An Overview

The BA Filmmaking is a scripted, drama-based, practical filmmaking programme aimed at those who are passionate about storytelling in cinema and television. It is a rich and challenging environment for students who are keen to develop their storytelling skills and have the passion to produce and develop exciting drama content. The programme has Screenwriting at the heart if it whilst you develop your skills across camera, lighting, sound, production, directing and editing.

At RCS you have the opportunity to work with actors, composers, dancers and musicians, as well as your peers from production.

The programme has critical thinking at its core, with workshops and seminars designed to enhance your ability to appreciate what has gone before as you craft the stories of the future. You will benefit from industry contacts, which can include working on professional sets, masterclasses and expert tuition from industry practitioners. We will help you to develop your ideas and your creativity to the highest level, as well as offering you the opportunity to make films, tell stories and develop craft skills.

Institution Code:


Programme Code:


UK Deadline:

31 January 2024

International Deadline:

31 January 2024

Programme Structure

You will engage with the mechanical and creative elements of developing ideas for film and television, designed to develop your writing skills and creative awareness. Your ideas will be challenged and workshopped in a classroom environment where you’ll learn about film craft skills in camera, lighting, post-production, sound recording, producing and directing. You will gain experience in making individual monologue work and larger group shoots.

Your film and television studies lectures and seminars will inspire your creativity by exploring the masters of storytelling, both current and historic. At the end of the year, you will originate a short film script of up to five minutes.

Module 1

Camera and Lighting Skills 1

Module 2

Film and Television Studies 1

Module 3

Storytelling 1

Module 4

Visual Storytelling 1

Module 5

Writing 1

Module 6

Production and Directing 1

Module 7

Sound 1

Module 8

Film Project 1

Module 9

Editing 1

Find your own distinct visual style through practice and exploration, develop directing and producing skills whilst creating short films throughout this year with acting students. You will take the lead at various roles to determine what is right for you, exploring storytelling by focusing on single directors or television shows.

You will hone your practice of independent responsibility and development by choosing a negotiated path of study for the practical output you are involved with. You have the opportunity to write a draft of a feature script or TV pilot and your final year research project will focus on film or television criticism in relation to your project work. Throughout years two and three, there will be the opportunity to study subjects from a group of options modules offered to you from a variety of departments within RCS. These modules offer you the opportunity to further enhance your skills in your discipline or explore other related disciplines that are of interest to you.

Why choose us?

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is consistently ranked in the World Top 10 for performing arts education (QS World Rankings 2023)

  • We focus on the individual — you will analyse the best of film and television storytelling with your own filmmaking craft in mind
  • Strong relationships with the National Film and Television School and BBC Scotland
  • Develop original short film and television programme ideas and make short films
  • Opportunities to make short films
  • AVID 101 for all first year students
  • Professional partnerships include BBC Scotland and Dumbarton Studios
  • Learn from award-winning expert staff
  • Benefit from workshops and masterclasses from distinguished industry practitioners
  • Excellent graduate employment opportunities – in the past year graduates have worked on Crime (TV show prequel to Filth), The Rig (Amazon Prime), Shetland, Guilt, River City, Outlander and STV Creative. Graduates and current students have also worked on large commercials.

Additional Staff

Tutors and Visiting Lecturers

Gavin Rizza
Tutor, Post Production

Seamus Skinner
Visiting Lecturer, Location Sound

Travis Reeves
Visiting Lecturer, Post-Production Sound

Paul Mitchell
Kit Co-ordinator and fully licensed drone pilot

Visiting Staff and Guest Lecturers

We provide a mix of visiting lecturers and tutors and experienced full-time staff. Our visiting staff are current industry practitioners who are therefore able to bring the best of current sector practice into the classroom before our students take it back out to the industry. We have masterclasses with some of the best talent in the industry. Our students have worked with Richard Attenborough, Tony Marchant, Emma Thompson, James McAvoy, Billy Boyd, Bill Paterson, Peter Mackie Burns and Tom Vaughn.

There are also seminars and workshops delivered by guest professionals who previously have included Andrew Macdonald (Producer Ex-MachinaTrainspotting 2), Michael Hines (Director Still Game), Jed Mercurio (Writer Line of Duty — in conjunction with BAFTA Scotland), Helen Wright (Filmmaker and curator of The Scottish Queer International Film Festival) and Peter Mackie Burns (Director, Daphne, Rialto).

Graduate Destinations

RCS filmmaking graduates are employed by major broadcasters and production companies, and establish themselves as independent filmmakers. Some graduates work freelance for independent companies or on short film schemes, and some have gone on to postgraduate study, including with the National Film and Television School.

