Costume Design for Film & Television BA(Hons)

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Costume Design - 2023

On this dynamic course, you’ll cultivate the practical, creative and theoretical skills needed to enter the exciting world of screen-based costume design. You’ll be part of a course designed by industry, for industry, working in an environment that mirrors current professional practices.

Key details
Location Penryn Campus
Course duration 3 years / 4 years
Attendance Full-time
UCAS code W451/FY14

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Course overview

You’ll prepare for a career in screen-based costume design through interdisciplinary learning across our Fashion & Textiles Institute and School of Film & Television. You’ll be supported by professionals working at the forefront of the industry to develop your own distinctive design voice and portfolio.

You will:

  • Gain core skills such as drawing, pattern cutting, costume construction and fitting techniques
  • Explore anthropological, sociopolitical, psychological, environmental and cultural concepts when considering the analysis of character and script, as well as how to plot costumes for moving image
  • Enhance your developing design profile through an exploration of industry applications such as music promos, commercials, costume breakdown and innovative challenge-based projects
  • Refine your skills as a costume practitioner in your final year through a major collaborative screen production project to develop your portfolio
  • Study on a course that’s part of the BAFTA UK scholarship programme

The Integrated Foundation Year pathway for this course is new for entry year 2023 and subject to validation.

The course is one of the few undergraduate programmes recognised by BAFTA UK as an eligible course for the BAFTA UK Scholarship programme.

BAFTA UK Scholarship


Course details

On this Costume Design for Film & Television degree, you'll have the opportunity to gain a BA(Hons) degree over three years or the option to study Costume Design for Film & Television BA(Hons) with Integrated Foundation Year.

From costume design to garment construction, exploring contemporary fashion history to interpreting scripts and characters and learning how to work as part of a creative team, we'll equip you with the creative, practical and entrepreneurial skills you'll need to succeed in this vibrant industry.

During the first year of this costume design degree, you'll be introduced to fundamental skills such as research, drawing, pattern cutting, garment construction, fitting techniques, script analysis and costume plotting. You'll also learn how to become a costume designer that can analyse characters and scripts through the lens of anthropological, socio-political, psychological and cultural concepts. Practical work will be supported by lectures and written work exploring the history and theory of film and visual culture.



You'll learn foundation skills in pattern cutting and garment construction as well as skills specific to the live fitting of garments on the body.


You'll develop enhanced observational skills and learn how to record, reference and communicate detailed information on the clothes worn by real people and the costumes worn by fictional characters.


You'll learn how to develop costume from written scripts and how to plot an entire screen character's wardrobe. Through live costume fittings, you will develop an increasing awareness of professional etiquette and sensitivity when working with performers.


You'll engage with the historical development of fashion and style, and will be introduced to the conventions of screen genres while developing real costume outputs for scripts based in the past, present or future.

In year two you'll continue to develop your design profile through an exploration of screen theory, costume breakdown and industry applications, such as styling for music promos and commercials. Alongside your creative practice, you'll also gain vital skills for successful freelance practice, including budget organisation, self-management and collaboration.



With industry practices at its centre, this module will teach you about costume buying, hiring and commissioning. You will also explore processes such as costume breakdown and the importance of detail when developing character 'realness'.


Focusing on the differing roles of the professional costume design team, you will gain an understanding of a variety of working arrangements, including freelance practice. You will get to grips with relevant financial management skills, such as personal and client budget management, as well as team dynamics and ethical interpersonal relationships.


This module provides an opportunity to bring fully-fledged costumes to life. Collaborating on a live project with industry partners or other Falmouth University schools, you'll be provided with a script and assigned a suitable costume design team role.


You'll research areas of design history, film, television and cultural studies to enhance your growing theoretical perspectives on the costume design industry and your own developing design practice.

In your final year, you'll prepare for entry into industry by refining your skills through ideas pitching, a major collaborative screen production project, and portfolio creation.



This challenge-based module gives you the opportunity to collaborate with outside agencies or with teams from a variety of Falmouth University schools. You will develop character profiles and a range of costume options for main and supporting characters in live collaborative projects, both individually and as part of a costume team. You will also experience industry-standard practices of pitching for leadership or participation.


