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Job Description

A Costume Designer will research the costumes of the period in which a production is set and using fashion knowledge to design and create outfits for actors, this could be for film, TV or theatre.  They will be in charge of designing, creating, acquiring and hiring all the costumes required for the actors in the film or production and will supervise practical issues such as budgets, schedules and insuring that the garments are completed on time.

Entry Requirements

You can get into this job through:


You could get practical garment production skills like pattern cutting, hand and machine sewing and dressmaking by completing a qualification. You could do a Fashion and Textiles Diploma Level 3.

Similar qualifications could be useful for getting work as a costume assistant. You could then do more training on the job to move into design work.

You'll usually need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course.

The following local colleges offer courses in Fashion and Textiles:

Or your local 6th form may offer a relevant course.


You can do a higher national diploma, degree or postgraduate qualification in:

  • costume design
  • fashion
  • theatre design
  • performing arts (production)

You'll usually need:

  • between 1 and 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a higher national diploma or degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

Click here to search for a suitable course.


You could get into costume designing by working for a company who provides costumes for stage and screen.

Some of the larger ones offer work experience and internship opportunities.

Career Tips

Having experience in the theatre, film or costume industry is highly valued by employers and volunteering is a great way to improve your skills. It's also a good way to meet people and build up your network of contacts.

You could get relevant experience through:

  • student theatre and film productions
  • amateur theatre
  • working as a costume 'daily' or temporary helper on TV or film sets
  • casual wardrobe work in theatres
  • working for a theatrical costume hire company

You can join The Society of British Theatre Designers and The Costume Society, for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

You can find out more about becoming a costume designer from: Royal Opera House and ScreenSkills

Career Path and Progression

You’ll specialise in either theatre or in film and TV, but you could work in both areas once you’re established.

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • Clothing alteration hand
  • Fashion designer
  • Footwear manufacturing operative
  • Hat designer
  • Wardrobe assistant

Required Skills

  • Creativity and imagination
  • Excellent design skills
  • A passion for fashion
  • A good eye for detail
  • Good organisational skills
  • Able to work well under pressure and to deadlines
  • Good communication and people skills
  • Good research abilities

Salary Range

£13,000 to £35,000

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