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BA Musical Theatre

Become a multi-disciplinary artist with creative authenticity and flair in acting, singing, dance and music. 

Overview

BA Musical Theatre is a distinctive, conservatoire-level programme for talented students dedicated to developing their skills in acting, singing, dance and music. We’re looking for students who want to train with us and aspire towards a career in the competitive musical theatre industry.  

We want to work with people who are original, talented, committed and inspired by collaboration; performers of the future who will celebrate and share their skills in a wide range of professional contexts.  

Perform  

Your education here will begin with a focus on core skills and processes. Our aim is that you will graduate from this programme as a confident, versatile artist ready to work in the profession.  

You will take part in industry workshops and classes which will allow you to develop your skillset in advance of two full-scale productions and an industry showcase in your final year of study.  

Our unique programme offers a pathway for developing actor-musicianship skills, along with opportunities for students to explore their creative voices within new musical development projects.  

Succeed 

Our close relationships with many of Scotland’s national companies mean that our students will have the invaluable opportunity to network and garner visibility among casting directors, agents, creatives and leaders in the UK arts scene through many diverse opportunities. 

Workshops and productions are directed by creatives working within the industry, who often call upon RCS students for external opportunities and projects during their studies. 

Our graduates consistently gain industry representation and continue to work across the arts and entertainment sectors; in the West End, on Broadway, in national and international tours, with national companies, regional theatres, and in a variety of television and film projects. 

Many of our graduates also go on to create their own companies and produce work, creating change within the industry in positive and meaningful ways. 

The important details

UK Applicant Deadline:
31 January 2024

International (including EU) Applicant Deadline:
31 January 2024

Institution Code:
R58

Programme Code:
202F

Audition Fee:
£55

Application Fee:
£27.50


Why Study BA Musical Theatre at RCS?

Specialism Opportunities


Benefit from intensive musical theatre training, with actor-musician specialism opportunities built into the curriculum.

Industry Showcases & Networking


In your final year, you’ll take part in an industry showcase, demonstrating your work to employers. Our excellent industry connections will support your networking and enhance your employability.  

One-to-One Lessons


The excellent staff-student ratio will provide you ample opportunities to work one-on-one with instructors. You will participate in regular one-to-one singing, repertoire, instrument lessons and tutorials.

Unique Experience


You will learn in a unique conservatoire environment alongside like-minded students from experienced staff who continue to work professionally as creatives, performers, and leaders in their fields. During your studies, you will perform in state-of-the-art facilities on campus and external venues. 

Meet the Staff

Additional Staff

Singing Lecturers

  • Marjory Watson 
  • Arlene Rolph 
  • Claire Thomas 
  • Phillip Shades 

Dance Lecturers

  • Rowan MacGregor 
  • Courtney Bailey Alan 
  • Michelle MacIsaac  
  • Lisa Darnell 

Dance Workshops & Visiting Lecturers 

  • Salma Faraji 
  • Himadri Madan 
  • Alan Greig 

Acting Lecturers

  • Daniel Cameron 
  • Nicole Cooper 
  • Rogelio Nevares 
  • Joanna Bowman 

Music Lecturers

  • Ana-Thea Panainte 
  • Matthew Brown 
  • Andrew Nunn 
  • Jan Straczynski 
  • Graeme Smillie 
  • Karen Dufour 
  • David Kerr 
  • Andrew Huggan 
  • Elizabeth Stirrat 
  • Neil Shaw 
  • Shonagh Murray 
  • Andy Manning 
  • Caitlin Forbes
  • Aaron Morrison 

 

Voice Lecturers

  • Hilary Jones 
  • Melanie Drake 
  • Bill Wright

 

 

Artist in Development/Practice Lecturers

  • Melanie Bell 
  • Susie Dumbreck 

 

Regular Visiting Lecturers & Industry Professionals

  • Louise Shephard (Associate Artist – Directing & Performance) 
  • Sarah Wilkie (Associate Artist – Choreography) 
  • Aaron Lee-Lambert 
  • Tom Cooper 
  • Andy McGregor 
  • Becky Hope-Palmer 
  • Oliver Lidert 
  • Alexandra Spencer-Jones 
  • Ken Alexander
  • Urbanix Choreography 

 

 

Graduate Destinations

Our graduates are working in London’s West End, regional theatres, film and television productions and with major companies. Following the final year showcase, most of our students are signed by agents from the UK and overseas. 

