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Stage Management - BA (Hons)

Currently viewing course to start in 2024/25 Entry.

Prepare yourself for a successful career in Stage Management by studying at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Our BA (Hons) Stage Management degree provides in-depth, practical training; we aim to produce confident graduates who are ready for a successful career in the industry as soon as they leave us....

  • Level Undergraduate
  • Study mode Full Time
  • Location City Centre
  • School Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
  • Faculty Faculty of Arts, Design and Media

This course is:

Open to International Students

Overview

So we produce over 21 productions in an academic year, and 14 of those are main scale shows that are open to the public. Being able to work in theatres around Birmingham is incredible. I've worked in the Old Rep Theatre, the Crescent Theatre, there's two theatres within there, and I've also worked at the Patrick Studio at the Hippodrome. So on Heanage Street, we have a building, we call it 3B, in there we have a wardrobe department, a workshop, we build sets and we have a props department as well as our own classroom there. It's a fantastic facility that we have. Just being able to experience different spaces, getting to know the space around Birmingham is such an incredible opportunity to have, and I've loved it.

With how the course is set up on the productions, we get to work with people, students from each year. It's really fun because with such a small group, you really get close really quickly and you're not always working with the same people and so you're moving around. You don't need to have any previous experience. You learn a lot by doing, and this course offers a lot of that doing.

Benefit of being out in theatre is great for us as we get to put into practice the skills that we've learnt from lectures in to real life scenarios and situations. We get to meet proper industry professionals in all sorts of venues and we also get to practice touring. We get to go to different venues, meet different people and build up contacts for portfolios. It's one of the best bits about being on this course, I'd say. This season I'm on set allocation, so I'm working very close with the design department at 3B. We're basically dealing with all set pieces and all the scenic art for the four shows, mainly painting, being in close contact with the directors, and then when the carpenters come in doing all the big builds or the set builds, painting it all, and then over the coming weeks, taking it into theatre, laying it down, setting it up, rigging it and directing it.

So first year we tend to be operating sound or lighting and helping with any kind of costume changes or set changes that need to happen on the stage. And then second year we go into kind of creating those sets, costumes, props and helping set up all the sound and lighting aspects for the designers so they don't have to do it all. And then in third year we're kind of running the whole show.

It's very helpful being in an actual theatre because when you go into the outside world, you're not just thrown randomly into a theatre in a space you've never been before. We link into everything you get to work on everything in the course. I've had four weeks of rehearsals over in Bournville and then obviously we come in to theatre, but then we go to do props stuff as well. So it's not all just being stuck in a classroom, it's very practical.

Prepare yourself for a successful career in Stage Management by studying at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

Our BA (Hons) Stage Management degree provides in-depth, practical training; we aim to produce confident graduates who are ready for a successful career in the industry as soon as they leave us. You’ll gain authentic industry experience while developing the vital skills needed in each role of a stage management team.

Applications still open for September 2024 entry.  Apply now!

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

Our three-year course provides you with a thorough understanding of all aspects of stage management. You’ll also develop an understanding of the core skills in technical theatre and the design elements, widening your knowledge and ability to work in the fast-paced, demanding environment of stage management and further afield.

During your degree you’ll explore all areas of theatrical performance production. Concentrating on the technical and logistical aspects, your studies will investigate lighting and sound, wardrobe, set design, props sourcing, maintenance, and the management and organisation of touring theatre. You’ll also widen your skills base, developing an awareness of the administration and funding of events and small theatre companies as well as the context of theatre today.

At Birmingham Conservatoire we have a vibrant, energetic and stimulating environment. You’ll be taught by our team of highly skilled and experienced staff, who also continue to work with industry.

Learn through practical experience

You’ll be expected to engage in a variety of professionally focused roles which will challenge you to grow as a creative practitioner. Taking on the essential duties of Assistant Stage Manager (ASM) in your first year of study, Deputy Stage Manager (DSM) in the second year, and Stage Manager in the final year, you’ll learn through experience, framed by theoretical study. Through a series of practical and theoretical lectures, seminars and workshops you’ll discover the disciplines needed to confidently and successfully bring scripts from page to stage.

Lucy-Gosden-student-quote

This is not your average University course. With many tutors dedicated to a small amount of students full-time, and with a completely hands on, practical approach, you are constantly learning in a realistic environment that prepares you for embarking on your career. During my time on the course, I undertook the roles of Assistant Stage Manager, Deputy Stage Manager, Creative and Technical Assistants, Stage Manager and Project Manager, all of which have provided me with the skills I need to complete these roles in the industry. The highlight of the course for me was undertaking the role of Project Manager for an immersive theatre jail experience titled ‘…Until Proven Guilty’ set in a disused prison.

