BA Production Arts – Design Realisation

Design Realisation Pathway

Design Realisation is about making and painting the scenery and props that have been designed by the set designer. Students following this pathway need good creative and practical skills, with strong problem-solving abilities. Each year you will develop your skills across prop making, scenery construction and scenic art, arriving at a clear idea of how far you would like to specialise in your final year. 

Design Realisation Instagram

For a little more insight into what we do, visit the Design Realisation Instagram.

Pathway Structure

Year One

Along with all other students in the programme, Design Realisation students take classes in a broad range of core subjects. These include: Theatre History, Period Style, Contemporary Theatre, Health & Safety and Stagecraft & Production Process. Classes are usually project based and wherever possible have a hands-on, practical approach.

For example, when studying trends in contemporary theatre we’ll take you to see some shows, and when we’re looking at period styles we’ll take you to galleries and museums to look at examples.

Associated Studies

In this year you will also take a core module called Associated Studies, which allows you to take three short courses in other areas of technical theatre such as Stage Management, Lighting, Sound, Video or Costume.

Besides the core subjects you’ll be spending a lot of time in our three well-equipped workshops learning how to build and paint props and scenery, and later in the year you will begin to work on Guildhall productions alongside second and third year students.

Year Two

Your second year is entirely practical, and you will spend the bulk of your time in the workshops working on the School's drama and opera productions. You will also spend half a term working in one of the areas you studied in Year One Associated Studies.

Year Three

Third Year students spend two terms leading teams of second year students and taking responsibility for productions as Head of Props, Scenic Art Coordinator or Construction Manager from initial concept design through to the opening night.

Alternatively, you can focus on developing skills as part of the team as a third year Prop Maker, Scenic Artist or Scenic Carpenter. You may continue with your elective study for six weeks or take on the role of Production Manager.

In addition you will complete a six-week work placement and complete a Graduation Project.

Graduates in the Industry

Recent Work Placements

Recent work placements undertaken by Design Realisation students include: 

  • CTS (Cardiff Theatrical Services)
  • Illusion Design
  • Gemstage
  • Royal Opera House
  • National Theatre scenic workshops
  • Rocket Scenery
  • Footprint Scenery
  • Romanoff Productions
  • Shakespeare’s Globe
  • MDM Props
  • Sydney Opera House scenic workshops

Future Careers

Potential careers for Design Realisation students include: 

  • Scenic artist
  • Prop maker
  • Scenic construction roles in theatre, events, film and TV

Read about career possibilities after graduation.

scenic artist painting in the workshop

Our facilities

Students use the School’s on-site theatres, rehearsal rooms, and design realisation workshops – including the scenic workshop, paintshop, props workshop and design realisation studio – to collaborate on major productions and a range of smaller projects and events.