The performance pathway offers an intensive blend of high-level vocational education and creative opportunities for students. The programme requires a related degree and/or related performance experience and marries together project-based learning experiences with focused skills classes in acting, voice, singing and dance.

This is a high-contact programme which includes individual singing lessons, rep sessions and project mentoring. As a Masters student, your practice will be underpinned by the RCS’ principles of Critical Artistry; ensuring that through practice-based research you will develop a deeper understanding of your craft, the industry and your place in the world as a creative artist.

You will work with our highly experienced programme staff, as well as a number of visiting industry practitioners and creatives. Our diverse range of performance projects will provide opportunities for you to explore and share your practice within a wide array of settings. These could include commercial concert, acting scene studies (contemporary and classical), company scenes project, new musical development, solo cabarets and commercial performance skills.

Every year, our MA Musical Theatre (Performance) students present work at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe alongside our MA Musical Theatre (Musical Direction) students. Each festival we celebrate the synthesis of skills developed by our students throughout our year long programme by producing work that suits their unique talents, such as the premiere of new musical theatre performances to full length classics.

Institution Code:


Programme Code:

703F (Performance)

UK Deadline:

31 March 2023

International Deadline:

31 March 2023

Programme structure

A skills-focused term, with high-level taught classes in Acting, Voice, Singing and Dance.  These will be supplemented with Performance Classes and Artist in Development seminars, through which you’ll be encouraged to set your own goals and work autonomously and collaboratively towards achieving them. The integration of these core skills will begin towards the end of the term, where there will be an opportunity to engage in a public performance of a Christmas concert.

The integration of skills will continue through project work in Term 2. You’ll work with both faculty and industry professionals on sections of materials from different styles/forms, with a focus on practice-based research and the rehearsal process. The development of new work may also be explored in this term, with consideration being given to how new and existing work relate to each other within the 21st Century musical theatre landscape. Performance classes and Artist in Development workshops continue, with an embedded focus on personal sustainability and well-being.

In the third term, our focus begins to look outwards and how you as individuals want to engage with audiences and industry professionals. There is space created in this term for the creation and rehearsal of solo cabarets, which will then be performed for public audiences in an external venue. Preparations will begin for the Term 4 and professional practice will be developed through industry masterclass and panel events.

The final term culminates in the rehearsal and performance of a fully realised musical at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. This project is designed to replicate the demands of a professional experience of rehearsing and performing in a musical over a sustained period of time.

Additional Staff

Singing Lecturers
  • Marjory Watson
  • Arlene Rolph
  • Claire Thomas
Dance Lecturers
  • Rowan MacGregor
  • Courtney Bailey Alan
  • Dr Lucy Weir
  • Alan Greig
  • Giullia Montalbano
  • Suzanne Shanks
  • Salma Faraji
  • Freya Jeffs
  • Michelle MacIsaac
Acting Lecturers

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)

  • Full year of intensive training, supported by an experienced team of in-house and external industry professionals
  • Small class sizes with high contact time. One-to-one lessons in singing, repertoire and mentor sessions
  • Programme design that prioritises experiential learning and self-determined pathways
  • Collaborative and inter-disciplinary opportunities, such as can only be found within the particular conservatoire environment we provide
  • New musical development workshops with industry creatives and collaborative partners
  • Full season of performances at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
  • Regular contact with industry professionals and mentors
  • 94% of performance graduate respondents are in employment or further study (HESA, 2017/18)


Campus and Facilities

Classes take place across the Renfrew St and Wallace Studios campus, giving students access to award-winning dance studios, six professional performance venues, student IT suite and one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of performance materials for dance, drama, music, production and film in the Whittaker Library.

Take our virtual tour.

” The lecturers are incredible, the wealth of experience that they have here and the openness and caringness and the loving nature that they’ve created within rcs, it feels like a very safe space.”

The Student Experience

“Their understanding and their care is what really makes RCS stand out from other schools”

We chatted to students studying on our MA Musical Theatre programmes (Performance and Musical Directing) about their experiences of studying with us.


Graduate Destinations

All of our training is geared towards preparing you for a sustainable and long lasting professional career. Graduates of the programme are working around the world; in London’s West End, on Broadway, on international tours, and for renowned companies including the National Theatre of Scotland.

Some recent graduates include:

  • Liv Younger Aladdin, Neon Diamond Theatre Ltd
  • James Dawoud Cinderella (Horsecross, Perth)
  • Eu Jin Hwang The King and I (National tour)
  • George Arvidson Evita (West End) and Carousel (Pitlochry Festival Theatre)
  • Rebecca Faulkenberry Rock of AgesSpiderman and High School Musical (Broadway)
  • Keisha Fraser Colour Purple and Book of Mormon (West End)
  • Scott Garnham Les MisérablesI Can’t Sing (West End), Billy Elliot (national tour)
  • Aaron Lee Lambert ShrekUrinetown (West End), Sister Act (National tour)
  • Tom Mackley Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (West End)
  • John McLarnon We Will Rock You, The Commitments (West End), Apologia and Outlander


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

Applicants are normally expected to hold an appropriate undergraduate degree, or its overseas equivalent, in a subject area relevant to the demands of the programme.

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 7.5 (with a score of 7.5 in speaking) 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 all on time postgraduate applications from the UK and International (including EU) is 31 March 2023. 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 in the first instance to check we are accepting late applications.

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:

MA Musical Theatre (Performance): 703F

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.


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

All MA Musical Theatre first round auditions will take place via audition recording. The deadline date to apply and submit your audition recording is the 31st March 2023.

Once you submit your UCAS Conservatoires application, please then upload your audition recording to Acceptd –

If you submit your application after this date, we cannot guarantee that your audition recording will be reviewed by the audition panel. If you are successfully recalled, you will be invited for a recall audition either online or in-person dependent on governmental guidance in place at the time and your location/preference.

For September 2023 entry, we are currently planning for first round self-tapes followed by in-person recall auditions to take place in Glasgow on our MA 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. Also, we are currently planning to host in-person auditions in New York and Toronto in early 2023. For more information on these, please e-mail / respectively.

Please visit our Audition section for more information on what to prepare for your audition.


All MA Musical Theatre first round auditions will take place via audition recording. The deadline date to apply and submit your audition recording is the 31st March 2023.

Once you submit your UCAS Conservatoires application, please then upload your audition recording to Acceptd – Applications submitted after this date may not be considered.

Please prepare the following portfolio of recordings for your MA Musical Theatre (Performance) audition recording:

Round 1 – Filmed Recording (please clearly chapter each section)

  1. Personal Statement –

Please include a personal statement at the beginning (straight to camera), offering a brief overview of your background and why you are interested in studying at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

  • Dance / Movement –

We have filmed a short section of dance and 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 this as clearly as possible. The short video can be viewed here:

  • Singing –

Please film yourself singing four songs accompanied by a pianist – 2 up-tempo and 2 ballads – three songs should be Musical Theatre and 1 should be from another genre (eg pop, rock, blues, jazz). 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 at least one track (YouTube is a great source for this) and