An Overview

This programme is designed to help you develop secure classical and contemporary dance technique, and prepare you for the profession as a confident, versatile and technically strong dancer. You will graduate with the skills required by professional companies as well as the ability to communicate effectively with other artists, choreographers and audiences.

BA Modern Ballet is delivered in partnership with Scottish Ballet and provides numerous opportunities, allowing you to gain invaluable insight into professional life. You will work with Scottish Ballet staff, dancers and internationally acclaimed teachers and choreographers, including Artistic Director/CEO Christopher Hampson. Graduate year students will attend company class and additionally, some students will have the opportunity to perform in the mainstage company tours.

We are the only European conservatoire to offer all of the performance art specialisms and we encourage you to work collaboratively to expand your artistic horizons. You might find yourself performing to camera for film students, choreographing a piece with our composers, or on stage at one of Scotland’s major theatres. RCS facilities are among the best in Europe. You will take part in performances within a variety of environments and contexts, further enhancing the breadth of vocational education and your employability.

Institution Code:


Programme Code:


UK Deadline:

31 January 2023

International Deadline:

31 March 2023

Programme Structure

Your first year of training is focused on developing a sound technical and artistic basis in both classical ballet and contemporary dance. This grounding will be enhanced by supporting subjects such as pas de deux, pointe work, virtuosity, conditioning and contextual studies.

In repertoire classes, corps de ballet work and solos are introduced, and you will learn about creating new work in the ‘Introduction to Choreography’ module.

You will complete your first year with a performance in the annual show.

You will focus on building upon the skills learned in first year, with much more challenging work both technically and artistically.

In repertoire, you will gain skills as a solo performer (in both ballet and contemporary) including learning works from the classics. Choreographic skills are developed through the opportunity to collaborate with other departments and a commissioned choreographer in the creation of a new work.

You will have more performance opportunities, including the Piano and Dance festival and a more significant part in the annual performances.

You may also participate in exchange projects and international competitions.

Your final year is a year of refinement of individual strengths, development of artistic and performance skills and preparation for auditions for professional employment.

All third-year students work with Scottish Ballet which may include touring opportunities.
Third-year students also have the opportunity to join Company Class with Scottish Ballet and other professional companies.

There are additional regular performance and touring opportunities with Scottish Ballet in mainstage tours – in recent years these have included The Snow Queen (ch. Hampson), Cinderella (ch. Hampson), Nutcraker (ch. Darrell), Emergence (ch. Pite), The Fairy’s Kiss (ch. MacMillan), Swan Lake (ch. Dawson) and Mayerling (ch. MacMillan).

The Solos Evening is a highlight for third years and your training culminates in the annual graduation performance in June.


Pablo Dorado Calderon

Emily Enright

Sophie Gallagher

Amy Naomi Groves

Mizuki Ito

Sophia Kato

Isla MacCalman

Claire McCormack

Georgie Morphet

Sumika Nagai

Amelia Perri

Isla Roebig

Emily Sapsford

Curtis Si Tou

Arabella Walton

Finlay Watson

Iona Webster

Aaron Yang

Why choose us?

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

  • Delivered in partnership with Scottish Ballet
  • Professional opportunities
  • Opportunities to collaborate, improvise and develop choreographic skills
  • World-class facilities
  • The Wallace Studios at Speirs Locks is home to a suite of award-winning dance studios that were purpose-built for the BA Modern Ballet programme
  • Opportunities to perform at events across the country; recent events have seen dancers perform at Buckingham Palace and Gleneagles
  • Highly qualified and experienced teachers and accompanists
  • Regular guest workshops
  • Excellent staff-student ratio
  • Opportunities for artistic collaboration across RCS
  • International exchange opportunities
  • Compete in high-profile international competitions, including the Fonteyn International Ballet Competition, YAGP, Cecchetti Competition and the Prix de Lausanne
  • Graduates have obtained contracts around the world with companies including Scottish Ballet, Northern Ballet, Ballet Cymru, National Ballet of Portugal and Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures


Step inside the wonderful world of dance

The BA Modern Ballet degree at the Royal Conservatoire has grown to become one of the UK’s most respected dance training programmes.

