Award: MA Scenic Art
Locations: Bristol Old Vic Theatre School - Operating on two specialist teaching sites (Bristol Old Vic Theatre School’s Scenic Workshops in Bedminster, Bristol and the main school site on Downside Road, Bristol).
Awarding body: University of the West of England (UWE)
Students who complete the course successfully will receive an MA degree from the University of the West of England (UWE). The agreement between the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and the University of the West of England is reviewed every five years for developmental purposes and was last renewed in 2016.
Duration: 1 year (full-time), 38 weeks
Academic year: Full-time course: 25th September 2017 – 13th July 2018
Normally entry for this course is with a first degree in a related subject: Fine Art, Illustration, Painting and Drawing, Sculpture, Graphics, Film, TV, Animation, and Theatre.
A good command of the English language is required.
Applicants without a degree but with the equivalent experience would also be considered.
A comprehensive portfolio of artwork is required at interview.
Taught by industry professionals this Scenic Art master’s level course offers an intensive, vocational training in the many aspects of scenic art offering a maximum of four students who wish to develop their careers as scenic artists.
The course will equip students with the necessary specialist skills required to work in Theatre, including Opera and Ballet, Film, Television and Animation.
The Course runs over three intensive terms during which time students gain skills and experience in scenic art techniques and their application while acquiring an in-depth understanding of professional practice and standards.
Teaching is led by the school’s Head of Scenic Art in collaboration with visiting industry professionals.
Operating from our Scenery Workshops in Bristol and as part of a mid-scale theatre production company.
Students paint the sets for the schools six main house public productions while getting the opportunity to work with professional designers and directors and attend design and production meetings to gain an understanding of the roles and demands across all theatre production departments.
Students also receive master-classes in a range of skills and techniques, including; life-drawing, portraiture, perspective, marbling, wood-graining, polystyrene carving, and painting for animation.
Ongoing project work is also an important part of the professional development of the scenic art students and students graduate with a strong portfolio of their work while at BOVTS.
Prior to graduation students complete work placements at some of the most respected scenic art workshops in the UK.
Upon graduation students showcase their work in a public exhibition and are interviewed by some of the UK’s leading industry practitioners.
BOVTS values its strong professional links to the theatre and entertainment industries and we are proud of our exceptional employment record.
Royal Opera House
Emma Troughridge - Head Scenic Artist
'’The BOVTS scenic art course produces ‘industry ready’ as well as highly employable students'’
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
"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.
A copy of the rules and regulations governing the course is available consult the BOVTS policies and procedures page.
The majority of the teaching and learning will be centred on the Theatre Schools main house shows and a great deal of time is spent learning and exploring the many specialist techniques required before applying these to the scenery. Students will have the opportunity to see their work in public venues around the city.
Emulating the professional world, students will be required to work long hours to meet the deadlines of putting a show on stage and work closely with designers and other production departments, learning collaborative, problem solving and creative interpretation skills.
Tutors work alongside students teaching and guiding as the shows progress. Students will mainly be working in a team with others on the course and will work individually in the masterclasses and or other project work, such as spraying, throughout the year.
Alongside the shows there will be masterclasses, taught by industry specialists in Life Drawing, scenically painting an Old Master, Woodgraining and Marbling, Perspective, 3d poly carving, and painting for Animation.
Visits to some of the UK's leading theatre workshops will be arranged, usually throughout the first two terms
This module map provides a list of the modules that make up your course. Each module is worth a specified number of credits: All modules are compulsory, enabling you to cover key subject knowledge while developing your own interests.
The programme is practical and career focused. It is integrated with the school’s other programmes during productions, as well as within the professional environment, as some performances take place in local professional theatres.
The programme features a high level of one-to one teaching by specialist professionals and work is realised for professional standard performances.
The learning is immersive and singular in its focus on high level specialist professional employability as a main learning outcome.
There is a maximum of four students accepted to this course.
The learning is immersive with students taught / supervised by teaching staff at least 35 hours per week across the 38 weeks of the programme.
As part of the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama (CDD), the School is committed to selecting, training and supporting students, regardless of ethnicity, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation or religion.
Applicants to CDD schools are chosen solely on the basis of their talent and potential to develop the skills required for their chosen profession. The School does, however, judge applicants on their suitability for a course and their potential to successfully complete the training, as the work is rigorous and requires high levels of energy and commitment.
Student Support on the programmes at the School covers a variety of areas such as support for disabled students, academic support, student finance and health and welfare.
Julia Heeley, Student Support Manager, is able to answer queries about support available for disabled applicants/students. Her email address is email@example.com and she can also be reached by telephone on 0117 980 9247.
Our Academic and Student Support services team provides help in the following areas:
Support for students with disabilities including specific learning difficulties In our admissions process, we are committed to supporting students with disabilities.
Disabled students are encouraged to disclose their support requirements so that we can endeavour to meet them during the audition process and subsequent training.
The School welcomes all students regardless of disability. It is our aim to provide appropriate support so that all students are able to achieve their full potential.
Students with a disability will be provided with advice and support from the Student Support Manager. If you have a disability or specific learning difficulty we recommend you contact her either prior to starting your course or during your first few weeks at the School to discuss any support requirements you may have.
This may include support resulting from disabilities such as sensory impairment, learning difficulties such as dyslexia or dyspraxia or mental health difficulties.
We recognise that everyone is an individual and we will work with students to identify potential barriers to training and do what we can to remove those barriers. We will also make any necessary reasonable adjustments, to ensure that disabled students can train at the School.
