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Performance Design and Film 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 BA (Hons) Performance Design and Film Costume

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 on BA (Hons) Performance Design and Film Costume 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 staff and current 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.

- Sarah Magill, Course Leader

Before you join us

The Library 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 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 six 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.
    • Cunningham, R (2009) The Magic Garment: Principles of Costume Design. Illinois: Waveland Press.
    • Huaixiang, T. (2004) Character Costume Figure Drawing: Step by Step Drawing Methods for Theatre Costume Designers. London: Focal Press.
    • Nadoolman Landis, D. (Ed) (2012) Costume Design. Burlington: Focal Press
    • Schechner, R. (2013) Performance studies: An introduction. London: Routledge.
    • Fortier, M. (2002) Theory/Theatre: An Introduction. London: Psychology Press.

There is no summer project, but we recommend practising your drawing, reading around your subject, watching online productions and films, and visiting exhibitions and art galleries (when you can).

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

Abstract: The Art of Design
Episodes on Ruth Carter & Es Devlin


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. This will help you begin to understand costume within an historical, social and cultural context.


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

You'll just need to bring in a pen and a notebook. We'll provide all new first-year students with a free induction kit.

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 and bobbin case
  • Thread
  • Pins
  • Needles
  • Chalk
  • Tape Measure
  • Calico
  • Selection of fastenings
  • 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
  • Sharpie pen
  • 5m steel tape
  • Aluminium cutting ruler
  • PVA glue
  • Masking Tape
  • Sketch book
  • Artway S-Tuff Bag

You may wish to purchase additional specialist items (listed below) and our favoured supplier is Artway Creative Supplies who have an online order system.

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


  • Fabric scissors/Tailors shears
  • Small Embroidery/Needlework scissors
  • Pinking Shears
  • Thimbles
  • L-Square (although these are available to loan from the course)
  • Pack of safety pins in different sizes


  • Paper scissors
  • A range of hard and soft graphite pencils
  • A range of short handled brushes in various styles (round/flat)
  • 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 for continuing your work at home
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Digital camera to record your learning journey (the camera on your phone is fine)

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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.
Photograph of A Block with trees


We are looking forward to welcoming you to BA Performance Design and Film Costume this year in just a few weeks!