You are Tomorrow's Scenic Artist

Scenic Art (MA) Three Term

Applications open on 1st October 2017 and will close at 4pm on Thursday 28th February 2018

Please see this page for information on the new Postgraduate Loan scheme!

This is an intensive, vocational course with strong professional links to the industry, offering a maximum of four students, with high levels of painting and drawing skills, the opportunity to develop their careers as scenic artists. The skills and techniques acquired on this course are to the level necessary for theatre, television, film and animation industries..

During the year students acquire an understanding of professional practice and standards, and gain in-depth skills and experience in scenic art techniques and their application, combined with the practice of managing a scenic art department.

The Course has 3 very intensive terms during which students paint the sets for the School’s six main house public productions, offering them the opportunity to see their finished work used on stage in a wide range of public performances and venues. Teaching is led by the School’s Head of Scenic Art in collaboration with visiting industry professionals who provide master-classes in a range of skills and techniques that include; life drawing, portraiture, perspective, marbling, wood-graining, polystyrene carving and painting for animation. The scenic art students work collaboratively with the School’s other production departments, and most especially with design students. Furthering their introduction to the industry, work placements with principal companies are arranged during the course; particular attention is placed on students developing their own professional portfolio. Upon graduation students will showcase their work in a public exhibition and be interviewed by some of the UK’s leading industry practitioners. In a freelance industry most of our graduates begin working as assistants for scenic artists, scenic workshops and large theatre companies, eventually becoming supervising scenic artists themselves.

We encourage applicants with a range of experience and previous training in, Fine Art, Illustration, Painting and Drawing, Sculpture, Graphics, Film, TV, Animation, and Theatre. We do not limit entry to students with previous training, although the majority of applicants come from degree courses and a comprehensive portfolio of artwork is required at interview.


Royal Opera House
Emma Troughridge - Head Scenic Artist
'’The BOVTS scenic art course produces ‘industry ready’ as well as highly employable students'’


Aardman Animations
Zoe Starzak - Production Manager, Art & Model Making Department
‘’The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School’s Scenic Art course has consistently provided us with highly skilled and motivated artists and we look forward to continuing our close ties with the course.’’


Cardiff Theatrical Services
Ian Siddal - Scenic Art Manager
'’Students from the BOVTS Scenic Art course are trained to a high level, and are able to present themselves and their work in a professional manner. This makes them very attractive to employers and there is usually quite a battle between companies to employ the graduates'’


Scenic Art Graduate
Simon Farrell
‘‘The course was probably one of the best experiences of my life. The amazing level of professionalism from everyone involved with the School and its shows were matched by the incredibly high standard of work that was expected of us.’’


Recent graduate employment includes: The Royal Opera House, The Royal Shakespeare Company, Cardiff Theatrical Services, The Royal National Theatre, Northern Ballet, TR2 Plymouth, Richard Nutbourne - Cool Flight Ltd, Cameron Macintosh's National Tour of ‘Mary Poppins’, Disney's ‘Aladdin’, ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ for Warner Brothers. Film work includes: Wes Anderson's ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’ and ‘Isle of Dogs’ (still in production), Tim Burton's ‘Frankenweenie', Aardman Animations' ‘Shaun the Sheep’, ‘Pirates’ and ‘Early Man’ (still in production). TV work includes: 'Will' for TNT and ‘Crazy Face’ for Netflix.



Applications will reopen for 2018 entry on 1st October.

Offline Applications

Please contact:The Admissions Office, 1-2 Downside Road, Bristol BS8 2XF.

Tel: 0117 973 3535.


“Applications will reopen for 2018 entry on 1st October”

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Bristol Old Vic Theatre School Ltd, 1-2 Downside Road, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 2XF
Admin: 0117 973 3535 | Box Office: 0117 973 3955 |

Photos: Craig Fuller, Farrows Creative, Graham Burke, Stewart McPherson.

Registered in England number 02430025 | Registered charity number 900280 | VAT number 520494954

Conservatoire for Dance and drama University of the West of England