The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama


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The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (Central) stands at the forefront of training and research in the Dramatic Arts. Graduate employment statistics are amongst the highest, and their research has recently been assessed as ‘World Leading’ Read More – and is unique in the realm of drama conservatoires. The ratio of undergraduate applications to places is the highest of any UK university. Whilst their actors win many of the most coveted awards, worldwide, and frequent accolades in the media, a broad range of industry organisations rank Central as the gold standard in leadership of technical and design work. Central continues as a pioneering force in the application of dramatic skills in many social contexts. Read Less

Course & Program View All

Qualification Level: BA (Hons) Degree

The BA (Hons) Acting at Central:

• A comprehensive classical and contemporary actor training
• Prepares actors who aim to become world-leading artists in theatre, film and television
• Focuses on new thinking in response to the rapidly evolving world of the arts and culture
• 3 years full-time, and students are entitled to full Equity status upon graduation.

The course has four key principles:

Self-discovery – we encourage you to investigate and interrogate your world, challenging your own habits and preconceptions and opening yourself to the journey of the training, while learning to accept uncertainty and failure as part of the process of change and growth, and making curiosity, originality and artistic courage the cornerstones of your professional and artistic life.

Artistry – we offer you the skills you need to build your craft as an actor, so that your imagination and creativity can find expression in truthful characterisation and in the telling of complex and profound stories that offer insights into our world and the human condition.

Empowerment – within the safety of the creative space and the integrity of the acting ensemble, we promote the honest exchange of thoughts and ideas, the sharing of creative inspiration and the generosity of spirit which should always characterise a true actor.

Tradition and innovation – intrinsic to this course is a commitment to studying longstanding theories and practices while welcoming innovation and new vision.

UCAS CODE: Institution C35, Course W410, option AP

Course Duration: 3 years full-time

Course Fee: £ 9250.00 For Year

Qualification Level: BA (Hons) Degree

Central’s BA Acting (Collaborative and Devised Theatre) is in creative partnership with international touring theatre company Complicite.

• An innovative and rigorous actor training, emphasising the creation of new theatre
• Embraces a multicultural and multidisciplinary methodology with diverse student groups
• Celebrates the creative potential of collaborative processes alongside development of the individual actor
• 3 years full-time, and students are entitled to full Equity status upon graduation.

You will graduate with the skills to work in classical and contemporary theatre, film, radio and screen, as well as being an accomplished maker of your own work. The core actor training includes the psychophysical techniques of Jacques Lecoq, Michael Chekhov, Konstantin Stanislavski, Kristin Linklater and Moshe Feldenkrais and emphasises an embodied and experiential approach.

As well as developing rehearsal techniques for script-based work, the course will encourage you to explore the most up-to-date forms of theatre and filmmaking and to have a full creative and political engagement with your work.

UCAS CODE: Institution C35, Course W410, option CDT

Course Duration: 3 years full-time

Course Fee: £ 9250.00 For Year

Qualification Level: BA (Hons) Degree

Central's BA (Hons) Acting (Musical Theatre) degree course provides you with the skills to work in classical and contemporary theatre, musicals, feature film, television and radio. Throughout the course, you will explore acting through a range of contemporary approaches to sung and spoken voice, movement and dance.

• Intensive musical theatre training with the emphasis on acting
• Extensive engagement with industry professionals
• External performance opportunities/collaboration with artists, theatre companies and producers
• 3 years full-time, and students are entitled to full Equity status upon graduation.

As an actor, you will interrogate both musical and non-musical settings ranging from Shakespeare and the modern American realists to Sondheim and the popular musical. As the course progresses you will acquire the necessary skills for the realisation of ‘character’ in both the transformational and heightened theatrical styles of both spoken and sung performance.

The course has outstanding links with the performing arts industry and this is reflected in the wide range and high percentage of graduate employment.

Scholarships and Bursaries
Students on Acting Musical Theatre currently benefit from a high level of external and internal scholarship and bursary support (to help with fees and living expenses) from the following: Ian Fleming Musical Theatre Award, Olivier Bursary Award, Lilian Baylis Award, Lionel Bart Foundation, Pilkington Trust, David Day Memorial Scholarship, Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, Clare Rich Scholarship, and Fergal O’Mahony Foundation Awards for Musical Theatre.

UCAS CODE: Institution code: C35, Course code: W410, option AMT

Course Duration: 3 years full-time

Course Fee: £ 9250.00 For Year

Qualification Level: BA (Hons) Degree

About the course
On the Drama, Applied Theatre and Education (DATE) course, you can:

• Perform in, direct and devise theatre, explore performance that takes place outside traditional theatre environments
• Make theatre to change lives and inspire change in communities
• Build industry contacts worldwide through placements and outreach projects
• Develop skills in areas such as facilitating, devising, directing, performing, playwriting and filmmaking.

Join an international world leader in Applied Theatre
Applied Theatre at Central is highly regarded internationally and the Drama, Applied Theatre and Education (DATE) is a world leading course that will train you as a highly adaptable theatre maker. You will focus on performance making in diverse settings such as community centres, parks, prisons, pupil referral units, refugee camps, hospitals, playgrounds, schools and nursing homes, in the UK and abroad. Such innovative work aims to bring about change in communities and participants from all walks of life.

We believe that excellent professional applied drama theatre makers are skilled practically, intellectually and come from a diverse set of backgrounds themselves. We work with you to help you meet the challenge of developing your practice and intellectual abilities. You will have the opportunity to develop skills in areas such as facilitating, devising, directing, performing, playwriting and filmmaking.

