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BA Acting

This intensive programme will prepare you for a career in theatre, screen, and radio as you explore your creativity in acting, voice, and movement. 

Overview

The three-year BA Acting programme at RCS is one of the best professional actor training programmes in the UK. We accept a cohort of 24 dedicated students each year with outstanding potential and commitment to a performing career. 

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

Our movement specialists are trained in the Lecoq technique and will help you acquire some of the best movement skills for actors in UK training. You will also work with the Centre for Voice in Performance – using techniques developed by voice expert Nadine George. 

Studying at RCS offers you the unique opportunity to collaborate with your peers, formally and informally, across all performance disciplines, including dance, music, production, and film. 

The important details

UK Applicant Deadline:
31 January 2024

International (including EU) Applicant Deadline:
31 January 2024

Institution Code:
R58

Programme Code:
W410

Audition Fee:
£55

Application Fee:
£27.50


Why Study Acting at RCS?

As well as aiming to give you 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 an entrepreneurial, industry-ready actor with all the contacts you need and a great deal of professional experience. 

A Lecturer of Movement provides feedback to students during a class. He is smiling, hands out in front of him, and three women watch him as he speaks.

Small Classes & Outstanding Staff


Our class sizes average thirteen students per class, providing you with focused learning and teaching opportunities. You will learn from the best faculty and attend regular masterclasses with renowned professionals.

Two actors on stage in Faustus: The Damned Woman. They are looking off-camera.

Industry Connections


Our industry connections prepare you to participate in showcases and professional events. You will attend showcases in Glasgow and London. North American students will be offered the opportunity to attend the New York Industry Week.

A person is wearing a mask and leaning on a chair.

Specialist Training


Our course offers specialist voice and movement training. You will develop in these areas by taking classes based on the work of Nadine George and Jaques Lecoq.

An actor on-stage in The Wonderful World of Dissocia

Agent Representation


In 2019, 85% of graduates secured agent representation within one month of graduation. 

Two students are performing on-stage

Competitions


Studying for a BA in Acting at RCS opens up opportunities for you to enter a variety of competitions. For example, our students regularly participate in the BBC Carleton Hobbs Radio Competition. 

A group of actors are looking upwards

International Opportunities


The BA Acting course offers you international experiences. You will have opportunities to enrol in international exchange programmes with the Paris Conservatoire and Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh and perform at international festivals. Recently, our students participated in festivals in Paris, Spoleto and Timisoar. 

Meet the Staff

Voice Staff

Additional Staff

The Acting Department welcomes visiting lecturers and industry professionals to host masterclasses and workshops.

Regularly Visiting Lecturers and Industry Professionals      

  • John Kazek (Acting) 
  • Peter Collins (Acting)  
  • Lucianne McEvoy (Acting)  
  • David Hayman Jr (Screen Acting) 
  • Louise McMenemy (Screen Acting) 
  • Adura Onashile (New Work)  
  • Meghan Tyler (New Work) 
  • Gary McNair (New Work) 
  • Jack Nurse (New Work) 
  • Sharon Mackay – Intimacy Coordinator  
  • Raymond Short (Stage Combat)  

Visiting Directors

  • Finn den Hertog  
  • Becky Hope Palmer   
  • Emma Baggott 
  • Debbie Hannan  
  • Sally Reid
  • Roy Alexander Weise MBE  

Masterclasses and International Workshops  

  • Nadine George (Voice Centre International)  
  • Giles Havergal (Shakespeare)  
  • Dominic Hill (Shakespeare) 

Professional Partners

Our unrivalled professional connections result in numerous work opportunities for our students. You will have opportunities to participate in our European and International activities. Our partners include:

Students are warming up in a rehearsal room.

Graduate Destinations

Our graduates work in all aspects of the performance industry, primarily as professional actors in theatre, film, television and radio. Acting graduates are also found in other influential roles in the industry, working as agents, directors, casting directors, writers, producers, and educators.

  • 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
  • BBC (radio and screen) 
  • Netflix 
  • Channel 4 
  • ITV 
  • STV 

Alumni

Alumni of the BA Acting programme include:

Ncuti is looking upwards off-camera. He is smiling.

Ncuti Gatwa


Sam Heughan is smiling at the camera. He is wearing a graduation gown.

Sam Heughan 


Anneika Rose  


Alum Katie Leung headshot

Katie Leung  


Richard Madden is surrounded by graduating students.

Richard Madden  


Crystal Clarke  


Robert Carlyle is smiling and looking off-camera

Robert Carlyle 


Amy is smiling at the camera. She is sitting in a wheel chair.

Amy Conachan  


James McAvoy is looking at the camera. The image is black and white.

James McAvoy  


Laura is looking at the camera.

Laura Donnelly 


Jack is smiling off-camera.

Jack Lowden 


Colin is smiling at the camera. He has dark hair and is wearing a grey jumper.

