An Overview

The BA Filmmaking is a scripted, drama-based, practical filmmaking programme aimed at those who are passionate about storytelling in cinema and television. It is a rich and challenging environment for students who are keen to develop their storytelling skills and have the passion to produce and develop exciting drama content. The programme will let the learner dive deep into a specialist area (Writing, Cinematography, Editing, Directing, Sound and Production) across the three years as well as promote effective and intellectual collaborative practice. The programme structure allows the learner to develop in a conducive environment where time and space is given to learn and grow.

At RCS you have the opportunity to work with actors, composers, dancers and musicians, as well as your peers from production.

The programme has critical thinking at its core, with workshops and seminars designed to enhance your ability to appreciate what has gone before as you craft the stories of the future. You will benefit from industry contacts, which can include working on professional sets, masterclasses and expert tuition from industry practitioners. We will help you to develop your ideas and your creativity to the highest level, as well as offering you the opportunity to make films, tell stories and develop craft skills.

Institution Code:


Programme Code:


UK Deadline:

31 January 2024

International Deadline:

31 January 2024

Programme Structure

The BA Filmmaking programme will let the learner dive deep into a specialist area (Writing, Cinematography, Editing, Directing, Sound and Production) across the three years as well as promote effective and intellectual collaborative practice. The programme structure allows the learner to develop in a conducive environment where time and space is given to learn and grow.

There will be regular opportunities in the year where students can share moments of learning with each other as well as the staff team. Sharing your progress within a group of critical friends is paramount to personal growth.

After a couple of weeks of getting a brief overview of all the specialisms at the beginning of Term 1, you will engage with your specialist area. Each teaching week will have a day of specialist teaching as well as a directed study day and a self-study day. Directed Study days will embrace many opportunities to develop your craft technically, as well as working with crew members from other areas. This will help develop your collaborative skills as well as putting what you have learned in class into practice.

You will have regular points during the year to share your directed study work in a creative and critically friendly environment.

In your specialist area you will crew a small project as well as work on a 2nd and 3rd year production. This will begin your journey as developing the necessary skills as an assistant and how to work on a set.

You will also work on an academic project that will give context to your practice as well as developing your ability to house what you do in a historical context.

Following a Spiral Curriculum Design model, you will continue to develop in your specialist area by applying the knowledge in deepening layers and in different environments. This year, you will continue to work in various formats during Directed Study time as well as working on a bigger production in your specialist role. You will manage Year 1 students who are crewed to your department as well as stepping up onto an assistant role on a Year 3 production.

Academic progress continues in the form of a larger piece of work.

This year will focus on your portfolio and the transition into your next phase. You will continue to work in your specialist area as well as prepare for your role on a Final Year Film.

We expect you to gain work placement/s that will enhance your professional development.

The Spiral model of learning continues as you lead a department on a production. You will use your knowledge and experience to manage a team, apply your creative and technical skills as well as work as an effective collaborator.

Why choose us?

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is consistently ranked in the World Top 10 for performing arts education (QS World Rankings 2023)

  • We prepare you for a collaborative working environment
  • The programme’s focus on a specialist area will allow you to deepen your learning, but in an environment where you are not boxed in
  • We create time and space for you to learn and put into practice what you have been taught
  • We have great relationships with local hire facilities and production companies including Blazing Griffin, STV Creative, BBC Scotland and No Drama
  • We use several experts from industry to teach and give workshops across all disciplines
  • You’ll have opportunities to work on budgeted short films in your specialist role
  • Our list of successful graduates speak for themselves, ranging from camera assistants to Hollywood screenwriters
  • You’ll work in an collaborative learning environment with a plethora of other disciplines

Additional Staff

Tutors and Visiting Lecturers

Gavin Rizza
Tutor, Post Production

Seamus Skinner
Visiting Lecturer, Location Sound

Travis Reeves
Visiting Lecturer, Post-Production Sound

Paul Mitchell
Kit Co-ordinator and fully licensed drone pilot

Visiting Staff and Guest Lecturers

We provide a mix of visiting lecturers and tutors and experienced full-time staff. Our visiting staff are current industry practitioners who are therefore able to bring the best of current sector practice into the classroom before our students take it back out to the industry. We have masterclasses with some of the best talent in the industry. Our students have worked with Richard Attenborough, Tony Marchant, Emma Thompson, James McAvoy, Billy Boyd, Bill Paterson, Peter Mackie Burns and Tom Vaughn.

There are also seminars and workshops delivered by guest professionals who previously have included Andrew Macdonald (Producer Ex-MachinaTrainspotting 2), Michael Hines (Director Still Game), Jed Mercurio (Writer Line of Duty — in conjunction with BAFTA Scotland), Helen Wright (Filmmaker and curator of The Scottish Queer International Film Festival) and Peter Mackie Burns (Director, Daphne, Rialto).

