Careers in Production Design

By Ethan Moser - Last update

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What is Production Design? 

Production Design is the study of creating a sense of time, location, and mood for film, TV, theatre, etc. Students interested in careers in production design will study media, history, and art theory. 

What 3rd Level Courses are Available? 

  • Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering courses in the following subject areas: 
    • Music, Film & Drama – the study of the cultural and historical impacts and implications of music, film, and drama. 
    • Drama Studies – the study of the history, production, and performance of theatre.
    • Film Studies – the study of the history, production, and impact of film and television.

Studying Production Design in College

Most first year study involves an overview of the subject. This will offer students an introduction to the foundational principles of production design including aesthetics, costuming, and lighting and sound design. 

Depending on the focus of their production design studies, students will likely move from exam-based modules to more hands-on production modules. Most performing arts courses will combine exams, written assessments, dissertations, and production projects as benchmark assessments for students. 

Most undergraduate Production Design courses in Ireland run for three or four years. In some cases universities will facilitate work or internship experience as a facet of their program. 

It is common that all performing arts-based courses will require students to complete long-term research or performance projects including a final Capstone project. This will ensure the completion of a rigorous curriculum and prepare students for postgraduate studies or for their careers in Production Design. 

A bachelor’s degree in Production Design studies is adequate for many careers in the performing arts. For example, graduates with a bachelor’s degree may start working in film and TV production, theatre production, and arts administration. 

Career Options

Graduating from college with a degree in Production Design will serve you well as it equips you with a unique and marketable skill set. A performing arts degree teaches students how to think both critically and creatively as well as equipping them with invaluable performance and communication skills. 

Many recent graduates have entered into ‘entry-level’ careers in production design working as interior designers, product managers, and stylists. 

Other jobs that require a higher degree of responsibility will typically require further education, training, and/or experience to qualify for. 

Related Jobs Include:

  • Arts Administrator
  • Producer
  • Sound Engineer / Technician
  • Dramaturg
  • Set Designer
  • Interior Designer
  • Screenwriter
  • Materials Engineer
  • Stylist
  • Graphic Designer

Further Study

An undergraduate degree in production design studies is often the first step towards further postgraduate study. Postgraduate students will often specialize in their preferred genre, be it film, television, stage, or otherwise. 

Visit for more information. 


  • What points do I need to study Production Design?
    • Different courses and different colleges will have different entry requirements. It’s always best that you check with the individual higher education institution which is available on their websites. As a general rule Leaving Cert students should have a minimum of six subjects which should include: Two H5 (Higher Level) grades and Four O6 (Ordinary Level) grades or Four H7 (Higher Level) grades. Subjects must include Mathematics, English, Irish or another language.
  • Are there any particular qualities you need to study Production Design?
    • Students interested in careers in music will need to be passionate about film, television and theatre and their impact on society as well as be interested in developing, producing, and writing for these platforms. Additional students will need to be innovative, driven, creative, and collaborative. 
  • Where can I study Production Design?
    • Explore your options here

Did You Know?

  • Some of the most iconic sets and scenes from film and television – The Shire from Lord of the Rings, Central Perks from FRIENDS – are the creations of production designers and their teams!
  • In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, heroes can often be seen wearing vests over their costumes – this prevents the torso of the costume from riding up when the actors move their arms in scenes!
  • All of the tiny clothing for the 2009 film, Coraline was sewn by hand using extremely tiny needles, some as small as a human hair!


Ethan Moser

Music Technology
Computer Applications


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