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This innovative fast track, two year degree combines the best of University education with the best of Drama School training in order to produce the future generation of theatre technicians who are not only technically competent but alive to the changing creative demands of this fast moving industry.

  • Drama St Mary’s offers Pre-UCAS interviews and auditions that give you feedback before you apply through UCAS.
  • A range of scholarships are available for undergraduate students.
  • Taught by theatre professionals and academics.
  • Available as a Single Honours Programme.

Why study Technical Theatre?

This programme's two year structure is unique within St Mary’s University.

The United Kingdom has an International reputation for its innovative work in the theatre and associated Creative Industries.

Across the globe technicians and designers trained in the UK are pioneering new ways to reimagine space, tell stories and solve the logistical problems of managing live performance.

A training in technical theatre will equip you with both the design skills and the technical knowhow to work across a broad range of skills within this exciting and fast moving industry.

How to choose your technical theatre training

Students and staff from the St Mary's Technical Theatre degree spoke to The Stage about choosing a route into the industry. Find out more...

Why St Mary's?

We run an innovative two-year fast-track BA degree programme with students working through the summer months to cover the ground. The work is intense and challenging.

The first year offers a solid introduction into the basics of lighting, sound, costume, set design and construction, stage management, props making and TV production.

These skills are reinforced by ongoing work in service of the Drama Programmes production schedule, facilitating the technical requirements of the broader curriculum, and working alongside visiting companies, as house technicians in the Drama St Mary’s Theatre.

The second year enables you to specialise through option choices, working in smaller groups to deepen your core knowledge. The specialist study enables students to explore in-depth, a niche skill of your choosing. In effect, this is a ‘practical’ dissertation assessed by portfolio and live demonstration.

Large sections of your second year will take place in the industry, and two main modules require independent learning based on placements with shows, companies and organisations. You will set these placements up yourself, so the location is of your choosing, though most students carry these out in London and the local area.

Foundation year

Technical Theatre is also available as an undergraduate degree with a foundation year.

Related courses

#Theatre #Drama #CreativeIndustries

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Entry requirements

96-112 UCAS points required

BBC - CCC

A Levels

DMM - MMM

BTEC Extended
Diploma

View alternative requirements

To calculate your expected UCAS points, please use the UCAS Tariff calculator.

80 UCAS points should include at least two B grades at A Level (or equivalent).

Requirements for other qualifications (including BTECs, Irish Highers, Scottish Highers, International Baccalaureates and Access Courses) are also available. For more information please email apply@stmarys.ac.uk.

We will make you an offer if you are within the tariff band range and you meet subject-specific requirements (where applicable).

For undergraduate programmes we will take into account subjects studied at Level 3, your GCSEs (or equivalent) profile, relevant non-academic achievements outlined in your personal statement, references and your motivation for study.

International requirements

International students should check our country-specific pages for equivalents. If English is not your first language you will need to achieve an IELTS score of 6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in any section (or equivalent).

We now accept IELTS Indicator test results as proof of your English language level.

Undergraduate degrees with a foundation year

The undergraduate degree with foundation year programme offers applicants without traditional qualifications or grades an alternative route to studying Technical Theatre.

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Course content

Year one

  • The Design Process Core
  • Stage Lighting Core
  • Stage Management Core
  • Costume Core
  • Sound Core
  • Puppets and Props Core
  • Scenic Construction Core
  • Production Placement Core

Year two

  • Creative Thinking Core
  • Digital Film Production Core
  • Production Management Core
  • Specialist Study Core
  • Industry Placement Core
  • TV Production Optional
  • Set Design Optional
  • Company Management Optional

Please note: it is possible that a module listed on the website will not be able to run due to reasons beyond our control. For more information please refer to our course information disclaimer.

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Career opportunities

The course is focused on setting students up for employment. We have great contacts with theatres, both in London and beyond. Over the past few years, students from the Drama programmes have found employment at the National Theatre, The Royal Opera House, The Gate, The Royal Court and more locally at The Orange Tree in Richmond and The Rose Theatre in Kingston. The programme will not only equip you with the specialist skills required to work as a technician but also a wide range of transferable and creative skills applicable to all professions.

