Scenic Construction, BA

Duration: 3 years full-time, October start

UCAS code: Institution code: C35; Course code: W464

Award: Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Theatre Practice

BA Scenic Construction - Welding.

About the course

Studying on the Scenic Construction specialism of the BA (Hons) Theatre Practice degree course, you will:

  • Learn traditional making skills and experiment with newer materials and making techniques
  • Plan and build sets for theatre, film, television, events and advertising
  • Undertake work in a professional context within the industry

Who are Scenic Constructors?

Scenic Constructors are creative problem solvers who use ideas and solutions that are drawn from all aspects of engineering and industrial practice to aid the creation of sets or staging.

Scenic Construction at Central

The Scenic Construction course is for those with a strong interest in building with wood and metal, but who want a career that is also creative.

You will learn to be autonomous and resourceful, and will develop specific scenic construction skills to the high professional level required to meet design briefs and the requirements of the industry in which you plan to work. The training will principally be in theatre, but these skills are easily transferable to many different media environments.

From the second year of the course you will have the opportunity to work in professional contexts, for example constructing scenery for a professional venue, working with a major scenery building company, or with companies working in events, television or advertising.

You will collaborate on projects which offer experience in the varied and diverse areas in which you can work upon graduation, including television and film.

Opportunities on the course

Other opportunities come through the network of graduates already well-placed in theatre and contacts made with the professional designers that you will work with on public productions at Central.

Course Detail

YEAR 1: Exploring and learning specific skills

  • Exploring and learning specific skills in a variety of materials, including woodworking tools, hand-held tools and machinery.
  • You will build specific elements of scenery, working to a professional designer’s specifications and working closely with technicians to plan how scenery might be rigged to fit within either a studio or a main house space.
  • Learning carpentry techniques, you will work as part of a team, building or adapting scenery.
  • You will also have an introduction to AutoCAD and learn basic technical drawing.

YEAR 2: Further skills development

  • You will continue to develop AutoCAD skills and work on welding and building metal work structures, constructing a set for a public production, either individually or as part of a team, and also work with automated scenery.
  • You will also have the opportunity to work in a professional context within the industry.

YEAR 3: Focus on professional development

  • You will undertake the role of Head of Department on a full-scale realised production in Central’s Embassy Theatre or Webber Douglas Studio, manage other students building scenery and coordinate with all members of the creative and production team.
  • You will work on a personal project or placement that is focused on your main individual area of expertise.
  • Project work is chosen and negotiated to fit with your understanding of which area/s of the industry you are most keen to make a career in.
  • You will participate in an exhibition to present a portfolio of best work to the industry.

Download BA (Hons) Theatre Practice Programme Specification 2017-2018 (1.25 MB)

Entry Requirements and Admissions

Minimum Entry Requirements

Our standard academic entry requirements range between 120 and 64 UCAS tariff points. You can see how many tariff points your qualifications would gain on the UCAS Tariff Calculator. International qualifications and others not covered within the UCAS tariff can also be accepted. Please email us if you need further clarification.

Please note that we make lower offers (including unconditional) to exceptional candidates and those who have alternative or prior experience to offer. All candidates invited to interview are asked to bring a portfolio. Interview and portfolio are key factors in determining which applicants are accepted on to the course.

Admission with Academic Credit

For information on alternative entry requirements please see www.ucas.com.

Application Details

See How to Apply section for Undergraduate courses.

We particularly encourage applications from groups currently under-represented in higher education, such as students with disabilities and members of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups. Find out more information on Central’s commitment to equality and diversity.

Interviews

Find out more about the interview process for this course.

International Interviews

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.

International Students

Visit the International Students section to view details of English language requirements for Central's courses.

Industry Links & Placements

Placements

From the second year onwards, you will have the opportunity to arrange placements and there are a wide range of professional companies that work with Central, allowing access to many performance styles.

Through placements in the second and third years, students have worked on productions with:

  • the Royal Shakespeare Company
  • English National Opera
  • Blackfriars Scenery
  • Scott Fleary
  • Shape Construction
  • East London Furniture.

Students regularly undertake placements at the Royal Opera House and All Scene All Props.

Industry Links

Through the links the course has established with other industries, such as festivals, events and theme parks, students have been able to broaden their scope of skills and expertise by working on a diverse range of projects.

The course has links with established scenic workshops, such as:

  • Scott Fleary
  • Britain’s Got Talent
  • The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time
  • All Scene All Props
  • Closer at the Donmar Warehouse
  • Kinky Boots at the Adelphi Theatre
  • Clockwork Scenery
  • Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf at the Theatre Royal Bath
  • Adobe Summit 2016.

Alumni have also successfully started their own companies, which offer opportunities for graduating students such as Illusion Design and Construct, as well as working on the Sherlock Holmes installation at Madame Tussauds, and the David Bowie Exhibition for the Victoria and Albert Museum and world tour.

What our students said

Martin Smith

Graduated 2016, freelance Scenic Constructor. He has worked at Park Theatre, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and as Chief Carpenter at Millfield Theatre on their pantomime Aladdin.

The course at Central was really helpful to show us all the various aspects of scenic construction, as well enabling us to learn skills in budgeting, scheduling and working closely with the other departments on public productions. The hands-on approach to learning benefits you in the industry, along with the skills learnt whilst undertaking placements within the professional industry.

Recent Visiting Professionals

Roger Harrison, Sam Greenfield, William Floyd-Maclean, George Stephens, Sara Perks, Sarah Beaton, Andy Shewan, Sam Dowson, Bob Bailey, Rory Evans, Nigel Hayne, Philip Engleheart, Andrew D Edwards, Michael Taylor, Sophie Skelton.

Graduate Employment

Graduate employment and career pathways include:

Scenic Constructor, Watford Palace Theatre.

Founder members of companies, Illusion Design and Construct.

Internship, Royal Shakespeare Company’s Engineering Department.

Freelance Scenic Constructor, English National Opera, Bower Wood Production Services, Hedgehog Construction, English Touring Opera.

Tutor, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

Head of Engineering, Scott Fleary.

Touring Carpenter, The Phantom Of The Opera.

Notable Graduates

Daniel Hughes and Rory Evans (both 2011) are co-founders and owners of Illusion Design and Construction company.

Nils Schuller (2011) Contracts Manager of Scott Fleary Ltd, who have built sets for Shrek The Musical and Britain’s Got Talent.  

Current Students

View profiles of the Class of 2017 for this course. Click on each student to see their CV.

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