BA (Hons) Live Visual Design and Production

Interested in a career in the visual production industry? Based at Backstage Academy, West Yorkshire, this cutting-edge degree focuses on a new approach to the design and production of spectacular events and includes lighting, set design and video, as well as other visual effects such as lasers and pyrotechnics.

Live Visual Design and Production

Key information


BA (Hons)

Mode of Study:



3 years


Backstage Academy

UCAS points:


UCAS code:


Start date:


Course Details

Our BA (Hons) Live Visual Design and Production degree is designed to give you the opportunity to be successful in a competitive market place. It’s been created to meet increasing demands for multi-skilled visual professionals in the live events and creative industries. It’s the first degree in the UK that prepares you for a career in the integrated visual production industry working on film, television, concerts, theatre and artistic installations.

This course is a partnership between the University of Bolton and Backstage Academy based in Wakefield. It offers you the chance to learn the skills required to bring together original visual art content (for instance, animation, film or digital imagery) and cutting edge digital show technology to enhance live events and art forms.

Designed to address the current and future needs of this exciting and fast-moving industry, this course aims to prepare you to take a project through from concept and design to delivery on site in a variety of settings, including festivals, shows, stadium tours and art installations.

Our highly qualified and experienced programme staff will support you to draw upon skills taught in traditional subjects such as design, art, photography, content design, event management, multimedia, physics, graphics and lighting design, and learn to combine them in innovative and visually thrilling ways.

  • Directly aimed at your employability, the course has been developed with a range of industry partners including d3 Technologies, FIX8Group, Green Hippo and XL Video to meet the needs of this exhilarating industry.
  • We’ll support you to develop skills and knowledge in a range of artistic and technical processes – from managing client expectations, creating original and engaging designs and visual content to specifying hardware and transferring your work to the live stage.
  • Your degree is taught in a variety of practical and interesting ways including master classes with world leading experts, project work using state-of-the-art visual technology and software, and industry placements that offer you invaluable practical experience.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to gain the personal and professional skills needed to work successfully in the industry worldwide. Our facilities, equipment provision and industry linkages are unique in Europe.
  • As a student you’ll be eligible to apply for Backstage Academy Crew paid and voluntary work placements allowing you to gain practical experience that will develop and authenticate your skills.
  • Backstage Academy was established in 2009 and has been working in a successful partnership with University of Bolton since 2011.
Key Features
  • This course has been specifically designed in partnership with organisations operating in the visual production industry so you’ll be learning the skills and knowledge demanded by employers in this exciting global sector.
  • Resources at Backstage Academy allow you to gain first-hand experience of a live working environment with access to the latest computing systems, software and technology.
  • As an Off Campus student you also receive the support of a dedicated Off Campus team and resources, to help make you truly feel part of the University.
  • Students have access to University e-learning resources, an extensive e-library and the support of University librarians.
  • You’ll have the chance to graduate with the ability to produce impressive lighting and video visuals using the latest techniques, making you highly employable for a career in live visual design and production.
  • We’ll support you to acquire skills that are transferable across a range of industries – from live music, theatre and opera, to film and TV, and architectural installations – enhancing your lifelong career prospects.
Professional recognition

  • 104 UCAS points. Please see our guide to the UCAS Tariff for examples of how to achieve these points.
  • Any subjects are acceptable at Level 3. You should also have five GCSEs at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent) including English and Mathematics.
  • You’ll be required to attend an interview and take a diagnostic assessment part of the application process. You may also be asked to provide a portfolio of creative work.
  • We’ll be happy to consider your application if don’t possess the required UCAS points, but have a minimum of two years relevant industry experience together with a portfolio of creative work (photography, animation, production design or similar). Please contact the programme leader.
  • If English isn't your first language you'll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent).
  • This course is open to UK and EU students. Applications from International students cannot usually be accepted because the study location for this course does not have a Tier 4 licence. Therefore, if you require sponsorship under Tier 4 (i.e. a Tier 4 international student visa to study in the UK) then unfortunately we’ll be unable to consider your application for this course.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.

Live visual design and production is a new approach to the design and creation of spectacular events that give audiences a truly memorable experience. It integrates lighting, set design and video with other visual effects such as lasers and pyrotechnics. Previously events employed lighting designers, video designers and set designers as separate roles, but increasingly these roles are merging together as video walls create the set, lighting enhances the video content and performances are synchronised with spectacular special effects.

Our BA (Hons) Live Visual Design and Production degree aims to teach you the skills and knowledge needed to seamlessly combine original visual art content and cutting edge digital show technology to enhance live music, product launches, celebrations and architectural installations, amongst many other art forms and events. This is a growing market with today’s live events becoming ever more visual, artistic and complex as advances in new technology create fresh possibilities within lighting and video.

What can I do with this qualification?