Some of our graduates:

  • May-Ann Blanch (Class of 2021) Royal Television Society Student Awards winner, Best Drama – Sizzle
  • Colleen Bell (Class of 2022) Royal Television Society Student Awards winner, Craft Award for Writing – The Space I Occupy
  • Krysty Wilson-Cairns wrote the screenplay for Sam Mendes’ film 1917 (2018), for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay; she also co-wrote the screenplay for Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho (2021)
  • Michael J Ferns is an award-winning Children’s BAFTA-nominated director whose portfolio includes work for CBBC, Official Chart show, music promos and commercials
  • Matthew Moss has worked on feature films The WifeAvengers: Infinity WarAll the Money in the World and the TV show Outlander
  • Paul Wright’s first feature film, For Those in Peril, was selected for the Cannes Film Festival and chosen to compete in Critics’ Week

Student final year films consistently play in festivals worldwide and have won awards including BAFTA Scotland New Talent and Royal Television Society (Scotland) Awards.



Read our Review article with Oscar nominated and BAFTA winning screenwriter of 1917, Krysty Wilson-Cairns. Dr Andy Dougan, RCS Film Lecturer, discovers Krysty’s recent work and learns how RCS prepared her for a career in film.

Learn From The Best

Krysty Wilson-Cairns shares her top tips on making it as a screenwriter.

Virtual Tour

Explore the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in our 360 virtual tour. You’ll be able to see our rehearsal and practice rooms, professional performance venues, production workshops, editing suite, ballet studios and more.


Admissions process

Our admissions processes are designed to be fair, transparent and efficient. The audition/interview approach serves the dual nature of allowing the panel to assess first-hand an applicant’s suitability for their chosen programme and it also affords the applicant the opportunity to gain a deeper insight into the nature of that programme and the opportunities offered by the RCS.

In arriving at its recommendation, the audition/interview panel will take account of all aspects of the applicant’s profile i.e.:

  • Performance at audition/interview
  • Commitment to the particular programme
  • Potential to benefit from the programme
  • Academic qualifications
  • Personal statement
  • Performance qualifications
  • Performance/practical experience
  • References
  • Contextualised data
General academic entrance requirements
  • Scottish Highers — 3 passes (grade C or above)
  • A Levels — 2 passes
  • International Baccalaureate — minimum score of 24 with 3 subjects at Higher Level
  • Recognised equivalences (EU and International Entry Requirements)

We welcome the Scottish Baccalaureate and will accept combinations of Highers and Advanced Highers.

We offer a flexible approach to students taking Higher over more than one academic year and/or who achieve their qualifications in more than one sitting.

Language of study

The language of study is English. Applicants who first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of proficiency in English. We accept the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Level 6.5 (with no component below 5.5) is required.

Direct entry

Applications for direct entry beyond Year 1 will be considered on a case-by-case basis and in accordance with the Royal Conservatoire’s Recognition of Prior (Experiential) Learning policy. If you wish to apply for direct entry, please mark the point of entry on UCAS Conservatoires application as 2 or 3.

Non-standard entry

We welcome applications from individuals whose academic qualifications or English language qualifications do not match (in terms of equivalence) or fall short of the normal entrance requirements, where specified*. Having satisfied the Audition Panel that they meet the selection criteria and demonstrated that they have the capacity to pursue the proposed course of study, such applicants will be considered through examination of contextualised data provided in accordance with the Non-Standard Entry Policy. The appropriate Head of Department/ Programme will make a case in support of the applicant for consideration by the Directors of the Schools and Convener of the Quality and Standards Committee.

*Note that UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) imposes minimum English Language qualifications in respect of international (non-EU) applicants who require a Tier 4 Visa to study in the UK.

Mature students

RCS welcomes applications from mature students, i.e. students over the age of 21 at entry to the programme. Whilst the selection procedures will still be applied, consideration will be given to appropriate artistic experience not normally expected in school leavers, which is deemed to compensate for any lack of traditional entrance qualifications.

Successful mature applicants, as for all other applicants, must convince auditioning panels that they have the ability and potential to cope with the demands of the programme. Their progress, especially in the early stages of the programme, will be closely monitored and appropriate advice and support given.


Apply via UCAS Conservatoires

Applications are made through UCAS Conservatoires website. The UCAS Conservatoires application system is separate from the main UCAS undergraduate application system. If you wish to apply to conservatoires and universities within UCAS, you will need to register for both services.

There is a UCAS application fee of £27.50 to register to use UCAS Conservatoires.

To begin a new UCAS Conservatoires application, you will need to register. You can read the UCAS Conservatoires’ advice on completing the UCAS Conservatoires application.

If you need assistance with your application, you can contact UCAS Conservatoires team by telephoning (Monday to Friday, 8.30 — 18.00). Phone 0371 468 0470 from within the UK or +44 330 3330 232 if you are calling from overseas.