Lucy Gosden

Why Choose Us?

  • We’re ranked 2nd in the UK for Drama and Dance (Guardian League Table 2024).
  • Working on around 14 shows per year, you progress – as you would in industry – from Assistant to Deputy to full Stage Manager roles across your three years.
  • Your final year includes a six to eight week placement, where you experience the rigours and responsibilities of a busy stage management job. Recent placements have included the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal Opera House, the West Yorkshire Playhouse and Birmingham Repertory Theatre. 
  • Develop your ability to bring scripts from page to stage through intensive, challenging and exciting study. You’ll action the requests of the director, supporting the production department and working alongside the cast while facilitating the rehearsal room.

Open Days

Join us on campus where you'll be able to explore our facilities and accommodation in person, and chat to staff and students from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

Next Open Days: March 2024, June 2024

Book now

Entry Requirements

These entry requirements apply for entry in 2024/25.

All required qualifications/grades must have been achieved and evidenced at the earliest opportunity after accepting an offer to help confirm admission and allow for on-time enrolment. This can also include other requirements, like a fee status form and relevant documents. Applicants can track their application and outstanding information requests through their BCU mySRS account.

You should normally have an A-level or equivalent in drama, dance, performance or a related arts subject.

Essential Requirements

96 UCAS points

Please note: If you qualify for our BCU Accelerate scheme, you could receive an offer that is two grades below our normal entry requirements. Find out more about BCU Accelerate.

Applicants will be interviewed by the Course Team

It is recognised that some learners may have significant relevant work experience or other professional qualifications and therefore may be admitted to the programme, through an interview process.

Level 2 qualifications
GCSE GCSE English Language or English Literature and GCSE Maths at grade C/4 or above. If you do not have these or are not undertaking them, we accept other Level 2 equivalents, or we may ask you to pass BCU's GCSE equivalency tests.
Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level) See level 3 entry requirements under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details.
Scottish National 5 English Language or English Literature and Maths at grade C or above. If you do not have these or are not undertaking them, we accept other Level 2 equivalents, or we may ask you to pass BCU's GCSE equivalency tests.
Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) qualifications
A Level and Advanced VCE
  • CCC / 96 UCAS points
  • Drama A-Level preferred
  • A maximum of 4 subjects are considered. These can be other A/S Levels (as long in a different subject) A-Levels or Level 3 equivalents.
AS and AS VCE
  • Drama at Level 3 preferred
  • Considered with a maximum of 3 other Level 3 qualifications (AS Levels must be in different subject to A-Levels) to obtain 96 pts
Access to HE Diploma
  • Pass with 60 credits overall. At least 45 credits at Level 3.
  • Arts and Drama subjects preferred but other subjects also considered subject to passing interview stage
  • Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (2002 – 2010)
MMM
Foundation Studies (Art and Design, and Art, Design & Media)
  • Merit
  • Considered with a maximum of 3 other Level 3 qualifications to obtain 96 pts
IBO Certificate in Higher Level
  • Students who do not complete the IB Diploma will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates if they obtain a total of 12 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects
  • Considered with other acceptable level 3 qualifications to meet 96 UCAS Tariff Points
  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level English Language (not literature) English A - Grade 4 or above or English B - Grade 5 from the IB Diploma will be accepted
International Baccalaureate Diploma
  • Obtain a minimum of 24 points overall
  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level English Language (not literature) English A - Grade 4 or above or English B - Grade 5 from the IB Diploma will be accepted
Irish Leaving Certificate (Highers) Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 96 tariff points, achieved in five Higher level subjects. achieved in five Higher level subjects. This must include English Language taken at either Ordinary Level (minimum grade O1-O4 (or A-C/A1-C3)) or Higher level minimum grade H1/H7 (or A-D / A1-D3 up to and including 2016
OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma MMM
Scottish Higher/Advanced Higher
  • Achieve a minimum of 96 tariff points achieved in either three Advanced Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers.
  • Where three Advanced Highers have been taken achieve a minimum of grades DDD
  • Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken you must achieve (grades of DD in two Advanced Highers plus grades of DD in two Highers).
T-Levels Pass overall (C or above on the core)
UAL Extended Diploma in Art & Design Merit overall
UAL Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production & Technology Merit overall
UAL Extended Diploma in Performing and Production Arts Merit overall

Admission to this course is via interview. Please see our Guidance for Applicants for more information.

