An Overview


The three year BA Acting Programme at RCS is one of the best professional actor training programmes in the UK. We accept 24 students with outstanding potential and commitment who are dedicated to a performing career from over 1,800 applicants each year. Graduates of the programme have progressed to work extensively in the industry and alumni includes household names such as Amy Conachan, Laura Donnelly, Sam Heughan, Katie Leung, Richard Madden, James McAvoy and Ncuti Gatwa.

You will work intensively with our expert teaching staff on developing your skills in acting, voice and movement to equip you for a career in film, television and theatre.

Our movement specialists are trained in Lecoq technique, and will help you acquire some of the best movement for actors in UK actor training, facilitating everything from stagecraft to understanding techniques used in CGI and green screen. You will be working with the Centre for Voice in Performance (the national centre of excellence for teaching, practice, and research) using techniques developed by voice expert Nadine George.

We are the only UK conservatoire that offers training in all performance disciplines and you will have the opportunity to collaborate with your peers, formally and informally, in dance, music, production, and film. As an acting student you will have the opportunity to collaborate on film projects with students from the Film department.

Institution Code:


Programme Code:


UK Deadline:

25 January 2023

International Deadline:

25 January 2023

Programme Structure

You will be introduced to the three disciplines of Acting, Voice and Movement.

In Acting you will explore inner life, observed behaviour, relationships and text.

In Voice, you will be introduced to Nadine George voice work, and explore accents, dialects and your singing voice.

In Movement, you will develop your physical technique through Lecoq-based classes, dance and acrobatics. You will also have classes in Shakespeare, screen and radio technique.

You will explore Shakespeare further through workshops and public performances. You will continue to develop your screen and radio technique, and explore new approaches to theatre-making and new writing.

Second year students are given the opportunity to collaborate with peers to explore new and devised work in the On the Verge festival. A series of workshops will allow you to extend your movement skills in physical theatre, and introduce you to verbatim theatre and new writing.

You will also take part in professional practice classes to develop the essential skills required for the acting industry.

You will perform to public audiences in a variety of genres including modern adaptations of classic plays and contemporary texts, as well as participating in radio and screen projects.

You will have the opportunity to perform in industry showcases to an audience of employers, casting directors and agents.

Through the course of your final year, you will develop your employability and entrepreneurial skills, equipping you to manage your career as a professional actor.

Additional staff and visiting lecturers

Regular visiting lecturers and industry professionals

  • Mark Stevenson (Acting)
  • John Kazek (Acting)
  • Lucianne McEvoy (Acting)
  • Kerry McLellan (Dance)
  • Andrew MacGregor (Shakespeare for Schools)
  • David Hayman Jr (Screen Acting)
  • Kenny Glenaan (Screen Acting)
  • Laura Donnelly (Professional Practice)
  • Simone Pereira Hind (Professional Practice)
  • Sophie Holden (Professional Practice)
  • Raymond Short (Stage Combat)

Visiting directors

  • Sara Brodie
  • Peter Collins
  • Debbie Hannan
  • Finn den Hertog
  • Guy Hollands
  • Matthew Lenton
  • Becky Hope Palmer
  • Mark Thomson
  • Meghan Tyler

Masterclasses and international workshops

  • Paola Rizza (Lecoq School)
  • Nadine George (Voice Centre International)
  • Giles Havergal (Shakespeare)
  • Dominic Hill (Shakespeare)

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)

  • 85% of graduates secured agent representation within one month of graduation in 2019
  • Industry showcases in Glasgow and London
  • New York Industry Week for North American students
  • Excellent staff-student ratio
  • Small class sizes with 12 students per class
  • Specialist voice training based on the work of Nadine George
  • Specialist movement training based on the work of Jacques Lecoq
  • Recent masterclasses include Mercy Ojelade, Giles Havergal CBE, Paola Rizza, Anne Bérélowitch, Finn den Hertog and Vicky Manderson
  • International exchange opportunities include programmes with the Paris Conservatoire, Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh and the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts
  • International performing opportunities; students have recently performed in festivals in Spoleto (Italy), Rome, Paris, St Petersburg and Brno (Czech Republic)
  • Opportunity to participate in the Sam Wannamaker Festival at the Globe Theatre, the BBC Carleton Hobbs Radio competition and Royal Shakespeare Company workshops


Industry Partnerships

Our unrivalled professional connections result in numerous work opportunities for our students. Collaborative professional partnerships include the BBC, the National Theatre of Scotland, and the Citizens Theatre.

In your final year you are actively encouraged to seek professional work. As well as aiming to give you a full practical training, our goal is to prepare you for a long and successful career. We focus on developing you as a creative artist, giving you a sound grounding to continue that development throughout your working life. You will undertake professional development modules, ensuring that you graduate as a truly entrepreneurial industry-ready actor, with all the contacts you need, and a great deal of professional experience.

International Partnerships

You will have the opportunity to participate in our European and International activities. Recently these have included performances at the European Young Theatre at the Festival Dei Due Mondi, Spoleto (Italy), the International Festival of Theatre Schools SETKANI/ENCOUNTER in Brno (Czech Republic) and the World Theatre Games in St Petersburg (Russia).

You can take advantage of our participation in the Erasmus scheme and our exchange agreements with Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania (USA) and Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA).

In addition we are a member of the European Union of Theatre Schools and Academies (E:UTSA) which provides numerous possibilities for student-led work to be shared with our European partners.

