providing personal support and advice you won't find in a book or on the Internet. You can benefit from this at any time during your studies, and for up to three years after completing your course.

Links with industry and practice

Throughout the course, you will have the opportunity to be involved with various activities to develop links with industry. Live projects and competitions offer you the chance to develop skills and gain professional experience. Organisations and programmes the course collaborates with include:

  • Scottish Opera's Leverhulme apprenticeship
  • The Linbury Prize
  • Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith (panto dame)
  • BBC Design Trainee Scheme (costume)
  • MAD (Make and Design) UK Performance Costume competition
  • The Costume Society's Student Award, Pattern of Fashion Award, and Museum Placement Award
  • The Woodland Trust
  • Magenta Star.

In your final year, there is the opportunity to work with local cultural centres (theatres, museums, events, heritage centres, and festivals). You will also be encouraged to participate in national competitions and costume events.

Industry experts who have recently taught on this course include:

  • directors Ian Woolridge, Hugh Hodgart, and Richard Baron
  • choreographer-designer, Theo Clinkard
  • television costume designer, Debbie O'Brien
  • theatre designer, Ruari Murchison
  • Downton Abbey costume cutter, Sarah Humphrey
  • costumiers Jane Cowood, and Pauline Parker
  • Shepperton Wig Company's Joanne Foster and Linda Cooley
  • construction specialists Anna Kesteven and Liz Johnson.

Work placement and internship opportunities

We encourage you to undertake work experience alongside your studies. Staff will help and support you by directing you towards work placement and professional practice opportunities.

Our students have recently completed work placements with:

  • Sands Films, London
  • Downton Abbey
  • Scottish Opera
  • Birmingham Royal Ballet
  • Royal National Theatre costume hire
  • Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) costume department
  • Manchester International Festival
  • V&A Museum, London
  • Cosprop, London
  • Angels Costumes, London
  • Sheffield Crucible
  • Leicester Curve Theatre
  • Minack Theatre, Cornwall
  • Derby Live costume department
  • Arts Educational Schools, London.


Our Costume Design and Making students are based in the Waverley building, a dedicated Art and Design building. Facilities and equipment include:

  • design studio
  • life drawing room
  • computer lab
  • workshop
  • three professional, industry-standard sewing rooms.

Also available for you to use are our:

  • printing workshop
  • digital fabric printing facility
  • dye lab
  • embroidery workshops; and
  • knitting and weaving workshops.

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardBA (Hons)How you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study3 years
    Course startsSeptemberDomestic course feesGBP 9250 per yearInternational course feesGBP 13450 per year

Notes about fees for this course

The tuition fee for UK home students joining NTU in 2018/19 on a full-time undergraduate/foundation degree programme, will be £9,250.

The fee for those who have a year-long placement as part of a sandwich course, or spend a year studying or working abroad will be published here once confirmed.

The University reviews its tuition fees each year. The fees for Home (UK / EU) undergraduate students for 2018-19 are £9250. As a guide and to enable you to plan your finances the current expectation is that the University’s current fee of £9250 per annum may increase for subsequent years of study in line with inflation and as specified by the Government.

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

  • A-levels – BBC; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DMM; or
  • 112 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications; and
  • GCSEs – English and Maths or Science grade C / 4.

Other requirements

Non-standard applicants

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the entry criteria but hold relevant work experience. We will assess applicants of this nature on an individual basis. You must, however, have a creative portfolio to present at interview. If you are a non-standard applicant, you will still need to apply to us using the UCAS form.

The UCAS Tariff

In 2016 the UCAS Tariff changed. In the new tariff, the numbers awarded to qualifications are very different. So, whereas previously a B at A-level was worth 100 points, in the new tariff it is now 40 points. Sound confusing? Don't worry. We've created this calculator to help you work it out.

If you hold international qualifications, take a look at the alternative qualifications we accept for this course.

Are you an international student whose qualifications don't meet the entry requirements? You can prepare for this course at Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). The college is on our City Campus, and NTIC students can use all of the University's facilities.

English language requirements

If English isn't your first language, you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. You can check our language requirements and list of accepted English language tests. Your British Council office can tell you where you can take an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test locally.

Next steps

Please also take a look at our International students page and our application guide for international students, which are full of advice and information about the University.

If you need any more help or information, please contact our International team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200. Alternatively, you can get in touch with our staff at the International Development Office, who are always happy to help. Or speak to one of our official NTU representatives for your country.

Don't meet the entry requirements?

Consider a Foundation or Pathway course at Nottingham Trent University to prepare for your chosen course:

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