Student working at computer

Technical Theatre Arts BA(Hons)

Master your passion for bringing stage and live events to life.

Key details
Location
Penryn Campus
Course duration
3 years
Attendance
Full-time / Professional Placement
UCAS code
W484/PY63

Course overview

Play a vital technical and creative role in the success of live performance productions. Working in our professional studios and production spaces, you’ll master the skills to captivate audiences.

You’ll learn from practising technical specialists and creative academic staff, becoming an expert in lighting, sound, visual technologies, set construction and stage management. With endless opportunities to work on real events – in collaboration with other students or through our public performance venue – you’ll graduate with real experience to take into industry.

You will:

  • Gain an all-round technical grounding in live sound, lighting, stage management, rigging and scenic construction
  • Receive a critical insight into the cultural sector, exploring how performance technologies and professional practice influence each other
  • Work in state-of-the-art facilities with access to both core industry technology and some of the latest equipment. 
  • Broaden your skills by collaborating with students across a broad range of disciplines including popular music, contemporary dance, and musical, devised and traditional theatre
  • Gain industry-recognised safety accreditations

Course details

Technical Theatre Arts BA(Hons) | Falmouth University

On this Technical Theatre Arts degree, you'll have the opportunity to gain a BA(Hons) degree over three years or study Technical Theatre Arts BA(Hons) with a professional placement year option. 

As part of this Technical Theatre Arts degree, you’ll be taught by practicing technical specialists, academic staff and creative technicians. You’ll also have the opportunity to gain nationally-recognised qualifications in equipment use, processes and health and safety.

During your first year, you’ll explore stagecraft techniques, equipment, technology and processes, as well as modern performance practices and the industry’s history. You’ll have the chance to take on roles in live performances, work at our summer schools, conferences, events and artist residencies and gain nationally recognised health and safety training. 

Modules

Stagecraft 1

You’ll develop studio and workshop-based technical and production skills in a range of disciplines, including conventional lighting, sound and theatrical set construction techniques.

Performance, Culture and Contexts

You’ll explore critical theatre history, evaluating its cultural and cross-cultural impact.

Professional Development

In this module, you’ll explore the core aspects of the role of a production practitioner.

You’ll consider the contemporary practices, behaviours, knowledge and skills required for you to work as an individual and as part of a team-based production process.

Stagecraft 2

Here, you’ll begin to specialise and develop further discipline-based practical and design skills, including:  

  • The use of professional control systems and creation of media 
  • Planning documentation, including the use of 3D computer-aided design and lighting visualisation software 
  • Sound effect production and digital mixing 
  • Contemporary stage rigging and construction techniques 
  • Organisational stage management techniques and practices 

Practical Production

Through a range of live performance projects, you’ll examine ways in which you can enhance audience engagement and participation in theatre and cultural events. 

You’ll also develop an understanding of technical and production disciplines, exploring how they influence the delivery of performance.

In your second year, you’ll have the chance to collaborate with other courses on performance projects and work with professional staff on real events on and off-campus, including opportunities for work placements. You’ll also work on creative projects focusing on design and project management. 

Modules

Venue & Production Management

This module studies industry best practice in safety, compliance, sustainability and well-being. You will gain an understanding of UK Health and Safety law and how it applies to live performance venues and productions.
 
The module will build skills and awareness of compliance in managing facilities and production; from maintenance, servicing and installation of equipment to looking at best practice to maintain a healthy and sustainable workforce and environment within an ethically and culturally diverse sector. 

Digital Performance Technologies

You’ll gain an understanding of emerging digital practices through engagement with research and practical experimentation. You’ll work with computer-based technologies such as projection mapping and motion capture, digital audio and video editing, post-production techniques and the use of networking and communication technologies. You’ll also identify how such technologies are being developed, adapted and integrated into contemporary practice. 

Design Project

You’ll explore design conceptualisation and innovation, developing large-scale creative design briefs to professional standards.

Alongside this, you’ll nurture advanced skills in both traditional and technology-based design tools, such as 3D CAD modelling and multimedia manipulation. You’ll also examine stage, set, lighting and sound design through a range of lectures by visiting specialists.

Collaborative Project

Engaging with peers from other creative disciplines, you’ll collaborate to make an original piece of performance work, exploring new perspectives and techniques and operating as a technical creative maker.

You can choose to take an optional professional placement during your degree. You’ll be responsible for finding your own placement, with support from the Employability team. Choosing this option will enhance your industry experience and skills while studying. 

How you’ll study during your professional placement 

You’ll spend time working in a professional context, as part of a business or organisation. This can be in one role, or up to three, and must be for a minimum of 24 weeks. 

You’ll develop in-demand workplace skills, deepen your insight into industry and grow your network of contacts, all of which could help you get ahead in your career after graduation. 

Throughout this year, you’ll develop a portfolio of work that includes critical self-reflection on what has been learned from the experience. You’ll be required to evidence your experiences, the skills you’ve learned and your professional growth. 

In your final year, you’ll continue to develop a practical and forward-thinking set of skills for professional practice. You’ll develop your own independent lines of enquiry and projects, continuing to collaborate with other performance and live events courses in the form of projects and productions. You’ll also explore new technologies and advanced digital processes that are central to future-facing professional skillsets. Finally, you’ll deliver a major professional practice project of your choosing and reflect upon its strengths and weaknesses.