Application deadline date

The closing date for all on time undergraduate applications from Scotland and the rest of the UK is 31 January 2024. If you submit your application after this date, we cannot guarantee that you will be invited to audition.

The closing date for EU and International applications is 31 January 2024. If you do consider to submit a late application, please contact in the first instance to check we are accepting late applications. Late applications will be considered on a case by case basis.

We do not offer deferred entry. If you wish to commence in 2025, you must apply next year.

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland institution code is R58. You will also require the following programme code to apply:

BA Filmmaking: 200F 

Application fee

There is a UCAS Conservatoires application fee of £27.50. In addition to the application fee, each conservatoire charges an audition/interview assessment administration fee. For RCS, the audition/interview assessment administration fee is £55 per programme applied for. Fees are not refundable. The fees are paid via the UCAS Conservatoires website and not directly to RCS.

Audition/Interview Assessment Administration fee

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland charges an audition/interview assessment administration fee of £55 per course.

We recognise that auditioning and interviewing for conservatoires, drama and ballet schools can be costly. The audition assessment administration fee charge allows us to offer a thorough and positive experience to all applicants and we encourage you to get in touch to ask the panel questions and find out more about the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to see if it is the best place for you.

We are committed to ensuring fair access to a conservatoire education for students who have the talent and potential to benefit from it, regardless of their background. In support of this, audition fee waivers are offered to applicants whom financial hardship may be a barrier to auditioning. Please see the audition fee waivers document for more information.


It is your responsibility to ask two separate referees to write references and ensure that these are sent to RCS.

The references must be written by two different people and we will not accept references from family, other relatives or close friends. You can submit your UCAS Conservatoires application form and send your references at a later date, but they must be received prior to your audition date.

UCAS Conservatoires provides reference forms for you to download and send to your referees for completion.

BA Filmmaking submissions and interview

Details on what to prepare for your submission/interview for 2024/25 entry will be available here shortly and clearly communicated to all applicants in advance of their audition dates.

Following your interview

All decisions will be posted on UCAS Conservatoires following your audition via UCAS Conservatoires Track,  (you will need your username and password). You will also receive notification from UCAS Conservatoires when decisions on all your choices are available.

Please see below for an explanation of UCAS Conservatoires codes:

Guaranteed Unconditional (GU) RCS is satisfied from the information you have given, that you have already met the conditions for entry. Unless your application and/or qualification are subsequently shown to be fraudulent, a guaranteed unconditional offer is binding.

Guaranteed Conditional (GC) RCS has made the offer subject to you meeting certain conditions such as examination results. Conditions can be viewed via UCAS Conservatoires Track. Unless your application and/or qualifications are subsequently shown to be fraudulent, the offer is binding if you accept the offer and meet the conditions. You must meet the conditions of the offer by 31 August 2024, unless an earlier date is specified. If your conditions include obtaining IELTS (English Language test), you must meet this condition by 31 May 2024.

Reserve Unconditional (VU) RCS is satisfied from the information you have given, that you have already met the conditions for entry and you have been offered a place on our reserve pool.

Reserve Conditional (VC) RCS has offered a place on its reserve pool subject to you meeting certain conditions such as examination results. Conditions can be viewed via UCAS Conservatoires Track.

Unsuccessful (R) RCS does not wish to offer you any type of a place.

Reserve outcomes

If you have received a ‘reserve’ outcome, it means that RCS is not able to offer you a guaranteed place at the time of making our decision.

A ‘reserve’ outcome indicates that RCS would like the opportunity to review its outcome to you in the light of acceptances/declines to its guaranteed offers. You will become part of a ‘pool’ of ‘reserve’ candidates and RCS may choose to make you a guaranteed offer if a suitable place becomes available. Reserve does not mean that a place has been ‘reserved’ for you.

If RCS chooses not to make you a guaranteed offer, you will not have a place to start at RCS.
If you have been given a ‘reserve’ outcome, in order to be considered for a guaranteed place (should one become available) you will need to accept the outcome (and meet any conditions if applicable).

Reserve outcomes remain active until the end of August. The decision to wait and see whether a guaranteed place becomes available, or to accept an offer at another conservatoire is entirely at your discretion. As soon as your situation changes, this is updated on UCAS Conservatoires.

Replying to offers

As soon as a decision is made, UCAS Conservatoires will let you know. You must reply online via UCAS Conservatoires Track. Your reply date is displayed on Track. If you do not reply by the date given, your offers will be declined automatically. The reply date may be different to other applicants as it is based on when you receive your last decision.

Last decision by Your reply date is
3 January 2024 1 February 2024
15 March 2024 10 April 2024
15 May 2024 5 June 2024
10 July 2024 24 July 2024
1 August 2024 10 September 2024

Please see the UCAS Conservatoires website for more information on replying to offers. If you make an application through UCAS Cons