Colin Morgan 


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’s 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 screen and radio techniques. 

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

Second-year students collaborate with peers to explore new and devised work in the Off Kilter 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. You will also be participating in voice acting and screen projects.  

You will have opportunities 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. 

Class of 2024


Entry Requirements

Academic 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 Highers and Advanced Highers combinations.   
  • 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. 

English language requirements

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. 


Fees & Funding

Tuition fees

  • Scotland: £1,820 (for most full-time, Scottish-domiciled undergraduate students, this will be paid by SAAS. More information is available on our Fees & Funding pages) 
  • RUK: £9,250 
  • International (including EU): £27,968 

Funding & Scholarships

You can find out about the funding and scholarships available for studying at RCS by visiting our dedicated page:

Funding & Scholarships

Cost of Living & Programme Costs

In addition to tuition fees, it is estimated that you will need between £11,200 and £15,300 per year to live in Glasgow, plus programme costs. Much will depend on your lifestyle and whether your course runs for three or four terms. 

Undergraduate Programmes within the School of Drama, Dance, Production and Film have a range of associated costs related to the specific activities required and advised by the programme team. In order to ensure fairness and parity of experience in relation to certain core programme activities a one-off payment to cover a proportion of necessary costs is required of the student at matriculation. You can find these costs in the pdf below: 

BA Acting Programme Costs


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.

You can read our guidance about using UCAS Conservatoires on our dedicated How to Apply page. 

We do not offer deferred entry. If you wish to commence in 2025, you must apply next year. 

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland institution code is R58. You will also require the following programme code to apply: W410 — Drama Performance.

The closing date for all applications is 31 January 2024. 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 admissions@rcs.ac.uk in the first instance to check we are accepting late applications. 

Application & Audition Fees

There is a UCAS Conservatoires application fee of £27.50. In addition to the application fee, each conservatoire charges an audition/interview assessment administration fee. The interview assessment administration fee is £55 for this programme. Fees are not refundable. The fees are paid via the UCAS Conservatoires website and not directly to RCS. 

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 whose financial hardship may be a barrier to auditioning. Please see the audition fee waiver document for more information 

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.

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.

Audition Information

For 2024/25 Entry  

All applicants applying for the BA Acting programme need to create an Accept’d profile and upload a headshot. As part of this process, you will also need to complete a questionnaire — a required part of the Accept’d submission.  

Please state on your UCAS Conservatoires application whether you would like to be seen in Glasgow (RCS), London, New York, or live Online for your first-round audition. There will be no pre-recorded video submissions this year.

Whilst we will endeavour to schedule you for your preferred option, we cannot guarantee. We advise submitting your application via UCAS by December 2023 for the best chance of selecting your location. 

There will be three rounds of auditions for entry into the BA Acting programme. All three rounds will take place either live in person or online. Please prepare the following:

Please ensure you have completed your Accept’d profile before your round one audition.  

All candidates will be invited to attend a first audition. Once we receive your application, we will email you with further details. Please note that due to the large number of applications we receive, you may wait several weeks before receiving details of your round one audition. Auditions will begin the week commencing 27th November 2023.  

You will be asked to prepare two monologues for your round one audition:-  

  • One modern/contemporary speech (preferably from the 21st Century). This should be performed in English and come from a published play.  

  • One speech that is written in verse (written between the years 1550 and 1630). This should be performed in English and come from a published play.  

OR  

  • Two modern/contemporary speeches (preferably from the 21st Century). These should be performed in English and come from a published play.  

Each speech should be no longer than 1 minute 30 seconds  

The panel may or may not choose to redirect one of your pieces. The audition should last about 15 minutes. You will also be invited to attend a Q&A session with the panel. Details of this will be provided in our invitation email.  

If you are successful, you will be invited to attend a recall audition. 

The first recall audition will be held live in person (live online sessions will be an option for those unable to travel).

You will take part in several workshop-style sessions. This will involve learning or familiarising yourself with a short script that will be sent to you before your audition. Candidates will have the opportunity to attend a Q&A session with the panel and meet a recent/current student.  

Successful applicants from round two will be invited to attend the final recall at RCS.  

During the final recall, applicants will be invited to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland for a 30-minute audition with the panel and a tour of the campus. Applicants will be asked to present a new monologue and have an interview with the panel members. 

More from the BA Acting Department

Why RCS?

We are the only place in Europe where you can study all of the performing arts on the one campus. There is a distinctive creative energy at RCS and you’ll be made to feel part of our inclusive and diverse environment from the very beginning of your studies.

Our graduates are resourceful, highly employable and members of a dynamic community of artists who make a significant impact across the globe.

At RCS, students develop not just their art but their power to use it.

Find out more 

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World Top Ten


We were voted one of the world’s Top Ten destinations to study the performing arts (QS Rankings) in 2024, the eighth time we have been placed in the top ten since the ranking was established in 2016.