Design & Production

The Master of Fine Arts in Design and Production for theatre is an intensive program intended to prepare students for work in the professional theatre.

Program Overview

The MFA Design and Production program emphasizes the development of conceptual, graphic and research skills. Students will undertake considerable practical work which may include collaboration on theatre productions in-and-outside of UBC.

Project-based inquiry is a central feature of the program. Students will develop and assemble their creative work to present to the classroom and the theatre-going public. Our approach is designed to provide each student with the building blocks for a variety of skills beyond just the creative arts including teamwork, responsibility, productivity and leadership. The program takes approximately 2 or 3 years to complete and usually culminates in a thesis design for one of the UBC theatres.

Degree Requirements

Students pursuing a master’s degree in design and production must complete the following:

  • 30 credits worth of coursework
  • A thesis project
  • A graduating portfolio, which includes your thesis project, to be reviewed by the faculty

MFA students must complete 30 credits under these guidelines:

24 credits must be level 500 or above.

At least 18 credits from the following:

  • THTR 505 (3 credits), THTR 507 (3 credits), Scene Design
  • THTR 506 (3 credits), THTR 508 (3 credits), Costume design
  • THTR 407 (3 credits), THTR 551 (3 credits), Lighting Design
  • THTR 550 (3 credits), Historic Design
  • THTR 547 (3 or 6 credits), Directed Studies
  • THTR 549 (6 or 12 credits), Thesis
  • THTR 555 (3 credits), THTR 556 (3 credits), Structural Design for the Stage


Applications for the Costume and Lighting Design streams are not being accepted for intake into Fall 2023. Applications for Fall 2024 will open in September, 2023.

The theatre design and production master’s program only selects a handful of students each year. For those interested, please follow these application instructions:

  • Submit your UBC Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies application
  • A copy of official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended and are currently enrolled in. If your transcripts are in a language other than English you must also provide a certified translation
  • A statement of purpose (500 words) that details:
    • Your proposed area of study and its potential contribution to the wider field in which it is situated
    • Your academic preparation for the MFA program
    • How UBC’s MFA Design and Production program fits your needs and interests
  • A portfolio of your work that demonstrates your artistic personality and themes. This includes any examples of drawings, renderings, technical drawings, costume sketches, photographs of models and realized designs, artwork or art design.
  • Three letters of recommendation via UBC’s eReference system
  • A resume of your academic training as well as theatrical training and experience

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