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Set Design (MArts, BA)

Our Set Design degree course at UWTSD’s Swansea College of Art is for people who are fascinated by the processes of visualising, creating and building film sets; it is for people who want to design and make those environments.

The programme concerns itself with turning narrative and screenplay into film sets, through carefully planned practical modules and expert tuition.

There is a long tradition within the Faculty of the designer/maker and this degree draws upon that whilst embracing traditional and contemporary visualisation and making techniques.


Pathway Options

Set Design (BA)
UCAS Code: 64D8
Apply via UCAS 

Set Design (MArts)
UCAS Code: 64D9
Apply via UCAS

(The MArt gives students the opportunity to progress from undergraduate to master's level within an integrated programme structure. The fourth year is designed to facilitate the creation of creative enterprises or collaborative working with industry. The programme aims to educate creative individuals proficient in meeting the needs of contemporary and future demand. The programme is underpinned by the Research and Knowledge Transfer activities of the faculty as a whole). 

How to apply

All applications to study for a full-time undergraduate degree programme are made through UCAS - Swansea College of Art UWTSD is part of University of Wales Trinity Saint David

All our course come under the institution code T80

Visit the University's apply section to find out more.

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Tuition Fees 2020/21:
£9,000 (Home/EU)
£11,850 (Overseas)

5 reasons to study this course

  1. Small class sizes, your own workspace, access to fantastic tuition and facilities and pride in being a student from one of the best Art Colleges in the UK.
  2. It creates individual designers who can harness both creative and logical thinking.
  3. It values academic tradition and places this alongside an industry-facing curriculum.
  4. We celebrate passionate individuals with an interest in contemporary culture; people that have sought out a career in set design.
  5. You begin your career in one of the very few thriving industries in this extraordinarily progressive era.

Take a look at our ratings and rankings page.

What you will learn

Course Overview

The Set Design degree for people who are fascinated by the processes of visualising, creating and building sets for film and TV; It’s for people who want to design and make those environments. The degree studies how to turn narrative and screenplay ideas into film sets, through carefully planned practical modules. There is a long tradition within the Faculty of the designer-maker - which this degree draws upon - whilst embracing current trends in visualisation and making processes. 

The Set Design degree celebrates the combination of creative thinking and practical application, necessary to perform many of the cross-disciplinary functions in the Film & TV industry. Such an industry needs set designers to realise the creative vision of the director, as well as a broader cross-disciplinary awareness to accommodate other interested parties. Developing people with the right approach can be difficult - particularly the combination of creative and technical thinking but it is the intention of this programme to inspire such people.

What you'll learn
How to use and apply relevant skills and knowledge in today’s fast-moving, increasingly digitalised environment. You will be able to adapt to the demands of the set design industry, learning traditional and contemporary forms of design and making.

Above all, you will learn to call yourself a designer, to recognise your individual worth and contribute positively to the industry and to art & design culture.

Module Topics

Level 4

  • Ways of Thinking
  • Digital Tools & Workflow
  • Construction Drawing
  • Working with Materials
  • Ways of Perceiving
  • Visual Studies for Set design
  • Interpreting a Screenplay
  • Modelling a Set

Level 5

  • Matte Painting & Prop Making
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Creative Research
  • Location Scouting
  • Location Set Design
  • Designing for Fabrication
  • Studio Set Design
  • Research Practices

Level 6

  • Dissertation
  • Graduate Project Pitch
  • Professional Practice
  • Critical Review
  • Graduate Project

Level 7 (MArts Only)

  • Creative Venture 1:
  • Development, Creative Venture 2:
  • Realisation, Research Methods & Communication
  • Creative Enterprise & Practice

Assessment is carried out through coursework, both written and practical. There are no exams on this course. A variety of assessment methods are used throughout the course which includes:

Informal Tutorials 
Held on a regular basis across all levels, wherein each student discusses their work with a member of staff during studio sessions.

Formal Tutorials
These are held twice a term at the student’s desk with two members of staff. The work is discussed and we look at practical development, conceptual growth and future intentions.

Group critiques
These are held on a regular basis with the module lecturer. They’re about sharing ideas with peers with valuable input from staff.

Formal presentations

These normally take place at the end of a module, exhibition or educational visit, in order to measure performance against assessment criteria.

Exhibiting work
Again the nature of this varies within the context of the projects, the work to be assessed and the stage of the programme - it can range in formality from a public venue to the individual student’s desk space.

