The Course

The Foundation degree in prop making and SFX course consists of 12 unit/modules delivered over 2 years. Unit 1-6 in the first year and 7-12 in the 2nd year. Most of the time the units are delivered in order, but the nature of creative opportunites sometimes change this.

Materials are supplied for all taught sessions. Clients and shows supply budgets for materials in the collaborative projects. The only unit where you may need to fund materials is Unit 12 Final major project, as the project you decide could need materials outside of the usual basics available.

Unit 1- Introduction to discipline practice

This unit introduces you to the practical, academic and support systems within the college. The practical inductions focus on the wood workshop, studio and plaster and resin rooms to ensure you are inducted for safe practice and are developing basic relevant skills and knowledge. The following images are examples of objects produced through inductions.

Unit 2- Academic Practice

This unit introduces you to broader concepts and context relevant to the arts industries and asks you to explore how they influence and shape your industry and ability. The product of this unit is a couple of short essays.

Unit 3- Discipline based skills

This unit is focused on developing your sculpting technique through a variety of tasks using water and oil based mediums, such as clay and plastaline. It also explores mould making and casting methods in plaster, silicone, latex, foams, fibreglass to name but a few. The unit also takes a look at life casting of a variety of body parts. This all ends with workshops in finishing and decorative techniques. These are a few images of work produced over the last few years.

Unit 4- Applied discipline based skills

This unit is focused on learning and practicing skills and applying them to produce larger scale outcomes that will be used for exhibition or display. The key area of learning is subtractive sculpture which is practiced exploring polystyrene carving and relevant coatings. The other key areas of learning are metalwork, so welding, cutting and manipulating steel to build armature and/or sculptures. This unit is also a team based activity, to give you a chance to work with peers and develop your ability to work in a team.

Unit 5-  Inter-discipline practice

This unit focuses you on important techniques used when working with others, such as effective communication, problem solving and personal planning. All of these are practiced working with the 2nd years as props assistants and clients/directors/producers on a wide range of internal projects and external commissions

Unit 6- Discipline based skills development

This unit takes you back to individual practice and explore the more specialist area of model making for a wide range of potential outcomes. Key areas of focus are technical drawing, accurate cutting, relevant materials, digital production techniques such as laser cutting and relevant software. Previous projects have been making modelsfor stop motion annimation and scale replicas.

Unit 7- Specialist discipline skills development

The 2nd year starts with an individual project that explores design, foam crafting, pattern making, mechanical processes and fabric techniques. This is usually explored through puppetry design and manufacture but has also looked at prop costume as well.

Unit 8- Applied specialist discipline skills

In this unit you will find yourself working in a team made up of fellow 2nd years and taking the lead on the design, management, communication, production and delivery/installation of props for a wide range of internal and external clients.

Unit 9- Collaborative Practice

In this unit you will continue with practices similar to unit 8 but with the added focus of managing a small team of 1st years. This will enable you to further develop your managerial skills and understanding of project management.

Unit 10- Applied academic practice

Following on from unit 2 in the 1st year you are encouraged to explore a context relevant to prop making and SFX and produce an essay showing your developing understanding of your place within a wide ranging industry.

Unit 11- Industry Practice

This unit underpins the year by focusing you on developing yourself as an industry ready practitioner. You will develop a relevant portfolio, digital footprint, business card and CV in preparation. You will explore the industry and the range of employment opportunities and engage in work placements to further develop you understanding of industry. This is all tied up at the end of the year with an exhibition that showcases your capabilities as a prop maker.

Unit 12- Negotiated practice

This is your Final major project. In this unit you get to make an example of work that showcases your developed abilities and knowledge. Anything is possible and staff will work with you to ensure you get the maximum from the opportunity.