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MA Historical Costume Welcome Guide

Preparing for your course

We're delighted that you've chosen to join our creative community at Arts University Bournemouth. We can't wait to see what you'll create.

Welcome to the MA Historical 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. The team and I hope that you'll enjoy a happy and productive time with us and look forward to meeting you.

A message from your Course Leader

It gives me great pleasure to congratulate you on gaining your place on the MA Historical Costume course. We look forward to welcoming you to Arts University Bournemouth when you arrive - prepare yourself for an exciting, challenging and a stimulating year with us.

There will be opportunities to research all aspects of historical costume, design and make for theatre and film projects. We also hope to work with museums on curatorial projects.

– Dr Helen Walter, Course Leader

Before you join us

We don't expect you to complete a complex pre-course project.

However, it would be very useful if you could write a 500-word Master's project proposal that outlines your:

  • General interests from a historical point of view
  • Exhibitions or written works that have inspired you
  • The contextual focus of your work at undergraduate level
  • The direction that your work might take during your Master's study
  • Please include a bibliography – you can read the referencing guide for more information.

How to submit your pre-course project

We would expect you to submit your outline proposal after the first week of study here at AUB.

The Library here at AUB is extremely well-resourced and includes all key texts that you will 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.

  • Barrett, E and Bolt, B. (eds.) (2007) Practice as Research: approaches to creative arts enquiry. London, Tauris 
  • Davidson, H. (2019) The Embodied Turn: Making and Remaking Dress as an Academic Practice, Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress Body & Culture. 23(1):1-34.
  • Edwards, L. (2017) How to Read a Dress. London, Bloomsbury.
  • Mida, I and Kim, A. (2015) The Dress Detective. London, Bloomsbury.

  • The Costume Society Journal
  • Studies in Costume and Performance
  • Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture.

  • Academia
  • The Association of Dress Historians
  • Studies in Costume and Performance

What to bring on your first day

  • Notepad and pens/pencils
  • Laptop
  • Your enthusiasm

We suggest that you bring the following items with you:

  • Notepad and pens/pencils
  • Laptop or computer
  • Memory stick for handing in work
  • External hard drive for backing up work
  • A camera – but a camera on a mobile phone should be fine
  • A sewing machine for those who intend to make costumes

Studio materials can vary from project to project, so do not worry too much about bringing anything specific with you. If you intend to make costumes then you will need a sewing kit, but all haberdashery items can be purchased from the department through the AUB online shop.

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We’re delighted for you to join us at AUB – we can’t wait to see what you’ll create.

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Next Steps

Find out the useful dates and contact before you start here

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