English language requirements

  • 6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in each band.

Fees & How to Apply

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

Fees for Full-time students

This course can be studied on a Full-time study basis. The cost per year of study is based on credit requirements for that year.

International students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

Fees for Full-time students

This course can be studied on a Full-time study basis. The cost per year of study is based on credit requirements for that year.

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

Project materials (mandatory)

This course includes project work that requires you to develop and produce a portfolio or collection. You'll be expected to provide the materials for use in your individual major projects; costs will vary depending on the materials selected, but are likely to be in the region of £80. You will be provided with a kit list prior to the course starting which will include items for model making and stationary.

Clothing and safety equipment (mandatory)

This course requires the purchase of safety equipment in order to use the workshop facilities, at an estimated cost of £100 for steel toe cap boots/shoes and waterproof clothing.

Specialist equipment (mandatory)

This course requires the purchase of specialist equipment.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Books (optional)

All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. You may choose to purchase a copy.

Placement expenses (optional)

If you choose to undertake a placement, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst living or working away from home.

Field trips (optional)

This course includes the option of additional trips that may enhance your experience, at extra cost.

Memberships (optional)

You may wish to join a union or professional body related to this course.

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

UCAS main deadline date is 31 January 2024, 18:00 (UK time) – please note that applications submitted after the main deadline date will still be considered for the 2024 intake

Guidance for UK students

UK students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS

  1. Register with UCAS
  2. Login to UCAS and complete your details
  3. Select your course and write a personal statement
  4. Get a reference
  5. Pay your application fee and submit your application

Guidance for International students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and Equal Opportunities Form, and submit them together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.

3) Through UCAS

If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.

Personal statement

UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*

The personal statement gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

  • Course choice - Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
  • Career plans - If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
  • Work experience - Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
  • School or college experience - Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
  • Non-accredited skills or achievement - eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Worried about Personal Statements?

If you've got no idea where to start or just want to check you're on the right track, we’ve got expert advice and real examples from our students to help you nail your personal statement. You can even download our ultimate personal statement guide for free.

Get personal statement advice

*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.

Course in Depth

Year one

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits): 

Year two

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Year three

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Download course specification

Download now

Course Structure

During your degree you’ll explore all areas of theatrical performance production.

First Year

Your first year of study will introduce you to the demanding and essential duties of an Assistant Stage Manager. You’ll investigate technical theatre skills, as well as prop, costume and scenic design. 

There are three elements of study during your first year that are vital to the function of a stage management team. You’ll learn these through the Practical Stage Management, Technical Theatre Skills and Prop, Costume and Scenic Design modules.

Development of the skills taught through these modules will extend your ability to work and respond creatively within a team. Through contextual studies you’ll explore the history and context of theatre today. This will teach you to understand the world in which a play is set, and which it is based. You’ll learn how to critically evaluate your role as an Assistant Stage Manager learning how to carry out the prescribed tasks. You’ll work as an Assistant Stage Manager on the School’s full scale shows, putting all of these skills into practice.

Your first year of study provides a foundation for practical work that will take place in your second and third years. Your study will be delivered through workshops, studio and rehearsal based spaces.

Second Year

During your second year of study you’ll build upon the knowledge and skill development throughout your first year. You’ll take on the role of Deputy Stage Manager, becoming an integral part of the rehearsal process and in theatre ‘calling the show’. You’ll develop your knowledge and skills in technical theatre and props, costume and scenic design. And you’ll be expected to learn key aspects of arts administration and health and safety that will be invaluable to your career.

During this year you’ll be able to delve into a more specific area of study, which is discussed within the Technical Theatre 2 and Props, Costume and Scenic Design modules. You’ll gain a wider practical experience of a real-life, professional context. You’ll do this through taking responsibility as part of a student team, running and maintaining the School’s studio performance space in your Technical Theatre Skills Two module.

Your knowledge will evolve and deepen, becoming more specialised and paving the way for your final year and then on to a creative career.

Third Year

Your final year of study centres on practical application of the skills you’ll accumulate throughout the degree. You’ll explore the role of Stage Manager in the Practical Stage Management module during which you’ll stage manage one of the School’s full scale shows in an external venue. You’ll also work alongside your peers to create and design an event to showcase the stage management skills you’ve learnt and present the event to an invited industry audience as well as the general public.

