Digital Hub
X

BA Acting

Introduction

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 1,000 applicants each year. Graduates of the programme have progressed to work extensively in the industry and alumni includes household names such as James McAvoy, David Tennant, Elaine C Smith and Richard Madden.

Specialist education
Over the three-year programme 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 screen. As an acting student you will have the opportunity to collaborate on film projects with students from the Screen department.

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.

As a student you will also be invited to participate in several national competitions including the Spotlight Showcase, The Sam Wanamaker Festival, The BBC Carleton Hobbs Radio Drama Award, Sir John Gielgud Bursary, and The Laurence Olivier Bursary, all of which have been awarded to BA Acting students.

International opportunities
You will have the opportunity to participate in our European and International activities. Recently these have included performances at the International Theatre Schools Festival in Warsaw, the Kaohsiung Spring Arts Festival in Taiwan, European Young Theatre at the Festival Dei Due Mondi, Spoleto, the International Festival of Theatre Schools SETKÁNÍ/ENCOUNTER in Brno and the World Theatre Games in St Petersburg, Russia. You can take advantage of our participation in the Erasmus scheme and our exchange agreement with Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania. 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.

Our BA Acting Showcase, held in both Glasgow and London is very highly regarded in the industry, and attended by agents, casting directors and potential employers. Additionally, North American students are offered a showcase in New York during their final trimester of study.

Interested?

Find out more about what to expect at your Acting audition with this short video from Acting Lecturer Ali de Souza:

Introduction

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 1,000 applicants each year. Graduates of the programme have progressed to work extensively in the industry and alumni includes household names such as James McAvoy, David Tennant, Elaine C Smith and Richard Madden.

Specialist education
Over the three-year programme 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 screen. As an acting student you will have the opportunity to collaborate on film projects with students from the Screen department.

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.

As a student you will also be invited to participate in several national competitions including the Spotlight Showcase, The Sam Wanamaker Festival, The BBC Carleton Hobbs Radio Drama Award, Sir John Gielgud Bursary, and The Laurence Olivier Bursary, all of which have been awarded to BA Acting students.

International opportunities
You will have the opportunity to participate in our European and International activities. Recently these have included performances at the International Theatre Schools Festival in Warsaw, the Kaohsiung Spring Arts Festival in Taiwan, European Young Theatre at the Festival Dei Due Mondi, Spoleto, the International Festival of Theatre Schools SETKÁNÍ/ENCOUNTER in Brno and the World Theatre Games in St Petersburg, Russia. You can take advantage of our participation in the Erasmus scheme and our exchange agreement with Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania. 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.

Our BA Acting Showcase, held in both Glasgow and London is very highly regarded in the industry, and attended by agents, casting directors and potential employers. Additionally, North American students are offered a showcase in New York during their final trimester of study.

Interested?

Find out more about what to expect at your Acting audition with this short video from Acting Lecturer Ali de Souza:

Programme structure

First year

BA Acting Level 1 explores the three main disciplines of Acting, Voice and Movement.

Acting

In acting classes and rehearsals you will:

  • be introduced to Stanislavsky theory and practice
  • investigate character, narrative, relationships and actions
  • be introduced to Shakespeare through practical classes
  • have the opportunity to share your work with staff and students in studio presentations
  • undertake additional classes in radio and screen technique

Voice

In voice classes you will:

  • develop technical skills in voice through practical application to spoken text and song
  • work on accents, dialects, and phonetics
  • be introduced to basic anatomy and physiology

Movement

In movement classes you will:

  • be introduced to a range of movement techniques: Lecoq, ballet, contemporary dance and acrobatics
  • develop strength, agility, co-ordination, balance and alignment

Acting, Voice and Movement are assessed through continuous observation of your working process and through performance.

In Level 1 you will also take classes in theatre history and reflective practice, and have the opportunity to collaborate with other first years from every discipline on offer at RCS.

Second year

BA Acting Level 2 continues your training with advanced techniques and further exploration through the integration of acting, voice and movement in three principal areas: Classical Text (Shakespeare), New Work and Acting for Radio and Screen. In addition you are introduced to the world of work through Professional Practice.

Classical Text (Shakespeare)

You will:

  • devise practical workshops on Shakespeare for schools.
  • take Shakespeare workshops into schools.
  • rehearse and perform a Shakespeare play to a public audience.

New Work

You will:

  • explore aspects of European/International theatre practice through workshops with international practitioners
  • explore New Writing work with established writers and directors
  • be given the opportunity to form small companies to explore new and devised work in our New Work festival On the Verge at the Arches theatre, as actors, writers and directors

Acting for Radio and Screen

You will develop your radio and screen technique through workshops with professional practitioners.

