AN OVERVIEW

The BA Musical Theatre programme is for exceptionally talented students who are dedicated to developing their skills in acting, singing, dance and music. We are looking for the next cohort of students who want to train with us alongside industry professionals, and who aspire towards a career in the competitive musical theatre industry.

Now more than ever, artists who can showcase musicianship as an integrated part of their acting, singing, and dancing are in demand both creatively and commercially.

This programme is distinctive in that it offers conservatoire-level tuition in acting, singing, dance and music. We want to work with the most talented and committed actors, so we ask that students are multi- disciplined in the performing arts.

Perform

Your education here will centre on performance and you will have numerous opportunities to perform on stage both within RCS and at external venues around Scotland. During your final year, you will participate in fully- produced musicals, including an actor-musician show, as well as perform in a final showcase. Our aim is that you will graduate from this programme as a confident, versatile artist ready to work in the profession.

Collaborate

RCS is the only conservatoire in Europe to offer programmes in dance, drama, music, production and film. We encourage collaboration between all art forms, therefore as a musical theatre student here, you could regularly work with your peers to create new and engaging work.

Opportunities for collaboration include Options modules and the annual Bridge Week festival, where students can come together from across the conservatoire to bid for project money to create new pieces of performance. You may also have the opportunity to collaborate and learn from industry professionals during your studies, benefiting from the Royal Conservatoire’s close relationships with Scotland’s national artistic companies.

Our graduates consistently gain industry representation and continue to work across the arts and entertainment sectors. Graduates can currently be seen performing 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.

Institution Code:

R58

Programme Code:

202F

UK Deadline:

26 January 2022

International Deadline:

26 January 2022

Programme structure

This is a skills focused-year as you work to identify areas of development and train intensively towards excellence in acting, music, dance and voice. Underpinning this is a strong focus on self-understanding as you develop a practice of creativity through performance classes and practical workshops. You will also investigate the potential of cross-programme collaboration and broaden your knowledge of musical theatre history through practice-based research.

This year bridges the skills work and creative practices of year one with a focus on skills synthesis. Skills classes are complemented with project-based work; musical theatre scene study and new writing projects. You will begin to engage with professional practice, developing industry awareness and considering your potential as an artist within that industry. Research, practical seminars and a range of visiting artists support you in broadening your perspective and developing your skills in a range of performance contexts.

You will have the opportunity to choose modules of study specific to your interests, needs and artistic development. These are cross-conservatoire modules, known internally as ‘Options’ allowing meaningful collaboration with students from other artistic disciplines.

The final year is designed to offer performance experiences reflective of industry standards. This year provides the bridge between training and the profession. Skills classes and seminars are focused on industry engagement including audition techniques, self-employed business management and professional practice activities. A season of fully-staged productions culminates in an actor-musician performance and industry showcases in Glasgow and London.

Singing Lecturers
  • Marjory Watson
  • Arlene Rolph
  • Claire Thomas
Dance Lecturers
  • Rowan MacGregor
  • Courtney Bailey Alan
  • Megan Peasgood
  • Dr Lucy Weir
  • Alan Greig
  • Giullia Montalbano
  • Sarah Wilkie
  • Suzanne Shanks
  • Salma Faraji
  • Darren Brownlie
  • Freya Jeffs
  • Michelle MacIsaac
Music Lecturers
Voice Lecturers

The Pajama Game: Truths, Challenges and Fresh Looks

Read the blog post of 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.

 

Read The Pajama Game blog.

Graduate Destinations

Graduates are working in London’s West End, regional theatres, film and television productions and with major companies including the National Theatre of Scotland, Citizens Theatre, Dundee Rep and the BBC. Following showcase, the majority of our students are signed by agents from the UK and overseas.

Recent graduate successes include:

