Stage Management and Technical Theatre - FdA [Full-Time]

Level 5 - Foundation Degree or HNCs/HNDs or NVQ Level 5 or Equivalent

Subject Area Music

Attendance Full-Time


“The show must go on!” 

You’re probably familiar with the famous phrase associated with West End and Broadway stage productions, but are you familiar with the extraordinary work that goes on behind the scenes to make every production possible?

You’ll find that behind every great show, is a team of Stage Managers, Production Managers, Designers, and Sound, Lighting, Video and Stage Technicians. Working together, this unseen team are responsible for how a show looks, sounds and feels; combining creativity with technical expertise and ensuring these technical elements run smoothly during every performance.

This FdA Stage Management and Technical Theatre course is an exciting and challenging multi-disciplinary course designed to train aspiring stage managers, technicians and designers. Through practical activities, public performances and student-led projects, you’ll work in venues on-campus and around the city, gaining the skills and experience required for entry into the theatre industry while building a solid portfolio.

While studying Stage Management and Technical Theatre you’ll learn from experts in the field. Our team have many years’ collective experience in the industry and have worked on productions like Cabaret, The Snow Queen and Carmen. Recent staff projects include Great Exhibition of The North (NGI), Shine (Live Theatre) and Hold On Let Go (Unfolding Theatre)

Successful applicants are enthusiastic, flexible and hard-working people who can work as part of a team and have a desire to work in the backstage sector. No previous experience in technical theatre is necessary with past students coming from a variety of backgrounds and interests including Performing Arts, Music Technology, Politics, English, Photography, Film Studies, and Amateur and Community Theatre.

Housed in The Performance Academy, you will train in one of the most comprehensive training environments in the UK. Our main performance space, the Peter Sarah Theatre, is a fully equipped and adaptable space with a full height fly tower, counterweight flying system and tension wire grid. In all of our venues you will work and train on industry standard equipment. 

This course runs on the following dates:

Start Date: September 2020. For further information, please call 0191 200 4000 or email
Duration: 2 Years
Venue: Performance Academy, Rye Hill Campus

Work Ready Guarantee

As part of our work ready guarantee you will be given the opportunity to undertake external professional placements with local venues and companies, such as Northern Stage, The Sage Gateshead, R&B Group and Dance City.

Who the course is for

This Foundation Degree in Stage Management & Technical Theatre is aimed at those wishing to follow practical training in stage management and technical elements of theatre production.

Qualification Gained

On successful completion you will be awarded a Foundation Degree in Stage Management & Technical Theatre by NCG. 

Industry Average Salaries

Below are some of the typical job roles and salaries within the sector

Junior Level Role

Team Assistant-£11,000

Middle Level Role

Assistant Stage Manager-£16,000 and £17,000

Senior Level Role

Deputy Stage Manager-£20,000

How to Apply


Applications for full-time degrees at Newcastle College University Centre need to be made through UCAS. You can visit our institution page on UCAS here.

If you are an international student please visit our international application section for further information about how to apply and entrance requirements. Additional start dates may be available please speak to our International Office on +44 191 226 6323 or email

Course Content

Year One
The main aim of level 4 is to focus on the development of fundamental technical training and skills underpinned with theoretical understanding via Stage Management, Lighting Practice, Sound Practice and Scenic Construction. The opportunity to put these skills into practice in collaborative live performances with performance programmes is provided throughout the year, with Work Related Learning seeing students working as a company to lead their own projects.

Awareness and tracking of these newly acquired abilities and practices is carried out through Personal Development, whilst Contextual Studies 1 and Academic Skills/RPL build confidence in both the student’s academic abilities and awareness of theatre’s roots and current industry practice.

Year Two
Building on the broad skillset gained at level 4, level 5 is designed to prepare students to step into industry; developing their practical and personal skills by undertaking roles that require increased responsibility, management and creativity.

These skills are introduced via Production Management, Lighting Design, Sound Design and Deputy Stage Management, and put into practice on live performances in Work Based Learning and Professional Practice. Contextual Studies 2 develops student’s awareness and engagement with current industry issues, developments and ‘change drivers’, whilst Professional Development focuses on employability and industry networking via professional placements.

Learning Methods

You will learn in a variety of ways including via work-based learning and e-learning. You will develop relevant practical skills underpinned with theoretical knowledge in order to prepare you for the rapidly evolving technical theatre industry.

Learning takes place in classrooms, studio theatre, workshops and the on-campus Peter Sarah Theatre. You will also participate in productions, group work, student-led projects and self-directed study.

The programme is taught through practical assessments, work-based projects and productions but is also academic, with learning and assessments through written work and presentations.



Assessment Methods

You will be assessed through a broad range of methods to challenge both your practical and theoretical understanding.

Assessment methods include; practical demonstration and application of skills, practical and creative tasks, reflective diaries, research projects, academic essays, reports and creative and academic portfolios.

Progression Opportunities

Successful completion of the Foundation Degree in Stage Management and Technical Theatre will provide you with a solid foundation on which to progress onto a top up year of your choice such as one of our suite of BA Hons (Creative Enterprise) programmes.

Career Opportunities

Successful completion of the Foundation Degree in Stage Management and Technical Theatre
will give you the skills and techniques required to gain employment within the industry.

Career paths range from lighting, sound and scenic designers, lighting & sound operators, venue technicians through to stage management roles, production management and stage crew. It can also be seen as a good grounding for those interested in live music production and events management.

Opportunities for employment exist through regional theatres and venues, professional contacts made through external placements as well as with national and international companies. Previous graduates have progressed to work as designers, lighting operators, sound technicians, stage managers and in a variety of fields such as theatre, live music, cruises and live events.

Entry Requirements

 A minimum of 48 - 64 UCAS Tariff Points at A-level, BTEC QCF Subsidiary, 90 Credit, National or Extended Diploma; Pass in Diploma in Foundation Studies (Art and Design).

Applicants are normally expected to have achieved grade C in GCSE Maths & English Language or the Level 2 equivalents.
Mature students (age 21) will be considered only on the basis of relevant industry experience.

Applicants for whom English Language is not their first language are expected to achieve a minimum IELTS Score of 5.5 or the nationally recognised equivalent.

Further Information

If you have a query about this course or would like advice on your study options, you can contact Student Services by using the LiveChat function on this page, by emailing or by telephoning 0191 200 4000. We are currently open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm.


Course Costs

Higher Education courses

Newcastle College’s tuition fee for full-time undergraduate UK and EU students studying a degree starting in 2019 is £9,000 per year. Students can choose to pay their tuition fees upfront or take out a Tuition Fee Loan from the Student Loans Company, which currently defers payment until individuals earn over £25,000 per year after graduation. Students can apply for student finance by registering their details at or alternatively they can apply for student finance on their UCAS application form.