Information for home, EU, and non-EU students.
This vocational training course in professional prop making can lead to a career in all areas of the entertainment industry, including theatre, film and television, as well as window display, model animation, community arts, museum installation and replication work.
Prop Makers work with designers and directors from all areas of the industry, and need to be ingenious, quick-thinking, dextrous, enjoy problem solving and have a love of materials and all things three-dimensional.
On this course students will gain experience and a high level of technical competence, working with a wide-range of materials and techniques including sculpting skills, casting techniques, welding, polystyrene carving, vacuum forming, carpentry, life casting, paint finishing and texturing. They will develop skills in research, analysis, collaboration and design interpretation, as well as strong technical drawing skills, and an understanding of colour theories, working to scale, period styles and aesthetics.
Students take classes and workshops in design interpretation, technical drawing, sculpting, mould making, casting, fibre glass and plaster work, vacuum forming, paint effects, construction, welding and polystyrene carving. Working with professional designers and as part of a production team, they will produce props for a public show at Central, or an external industry event. Students will also develop text analysis and research skills, and an understanding of the wider context of their practice.
In this year there are skills sessions and workshops in body padding, advanced mould making, silicone and resin work, advanced sculpting, fabrication and model making. Students will further develop their skills in design interpretation, time management, self-management and budgeting, and also head a team in order to develop management skills. They will also undertake further industry placements and continue to develop research skills.
Third year students develop themselves further by taking on the role of Head of Department, managing fellow students producing props for productions, and continuing to coordinate with other members of the creative and production teams. They will have the opportunity to develop a personal project to showcase at the summer term exhibition, and to develop further links with the industry through placement work. The focus for this year is on developing specialist skills to inform strategies for future practice beyond Central, which include developing a strong media profile.
Students will be offered a range of opportunities to develop excellent and comprehensive prop making skills as part of a prop making team, including undertaking placements in the industry to develop a full CV and further extend their skills.
This course has established links with some of the best prop making and associated companies and entertainment practitioners in the UK and beyond, such as English National Opera, White Horse Theatre in Germany, Unicorn Theatre, Madame Tussauds, Merlin Entertainments, Endemol Productions, Elstree Studios, Emergency Exit Arts, Kinetica, Asylum Models & Effects, Millington Associates, Neil Corbould Special Effects, Manta Ray and Whetton & Grosch.
Through placements, students have worked with these and other companies on a range of outcomes including film work, theatre, community arts, museum installation, television productions and window display.
Students have also engaged in festivals and events, such as Glastonbury Festival, The Rio Carnival, WOMAD International, Thames Festival, London 2012 Olympics, Hatton Garden Festival, Circus Space, at the Roundhouse, and museum installation work in the UK and the rest of Europe, United Arab Emirates and Egypt, and have opportunities to work in television and film on productions such as Doctor Who, Harry Hill, Thor, Snow White And The Huntsman and a range of children’s television productions. Store window display work includes Fortnum and Mason, Harvey Nichols and Ted Baker.
Many other opportunities come through the network of graduates already well placed in theatre, film and television, and contacts made with the professional designers students work with on public productions at Central.
Michael Taylor, Simon Kenny, Mike Bell, Darryl Worbey, Nic Webb, Laura Brooke, Mark Chapman, Ruairi Murchison, Bob Bailey, Tracy Lilley, Simon Basketter, Ollie Cooper.
3 A Levels at BBC, BTEC ND: DDM.
Offers may vary from this, depending upon expected grades and performance at interview. Exceptional applicants who do not meet this requirement but demonstrate appropriate potential at interview and via their portfolio may be accepted. All candidates invited to interview are asked to bring a portfolio.
For information on alternative entry requirements please see www.ucas.com.
Find out more about the interview process for this course.
Each year Central hosts a number of interviews outside of the UK, with a team of tutors from Central traveling to meet applicants. The international interviews are designed to replicate the London-based interview experience in every aspect (other than a tour of our site!). See our Event Finder for listings of upcoming interview locations and dates.
Beverley Webb (2008) is a Prop Maker for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Mould Maker for Madame Tussauds.
Bryony Tyrrell (2008) has previously been Prop Costume Maker for film and television productions such as Thor, Avengers and Snow White and the Huntsmen.
Liam Harrison (2014) is a Prop Maker for Royal Opera House.
Charlotte Maudsley (2012) is Company Director of Props Unlimited.
Simon Paraskevas (2014) has worked in Special Effects for TV Miniseries, The Hollow Crown, and film credits include Special Effects for Beauty and The Beast, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Trespass Against Us.
Prop Makers: English National Opera, WOMAD International, The Barbican, Emergency Exit Arts, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Pinewood Studios, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Arcola Theatre, National Theatre, Watford Palace Theatre, Unicorn Theatre, Madame Tussauds, Warner Bros., Harvey Nichols, Russell Beck, Robert Allsopp and Associates, Royal Opera House, Shepperton Studios, Theatre Royal, The Imperial War Museum.
View profiles of the academic staff who teach on this course. Click on each staff member to see their CV.
View profiles of the Class of 2016 for this course. Click on each student to see to their CV.
Graduated 2014, working on special effects for film and television, including the Unicorn Theatre, MDM Props and Disney’s Beauty And The Beast.
The course is not only about the practical work – learning about new materials and how to manipulate them – but about being exposed to the wider context of performance on projects like London Walks and the Tableau Project. Also, you get to experience the possibilities that are open to Prop Makers in their career first-hand on the placements in theatre, film and television.