Logo of Birmingham City University

BA (Hons)Design for Performance

Birmingham City University
United Kingdom, Birmingham
Tuition fee To be confirmed
More information

Expenses, accommodation, working etc.



Make creative and informed contributions to contemporary performance design practice with this unique, future focussed programme. Ambitious in its approach, this course includes design and production for theatre, events, dance, puppetry, museums, concerts, exhibitions, festivals, themed environments, nightclubs, film and live arts.

Celebrating the convergence of interrelated subjects whilst maintaining a core of Art and Design methodologies, the course reflects the dynamic crossover common to Creative Arts in the 21st Century. Negotiate your own path and benefit from the cross-pollination of ideas in a course that nurtures imagination, experimentation and bold risk taking.

Flexibility is built in: there are no subject routes and modules are studied together, fostering a ‘studio culture’ rich in diversity, collaboration and ambition. Develop creative responses to high profile projects. In previous years these have included Birmingham Repertory Theatre placements, music videos, Madame Tussauds live projects, innovative paper installations, exhibition designs for Casson Mann and sculptures for major UK festivals.

Benefit from the experience of our staff of designers and makers in a School of outstanding facilities, including studios, workshops and The Shell, a state-of the-arts experimental production space. A broad platform of traditional and digital skills equips you for employment. Our end of year awards are sponsored and presented by personalities and organisations from across the creative arts.

This course consistently achieves excellent NSS results and is a member of the Association of Courses in Theatre Design.

Programme structure

Your first year of study will introduce you to the basic skills and critical framework within Design for Performance. You will be taught through a series of modules, which provide you with the knowledge to further explore this ever-expanding discipline.

You will develop skills and understanding that encompass spatial, figurative and performance design. From these fundamental principles, you can tailor the remainder of the course to areas of performance that are of particular interest to you and your future career aims.

You will develop your technical, creative, analytical, interpretive and reflective skills; helping you to understand traditional performance design and its relationship to contemporary practice. Through your modules, you will discover the application and use of colour, light, scale, composition, the figure and space.

Fundamental visual communication issues will be addressed through a series of core lectures and theory seminars. You will also have the opportunity to work with other students from across the school by selecting one of five in house options.

Your second year is designed to broaden your experience and increase your critical approach to the role of the designer within performance. Through a combination of theory and experiment, you will learn how to evaluate and apply principles to practice.

You will receive opportunities for placement, field study, collaborative and interdisciplinary work. We shall help you to develop your own personal direction, focusing towards the establishment of a specialised and flexible area of practice.

You will learn how to effectively communicate information, arguments and analysis in a variety of forms to specialist and non-specialist audiences. You will enhance your ability to work collaboratively within a working environment, demonstrating knowledge of the main methods of enquiry within the field.

Your second year of study is crafted to allow you to develop your critical awareness, and formulate approaches to solving problems. You will develop your own individual style and perspective, drawing upon your own influences and direction. Helping you to further understand the creative role, opportunities and responsibility of the contemporary designer.

During your final year of study you will be supported in establishing the confidence to acknowledge and assert your own distinctive work identity. You will take a critical view of the world of Design for Performance, identifying your own aspirations and place within the field. The work will be challenging, yet you will experiment and establish a solid foundation in the basic skills and conventions of the field.

You will be required to demonstrate, within your work, a particular view of what constitutes a design proposition. You will enhance your communication skills, allowing you to develop confidence and understanding, allowing you to capably articulate your views and knowledge to others.

The final year of the programme is designed to help you demonstrate a systematic, extensive and advanced knowledge of contemporary Design for Performance. You shall work autonomously or collaboratively to a professional standard on self-generated projects, with creativity and imagination.

Apply now! Fall semester 2021/22
This intake is not applicable

We are currently NOT ACCEPTING applications from NON-EU countries, except Georgia and Serbia.

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States

Apply now! Fall semester 2021/22
This intake is not applicable

We are currently NOT ACCEPTING applications from NON-EU countries, except Georgia and Serbia.

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States