Sunday, May 19, 2024

Students from across the country flock to South Essex College costume course

STUDENTS from around the country visited the Royal Opera House to find out more about South Essex College’s new costume construction degree.

Guests were treated to a great day of activities including tours of the Royal Opera House auditorium and costume workshops in Covent Garden. A visit to High House Production Park in Purfleet and a tour of their creative facilities was also enjoyed by the visitors plus tickets to the ballet, to see a classic performance of Don Quixote.

The College’s BA (Hons) Costume Construction degree will be delivered in partnership with the Royal Opera House, who say that high quality costume-making skills are in short supply. Professionals from the prestigious theatre will work with the students on live briefs.

Interest in the degree proved very high with students from Portsmouth to Belfast attending the event alongside current South Essex College students. Local schools from Billericay, Wickford and Shoeburyness also took part in the trip.

Bill Kenney, Head of Art and Design at the College, said: “This is a unique collaboration, I don’t know of any other partnership like this in the UK or even Europe.

“The course will give students a fantastic CV, they will be employable as soon as they graduate, with their skill levels and contacts in the industry second to none.”

The degree will receive its first small intake this September and focus on the cut and make of costumes for theatre, opera, film and TV.

Modules over the three years will include hand sewing techniques, pattern cutting, garment construction and exploring the history of costumes throughout the years, plus plenty of live brief opportunities and work experience placements.

The course will be based at High House Production Park, in the new Bob and Tamar Manoukian Costume Centre that is currently being built to hold 20,000 Royal Opera House costumes and wigs.

For more information about the course, please visit


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