INTRODUCTION TO DESIGN AND SCENOGRAPHY - 2019/0

Module code: PRO1022

Module Overview

The purpose of this module is to introduce students to the practice of Scenography (stage design) and to the fundamental practical skills needed to design for performance.

This module reflects the programme’s aim to produce practitioners with specialist knowledge - here specifically in the field of Scenography. This module will serve as a general introduction to Scenography for students whose area of professional interest may lie elsewhere and as an introduction to professional practice for students who intend to make a career in either design for performance or related crafts such as scenic art, prop-making or scenic construction.

Module provider

Guildford School of Acting

Module Leader

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

JACs code: W443

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

All prior Level 4 modules.

Module content

Indicative content includes:


Dissection of the meaning of the word ‘Scenography’ and this practice as opposed to theatre design, stage design or design for performance.
An introduction to practitioners of theatre design and scenography, past and present.
Exploration of real theatre space, acknowledging practical considerations as well as the potential of theatre spaces to inspire design.
The practical tools of the designer: visual research, mood-boarding, model-making, technical drawing, and sketch-modelling as a development tool.
Design presentation techniques.
The power of the object in space to contribute to storytelling on stage.
The power of other means besides the internet to inform visual research for design, for example: the library, real places, self-generated images, printed media or found objects.
Independent studio work.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Practical based assessment SCALE MODEL BOX 50
Coursework Reflective Essay 50

Alternative Assessment

(Resit Only) Reflective Essay

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge acquired about practitioners engaged with scenography, past and present. It also offers students the opportunity to develop practical skills in design and presentation.

Formative Assessment (which is designed to help structure your learning)

Students will receive feedback on their performance  during the sessions or workshops.

Summative Assessment (for which you receive a formal ‘grade’ at the end of the module)

Assessment 1: Design Brief Presentation (50%)

The design brief assignment is divided into two aspects: Scale Model Box and verbal presentation.


The model box will be created to a design brief given at the onset of the module and require analysis of the production or play and interpretation into a three dimensional space for performance. 
The verbal presentation (7-10 mins) is focused on how you present the model and offer evidence of further research into how you have conceived the design proposal. 


Assessment 2: Reflective Essay (50%)

Your essay will discuss and analyse key practitioners and their impact upon contemporary set design. A brief for the essay will be provided at the onset of the module and your work developed through regular discussion in the sessions.

Important note: All citations from academic texts that you use in your essay must be referenced according to the rules of the Harvard system. A bibliography must therefore be provided at the end of your essay, laid out according to the Harvard system.

Module aims

  • Introduce students to the practical skills required to design sets for performance
  • Place the practice of Scenography in context, with reference to professional scenographers and theatre designers, their processes and body of work
  • Encourage student engagement with the potential of the theatre space and to promote an elementary understanding of three dimensional design
  • Signal the importance of communication to and from the Scenographer/Designer within professional production teams and within their own practice
  • Deliver a framework for undertaking design for performance in which visual research and experiment are an integral part, thus enabling students to fully investigate ideas with confidence

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate fundamental skills in the scenographer's palette including: visual research, sketch-modelling, 2D concept drawing, technical drawing, and scale model-making. P
002 Present their work via a method befitting a professional scenographer PT
003 Demonstrate knowledge of professional practitioners in the field of scenography and reflect upon their influence upon contemporary practice. KCP
004 Proactively investigate design ideas in a theatre space with 3D elements in collaboration with other students PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 106

Lecture Hours: 20

Seminar Hours: 24

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to balance the acquiring of necessary practical skills alongside exploration of the function of, and context for, the practice of scenography.

The learning and teaching methods include:


Lectures or lecture/seminar
Practical group workshops
Practical skills workshops
Group critique and discussion
Independent studio work and research
Formal presentations


This module attempts to facilitate key areas of the Programme learning and teaching strategy specifically those defining demonstration and review within workshops, rehearsals, productions, practical classes, laboratory/studio-based practice, screenings, lectures, seminars, tutorials and tutor and learner-directed practical projects evidencing core, elementary theory and practice. Resource-based learning, including library work and attendance at performances is a key feature of the Learning and Teaching strategy for this module.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Reading list for INTRODUCTION TO DESIGN AND SCENOGRAPHY : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/pro1022

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Theatre Production BA (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2019/0 academic year.