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MA Costume Design and Making Course Overview MA Costume Design and Making  Course Overview

Our course provides you with a holistic postgraduate experience that enables you to become a versatile and creative costume maker with advanced design interpretation and technical construction skills.

You enhance your skills through our range of taught modules and then apply these to practical projects and performances, while identifying professional frameworks for collaboration, research and employment. By the end of the course, you graduate as a skilled, resourceful costume maker and researcher with a strong portfolio of practice and credits from fully realised productions.

This programme title is subject to approval by LJMU. Approved Programme information will appear here by the end of September 2024.

What You Will


  • Year 1
  • Student


    "LIPA gives you the freedom to discover new things about yourself and style and niche as a maker. The masterclasses are second to none and are rich in knowledge and methods that you take with you for years to come. "

    Lisa Howaniec - (Graduated 2021)

    Lisa Howaniec Quote Icon

How You Will


  • Workshops
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Productions
  • Exhibitions
  • Independent study
    Independent study
  • Group Work
    Group Work
  • Masterclass

How You Will Be


Assessment revolves around your development as a creative researcher and practitioner. You document, analyse and defend your work. Assessment includes portfolios, verbal presentations, presentation of made work, as well as critical and reflective analysis. There are also oral examinations. You can undertake a conventional dissertation as an alternative to a final piece of practice. 

Practical/written work ratio

80% practical work / 20% reflective work

Alternative formats for written/ reflective work include podcasts, presentations, vivas, videos blogs, journals etc.


LIPA aims to have probationary degree awarding powers from September 2025 (subject to Office for Students approval). This is an exciting step, allowing us to take full control of our curriculum and course portfolio. In the unlikely event LIPA does not achieve probationary degree awarding powers, our degrees will be validated by Liverpool John Moores University.

What Our

Graduates Do

Graduates from this course will have the skills to work as costume makers in areas such as theatre, TV, film and dance, where they will be able to take on a variety of related roles. These include ladieswear, tailoring, prop costume, historical reconstruction, dancewear and wardrobe supervision. The course focuses on providing a realistic working environment so graduates will be equipped to work as freelancers or within established costume departments with the research skills they have learned also enabling them to contribute academically to the flourishing costume research community.

Yihui Shi (2021)

Designer in a British equestrian costume company in Shanghai, where she designs, researches and develops fabrics. MA Costume Making

Connor Sullivan (2022)

Costume designer and technician who is costume shop manager at the Metropolitan State University of Denver, Colarado. Leads team responsible for the costume construction process for productions by the Department of Theatre and Dance.



You are expected to have a good degree (2:1) in a relevant discipline or practical experience of costume construction and tailoring, with experience of making made to measure garments.

You are expected to have a good degree (2:1) in a relevant discipline or practical
experience of costume construction and tailoring, with experience of making made
to measure garments.

International students also need to meet our English Language requirements of 6.5 overall score for IELTS, with a minimum of 5.5 for each of the 4 individual components (Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening). Other equivalent English language examinations will be considered. You can find out more about English Language requirements here.

Educational qualifications are important but limited in what they can tell us about you.

Your natural ability, your fit with what and how we teach, your growth and your potential are also key factors in our admission process. We can’t evaluate these solely on your educational achievements, so no matter which course you are applying for, we look for the following attributes on your application and at the interview stage.




Knowledge, Ability and Experience

We want to hear about your costume making experience to date, both in training and/or your professional career. If you do not have a degree in costume design or a related subject, we would like you to demonstrate that you have substantial costume making experience.

This module content is indicative.



We want to know how you have pursued your costume career and continued to develop your craft since graduation. If you are applying to us directly from an undergraduate course, we are interested in how you have been preparing for your future professional career and any relevant experience outside of your course. If you do not have a degree, we want to hear what you have done which demonstrates an advanced interest in costume making.

This module content is indicative.


Ability To Work Effectively with Others

You’ll be working collaboratively on complex projects, often under pressure. You’ll work with students from other disciplines, teachers and industry professionals. We want to see that you are able to communicate ideas, respond to direction thoughtfully and can provide critically-informed and considered feedback.

This module content is indicative.


Broad Interest and Engagement

We look for evidence that you have a natural curiosity and interest in the world around you and are able to draw from a wide range of experiences and influences in your work. We want to see that you are prepared to embrace all of the opportunities that we offer on this course and more broadly within the Institution.

This module content is indicative.



We’d like to know why you’re applying to us and how you think this course will support your development as a costume maker and contribute to your specific career goals. We’d like to see that you have a firm understanding of your strengths and weaknesses.

This module content is indicative.


A Spirit of Enterprise

We want to see how you have used your own initiative. We would especially like to hear if you have worked on independent creative projects outside of any training you may have undertaken.

This module content is indicative.

  • "I’m confident LIPA’s course will address key industry skills gaps, especially given that it is being delivered in such a well-respected institution with excellent teaching standards, industry links and an all-important emphasis on collaboration."

    Carol Lingwood
    Head of Costume, National Theatre, London.

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