This is an intensive, vocational and highly practical course covering all aspects of costume work.
This includes pattern drafting (flat and on the stand), costume construction, corset making (flat and on the stand), millinery, ruffs and rebatos, foundation wear, stretch wear and body padding, basic tailoring techniques, hand and machine embroidery, tutu construction, printing techniques, dyeing, distressing and costume enhancement.
The supervisory elements include costume supervision, costume assisting and the various roles within the costume department. This includes hiring and buying to budget, wig care, basic make up, organising fittings and keeping an accurate and up-to-date costume bible, shopping to specific briefs as well as liaising with designers and directors.
You will work to given designs, drafting, fixing and making for, and dressing the School’s public productions and TV shoots, which typically number between twelve and fourteen per year.
Students who successfully complete the FdA Costume for Theatre, Television and Film may apply to the one year BA (Hons) Costume for Theatre, Television and Film top-up award.
A copy of the rules and regulations governing the course is available.
A summary document with key course information for 2020 entrants can be found on the policies and procedures page.
ⓘ Where Covid-19 control measures impact our ability to deliver this course as described for the 2021-21 academic year, we will update offer holders by email and confirm teaching arrangements at least four weeks before term begins.
Recent theatre placements have included Angels Costumiers, Cosprop Costumiers, Bristol Costume Services, The National Theatre, Scottish Opera, Watford Palace, Royal Opera House, English National Ballet and English National Opera.
TV placements have included Avenue 5 (HBO), Poldark, Bridgerton, Sanderton, Vanity Fair (Mammoth), The Father Brown Mysteries, The Crystal Maze, Six Minutes to Midnight.
The graduating students from the two-year FdA and the one-year BA top-up will have an exhibition of their course work, either in a physical location or online, dependent on circumstances.
This exhibition is regularly attended or viewed by a range of industry professionals, who are often in a position to offer our graduating students employment.
The 2020 virtual graduate exhibition, Generate, can be viewed online.
I have loved collaborating with other departments in the School, including the MA Performance Design students. As a costume maker, you get presented with the challenge of creating an outfit for a specific show, working to the designer’s brief. You work together during initial fittings and pattern drafting. It’s great to think you’ve made their design come to life, then seeing it on stage with the set and other costumes is really rewarding.Amber, Third year, BA Costume
University of the West of England (UWE)
Students who complete the course successfully will receive a 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.
BOVTS is intending to leave the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama (CDD), which is the current provider registered with the Office for Students (OfS), in summer 2023. The Theatre School is currently exploring a range of new partnership opportunities.
The validation of BOVTS degree courses by the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) is independent of CDD. It is currently anticipated that all graduates who commence training in 2021 will continue to receive their degree from UWE Bristol. Should new partnership opportunities change this expectation, all applicants will be informed by email. Where this results in a change to terms and conditions for current students or applicants who have accepted an offer, a full consultation process will be undertaken.
Two years (full-time) with an option for a one year BA (Hons) top-up. Successful FdA students may apply for a place on the top-up (but entry is not a guaranteed option).
Academic Year 2021/2022
Full-time course: 27 September 2021 – 8 July 2022
Normal academic entry requirements would be a general Art and Design Foundation Course or an equivalent Level 3 qualification; or equivalent practical experience.
Specific skills: competent sewing and well organised. Applicants would normally demonstrate interest in areas such as film and theatrecraft and have a background in school/amateur theatre productions.
Applicants will be interviewed by two members of staff, including the Head of Costume course and the Costume Making Tutor.
Applicants are required to bring a portfolio with examples of their work.
Applicants will be given an opportunity to ask questions of staff and current students and will be shown the facilities at the School.
There are no interview fees.
All applicants are interviewed.
If English is not your first language, you will need to demonstrate English language proficiency through a relevant qualification, such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), which can also be used to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) requirements. For FdA Costume for Theatre, TV and Film, an overall score of 7.0 is normally required, with a minimum of 7.0 in each component of reading, writing, listening and speaking.
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.
Optional Modules: There are no optional modules for this stage of this award.
Interim Award: Cert HE Costume for Theatre, TV and Film
Credit requirements: 120 from the above specific level 1 modules.
Optional Modules: There are no optional modules for this stage of this award.
Credit requirements 240 from the above specific Level 1 and Level 2 modules.
