175 Years of History

175 Years of History

1847 – Royal Conservatoire of Scotland opens as Glasgow Athenaeum

1886 – Drama is added to school curriculum

1929 – Scottish National Academy of Music is formed from the School of Music

1944 – King George VI approves the prefix ‘Royal’ in recognition of the school’s international standing, making it the ‘Royal Scottish Academy of Music’. His wife, Queen Elizabeth assumed the role of Patron, a role she continued as Queen Mother until 2002

1950 – The Glasgow College of Dramatic Art is created

1962 – First television studio located within a UK drama school

1968 – The school is renamed the ‘Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama’

1994 – RCS becomes the first UK conservatoire to be awarded its own degree-awarding powers by the Privy Council

2001 – First research students are recruited

2002 – Upon the death of the Queen Mother, HRH, The Prince Charles assumes the role of Patron

2011 – The institution becomes the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to reflect our national growth and the degrees offered across the whole of the performing arts

2021 – RCS is ranked in the world top three for performing arts education in the QS World University Rankings

2022 – 175 years old!

175 years – shop our new collection

In celebration of 175 years, browse our merchandise and take home a special anniversary keepsake.


Visit our shop


Dive into our Archives and Collections

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland has amassed an archive of international acclaim that boasts more than a million items, including one of the world’s most significant collections of musical instruments with nearly 1000 pieces.

A visit to Archives and Collections is like taking a step back in time, at every turn there is something new and exciting to discover; interesting and unusual treasures from performance programmes, press cuttings and photographs alongside student and staff records, manuscripts and artworks.

Our archives are preserved by Stuart Harris-Logan, Keeper of Archives and Collections at the Royal Conservatoire.

The archive recently turned ten years old, explore ten highlights from our collection.

A Campus Built For The Performing Arts

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.

Here’s to the next 175!


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Visit our Support Us page to find out how you can help.