As a graduate of our BA (Hons) Live Visual Design and Production degree you’ll have a range of career options to pursue in the projection mapping, concert and touring, broadcast, musical theatre and installation sectors on an international basis. The work experience embedded into the programme will help to give you a competitive advantage over others graduates.

Given the experience and certification on offer as part of this programme, a range of opportunities could be open to you – from creative and artistic design, technical and production management to installation and programming specialist systems. Many roles are full-time working for global partners of industry standard hardware (such as d3), whilst in the touring industry many roles are freelance (normally finishing on the last night of the tour or event).

Productions and events are increasingly employing specialists on a freelance basis, offering opportunities to experience and enjoy a working life in the industry worldwide.

Successful completion of the BA (Hons) Live Visual Design and Production degree will also allow you to consider a range of postgraduate study options, leading to Master’s, research and doctoral qualifications.

Alternative career options

Graduates can also use the qualification as a stepping stone to enter a range of other careers, and for some of these roles, both relevant experience and/or post graduate study may be required. Some of these careers include:

  • Fashion design
  • Visual merchandising
  • Events management
  • Community Arts
  • Advertising
  • Teaching and education
  • Arts management
  • Technical theatre
  • Technical sales and support
  • TV and film
  • Tour management
  • Safety enforcement
  • Costume design
  • Theatre design
  • Journalism
  • Camera operative
  • Telecommunications

Course fees
Home EU Fees Year of study Total
Entry year2020/212021/222022/232023/24

The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

The university is currently awaiting government guidelines as to EU fee charges for students commencing study in 2021/2022.

For 2021/2022 entry, the maximum government approved undergraduate tuition fee for UK students is £9,250 per year. The University is able to charge this fee subject to an approved Access and Participation Plan for 2021/2022 and its current rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework.


Click here for more information about the scholarships and bursaries available to University of Bolton undergraduate students.

For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:

September start

Please apply through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for September entry.

The online application form and guidance notes are available on the UCAS website.

You can apply for up to 5 courses through UCAS (at the same or different institutions) for a fee of £24. Alternatively, if you only wish to apply for a single course at a single institution then a reduced applicant's fee of £13 is applicable.

You will need the following information to complete your UCAS application form:

  • Institution Code Name: BOLTN

  • Institution Code Number: B44

UCAS - Universities and Colleges Admissions Service

Tel: 0870 1122211

The University welcomes applications from international students from all over the world. We try to make the application process as simple and as fast as possible for our international applicants.

How you apply is determined by your current location and what you are choosing to study:

  1. Apply direct to the University. Links for the next available intakes of this course are shown below. Please click the link which will direct you to the online application form. Please read the user guidance before completing this.
  2. Apply via one of our approved in-country referral partners. A list of our partners may be found on the International pages of this website.
  3. Apply via UCAS for courses starting in September only – visit

Should you have any queries please contact the International Team on +44 (0) 1204 903110 or email

University of Bolton Group Partners

Bolton College
University Technical College
University of Bolton

The University welcomes applications from our group partners and progressing students so we try to make our application process as simple and as fast as possible. By selecting the link for your chosen course from the list shown below you will be taken directly to our online application form. Please read the user guidance before completing this and ensure you upload all supporting documents such as certificates and your personal statement when you apply.

Please ensure when you are asked to add a contact email address you add your college/university email account address as well as your personal address. If you do not add your college address as your contact address we will be unable to identify you as a partner and you will be referred to apply via UCAS, which incurs a cost.

We look forward to receiving your application and you continuing your academic journey with us!

As well as traditional lectures, seminars, examinations and tutorials your learning will be enhanced with visits and guest speakers, including master class seminars provided by industry professionals. You’ll also consider international case studies, attend workshops and be given opportunities to work on live projects as part of both practical and work placement modules. The course offers unique insights and a thorough understanding of the visual production industry operating in international markets and in a range of sectors.

Assessment will use a range of methods, from developing portfolios of your work and skills to practical assessments and research projects. Assessment is designed to ensure you have every opportunity to achieve the aims and objectives of the programme, and both individual and group assessments are used at each level.


The modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown as part of the course.

  • Professional Skills for the Visual Production Industry
  • Visual Production Toolbox Basic Techniques
  • Creative Workflows and Concept Design
  • Experiential Design
  • Experiential Technologies - Hardware
  • Showtime Production Basics
  • Industry Placement
  • Visual Production Toolbox - Advanced
  • Creative Research
  • Show Technologies Integration & Design
  • Contemporary Issues for Visual Production
  • Visual Production - Design
  • Experiential System Design
  • Showtime Applied Project Management
  • Work Related Project
  • Major Project
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 100%
Level twoCoursework 100%
Level threeCoursework 100%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 76%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 24%
Level twoGuided independent study 67%, Placement/study abroad 12%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 21%
Level threeGuided independent study 80%, Placement/study abroad 10%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 10%


The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Yusuf Giga
Academic Partnership Manager

+44 (0)1204 903211

Enquiries Team
Backstage Academy

+44 (0)1977 659880

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