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Key facts

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland ranked in World Top Five for Performing Arts Education (QS World Rankings 2018)

Degree programmes

We have 1,124 students: 821 undergraduate; 274 postgraduate; 29 postgraduate research.

49% of our students are from Scotland, 21% from the rest of the UK, 15% are from the EU and the rest are international; 58 different countries in total.

We have a high demand for all our places; the highest is BA Acting with an average of 41 students applying for every place.

Lifelong Learning

We provide open access courses to adults and young people throughout the year. In 2012/13 2534 adults and young people attended our short courses and summer schools. In 2014 our summer school provision grew from 48 to 70 courses for adults.

Junior Conservatoire

Our Junior Conservatoire runs on weekends and evenings during term time and provides specialist music, film, dance, production and drama education to 520 talented students aged 7 – 18.

Our music students benefit from individual lessons with Conservatoire teachers and they have the opportunity to play in the Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Wind Orchestra or the Big Band, sing in the Choir or take part in music workshops.

Dance students learn in state-of-the-art and award-winning facilities at the Wallace Studios at Speirs Locks. Students are taught in small class sizes to ensure they receive intensive detailed one-to-one teaching.

Drama students learn technical movement, vocal skills, script analysis and characterisation choices and participate in masterclasses with visiting performers, degree students and RCS lecturers. Students also have the opportunity to perform in front of a public audience as part of an ensemble.

The Production course allows students to learn about all the aspects of production from set and costume design to lighting, sound and stage technology. Students also get the opportunity to work with undergraduate students on live productions and have access to our workshops fitted with specialist machinery, equipment and design studios.

The Junior Conservatoire Film course is the only course of its kind in Scotland, aiming to help young people interested in developing the skills needed to study filmmaking at undergraduate level. Students learn from staff and alumni who have achieved national recognition at the BAFTA Scotland awards and the Celtic Media Festival and work with professional industry cameras.


Musicworks works alongside local authorities, schools and community organisations at a grass roots level. It operates 12 centres throughout Scotland providing music education to 800 children and staging 45 concerts a year. 2,000 children benefit from shorter term and workshop programmes.

Our Facilities

We have an impressive range of facilities in both Renfrew Street and Wallace Studios:

  • Ninety music practice spaces, including a suite of new rooms that opened in early 2017
  • Nineteen rehearsal rooms including eight large rooms where students can complete fully-staged rehearsals before transferring to the main stage
  • Five licensed performance spaces which stage around 500 performances every year
  • Four dance studios with piano, playback and dressing rooms
  • Three recording studios and a dedicated jazz studio and electroacoustic studio
  • Two cafes run by Where The Monkey Sleeps serving healthy and delicious food
  • One opera studio with full production lighting and an advanced sound system
  • A production workshop with paintshop and wardrobe department
  • An IT suite and library that houses one of the most comprehensive collections on performing arts in the UK

Our Staff

We have 768 staff – 40% are full time. Our core staff are an expert in their own field and many are active practitioners. Our part-time staff are all professional artists who provide expert tuition on a one-to-one and group basis. Our students’ learning is supplemented through an extensive network of visiting practitioners.

Our International Fellows

Our international fellows are some of the most renowned musicians and theatre practitioners in the world. Each Fellow works with our students for around three weeks every year. They are:

Brodsky Quartet Chamber Music
Jane Eaglen Vocal Studies
Ian Bousfield Trombone
Ilya Gringolts Violin
Peter Manning Strings
Chris Lamb Timpani and Percussion
Lorna McGhee Flute
Thomas Martin Double Bass
Malcolm Martineau Accompaniment
Steven Osborne Piano
Donald Runnicles Conducting
Eric Sammut Marimba
Pavel Steidl Guitar
Nadine George Voice
La Famille LeCoq Physical Theatre
Angela De Castro Clowning


Our Research

The 2014 REF showed that more than two-thirds of our research is classified as world-leading or internationally excellent and suggested our research in music and drama has the strongest impact of Scottish work in this field. The mainstays of research are practice-based, artistic research, composition and applied research and consultancy.

Performances and Ensembles

We stage around 500 performances by staff, students and visiting artists in our venues at Renfrew Street. Our ensembles include Chamber Choir, Symphony Orchestra, Strings Orchestra, Wind Orchestra, Academy Brass, Stevenson Winds and Song Studio.

Our Estate

In 2017 we opened our Creative Campus – a suite of new music practice rooms – as part of our 170th-anniversary celebrations.

In September 2010, we opened our new premises at Garscube Road at a cost of £6m. The complex – known as The Wallace Studios at Speirs Locks – includes specialist dance rehearsal space, technical construction workshops, props and wardrobe facilities and additional teaching and office accommodation. We have invested a further £2.5m in refurbishing and improving our Renfrew Street campus with the creation of a digital media suite, developing additional recording studio facilities, refurbishing performance spaces and creating additional teaching and social spaces.