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

Course Overview

Ready to let your imagination run wild? At Bucks, we’re here to help you embrace your creative side and develop the skills you need to bring productions and performances alive.

We’ve linked up with industry specialists Creative Media Skills (CMS), based at the iconic Pinewood Studios . This means you’ll have the chance to apply your skills at one of the world’s leading centres for film and TV production.

From day one, you’ll start to build up an impressive portfolio, work on a range of live industry briefs and take part in challenging projects with other students.

  • Learn from industry experts in top CMS teaching facilities, based at Pinewood Studios
  • Work on briefs with students from our other Bucks design courses to develop your skills
  • Benefit from practising with industry-standard kit – we’ve  been awarded £1.6m to fund new equipment  for a range of courses
  • Build an impressive portfolio of work that dazzles employers in theatre, film and TV production
  • Study theory modules to understand the context behind your practical work

The Foundation Year will allow you to develop your academic study skills and build confidence in your abilities, identifying your own strengths and development needs for progression onto an undergraduate degree.

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

With expertise, technical skills and heaps of creativity, production design helps turn scripts into stories and stages into sets. At Bucks, we’ve designed this course with CMS to prepare you for a career in theatre, film and TV.

On this course, your time will be divided between exploring theory and experimenting with different techniques. We’ll boost your understanding of design, aesthetics and form, as well as technical skills such as workshop and production.

Life with CMS at Pinewood Studios

Studying at CMS, who are based at Pinewood Studios, you’ll learn from some of the most respected industry experts and feel included in their world. You’ll be just around the corner from real film sets (in fact, Lucasfilm, creator of Star Wars, is practically next door).

You’ll quickly realise one of the best bits about being linked with CMS is the jam-packed calendar of events. Around your studies, you’ll be able to watch screenings, listen to industry talks and create connections at networking events.

As well as the CMS experts, we have an experienced team here at Bucks to run workshops and build your technical knowledge. You’ll be taught by professionals who have worked in industry in a vast range of areas, from product design and graphics, to textiles and stage design.

Master storytelling techniques

At the beginning of the course, you’ll spend time learning to generate digital and hand-made drawings of your designs and the objects you want to create. At the same time, we’ll explain the craft of the industry and how you can use different materials to make props and models.

Once you feel confident with the basics, we’ll show you how production design fits into the bigger picture. You’ll examine scripts and take time to understand how to take them from storyboard to screen or stage.

As you move into your second year, we’ll take things up a level. We’ll challenge you to apply your skills to live briefs from directors and professionals in the industry. At this point, we’ll also focus on honing your professional skills and helping you craft an attention-grabbing CV.

Working in industry, you’ll depend on other departments to make a production a success. And it’s no different at Bucks. We’ll set a project where you’ll need to team up with students from our other creative courses like performing arts, graphic design or interior design.

Get ready for success

In your last year at Bucks, you’ll spend the majority of your time focused on your final project. It’s completely up to you what it’s on – you might create a series of props for a TV show or design a historic set for a theatre production. We’ll also ask you to write a written report to support this project and explain the theory behind it.

By the end of the course, we want you to feel ready to kickstart your career. To boost your knowledge, we’ll bring in industry experts to cover a wide spectrum of areas, from becoming self-employed after university to successfully building up your LinkedIn profile.

What are the course entry requirements?

Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements for the 3-year undergraduate programme, or those who do not feel fully prepared for a Level 4 course, will be considered for the 4-year programme including a Foundation Year. If you wish to enquire further, please send your query along with any academic evidence or references to admissions@bucks.ac.uk,

Course Modules

Foundation Year Modules

  • Preparing for Success Knowledge and Creativity
  • Preparing for Success Self-development and Responsibility
  • Inquiry Based Learning
  • Introduction to Product and Production Design: Design Principles

Year 1 Modules

  • Materials & Processes
  • Design Communication and Visualisation
  • Design from Script
  • Contextual Studies 1

Year 2 Modules

  • The Visual and Spatial Narrative
  • Collaborative Design and Practice
  • Professional Studies for Production Design
  • Contextual Studies 2

Year 3 Modules

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


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

We know finding a great role after Bucks is important to you. That’s why we’ll make sure you know how to sell yourself.

You could use your expertise to work as a:

  • Production designer for film, theatre, or live performances
  • Design assistant or designer
  • Art director or assistant
  • Model maker
  • Buyer or production specifier
  • Studio manager or production design coordinator
  • Film/theatre/performance stylist
  • Film illustrator
  • PR/marketing

Or why not apply for one our postgraduate courses?

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 2020). It’s a big deal!

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