Professional Practice

You are introduced to the world of working as an actor through the professional practice module, and you may be able to take advantage of professional opportunities, and work in professional productions outside RCS.

You are assessed through continuous observation of your working process and through performance.

Third year

BA Acting Level 3 is your springboard into the rest of your career, as you work continuously, using all of the skills you have been developing over the first two years. In your final year of study you will:

  • work on main stage and studio productions, both classical and contemporary
  • perform in a Christmas show
  • participate in radio and screen projects

You may also:

  • benefit from various professional opportunities that come to us from across the industry
  • perform in the highly regarded BA Acting Showcase in Glasgow and London to potential employers, casting directors, agents, managers, and producers
  • continue to focus on managing your career developing your employability and entrepreneurial skills

In Levels 2 and 3 you have the opportunity to select modules from other disciplines across RCS. You are encouraged to work on collaborative projects which can be shared with students and staff in Bridge Week.

Staff and masterclasses

Head of Acting: Joyce Deans

Programme Co-ordinator and Acting Lecturer: Ali de Souza

Acting Lecturers Katya Kamotskaia

Movement Lecturers: Lucien Lindsay-MacDougall and Benedicte Seierup

Professional Practice Lecturers: Vanessa Coffey

Head of Voice: Jean Sangster

Voice Lecturers: Hilary Jones, Bill Wright and Melanie Drake

  • In addition, you will benefit from our unrivalled industry connections, with many opportunities to work with various visiting tutors, lecturers and professional directors.
  • As well as enhancing your core training, they’ll increase your networking opportunities and contacts.
  • You will also have the opportunity to work with internationally renowned artists.

Visiting Staff

Mark Stevenson (Acting)
John Kazek (Acting)
Kerry McLellan (Dance)
Lynn McLean (Alexander Technique)
Lu Kemp (New Writing)
Oliver Emmanuel (New Writing)
Finn de Hertog (New Writing)
Andrew MacGregor (Shakespeare for Schools)
Tracy Wiles (Radio Drama)
Stuart Davids (Screen Acting)
Martin McCardie (Screen Acting)
Vincent Hunter (Screen Acting)
Kenny Glenaan (Screen Acting)
Bruce Strachan (New Work)
Ewan Downie (New Work)
Vanessa Coffey (Professional Practice)
Kahleen Crawford (Professional Practice)
Maryam Hunwick (Professional Practice)
Laura Donnelly (Professional Practice)
Raymond Short (Stage Combat)
Marc Silberschatz (Stage Combat)

Visiting directors include

Tony Cownie
James Robert Carson
Peter Collins
Graham MacLaren
Guy Hollands
Matthew Lenton
Alasdair Hawthorn
Dominic Hill
Mark Thomson
Ben Harrison

Masterclasses and International Workshops include

Pascale Lecoq (Lecoq School)
Francois Lecoq (Lecoq School)
Jos Houben (Lecoq School)
Paola Rizza (Lecoq School)
Carlos García Estévez (Manifesto Poetico)
Anna-Helena McLean (Moonfool)
Nadine George (Voice Centre International)
Shawn Kinley (Loose Moose Theatre, Calgary)
Nicolas Lormeau (Comédie Francaise)

Why choose us?

  • Industry showcases in Glasgow, London and New York
  • Excellent staff-student ratio with a high level of contact hours (class sizes are usually 12 students to one member of staff)
  • Specialist voice training using the work of Nadine George
  • Specialist movement training based on the work of Jacques Lecoq
  • Unrivalled professional connections result in work opportunities for our students
  • Collaborative professional partnerships include the National Theatre of Scotland and BBC Scotland
  • International exchange opportunities include programmes with the Paris Conservatoire and Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh
  • International performing opportunities; recently students performed work in Brno, Prague, Italy, Moscow and Beijing

How to apply

Applications for the BA Acting programme should be made through the UCAS Conservatoires website. There is a UCAS application fee of £24 (which is in addition to the audition fee) which allows you up to six choices of programme of study.

Before applying we recommend that you read the Guide for Applicants which provides information regarding entry requirements, and the full application and audition process. Download the Guide for Applicants here.

Student showcase

BA Acting - Class of 2017

Grace Boyle

Jessica Brindle

Bernardo Castilla Jorge

Jess Chanliau

Victoria Chen

Anders Drivdal

Tom England

Iola Evans

Lauren Grace

Emma Hindle

Adler Hyatt

Ainsley Jordan

Øystein Kanestrøm

Andy Kettu

Isabel McClelland

Luke O'Doherty

Katharine O'Donnelly

Laurence Pybus

Nicholas Ralph

Sinéad Sharkey

Tanwyn Smith-Meek

Adam Stevenson

Alyssa Wininger

Entry 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

We offer a flexible approach to students taking Highers over more than one academic year and/or who achieve their qualifications in more than one sitting.

