Module code: THE2030

Module Overview

THE2030 is an optional module for level 5 (second year) students on the BA (Hons) Theatre & Performance and BA (Hons) Dance degrees. This module serves as an introduction to the conceptual and practical concerns of scenography. Principally, this is focused around a series of seminar discussions and practical workshops that deal with the role of design in and as performance. The module is designed to allow students to experiment with how the spatial and material aspects of performance work, both in support of a production and how they affect a participant-spectator. The module is centred on a number of workshops that aim to structure a student’s experiments into scenography. Students will undertake a series of workshops such as questions of performance architecture, costume, and the affect of light. The students understanding of these tasks will be evidenced though process presentations shared as part of the weekly sessions. Students will also receive feedback on their progress through the module and how they engaged with the material. 

Module provider

Guildford School of Acting

Module Leader

HANN Rachel (GSA)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

JACs code: W460

Module cap (Maximum number of students): 20

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

This module has a capped number and may not be available to ERASMUS and other international exchange students. Please check with the Global Engagement Office exchange and study abroad team.

Module content

Indicative content:

  • Examine definitions of ‘scenography’

  • Experiment with a range of different approaches to spatial and material performance design

  • Contemplate the role of environment design within the communication of performance ideas and concepts

  • Consider the role of costume within the dramaturgical construction of performance

  • Reflect on your personal learning through a series of tests and experiments

  • Argue the role of design within the creation and encounter of performance practice

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Practical based assessment PRACTICE PRESENTATIONS (GROUP) 100

Alternative Assessment

Practice Presentations (individual)          100%

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 show skills in analysis and the use of scenography in performance, and to offer up experiments of their own for similar interrogation.


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of a group practice presentation with particular focus on the following areas:

  • Understanding the context of their practice within their field with demonstratable research

  • The creation of a coherant and tangible creative / practical vision

  • The demonstration of a specific skills or skills to realise that vision

  • An understanding of why that creative vision is culturally relevant and necessary now.

The format and length of this practice presentation will be negotiated with the module leader in relationship to available resources and timeframes.


Formative assessment and feedback

Student Presentations

For specific sessions students will either work as individuals or in groups to deliver a 10-15 minutes presentation based on the weeks topic and reading. Within the presentations students should identify:

  • The context of their practice within their field with demonstratable research

  • The creation of a coherant and tangible creative / practical vision

  • The demonstration of a specific skills or skills to realise that vision

  • An understanding of why that creative vision is culturally relevant and necessary now.


This experience will:

  • Ensure students understand the written material given

  • Ensure students understand the marking criteria and how it applies to this assessment

  • Enable students to practice for the presentation.

As such, the 100% assessment piece is addressed to the three learning outcomes.


Important note:

All citations from academic texts that you use in your portfolio 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 the key ideas and practices that informed contemporary thinking on scenography.
  • Crtically relfect on how material practices condition and communicate an intellectual idea.
  • Consider how practice presents a crtical position through a series workshop explorations.
  • Support the creation of a design idea that questions how scenography is encountered, read or made within contemporary performance practice. 

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed Ref
1 Have an understanding of a specific theatre design technique; KC
2 Articulate and frame creative thinking through specific examples with specific contexts; KCT
3 Reconsider and reframe their understanding of theatre and performance and challenge their engagement with these by creating a design idea (which may or may not be hypothetical); KPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 8

Independent Study Hours: 128

Lecture Hours: 12

Tutorial Hours: 2

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to provide students with experience of one or more design technique(s) and conceptual framework(s). The focus of the module is on being able to articulate a creative vision and demonstrate how this could occur.  The lessons will focus on a particular techniques/areas, but students will be encouraged to continually question why they are engaging with these techniques and to what ends. The presentations provide a platform for feedback and give students practice for their final assessment. From week 8/9 (dependent on where Easter falls), students are then able to focus in groups on developing a practice presentation that responses to a critical line of enquiry. 

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures or lecture+seminar

  • Practical group workshops

  • Tutorials

  • Group critique and discussion

  • Independent research 

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 DESIGN DIALOGUES :

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 2020/1 academic year.