• Study mode: Full Time
  • Location: High Wycombe
  • Duration: Three Years
  • Start Date: September 2020

Course Overview

Dream of crafting incredible costumes for stage, screen or the catwalk? At Bucks, we’ll help you develop the know-how you need to kickstart your career and bring your ideas alive.

Taught in collaboration with industry specialists Creative Media Skills (CMS), based at Pinewood Studios, this practical course combines theory, industry expertise and hands-on projects.

With London on our doorstep, you’ll be near the world’s best cultural centres, such as theatres, museums and galleries. We’ll help connect you with designers in and around the capital, and you’ll have the chance to showcase your work at our exhibitions.

  • Bring your designs to life at Red Shed – our  fashion and textiles facility where you’ll find all the equipment you need
  • Develop a strong portfolio of work that showcases your creativity to employers
  • Learn from industry experts in top CMS teaching facilities, based at the iconic Pinewood Studios
  • Benefit from our links with the National Theatre and the British Fashion Council
  • Immerse yourself in industry with live briefs and student design competitions.

More placements, more choices

Bucks is a Placements Plus university. So, whatever degree you do, you can be sure there’ll be plenty of industry-relevant opportunities on offer, to help you get into your chosen field.

We’ll also prepare you for work beforehand, with special skills for work training, further boosting your CV, and building skills employers will value. In recognition of the value we place on these skills we have incorporated this experience into your study time.

Placements Plus is all about helping you get some valuable experience under your belt while you’re a student. To increase your choices later, and help you get the graduate-level job you want.

Course Details


From film to fashion shows, TV to theatre, all productions depend on great costumes to bring stories to life and capture the imagination of the audience.

What really makes this course unique is our collaboration with CMS. They have an amazing roster of talent who they invite to speak at their top teaching spaces in Pinewood Studios.

From idea to design

You’ll start the course by exploring the theory and history of art and design. We’ll look at period fashion, costume design, textiles and more. Alongside this, you will embed yourself in practice through the exploration of materials, processes, design techniques and digital software.

Working in our lively studios, you’ll explore 2D and 3D design, pattern cutting, manufacturing and illustration. Most importantly, you’ll learn what it takes to respond to different character briefs and how costume brings scripts to life.

Because you’ll be taught alongside our fashion and textiles students, you’ll gain invaluable insight into the processes that impact costume design. You’ll also have the opportunity to join workshops run by other courses. Why not try woodwork, fine metalwork, 3D printing, or even ceramics to enhance your practice?

Links across the local area and London

In your second year, you’ll continue building on your understanding of design history, theory and practice. We’ll challenge you to complete a project on the history of fashion and textiles – you’ll learn how to recognise a style from a certain era and create specific patterns. For example, you might design and make a Victorian style dress, or an Edwardian style suit!

To put your skills to the test, we’ll set you an industry brief. At the same time, we’ll develop your professional skills and support you to go on placement or undertake work-related opportunities.

As well as our connection with Creative Media Skills, based at Pinewood Studios, we work with different producers and organisations in the local area and London. For previous projects, we’ve collaborated with the V&A Museum and the British Fashion Council.

Showcase your skills

In your final year, we’ll help you build up an extensive portfolio that showcases your best costumes and impresses potential employers in the creative industries.

You won’t be asked to write a long dissertation like other students. Instead, we’ll challenge you to create a contextual report on your practice– and then off the back of this you’ll create your final piece. Your work might even end up in an exhibition or in our fashion show.

After your degree, you’ll be ready to work in a range of creative roles. Or, if a certain area has captured your interest, you might decide to study one of our postgraduate courses.

What are the course entry requirements?

A typical offer will be a UCAS Tariff score of 80. A minimum of two full A-levels (or equivalent) is required. Every application is considered on an individual basis.

For further details of our international English entry requirements, please visit our international pages.

Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements for the three-year undergraduate programme, or those who do not feel fully prepared for a degree course, can apply for a four-year programme including a Foundation Year; find out more.

Course Modules

Module Map

This module map provides a list of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.

The modules available on this course are as follows:

Year 1 Modules

  • Contextual Studies 1
  • Textiles for Costume
  • Materials and Processes
  • Design, Techniques and Concepts

Year 2 Modules

  • Contextual Studies 2 - Research Strategies
  • Live Project
  • Professional Studies for Costume Design
  • Independent Project

Year 3 Modules

  • Contextual Report on Practice
  • Professional Practice
  • Final Major Project


How much does it cost

Full Time Home and EU, Academic Year 2020-2021: £9,250

Full Time International, Academic Year 2020-2021: £12,500

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.

Fees quoted are for the next intake and are subject to change. Fee costs for subsequent years may rise in line with inflation, course delivery costs or subject to government regulations.

For information on financial assistance to support your learning, visit our Undergraduate Fees and Funding section.

Questions about fees?

Contact our Enquiries Team:
0330 123 2023

How do I apply?

For application details please visit bucks.ac.uk/applying-to-bucks


What are my career prospects

The industry is constantly evolving to meet shifting customer values and new technologies. By the time you leave, you’ll feel ready to tackle the challenges employers face.

With an impressive portfolio and sought-after skillset, you’ll be ready to work in a range of roles such as:

  • Costume designer for the creative industries
  • Pattern cutter
  • Costume developer
  • Garment technologist
  • Studio manager or costume design coordinator
  • Film/theatre/performance stylist
  • Film illustrator
  • PR/marketing specialist.

The Big Deal

At Bucks, we believe in putting our students first. That’s why our Students’ Union have developed our exclusive ‘Big Deal’ package. We’re the only university in the UK to offer free access to such a diverse and exciting range of activities – all to enrich the university experience.

We offer FREE events and entertainment, additional skills workshops, sports, recreational activities, societies and paid student rep schemes. All at one of the top 10 Students’ Unions in the UK.  It’s a big deal!

We are proud that our exciting and dynamic students’ union is ranked in the top three in the UK for representing student’s academic interests (NSS 2019). It’s a big deal!

Want to find out more? Visit our Students’ Union page or watch our video.