Research is key to this module: you'll identify a topic that is relevant to your identity as a costume designer before carrying out a sustained and focused investigation into it. You will write, reference and illustrate a critical essay that aligns with your own practice in the field of costume design. You'll also offer an assessment of the screen industries that evaluates the relationship of your research topic with your future career aspirations.


In this final module you'll showcase the skills that have been acquired throughout the course in a live, challenge-based environment. Your costume design skills will contribute to the completion of a real screen output, be it a short film, TV show, advert, still or other collaborative project. You will be allocated an appropriate costume role in the production in line with industry practice, and participate in the teamwork that brings it to fruition. Receiving ongoing feedback from your colleagues, you will record and evaluate your performance in the execution of your professional role.

Why study an Integrated Foundation Year route?

If you’re taking on a new subject that you haven’t studied in depth before, have been out of education for a while or have a non-standard educational background then an Integrated Foundation Year degree may be the right choice for you. It is a four-year degree with an Integrated Foundation Year to start, which allows you to explore the primary elements of your subject before progressing on to the remaining three years of the BA(Hons) degree.

What you'll study in your Foundation year

If you choose this pathway, you'll study five core modules in your Foundation year. These are all designed to help you explore the foundational elements of your subject. You'll gain relevant technical skills, learn to experiment and take risks, develop an understanding of professional practice, have opportunities to work across disciplines and collaborate with other students on live project briefs.



You'll begin your foundation year by working collaboratively with others to explore themes of the future. You'll take risks, experiment through play and be supported to break through barriers.


You'll take subject-specific workshops and develop essential technical and practical skills in your area of study. You'll also enhance your analytical and organisational abilities.


You'll work with your peer group to think beyond discipline by addressing a societal or global issue. You'll then showcase your work to your peers and deliver and accompanying evaluation of your process.


You'll enhance your creative and practical skills in your subject specialism by responding to typical industry briefs, underpinned by focused research and experiments. You'll also gain industry insights through guest lectures and workshops.


You'll develop your unique identity in your specialism through the production of a self-initiated body of work. Your final project will be the bridge to your next year, fully supported by evaluative reviews and critical analysis of the work you have created.

After the Foundation year, you progress into Year One of the full three-year degree, equipped with a deeper knowledge of your subject, a clear understanding of your strengths, and develop a practical and technical skillset and the confidence to excel in your chosen subject. 

The Integrated Foundation Year pathway for this course is new for entry year 2023 and subject to validation.

The modules above are those being studied by our students, or proposed new ones. Programme structures and modules can change as part of our curriculum enhancement and review processes. If a certain module is important to you, please discuss it with the Course Leader.

From module information to course aims and assessment criteria, discover the full course details

We are making changes to our curriculum framework for courses starting in 2022. Modest amendments to our course module structure will provide you with new opportunities to collaborate and co-create with students from across disciplines during your studies.

This course page will be updated when these changes have been finalised and applicants will be notified.

How you'll learn

You'll hone your creative practice and gain invaluable practical and critical skills through a blend of lectures, seminars, masterclasses, workshops, tutorials and guided independent study.

At Falmouth, we use a 'digitally enhanced learning & teaching' approach. Your experience will always be predominantly in-person, including seminars, tutorials and studio teaching, with some, more targeted elements, being online either live (synchronous) or pre-recorded (asynchronous). You can read more here.

How you'll spend your time


Timetabled teaching

and learning activity

Guided independent




Year (optional)

Digitally enhanced learning

Digitally enhanced learning











How you'll be assessed


Written exams

Practical exams




Year (optional)

 0%0% 100% 













 *These percentages are indicative and may vary 

Assessment methods

  • Foundation year assessments are 100% coursework based
  • Coursework assignments with no formal examinations.
  • Artefacts, portfolios, projects, reports and dissertation.
  • Formative feedback will be ongoing through regular tutorials with academic staff and visiting professionals, and summative feedback will take place following the end of the designated study block assessment periods.


Staff have experience at the highest levels of industry and bring established and innovative new practices to the course. Their experience spans costume design and supervision through to breakdown, plotting and characterisation for companies such as Paramount Pictures, the BBC, The National Theatre and Channel 4.

Some members of staff only teach on specific modules, and your course might not feature every member.

“This course is an extremely viable prospect for students looking to gain the necessary skills needed to access one of the most interesting and fun industries to work in, with potential earnings in this industry being very good.”