Our Facilities, Graduates and Industry Links

Student and Swansea Life

Key Information

Entry Criteria

We are interested in creative people that demonstrate a strong commitment to art and/or design and therefore we welcome applications from individuals from a wide range of backgrounds. To assess student suitability for their chosen course we arrange interviews for all applicants at which your skills, achievements and life experience will be considered as well as your portfolio of work.

Our standard offer for a degree course is 120 UCAS tariff points. We expect applicants to have a grade C or above in English Language (or Welsh) at GCSE level, together with passes in another four subjects. Plus we accept a range of Level 3 qualifications including:

  • Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, plus one GCE A-Level in a relevant academic subject
  • Three GCE A-Levels or equivalent
  • BTEC Extended Diploma in a relevant subject, with minimum grades of Merit
  • International Baccalaureate score of 32
  • Other relevant qualifications can be considered on an individual basis

Qualifications are important, however, our offers are not solely based on academic results. If you don’t have the required UCAS points then please contact the courses admissions tutor or email artanddesign@uwtsd.ac.uk as we can consider offers to applicants based on individual merit, exceptional work, includes practical experience.

See our Interview Guide for more information.

Career Opportunities

Graduates may go onto further study at MArts or MA level or into careers in areas such as post-production, editing, set design, video production, documentary set production, multimedia production, prop making, location scouting and art direction.

Recent graduates from our closely related film course have found work with a range of media companies including the BBC, Sky, Double Negative, Tonto Films, The Daily Mail, RTE, Dragon DI, Tinopolis and Telesgop. They work on film and television productions including World War Z, Guardians Of The Galaxy, Da Vinci's Demons, Casualty, Atlantis, Dr Who, Stella, and Set Fire To The Stars.

Graduates will gain a range of transferable skills applicable to many careers, including team working, creative and technical problem solving, organisation skills, presentation skills, communication skills, research skills, project management, entrepreneurship, working to deadlines and how to reflect and evaluate on projects.

Students entering the BA Set Design degree are integrated into the film sector through the strong relationships the Faculty has developed with individual companies. These companies have access to the students throughout their time at UWTSD and so have the opportunity of observing individual development.

Additional Costs

Our students have access to a diverse range of equipment and resources, which in most cases are sufficient to complete their programme of study. We provide the basic materials necessary for students to develop their practical work within our extensive workshop and studio facilities.

However, it is likely that art and design students will incur some additional costs to extend their investigation of their personal practice. For example, purchasing their own specialised materials and equipment, joining in optional study trips, and printing. 

Students are expected to bring their own personal art and design equipment with them when they commence the course.  We can advise on the correct equipment needed for your programme of studies and signpost appropriate suppliers if you wish to purchase essential items before or during your studies.  

A basic ‘art and design kit’ will cost approximately £100 but you may well already have much of the equipment required so check with us first.  Also, although we have extensive dedicated digital design studios (PC and MAC) for you to undertake your coursework you may wish to bring your own digital devices, again check with us first before making a purchase.

Student Quotes

Keeley Hall

What made you choose this course and this University above all the others you looked at? 

"You were really really excited about everything to do with the course both at the UCAS fair and in my interview, which made me more intrigued about it. Also, the interview wasn't rushed and you seemed genuinely interested in my portfolio.  The building and resources that I saw at the time looked like they would be great fun to use... which I can now say that they are.

From your experience so far, what makes this course work for you?

"The class size is great and we get to do more in lessons due to this, also there are more chances to get 1:1 help from the staff which is very good. Being able to get straight into using workshops and hands-on things has really helped me to ease into the course and it's really fun and hasn't been boring once. Also, doing the block lessons are great I love being able to do it in one big chunk it's much easier to learn that way."

Isabella Poh

"I chose Set Design at SCA because of the amazing facility's, beautiful landscapes and city life! I'd highly recommend doing the course with its highly intensive tutors and lecturers, as well as its’ wide range of facilities and skills you learn."

Bursary / Scholarship Information

You may be eligible for funding to help support your study.  To find out about scholarships, bursaries and other funding opportunities that are available please visit our Scholarships and Bursaries section.

Study Abroad Opportunities

During your time with us, you will have the opportunity to study abroad with the Erasmus exchange programmes currently running with Universities in Norway, Barcelona and Sweden.

Study Abroad 
Students can also take up the opportunity to study a semester in the USA and Canada.


In addition to our University Accommodation at Llys Glas, Swansea also benefits from a number of private student halls, all within a short walk, including:

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