A Day in the Life of: Production Design for Stage and Screen Student

For the second installment of our series ‘A Day in the Life of a CCAD Student ’ we have Helena Cooling, studying Production Design for Stage and Screen, taking you through her day at CCAD.


Hello, my name is Helena Cooling and I am a level 6 (3rd year) BA (Hons) Production Design for Stage and Screen student. Any student on this course will tell you that no two days in our studio are ever the same. Whether you’re designing in the studio, building in our fantastic workshop or extending your digital skills, there is always something going on in the Production Design studios.

Working hard in the studio

A recent project I have been working on is my Minor Project titled ‘Havisham’.  Most of my days throughout this project were spent researching and designing sets for a creative photoshoot inspired by the Great Expectations character Miss Havisham and her environment. Research is an important part within any creative project, and this project was no different. My minor project relied heavily on finding visual and historical information and imagery, and this is where my numerous trips to the CCAD library were invaluable. I spent a lot of time in and out of the library accessing relevant books, journals and archive material.

Visual research imagery

One thing our course prides itself on is the communication and relationship with professional industry contacts. A particularly exciting and fulfilling day out of this project was meeting up with the professional photographer that I am in collaboration with. (All details are TOP SECRET at this moment in time, so keep your eyes peeled for the results, which will be on show at the 2017 Degree Show!) This meeting was a chance to sit down and discuss thoughts and ideas and come to creative conclusions.

Set design proposals for my Minor Project titled ‘Havisham’

This course allows you to develop your design and realisation skills which a production designer would need, but also to develop specialist skills such as prop making, sculpting, concept art and character development. I fully recommend this course for any student interested in building an extensive portfolio of skills and looking to pursue a career in the entertainment industry.

More about the course (BA (Hons) Production Design for Stage and Screen) here:


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