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Practical design theatre at uni or drama school

What is the difference between a practical design course at uni or drama school? Wanting to do design for performance and theatre design, but unsure about the difference - Is drama school more practical or are both the same? Same facilities? Any recommendations?
Thanks :smile:
I’m guessing that you’re talking about performance design degree/courses?

You’re likely to have similar content across universities and drama schools. Depending on the course profile of the universities then if they don’t have acting/dance/film etc degrees then you’ll have fewer opportunities to be involved in live productions as part of the course (but many art/creative universities will have those courses).

Drama schools often have limited funding available for some of their courses. There’s also been a few issues around #metoo institutional issues around toxic environments in some drama schools come to light in the last few years that are worth being aware of. As very small and intense environments they’re often prone to problems being made worse by the lack of diversity/breadth in the student body. There’s also been at least one drama school close down and go bust in the last few years. Again small size and student numbers makes their financial situation more volatile.

Have you visited any universities/schools so far?
Reply 2
Hi, thanks for your reply! This has really been a help. Yes, it's performance design courses that I'm talking about. I have visited GSA at the university of Surrey, and some other schools such as Royal central and Mountview, but have not yet visited some of the universities I am looking at, such as Chichester. I would be applying to uni this year to start next September.
(edited 10 months ago)
Original post by Anonymous0305
Hi, thanks for your reply! This has really been a help. Yes, it's performance design courses that I'm talking about. I have visited GSA at the university of Surrey, and some other schools such as Royal central and Mountview, but have not yet visited some of the universities I am looking at, such as Chichester. I would be applying to uni this year to start next September.

Chichester and AUB would both be worth visiting. They’ve both got strong acting/performing arts departments so you’d have the benefit of the practical experience working on live productions as well as a broader university/student community.

Take your time and visit as many places as you can. Try to see student work (you can often find online graduate shows demonstrating student work too). And talk to current students about their experiences.
Reply 4
Thank you so much - AUB looks like they have a pretty good course and I haven't thought of them yet.
Original post by Anonymous0305
Thank you so much - AUB looks like they have a pretty good course and I haven't thought of them yet.


Are you at all interested in the costume side of performance design? Because if so then Queen Margaret and Edinburgh College (as well as ECA within Edinburgh uni) are both very good at that aspect and worth a look. 2 universities and a college all in one city with the same strengths is often worth a road trip if that’s of interest.
Yes, but more so in set design etc. Thank you so much for the suggestions! I will definitely plan a trip to visit!

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