General information about applying for our undergraduate courses and the interview process.
Being exposed to opportunities in making, performing, directing and writing for puppetry I was able to find what it was I enjoyed the most and developed skills that meant I could pursue it as an achievable career. Via the network I developed through Central, I have been able to establish myself in the television and film sector as a Creative Director and Puppeteer.
Graduated 2016, has worked with BBC, Sky, Universal Music and various other television and film production companies as art director and puppeteer/ puppet designer.
The whole ethos of the course is collaboration. Each term consists of skills training and workshops, followed by the opportunity to work alongside colleagues studying other disciplines to make the project or performance happen. The network contacts that I gained at Central were incredible and I felt I had met the leading figureheads of British puppetry.
Graduated 2006, director, designer and performer of puppetry. Credits include work with the National Theatre (War Horse and Pinocchio), Royal Shakespeare Company and Greenpeace.
3 years full-time, October start*
Institution code: C35; Course code: W441
Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Theatre Practice
Studying on the Puppetry: Design and Performance pathway of the BA (Hons) Theatre Practice course, you will:
*Puppetry Design and Performance is not running in 2018/19
Central pioneered the first UK degree in puppet theatre and the course works closely with national and international professional practitioners, who are all experts in their fields; you will benefit from this with an expansive range of visiting lecturers and placements in theatres and with companies worldwide.
Specialists in specific cultural traditions often visit and offer masterclasses in their area of specialism.
You will develop performance projects making and performing puppets and objects, within and outside Central.
Our aim is for you to develop as a skilled practitioner able to initiate and develop your own projects, as well as collaborating closely with others within a discipline that requires both technique and creativity.
You are encouraged to engage with contemporary practice from the outset, to develop strong working relationships with professional practitioners and to forge your own identity as a specialist in the field.
Practical research and development is underpinned by contextual studies in puppetry and visual theatre performance, including historical and theoretical discussions, and intercultural study of traditional forms and practices. You will work closely with other Theatre Practice students, so that you understand, respect and work effectively with the full range of professional practitioners, in order to appreciate the theatre process and interdisciplinary practice.
Throughout the three years, you will have the opportunity to experience puppetry in a variety of contexts, participate in frequent visits to shows, talks and workshops by visiting professionals, and benefit from ongoing collaboration with a number of arts bodies within London and beyond.
Unfortunately we are not recruiting for October 2018. If you have any questions about this course, please email us.
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.
For information on alternative entry requirements please see www.ucas.com.
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.
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 travelling 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.
Central collaborates with a large number of professional companies and practitioners who visit as lecturers or host students on professional placements. The course works particularly closely with the Little Angel Theatre (which supports the small scale touring project and community placement in the second year) and students participate in masterclasses at Suspense, the international festival of adult puppet theatre.
There are also talks and workshops by internationally recognised practitioners including:
Students have recently undertaken placements with a range of companies such as:
The course has excellent links with other related courses within the UK and with international puppetry courses.
You may be invited to take one production during your studies to a major international puppet festival. Recent productions and performances have been part of festivals, for example:
Community collaborations undertaken include work with local and national healthcare providers, such as hospitals, residential centres, schools and community centres.
Stephen Mottram, Sue Dacre, Steve Tiplady, Stan Middleton, Sue Buckmaster, Dr John Bell, Rene Baker, Penny Francis MBE, Annie Rollins, Colette Garrigan, Isobel Smith, Rachel Warr, Peter O’Rourke, John Roberts, Roman Stefanski.
Graduate employment and career pathways include:
Puppeteer, War Horse, Blind Summit/ENO collaboration; Horse and Bamboo Theatre; Mongrels, BBC. Creative Director, CBeebies.
Performer, The Paper Cinema, Little Angel Theatre, Puppet Theatre Barge. Puppet Maker and Performer, PuppetCraft.
Founder, Arts Centre.
Puppet Maker, His Dark Materials, National Theatre.
Puppetry Education Assistant, Little Angel Theatre.
Workshop Facilitator, Theatre Royal Plymouth.
Community Workshop Leader, The Moveable Feast.
Puppetry Workshop Leader, Korea, Taiwan, Italy.
Puppeteer for traumatised children in Iraq.
Puppetry Director, European Youth Project. Artist Residency, Tallinn Treff Festival.
Toby Olié (2006) Provides Puppet Design for Wonder.land, and, The Light Princess, and he was the Associate Puppetry Director for War Horse, all at the National Theatre. Other Puppet Design credits include, The Magic Flute (Royal Opera House), Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Royal Ballet) and The Little Shop of Horrors (Manchester Royal Exchange).
Matt Hutchinson (2011) was Puppeteer and Fabrication Assistant for the London 2012 Olympic Ceremonies. Previous puppetry credits include, War Horse (National Theatre), The Tempest (Royal Shakespeare Company and Little Angel Theatre), The Wild Night of the Witches (Little Angel Theatre) and Bagpuss (Soho Theatre).
Mark Down (1996) founded Blind Summit Theatre and has been the Director of Puppetry for numerous productions, amongst which are, The Magic Flute (Royal Opera House), His Dark Materials (National Theatre) and Madam Butterfly (Metropolitan Opera, New York).
Fagner Gastaldon and Cass Gastaldon founded PuppetSoup, and productions so far include, Land of The Dragon, The Memory Keeper and Fix Freddie!
View profiles of the academic staff who teach on this course. Click on each staff member to find out more about them.
Meet one of our Puppetry students.