Susie Coulthard, Costume Designer (guest speaker)


  • Open plan contemporary studios
  • Industrial sewing machines and specialist construction equipment
  • Dye lab and breakdown facilities
  • Access to digital suites with Adobe CS, Gerber pattern plotting and CLO3D software
  • Wardrobe store with a selection of costumes from contemporary history
  • Access to archive collections of historical and contemporary garments
  • Collaborative opportunities within the School of Film and Television


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As a graduate, you could become:

  • A costume designer for film and TV, commercials or music videos
  • A stylist or styling assistant for celebrity, commercial or internet content
  • A costume supervisor for visual media
  • A costume stand-by, working on set to look after hero talent
  • A costume buyer for film and TV

How to apply

Apply via UCAS

Ready to join us? You can apply for September 2022 through Clearing or for September 2023 through UCAS Apply and Track. You'll need to reference the course and University code (F33).

Apply through Clearing 2022

Apply for 2023

Applying as an international student? 

International students can apply for a course through UCAS, via an agent or directly with the university. For more information about how to apply as an international student, visit our International applications page.

International applications

Course route UCAS code
Costume Design for Film & Television BA(Hons) three year degree W451
Costume Design for Film & Television BA(Hons) with Integrated Foundation Year (new for entry year 2023) FY14

We consider all applications on their own individual merit and potential. We invite all applicants to an interview day or audition to give them the opportunity to demonstrate this along with what inspires and motivates them in their field. Applicants will also be able to show their portfolio or give a performance depending on the course. We welcome applications from all subject backgrounds, whether you’ve specialised in STEM, the arts or humanities.  

Course routeEntry requirements
BA(Hons) three year degree104 – 120 UCAS Tariff points
BA(Hons) four year degree with Integrated Foundation Year80 – 120 UCAS Tariff points

UCAS Tariff points will primarily be from Level 3 qualifications such as but not limited to A-levels, T Levels, a BTEC/UAL Extended Diploma or a Foundation Diploma. 

For applicants whose first language is English we require you to have or be working towards GCSE English Language Grade 4 (C), or equivalent. 

If English is not your first language you will need to meet the same standard which is equivalent to the IELTS Academic 6.0 overall score, with at least 5.5 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. We accept a range of in country equivalencies and approved tests.  

If you need a student visa to study in the UK, you'll need to take a recognised language test that is approved and vouched for by the University. You can read our English Language Requirements for more information.

UK applications: 25 January 2023 (for equal consideration)

Applications after the 25 January will be considered on a first-come, first-served as long as there are places available. Apply for this course now.

International fee payers can apply throughout the year. But we recommend applying as early as possible, to make time for visa and travel arrangements.

Fees, costs & funding

Tuition fees

Annual tuition fee Student
£9,250 per year Full-time UK
£17,460 per year Full-time EU/international
Annual tuition fee Student
£TBC per year Full-time UK
£TBC per year Full-time EU/international

Tuition fees are set annually and are subject to review each year. The University may therefore raise tuition fees in the second or subsequent years of a course, in line with inflation and/or the maximum permitted by law or Government policy. Students will be notified of any changes as soon as possible. 

Typical course costs

  • £75 - Recurring annual costs (workshop materials)

If you need to bring equipment or materials with you, these will be outlined in your Welcome Letter

Additional typical course costs for Integrated Foundation Year pathway

  • £250 for materials
  • A laptop/desktop computer
  • Adobe Creative Suite

In order to participate in our digitally enhanced learning approach, you'll need to have a personal laptop/desktop computer. Depending on your specialism, you may need a specific type of computer. You can find out more about the type of machine you'll need on your course specialism page. If you're unsure about what you might need, please contact our course advisors.

The figures above don't include accommodation and living costs


For information about funding available, please visit our undergraduate funding page.

BAFTA Scholarship programme

The BAFTA UK Scholarship programme aims to assist talented students in need of financial support on undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

This course is eligible for the BAFTA Scholarship programme for UK students. Recipients will receive up to £12,000 towards tuition fees, an industry mentor and free access to BAFTA events. Visit the BAFTA website to find out more.


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From course details, our facilities and the local area to the social scene and settling in, our students are ready and available to answer any questions you might have. Simply set up your account, send them a question and they'll get back to you within 24 hours.


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