Costume with Textiles BA(Hons)

2018-19 (also available for 2019-20)

Start date

17 September 2018


3 years full-time
4 years inc. placement year

Entry requirements

A Level - BBB


See full entry requirements



Places available (subject to change)


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Phone contact: +44 (0)1484 472114

About the course

So much goes into designing and creating a successful costume. You’ll analyse, interpret and make the visual elements of character expression and storytelling through the relationship between costume, the body and movement. We’ll encourage you to take risks, to question and challenge your work in order to broaden your knowledge and experience of what costume can be and to develop your own individual approach as a costume practitioner.

Working from classic and contemporary texts, you’ll investigate design, textiles and construction techniques to give you a thorough grounding in all aspects of costume. We’ll look at experimentation in costume design and illustration, textile artistry, advanced pattern cutting and construction techniques, bespoke garment fitting and final costume realisation, fit for a chosen performance genre. You’ll also have the chance to develop professional costume skills such as text/music/character analysis, in-depth visual and contextual research methods, communication and presentation practice and applying reflection and evaluation to practical/written work.

On the practical side, you’ll learn textiles specialisms including embroidery and print, as developed and used in the costume field. Our design, construction and textiles studios are home to facilities which help bring your ideas to life such as computer aided design (CAD), and traditional and contemporary embroidery and printing techniques including hand crafting, laser cutting and digital printing. Our dyeing, printing, embroidery and construction workrooms have specialist equipment so you can work on surface textile techniques and sophisticated costume construction methods. As a finishing touch to your costumes, you can distress and break down fabrics and garments in our purpose built spray booth so your creations really tell your character’s story.

We’ll also give you the chance to get out and about, with inspiring trips to current costume related exhibitions, performances and events. Essential visits are embedded within the course and will be funded by the University. Each year of study culminates in a live performance and exhibition showcasing graduate costumes.

If you have the vision we’ll try to make it happen and at the end of the course you will have had the opportunity to design, integrate textiles and produce costumes for a wide range of performance genres, including theatre, opera, dance, film and television.

Course Detail

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)

27% 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.

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.

Entry requirements

BBBat A Level or equivalent

120 UCAS tariff points from a combination of Level 3 qualifications

DMM in BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma

  • Pass in Diploma Foundation Studies in Art and Design combined with A Level or BTEC qualifications, to total an equivalent of 120 UCAS tariff points.
  • Pass Access to Higher Education Diploma with 45 Level 3 credits at Merit or above.
  • 120 UCAS tariff points from International Baccalaureate qualifications.

Candidates for whom English is not the first language are required to have International English Language Testing System (IELTS) at a score of 6.0 overall and no less than 5.5 in any component (academic or general test).

You will also be required to attend a satisfactory interview, when strong emphasis will be placed on the quality of your portfolio.

Other suitable experience or qualifications will be considered. For further information please see the University's minimum entry requirements.

The Barbara Hepworth Building

The new Barbara Hepworth Building at the University of Huddersfield brings together our Art, Design and Architecture programmes under one roof.

The £30million investment embodies all that is current, contemporary and creative. It offers huge potential to act as a catalyst for future connectivity, setting the scene for collaboration and learning.

Due to open in late 2019, our students will experience a completely new way of working, revolutionising partnerships and creative exchanges from their first day of study.

For more information, please visit:

Further information

The teaching year normally starts in September with breaks at Christmas and Easter, finishing with a main examination/assessment period around May/June. Timetables are normally available one month before registration. As this is a full-time course, you may have to attend every day of the week.

Your course is made up of modules and each module is worth a number of credits. Each year you study modules to the value of 120 credits, adding up to 360 credits in total for a bachelor’s qualification. These credits can come from a combination of core, compulsory and optional modules but please note that optional modules may not run if we do not have enough students interested.

If you achieve 120 credits for the current stage you are at, you may progress to the next stage of your course, subject to any professional, statutory or regulatory body guidelines.


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 previously taken up placement opportunities in theatre, film and television with companies including: Opera North – Leeds; The National Theatre – London; The Royal Exchange – Manchester; Scottish Ballet – Glasgow; Northern Ballet - Leeds; Royal Shakespeare Company - Stratford; BBC Wales - Cardiff; Opera Australia (based in the Sydney Opera House) - Australia; Cabasa Carnival Arts - Oldham; Birmingham Costume Hire - Birmingham; Central Youth Theatre - Wolverhampton; Hat Therapy - Hebden Bridge; Souraya – Australia; Zandra Rhodes – London; The Crucible Theatre – Sheffield and Bayerische Staatsoper – Germany.You can tailor your placement year to suit you, depending on what specific industry experience you wish to gain.

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.

Choosing to do a placement year has not only improved my skill-set and employability, but has provided me with the edge I need to stand out in my chosen industry. I really enjoyed every minute, and I would do it again if I could.

Stephen Finn

Stephen Finn, Costume with Textiles BA(Hons) graduate, placements with Marc Jacobs, Opera Australia and Ian Stuart

Teaching excellence

  1. Huddersfield is a TEF gold-rated institution delivering consistently outstanding teaching and learning of the highest quality found in the UK (Teaching Excellence Framework, 2017).
  2. We won the first Global Teaching Excellence Award recognising the University’s commitment to world-class teaching and its success in developing students as independent learners and critical thinkers (HEA, 2017).
  3. Here at Huddersfield, you’ll be taught by some of the best lecturers in the country. The University is number one in England for the proportion of staff with teaching qualifications (HEFCE, 2016).
  4. For the past ten years, we’ve been the UK’s leading university for National Teaching Fellowships too, which rate Britain’s best lecturers. It’s all part of our ongoing drive for teaching excellence, which helps our students to achieve great things too.
  5. We’re unique in the fact that all our permanent teaching staff* have, or are completing, doctorates. This expertise, together with our teaching credentials, means that students here learn from knowledgeable and well-qualified teachers and academics who are at the forefront of their subject area.

*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; research degrees applies to those on contracts of more than half-time.

Student Work

A gallery of work from our Costume with Textiles BA(Hons) students and graduate shows. Click on each image to find out more.
You can see work from across the School of Art, Design and Architecture on our gallery page.

Your career

We know you’re coming to university to undertake your course, meet new people and broaden your horizons. However, we also help you to focus on life after you have graduated to ensure that your hard work pays off and you achieve your ambition.
So while you’re here (and even after you graduate) the Careers and Employability Service offer professional help, support and guidance, including industry-supported workshops, careers fairs and one-to-one guidance sessions. Find out more about the Service.
* Percentage of graduates from this course who go on to work and/or further study within six months of graduating (DLHE Survey 2014/15).

* Source: DLHE Survey 2014/15

95% Graduates employed*

Student support

At the University of Huddersfield, you'll find support networks and services to help you get ahead in your studies and social life. Whether you study at undergraduate or postgraduate level, you'll soon discover that you're never far away from our dedicated staff and resources to help you to navigate through your personal student journey. Find out more about all our support services.

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.

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