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, pointework, 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 1st 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 consistently ranked in the World Top 10 for performing arts education (QS World Rankings 2023)

  • 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 t