Discover some of the highlights since its inception in 2009 in The Weekend Read.

Additional Staff

Teaching staff

Ayo Kobayashi
Contemporary technique

Rowan MacGregor

Lewis Normand

Glauco Di Lieto
Coaching, pas de deux, repertoire, PBT

Ruth Mills

Penny Withers

Dr Oliver Wittard

Bethany Whiteside
Contextual Studies

Fraser Johnstone

John McFall

Kerry Nicholls

Paul Liburd OBE

Owen Montague

Julian Moss

Scottish Ballet

Christopher Hampson
Artistic Director and CEO

Oliver Rydout
Rehearsal Director

Sophie Martin
Principal Dancer

Constance Devernay
Principal Dancer

Sophie Laplane
Choreographer in Residence

Jamiel Laurence

Constant Vigier


Michael Barnett

Signy Jakobsdottir  Percussionist

Guest Lecturers and Choreographers
  • Nicolas Blanc — Ballet master, Scottish Ballet
  • Patricia Lent — Cunningham Foundation, New York
  • Maria Jimenez — Scottish Ballet
  • Scottish Dance Theatre
  • Alvin Ailey Dance Company
  • English National Ballet Company
  • Rambert Dance Company

What Makes RCS Like Nowhere Else?

BA Modern Ballet student Daisy Mullen-Thomson tells us why RCS is Like Nowhere Else to her.


Read an interview with dancer and choreographer Paul Liburd when he spent a week at RCS to work with our students on their graduation performance.

Graduate destinations

Our graduating students have been contracted to a range of renowned companies including:

  • Scottish Ballet
  • Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures
  • Northern Ballet
  • National Ballet of Portugal
  • Ballet Cymru
  • Joffrey Ballet Apprenticeship
  • Ballet Ireland
  • Geneva Junior Ballet
  • Plovdiv State Ballet
  • Balletto di Roma
  • Alberta Ballet
  • Ballet Theatre UK
  • Prague Chamber Ballet
  • National Dance Company of Wales Apprenticeship
  • Universal Ballet Korea
  • FX Saldy Liberec
  • Ballet Prelocaj


Hannah Cubitt

Scottish Ballet

Keenan Fletcher

Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures

Louis Fukuhara

Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures

Rose Goddard

Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures (Pic credit: Andy Ross)

Matthew Topliss

Northern Ballet

Anna Williams

Scottish Ballet

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

BA Modern Ballet has the following entrance requirements:

  • Five passes at a minimum of National 5 or equivalent such as Standard Grades (Grade 1—3) or Intermediate 1 or 2.
  • passes in five GCSEs — Grades A*—C or equivalent
  • Knowledge of ballet vocabulary to a minimum of Intermediate level (or equivalent)
  • Appropriate physical qualities for a career in professional classical dance
Language of study

The language of study is English. Applicants who 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 5.5, a minimum score of 5.5 in each component 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 £26.50 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 on time applications for UK is 31 January 2023. If you submit your application after this date, we cannot guarantee that you will be invited to audition.

The closing date for international and EU applications is 31 March 2023. 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 2024, 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 Modern Ballet: 201F — Dance.

UCAS Conservatoires application form

Applicants should give details of the highest level of external examination attained (if any), the date and the mark awarded. They should also state which Dance Society this was with (ie RAD, ISTD, BBO etc). It should be noted that this is not a prerequisite for an audition and merely an indication of level. This should be noted under the personal statement.

Application fee

There is a UCAS Conservatoires application fee of £26.50. In addition to the application fee, each conservatoire charges an audition assessment administration fee. For RCS, the audition 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 Assessment Administration fee

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland charges an audition 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.

Selection process

For September 2023 entry, we are currently planning for in-person auditions to take place in Glasgow and in London on our BA Modern Ballet programme, as well as continuing to offer auditions in an online format for those who are not able to travel to an in-person audition. We have many years of experience of conducting online auditions and have a well-established format and process in place, so no applicant will be disadvantaged by auditioning in this manner. We will continue to respond to ongoing governmental guidance as to how we can hold in-person auditions in a way that is safe for our applicants as well as staff, and these will be subject to change dependent on alterations in governmental advice.

