Bachelor of Arts in Performing Arts (Theatre Design)

  • Course Fact File
  • Course Code SG235
  • Duration 3
  • Points Required 216*
  • NFQ Level 7

Course Summary

The Yeats Academy of Arts, Design and Architecture at IT Sligo is delighted to announce the launch of this new three year theatre design course. With design skills classes, masterclasses from industry professionals, workshops and performances in our Black Box Theatre, this course will equip you to make a start as a designer in theatre, film or television.

What is Theatre Design? Theatre design is also known as stage, set or production design. It involves the creation of theatrical, film or television scenery and costumes. Theatre designers produce scaled models of their design and collaborate with all members of a production design team (from lighting to costume to props) to create sets, costumes and digital scenery that support the overall artistic goals of the production. 

Programme Description: This course prepares graduates for work in the expanding stage and screen industries. Students develop skills in spatial awareness, visual research, text and character analysis, model-making, costume design, technical drawing and performance design. Coursework takes full advantage of the Institute’s close ties with Sligo’s arts community, incl. the Blue Raincoat Theatre Company, Model Arts Centre and the Hawk’s Well Theatre. We also have a link with the Academy of Performing Arts Theatre Design School in Bratislava where our students can take up study opportunities through the Erasmus programme. Our unique partnership with the Abbey Theatre introduces core skills in all forms of stagecraft, including directing, lighting design and digital projection. 

You will develop skills in performance design disciplines, including visual research and awareness; text and character analysis; spatial exploration; costume design and model-making; technical drawing and digital imaging for stage and film. The emphasis is on developing imagination, creativity and visual awareness along with interpretive and collaborative skills. Specific disciplines include film, TV, dance, performance art and music video. You will collaborate with professional directors, prepare a portfolio of work and exhibit in the graduation exhibition.

Cultural Studies: Cultural Studies introduces you to a variety of visual, literacy and critical faculties from a range of cultural and historical backgrounds. The exploration of text to modes of performance is examined, including play texts, film, productions and performance art as well as visual and material culture.

Transferable Skills: You will develop generic and transferable skills such as research, critical thinking, analysis, written and verbal communication. Graduates can work both as creative individuals and as part of a team.

Programme Overview: 

Year One: Students are introduced to the collaborative disciplines essential to making theatre and performance e.g. acting, theatre design, directing and performance/cultural studies. 

Year Two: Students engage in set, costume and lighting design as a foundation for all industry design practices for stage, screen and TV. Cultural/performance studies introduce students to a variety of visual, literary and critical faculties from a range of cultural and historical backgrounds. Plays, film, productions and live performance are considered from practical and academic contexts. 

Year Three: Students focus on a complete design realisation in 3D scale, with costume designs and technical drawings (CAD) in collaboration with industry professionals. Students critically engage in theoretical and practical learning across a range of areas including postmodernism, gender theory, post-dramatic performance and post-colonialism. 

Special Features: Students on this programme can apply for a six month Yeats Design Residency at the Abbey Theatre, Ireland’s National Theatre. 

Graduate destinations: Graduates pursue careers in design, direction and production in theatre, film, and television. They also work in education. Others choose to progress onto a BA (Hons) in Performing Arts at IT Sligo, with further study leading to an MA or PhD in the discipline. 

Graduate Story: 

“ My qualification has given me the opportunity to build great connections with many other people working in the Arts. I gained priceless skills which I have used to build and maintain my theatre company.” 

Treasa Nealon 

Theatre Maker/Actor,
BA (Hons) Performing Arts, 2014, Rabbit’s Riot Theatre Company 


Learn much more about this programme or Performing Arts in general at IT Sligo.

Keep an eye out for our upcoming programme in Writing and Literature with launch in Sept 2017.

Find out more about this Programme

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for CAO 2020 courses at ITSligo are available for download below:

A minimum of 4 grade Ds at Ordinary Level and 2 Grade C3s at Higher Level. Leaving Certificate subjects must include English or Irish. Mathematics is not required for this course. We require a minimum of 140 points for all Level 8 courses.

Garda vetting:

You should note that all entrants to this course will be required to undergo vetting by the Garda Síochána. If you have a criminal conviction in Ireland or elsewhere, this may adversely impact on your ability to undertake a professional placement or to secure employment in the field of Performing Arts.

Career Opportunities

There is a steady demand for qualified practitioners in the theatre and film industries. Graduates will be qualified to work either as an actor or designer for theatre, film and TV, or alternatively in a range of areas across the performing arts and creative industries in Ireland and abroad.

Theatre Design: You will be employable in a range of careers in theatre design, TV and film design and related professions. Each year a graduate specialising in Theatre Design will receive a bursary from the Institute to take up a six month residency at the Abbey Theatre, called the Yeats Design Residency.

Acting: You will be an employable and entrepreneurial self-managing artist in an increasingly diverse profession.


Learn much more about this programme or Performing Arts in general at IT Sligo.

Keep an eye out for our upcoming programme in Writing and Literature with launch in Sept 2017.

Find out more about this Programme

Further Study

You can continue to Higher Diploma in Education, Master of Arts, Master of Education, MPhil in Theatre and Performance, or embark on a PhD.