Master's Programme in Design for Theatre, Film and Television - Costume Design
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Field of study:
The Costume Design Major of the Master’s Degree Programme in Design for Theatre, Film and Television aims at the student’s personal development in artistic practice, creative enquiry and collaboration, theoretical and critical thinking, and his/her professional competence as costume designer in projects for screen and the performing arts. The studies are enriched and updated by new design practices and new research in the field.
A student who graduates from the Master’s Degree Programme is able to:
- Demonstrate a detailed knowledge and understanding of costume within contemporary creative practice in live and media-related performance.
- Take an active role as costume designer in artistic productions in diverse fields of the performing arts, in film, television and other camera- and media-based projects, as well as in creative projects within a broader performance context.
- Experiment on new concepts for the creation of costumes, initiate and propose new artistic ideas in costume design in various time and space contexts.
- Explore his/her artistic potential and develop a personal artistic vision in costume design.
- Reflect on prior learning and develop new working methods by returning to the core issues of costume design enquiry through a research-centred approach.
- Master diverse artistic processes and technologies for media and live performance productions, applying and extending artistic and design skills and specialist knowledge in costume design.
- Work as a creative team member in artistic explorations and productions.
- Lead and motivate the team that collaborates in the realisation of the costume designs.
- Investigate existing film, media and performance design traditions and provide critical and creative input that pushes the boundaries of costume beyond traditional roles in contemporary culture and practice.
- Reach a level of proficiency where further external or doctoral studies in costume design can be undertaken.
The language of instruction in the Master’s Programme in Design for Theatre, Film and Television is Finnish. However, in the major of Costume Design, a large part of the courses are taught in English. The degree can be completed in English.
15 000 EUR for non-EU/EEA citizens in programmes instructed in English. More information on Scholarships and Tuition Fees page (aalto.fi).
The student is supported to plan his/her own future path from the beginning of the Master studies with personal study plans (PSP) and individual guidance, which continues during the courses and seminars. The interests and strengths of each student are encouraged and complemented with minor and optional studies. Each student is offered a possibility to focus on a specific area within the performing arts or the film and television professional field or any other performance context involving costume. The field of artistic practice for a costume designer is very broad and includes all kinds of live performance (theatre, opera, dance, circus, opening ceremonies and special events, and performance art), film, television and other screen and media projects, commercials and promotional events, festivals and celebrations. The structure of the studies in cooperation with other programmes and individuals provides a unique opportunity for networking and collaboration with professionals from other fields, opening the potential for new cooperation in the future. It is also possible to focus on the theory and research of the agency of costume in performance, and later undertake doctoral studies.
Costume designer, costume concept artist, costume supervisor, costume advisor, costume expert, teacher/educator in costume design, costume theorist, costume researcher, costume curator
Post-graduate study options
The programme provides a good foundation to continue to doctoral studies.
Content of studies
The major studies in Costume Design enhance the development of the student’s artistic expression and conceptual thinking, and expand his/her creative, professional and technical skills and competency as a visionary costume designer. The student has the possibility to experiment on advanced concepts for costume design in special areas of performance and media, and to reflect and respond to artistically demanding productions through the design and creative processes of costume design.
The studies include entrepreneurial aspects, time and budget management skills, training in developing collaborative artistic work and in communicating ideas to a technical team. If interested, the student can focus on the history, theory and research of costume, and enrich his/her research skills. The learning is based on a practice-led research approach, where the students’ personal strengths and interests are taken into consideration in planning the content of the studies. The studies are organised in collaboration with the Master’s Programme of Film and Television and with the University of the Arts/Theatre Academy, as well as with external institutions, individual artists and professional companies.
For further details on the education content, see the study guide for the academic years 2018-2020 (into.aalto.fi).
The students are encouraged and supported to participate in international study exchanges and work placements abroad, as well as in major international events and projects such as exhibitions, festivals, and competitions. International visiting lecturers contribute frequently to the programme. The studies are also enriched and updated by the international mobility of the teaching and technical staff. The English language is predominantly used in teaching and supervision.
Admission criteria and programme-specific requirements
Applicants for the Master’s Programme Design for Theatre, Film, and Television; Costume Design apply in the Master’s level admissions in the field of Art and Design. The prerequisite for admission to the major in Costume Design is a bachelor’s degree in the same field or in a relevant field of study, or equivalent skills and knowledge. In addition, the applicants are expected to demonstrate artistic experience in the field of costume design.
Students are granted admission to the programme through a two-phase process. In the first phase, students are evaluated based on their application as a whole, including portfolio, previous studies, CV and letter of motivation. In the second phase, the most suitable applicants are invited to an interview, from which a smaller subset of applicants will be offered a study place. Applicants accepted to the programme may be required to take supplementary studies.
In the portfolio, applicants display work that shows their artistic expression and design skills. The portfolio must contain diverse samples of the applicant’s previous artistic, scientific and/or professional activity. Artwork can be presented by costume sketches, technical drawings, and/or production photographs. The work contained in the portfolio must include full credits, listing the title and/or theme, type of project, the year and place where the work was produced or presented, as well as the role of the applicant in the project. The applicant’s name, address and phone number and the degree programme applied for must be indicated clearly on the cover of the portfolio.
The portfolio should be in digital format (electronic portfolio) and it should be uploaded as a single PDF-file onto the application system before submission of the application.
Criteria for the evaluation of the portfolio: the artistic level of the works presented in the portfolio and the overall quality of the portfolio presentation.
CV (curriculum vitae)
Applications must include the applicant’s CV indicating personal data, educational background, work experience, exhibitions, publications and articles, awards and grants, study trips and positions of trust.
Applicants should upload their CV to the application system in a single PDF-file before sending the application.
Applicants must write a motivation letter explaining the reasons for applying to the Costume Design major, their particular interests in the field, as well as their goals and expectations related to the studies in Costume Design at the School of Arts, Design and Architecture. The letter should explain the applicant’s personal strengths, areas of interest, artistic and design visions, artistic objectives, and their motivation for advanced studies. Maximum length of the motivation letter is 4000 characters (approx. one A4 page).
Other programme-specific application instructions
The Costume Design major selection group may call selected candidates to interview on the basis of the applications.
If necessary, the applicants will be asked to present more examples of their work. There are no other entrance tests.
Language of the application documents
The applicants are asked to send the abovementioned programme-specific documents preferably in English. The applicants also have the right to use Finnish or Swedish in the documents, if they wish.