Modules

Production Management, Design and Realisation

You’ll develop and hone organisational and managerial skills through the realisation of design and production briefs and larger-scale performance projects. You’ll gain experience in management techniques including organisation, planning, delegation, motivation and conflict resolution. 

Industry Horizons in Technical Theatre

You’ll undertake a research project or dissertation that identifies potential opportunities and new directions for technical theatre innovation. Research is also applied to real-world contexts, providing insights that will inform and guide you in your career choices and preparation for future industry demands.

Professional Project: Practice

In your final year, you will plan, prepare and deliver a ‘professional project’. This can take a range of forms but is based on the study of and interaction with industry organisations through work-based learning, a placement and/or event projects. This will provide real world experience and insight into production and employment. You’ll also deploy your combined communication and production skills to develop a public showcase of your work.

Professional Project: Research

This module, which is linked to the Practice module, allows you to engage with research into industry themes and approaches as part of your practice. Your Professional Project is an example of practice as research, and the two are entwined in your development as a practitioner.  

This module also develops critical frameworks and reflection to assess the impact and effectiveness of your project in its aims and outcomes.

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.

Technical Theatre Arts students working in the studio together
Technical Theatre Arts students

How you'll learn & be assessed

Through industry-focused lectures, practical workshops and learning projects, you'll gain the theoretical understanding, professional insights and practical skills to carve a successful career in stage and live events production.

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.

Assessment methods

You’ll be assessed through a combination of practical skills, competencies and written work. 

  • Practical assessments  
  • Reflective presentations  
  • Reflective critical reviews of learning 
  • Creative portfolios 

Facilities

  • 11 equipped performance studios 
  • Recording studio with four control rooms  
  • 11 practice rooms 
  • Computer labs for CAD and audio software design 
  • Scenery workshop 
  • Technical resource stores with a wide range of microphones for recording and live voice and music as well as a range of other performance technologies and emerging technologies, such as VRML and Motion Capture 
  • Digital Audio Workstations, PA Systems, mixing desks, lighting kits, portable dimmers, cameras, projectors and musical instruments
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Staff

You’ll be taught and supported by a team of professional technicians, lighting and sound specialists, theatre-makers, directors, production managers, production-focused academics and industry guests. Many members of our teaching staff have a working background in the national and international theatre industry. 

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

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Careers

 

Our technical theatre graduates have worked as:

  • Lighting designers and programmers at Indigo at The O2, St Just Ordinalia, the Tim Minchin tour, Wireless Festival and for Bianca del Rio 
  • Venue technicians at The Royal Opera House, The Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Harlequin Theatre 
  • Sound designers/operators at Cascade Theatre and Millstone Sound 
  • Set and prop designers/makers at Hall for Cornwall 
  • Festival and production company stage managers at Glastonbury Festival, WOMAD, Miracle Theatre, Rock Oyster Festival, Hall for Cornwall and Falmouth International Festival 

Technical Theatre Arts lunchtime recording session
Technical Theatre Arts lunchtime recording session

How to apply

Ready to join us? You can apply for September 2024 through UCAS. You'll need to reference the course and University code (F33).

Apply via UCAS

Course route UCAS code
Technical Theatre Arts BA(Hons) three year degree W484
Technical Theatre Arts BA(Hons) with professional placement PY63

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 route Entry requirements
BA/BSc(Hons) three year degree 104 – 120 UCAS Tariff points
BA/BSc(Hons) four year degree with professional placement 104 – 120 UCAS Tariff points

Check the title of your course to see if it's a BA or BSc award. 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. 

Check how many points your qualifications are worth

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 may need to take a recognised language test. You can read our English Language Requirements for more information.

For starting your studies in 2024

UK applications: 31 January 2024 (for equal consideration)

Applications after the 31 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

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

What we're looking for

We want someone who:

  • Can work hard over long hours - as is often required in the industry.
  • Is professional and enthusiastic about live performance, technical theatre arts and similar industries.
  • Can work in various environments and with a range of people.

Fees, costs & funding

Tuition fees

Annual tuition fee Student
£9,250 per year Full-time UK
£17,460 per year Full-time EU/international
£1,850 per professional placement year Full-Time UK and EU/international
Annual tuition fee Student
£9,250 per year Full-time UK
£17,950 per year Full-time EU/international
£1,850 per professional placement year Full-Time UK and 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. 

The figures above don't include accommodation and living costs

Typical course costs

  • A laptop will be an essential piece of equipment along with a reliable broadband connection
  • Personal Protective Equipment: Protective footwear (steel toe cap boots / shoes or equivalent) and gloves
  • Personal toolkit: Adjustable spanner, screwdrivers, torch, clothing for practical classes
  • Books and consumable items: Approx £100 - £150
  • £80-£150 - optional subsidised formal industrial training
  • £500-£1,000 - optional placements
  • Public Programme season tickets (student rate) costs found: AMATA Live Pass
  • £25 - Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT) student membership

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

Funding

For further information about funding, please visit our undergraduate funding page

Ask a student

What better way to find out about life at Falmouth University than by asking our current students?

From course details and academic support, 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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