RCS prospectus offers insight into life at one of the world’s top performing arts institutions

RCS prospectus offers insight into life at one of the world’s top performing arts institutions

Published: 31/08/2022

A special energy, a sense of community, a place where anything is possible.

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) launches its new print and digital prospectus today, giving prospective students an insight into life at one of the world’s top performing arts schools.

In RCS’s 175th anniversary year, current students from across the globe lift the curtain on what it’s like to study at Scotland’s national conservatoire, which offers specialist training in music, drama, dance, production, film and education.

View the prospectus at rcs.ac.uk/like-nowhere-else

With bespoke photography – including a quirky campaign image by acclaimed fashion and sports photographer Guy Farrow on the set of an RCS production – the prospectus encapsulates the student experience at RCS, where artists from more than 65 countries come together to learn and collaborate against the vibrant backdrop of Glasgow, named the world’s friendliest city 2021*.

Earlier this year, RCS was ranked fifth in the world for performing arts education in the QS World University Rankings. In June, violinist, educator and global champion of the arts, Nicola Benedetti CBE was appointed Honorary President.

The prospectus also turns the spotlight on RCS alumni, who can be found in concert halls and classrooms, on TV screens and film sets, on the world’s most iconic stages or making magic behind the scenes. They include:

  • Sex Education’s Ncuti Gatwa, who was this year named as TV’s new Doctor Who.
  • Oscar-nominated Hollywood screenwriter Krysty Wilson-Cairns
  • Outlander star, author and philanthropist Sam Heughan who established a new ten-year drama scholarship at RCS and created Write Start: The Sam Heughan Creative Commission, an annual award to spark collaboration across the art forms
  • Mercury Prize nominee and jazz pianist Fergus McCreadie
  • Olivier Award-winning actor, director and playwright Isobel McArthur
RCS students from across the disciplines gather around a dining table that's filled with props. Lots of energy and expression from each person as well as interaction between the group
The RCS prospectus campaign shot by acclaimed photographer Guy Farrow

Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said:

“This is a special place in many ways: a national conservatoire for Scotland with an international perspective.

“Studying at RCS means being part of a dynamic global community of students, staff and alumni. Students not only develop excellence in their disciplines but are offered a wealth of opportunities to collaborate in one of the finest multi-disciplinary arts education environments in the world.

“We are incredibly proud of the work our students, staff and graduates create and look forward to welcoming a new generation of innovative artists through our doors.”

Elena Garrido Madrona, Masters Opera, Spain

“The best thing about RCS is the people. From day one, you get all this lovely atmosphere; everyone is so supportive, and everyone wants the best out of you. The teachers here are also amazing. I am so happy with my singing teacher. I feel like she has made me a whole new person — I’ve grown so much.”

 Robbie Fisher, Bachelor of Arts, Modern Ballet, Scotland

“I wanted to study at RCS because I loved how there were so many different disciplines in the one school and how you get the chance to interact with people from all the different art forms. I also love the partnership that the ballet programme has with Scottish Ballet. RCS is such a positive and nurturing place to be.”

 Jamie Cutler, Bachelor of Arts Filmmaking, USA

“On a practical scale, you get a very versatile and holistic education in filmmaking. RCS has such different disciplines coming and working together and collaborating towards creating something that stands out. It’s a very welcoming community. It has done a great job of fostering a cultural experience in art — but also a collaborative one — and you’re not going to get that anywhere else.”


Francesca Hess, Bachelor of Arts Acting, England

“One of the things I like about RCS is they want to celebrate everything you are and your individuality. As soon as you arrive, they take you for who you are. It made me think ‘yeah… that’s where I want to be’. I just knew from the moment I entered the building — there was a ‘crackle’ in the air.”


Min Khai Khoo, Bachelor of Music, Malaysia

“The brass department and the sense of community is amazing. For me, what makes RCS special is all the different disciplines. There’s so much going on in one campus, there are so many people to collaborate with and so many different projects you can do.”


Kyle Jessiman, Bachelor of Arts Production Technology & Management, Scotlan

“The numbers on the programme mean that the amount of time you get to spend with your lecturers and tutors is amazing. There are a lot of opportunities where RCS brings in industry professionals, so you’re always learning.”


Zeo Fawcett, Bachelor of Music (Composition), Scotland

“I did the Summer School for Composition, and I just loved the atmosphere and I thought that this seems like a place that fits with me really well and the teachers seem open-minded.

“There’s always just something going on, there’s such a buzz to RCS.”


BA Modern Ballet dancer Emily Sapsford on the banks of Glasgow’s famous River Clyde. Image © Robbie McFadzean/RCS

As Scotland’s only conservatoire, RCS partners with the country’s leading artistic companies to offer unique opportunities for students, which include everything from tours and professional placements to performing with world-renowned orchestras and theatre companies.

Partners include RSNO, Scottish Ballet, The National Piping Centre, National Theatre of Scotland, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Opera, Scottish Ensemble, Solar Bear and Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

Students learn from the best throughout their studies, working with eminent educators and performers. Teaching staff and visiting artists take a starring role within the prospectus and include:

  • Martyn Brabbins: Conductor and RCS Visiting Professor of Conducting
  • Karen Cargill: Mezzo-soprano and RCS Associate Artist in Vocal Studies
  • Daniel Pioro: Violinist and RCS Associate Artist in Contemporary String Performance
  • Bethany Kingsley-Garner: Scottish Ballet Principal Dancer
  • Errollyn Wallen CBE: composer and singer-songwriter and RCS Visiting Professor of Composition
  • Vanessa Coffey: RCS Visiting Lecturer and Intimacy Coordinator



*Rough Guides


For more information on studying at RCS, visit rcs.ac.uk

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