Undergraduate study - 2017 entry

BA Performance Costume

UCAS code: W451

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Edinburgh College of Art

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing BA Performance Costume

Our programme is one of the few in the country that teaches costume making alongside costume design. Our curriculum includes life drawing, textiles, millinery, set design, model making and puppetry. You will be encouraged to be an innovative, individual and adaptable designer and maker. Our programme is highly respected by industry, as shown in our impressive graduate employment rates.

The costume designers' ideas spring from the written word, spoken word, music, movement, location or period through concept, colour, cut and texture. The students learn to become skilled at accurate recreation as well as expressing imaginative flair. Performance Costume crosses a range of art forms including theatre, dance, opera, television, film, performance art, music video and installation.

On the Performance Costume programme we encourage innovative and individual creative responses whilst balancing a strong craft and technical expertise.

Integrated with the practical studio work, contextual and theoretical studies provide a sound understanding of the holistic nature of contemporary costume design.

Year 1

You will be introduced to the theoretical and practical concepts of Design through a series of projects for performance. You will be introduced to basic pattern cutting, life drawing and millinery. In the symposium weeks you will work across disciplines with all students in the design school. You will be integral in the running of our end-of-year fashion and costume show where you will gain valuable professional practice skills.

Year 2

You will be set a range of design projects covering a variety of performance design. A greater understanding of the design process is developed through tutorials in pattern cutting and sewing, and you will be introduced to set design and model making and a variety of workshops. Life drawing and computer skills are integrated into the programme. In the symposium weeks you will collaborate with students across the design school disciplines. Your practical costume work will be shown at the end-of-year fashion and costume show.

Year 3

You will be working on a variety of projects with external connections. Work experience is an invaluable part of our course. We have extensive links with stage and screen companies. Our students have had internships with the Lyceum Theatre, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh Festival, Scottish Opera, Scottish Ballet, the Royal Opera House, the V&A Museum, Pinewood Studios, Universal Films, HBO, BBC, ITV and numerous other stage and film companies. Students also collaborate with ECA's Film and TV Programme. Elective courses are available from within the wider University.

Year 4

In your final year you will select your own projects to design for. You will feel confident about your ability to research, express ideas, opinions and concerns through your ability to contextualise your theoretical and practical work. Practice and research are consolidated and refined while developing your individual voice to produce a final body of design and costume work. You will exhibit your design books and costume makes at the end-of-year Degree Show and show your final costumes in the prestigious end-of-year fashion and costume show.

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

We publish the latest available information for this programme. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year.

Programme structure (2016/17)

Our facilities

Design students benefit from studio-based learning at our Lauriston Place campus, along with the exhibitions and events associated with a vibrant art college. You will also have access to the University's extensive libraries and computer facilities.

The University is investing in the ECA estate and facilities to further develop our flexible, stimulating, supportive and sustainable learning and research environment for students and staff.

Further information is available on the ECA website.

Study abroad

Study abroad is optional in Year 3.

How will I learn?

The majority of teaching and learning is through involvement in a range of experiential projects situated in a studio environment. Conceptual, material and technical issues are explored through seminars, workshops, lectures, tutorials and critiques.

Research, critical thinking and study of the visual, intellectual, social and professional contexts that shape creative design practice are regarded as essential to your development. This often involves participation in exhibitions, competitions, collaborations and live industry projects.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment is continuous throughout the year, aiming to give you meaningful feedback and to encourage experimentation in the studio and beyond. Formative assessment is provided through a mix of verbal and written modes.

There is a mid-session review, usually at the mid-point of any given course you study. Summative assessment at the end of all the courses you take is informed by your academic and creative progress and performance throughout.

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

We publish the latest available information for this programme. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year.

Programme details (2017/18)

Our programmes have strong industrial pathways to ensure the most successful and meaningful careers for graduates. You are encouraged to participate in national and international showcase events appropriate to your programme.

Typical offer

The typical offer is likely to be:

  • SQA Highers: BBBB.
  • A Levels: BBB.
  • IB: 34 points (grades 555 at HL).

Minimum entry requirements

  • SQA Highers: BBBB by the end of S5 or BBBBB/ABBB from S4-S6. National 5: English at Grade C.
  • A Levels: BBB. GCSEs: English at Grade C.
  • IB: Award of Diploma with 34 points overall and grades 555 in HL subjects. SL: English at 4.

Additional requirements


Applicants will be asked to submit a digital mini-portfolio to provide evidence of artistic aptitude and potential, this will form an important part of the selection process. The deadline for mini-portfolio submission is 12:00 noon GMT on Tuesday 31 January 2017 and late mini-portfolio submissions will not be accepted. Applicants applying to enter Year 2 of our programmes, who pass the first stage of selection, will be invited to bring a full portfolio to an Applicant Day.

Important dates

  • Early November 2016: Mini-portfolio submissions site opens
  • 15 January 2017: UCAS deadline for Home/EU applicants
  • 31 January 2017 (12:00 non GMT): Mini-portfolio submission deadline
  • 13-17 March 2017: Applicant Days for applicants applying to enter Year 2
  • 30 June 2017: Final deadline for UCAS applications from applicants from outside the EU.


Applicants studying the Pearson BTEC Diploma in Art and Design will be considered for entry with the following:

  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art and Design with Merit.
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Art and Design with Merit plus one A Level at Grade B.
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Art and Design with Merit plus two A Levels at Grade B.

Applicants studying the University of the Arts London Level 3 Extended Diploma in Arts and Design will be considered with Merit.

Find out more about entry requirements

International students

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

International Foundation Programme

If you are an international student and your school qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to the University you may be eligible for admission to this degree programme through our International Foundation Programme.

International Foundation Programme

Entry to the second year is available. Successful completion of a Foundation Diploma (at Merit Grade), a relevant HND or equivalent is required. Applicants will normally be expected to have undertaken these qualifications in addition to having met the minimum entry requirements (Highers, A Levels, IB etc).

Applicants applying to enter Year 2 of our programmes, who pass the first stage of selection, will be invited to bring a full portfolio to an Applicant Day.

You must provide evidence that your written and spoken English is at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English:

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component
  • TOEFL-iBT 92 or above with 20 in each section
  • Cambridge English: Advanced & Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): Total 61 with at least 51 in each "Communicative Skills" section
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components

About English language requirements


For SQA and GCSE students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 Grade C
  • SQA Standard Grade 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 Grade A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 Grade C
  • GCSE Grade C
  • IB Standard Level Grade 4

Key Information Sets (KIS) are part of a government initiative to enhance the information that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

KIS are available for most undergraduate programmes and are intended to make it easier for you to find information about the programmes you are interested in studying. It is one of many sources of information available that will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

You can also use this website to find more information on our programmes and the learning environment you will experience at the University of Edinburgh.

Please note that some programmes do not have data available and will not display a KIS.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for BA Performance Costume

Additional Costs

There are likely to be additional costs for materials. These will vary depending on your programme of study. In addition, some programmes offer study trips and individual field-based projects. You will usually be required to cover accommodation, subsistence and travel costs. Your actual contribution will depend on the programme and courses you select and on the nature of each trip.


For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding