Technical and Production Management, BA

Duration: 3 years full-time, October start

UCAS code: Institution code: C35; Course code: W493

Award: Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Theatre Practice

BA Technical and Production Management

About the course

Studying on the Technical and Production Management specialism of the BA (Hons) Theatre Practice degree course, you will:

  • Receive intense training in fundamental theatre technology and management practice
  • Prepare for a career in technical management, production management, or associated fields within the entertainment industry
  • Learn hands-on skills and techniques of theatre technical work through to managing the collaboration of the whole production team of designers, engineers, artists and technicians.

What is Technical and Production Management?

As live theatre and performance becomes an increasingly important part of the global economy, there is a huge demand for Technical and Production Management professionals. This course trains students in the specialist skills and knowledge of managing creative processes from initial concept through rehearsal to realised performance.

As a Technical and Production Management student at Central, you will expand your contextual and critical understanding of performance, through examining and challenging contemporary philosophies, theories and issues surrounding the industry.

Alongside work within Central, you will direct your learning towards the areas of the entertainment industry that you see yourself aligning with.

Make Industry Connections

You will focus your career direction by engaging directly with performing arts professionals, including access to both long established and emerging industry companies, venues, manufacturers and suppliers.

By the end of the second year, you will be encouraged to make strong connections within the industry which may often lead to work. This extends your learning opportunities and greatly supports your transition from education to full-time employment.

You will have opportunities in the final year to undertake placements which further build your network of contacts and integrate them with up-to-the-minute productions, projects and developments in the sector.

Apply for 2017 entry

Interested in applying for 2017 entry? This programme is still accepting applications, and you are likely to be offered an interview; sign up for an interview slot by filling out this form.

Course Detail

YEAR 1: Developing hands-on skills and building knowledge

  • Developing hands-on skills and building knowledge of the core technologies and techniques used in theatre production, including set construction, lighting, sound, technical drawing, risk assessment, counterweight flying and rigging.
  • Working closely with students from other specialist courses at Central on a number of practical projects, forming team working and leadership skills
  • Learning the principles of ensuring the safe, economical and timely completion of theatre projects.

Year 2: Continuing to hone organisational and management skills

  • Undertake roles which are pivotal to the creation of public productions, progressively taking on greater responsibility, as appropriate; for example, you may be the Technical Manager or Head of Flying and Rigging.
  • You will be guided by specialist staff and mentored by visiting professional practitioners, as they work alongside mixed student and professional creative teams.
  • You will continue to receive taught sessions in specialist topics e.g. AutoCAD, health and safety legislation, pyrotechnics and automation.
  • Career development awareness is built exploring aspects such as self-marketing and securing employment, unions and industry associations, pay and work conditions, and insurance requirements.

Year 3: Focus on professional development

  • Undertake activities such as managing budgets, ensuring the highest standards of health and safety are maintained and creatively solving complex logistical or technical problems.
  • You will be assigned roles individually, which may include being the Production Manager on Central’s public productions. These challenges offer experience as Technical and Production Managers through working in a ‘real world’ context.
  • Preparation of a portfolio and a career plan which sets out the next steps in your professional life, including a presentation to a panel of leading industry figures, who will offer you suggestions and advice to support you on your chosen path.

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.

What our students said

Gary Beestone
Gary Beestone graduated from Technical and Production Management at Central in 2002

Graduated 2002, established Gary Beestone Ltd providing production and project management for world-class theatre and events for clients such as Disney, Sonia Friedman Productions, Hull City of Culture and the Rugby World Cup, as well as working as worldwide Technical Director for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child.

My time at Central taught me how to work with a wide range of people and disciplines and opened my mind to the full spectrum of theatre genres. It was there that I was able to transition into working on real live projects. It was an amazing opportunity to explore the areas that I enjoyed, and those that I didn’t, to set the foundations for an exciting career working in technical theatre. Working on projects within Central with fellow students and later with the freedom to develop my own work and contacts outside, gave me opportunities that shaped my future development!

Industry Links & Placements

Placements

Throughout the course, you will have contact with a variety of performance arts professionals including industry leading and pioneering companies, venues, manufacturers and suppliers.

During your third year, you will research, arrange and attend a placement with a company, or alongside an individual practitioner, working in the field of performance arts, theatre making or events production that you are interested in developing further.

Students have undertaken a variety of placements including:

  • Production Assistant at the National Theatre
  • Proper Productions on the British Summer Time Festival
  • Assistant Technical Manager at the Young Vic
  • Stage Technologies
  • Experience in non-traditional areas of practice, for example at the Glastonbury Festival and Opera Holland Park.

Our Industry Links

The course has a range of relationships at all levels and in many areas of the performing arts industry:

London theatre companies include:

  • National Theatre
  • English National Opera
  • the Young Vic
  • Hampstead Theatre
  • Tricycle Theatre
  • Unicorn Theatre for Children

as well as receiving houses such as:

  • Sadler’s Wells
  • Hackney Empire
  • the Pleasance Theatre
  • many West End theatres.

Touring theatre companies include:

  • Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures
  • English Touring Opera
  • Kneehigh Theatre
  • Ambassador Theatre Group

smaller, more radical companies such as:

  • dreamthinkspeak
  • Shunt
  • Goat and Monkey
  • Walk the Plank
  • The World Famous
  • Emergency Exit Arts.

Technical Equipment Manufacturers and Suppliers

In addition to performance companies, Central has connections with a range of technical equipment manufacturers and suppliers, for example Stage Technologies (automation), Flying by Foy (people flying), Unusual Rigging (rigging and suspension), White Light and Stage Electrics (lighting and sound), J&C Joel (stage fabrics) and Scott Fleary (scenery construction).

The course also has links with performance venue designers including architects Keith Williams (Unicorn Theatre), Tim Foster (Tricycle Theatre) and Jason Flanagan (Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama) and theatre consultants (Theatre Projects, Charcoalblue and Theatreplan).

Recent Visiting Professionals

Julian Rudd (Remarkable Productions), Liz Pugh (Walk The Plank), Simon Byford (Production Manager), Martin Jady (Production Manager), Di Willmott (National Theatre), Kim Swaden-Ward (Circus Space).

Graduate Employment

Graduate employment and career pathways include:

  • Technical Director, Harry Potter And The Cursed Child; Curve Theatre; 59 Productions; David Bowie Exhibition, Victoria and Albert Museum; Stage Technologies; Olivier Awards; Royal Opera House.
  • Assistant Production Manager, English National Opera.
  • Production Assistant, Heart Productions Events.
  • Technical Manager, Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake tour.
  • Automation Technician, White Christmas the musical tour.
  • Head of Stage, Opera Holland Park.
  • Draftsman, Olivier Stage Productions, National Theatre.
  • Arts Centre Manager, Ellesmere College.
  • Whole crew and production management, Opera Holland Park.

Notable Graduates

Gary Beestone Production Manager on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Al Parkinson (2003) Production Manager at Leicester Curve. Was Assistant Manager of the Olympic Stadium for the London 2012 Olympic Ceremonies.

James Roxburgh (2008) Production Manager for 59 Productions, working on projects such as the London 2012 Olympics and the David Bowie Exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Staff on the Course

View profiles of the academic staff who teach on this course. Click on each staff member to find out more about them.

Paul Colwell

Lecturer & Course Leader, Technical and Production Management

Peter Maccoy, BSc, PGCert, FHEA

Senior Lecturer, Theatre Production, Course Leader Stage Management

Current Students

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

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