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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 2022

International Deadline:

31 March 2022

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
  • Anna Clayton
  • Ross Sharkey
Dance Lecturers
  • Rowan MacGregor
  • Courtney Bailey Alan
  • Dr Lucy Weir
  • Freya Jeffs
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, EU and International (non EU) is 31 March 2022. 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 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:

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

With the safety of our students, applicants and staff as our priority, 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 2022.

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.

For September 2022 entry, we are currently planning for first round self-tapes followed by in-person recall auditions to take place in Glasgow and in London 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. Please visit our Audition section for more information.


With the safety of our students, applicants and staff as our priority, 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 2022.

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)

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 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 below.

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 if needed the other 3 can be unaccompanied.

Acting –

For this section you should film yourself performing:

1 Shakespeare monologue

1 contemporary monologue

Each should have an approximate running time of 2 mins.

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

Round 2 – Audition (Online or In-Person dependent on guidance at the time)
If you are successfully recalled, we will be in touch with you directly to arrange this and to provide detail on what to prepare.

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 2022, unless an earlier date is specified. If your conditions include obtaining IELTS (English Language test), you must meet this condition by 31 May 2022.

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.


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

New Scottish domiciled students may be eligible for a Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan. All eligible students will be able to apply directly to Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for a non-means-tested loan of up to £3,400. See the SAAS website for further details of the PSAS scheme.

Scottish domiciled postgraduate students on eligible courses can also apply for a Postgraduate Living Cost Loan up to £4,500 towards living expenses. This is in addition to the existing loan available towards the cost of their tuition fees.

Information for Rest of UK students


Postgraduate students from England can benefit from a postgraduate loan of up to £11,222 (in 2020/2021) to be used towards tuition fees and/or living costs.

Northern Irish

Students from Northern Ireland may be eligible to apply for a Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan of up to £5,500 to help with the cost of their course fees. Please see the Student Finance NI website for more details.


From 1 August 2019, students ordinarily resident in Wales (and those from the EU studying at a Welsh institution) may be entitled to a combination of loan and grant as a contribution to costs while studying a postgraduate Master’s degree course. The total amount of support available is non-means-tested and is paid directly to the student. The total support available to an eligible student is £17,000. A grant of up to £6,885 is available, depending upon household income. The balance of support is a loan.

Support comprises of the following elements:

  • A non-means-tested contribution to costs base grant of £1,000 is available to all eligible students. ï‚·
  • An additional means-tested contribution to costs grant of £5,885 is available to eligible students with a household income of up to £18,370 per annum. For every £6.937 of household income per annum above this threshold, the amount of additional means-tested grant will be reduced by £1.
  • A non-means-tested contribution to costs loan is available to all eligible students. The amount of loan available will be equal to the level of total support (£17,000 in 2019/20) less the total grant (base grant plus additional grant) a student is eligible for.

For part-time study, support is allocated over the number of years the course is studied. Support is capped in each academic year; for example, £17,000 for a one year course, £8,500 per year for a course lasting two years and £4,250 per year for a course lasting four years. Full-time courses between one and two years are eligible for support. Part-time courses of up to four years are eligible for support.

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.

Q: What 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 the 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 UK fee.


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 2022-23

Scottish Students


UK Students


International Students (including EU)


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