  • Hannah Visocchi (Class of 2019) – Peter Gynt, National Theatre
  • Duncan Shelton (Class of 2019) – Harry Potter & the Cursed Child, West End
  • Lydia White (Class of 2018) – The Last Five Years, off-West End
  • Meg Forgan (Class of 2018) – The Worst Witch (UK Tour)
  • Pia Hagen (Class of 2018) – Hanna (Amazon), Trainspotting (Off-Broadway)
  • Grace Galloway (Class of 2018) – Blood Brothers (UK Tour)
  • Chiara Sparkes (Class of 2018) – Glasgow Girls (UK Tour)
  • Barney Wilkinson (Class of 2017) – Bat Out of Hell (West End), Sunset Boulevard (UK Tour
  • Emma Mullen (Class of 2017) – Mamma Mia (UK and International Tour)
  • Liam Vincent-Kilbride (Class of 2017) – Son of a Preacher Man/Honk, UK tour
  • Julian Capolei (Class of 2017) – Aladdin (West End)
  • Euan Bennet (Class of 2016) – Sunshine on Leith (UK Tour)
  • Christopher Marshall (Class of 2016) –  West Side Story (BBC), Mamma Mia (West End)
  • Katie Barnett (Class of 2016) – Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour (West End)
  • Will Kinnon (Class of 2016) – Cilla (UK tour)
  • Michelle Chantelle Hopewell (Class of 2015) – AladdinMatilda (West End)
  • Tom Milligan (Class of 2015) – Jack Ryan 2 (Amazon),  Slaves of SolitudeHarry Potter and the Cursed Child (West End)
  • Kara Swinney (Class of 2015) – Glasgow Girls (National Theatre of Scotland)
  • Christina Gordon (Class of 2015) – Glory on Earth (Lyceum Theatre)
  • Rachael McAllister – Son of a Preacher Man, UK tour
  • Scott Gilmour – Actor & Co-director of Noisemaker Productions

Why choose us?

 

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

  • 100% of RCS Musical Theatre graduate respondents are in employment or further study (HESA, 2017/18)
  • Intensive musical theatre training with actor-musician specialism
  • Industry showcase
  • Excellent staff-student ratio
  • A high level of one-to-one contact including lessons in singing, repertoire and instruments
  • Excellent industry connections
  • Experienced staff, who continue to work professionally as creatives. performers and leaders in their field
  • Learn in a unique conservatoire environment alongside musicians, dancers, actors, filmmakers and production students
  • Public performances in state-of-the-art facilities and external venues

 

Chanson from The Baker’s Wife

As part of RCS at Home, BA Musical Theatre performed Chanson with a special introduction by Stephen Schwartz.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

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 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.

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 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.

HOW TO APPLY

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.

The deadline for all applicants is 26 January 2022. If you submit your application after this date, we cannot guarantee that it will be reviewed.

Once you submit your UCAS Conservatoires application, please then upload your audition recording to Acceptd – https://app.getacceptd.com/rcs.

If you submit your application after this date, we cannot guarantee that your audition recording 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

We do not offer deferred entry. If you wish to commence in 2023, 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 Musical Theatre: 202F — Drama Performance

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.

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.

Selection process

For September 2022 entry, we are currently planning for in-person auditions to take place in Glasgow and in London on our BA Musical Theatre 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.

Audition

With the safety of our students, applicants and staff as our priority, all BA Musical Theatre first round auditions will take place via audition recording. The deadline dates to apply and submit your audition recording can be found in the table below –

  UCAS Conservatoires Application Deadline Audition Recording Deadline
All Applicants 26 January 2022 31 January 2022

Once you submit your UCAS Conservatoires application, please then upload your audition recording to Acceptd – https://app.getacceptd.com/rcs.

Preparation for audition

The audition process considers the four key elements of our programme: exploring skills in acting, singing, dance and musicality. Importance is weighted equally in these four areas and we will be looking for a strong ability in three and trainable potential in all four, although it should be noted that the panel will look for the ways in which creativity, connection, and authenticity inform all four disciplines.

Please prepare the following portfolio of recordings for your BA Musical Theatre Audition.

We ask that you give your name and programme clearly to the camera before each section. After that, please don’t feel that you need to perform to the camera through any section of the recordings. The first recording should include a brief overview of your background and why you are interested in studying at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Please do not worry about the quality of the recording – recordings on a phone/iPad are absolutely acceptable. Please record each section separately and when uploading each section, please clearly title each section.

Please complete all sections, we cannot consider your audition portfolio if all sections are not uploaded and submitted.

Singing

You should prepare three songs for your audition portfolio. These should showcase your vocal range and your ability to use your skills to explore different styles common to Musical Theatre repertoire. You should include two contrasting MT songs, and one song not from a musical (this may be pop, rock, blues, gospel, jazz, folk etc). We understand that working with an accompanist may be challenging and therefore we ask that, if possible, you look to use a piano/backing track for one song (YouTube is a great source for this), and the other 2 can be a cappella. Each song should be approximately 1.5 to 2 minutes long.

Within this material the panel will look for:

  • Evidence of vocal technique including flexibility, intonation, pitch and musicality
  • The ability to communicate intention, emotion, and character through song
  • The ability to make stylistic choices appropriate to Musical Theatre repertoire

Acting 

You should prepare and film two pieces for your audition portfolio, each no longer than two minutes in length:

  • 1 contemporary monologue
  • 1 piece of heightened text (spoken word, poetry, Shakespeare, Greek, etc.) This piece may be in a language other than English.

