The Arden School of Theatre

Technical Theatre and Stage Management

BA (Hons)
Leaflet Code: CR60222FT


This course is designed to equip students with the skills needed to pursue roles in the technical theatre and stage management industry.
The course offers a high degree of practical experience to take students through the various grades of technical theatre and stage management with the ultimate goal of students entering the profession after completion. Upon completion of the programme students will have a considerable amount of experience working on our vast output of public performances with professional directors; students will also have a sizeable portfolio of work which will help them to gain employment.
Students will study a broad range of areas before moving into an area for specialism. This will be facilitated by a core team of technical professionals and a wider range of industry freelancers. This will help to create relationships for future employment in the sector.
The course structure is as follows:
Level 4 – Skills: Technical
This level involves the consolidation of current skills, identifying knowledge gaps, and the acquisition of new skills, ensuring a level playing field of technical skill amongst students on the programme.
Level 5 – Challenges: Operation and Design
Students will be introduced to the principles of design and begin to specialise in their selected fields. They will have opportunities to lead a team and they will apply the skills learnt in Level 4 to a variety of live production scenarios.
Level 6 – Professional: Specialism and Employability
In their final year students choose to specialise in their chosen field. The two typical discipline strands in the sector are Operation and Design, or Stage Management and Operation. Students have the opportunity to specialise in a particular operative discipline in the module ‘Major Project’, develop themselves professionally via work-based learning in the module ‘Professional Development’, and work on a production management and design project to create a full-scale production concept

  • City Campus Manchester
  • Full Time
  • 3 years
  • September 2024

Awarding Partner:

Sheffield Hallam University

All staff on our programmes are current working professionals with a vast experience of professional theatre work, from regional theatre to West End.

• We strongly recommend that all applicants have GCSE English Language and Mathematics grades A*-C or level 9-4.

• Up to 3 levels which are equivalent to 96 UCAS points

• BTEC Level 3 National Certificate/Extended Certificate with Distinction, Distinction in a performing arts related subject area, or an equivalent level 3 qualification with appropriate content.

• A BTEC Level 3 National Diploma/Extended Diploma with Merit, Merit, Merit

All applicants are invited to interview, which will then determine entry to the programme.

Mature applicants (aged 21 or over) who are able to demonstrate relevant skills or knowledge gained in employment or vocational activity will be considered and may be invited to interview.

For overseas applicants or for those for whom English is a second language, a proficiency in English, both written and spoken, is essential. UCEN Manchester requires such students to demonstrate an IELTS score of 6.0. Entry to this pathway at Levels 5 and 6 can only happen in exceptional circumstances, and given its intensive training in years 1 and 2, this programme is not a standard top-up route for foundation degree graduates.

UCEN Manchester is unable to consider international applications due to UKVI regulations.

Year 1: Introduction to Stage Management (20 credits)

Year 1: Lighting (40 credits)

Year 1: Scenic Construction (20 credits)

Year 1: Sound (40 credits)

This course is highly practical and portfolio based, recognising that students from this area will likely move into the industry based on these skills; however written work – such as technical drawings, industry standard reports, and continuous reflection - to consolidate learning and enable students to identify gaps for future development – is utilised throughout. There is also a through-line of health and safety practices, as well as a recognition of inclusive practices in design, operation, and management built within the programme and module learning outcomes.
• The teaching and assessment methods will vary throughout the course and will include the following:
Practical theatre workshops that develop individual creative and technical skills.
• Traditional lectures where the lecturer provides students with a framework for reading and independent study.
• Small group tutorials and seminars where key issues and artistic concepts can be explored and discussed in more depth. Students are expected to play a full part, and occasionally, to lead these discussions.
• Practical, computer-based, lab-classes where students acquire the hands-on skills with industry appropriate technical software.
• Production meetings, where students will observe professional communication skills and gain an understanding of working theatre relationships.
• Student observations and mentorship by senior technical crew
• Independent study based on directed reading from textbooks and academic journals.
Alongside these formal teaching activities, students are also supported with regular one-to-one tutorials with their personal tutor (academic advisor).

Our course enquiries team is on hand to help you understand any details and answer any questions – whether it’s about applying for the course or finding out about finance. Just get in touch here!

Learn more

All the books required for the course are available from the library. However, you may choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop which is highly recommended. Estimated costs for a laptop/desktop are £300.

Basic tools and appropriate clothing/PPE will be required to be purchased (as stated in the Welcome Pack) with an estimated cost of £100-150.

Other basic materials are provided as part of the course, but you may wish to purchase additional materials for more advanced assessment work.

Materials are provided online and assignments are submitted electronically. However, you might also wish to print other documents. (Campus printing costs start from 5p per page.)

All students are subject to UCEN Manchester’s Terms and Conditions from the date they accept an offer to study here. The UCEN Manchester Admissions Policy and Procedure can be found here.