Please visit our Auditions section for more information.


For September 2023 entry, we are currently planning for in-person auditions to take place in Glasgow and in London on our BA Modern Ballet programme, as well as continuing to offer auditions in an online format for those who are not able to travel to an in-person audition. We have many years of experience of conducting online auditions and have a well-established format and process in place, so no applicant will be disadvantaged by auditioning in this manner. We will continue to respond to ongoing governmental guidance as to how we can hold in-person auditions in a way that is safe for our applicants as well as staff, and these will be subject to change dependent on alterations in governmental advice.

There are two stages to audition – preliminary and recall. You can audition in-person or online for both stages.

In-Person Auditions

If you decide to audition in-person, you will be invited to choose an audition location chosen on your UCAS Conservatoires profile – we will be holding auditions in Glasgow and in London. In-person preliminary auditions consist of a classical ballet class which will include barre work, centre and allegro. Female candidates will be asked to show some pointe work at the end of the class. The class will last approximately 90 minutes, will be taught by one of the RCS ballet staff and accompanied by a musician. You will be observed in the class by a panel made up of staff from the programme team. There will be short information session either at the start/end of the audition. The in-person recall auditions will be held in Glasgow in March 2023.

Should you be recalled, the ‘final’ audition will be scheduled for March 2023 and is more in-depth. Applicants invited to the final audition will participate in:

–       A classical ballet class (barre, centre and allegro) including pointe work for female applicants and lasting approximately 90 minutes.

–       A contemporary session which will last approximately 30-45 minutes. This will include some floor work and travelling sequences. No previous experience/training of contemporary dance is required for this session.

–       A physiotherapy screening. This session will be carried out individually with one of our qualified physiotherapists and will take around 15 minutes

–       An interview with programme staff. You do not need to prepare anything for this interview, which will last between 10-15 minutes

–       An Information session with the Head of Modern Ballet, members of the programme team and colleagues from registry. This will give you an overview of our programme, approach to teaching and learning, our facilities, funding, accommodation and student support. It lasts about 1 hour. A parent/carer is welcome to attend and there will be an opportunity to ask any questions following this session.

Please note that the recall audition may take place over two consecutive days, requiring an overnight stay.


Online Auditions

If you decide to audition online, the audition videos and photographs for your online submission do not need to be professionally filmed/taken – your phone or a similar device is suitable. Online applicants will be asked to make a profile to support their application on Acceptd, and then use this to provide footage/photographs (as appropriate) of the following:


  • Plies – on one side only
  • Battements Tendus – shown on both sides
  • Battements Fondus – shown on both sidesGrands Battements – shown on both sides


  • Adage – showing both sides
  • Pirouette enchainement – can be taken from 5th, 4th and/or 2nd position, shown both en dehors and en dedans.  Pirouettes should be performed on both the right and the left side
  • Petit Allegro/Warm-up jump – sautes, echappes sautes and changements
  • Allegro enchainement
  • One grand allegro enchainement

3. STRETCHING (no music required)

Applicants should take care to work within their own range of movement and not force or bounce in the following stretches:

  • Spine roll down – facing the back with feet together and arms by sides, slowly roll down through the spine (keeping legs straight) and recover
  • Achilles stretch – facing the side with feet together, bend knees with heels remaining on the floor and recover
  • Hamstring stretch – facing the side, sitting on the floor with legs fully stretched forward in parallel, reach up and then forward towards toes, keeping backs of knees on the floor
  • Splits on right leg – facing right corner
  • Box splits – facing front
  • Splits on left leg – facing left corner


In addition to the above, female applicants should show a short example of pointe work, in the centre. Please include:

  • Echappes and releves
  • Simple pirouette enchainement – shown on both sides


In addition to the above, male applicants should show a short example of virtuosity work. Please include:

  • Tours en l’air – to both sides


  • Demi-plie en face, arms in bras bas or on waist

  • A la seconde en l’air, arms in 2nd position