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Costume Welcome Guide - Overview
Your Welcome Guide

We're delighted to have you join us at Arts University Bournemouth, and hope that your time here will be rewarding, challenging, creative and enjoyable.

Welcome to the BA (Hons) Costume course

This welcome pack is designed to give you an idea of what to expect during the first weeks of your course. Please take the time to read it carefully and take particular note of the pre-course preparation. We hope that you will enjoy a happy and productive time with us, and we look forward to meeting you in October.

A message from your Course Leader

Congratulations on achieving your place at AUB.

Given the current uncertain circumstances with regard to COVID-19, the course staff have worked very hard to bring you an engaging programme of virtual learning and in-person teaching should social distancing require it.

The course will begin with an induction week where you'll have the opportunity to meet the staff and students, find your way around the university, discover Bournemouth and learn more about studying at AUB. The course is delivered over 30 weeks with the usual Christmas and Easter breaks.

We look forward to meeting you.

- Rebecca Pride, Course Leader

Before you join us

There is no summer project, but practising your drawing would be beneficial.

The Library here at AUB is extremely well resourced and includes all key texts that you'll need. The list below indicates the key texts that will be useful throughout your studies, all of these are available from the Library at AUB. You might want to borrow a copy from your local library to look at before you arrive. You'll receive a comprehensive reading list in the Course Handbook when you arrive and at the start of each unit. The books listed below (digital and hard copy versions available in the AUB Library) are suggested to get you started.

  • Counsel, C. & Wolf, L. (2001) Performance Analysis, An Introductory Coursebook. London: Taylor & Francis.
  • Fortier, M. (2002) Theory/Theatre: An Introduction. London: Psychology Press.
  • Pride, R. (2018) The Costume Supervisor’s Toolkit: supervising theatre costume production from first meeting to final performance. New York: Routledge.
  • Schechner, R. (2017) Performance Studies: An introduction. Routledge.

If you read one thing before you arrive, we recommend...

A journal article from Costume, The Journal of Dress History or Studies in Costume and Performance.


Current student work

Have a look through some of the work our current students are producing to get an idea of the type of work you may be making on our course.

What to bring on your first day

We provide a basic kit free of charge – this will allow you to start the first ‘Core Skills’ unit. All you'll need to bring on your first day is:

  • Note pad and pens/pencils
  • A smile

We'll provide all new first-year students with a free induction kit. Please note the exact items included may vary – this is a guide.


  • Industrial bobbin case
  • Thread
  • Pins
  • Needles
  • Chalk
  • Tape Measure
  • Calico
  • Wadding
  • Ribbon
  • Selection of fastenings
  • Stayflex
  • Tracing wheel


  • Cutting mat
  • Pliers
  • Aluminium wire
  • Block of Sculpy
  • Plastic set square (45 degrees)
  • Box of glass headed pins
  • Propelling pencil
  • Eraser
  • Scalpel handle and x5 blades
  • Metal tape measure (design)
  • Black Sharpie
  • 5m steel tape
  • Aluminium cutting ruler

You may purchase additional specialist items (listed below) from our favoured supplier Artway Creative Supplies who have an online order system. Please follow the unique link below where all the specified items are available for purchase at a special price. Purchases will be available to collect during induction week and you will be informed by tutors where and when this will take place.

Additional items, not in the free induction kit, but may be required:


  • Fabric scissors/Tailors shears
  • Small Embroidery/Needlework scissors
  • Thimbles


  • Paper scissors
  • Pack of safety pins in different sizes
  • A range of hard and soft graphite pencils
  • Brushes
  • A range of short handled brushes in various styles (round/flat)
  • Coloured watercolour pencils
  • Palette
  • Acrylic paint set (basic colours)
  • Water-based inks in black and brown
  • A3 Cartridge paper sketchbook
  • A4 Watercolour sketchbook
  • Sandpaper
  • Sponges
  • Wood glue
  • Glue Stick
  • Putty eraser

Additional Equipment

  • A small work box to store your items - you'll need to carry this kit to and from campus as there is limited storage space in the studios.
  • Old clothes/overall/apron
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Basic Domestic Sewing machine - although we do have domestic machines that you can borrow when on campus (in addition to the many industrial machines we have in the studios)
  • Digital camera (the camera on your phone is fine). It's vital that you are able to record your work

You are encouraged to bring your own Laptop and Mobile device to AUB to support Online Learning, Collaboration and Communication whilst at University.

We provide access to a range of free software and discounts on Apple and Dell hardware. We recommend that you wait until you have set up your AUB IT account to access this free software and discounted hardware if you are planning on investing in a new computer.

Even if your course does not specifically use Adobe Creative Cloud we would recommend that you try to make sure your computer is able to run this software.

We recommend that you format any external hard-drives/USB sticks to work on both Apple and Windows.

Please note, the course computers are Windows based.

The course also includes the use of Adobe Creative Cloud Suite software. We recommend a computer capable of running this.

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Explore more


We're delighted to have you join us at Arts University Bournemouth
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Next Steps

Find out the useful dates and contact before you start here
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We are looking forward to welcoming you to BA Costume this year in just a few weeks!