Costume with Textiles BA(Hons) 2017-18

This course also available for 2018-19 entry

Want to join us in September? You can now apply via Clearing

About the course

This course aims to offer a fresh and original approach to costume design through combining textiles and construction. You'll have the opportunity to learn how to analyse text, music and character and develop individual concepts for costume designs. Through exploration of a variety of techniques and processes you'll be supported in developing a range of key skills in research, critical reflection, design development, illustration, textile experimentation and costume construction. You'll be encouraged to take risks, to question and challenge your work and to develop an individual identity.This course is accredited by the Textile Institute, a worldwide organisation for textiles, clothing and footwear.

UCAS code:

Start date:
18 / 09 / 2017


3 years full-time
4 years inc. placement year

Course type:

Full Time inc. placement year


Clearing helpline:
03301 232 277

Course content

You'll have the opportunity to develop your textile skills in embroidery and print within the context of costume. You'll have the chance to experiment with historical and contemporary cut and construction techniques and investigate both traditional and current textile designers and illustrators. This will enable you to design and make costumes for a variety of performance areas such as theatre, opera, dance, film and television. You'll also be offered the opportunity to take advantage of real projects set by our contacts in the industry, as well as work placement opportunities.

Inspirational field trips to destinations of educational and cultural significance are a compulsory component of the course and will be funded by the University. Trips may include visits to museums, exhibitions and trade shows.

Year 1

Core modules:

Introduction to Costume Construction

This module helps you to develop the knowledge needed to transfer a design concept into a three-dimensional costume. You’ll be introduced to appropriate sewing methods for toile and costume construction, and the basic principles of flat pattern cutting, basic block manipulation and experimentation with cut. You will be asked to produce a comprehensive file of patterns and samples. (100% construction file).

Introduction to Textiles for Costume

In this module a series of practical workshops will introduce you to basic skills in a variety of drawing and textile processes and techniques, developing your ability to creatively explore textiles for costume. Colour palette and knowledge of fabric types and quality will also be explored and form a crucial part of the process. (100% portfolio).

Fashion and Costume: History and Contemporary Context

This module provides an introduction to key historical, cultural, political, social and economic contexts which affect our readings of fashion and costume practices. It will include a review of stylistic change and how it has been influenced by key macro trends, cultural movements and also socio-political and technological change. The research and performance contexts of fashion and costume practices will also be considered. (40% group presentation/60% individual assignment).

Introduction to Costume Design and Illustration

This module introduces script analysis, character interpretation and visual methods of design for costume, selected from a range of performance areas. We’ll help you to understand methods of script analysis and character analysis, in order to inform the design development process. We’ll also introduce you to illustration techniques which explore a variety of media and methods. (100% portfolio)

Year 2

Core modules:

Textiles for Costume

This module aims to develop your textile specialism by experimentation with techniques and processes. You will be encouraged to express your creativity through visual research and design development, characterisation and textile sampling. You will be involved in personal assignments which develop an individual approach to creating textiles. (100% portfolio)

Costume Design and Context

This module aims to develop your ability to independently research in order to express individual interpretation for script analysis, characterisation and design development. Through a series of lectures and workshops, you’ll have the chance to appraise and evaluate the results of the research and design development work, to clearly identify and establish your specialism within a design context. (100% Portfolio)

Costume Construction

This module introduces more advanced pattern cutting and costume construction methods. This will help you develop skills in prop-making and introduce you to techniques used for the ageing and breaking down of costumes for a variety of performance areas. Through your interpretation of historical and contemporary silhouettes, you will be asked to produce toiles and finished costumes as well as any appropriate accessories. (100% portfolio)

Year 3 - optional placement year

School of Art and Design Placement

You will normally spend a total of 48 weeks between the end of year two and the beginning of your final year in a managed work experience. You will be encouraged to obtain a placement activity relevant to your area of specialism, however a wide range of placements will be regarded as suitable. The placement will be monitored and you will be assessed on completion. (100%).

Final Year

Core modules:

Costume : Research and Development

This module aims to establish and inform your major project by identifying a theme/subject/issue relevant to your practice. The module will re-emphasise the importance of in-depth research, within which you will be encouraged to demonstrate originality, pro-activity and innovation. You’ll have the chance to define the context and parameters of this module yourself through negotiation and ongoing dialogue with your tutors. (100% research portfolio)

Costume : Technical

This module enables you to complement your major project by undertaking an in-depth market/technical analysis and evaluation of your finalised design. You will be able to extend and apply your knowledge of manufacturing, production and specification design to your design practice: products, environments, buildings, materials etc. You will be asked to demonstrate critical analysis and evaluation of market, technical, manufacturing and economic aspects relating to your design solutions. (20% oral presentation/80% final piece of assessment)

Costume : Major Project

You will be supported in building upon and testing research developed in THD1363 Research and Development. You will be encouraged to channel your creative and intellectual skills, either as an individual, or as part of a collaboration or interdisciplinary team, to create innovative original or highly professional proposition(s) appropriate to your discipline through, for example, sketchbooks, design sheets, design outputs. You will be asked to realise the potential for your major project based on your intentions and create a coherent group of statement pieces. (100% design project)

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

We review all optional modules each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let students know in good time the options available for them to choose for the following year.

We will only change core modules for a course if it is necessary for us to do so, for example to maintain course accreditation. We will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before you begin the relevant academic year.

Sometimes we have to make changes to other aspects of a course or how it is delivered. We only make these changes if they are for reasons outside of our control, or where they are for our students’ benefit. Again, we will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before the relevant academic year. Our regulations set out our procedure which we will follow when we need to make any such changes.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.


