About the course
Entertainment is one of the largest industries in the UK spanning across theatre, dance, TV, film, music, festivals, cruise ships and many more.
This highly practical course is designed to give you the experience required to enter the industry in a variety of roles including technical theatre (lighting, sound and AV) and production arts (stage and event management, set design and prop design). It is designed to appeal to students of all ages and abilities - we just ask you have a passion for the industry.
You will be taught by industry professionals and gain hands on experience in our state-of-the-art hub theatre and external venues.
You will also work alongside Performing Arts students, designing, making, organising and creating live productions right from the start of the course, giving you detailed knowledge and hands-on experience of working in production arts.
This two year course has led many of our students to progress to work as professionals in the production arts industry including working for major cruise lines, high profile/local theatres, crew companies (e.g. festivals and concerts) and setting up their own production companies. Many have also progressed to drama schools and universities and then into employment. It is equivalent to 3 A-Levels and successful completion will provide you with the same UCAS points to enter drama schools and universities.
Take a look at our Centre for Contemporary Arts Guide
What you will learn
Over the two years you will be creatively involved in the production of a variety of peformances including the annual pantomime, a contemporary arts showcase and final major production. You will also have the opportunity to participate as venue technicians for the college's in-house professional venue. This includes the oscar style annual awards ceremony.
This course also provides you with a number of trips to experience the production arts industry first hand. This has included trips to cruise ships, theatres, trade shows and entertainment venues. You will also have the chance to interact with a variety of guest lecturers and industry professionals. Units include:
- Lighting skills – rigging and operation
- Sound skills – operation and EQ
- Stage management
- Set construction
- Scenic painting
- Prop making
- Roles within a production team
- Health and safety within events industry
- Legal aspects of public performance
In year 1 you will learn the skills to operate a variety of kit and equipment including light, rigging, AV and sound. You will also learn about set design and the basics of event management including how to successfully produce a show.
In year 2 you will focus your creative ideas and skills learnt in year 1 to work towards more senior roles and responsibilities within production arts. This includes production management, stage management, lighting, sound, AV, set design and flying.
- Professional state-of-the-art theatre with the latest equipment
- Recording studio for voice overs productions
- State-of-the-art TV studio for AV production
- Set and prop construction workshop
- Fully equipped sound and lighting studio
- Links with local theatres and entertainment businesses
- 5 GCSEs grades A*-C/9-4 (including English), or
- Relevant level 2 qualification (with Level 2 English)
- Interview and portfolio
You will be required to attend an interview at the College prior to enrolling onto this course.
Dates, times & fees
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- Work as in technical theatre (lighting, sound and AV)
- Work in production arts (stage and event management, set design and prop design)
- Set up your own production business
- Degree at drama school or university
- HNC in Technical Theatre and Stage Management at City College
Studied Technical Theatre at City College.
Now Theatre Technicians at The Point, Eastleigh.
Shaun Hobbs & Ashton Partridge
A duo of City College alumni are now working as technicians in one of the region’s leading theatres.
Shaun Hobbs and Ashton Partridge, who both studied BTEC national diploma in technical theatre and event management at City College, now work as theatre technicians at The Point in Eastleigh.
Shaun, 24, from Southampton, and Ashton, 21, from Eastleigh, both chose a career in the arts industry due to their strong passion for theatre and interest in what goes on behind-the-scenes of a live show.
Shaun said: “Without the hard working teams behind the scenes of a production, there would only be a performer in the middle of a dark, unlit stage.”
Both Shaun and Ashton are responsible for the day-to-day running of the theatre, assisting its technical manager, Tim Slater. Their job role is varied and their responsibilities include initial liaisons with visiting theatre companies, strategically planning all technical requirements, and fully designing and rigging both the lighting and sound for the productions.
The pair both worked on an outdoor summer show of 'Wind in the Willows', in the grounds of IBM, in Hursley, and have built up a large portfolio, providing technical support for productions including 'Treasure Island', at The Point, 'Eastleigh Unwrapped' festival and 'James and the Giant Peach' at The Berry Theatre, Hedge End.
Shaun believes that his success so far was helped greatly by his time at City College and their fantastic industry-standard facilities. He said: “My tutors were invaluable to me through their teaching and mentorship. In the future I’d hope to progress to working on larger-scale touring productions and venues, allowing me more design opportunities.”
Ashton added: “I too hope to gain more creative opportunities, with a long-term ambition of becoming a technical manager in a venue.”