Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Design

Undergraduate Course: Performance Costume 1A: Introduction to Performance Costume (DESI08093)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryPerformance Costume 1A and 1B, both 20-credit courses, will provide the first year foundation for students studying Performance Costume. The courses primary aim is to introduce a range of key principles, methods and techniques associated with creative and intellectual enquiry vital for a sustained practice within costume design. The course also aims to embed fundamental skills, knowledge and understanding within the realization of creative outcomes and ensure a diverse range of teaching practices enhances the students smooth transition into an Art and Design HE programme of study. These will include short introductory lectures, regular tutorials and plenaries, practical workshops, peer review, presentation techniques and independent study.
Course description Please note that this course involves teaching all day on a Tuesday, so this should be borne in mind when selecting electives. The timetable will be updated as soon as possible to reflect this.

This course will introduce concepts of costume design and making for characters drawn from the study of a dramatic text. There will be an initial read-through and discussion of the text and strategies for research and design development will be introduced. Students will develop character profiles, alongside a general design concept for the text before going on to research historical dress appropriate to the period setting of the text. Drawing upon their research material, students will explore and finalize ideas for costume designs for the set of characters under consideration. Students will be supported in their design explorations by regular tutorials, where the students design research, exploratory design development drawing, character illustration, drawing and fabric sampling will be discussed. Students will also undertake a series of workshops to ensure competences in basic pattern cutting for character and produce an element of a costume related to character.

Student Learning Experience: The introductory session will present students with strategies for historical costume research and design development directed towards a group of characters drawn from a dramatic text. Studio sessions will give the students the opportunity to develop their personal interpretation of character through costuming, using drawing as an exploratory medium. The tutorials will give students the opportunity to discuss and develop their design ideas and skills.

Indicative content
Introduction to the processes of script reading and interpretation within a design brief and aesthetic.
Accurate compilation of costume bibles and costume plots.
Generation of character analysis.
Investigate historical and cultural reference to inform design development.
Introduction and investigation of performance genre
Introduction to contemporary debate within the discipline of performance design
Accurate production of costume plates and technical drawings
Introduction to life drawing and accurate measuring of the human figure.
Drawing of poses and stance within the appropriate representation of a character.
Engage with reflective practice throughout the project, Introduction to equipment used within the construction of a costume element.
The safe use of workshop machines and tools
Accurate marking / labelling of patterns for construction
Accurate lay plans and costing for costume
Integration and exploration of textiles.
Presentation and critique
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements If this course is Core to your programme, you will automatically be enrolled. For all other students, including Design students, the course is open on a first come, first served basis until the course is full. This course may have limited availability for non-Design students. Please contact the Course Organiser if you wish to enrol.
Additional Costs Drawing materials, sketchbooks, printing, fabric samples, etc. approx. £30.
Pattern cutting equipment, approx. £80.
3-D make approx. £20.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  16
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 1, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 7, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 33, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Formative Assessment Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 152 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% Course work.

Students will submit the following:

1. Statement of general design concept, costume research file, character profiles, sketchbooks showing design development. 33.3% of overall course grade.

2. Resolved costume illustrations, fabric samples, technical drawings. 33.3% of overall course grade.

3. Production of a costume element. 33.3% of overall course grade.

Relationship between Assessments and Learning Outcomes:

Assessment element 1 is used to assess learning outcome 1
Assessment element 2 is used to assess learning outcome 2
Assessment element 3 is used to assess learning outcome 3
Feedback Formative feedback: In week 5 or 6 students will provide 10 minute presentations to peers and staff that explains the following interpretation of the text and design concept, key research images, design development for character costumes and fabric samples. This will facilitate discussion and feedback within the group and grading, verbal and written formative feedback will be provided by their tutor.

Summative written feedback will be provided at the end of the semester in week 12, this assessment consists of the total submission of the work completed throughout the course. The components of assessment are the statement of general design concept, costume research file, character profiles, sketchbooks showing design development, resolved costume illustrations, fabric samples, technical drawings and the production of a costume element.

The written feedback and grading for the summative assessment will be provided via LEARN VLE.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate the ability to undertake relevant research and apply creative responses and approaches to the project brief, evidenced through research files and design development sketchbooks.
  2. Communicate your ideas persuasively , demonstrating visual and practical intentions evidence through costume illustrations , technical drawings and fabric sampling.
  3. Realise a well-considered and sympathetic translation of a costume element drawn from your design work.
Reading List
1. Huaixiang,T. Character Costume Figure Drawing: Step-by-Step Drawing methods for Theatre Costume Designers. Focal Press (2010)
2. Landis, D. N. FilmCraft: Costume Design. ILEX (2012)
3. Burnett, K. Collaborators. The Society of British Theatre Designers (2007)
4. Landis, D. N. Costume Design (Screencraft series). Rotovison (2003)
5. Burnett, K. Make/believe: UK Design for Performance 2011-2015. The Society of British Theatre Designers (2015)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Drawing skills, research skills, design solution for character.
KeywordsPerformance costume,character interpretation,design research,design development,construction skills
Course organiserMs Emma Renhard
Course secretaryMiss Linsey McEwan
Tel: (01316) 515448
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information