Graduate Destinations

RCS filmmaking graduates are employed by major broadcasters and production companies, and establish themselves as independent filmmakers. Some graduates work freelance for independent companies or on short film schemes, and some have gone on to postgraduate study, including with the National Film and Television School.

Some of our graduates:

  • May-Ann Blanch (Class of 2021) Royal Television Society Student Awards winner, Best Drama – Sizzle
  • Colleen Bell (Class of 2022) Royal Television Society Student Awards winner, Craft Award for Writing – The Space I Occupy
  • Krysty Wilson-Cairns wrote the screenplay for Sam Mendes’ film 1917 (2018), for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay; she also co-wrote the screenplay for Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho (2021)
  • Michael J Ferns is an award-winning Children’s BAFTA-nominated director whose portfolio includes work for CBBC, Official Chart show, music promos and commercials
  • Matthew Moss has worked on feature films The WifeAvengers: Infinity WarAll the Money in the World and the TV show Outlander
  • Paul Wright’s first feature film, For Those in Peril, was selected for the Cannes Film Festival and chosen to compete in Critics’ Week

Student final year films consistently play in festivals worldwide and have won awards including BAFTA Scotland New Talent and Royal Television Society (Scotland) Awards.



Read our Review article with Oscar nominated and BAFTA winning screenwriter of 1917, Krysty Wilson-Cairns. Dr Andy Dougan, RCS Film Lecturer, discovers Krysty’s recent work and learns how RCS prepared her for a career in film.

Learn From The Best

Krysty Wilson-Cairns shares her top tips on making it as a screenwriter.

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 D 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 combinations of Highers and Advanced Highers.

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.

Language of study

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 6.5 (with no component below 5.5) is required.

Direct entry

Applications for direct entry beyond Year 1 will be considered on a case-by-case basis and in accordance with the Royal Conservatoire’s Recognition of Prior (Experiential) Learning policy. If you wish to apply for direct entry, please mark the point of entry on UCAS Conservatoires application as 2 or 3.

Non-standard entry

We welcome applications from individuals whose academic qualifications or English language qualifications do not match (in terms of equivalence) or fall short of the normal entrance requirements, where specified*. Having satisfied the Audition Panel that they meet the selection criteria and demonstrated that they have the capacity to pursue the proposed course of study, such applicants will be considered through examination of contextualised data provided in accordance with the Non-Standard Entry Policy. The appropriate Head of Department/ Programme will make a case in support of the applicant for consideration by the Directors of the Schools and Convener of the Quality and Standards Committee.

*Note that UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) imposes minimum English Language qualifications in respect of international (non-EU) applicants who require a Tier 4 Visa to study in the UK.

Mature students

RCS welcomes applications from mature students, i.e. students over the age of 21 at entry to the programme. Whilst the selection procedures will still be applied, consideration will be given to appropriate artistic experience not normally expected in school leavers, which is deemed to compensate for any lack of traditional entrance qualifications.

Successful mature applicants, as for all other applicants, must convince auditioning panels that they have the ability and potential to cope with the demands of the programme. Their progress, especially in the early stages of the programme, will be closely monitored and appropriate advice and support given.


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. If you wish to apply to conservatoires and universities within UCAS, you will need to register for both services.

There is a UCAS application fee of £27.50 to register to use UCAS Conservatoires.

To begin a new UCAS Conservatoires application, you will need to register. You can read the UCAS Conservatoires’ advice on completing the UCAS Conservatoires application.

If you need assistance with your application, you can contact UCAS Conservatoires team by telephoning (Monday to Friday, 8.30 — 18.00). Phone 0371 468 0470 from within the UK or +44 330 3330 232 if you are calling from overseas.

Application deadline date

The closing date for all on time undergraduate applications from Scotland and the rest of the UK is 31 January 2024. If you submit your application after this date, we cannot guarantee that you will be invited to audition.

The closing date for EU and International applications is 31 January 2024. If you do consider to submit a late application, please contact in the first instance to check we are accepting late applications. Late applications will be considered on a case by case basis.

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:

BA Filmmaking: 200F 

Application fee

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. For RCS, the audition/interview assessment administration fee is £55 per programme applied for. Fees are not refundable. The fees are paid via the UCAS Conservatoires website and not directly to RCS.

Audition/Interview Assessment Administration fee

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland charges an audition/interview assessment administration fee of £55 per course.

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


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.