  • National Theatre of Scotland
  • Citizens Theatre
  • Dundee Rep
  • BBC
  • BFI
  •  Apollo Victoria Theatre
  • Screen Scotland
  • Vienna’s English Theatre
  • National Theatre of London
  • Redpoint Productions

Alumni

Alumni of the BA Musical Theatre programme include:

  • Annabelle Aquino (Class of 2023)Les Misérables (West End, Sondheim Theatre)

  • Sebastian Lim-Seet (Class of 2023) – The Snow Queen (Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh), Ship Rats (A Play, A Pie and a Pint, Òran Mór), SCOTS (A Play, A Pie and A Pint and 54 Below, New York) 

  • Star Penders (Class of 2023) – Aganeza Scrooge (Tron Theatre, Glasgow), Macbeth (An Undoing) (Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh and UK/US Tour), SCOTS (A Play, A Pie and A Pint and 54 Below, New York)

  • Nina Gray (Class of 2021) – Girl (Feature Film – BBC, BFI, Screen Scotland) 

  • Michael Ahomka-Lindsay (Class of 2021) – Cabaret at the Kit Kat Klub (West End, Playhouse Theatre), Choir Boy (Bristol Old Vic), Newsies (Wembley Park Theatre, London), Legally Blonde (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, London)

  • Zweyla Mitchell dos Santos (Class of 2021)Little Shop of Horrors (UK Tour), Once (The Hub at St Mary’s, Lichfield)

  • Marc McMillan (Class of 2021) On The Brink (Vienna’s English Theatre, Vienna), Underwood Lane (Tron Theatre, Glasgow)

  • Joy Tan (Class of 2020) – The Crucible (National Theatre, London), Allegiance (Off West End, Charing Cross Theatre) 

  • Georgie Buckand (Class of 2020) – Shrek the Musical (UK Tour), Bedknobs and Broomsticks (UK tour) 

  • Julia Murray (Class of 2020) Islander (UK/US Tour), Underwood Lane (Tron Theatre, Glasgow) 

  • Isaac Savage & Jonathan O’Neill (Class of 2020) – Writing & Producing own work (‘O-Neill and Savage’). Their musical, Stay, was performed as part of A Play, A Pie and A Pint’s Autumn 2023 season at Òran Mór. 

  • Harry Mills (Class of 2019) – Wicked (West End, Apollo Victoria Theatre) 

  • Fergus Dale (Class of 2019) – Wicked (West End, Apollo Victoria Theatre) 

  • Duncan Shelton (Class of 2019) – Harry Potter & the Cursed Child (West End, Palace Theatre) 

  • Lydia White (Class of 2018) – Matilda the Musical (West End, Cambridge Theatre), Little Women (Off West End, Park Theatre), The Last Five Years (West End, Garrick Theatre and Off West End, Southwark Playhouse) 

  • Grace Galloway (Class of 2018) – Blood Brothers (UK Tour) 

  • Sally Swanson (Class of 2018) – Cabaret at the Kit Kat Klub (West End, Playhouse Theatre) 

  • Abigail Stephenson (Class of 2017) – Ohio State Murders (Broadway, James Earl Jones Theatre), Knoxville (World Premiere Recording) 

  • Emma Mullen (Class of 2017) – So Long, Marianne (Redpoint Productions and Buccaneer Media), Mamma Mia! (West End, UK and International Tour) 

Programme Structure

This is a skills focused year as you identify areas of development within acting, music, dance and voice. 

There is a focus on self-reflection and goal-setting as you develop your practice through performance classes, workshops and tutorials. You will broaden your knowledge and understanding of musical theatre history, context and repertoire. 

This year offers a blend of skills classes and projects, as you focus more on integration of practice. You will broaden your awareness of industry practices and consider your potential as an artist within it. You will consider your potential to contribute to the continued evolution of the art form. 

The final year provides the bridge between training and the profession, offering performance opportunities in a variety of contexts. You will participate in two full-scale productions and an industry showcase, providing opportunity to work alongside student and professional production teams within a variety of venues and contexts.  

Skills classes and seminars focus on industry engagement including audition techniques, self-employed business management and professional practice activities. An introduction to self-taping and creation of digital portfolio materials will support opportunities to engage with industry professionals and stand you in good stead to work within the industry upon leaving RCS. 


Entry Requirements

Academic 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 
  • 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. 

English Language Requirements

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 7.5 (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 per 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 the UCAS Conservatoires application as 2 or 3. 


Fees & Funding

Tuition fees

  • Scotland: £1,820 (for most full-time, Scottish-domiciled undergraduate students, this will be paid by SAAS. More information is available on our Fees & Funding pages)
  • RUK: £9,250 
  • International (including EU): £27,968 

Funding & Scholarships

You can find out about the funding and scholarships available for studying at RCS by visiting our dedicated page:

Funding & Scholarships

Cost of Living & Programme Costs

In addition to tuition fees, it is estimated that you will need between £11,200 and £15,300 per year to live in Glasgow, plus programme costs. Much will depend on your lifestyle and whether your course runs for three or four terms. 

