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MA Costume Design for Performance

Different course options

Study mode

Full time


15 months

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MA - Master of Arts

Subject areas

Fashion / Textiles Design Theatrical Costume

Course type


Course Summary

Course overview

MA Costume Design for Performance is a course where practice and theory will be taught together in a blend of academic and practical skills to reflect new ideas, methods of expression, diversity of cultural backgrounds and analogue as well as digital technologies in performance design. The aim of the course is to develop confident and experimental practitioners who will push the boundaries of the discipline. Through conceptual development, specialised design realisation, theoretical and practical-based research methods, you will explore the role of costume within contemporary performance and recorded media. The course encourages thinking and making as intrinsically linked processes and an examination of a diverse range of analytical methods such psychology, anthropology, history and culture, social and political contexts utilising technologies from photography, film, fine art, textile and product design, audio, digital and online platforms, realisation and all aspects of performance to create meaningful narratives for contemporary audiences. You will explore situations and narratives that raise attention to ethical, social and political issues as well as challenge traditional costume practices. MA Costume Design for Performance articulates the value of costume for performance as an important and distinct area of performance research and practice. You will be encouraged to read widely, attend internal and external lectures, events, exhibitions, performances and symposia, engage with UAL research hubs, collaborate across other LCF postgraduate courses and across the University of the Arts. You will engage with other disciplines such as literature, fine art, film, music/sound, dance and science to explore ways to articulate ideas through costume as conveyor of meaning, You will be encouraged to develop independent innovative responses to, and a critique of current costume and performance practices.

Career paths

MA Costume Design for Performance graduates’ practice as designers in both the text-based mainstream but also the devised/arthouse live performance and film sector. They often take the collaborative performance work initiated during the course further and as a result, their work has been seen in major national and international festivals, including Prague Quadrennial and Edinburgh Festival, Critical Costume Helsinki (Finland), Pamplona Festival (Spain) and has been exhibited at the National Gallery London, the V&A Museum, National Centre of Performance Art in Beijing, Museum of Modern Art Shanghai and in many other venues in the UK and abroad.

Graduates find employment as assistant designers and costume supervisors in the theatre and film industry in leading institutions such as the Royal Opera House, English National Opera and on films such as Star Wars, Harry Potter and Suffragette. Others have built careers as experts in specific technical areas of costume, such as, pattern cutting, surface textiles, print and dye or fabricated, sculptural costumes. Some graduates are currently working for major fashion labels such as Chanel, Dior, McQueen and Lawrence Xu producing often unusual one-off costumes and objects for the designer’s catwalk shows.


Narrative Costume and Performance (40 Credits)
Costume for Film (40 Credits)
Collaborative Challenge (20 Credits)
Masters Project (60 Credits)
Research Proposal (20 Credits)

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

For this course (per year)


Entry requirements

The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows: an Honours degree at 2.1 or above in a related discipline. Applicants with a degree in another subject may be considered, depending on the strength of the application; OR equivalent qualifications.

University information

University of the Arts London (UAL) is one of the world’s leading and most prestigious arts universities, maintaining an internationally renowned list of alumni. Being located in London, it is an ideal place to study a postgraduate qualification and get connected to a thriving creative sector. With modern campus sites spread across London, UAL offers over 100 taught postgraduate degree courses at the university’s six specialist colleges and...more

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