Prop Making, BA

Duration: 3 years full-time, October start

UCAS code: Institution code: C35; Course code: W462

Award: Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Theatre Practice

BA Prop Making - Making big cakes in the props workshop

 

Explore the School

Discover Central's Prop Making, Production, Study and Social spaces on our VR tour.
 

Explore Central's Prop Making, Production, Social and Study spaces in a VR tour

 


 

About the course

Studying on the Prop Making pathway of the BA (Hons) Theatre Practice course, you will:

  • Receive intensive training in making props using a broad range of materials and techniques
  • Develop research-based, aesthetic and technical design interpretation choices
  • Undertake industry placements within a range of professional practices
  • Become one of Central’s Prop Makers: develop into a highly technically skilled, creatively inventive, collaborative and informed individual, able to contribute effectively and professionally to any production and its team.

What does Prop Making involve?

Prop Making reaches into all areas of the entertainment industry – theatre, film, television, window display, model animation, community arts, museum installation and replication work.

The Prop Maker will work with designers and directors to produce what is required for each individual outcome. It is rare to make the same thing twice and, as such, the Prop Maker has to be ingenious, quick-thinking, explorative, dexterous, enjoy problem solving and have a love of materials and all things three-dimensional.

The work can range from small, intricate, hand-held reproduction props, to largescale, articulated structures, but will always require excellent artistic and creative skills. Working independently or as part of a team, accurately and to deadlines, the Prop Maker will cover the broadest ranges of materials and techniques.

Gain a high level of technical competence

You will gain experience and a high level of technical competence, working with a wide range of prop making materials and techniques in Central’s first-class facilities, including sculpting skills, casting techniques, welding, polystyrene carving, vacuum forming, carpentry, life casting, paint finishing and texturing. You will develop skills in research, analysis, collaboration and design interpretation, as well as strong technical drawing skills and an understanding of colour theories and working to scale. You will also cultivate a broad understanding of period styles and aesthetics.

Opportunities on the course

You will be offered a range of opportunities to develop excellent and comprehensive prop making skills as part of a prop making team, including on public productions at Central, working closely with students of other theatre disciplines in order to develop an overall understanding of performance and theatre production. You will also undertake placements in the industry to develop a full CV and further extend your skills. In the final year you will participate in an exhibition to present a portfolio of best work, to which industry professionals are invited to attend.

Interested in studying this course in 2018?

Unfortunately we are not running another Open Day before the January UCAS application deadline, however we can arrange an individual tour of the campus for you to see the facilities and tell you a bit more about the course and the unique training you will receive at Central. If you would like to organise a date to come in, please email us.

Course Detail

YEAR 1: Classes and workshops

  • 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, you will produce props for a public show at Central, or for an external industry event.
  • You will also develop text analysis and research skills, and an understanding of the wider context of your practice.

YEAR 2: Skills sessions and workshops

  • Skills sessions and workshops in body padding, advanced mould making, silicone and resin work, advanced sculpting, fabrication and model making.
  • You will continue to develop your skills in design interpretation, time management, self management and budgeting and lead a team in order to develop management skills.
  • You will also undertake further industry placements and continue to develop research skills.

YEAR 3: Focus on professional development

  • You will further develop in 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.
  • You will develop a personal project to showcase at the summer term exhibition, and extend links with the industry through placement work.
  • Focus is on developing specialist skills to inform strategies for future practice beyond Central, which include developing a strong media profile.

Download BA (Hons) Theatre Practice Programme Specification 2017-2018 (1.29 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

Ruby Matthews
Ruby Matthews graduated from BA Prop Making at Central in 2016

Graduated 2016, recent credits include Assistant Prop Maker for Madama Butterfly and Glyndebourne Festival Opera, (Designer Nicky Shaw), as Prop Maker for Five Guys Named Moe (Underbelly Productions in association with Cameron Mackintosh), Star Trek The Exhibition (Bower Wood Production Services), and Prop Maker/Fabricator, window display for Charles Tyrwhitt (Harlequin Design Ltd).

Prop Making taught me such a variety of skills and I was able to be involved in a range of projects. Some of my favourite things I got to make on the course include a puppet goat, an extravagant clock and an Edwardian corset. There is also a big emphasis on work experience. I feel these industry placements are invaluable as they allow you to work with professional companies and freelancers, which can then help you to obtain work once leaving Central.

Industry Links & Placements

Through project work and regular close contact with industry professionals and recent graduates, you are prepared to enter the industry by your final year.

From the second year onwards, you have the opportunity to arrange placements. These include a variety of genres, such as live arts, devised and collaborative works, text/character-based play productions, film, large-scale community arts events, museum installation and television.

The opportunities offered through placements ensure that each student graduates with a full and professional CV, showing a wide range of industry contacts and dynamic experiences.

Our Industry Links

You will benefit from the established links the course has 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 in the areas of film work, theatre, community arts, museum installation, television productions and window display.

Festivals and Events

Students have recently engaged in festivals and events, such as the Glastonbury Festival, Rio Carnival, WOMAD, Thames Festival, Hatton Garden Festival, and at Circus Space and the Roundhouse, and museum installations in the UK, Europe, United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

Tv & Film

There have been 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. Students have also worked on store window displays including 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 that you will work with on public productions at Central.

Recent Visiting Professionals

Michael Taylor, Simon Kenny, Mike Bell, Darryl Worbey, Nic Webb, Laura Brooke, Mark Chapman, Ruari Murchison, Bob Bailey, Tracy Lilley, Simon Basketter, Ollie Cooper.

Graduate Employment

Graduate employment and career pathways include:

Prop Makers

  • English National Opera
  • WOMAD
  • 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.
  • Boom Town Festival
  • Robert Allsopp and Associates
  • Royal Opera House
  • Shepperton Studios
  • Glyndebourne Festival Opera
  • The Imperial War Museum.

Notable Graduates

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.

Current Students

View profiles of the Class of 2018 for this course. Click on each student to find out more about them.

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