FdA Technical Theatre

Welcome to Technical Theatre

The FDA Technical Theatre is a practical course which introduce students to a wide range of backstage crafts and career options within a friendly and supportive environment. Professional placement activity and backstage practice are key features of our programme, as is the capacity for students to develop or shift their particular area of interest; whether that be lighting, sound, stage management or scenic construction, as they progress through the programme.

We are a small and welcoming team who work closely with The Mercury Theatre to ensure your experience at UCC is both engaging and vocationally relevant. Being small we have the advantage of flexibility so whether you already know your particular backstage vocational area of focus or whether you are as yet undecided, our programme will adapt and respond to facilitate your individual learning journey. We are always happy to meet with prospective students so please do get in touch if you have any questions or if you would like to visit us here in Colchester.

Course enquiries: 01206 712777
Ask a question
Course IntroductionModulesEntry RequirementsGraduate CareersAdditional

A practical course which introduces you to a wide range of backstage crafts and career options through working with a extensive array of performances from dance to classical music, and musical theatre to rock bands.

The first year provides a broad introduction to the areas of technical theatre including lighting, sound, stage management and scenic construction. These will be studied within the context of the nature of theatre and the role of technicians and stage managers within theatrical performance. The research and investigation module is designed to provide students with the opportunity to widen their understanding of the theatre business by a focused investigation of policies, procedures and business systems within a local theatre venue.

Throughout the year, students will support and assist with the public performances mounted within the Creative Arts Curriculum Areas. There are a range of performances throughout the year including; dance, musical theatre, acting and music.

The second year builds on these foundations by developing skills in lighting and sound design and introduces new skills in computer aided design and scenic design. Students will work in production capacities across a range of events including concerts, plays and musicals. They will work within the education, arts centre and theatre fields including placements with local arts organisations as well as supporting in-house College productions. The full-time course requires attendance throughout the week including evenings and some weekends.

The FdA Technical Theatre course programme is physically and mentally demanding and requires learners who are disciplined and committed.

The course operates on a modular basis that provides flexibility and choice. Each module is worth a specified number of credits, with most modules counting for 30 or 15 academic credits, with each credit taken equating to a total amount of study time which includes scheduled teaching, independent study and assessment activity.

Most full-time students will take modules worth 60 credits per semester, with part-time students taking proportionately fewer credits per semester. A total of 120 credits per level and 360 credits are needed for an honours degree as a whole. Overall grades for the course and degree classification are based on the marks obtained for modules taken at levels 5 and 6.

Compulsory modules enable you to cover key subject knowledge whilst and optional allow you to develop your own interests. The number of optional modules you can take depends on the number of core modules at a given level. Our teaching is informed by research, professional practice and industry engagement and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline.

Year One (Level 4) Year Two (Level 5)

Normal entry will require a minimum of 64 UCAS points* achieved through A Levels or BTEC Diploma. Applicants will be required to demonstrate prior experience in at least one aspect of technical theatre by providing a portfolio at interview. All applicants will be interviewed.

*2017-18 UCAS Tariff

International applicants

If English is not your first language you will need an IELTS score of 6.0, with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking), or an equivalent English Language qualification.

Additional requirements:

  • You must provide evidence of having been in general education for at least 10 years and of having studied within the last five years
  • a face-to-face interview is required before an offer is made.

The Foundation Degree in Technical Theatre is designed to prepare students for work within the industry, in employment or self-employment. Successful completion of the Foundation Degree in Technical Theatre may lead to progression to year three of the full-time BA (Hons) in Technical Theatre. Some graduates of the Foundation Degree have gone directly into work within the industry. Previous students have moved into the area of events management and scenic design, taking on the skills learnt on the course and using them in the wider context of the creative and cultural industries.

Career Opportunities
A wide variety of careers is possible including lighting and sound operation, stage management, set design and construction.

Timetables: Timetables are normally available one month before registration. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week.

Teaching and Learning: You are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and practical’s. Seminars enable smaller group discussions to develop understanding of topics covered in lectures. You will use and have access to industry-standard software and facilities throughout your course.

When not attending lectures, seminars and laboratory or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, learning zone or technical learning resources, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations

Assessment: The course provides you with opportunities to test your understanding of the subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark. Each module normally contains at least one piece of practice or ‘formative’ assessment for which you receive feedback from your tutor. Practice assessments are developmental and any grades you receive for them do not count towards your module mark.

There is a formal or ‘summative’ assessment at the end of each module. Assessment methods include written examinations and a range of coursework assessments such as essays, reports, portfolios, performance, presentations and your final year major project. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark.

 Feedback: You will receive feedback on all practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor.

Apply Full-time
Apply Part-time
FdA Technical Theatre - Full-time
LevelLevel 5
Duration2 Years
UCAS CodeW440
Academic Year2018-2019
Study ModeFull-Time
CampusUniversity Centre Colchester
AttendanceSeptember 2018
Fee(s)2018-19: £9,250
FdA Technical Theatre - Part-time
LevelLevel 5
Duration4 Years
Academic Year2018-2019
Study ModePart-Time
CampusUniversity Centre Colchester
Start DateSeptember 2018
Fee(s)2018-19: £4,625 per year

Open events
Places to live
About finances
Academic calendar
Prospectus request
View School of Performing Arts


All Fees and prices shown on the website are for courses starting in the 2017-18 academic year and correct at the time of entering/printing information, however these may be subject to change. The College cannot accept legal or financial liability as a result of any such changes. Fees for courses starting in the 2018-19 academic year will be added to the website from June 2018.

The course information describes programmes offered by Colchester Institute. The College takes all reasonable steps to provide courses as described, but cannot guarantee provision. The information is for guidance and does not form any part of a contract.

The College reserves the right to update and amend information as and when necessary. Colchester Institute will do its best to provide the courses shown, but may have to modify or withdraw a course depending on customer demand and other factors.