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:

15 February 2022 (Closed for Scottish applicants)

International Deadline:

31 March 2022

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

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.

Module 1

Editing 2

Module 2

Film Project 2

Module 3

Film Studies 2

Module 4

Production and Directing 2

Module 5

Sound 2

Module 6

Visual Storytelling 2

Module 7

Writing 2

Module 8

Conservatoire-wide options modules

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.

Module 1

Final Year Film

Module 2

Internal Marketplace

Module 3

Professional Development

Module 4

Research Project

Module 5

Writing 3

Module 6

Conservatoire-wide options modules

Why choose us?


The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is in the World Top 10 for performing arts education 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020, 2021 and 2022 (QS World Rankings)

  • 93.4% of graduate respondents are in employment or further study (HESA, 2016/17)
  • 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.

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).



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 sold her science fiction script Aether to a major studio and is currently adapting the novel The Voyeur’s Motel which will be directed by Sam Mendes; in 2017 she was named as one of Forbes 30 under 30
  • 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.


The partnership with Vue Glasgow St Enoch provides practical hands-on experience and creative opportunities for students on the BA Filmmaking degree. It includes exclusive access to showcase and edit work on the big screen as well as free film passes for a year.

Pass the popcorn!

© Sandy Young



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 £26.50 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 2022. 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 March 2022. 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 2023, 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 £26.50. 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.

The BA Filmmaking interview

Please prepare the following for your BA Filmmaking online interview and submit this on Acceptd at least 10 days prior to your interview date (you will be emailed directly with an interview date and time)

1. Please create a short scripted drama based on the guidelines given below:

At RCS our core work is in scripted drama and we invite you to create a short script on the theme ‘Birth’. Please submit the script of the film – this should be engaging to the reader.

Your film should adhere to the following guidelines;

The film should be 3 minutes in length (or as near as). Please just use a final card that states your role/s in the production, with no credits for anyone else. This should hold for no longer than 5 seconds.
Maximum of 1-2 actors
There must be at least one line of sync dialogue. Sync dialogue means we need to be able to see the actor’s mouth move in sync with the line. It is not narration or voice-over, although these may be used in other parts of the film.
The location can be all interior or all exterior, or both
No animation – ideas must be live action

All scripts must fall within the bounds of compliance rules in terms of taste and decency. The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland has the right to reject a script or film submission that it deems not in compliance with taste and decency regulations.

If it has not been possible to film your script, please do submit your script only for this part.

2) If you have any previous work please send a link to a maximum of two pieces. Please make sure it is clear your role/s on the projects. If you have not made any work before this point, please do not worry and just let us know. The interview will commence regardless.

3) Film Studies Written Component

Critical thinking and evaluation are very important components of the BA Filmmaking course.  As well as developing your narrative skills, and your technical skills along with your collaborative nature, we also expect you to be able to think critically. We expect you to be able to deconstruct the work of others, analyse it, learn from it, and therefore improve your own practice.

Critical thinking is not just about saying one film is good or another is bad; it is about exploring your relationship with a visual text. How does it make you feel? Do you like it or dislike it? More importantly how do filmmakers use the tools at their disposal to create these feelings? Is there a link between the craft skills on display and the mood the filmmaker wants to create?

These sort of issues form the core of our Film Studies modules in the first two years of the course and we would expect them to figure prominently in your final year research project. Therefore, we are interested in the filmmakers who have influenced you so far, or whose work you especially admire. It is good for us to know the sort of applicant you are. We want to know whether you are a film fan, which is good, or whether you are a potential film maker, which is better.

To benchmark your thinking and your range of viewing we want you to submit a list of your five favourite film directors. We then want you to submit a short essay on the filmmaker on the list whose work you admire most. The essay should be no less than 300 words and no more than 500 words. You need to indicate the word count at the end of the piece.

The important thing to remember is that this is a personal view; there is no right or wrong. It is perfectly acceptable, for example, to admire a director who is not necessarily well regarded providing you can express that view clearly and constructively and are able to defend your opinion. Rudeness for its own sake is not helpful; reasoned opposition however is much more acceptable.

Try not to waste words on simply rehashing movie plots; we are probably familiar with most of the films you are likely to talk about and if not we can find out for ourselves. Consider context. Do some research; why might you have chosen this director? Try to find something about the filmmaker that impresses you enough to stimulate your critical faculties.

We will discuss your essay when we see you at interview. We may also discuss other directors on the list so make sure you are able to talk about them all.

Your Film Studies Written Component and Script must also be uploaded to Acceptd.

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, unless an earlier date is specified. If your conditions include obtaining IELTS (English Language test), you must meet this condition by 31 May.

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