An Overview

Welcome to Production at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Production consists of both the BA Production Arts and Design and the BA Production Technology and Management programmes. Production students will work very closely with each other in the classroom and on RCS productions.

The Production Arts and Design programme has been designed to create a high-level conservatoire learning environment for aspiring scenic artists, prop makers, stage carpenters, costume makers, and set and costume designers. You will learn in an environment where your technical knowledge is as important as your creativity and individuality.

You will be accepted based on your profile in one particular area, taken from the five subjects on offer (scenic art, set construction, costume construction, prop-making, and set/costume design). You will follow an individually-negotiated pathway based on a major and minor study to ensure a quality learning experience and afford you the opportunity to engage with the broad and diverse range of performance programmes.

The opportunity to work with film-makers, dancers, musicians and actors is unique and the facilities in which we do this are second to none. The Wallace Studios at Speirs Locks has purpose-built production workshops and design studios and the Renfrew Street building houses five public performance spaces including a fully-equipped proscenium arch theatre and a black box studio theatre. The combination of professional venues, extensive workshops, construction spaces, design studios and the latest stage and workshop technologies provide a fantastic learning environment.

As our standards are rooted in industry practice we have exceptionally strong links with professional partners from across the UK and beyond. We have very close relationships with the key Scottish national companies, such as Scottish Opera, the National Theatre of Scotland and Scottish Ballet as well as the majority of regional theatres such as the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, Pitlochry Festival Theatre and the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh. We work closely with industry to ensure the expertise you acquire is current, competitive and of the highest professional standard.

If you have an employment opportunity you would like to share with our production students or graduates please contact Ros Maddison with full details and she will be happy to share this information as appropriate.

Institution Code:


Programme Code:


UK Deadline:

31 January 2023

International Deadline:

31 March 2023

Programme Structure

You will experience all areas of the theatre production process as well as build initial skills and knowledge in your major subject. You will receive a broad-based introduction to the production environment and the standard practices both in production arts and design and also in its sister programme production technology and management. In the five core subjects, the design process is examined through a range of projects, workshop rotations and collaborative projects culminating in the choice of a minor subject to complement your major study pathway. You will also investigate the collaborative nature of production and performance and have the opportunity to work with year one students from across RCS.

You will consolidate your skills and knowledge and be introduced to more advanced approaches and techniques including Personal and Professional Development skills. Production Arts students engage with practice-based work on RCS productions as part of a collaborative team with students from third year.

Processes, skills and techniques are gathered, as well as the opportunity to observe senior students in managerial positions. Design students explore the design process from concept to final presentation through personal projects and begin the process of designing for a fully realised production.

Each student negotiates their individual pathway in third year to take advantage of the available production roles, personal projects, options modules and work placement opportunities. The placement ensures you are making contacts with industry practitioners and potential employers. A showcase of work is exhibited at the end of the year and a range of potential employers are invited to view your work.

Most work is assessed through staff observations of your practice but reflection underpins the approach to assessment, and reflective journals and summary statements form a key component of assessment in Personal and Professional Development modules. There is a strong emphasis on the assessment of process including working with others. Students in levels two and three engage in portfolio building as an element of professional development planning, specifically designed to aid their self-promotion, and transition into the workplace.

Additional Staff

Production Technology & Management Lecturers

The BA Production Technology and Management Programme team deliver a range of sessions on your programme especially throughout year one. Also led by the Head of Production, the team consists of four dedicated lecturers and four tutors.

  • Steve Macluskie – Lecturer in Stage Technology
  • Susan May Hawley – Lecturer in Stage Management
  • Christoph Wagner – Lecturer in Lighting
  • Claire Hibberd – Lecturer in Sound Technology
  • Sam Burt – Stage Management Tutor
  • Barry McCall – Sound Tutor
  • Dave Evans – Lighting Tutor
  • Malcolm Stephens – Stage Supervisor (Tutor)
Central Production Unit (CPU)

The Central Production Unit consists of tutors who mentor and supervise students in the production arts workshops including tuition and tutorial support. There are also three Production Managers in the CPU who will be your line managers on production work but who are also there to support your learning. The CPU is separate to the School of Drama, Dance, Production and Film and supports all RCS productions as required.

