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Performance Design - TFT00045I

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  • Department: Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Xristina Penna
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module summary

This module is designed to introduce you to a range of design disciplines, and the ways in which they intersect in live performance. You will explore specific skills related to individual areas of design (e.g. stage design, costume design, lighting design, sound design) and experiment with these skills to develop designs of your own.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2024-25

Module aims

The module aims:

- to develop your understanding of, and basic proficiency in, a wide range of processes involved in theatre design, including set, costume and sound design, and engaging with a script as a designer

- to develop your capacity to reflect critically on your practical experience and contextualise it against the work of professional practitioners and existing literature on the subject and related areas of practice

- to develop an enhanced understanding of the role of design in live performance - to enable you to develop a portfolio of work, in preparation for undertaking a design role (should you wish) in one of the degree programme’s subsequent production projects

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module you are expected to:

- demonstrate a basic understanding of a range of design processes

- demonstrate proficiency in at least one area of practical specialism within the range of disciplines offered by the module - possess the necessary skills and aptitudes to generate, effectively communicate and deliver to a deadline an effective and original design for a given production

- have begun to develop an individual and distinctive approach to your chosen area of specialism and an aesthetic language which reflects your concerns and interests - reflect critically and analytically on the role and function of design in performance

Module content

Each week there will be a lecture and a practical workshop. The lectures will introduce a range of critical ideas and contemporary design practices, and will introduce key case studies from designers active in the industry, while the workshops will introduce you to practical design skills required in individual design disciplines. During the module you will have the opportunity to experiment with a range of design techniques, and to develop your own designs for hypothetical productions. You will have the opportunity to experiment with design disciplines in relation to the particular skills of each discipline (e.g. model box making, drafting lighting plans, etc) and by engaging with the design requirements of particular playtexts, and/or production contexts.


Task Length % of module mark
Performance Design Portfolio
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

Students receive formative feedback through practical workshop sessions.


Task Length % of module mark
Performance Design Portfolio
N/A 100

Module feedback

You will receive written feedback in line with standard University turnaround times.

Indicative reading

Di Benedetto, S. (2013). An Introduction to Theatre Design.

Hannah, D, and Harsløf, O eds. (2008). Performance design.

McKinney, J, and Butterworth, P. (2009). The Cambridge introduction to scenography.

Maclaurin, A, and Monks, A. (2018). Costume: Readings in theatre practice.

Neat, D. (2013). Model-making: Materials and Methods.

Brown, R. (2009). Sound: A reader in theatre practice.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.