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Sept 2020

Start date


UCAS code

1 year (foundation)
+ 2 years (degree)



UCAS points
View all requirements


UCAS points
View all requirements

Damian O'Byrne
Damian O'Byrne

Programme Director - Production & Design
020 8240 4127

Apply now

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.

Technical Theatre (with a Foundation Year) video Technical Theatre (with a Foundation Year) video Watch the video Watch the video

Why study Technical Theatre (with a Foundation Year)?

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

About the Foundation Year

Our four-year degree programmes (including a foundation year) provide an alternative route to undergraduate study at university if you do not have the grades to access higher education in the traditional way.

On successful completion of the Drama Foundation Year pathway you will progress on to the two-year undergraduate degree in Technical Theatre.

Key facts

  • Taught by theatre professionals and academics.
  • Available as a Single Honours Programme.
  • A range of scholarships are available for undergraduate students.
  • Taught on our historic Strawberry Hill campus.

Course content

On successful completion of the foundation year you will be automatically enrolled on to the first year of the undergradaute degree.

Foundation year

  • Personal Learning Competencies 
  • Taking a Professional Approach 
  • The Individual Project 
  • Theatre Arts I 
  • Theatre Arts II 
  • Thinking Critically, Creatively and Ethically 

Year one

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

Year two

  • Creative Thinking 
  • Digital Film Production 
  • Industry Placement 
  • Production Management 
  • Specialist Study 
  • Company Management Option
  • Set Design Option
Please refer to the programme specification document for a summary of the programme.

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.

There is also the opportunity to undertake a work placement as part of your degree. The Centre for Workplace Learning offers work-related modules that can be embedded within your studies.

How the degree is taught

Teaching methods

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.

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.


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Fees and funding

2020/21 fees

  • Home/EU: £11,100
  • International: £13,500

2019/20 fees

  • Home/EU: £9,250*
  • International: £11,750

* 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 2019 or 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.

Additional costs could be incurred depending on optional modules chosen and other projects undertaken. For further information about additional costs please contact

Further information

UCAS Application Timeline