Undergraduate Programmes within the School of Drama, Dance, Production and Film have a range of associated costs related to the specific activities required and advised by the programme team. To ensure fairness and parity of experience about certain core programme activities a one-off payment to cover a proportion of necessary costs is required of the student at matriculation. You can find these costs in the pdf below: 

BA Musical Theatre Programme Costs 


How to Apply

Apply via UCAS Conservatoires

Applications are made through the UCAS Conservatoires website. The UCAS Conservatoires application system is separate from the main UCAS undergraduate application system.

You can read our guidance about using UCAS Conservatoires on our dedicated How to Apply page. 

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: 202F – Musical Theatre (BA)

The closing date for all on-time BA Musical Theatre applications is 31 January 2024. If you submit your application after this date, we cannot guarantee that your application will be reviewed by the audition panel. If you do want to submit a late application, you must contact admissions@rcs.ac.uk in the first instance to check we are accepting late applications 

Application/Audition fees

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. The interview assessment administration fee is £55 for this programme. Fees are not refundable. The fees are paid via the UCAS Conservatoires website and not directly to RCS. 

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

Policy

We have a number of policies and statements which you should read when applying to study at the Royal Conservatoire.

Please select the links below to read each policy.

References

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.

Audition & Interview Information

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

Round one will be via pre-recorded video submissions only. You will need to create an Accept’d account to upload your video submissions. 

If you are successful, you will be invited to our final recall audition. We would encourage you to attend these auditions in person, but we understand that this is not possible for everyone. Those who are unable to attend in person will have the opportunity to audition live online via Zoom. 

Round 1

You are required to upload 4 separate videos. Each should be in one full take. Please do not edit your videos. The audition videos do not need to be professionally filmed – your phone or a similar device is suitable. The following videos are needed:

Please record 2 contrasting songs. At least one of these must be a Musical Theatre song and the songs should showcase your vocal range. Each song should be no longer than 3 minutes. Ideally, we would like these songs to be accompanied either on piano or with a backing track, but if it’s not possible for both, then one can be performed as a Capella.

Please record 1 contemporary Monologue (from the 21st Century). This should be from a published play and performed in English. The speech should be no longer than 2 minutes. 

Please recreate the sequences and choreography (including warm-up and Kicks) shown in this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uK4mo6-kuRo 

Please prepare a short piece or a section of music (no more than 2 minutes) demonstrating your musicality. If you don’t yet play an instrument, please use this time to speak about your musicality, how music has influenced you, and/or what aspirations you might have about playing an instrument

Recall Auditions

All recall auditions will be held in person in Glasgow and London. Those who are unable to travel to these locations will be invited to a live online session via Zoom. 

Before the recall audition, you will be required to create a devised piece that will be shown at your audition. 

For the devised piece, we would like you to prepare an original piece incorporating as many of the following areas as you wish – text, dance/movement, singing and music. 

We’ll leave this up to you to decide the story, structure, style, and content – be imaginative. This piece should last for a maximum of 2 minutes.

At your audition you will have access to a sound system should you wish to incorporate music digitally; a piano if you choose to incorporate live playing, and basic furniture such as a table and chairs. 

If you are invited to our recall audition, you will be emailed instructions on what else you need to prepare before your audition. 

 

More from the Musical Theatre Department

 

2023 Student Showcase


Watch the 2023 BA Musical Theatre Student Showcase.

The Pajama Game: Truths, Challenges and Fresh Looks


Read our blog about how Theatre Director and MA Classical and Contemporary Text graduate (2013) Becky Hope-Palmer led the BA Musical Theatre Class of 2021 through The Pajama Game under Covid-19 restrictions, delivering a fresh take on the show whilst still retaining all the 1950s Golden Age magic with the timeless story of capital vs labour at the heart of it. 

 

Student performing a musical theatre production. They expand their arms out to the sides and sing.

Chanson Performance


Watch BA Musical Theatre students perform Chanson from The Baker’s Wife, with a special introduction by Stephen Schwartz, as part of RCS at Home. 

Why RCS?

We are the only place in Europe where you can study all of the performing arts on the one campus. There is a distinctive creative energy at RCS and you’ll be made to feel part of our inclusive and diverse environment from the very beginning of your studies.

Our graduates are resourceful, highly employable and members of a dynamic community of artists who make a significant impact across the globe.

At RCS, students develop not just their art but their power to use it.

Find out more 

A ballerina wearing a teal dress jumps over the Kelpies monuments in Scotland during a grey day.

World Top Ten


We were voted one of the world’s Top Ten destinations to study the performing arts (QS Rankings) in 2024, the eighth time we have been placed in the top ten since the ranking was established in 2016.