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BA Contemporary Performance Practice

Introduction

Our students say that studying Contemporary Performance Practice (CPP) at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is like nothing you could ever imagine. It’s total immersion in a challenging programme with a central philosophy that human beings make art in order to understand better the world in which they live. This programme is for aspiring performance makers who wish to develop their skills as innovative and socially engaged performers, directors, teachers, and cultural leaders, who can realise their aspirations to create and shape the future of new work. This could be the programme for you if you are passionate about creating performance, but you’re unsure of what you’d specifically like to do in the field.

You will be able to explore realisation of your ideas through the disciplines of performance, education, installation, movement, research, and documentation. We will help you to develop your performance skills in our world-class facilities working with our staff, visiting practitioners, directors and lecturers. You will have regular opportunities to take part in specialist workshops and masterclasses, you will push yourself and push boundaries, creating new works with image, action, sound, and text.

You will leave RCS as an independent and entrepreneurial self-managing ‘eco-centric’ artist with an awareness of the aesthetic, intellectual, social, emotional, political, and ecological considerations of a holistic and sustainable arts practice.

Introduction

Our students say that studying Contemporary Performance Practice (CPP) at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is like nothing you could ever imagine. It’s total immersion in a challenging programme with a central philosophy that human beings make art in order to understand better the world in which they live. This programme is for aspiring performance makers who wish to develop their skills as innovative and socially engaged performers, directors, teachers, and cultural leaders, who can realise their aspirations to create and shape the future of new work. This could be the programme for you if you are passionate about creating performance, but you’re unsure of what you’d specifically like to do in the field.

You will be able to explore realisation of your ideas through the disciplines of performance, education, installation, movement, research, and documentation. We will help you to develop your performance skills in our world-class facilities working with our staff, visiting practitioners, directors and lecturers. You will have regular opportunities to take part in specialist workshops and masterclasses, you will push yourself and push boundaries, creating new works with image, action, sound, and text.

You will leave RCS as an independent and entrepreneurial self-managing ‘eco-centric’ artist with an awareness of the aesthetic, intellectual, social, emotional, political, and ecological considerations of a holistic and sustainable arts practice.

Programme structure

Year One

In the first year the focus is autobiographical – you learn about yourself and what you are bringing to a space as a performer. You will learn about the methods and strategies of making performance using autobiography as your material. You are encouraged to question your attitudes, values and understandings and translate these discoveries into original performance work.

Year Two

In your second year you begin to explore how to apply your arts practice in social and participatory contexts including community and educational contexts. You will take part in a residency in a community which will result in an original piece of performance work. This stage of the programme focuses on your development as a socio-centric artist and how you engage with other people.

Year Three

The emphasis is on the researching artist. You will learn how to create text for performance, supported through individual mentoring by a performance tutor. You will study the ‘researching artist’ culminating in a dissertation exploring an idea relevant to your own performance practice. You can also undertake a professional placement and create an original collaborative performance.

Year Four

In your final year the focus is on ‘The Ecocentric Artist”, you will work towards developing a sustainable arts practice that will support your transition into your chosen professional field. You will make an original performance work for the Into The New festival staged in a performance venue in Glasgow. You will have the opportunity to select projects which focus on directing, arts in participatory contexts, arts in criminal justice settings, site-specific work or an international professional secondment.

CPP Choice Modules offered include Arts and Medicine and Somatic Practices.

Staff and masterclasses

The CPP programme is delivered by a core staff team and a large number of visiting artists, choreographers, designers and educationalists. Unlike many other higher education institutions, contact time between students and staff is very high at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. You can expect to be working in RCS five days a week upon joining the programme.

We place great emphasis upon preparing you for professional practice and to do this you must achieve an ‘exit velocity’ by drawing upon your own fascinations and ingenuity.

Programme Team

Deborah Richardson-Webb – Head of Performance Pedagogy

Dr Laura Bissell

Gary Gardiner

Laura Bradshaw

Rachel O’Neill

Josh Armstrong

Centre for Voice in Performance

Why choose us?

  • 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. Recent projects have included work with Imaginate, National Theatre of Scotland, Glas(s) Performance, Tramway, Buzzcut, Corali, Ruth Mills Dance, Caroline Bowditch and Nic Green

How to apply

Applications for the BA (Hons) Contemporary Performance Practice 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.

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

For entry to the BA (Hons) Contemporary Performance Practice Programme, it is necessary to obtain English or Drama at Higher, Advanced Higher or Advanced 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

We place great emphasis upon preparing you for a range of diverse careers in professional practice, the programme is packed with work opportunities. Performance and professional collaborations with national and international cutting-edge practitioners, companies, festivals, and arts venues are central to the programme. Recent projects have included work with The Arches, the Macrobert, Libellule Theatre, Janice Parker, National Theatre of Scotland, Glas(s) Performance, the Tramway, Fish and Game, the British Red Cross, and Nic Green. Several students have gone on secondment to international locations such as the USA, Switzerland, Germany, India, and Zambia.

Our graduates are working as solo artists in the live arts sector; directors and performers in devised, community, or educational performance, and as freelance drama workers. A significant number of graduates have set up their own companies. Other graduates have undertaken further study at masters and doctoral level and also become drama teachers and specialists. Alumni from the programme include:

  • Nic Green
  • Jess Thorpe
  • Tashi Gore
  • Peter McMaster
  • Becki Gerrard
  • Gary McNair
  • Johnny McKnight

All of whom produce performance work internationally, and frequently teach or give workshops at RCS.

Facilities

CPP students have full access to the Royal Conservatoire’s award-winning facilities, including the Wallace Studios at Speirs Locks and the practice rooms and performance spaces in the Renfrew Street Building. Including five professional performing arts venues, a student IT Suite, dance studios and drama rehearsal rooms. The Whittaker library has one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of performance materials and you will also have access to thousands of electronic resources which you will find useful for the Critical and Contextual Studies strand of the programme.

CPP students will also often use rehearsal space at UKTheatre School and Scottish Youth Theatre and in 2016 CPP held the annual graduate showcase and festival, Into the New, in the historic Pearce Institute.

Images and videos

Into the New 2016

This year the annual festival Into the New was held in the historic Pearce Institute.

Into the New 2015

During the Into the New festival, final year Contemporary Performance Practice students showcase their work, performance-making in a variety of media and settings. Often challenging, always innovative, these performances were tailor made for the vast, cavernous space at the Arches theatre.

Terrible News, Terrible Weather

One Night Only

Wet Dream