Please prepare and learn these carefully and make sure your work is supported by a good understanding of the entire play, not just your monologue. You may be asked to talk about your choices later in the process.

During this material the panel will look for:

  • The ability to bring a character to life with believable thoughts, feelings and actions which are appropriate to the chosen text
  • The ability to engage an audience through verbal and non-verbal communication
  • The ability to work with both naturalistic and non-naturalistic styles
  • The ability to work with heightened language and/or circumstances, as inspired by the text

Dance/Movement

Via the video below, you will be led through a set of tasks that comprise your dance audition, which includes elements of jazz, ballet and contemporary styles. We ask that, to the best of your ability, you learn and replicate the warm-up sequences and combination.  We would recommend you use a safe space to work through this process and look to film the combination as clearly as possible. The short video can be viewed here – https://youtu.be/uK4mo6-kuRo.

Within this material the panel will look for:

  • The ability to use the body as a means of expression
  • Evidence of technique, style and the physical fitness to cope with the intensive demands of the programme
  • The ability to synthesise and re-create choreography.

Music

If you play an instrument, please prepare a short piece or section of music (no more than 2 mins) demonstrating your musicality. If you do not play an instrument, please tell us about any experiences you have had with music and how this influences your work as an actor, singer and dancer.

Within this material the panel will look for:

  • Elements of potential in musicality, including the ability to communicate through music without voice
  • Evidence of skill and level of accomplishment on your chosen instrument (or multiple instruments)
  • If you do not currently play an instrument, we would encourage you to work towards demonstrating an attempt at a simple skill. For example, you could demonstrate: a basic melody/chord sequence on piano, guitar, or ukulele.

Recall Audition

Applicants who proceed past the recorded portfolio stage will be invited to attend a further audition, either online or in-person in Glasgow or London, dependent on your location and preference. If you are successfully recalled, you will be emailed directly with what to prepare for the recall audition.

Following your audition

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, unless an earlier date is specified. If your conditions include obtaining IELTS (English Language test), you must meet this condition by 31 May.

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 on when you receive your last decision.

Last decision by Your reply date is
3 January 2022 1 February 2022
15 March 2022 12 April 2022
15 May 2022 1 June 2022
12 July 2022 29 July 2022
2 August 2022 8 September 2022

Please see the UCAS Conservatoires website for more information on replying to offers. If you make an application through UCAS Conservatoires, UCAS or UCAS Teacher Training, you cannot hold more than one confirmed place. A confirmed place in UCAS Conservatoires is a guaranteed unconditional offer as your first choice (GU1) and in UCAS and UCAS Teacher Training it is an unconditional firm (UF) place. If you receive more than one confirmed place, UCAS will ask you to accept one offer and withdraw from any others.

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.

Fees and scholarship

Information for Scottish 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 the SAAS website.

Information for 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.

Information for EU students

The Royal Conservatoire is resolutely international in outlook and we celebrate and are enriched by the diversity of our community of students and staff. Students from across the globe are -welcome and valued members of the RCS community and we continue to welcome applicants from across the EU and throughout the world.

QWhat is the fee situation for EU students?

A: On July 9 2020, Scotland’s Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, Richard Lochhead announced changes to the fee regime for EU students studying in Scotland. From next academic year (21/22) all EU students commencing study in Scotland will pay fees at the International rate.

Q: I’m an EU student looking to start my studies in 2021-22. How does this impact me?

A: From next academic year (21/22) all EU students commencing study in Scotland will pay fees at the International rate.

Only EU nationals who are ‘settled’ or ‘pre-settled’ in the UK will remain eligible to apply for home tuition fees providing they meet the residency conditions.

Other EU nationals and associated groups, starting a course of study in academic year 2021-22 or later, are not eligible to apply to SAAS for tuition fee support.

Because of a long-standing agreement between the UK and Republic of Ireland, new students from the Republic of Ireland starting their studies in 2021-22 will be eligible to pay the rest of UK (RUK) fee and will be able to access a tuition fee loan from SAAS.

Please also see the SAAS website for more information.

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 on our Fees and Funding page.

Sources of external funding

For more information about alternative funding sources, including external scholarships and bursaries, please visit Fees and Funding.

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.

Cost of Living and Associated Programme Costs

Investing in your future is important and you need to consider the cost of your tuition as well as the cost of living during your studies. In addition to tuition fees, it is estimated that you will need between £10,000 and £12,000 per year to live in Glasgow, plus programme costs. Associated programme costs can be found on our Finance page.

Tuition fees for academic year 2021-22

Scottish Students

£1,820

Rest of UK (RUK) Students

£9,250

International (including EU)

£18,393