CPU Staff

  • Lynfryn Mackenzie – Head of Technical Production
  • Kevin Murray – Production Manager
  • Colin Bell – Production Manager
  • Gillian Affleck – Costume Tutor
  • Gill McLeod – Costume Tutor
  • Linda Logan – Costume Tutor
  • Lynne McGinley – Costume Tutor (PT)
  • Anna Antczak – Costume Tutor (PT)
  • Simon Cook – Workshop Manager
  • Matt Doolan – Construction Tutor
  • Astrella Oldham – Props Tutor
  • Merlin Currie – Props Tutor
  • Rhonda Barclay – Production Support Assistant (Stores)
Venue Team Technicians

The Venues Team provide technical support in RCS venues and offer advice and guidance in production practice. They work independently to the School of Drama, Dance, Production and Film and have responsibility for all RCS internal venues. The team is led by:

Kevin Robertson – Resident Stage Manager

Visiting Staff and Practitioners

Design students are sometimes mentored by a professional designer as well as full-time staff in order to make contacts and reap the benefit of advice straight from the industry. In addition to this, the department works with a range of professional practitioners in order to support RCS productions. These include; designers, scenic artists, prop makers, costume makers and carpenters.

Programme Support Administrators

The Programme also has administration support from the AAS staff:

Alexis Stroemer – Programme Support Administrator (Production & Film)

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)
  • Only degree of its kind in Scotland
  • 100% of graduate respondents are in employment or full-time study (HESA, 16/17)
  • Our invaluable industry partnerships include National Theatre of Scotland, National Theatre, Royal Opera House, Scottish Ballet, Citizens Theatre, Royal Lyceum Theatre, Disney Cruise Lines, Pitlochry Festival Theatre, The Envelope Room, Society of British Theatre Designers and Scottish Opera
  • Industry placement and final year showcase
  • Workshops and masterclasses with distinguished visiting professionals
  • Purpose-built production workshops, design studios and five public performance spaces
  • Study abroad opportunities in Europe, Australia, California and Hong Kong
  • Continuing student success on major TV shows such as Peaky BlindersGame of ThronesOutlander, Downton Abbey and The Crown and on major films such as The Outlaw King and with major artists such as Beyoncé. 

Production Arts and Design at RCS

Learn more about the BA Production Arts and Design programme from our teaching staff in our video which goes behind the scenes of this creative programme.

Behind the Street Scene

Discover what our Set Construction and Props students created for the Street Scene opera.

Graduate destinations

Recent graduate destinations include Assistant Carpenter (Royal Lyceum & Pitlochry Festival Theatre), Assistant Scenic Artist (Royal Opera House, Royal Lyceum, Citizens Theatre & Pitlochry Festival Theatre), Art Department (BBC), Principal Costumes (Game of Thrones) Costume Intern (Scottish Opera, Outlander), Costume Assistant (Cirque du Soleil) plus design roles with the BBC and National Theatre of Scotland.