Entrance to the Conservatoire is based on talent, potential and ability, therefore consideration will be given to relevant experience which is deemed to compensate for any traditional education. We accept a wide range of qualification, including international qualifications. If you wish to check the suitability of your qualification/experience, please contact us ( admissions@rcs.ac.uk ).

English language

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). Other equivalent English Language qualifications may be considered, please contact us ( admissions@rcs.ac.uk ) for more information.

  • IELTS – 7.5 with a minimum score of 7.5 in speaking

Audition requirements

Audition requirements can be found in the Undergraduate Drama Dance Production and Screen Guide for Applicants on the following website.

 

Fees & scholarships

Tuition fees for academic year 2016-17

  • Scottish/EU Students – £1,820
  • Rest of UK (RUK) Students – £9,000
  • International (Non EU) – £15,135

Scottish/EU 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 their website .

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.

International students

Students from outside the EU typically fund higher education by a variety of resources, depending on the home country. More specific information on funding options relevant to specific countries can be found here .

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 here

Sources of external funding

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

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.

Graduate destinations

86% of BA Acting graduates are employed or in further training within a year of their graduation. (HESA, 2013/14)

Graduates of this programme are regularly to be found on stage and screen both nationally and internationally.

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, Òran Mór Glasgow, Arches Theatre Glasgow, Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, Dundee Rep, Birds of Paradise Theatre Co., Vanishing Point Theatre Company, Traverse Theatre Edinburgh, Headlong Theatre Company, The Almeida London, The Gate London, The Royal Court London, Arcola Theatre Company London, The Young Vic London.

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

Graduates include Alan Cumming, James McAvoy, David Tennant, Colin Morgan, Katie Leung, Emun Elliot, Robert Carlyle, Billy Boyd, Kevin Guthrie, Mark Bonnar, Tony Curran, Ruby Wax, Tom Conti, Dawn Steele, John Hannah, Denis Lawson, Shauna MacDonald, Tunji Kasim, Christine Bottomley, Alexandra Silber, Daniela Nardini, Sam Heughan, Richard Madden, Laura Donnelly, Andrew Hawley, and Jack Lowden.

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.

Facilities

BA Acting students will rehearse and perform in our well-equipped rehearsal spaces and dance studios, the New Athenaeum Theatre (main stage), the Chandler Studio Theatre (black box), and our recording studios.

You will have the opportunity to rehearse in our new state of the art rehearsal spaces at The Wallace Studios at Speirs Locks (completed in 2014).

You will also have the opportunity to perform in professional theatre venues and on location on Screen and Radio projects.

Other facilities include first class IT provision and the Whittaker Library, where you’ll find endless scripts, DVDs, books, and recordings; it’s one of the most comprehensive collections of performance materials in the world.

Images and videos

BA Acting Class 2017

BA Acting Class 2017

The Strange Case of Jekyll and Hyde

Kidnapped

Dick McWhittington

‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore

 

Romeo and Juliet

 

Auditions

Acting Auditions

Auditions can be a daunting experience but we try to make it as enjoyable a process as possible. Full details on the audition process are outlined in the Guide to Applicants and some details are listed below. We’ve also included a short film clip with Acting Lecturer Ali de Souza that should hopefully give you some more insight into what to expect at your audition.

 

 

The first audition

For your initial audition you need to prepare two speeches to perform in character. One should be from a play by William Shakespeare, preferably in verse, and the other a contrasting contemporary piece of your own choice. 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 author is considered as contemporary. So for example Tom Stoppard’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 author is alive, or could theoretically still be alive if they died young (e.g. Sarah Kane) 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.

Each speech should be no less than one minute and no more than three minutes. When you are preparing your speeches please time them carefully – the audition panel will stop you if the speech is too long.

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.

The recall

If you are successful in your morning audition, you will be recalled in the afternoon to take part in a series of group improvisation exercises. You will also be asked to perform at least one of your pieces again before the recall panel. The panel will then work with you on one of your pieces and you will be given a sight-reading test.

The interview

The interview takes place after the recall and we are looking to find out about yourself so please answer openly and honestly. You will be advised within one week after your interview if you’ve made it through to the final recall audition.

Final workshop audition recall

This workshop audition will take place at RCS and you will be involved in voice, movement and acting workshops led by programme staff. You don’t need to prepare anything for these workshops.