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Costume Production Program Overview - 2021/2022

Specialize your career as a costumer or costume technician with this one-year post-graduate program in Costume Production.

This program will equip you as a costuming and wardrobe specialist, and give you the skills you need to work with costume designers to create costumes in the field of live entertainment. You’ll learn both the technical and creative aspects of costuming, while honing your project management and collaboration skills.

Job opportunities for costumer graduates could include:

  • Sewer or tailor for a wardrobe or costume shop, with the ability to costume all genders
  • Craftsperson, such as for millinery and accessories
  • Dyer
  • Breakdown artist in the film industry
  • Wardrobe assistant for theatre and film
  • Costumer or wardrobe buyer

Get the skills you need for a career in costuming

  1. Develop skills as a costumer while learning pattern drafting and costume construction for all genders
  2. Collaborate on multi-disciplinary projects with students in Theatre Production and Theatre Performance programs
  3. Apply your costume technician skills in a field placement in a professional theatre company, TV location or film wardrobe
  4. Learn to work independently on a diverse range of costume design projects and production activities in the costume field of the entertainment industry
  5. Study in the heart of London's arts and cultural hub at Fanshawe's London Downtown Campus

Admission Requirements - 2021/2022

Admission Requirements

An Ontario College Advanced Diploma in Fashion Design with a minimum 'B' average or 3.0 GPA
An Ontario College Diploma in a Theatre Production related program with a minimum 'B' average or 3.0 GPA and completion of a Portfolio and Sewing Test*
An equivalent qualification from another institution with a minimum 'B' average or 3.0 GPA as judged by the College and completion of a Portfolio and Sewing Test*
A combination of relevant education and work experience in a related field as judged by the College to be equivalent to the above and completion of a Portfolio and Sewing Test* 

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in English by one of the following methods:

  • A Grade 12 College Stream or University Stream English credit from an Ontario Secondary School, or equivalent, depending on the program's Admission Requirements
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test with a minimum score of 88 for the Internet-based test (iBT), with test results within the last two years
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic test with an overall score of 6.5 with no score less than 6.0 in any of the four bands, with test results within the last two years.  SDS Program Requirements.  
  • Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) test with an overall score of 70 with no score less than 60 in any of the four bands, with test results within the last two years
  • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE) with a minimum score of 59, with test results within the last two years
  • A Cambridge English Test (FCE/CAE/CPE) with an overall score on the Cambridge English Scale of 176 with no language skill less than 169, with test results within the last two years
  • An English Language Evaluation (ELE) at Fanshawe College with a minimum score of 75% in all sections of the test, with test results within the last two years
  • Fanshawe College ESL4/GAP5 students: Minimum grade of 80% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 9 or 75% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 10

Applicant Selection Criteria

Where the number of eligible applicants exceeds the available spaces in the program, the Applicant Selection Criteria will be:
  1. Preference for Permanent Residents of Ontario
  2. Receipt of Application by February 1st (After this date, Fanshawe College will consider applicants on a first-come, first-served basis until the program is full)
  3. Achievement in the Admission Requirements
  4. *Assessment of Applicant's skill set relevant to the program based on Portfolio and Sewing Test


Costume Production-2021/2022

Level 1
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
DESG-1095Women's Cutting 14
This course is a practical studio combined with theoretical research and contextual investigation. Practical demonstrations and discussions introduce you to a wide range of period and contemporary pattern cutting techniques. This enables you to develop your skills and abilities in the cutting of flat patterns for period and modern shapes.
DESG-1094Men's Tailoring 14
Introductory course into the specific area of costume making and pattern drafting for menswear. Students will produce professional sampling and use specialized tailoring techniques to construct a men's waistcoat and trousers. This technical course consists of demonstration, practical work and the development of critical thinking skills and technical ability.
FASH-1018Costume Construction 12.5
Students will learn the fundamentals of costume construction through sampling and building costume pieces. Hand sewing and industrial machine sewing skills will be developed along with speed and accuracy in construction. Practical skills are gained to industry standards and in adherence with health and safety practices.
FASH-1053Costume Accessories4
An introductory course in Millinery and Accessories for costuming. Students will be able to experiment with creative applications in millinery and jewelry-making while also learning the practical techniques necessary to take accessories onto stage and screen such as hair/wig prep for hats and quick rigging. Practical skills will be supported with theoretical and contextual research into period accessories and applications.
Students will learn fabric types and uses, dye types and practices as well as methods for ageing and distressing costumes. The course will develop diverse skills as they discover current dyeing and fabric breakdown methods and come away with a greater competency in this specialized area of costuming.
DESG-1093Costume Interpretation4
Costume Interpretation introduces you to the culture of design for costume and establishes a wide range of fundamental costume visualization techniques. You will investigate the conceptualisation and development of ideas. Through study of contemporary and historical scripts you will develop skills to contextualise and communicate the needs of a play or script for costume purposes.
THEA-1010Collaborative Practice 14
In a Wardrobe Department environment, students will be challenged to manage, create, and build all aspects of the wardrobe. Through lecture and hands on work, student will work on different projects and learn about the backstage side of the entertainment world. Team management, collaborative planning and creative problem solving are critical skills that are developed during this process.