At the School we put a great deal of emphasis on supporting students during their time with us.
We are aware that nationally there is a very high proportion of students with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs) e.g. dyslexia or dyspraxia, in institutions which specialise in art, design or the performing arts.
During your first week, the School encourages all students to take a short questionnaire known as QuickScan which has proved to be a useful piece of screening software for students and staff across the CDD Schools. It takes the form of an on-line, easy to navigate, questionnaire which will help to identify your learning style and specific areas of learning strengths and weaknesses. It is used in conjunction with other indicators, including student disclosure (as part of the interview and registration process), tutor feedback on practical and written work, and students expressing their concerns and any support requirements which may become apparent during their studies.
Disabled Student Allowance (DSA)
UK students with disabilities (including Specific Learning Difficulties and long-term Mental Health conditions) can apply for the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) https://www.gov.uk/disabled-students-allowances-dsas/overview.
DSA usually provides support for students with the specialist equipment and tools necessary to support you with your studies, including software, hardware and study skills support. Unlike a student loan, DSA does not have to be repaid. However, it is rarely awarded in the form of financial support.
Applications are made through, Student Finance England (SFE), Student Finance Wales (SFW), or Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS).
In order to apply for DSA, Student Finance will require evidence of any impairment or disability. This may take the form of a doctor’s or specialist’s letter or, more often, a report from an Educational Psychologist (Diagnostic Assessment Report).
If you require a Diagnostic Assessment from an Educational Psychologist, the Student Support Manager can arrange this for you and can guide you through the process.
Personal Academic Support
Various staff members at the School can help in different ways if you need academic support. If you need help with the content of classes or assessment work, you can ask the relevant head of course, tutor or your pastoral care tutor for an appointment or you can ask the Student Support Manager to arrange a tutorial with the relevant member of staff on your behalf. If you make an appointment, you can prepare for the meeting and discuss your concerns away from class. Heads of courses, modules leaders and individual tutors can all help you with understanding aspects of your training and can offer overall guidance or advice about your programme of study.
Study skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills)
Study skills support is usually arranged for students who have been awarded support through Disabled Student Allowance (DSA). However, the Student Support Manager will be happy to arrange one to one study skills support for you if deemed appropriate and necessary.
Mental Health And Wellbeing
Schools within the CDD recognise the challenges faced by students entering higher education and that training in a conservatoire institution can place great demands on a student both physically and emotionally. The CDD has published a leaflet aimed to help students identify signs of mental distress and where to go for support: click this text to go to the CDD website in a new tab
The School has a student therapy and counselling service,¬¬ which is organised and staffed by accredited, registered psychotherapists and counsellors and is there to help with any more deep-seated personal problems on which pastoral tutors are not qualified to advise. If students wish to have an initial assessment with a therapist or counsellor, they should contact the School’s Student Support Manager. A strict professional code of confidentiality is always maintained.
Student welfare and pastoral care
We actively encourage students to develop a pro-active and positive approach to their own ‘wellness’. We are preparing professionals to enter physically and mentally challenging professions and we work to enable students to sustain a physically and mentally healthy lifestyle.
Every student is assigned a pastoral tutor who monitors they progress throughout the year in addition to having access to the Student Support Manager. All students have tutorials with their head of course, head of year or allocated pastoral care tutor in which non-teaching issues can be discussed. A confidential tutorial can be requested of any member of the full-time teaching staff on your course.
In addition, BOVTS students have access to UWE’s Student Wellbeing Service, details of which can be found at:
click this text to go to the UWE Wellbeing website in a new tab UWE Wellbeing Service, 3F Reception, UWE, Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol, BS16 1QY Tel: +44 (0)117 32 86268 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information on support which the School offers, please see the Guide to Student Support which can be found at: click this text to go to the guide in a new tab
You can also find additional information for disabled applicants and students at all Conservatoire for Dance and Drama affiliated Schools here: click this text to go to the CDD website in a new tab
You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes Head of Scenic Art and visiting Scenic Art specialist professionals.
You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles Here
Students are assessed against professional standards in Scenic Art.
Assessment is practical project based and will include detailed written feedback from teaching staff and the student’s own self-critical annotated portfolio / diary.
MA in Scenic Art
Duration: 1 year (full-time)
For the academic year 2017-18 the tuition fees for this course are:
UK/EU Applicants - Full-time £9,250
International Applicants - Full-time £18,500
(Full-time route only)
It is not possible to confirm fees for future academic years, as these are dependent on Teaching Excellence Framework outcomes, but the maximum increase in each year will not exceed the rate of inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
The following course-related costs are included in the fees:
Accommodation and living costs not included in the fees
Industry work placement – accommodation and travel expenses will be covered.
Sources of financial support
If you receive funding from Student Finance you may be eligible to apply for additional benefits.Details can be obtained from our Student Fees home page
available here Please see the BOVTS fees page...
Bursaries, scholarships and prizes
The University also provides a number of scholarships and prizes for undergraduate students, which you may be eligible to apply for. Some of these are available to students on any course (such as Conservatoire for Dance and Drama (CDD) scholarships, Hardship Fund and bursaries offered by charitable trusts)
PLEASE NOTE: Applications open on 1st October 2017 for September 2019 entry.
Please contact:The Admissions Office, 1-2 Downside Road, Bristol BS8 2XF.Tel: 0117 973 3535.