BA Filmmaking submissions and interview

All applicants will need to choose a specialist area from the point of application. These areas are:-

  • Cinematography
  • Editing
  • Sound (Location Recording/Post-Production)
  • Directing
  • Production (Management & Producing)
  • Writing

There will be two rounds of auditions for entry to the BA Filmmaking programme.

Round one will require all applicants to create an Accept’d account. Applicants are asked to upload specific material to their account. As well as the personal statement written with your UCAS application, you are also asked to submit a written piece on your favourite practitioner in your chosen specialism. This should be 700 – 1000 words.

Details of what to prepare for each specialism are listed in the ‘Audition’ section below.

Details of what to prepare for Round 2 will be emailed to you in advance of your interview. Interviews will take place either in-person in Glasgow or on online via Zoom.



1st Round

Please provide links to work that you have shot (Max. of 15 mins.) If longer in duration, the panel will only watch the first 15 minutes. These links should be added/uploaded to your Accept’d profile.



1st Round

Please upload a short montage of footage cut to music. This should be 2-5 minutes in length. The panel will not watch anymore than 5 minutes of the material. This footage should be uploaded to your Accept’d profile.



1st Round

Please provide links to work that you have audio recorded and/or mixed (max. 15 minutes). If longer in duration, the panel will only watch the first 15 minutes. You should also submit a 500-word document which puts the work in context. These links should be added to your Acceptd profile.



1st Round

You are asked to submit a Portfolio that will include:

  • 1 x Screenplay (correctly formatted) max of 10 pages,
  • 1 x piece of fiction prose/poetry – max 1000 words
  • 1 x non-fiction (topic of choice in relation to current affairs)– max 1000 words

These should be uploaded to your Accept’d profile.



1st Round

Please provide links for up to three films that you have solely directed. A maximum of 15 minutes will be viewed. If your submission is longer in duration, the panel will only watch the first 15 minutes. These links should be added to your Accept’d profile.


Production (Management & Producing)


1st Round

Please submit a 500–700-word document on creative arts productions/projects that you have worked on. This should detail the roles you took on, what you have learned, and what has led you to an interest in Production. If possible, please provide links to these works. Everything should be uploaded to your Accept’d account.


Successful applicants will be asked to attend a 2nd round. Details of what to prepare will be email to you


Following your interview

All decisions will be posted on UCAS Conservatoires following your audition via UCAS Conservatoires Track,  (you will need your username and password). You will also receive notification from UCAS Conservatoires when decisions on all your choices are available.

Please see below for an explanation of UCAS Conservatoires codes:

Guaranteed Unconditional (GU) RCS is satisfied from the information you have given, that you have already met the conditions for entry. Unless your application and/or qualification are subsequently shown to be fraudulent, a guaranteed unconditional offer is binding.

Guaranteed Conditional (GC) RCS has made the offer subject to you meeting certain conditions such as examination results. Conditions can be viewed via UCAS Conservatoires Track. Unless your application and/or qualifications are subsequently shown to be fraudulent, the offer is binding if you accept the offer and meet the conditions. You must meet the conditions of the offer by 31 August 2024, unless an earlier date is specified. If your conditions include obtaining IELTS (English Language test), you must meet this condition by 31 May 2024.

Reserve Unconditional (VU) RCS is satisfied from the information you have given, that you have already met the conditions for entry and you have been offered a place on our reserve pool.

Reserve Conditional (VC) RCS has offered a place on its reserve pool subject to you meeting certain conditions such as examination results. Conditions can be viewed via UCAS Conservatoires Track.

Unsuccessful (R) RCS does not wish to offer you any type of a place.

Reserve outcomes

If you have received a ‘reserve’ outcome, it means that RCS is not able to offer you a guaranteed place at the time of making our decision.

A ‘reserve’ outcome indicates that RCS would like the opportunity to review its outcome to you in the light of acceptances/declines to its guaranteed offers. You will become part of a ‘pool’ of ‘reserve’ candidates and RCS may choose to make you a guaranteed offer if a suitable place becomes available. Reserve does not mean that a place has been ‘reserved’ for you.

If RCS chooses not to make you a guaranteed offer, you will not have a place to start at RCS.
If you have been given a ‘reserve’ outcome, in order to be considered for a guaranteed place (should one become available) you will need to accept the outcome (and meet any conditions if applicable).

Reserve outcomes remain active until the end of August. The decision to wait and see whether a guaranteed place becomes available, or to accept an offer at another conservatoire is entirely at your discretion. As soon as your situation changes, this is updated on UCAS Conservatoires.

Replying to offers

As soon as a decision is made, UCAS Conservatoires will let you know. You must reply online via UCAS Conservatoires Track. Your reply date is displayed on Track. If you do not reply by the date given, your offers will be declined automatically. The reply date may be different to other applicants as it is based o