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:

R58

Programme Code:

200F

UK Deadline:

31 January 2023

International Deadline:

31 March 2023

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 in the World Top 10 for performing arts education 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020, 2021 and 2022 (QS World Rankings)

  • 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).

 

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 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.

RCS PARTNERS WITH VUE GLASGOW

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

RCS ALUMNI

SCREEN QUEEN

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.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

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.

HOW TO APPLY

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 2023. 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 2023. If you do consider to submit a late application, please contact admissions@rcs.ac.uk 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 2024, 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.

References

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

Please prepare the following for your BA Filmmaking online interview and submit this to Acceptd at least 10 working days prior to your scheduled interview date. When you apply via UCAS Conservatoires, you will be e-mailed directly with an interview date and time in due course. The submissions you upload to Acceptd will be discussed with you at your interview.

 

Short Scripted Drama

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 ‘Justice’. Please submit the script of the film on Acceptd – this should be engaging to the reader. Your film should adhere to the following guidelines:
    • The film should be no more than 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 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 voiceover, 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 regulation
    • If it has not been possible to film your script, please do submit your script only for this part

Written Exercise – Collaboration

  • Please upload a short written piece to Acceptd which describes your role in a collaborative experience. What did you bring to the project? What did you learn from working with others? This piece should be 300 – 500 words long.

Submission of Previous Work

  • If you have any previous work, please send a link to a maximum of two pieces. Please make sure your role(s) on the projects are clear. If you have not made any work before this point, please do not worry and just let us know – the interview will commence regardless.
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 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 2023 1 February 2023
15 March 2023 11 April 2023
15 May 2023 1 June 2023
11 July 2023 27 July 2023
2 August 2023 8 September 2023

Please see the UCAS Conservatoires website for more information on replying to offers. If you make an application through UCAS Conservatoires, UCAS or UCAS Teacher Training, you cannot hold more than one confirmed place. A confirmed place in UCAS Conservatoires is a guaranteed unconditional offer as your first choice (GU1) and in UCAS and UCAS Teacher Training it is an unconditional firm (UF) place. If you receive more than one confirmed place, UCAS will ask you to accept one offer and withdraw from any others.

Policy

We have a number of policies and statements which you should read when applying to study at the Royal Conservatoire.

Please select the links below to read each policy.

Fees and scholarship

Information for Scottish students

The Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) will pay tuition fees for all eligible full-time Scottish-based and other non-UK undergraduate EU students, who are studying in Scotland at degree level for the first time. Students should apply to SAAS for payment of tuition fees even if they are not applying for any other means of support. Eligible students can also apply for student loans through SAAS. For further advice and to check eligibility contact SAAS directly on 0300 555 0505 or visit the SAAS website.

Information for Rest of UK students

Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland studying in Scotland will be eligible for the same funding/loan package that they would benefit from if they attended an institution in their home country. For further advice please visit student finance England , student financeWales , or student finance Northern Ireland as appropriate.

Information for EU students

The Royal Conservatoire is resolutely international in outlook and we celebrate and are enriched by the diversity of our community of students and staff. Students from across the globe are welcome and valued members of the RCS community and we continue to welcome applicants from across the EU and throughout the world.

QWhat is the fee situation for EU students?

A: On July 9 2020, Scotland’s Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, Richard Lochhead announced changes to the fee regime for EU students studying in Scotland. From 2021/22, all EU students commencing study in Scotland will pay fees at the International rate.

Q: I’m an EU student looking to start my studies in 2022-23. How does this impact me?

A: From 2021/22, all EU students commencing study in Scotland will pay fees at the International rate.

Only EU nationals who are ‘settled’ or ‘pre-settled’ in the UK will remain eligible to apply for home tuition fees providing they meet the residency conditions.

Other EU nationals and associated groups, starting a course of study in academic year 2021-22 or later, are not eligible to apply to SAAS for tuition fee support.

Because of a long-standing agreement between the UK and Republic of Ireland, new students from the Republic of Ireland starting their studies in 2022-23 will be eligible to pay the rest of UK (RUK) fee and will be able to access a tuition fee loan from SAAS.

Please also see the SAAS website for more information.

Scholarships

Any potential student who auditions for a place at the Royal Conservatoire will automatically be considered for a scholarship. They are awarded on a combination of talent, potential and financial need. More information about Scholarships is available on our Fees and Funding page.

Sources of external funding

For more information about alternative funding sources, including external scholarships and bursaries, please visit Fees and Funding.

The Conservatoire’s International and Student Experience team are available to advise and assist applicants and current students in respect of queries about funding your studies at the Conservatoire. Please email or telephone +44 (0)141 270 8281/ +44 (0)141 270 8223 for further information.

Cost of Living and Associated Programme Costs

Investing in your future is important and you need to consider the cost of your tuition as well as the cost of living during your studies. In addition to tuition fees, it is estimated that you will need between £10,000 and £12,000 per year to live in Glasgow, plus programme costs. Associated programme costs can be found on our Finance page.

Tuition fees for academic year 2022-23

Scottish Students

£1,820

Rest of UK (RUK) Students

£9,250

International (including EU)

£19,314

From 21/22 academic year all EU students commencing study in Scotland will pay fees at the International rate.