The final year will prepare you for your career. Through the Industry Research and Professional Studies modules you’ll critically reflect upon your own skills. We’ll prepare you to enter the workplace as dynamic and entrepreneurial professionals. These modules will enable you to generate project outlines and business plans for productions in a variety of venues and performance styles while preparing you for the world of work in this industry.

Your third year of study is designed to help you gain a realistic sense of the pressures, deadlines, problem-solving processes involved in public performance, teaching you how these issues relate to the role of a stage manager.  In this role you also supervise your own team of a student Deputy Stage Manager and Assistant Stage Managers,under the guidance of staff.

 

Employability

Enhancing your employability

The BA (Hons) Stage Management course provides you with a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities of a Stage Manager in a theatrical production. You’ll discover and understand the use and purpose of theatre lighting, sound and audio-visual technology. With an exploration of props, costume and scenic design, you’ll discover, in-depth, the demands of the field.

We’ll provide you with the ability and skills to take on the role of Assistant, Deputy and Stage Manager. Discussions of the work of professional organisations and interests will help prepare you to take on employment within industry.

You’ll develop an understanding of the use and purpose of all aspects of stage management skills, design and various technologies in the creation of production, including investigation of the health and safety requirements that govern a theatrical production. You’ll learn many transferable skills throughout your study.

The course will help you develop a critical awareness of the creative possibilities that theatre provides. You’ll be able to interpret, assess and quantify the requirements of a theatrical event. You’ll acquire the ability to respond to the demands of the industry, and you’ll be able to carry out the tasks and roles of Stage Management.

You’ll learn how to organise, promote and enhance your skills as a creative practitioner, and you’ll be able to work effectively as part of a team. You’ll learn how to manage personal workloads, and negotiate and pursue goals with others.

Placements

During your final year you’ll have the chance to undertake a placement within a professional context relating to stage management. You’ll take responsibility for finding and organising the role, with support from the School.

We encourage you to engage with ideas and theories within a practical setting, developing your communication skills and working in an authentic environment. In the past, students have undertaken placements at industry-leading organisations such as the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal Opera House and Birmingham Repertory Theatre.


Trips and visits

Throughout the duration of the three-year course we encourage you to visit as many productions as you can. This will allow you to develop an authentic understanding of the theatrical and event world.

There are select opportunities throughout the course to gain industry experience. In the past, as part of the Stage Management Skills module, we’ve taken students to the Royal Shakespeare Company’s archive to observe and understand prompt copies. We aim to widen your knowledge of the industry through the encouragement of practical engagement. We also have backstage tours of the Royal Opera House and where possible observe professional technical rehearsals.

In your final year of study you’ll be offered the chance to undertake a placement, which you’ll organise individually, allowing you to take on a role that is specific to your interests.

International

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Facilities & Staff

Stage Management workshop

Location

Stage Management is based at Unit 3B Heneage Street. Students will also get to work alongside Acting students at various locations including Ruskin Hall, and other city centre locations.

As a part of the Arts, Design and Media faculty, we also have access to facilities at the Parkside Building, which boasts state-of-the-art radio and television studios, edit suites, photography studios, and much more.

Performances

Acting Students regularly perform at professional theatres across the West Midlands, including The Birmingham Central Library Theatre; Crescent Theatre; Hippodrome Studio (Patrick Centre); The Old Rep Theatre and The Drum, with Stage Management students getting to apply their skills and knowledge into real-life theatre environments.

Stage Management facilities

Heneage Street sowing room
Heneage Street costume room
Heneage Street furniture room
Heneage Street props room
Heneage Street workshop
Heneage Street sewing room

Our staff

Jacqui Findlay

Programme Director for Stage Management - BA (Hons) and Production Manager

Jacqui Findlay is Programme Director for Stage Management - BA (Hons) and Production Manager for the school. During her freelance professional career Jacqui worked on a diverse range of projects from Shakespeare to contemporary dance via opera and panto. Many of these projects toured both nationally and internationally. Just before joining BSA...

More about Jacqui

Louise Turner

Stage Management Tutor

Louise is a Staff Stage Manager in the Birmingham School of Acting. She has been working in the school for over ten years whilst also gaining industry experience whenever possible. She is a personal tutor on the BA Stage Management course and supervises stage management students across all years whilst working on school productions throughout the...

More about Louise

Helen Maynard

Lecturer

Helen has been working in the stage management industry for 13 years and is one of two Staff Stage Managers within Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Helen is part of the professional production team that provides production support to almost all courses within the school itself. Helen is also a Stage Management supervisor, demonstrator and personal...

More about Helen