Graduate Destinations


Our graduates work in all aspects of the performance industry, primarily as professional actors in theatre, film, television and radio. Many household names have studied with us including James McAvoy, Sam Heughan, Katie Leung, Alexandra Silber, Mark Bonnar, Emun Elliott, Laura Donnelly, John Hannah, Richard Madden, Colin Morgan, Pearl Appleby, Daniela Nardini, Crystal Clark, Jack Lowden, Amy Conachan, Robert Carlyle, Michelle Gomez, Billy Boyd and Ncuti Gatwa.

You can see our graduates and alumni perform at The Royal National Theatre London, National Theatre of Scotland, Royal Shakespeare Company, The Globe, London West End, Broadway, Citizens Theatre Glasgow, Tron Theatre Glasgow, Oran Mor Glasgow, Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, Dundee Rep, Vanishing Point Theatre Company, Traverse Theatre Edinburgh, The Almeida London, The Gate London, The Royal Court London, Arcola Theatre Company London, The Young Vic London.

BBC (Radio and Screen), Netflix, Channel 4, ITV, STV, and film production companies are also regular employers of our graduates.

Acting graduates are also found in a range of other influential roles in the industry, working as agents, directors, casting directors, writers, producers and educators.


Sam Heughan

Anneika Rose

Alan Cumming

Richard Madden

Robert Carlyle

Jack Lowden

Colin Morgan



2020 started and ended on a high note for actor Anna Russell-Martin, read our article to discover what Anna has been working on since graduating.

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 whose 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 7.5 with a score of speaking 7.5 (with no component below 5.5) is required.

Direct entry

Unfortunately, we do not offer direct entry for the BA Acting course. If you would like to apply, please see the audition requirements for the current application cycle.

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 BA Acting applications is 25 January 2023.  If you submit your application after this date, we cannot guarantee that your application will be reviewed by the audition panel. If you do want to submit a late application, you must contact in the first instance to check we are accepting late applications.

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 Acting: W410 — Drama Performance

Application fee

There is a UCAS Conservatoires application fee of £26.50. In addition to the application fee, each conservatoire charges an audition assessment administration fee. For RCS, the audition 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 Assessment Administration fee

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland charges an audition 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.

Selection process

Our BA Acting auditions consist of four rounds in total. The first and second rounds are online (first recorded, second live and online) for all applicants, and the subsequent rounds will be either online or in-person dependent on your personal circumstances and governmental guidance at the time. We have many years of experience of conducting online auditions and have a well-established format and process in place, so no applicant will be disadvantaged by auditioning in this manner. We will continue to respond to ongoing governmental guidance as to how we can hold in-person auditions in a way that is safe for our applicants as well as staff, and these will be subject to change dependent on alterations in governmental advice.

The deadline for all applicants is 25 January 2023. If you submit your application after this date, we cannot guarantee that it will be reviewed.


Our BA Acting auditions consist of four rounds in total. The first and second rounds are online (first recorded, second live and online) for all applicants, and the subsequent rounds will be either online or in-person dependent on your personal circumstances and governmental guidance at the time. We have many years of experience of conducting online auditions and have a well-established format and process in place, so no applicant will be disadvantaged by auditioning in this manner. We will continue to respond to ongoing governmental guidance as to how we can hold in-person auditions in a way that is safe for our applicants as well as staff, and these will be subject to change dependent on alterations in governmental advice.

All BA Acting first round auditions will take place via audition recording. The deadline dates to apply and submit your audition recording can be found below:


UCAS Conservatoires Application Deadline: Wednesday 25 January 2023 

Acceptd Recording Submission Deadline: Tuesday 31 January 2023


Once you submit your UCAS Conservatoires application, please then upload your audition recording to Acceptd: Details on what to prepare for your recording and subsequent auditions if appropriate can be found below:


Round 1: Recorded Submission on Acceptd:

For your recording, please prepare two contrasting speeches, between one and a half minutes and two minutes in length.

Choice of monologue (speech)

One of your audition pieces can be a classical speech from the Elizabethan/Jacobean time period. This could be from Shakespeare or one of his contemporaries. The other speech can be a modern/contemporary* piece of your own choice. If you prefer, you can also choose two modern/contemporary* speeches.

Read plenty of plays in order to find the best speeches for you. The panel may ask you about the play as well as the monologue you have chosen to perform. Try to find a character with whom you identify – she/he/they do not have to be similar to you, but you should be able to empathise with the thoughts, feelings and actions implied by the text. Take plenty of time to prepare. Read the whole play a number of times. Learn the words perfectly and rehearse the pieces thoroughly. Do not change your mind at the last minute and try to prepare a new choice without adequate preparation time. As you prepare, consider carefully what kind of person the character is, what they want to achieve, and how they go about getting what they want. Why do they say those particular words at that moment – how do they want to change the attitude or behaviour of the listener?  What kind of tactics do they use?

*The modern/contemporary monologue

It is safe to consider anything written in the latter half of the twentieth century onwards to be contemporary. However, even a period play written in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century -if it has been adapted by a living playwright – is considered as contemporary. So for example – Inua Ellam’s adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters or Zinnie Harris’ adaptation of Strindberg’s Miss Julie would both be fine. A good rule is if the playwright is alive, or could theoretically still be alive if they died young, then you can consider the work as contemporary. Of course, finding a speech from a relatively new work (e.g. from the last ten years or so) gives us some indication of your knowledge, understanding and passion for theatre today, so the more recent the work, the better.

Round 2: Online Live Audition and Interview

For your live online audition, please prepare two monologues, between one and a half minutes and 2 minutes in length. Your monologues can be the same monologues you prepared in your initial recorded submission. The panel will re-direct one of these speeches, and a short interview will follow. Please allow up to 20 minutes for your audition slot in total.


Round 3: In-Person or Online Workshop and Scene Work  

This audition can take place online as well as in-person in Glasgow or in London dependent on your preference and location. For th