The Careers Service has more information on careers and postgraduate study options available to Technical Theatre students who have started their studies at St Mary’s.

The Careers Service has more information on careers and postgraduate study options available to Technical Theatre students who have started their studies at St Mary’s.

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How the degree is taught

Teaching methods

You'll be taught on our beautiful and historic campus located in Twickenham, London.

Technical Theatre is taught through workshops and the completion of production tasks, supplemented by both group and personal tutorials and ongoing feedback.

The programme runs over two years with each year divided into trimesters. The first two of these run parallel with the University’s main undergraduate calendar, but technical theatre students supplement this with an additional eight weeks of tuition which takes them through until July.

The fast track nature of this degree programme does mean technical theatre students are expected to work on productions during evenings and at weekends.

The course will suit hard working students who want to be part of a collaborative team but also have the stamina and commitment needed to work through a BA degree in two years. The rewards for this investment are a lower fee burden and a faster trajectory into employment.

Class sizes are a maximum of 15 students, and groups are often split into six or seven students for parts of certain modules.

Teaching breakdown

Learning on the course is made up through a combination of:

  • Contact time: 19%
  • Work-based learning: 3%
  • Independent study: 78%

Independent study is a key feature of your degree and is crucial to furthering your knowledge.

You will receive your timetable a week before teaching is due to start at the latest.

Assessment methods

Assessment is mainly practical, although occasionally reflective journal or show specific documentation will be required. Students are required to pass Level 4, completed over the first two trimesters in the first year to progress onto Levels 5 and 6, but the grades for these initial introductory modules do not count towards the final degree classification.

Feedback

We adhere to the university’s policy of providing feedback on assessments within three weeks.

See how your final degree mark is calculated...

Compensated passes

Please refer to the information on compensated passes throughout your degree as outlined in the academic regulations.

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Fees and funding

2021/22 fees

  • Home: £11,100*
  • International: £13,950

* Please note: These fees are annual and may increase in line with inflation each year subject to the Governments review of Higher Education Funding.

Information about tuition fees, student loans and funding your studies can be found within our fees and funding section.

The UK Government has confirmed that EU applicants starting in 2020 remain eligible for 'home fee status' and can access financial support.

Additional costs

Your tuition fees will cover the cost of all mandatory elements of your programme.

Each module will have one core textbook which you can buy or borrow from the library. Other costs include the buying of PPE and a small toolset (around £50-75 in total), trips to see theatrical performances, and travel to and from any placements.

Scholarships

A range of scholarships and bursaries are available to new undergraduate students. This includes:

Living costs

A guide to your living costs has been created by our Student Funding Team.

Accommodation costs vary depending on whether you opt for an en suite room and on-site catering. Take a look at our accommodation options and the prices you can expect to pay.

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Facilities

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Further information


Teaching staff

Paul Stowe profile photo Paul Stowe
Lecturer and Theatre Technician

paul.stowe@stmarys.ac.uk

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Visit the campus

Open days

Attending an open day is a fantastic opportunity to get an insight into what life is like as a St Mary's student. During the day you'll have the chance to:

  • Speak to current students to hear about their experiences so far
  • Meet your future academics to put a name and a face to who you'll be learning from
  • Take a tour of the University and the on-campus accommodation options
  • Get involved with activities going on across campus as you explore new surroundings

Book your place now

Campus tours

There are plenty of opportunities for you to explore the campus, even if you can't make it to an Open Day.

We run campus tours every Wednesday at 12pm. If you'd like to join us for one of these tours please register your place for your preferred day.

Virtual tour

We know that for it's important to you to see where you'll be living and studying before you make your decision. However, we also know that for many people it's not always easy to make it to the campus.

That's why we've developed a virtual tour of campus, allowing you to explore that facilities and the beautiful views that we have to offer.

Launch the virtual tour

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UCAS Application Timeline