Award: Foundation Degree (FdA) Costume for Theatre, TV and Film
The course is practical and career focused.
It is integrated with the School’s other courses during productions, as well as within the professional environment, as some performances take place in local professional theatres.
The course 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 with high-level specialist professional employability as a main learning outcome.
There are up to eight students accepted to this course per academic year.
Students are supervised by teaching staff for at least 35 hours per week across the 66 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 protected] 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.
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).
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.
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 here.
UWE Wellbeing Service, 3F Reception, UWE, Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol, BS16 1QY Tel: +44 (0)117 32 86268 E-mail: [email protected]
For further information on support which the School offers, please see the Guide to Student Support.
You can also find additional information for disabled applicants and students at all Conservatoire for Dance and Drama affiliated Schools here.
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 the Head of Costume, the Costume Making Tutor and other visiting specialist professionals.
You can learn more about our staff by visiting our teaching staff page.
Students are assessed on their professional practice on a pass or fail basis.
Judgements about students’ performances are made against the relevant professional standards.
The UWE qualifications are awarded as non-classified/non-differentiated.
Award: Foundation Degree (FdA) Costume for Theatre, TV and Film
Duration: 2 years (full-time)
Tuition fees for 2021 entry
New UK undergraduate students £9,250*
UK second degree undergraduate students £9,250*
Isle of Man and Channel Island students £9,250*
*Subject to further increase in subsequent years in line with Government policy.
International Applicants (Non UK) – Full-time £22,200
(Full-time route only)
Please note that permanent Irish residents applying for 2021 entry will be classed as ‘home’ student status as a result of the Common Travel Area agreement and are not liable for international fees.
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
Info and advice regarding potential accommodation and living costs can be found in the General Student Information Handbook
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 page.
Bursaries, scholarships and prizes
Please see the BOVTS Fees and Financial Support page for details of Bursaries and Scholarships.
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).
Applying for a course at BOVTS
How to apply for our undergraduate courses through UCAS, including specific advice for international applicants and mature students.
Before you apply
Check the entry requirements
All our courses have course-specific entry requirements. Before you apply, check that you meet the entry requirements for the course you are interested in.
You can apply for an undergraduate course if you are working towards or have completed a qualification at either:
You can also apply if you already hold a degree-level qualification. This may have implications for funding, and your visa if you are an international student.
Research your course
Before you apply, you should research the course you want to study. Read the UCAS guide on choosing a course.
UCAS is the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. It is a charitable organisation that handles applications for UK universities.
When to apply
You should submit your application between 18 July 2020 and 28 February 2021.
Find out more about the application deadlines on the UCAS website
International/EU students are advised to apply at least six months before the beginning of the course to ensure time for appropriate visas to be granted.
Submitting your application
To apply through UCAS, you will need:
UCAS application form
You will need to fill out a form on the UCAS website to apply. UCAS provides guidance on filling out the application, which will help you:
Applying as an international student
The application process for international students is the same as it is for everyone else. You still need to apply through UCAS.
As well as meeting our course entry requirements, you may have to provide proof of your level of English. This is because you need to meet the Home Office required standards to get a Tier 4 Visa to enter the country for study.
You can find out about Tier 4 Visas from the UK Government.
Applying after a break in studying
If you are age 21 or over, you are defined as a mature student. Although your route to higher education may be different, the application process is the same as it is for everyone else. You still need to apply through UCAS.
We accept a variety of qualifications, including the Access to HE Diploma and Open University credits. View our course pages to find out about entry requirements for each course. If you are a mature student and you have any questions about our entry requirements or your qualifications email [email protected]
Completing the UCAS form
You should complete all sections of the UCAS form. You must include:
In your personal statement you should also explain why you have chosen to return to study now and how you feel you will benefit.
The UCAS guide for mature students explains the different ways you can get into higher education.
Undergraduate Applicant Auditions & Interviews
For some of our courses, we will invite you to attend an interview if your application looks suitable and you are studying a qualification that is harder for us to assess on paper. We may also invite you to attend an interview if you have had a less typical educational history, which means we are unable to consider your application using our normal criteria.
You can find further advice and guidance about our audition and interview process can be found on the individual course page.
Tracking your application
You can follow the progress of your application through UCAS Track.
If you have any further queries please contact the Admissions Department to discuss: [email protected]
We are unable to consider applications for deferred entry.