The course offers an optional one-year (48 week) work placement after the second year, in the UK or abroad. This will give you the opportunity to gain valuable hands-on experience, insight into your chosen career and open up your graduate employment prospects. Our Placement Unit and academic staff have excellent industry links and can support you in applying for and finding your placement(s), as well as during your placement year.

Students within the area of Costume with Textiles have recently taken up placement opportunities with companies including: Opera North – Leeds; The National Theatre – London; The Royal Exchange – Manchester;Scottish Ballet – Glasgow; Northern Ballet - Leeds; Royal Shakespeare Company - Stratford; Marc Jacobs - New York; Opera Australia (based in the Sydney Opera House) - Australia; Northern Ballet - Leeds; The English Theatre - Frankfurt, Germany; Cabasa Carnival Arts - Oldham; The Inflatable Crowd Company for The King's Speech (Momentum Pictures) - UK; The People's Poppy - London; Birmingham Costume Hire - Birmingham; Theatre Royal, Bath; Central Youth Theatre - Wolverhampton; Hat Therapy - Hebden Bridge; and Leeds Grand Theatre - Leeds.

Alternatively, if you are a student from within the UK or the EU, you could consider starting your own small business by applying for the Enterprise Placement Year in conjunction with the University's Enterprise Team. You'll have the opportunity to benefit from business advice, mentoring and networking sessions. You can find out more information on the Enterprise Placement Year here.

You can find out more information on placements here.

Career opportunities

90% of graduates from this course go on to work and/or further study within six months of graduating.

This course aims to help you develop the skills needed for roles such as costume designers and makers for film, opera, theatre, dance and television; textile designers for the creative industries; wardrobe assistants; set designers; illustrators; stylists and teachers.

Professional links and accreditations

This course is accredited by the Textile Institute, a worldwide organisation for textiles, clothing and footwear. This is reviewed every five years and is valid until 2021.

Teaching and assessment

39.7% of the study time on this course is spent in tutorials, practical demonstrations, lectures etc.

You will encounter studio based tutorials and practical demonstrations taught by specialist staff and designers, who will monitor your progress throughout the course. Your assessment will include design-work portfolios, written assignments and seminar presentations, individually and in groups.

Your module specification/course handbook will provide full details of the assessment criteria applying to your course.

Feedback (usually written) is normally provided on all coursework submissions within three term time weeks – unless the submission was made towards the end of the session in which case feedback would be available on request after the formal publication of results.Feedback on exam performance/final coursework is available on request after the publication of results.

Huddersfield is the UK's only University where all our permanent teaching staff are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy.*

*Permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching.


Our costume and textiles studios house a range of technology to help you to bring your ideas to life, including computer aided design (CAD) embroidery, screen printing, printmaking, laser cutting, digital ink-jet fabric printing, as well as pattern cutting equipment. A highly skilled and experienced team of technical staff supports the wide range of resources in the specialisms of printing and dyeing, embroidery, pattern cutting and costume construction. The CAD and IT team are also on hand to support you whether you're an Apple or Windows user.

How much will it cost me?

The full-time undergraduate tuition fee for 17/18 entry is £9250.

Tuition fees will cover the cost of your study at the University as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision and examinations. For more information about funding, fees and finance for UK/EU students, including what your tuition fee covers, please see Fees and Finance. Please note that tuition fees for subsequent years of study may rise in line with inflation (RPI-X).

If you are an international student coming to study at the University of Huddersfield, please visit the International Fees and Finance pages for full details of tuition fees and support available.

Please email the Student Finance Office or call 01484 472210 for more information about fees and finance.


Basic materials will be provided during the first and second years of the course, including pattern paper, thread, calico fabric and embroidery/print materials. You'll need to supply some of your own materials, including sewing equipment, art materials and printing. The costs may vary based on the materials you choose. The approximate cost of these items in recent years has been £90 in the first year, £70 in the second year and £80 to £120 in the final year.

In the second year you'll need to supply the materials you require to produce a corset (£28 corset pack) and materials to create one costume. There is no limit on the amount you may wish to spend, but you will be asked to set and work within a budget. As a guide, costs in previous years has ranged from £80 to £400 per student for this project. This is dependent on the student's choice of materials.

In the final year you'll need to supply the materials you require to produce your major collection. There is no limit on the amount you may wish to spend, but you will be asked to set and work within a budget. As a guide, costs in previous years have ranged from £200 to £1000 per student for this project. This is dependent on the student's choice of materials.

Further study

Progression to a postgraduate course is dependent on successful completion of your undergraduate studies, there may also be minimum qualification requirements such as a first class or higher second (2.1) degree. Please check the course details to confirm this.


If you're an international student (including EU) you can check if you meet our entry requirements (both academic and English language) by visiting our country pages.

If you do not meet the entry requirements you can consider completing a degree preparation programme (if you are from a country outside of the EU) at the University's International Study Centre (ISC). You can call the ISC on +44 (0) 1273 339333 to discuss your options. You can also complete the online application form or to ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers.

If your English language is not at the required level (IELTS 6.0 overall), we have a range of Pre-Sessional English programmes that you can enrol on before starting your degree course. You will not need to take an IELTS test after completing one of our Pre-Sessional English programmes.

Research community

Research plays an important role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through research our staff remain up-to-date with the latest developments in their field, which means you develop knowledge and skills that are current and highly relevant to industry. For more information, see the Research section of our website.

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