The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland has made the decision not to offer entry to the BA in Contemporary Performance-making for commencement in Academic Year 23/24. We will not be seeking new or progressing further any existing applications for entry to the programme due to commence studies from September 2023. The Contemporary Performance-making Programme will be part of a formal revalidation process being undertaken by the School of Drama, Dance, Production and Film in the 24/25 academic cycle.

An Overview

The BA Contemporary Performance-making programme is currently paused for recruitment for the academic year 2023/24, but will be part of a formal revalidation process being undertaken by the School of Drama, Dance, Production and Film in the 24/25 academic cycle.

BA Contemporary Performance-making is a three-year degree programme curated to be responsive to developments inside and outside the field of performance and new understandings of the world in the 21st century. It combines intensive studio practice with rigorous critical and theoretical study to inform a variety of aesthetic choices and expressions.

Led by a world-class team of artists and teachers this groundbreaking new programme – the only one of its kind in the UK – explores the future of performance making. Through the interdisciplinary approach which we’re committed to at RCS, the programme builds on a broad range of styles of performance, including live performance, choreography, movement research, site specific performance, performance installation, post-dramatic theatre, contemporary theatre, sound art, participatory performance, critical/activist social performance, social justice and performative writing.


Who is BA Contemporary Performance-making for?

Our brand-new programme BA Contemporary Performance-making is for performers who…

  • Are seriously considering a career in performance, performance making, choreography, the contemporary theatre industry or more broadly the arts
  • Have an interest in understanding performance in its wider context i.e. social, cultural, ecological and political
  • Are interested in developing their technical capabilities and performance skills
  • Are interested in creating performance material in a group context and have an ability and desire to work collaboratively within a group
  • Are interested in making their own work as artists in the field of the performing arts (choreography, contemporary theatre, devised theatre, experimental film)
  • Want to train as performers, performance-makers, contemporary actors, dance-artists, choreographers
  • Want a performance training focused on creating original work
  • Are interested in new writing for stage
  • May have other skills, for example, movement, dancing experience (ex: contemporary dance and/or other dance forms, including hip hop and associated styles, South Asian dance practices, and dances of the African diaspora), film making, writing, making objects, singing, sports, skating or parkour as hobbies and more
  • Are interested in developing a daily practice as a fundamental part of becoming artists
What is the aim of BA Contemporary Performance-making?

The BA Contemporary Performance-making programme delivers a professional performer training that develops students as individual artists who can perform, devise, choreograph, write and make performances.

We train the next generation of performance makers who are making work that responds to the world and an ever-shifting performance field.

Our graduates are at the cutting edge of contemporary performance, working across performance, choreography and contemporary theatre. They are versatile, inventive and engaging creators, performers and performance makers.

This course develops, enables and trains the next generation of performance artists and creative entrepreneurs. You will explore devised and collaborative approaches to researching, creating, producing and performing contemporary performance practices, in addition to scripted forms.

How does contemporary performance-making differ from acting?
  • There is an emphasis on making your own work as creators and devisers
  • Performance training is focused on the body and physicality
  • You will explore choreography, immersive and site-sensitive performance, post-dramatic theatre, immersive theatre, physical theatre, verbatim texts, sound-art, and experimental film-making
How will I be taught?

Many of the core modules are studio-based and practical in nature. You are encouraged to develop a morning daily practice with a focus on the body to develop your skills as performer. You will be practicing making and creating performance material on a daily basis.

We aim to support you to develop into strong and capable performer and performance-maker. You will be taught a wide range of skills that will prepare you personally and professionally for a career as an artist and performance maker. You can expect to be working in one of RCS studio spaces as part of your training on a daily basis, and our modules are taught by professional artists (performance-makers, performance artists, choreographers, contemporary theatre directors, sound artists, experimental film makers) with a wide range of skills and expertise, and who all have a long history of professional practice. You will be making your own performance project in a professional theatre setting in RCS and in an external venue.

How will I be assessed?

There are several forms of assessment throughout the programme, such as:

  • Performance
  • Question and answer
  • Portfolio
  • Programme notes
  • Annotated bibliography
  • Written thesis
  • Presentation
  • Observation of working practice
  • Other Documentation (including film, sonic artwork, performance production pack, text-based digital design)

Why Choose Us?

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is in the World Top 10 for performing arts education 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023 (QS World Rankings)

  • Excellent staff-student ratio and small class sizes ensuring individual attention
  • Opportunities for artistic collaboration across RCS
  • World-class facilities and performing venues
  • Emphasis on preparing you for diverse careers in professional practice
  • Annual, sector-leading festival Into the New features student performance alongside international artists
  • Work opportunities include performance and professional collaborations with cutting-edge practitioners, companies, festivals and arts venues
  • A unique new programme, bringing performance and a performance making curriculum to undergraduate students in an interdisciplinary conservatoire setting
  • Features a transdisciplinary approach and is open to a wide range of ways of making performance including live action, contemporary approaches to theatre, expanded choreography, movement research, site sensitive performance, immersive performance, collaborative practices, performance installation, sound art, critical/activist, participatory and political performance, performing the non-human, social justice, and performative writing.

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.

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