Level 2
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
DESG-3049Women's Cutting 23
A continuation of the practical studio work learned in Women's Cutting 1, this course will continue the process of practical demonstrations and lecture to further the student's knowledge in women's period costumes. Practical course work will build upon previous flat patterning skills and develop draping skills for period shapes.
DESG-3050Men's Tailoring 23
More advanced tailoring skills will be taught through professional sampling ands specific tailoring techniques to create men's jackets.
FASH-3030Costume Construction 23
Building upon skills gained in FASH 1018, students will further develop their knowledge base in costume construction and learn to build more complicated costume pieces. Students will use critical thinking to communicate in the correct terminology within a Costume shop. Students will demonstrate and develop speed and accuracy in hand and industrial machine sewing while adhering to industry standards and safety practices.
DESG-3051Collaborative Practice 26
Continuing the use of skills in a Wardrobe environment. Students will work on projects or with live clients to gain confidence and apply the skills learned thus far, while working as a team member of a Wardrobe and applying Health and safety standards.
FASH-3031Wardrobe Practical Skills2
In this course, students will learn the management side of the Costuming industry. Through theory and hands-on work, the student will gain further understanding of what to expect in various roles in costuming for film/TV and theatre.
FLDP-5016Practical Field Placement6.4
Students apply their newly developed skills and knowledge within a theatre Wardrobe setting, working alongside industry professionals. The students performance is evaluated by the industry and field placement facilitator.

Program Residency
Students Must Complete a Minimum of 13 credits in this
program at Fanshawe College to meet the Program Residency
requirement and Graduate from this program

Careers - 2021/2022

Career Opportunities

Graduates will gain the experience necessary for employment in a wardrobe environment as sewers, dyers, accessorists, boots/shoes, milliners, dressers or wardrobe management. As well, graduates could also become costume technicians in the film industry.

More Information - 2021/2022

A One-Year Ontario College Graduate Certificate Program
Program Code: TCS3
Campus Code: LCD (LCD - London-Downtown)
September Admission
15 week terms
Academic Calendars available at


School of Digital and Performing Arts: 519-452-4430, ext. 6403

Program Description

This two term Ontario Graduate Certificate program will build upon students' existing Fashion Design and/or Theatre skills and prepare them for working in a wardrobe department for the entertainment industry. Students learn both the technical and creative aspects of costuming for theatre through components of classroom theory, studio training and practical work placement. Advanced classroom studies in theatre history, wardrobe planning and script analysis serve as the foundation for the focused practical training in technical costume cutting and construction.

The curriculum is designed to provide technical study and hands-on experience of building costumes. The program offers students the unique opportunity to work in collaboration with industry professionals within actual theatre wardrobe settings during their field placement. This program is supported by affiliations with The Stratford Festival, The Shaw Festival, The Banff Centre of the Arts, The Grand Theatre London, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians (NABET).

Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Develop and create costumes that express character, through the application of knowledge of the history of theatre and costume.
  2. Plan the development, creation, and maintenance of all aspects of costuming with respect to the organizational, logistical and financial factors involved in wardrobe.
  3. Analyze scripts in order to make costume development, creation and maintenance decisions.
  4. Communicate costume development concepts to a varied audience using a variety of visual media, including life drawing, illustration and/or wardrobe development.
  5. Create a technical translation of a costume illustration, using pattern making, draping, fitting and tailoring techniques that fulfill the director/designer’s vision.
  6. Construct costumes and costume accessories that meet the specialized needs of various productions.
  7. Prepare, modify, decorate, and care for fabrics and costumes, based on a thorough knowledge of textile characteristics.
  8. Fulfill the responsibilities of a production team member in the complex world of live entertainment by applying excellent communication, interpersonal, critical thinking, problem solving, and time/ project management skills.

Program Pathways

For information about Program Pathways visit

Program Details

More details

Canadian Students

Start Dates

Full Time Offerings

2021 September
London - Downtown

International Students

Start Dates
2021 September
London - Downtown
Program Code

Program Coordinator

Karen Harley

Day Time
Ontario College Graduate Certificate
30 weeks