  • Rachel Light (Class of 2021) Royal Television Society Student Awards winner, Craft Award for Production Design – Sizzle
  • Jack Sheehan (Class of 2019) Romeo and Juliet, Designer, The Stockwell Playhouse – Action to the World Theatre Co; V + 15 Designer, Nevertheless Theatre Co-VAULTS Festival; Aladdin and the Feast of Wonders, Production Assistant, VAULTS Immersive; Battersea Arts Centre, Lighting Operator, Macbeth online, Designer, Action to the World Theatre Co
  • Debbie Jenkins (Class of 2018) River City, Art Department Trainee
  • Meghan Grieve (Class of 2018) Be Still My Beating Heart, BBC Scotland – SFTN, Art Dept Trainee; Our Ladies, BBC Scotland – SFTN, Art Dept Trainee; All Over the Place: UK Pt 1, CBBC, Art Dept Trainee; All Over the Place: UK Pt 2, CBBC, Assistant Art Director; SCUZZ, SFTN, Production Designer; Screen Skills Art Dept Trainee 2020-21
  • Nicole Green (Class of 2018) Props Assistant Scottish Opera
  • Siiri Korhonen (Class of 2017), Royal Television Society Scotland, Student Television Craft Award for Production Design 2018. Outlander, Season 5, Costume Trainee Programme. BBC World productions, Vigil mini-series, Costume Trainee
  • Alisa Kalyanova (Class of 2017) Designing for Opera North Education Department, Catherine Wheels Theatre Co, Tron Mayfest, Opera Bohemia
  • Basia Binkowska (Class of 2016) Linbury Design winner
  • Emma Green (Class of 2016) Costume PA Tom and Jerry Movie, Warner Bros Studios, Leavesden
  • Connor Gallagher (Class of 2015) Carpenter, Scottish Opera
  • Jade McNaughton (Class of 2015) Principal Costumes, Game of Thrones
  • Zoe Roy (Class of 2015), props intern, Outlander
  • Kenneth MacLeod (Class of 2015) Guest Designer: Eden Court Theatre, Cunard Line, Dundee Rep, National Youth Ballet, MacRobert Arts Centre
  • Cara Roxburgh (Class of 2014), BAFTA Scotland New Talent Design Award 2016, Gilly Slater (Class of 2017) The Bayreuth Scholarship, Richard Wagner Stipendienstiftung 2017
  • Sophie Martin (Class of 2013) Hamilton, Victoria Palace Theatre, Wardrobe Assistant; Opera Holland Park, Wardrobe Deputy
  • Marian Colquhoun (Class of 2005) Head of Props, Scottish Opera
  • Lyndsay Sinnamon (Class of 2006) Head Scenic Artist, Outlander
  • Louie Whitemore (Class of 2005) Set and Costume Designer, work includes Royal Opera House and Sadler’s Wells. Associate Director of Jermyn Street Theatre.
  • Hear from our graduates

    Student Spotlight

    Lu Herbert

    In her third year of the Production Arts and Design programme, Lu specialises in devising stunning sets and is the associate designer for British Youth Music Theatre’s Why the Whales Came.

    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.

    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 Entry 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 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.

    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.

    Application deadline date

    The closing date for all on time undergraduate applications from Scotland and the rest of the UK has been extended to 31 March 2023. 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 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 Production Arts and Design: 203F 

    Application Fee

    There is a UCAS Conservatoires application fee of £26.50. In addition to the application fee, each conservatoire charges an audition/interview assessment administration fee. For RCS, the audition/interview assessment administration fee is £35 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 £35 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.

    The Interview

    Applicants who apply on time (Scottish and rest of UK (RUK) – 31 January 2023, International (including EU) – 31 March 2023) are invited to an interview by email, approximately three weeks before. For September 2023 entry, we are currently planning for in-person interviews to take place in Glasgow as well as continuing to offer interviews in an online format for those who are not able to travel to an in-person event. We have many years of experience of conducting online interviews and have a well-established format and process in place, so no applicant will be disadvantaged by being assessed in this manner. If possible, we encourage candidates to select an in-person interview as this gives you the opportunity to view our facilities.

    Please note that RCS is only obliged to offer one audition/interview date per application. Alternative dates will only be provided (subject to availability) in exceptional circumstances. If you are unable to make your allocated interview date, you should email us immediately stating the reason.

    BA Production Arts and Design interviews will take place from December to May.

    You will be required to identify your chosen major study subject at the point of application and your interview experience will be tailored to this choice. The five major subjects are:

    • Scenery Construction
    • Scenic Art
    • Props Construction
    • Costume Construction
    • Set & Costume Design

    As well as an interview with two members of programme staff (approx. 30-40 minutes), candidates interviewed in-person are offered a short tour of the Production Arts and Design facilities with a current student (15-20 minutes). At your interview, the panel will ask you about your previous experiences and your interests and hobbies and they will also want to discuss your response to the tasks noted below. In addition to these tasks, you should bring a portfolio of other work relevant to your application. If you have not completed the tasks, the panel will not be able to proceed with the interview.


    The Aim of the Interview

    The interview process is designed to ensure that you have every opportunity to demonstrate a commitment to and experience of theatre and the performing arts.  The interview also allows the panel to satisfy themselves that you have the potential to develop the relevant skills and qualities necessary to succeed both on a degree-level programme and ultimately in a highly competitive profession. This could include:

    • Creative skills
    • Technical skills
    • Analytical and reflective skills
    • Communication skills
    • Collaborative skills
    • An ability to work independently
    • Professional standards

    To assess these skills, the interview panel will invite you to discuss your response t