Dr Susannah Henry - ‘Graduates in performance design can pursue exciting careers across a wide field of disciplines and sectors’
UK - Guildhall School of Music & Drama has announced a new BA degree in performance design, starting in September 2025. The three-year, full time BA programme will equip students with the practical and imaginative skills required to create designs for stage performances and live events.
Led by stage designer Dr Susannah Henry, the BA in Performance Design is the newest course to offered by Guildhall’s Production Arts department. The Performance Design programme blends studio-based design work with hands-on experience, including collaborating on a wide range of performances using Guildhall School’s state-of-the-art facilities.
Student designers will gain an understanding of the creative, collaborative and practical elements of performance design, developing their skills through studio-based projects, before building to fully realised designs for public performance. The programme also explores the histories of art, design and theatre, incorporating self-led research to shape and inform students’ own identities and aspirations as emerging performance designers.
Working in close collaboration with students on Guildhall School’s other Productions Arts courses, including the School’s BA in Production Arts and BA in Digital Design & Production, Performance Design students will have the opportunity to develop design skills in areas such as costume, video and lighting, and learn about the technologies and processes needed to make a performance happen. They will also build connections with existing the School’s industry partners and a network of peers across the School’s City of London campus.
Dr Susannah Henry, interim programme leader of BA Performance Design, said: “I’m very pleased to launch our new BA in Performance Design and excited to welcome our first students from September 2025. The new programme at Guildhall School has been designed using insights gained through direct experience in training and practicing in the theatre industry. It embraces the varied approaches and ambitions that sit within the scope of performance design while delivering strong training in the fundamental skills shared by performance designers.
“Graduates in performance design can pursue exciting careers across a wide field of disciplines and sectors. Whether students aspire to be set or costume designers, creative directors, or lighting or visual designers, our new course teaches the skills and knowledge to enter the industry with confidence and assurance.”

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