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.

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Programme Code:


UK Deadline:

31 January 2024

International Deadline:

31 March 2024

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

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)
  • Adura Onashile (New Work)
  • Sharon Mackay – Intimacy Coordinator

Visiting directors

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

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 consistently ranked in the World Top 10 for performing arts education (QS World Rankings 2023)

  • 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, and 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 Internat