An experience tailored to you
The course offers an unparalleled breadth of experience, tailored to your developing aspirations. Whilst lively debate and energetic discussion are a cornerstone of the course, you will have the opportunity to participate in professional quality, fully-realised directed productions, for example a commissioned site-specific show and touring ensemble works, a show for young audiences, or a theatre in education show in the north of England. Alongside performance work in the community, you will have the opportunity to make and show work at Central.

Work alongside industry professionals
As you progress, you develop your own creative performance making skills and show, in small groups, performance-based projects for specific communities and groups.

You will work alongside visiting professional practitioners, playwrights, filmmakers and applied theatre specialists from organisations which have, in the past, included Tamasha Theatre Company, Royal Court Theatre, Complicite, Talawa Theatre Company, London Bubble Theatre Company, Greenwich and Lewisham Young People’s Theatre and Synergy Theatre Project.

You will learn through a programme of performance making, formal lectures, essay writing, workshops, skills sessions, movement and voice classes, seminars, group and individual practice and placements. Being at Central means you benefit from the specialist expertise and resources available because of the course’s distinctive positioning within a drama school.

Variation and exploration
You may have the opportunity to travel and explore the use of drama in diverse community settings. In recent years, students have undertaken projects in places such as New York, Johannesburg, Bulawayo, Hong Kong, Santiago de Chile and Mumbai. Most of this work is undertaken in partnership with international arts organisations, which work closely with course tutors and students to design, develop and deliver projects. Central has the only applied theatre courses on which students have access to funding from the Leverhulme Trust to support these distance projects (see below).

As an Applied Theatre Graduate
Graduates from this course are uniquely placed for a broad range of different career paths, going on to pursue careers in performance, directing and drama facilitation, and educational roles in theatre companies, for example. DATE graduates are highly employable and lead the field in applied theatre internationally. They have high-level professional skills because Central works in collaboration with many professional organisations and practitioners. There is also financial support available for participation in placements and outreach work in many arts, community, health or education settings within London and beyond.

UCAS CODE: Institution code: C35, Course code: W490

Course Duration: 3 years full-time

Course Fee: £ 9250.00 For Year

Qualification Level: BA (Hons) Degree

Studying on the Performance Arts course, you will:

• Experiment, explore and create new forms of performance
• Develop critical skills to investigate, theorise and make new performance
• Produce work in professional environments
• Undertake projects with national and international arts organisations and practitioners

Who is this course aimed at?
This course fosters independent and collaborative creative practice and is aimed at aspiring practitioners who want to develop new and challenging performance forms, rooted in a rigorous engagement with the skills, theories and histories of theatre, dramaturgy, performance, and live art.

The curriculum’s integration of artistic development with producing, curatorial and administrative skills prepares you to become an independent practitioner, able to work in key artistic, and institutions positions across the arts sector.

Your creative identity
The course is tailored towards the development of your artistic identity through both theoretical analysis and practical experimentation. You will undertake different processes that will challenge and develop your ways of working.

The course brings together the theoretical foundations of Performance and Theatre Studies, and focuses on developing skills across creative disciplines of contemporary performance and related arts practices. These may include areas as diverse as critical and creative writing, live art and body-based work, site-specific performance and performance photography, as well as an engagement with scenography, and textual and visual dramaturgy.

Your role as a producer
In the context of your development as a performance maker, you will be trained in the role of producer, acquiring skills in programming, marketing, finance, fundraising and administration to ensure that you are ready to create your own work and help others to produce their performances.

Your role as a practitioner
As a practitioner, you are encouraged to challenge assumptions about the creation, understanding and analysis of performance and to develop the future of performance, dramaturgy and curating, with an emphasis on interdisciplinarity. In this process, you will be asked to engage with work outside your immediate areas of interest in order to reassess what you expect, know and value about art and culture in general.

UCAS CODE: UCAS code: Institution code: C35; Course code: W440

Course Duration: 3 years full-time

Course Fee: £ 9250.00 For Year

Qualification Level: BA (Hons) Degree

On the Costume Construction pathway of BA (Hons) Theatre Practice, you will:

• Develop skills in costume interpretation and creative
• Learn pattern drafting, women’s and men’s costume making, hat making and accessories
• Undertake costume supervision and placements with professional companies and designers
• Work closely with students of all other theatre disciplines to contribute to the overall understanding of performance and theatre production.

Technically skilled and creatively inventive ‘makers’ are an essential part of any production team, sensitive to the stylistic intentions of the designer and director. The training will principally be in theatre, but these skills are widely transferable to different environments, including television, film and major live events.

What is a costume constructor?
The work of the costume constructor is to interpret the given costume designs, whether period or modern, abstract or representational. As part of the production team, you will work closely with the costume designer to interpret the brief and create costumes and accessories to the level of finish expected by contemporary audiences, and are able to research and understand the time, place and narrative of the production through analysis of scripts and creative concepts.

Alongside high-level and varied costume making skills, you will develop skills in time management, resource management, budgeting and scheduling, working closely with students of all other theatre disciplines to contribute to the overall understanding of performance and theatre production.

What is costume construction?
Costume construction is a craft that requires the making of garments suited to the modern body, while achieving correct shapes and silhouettes for particular eras and designs. You will learn to produce garments that are appropriate for the character and comfortable to enable the performer to use costume to enhance their performance. The course does not focus solely on historical garments and is proud of the range of projects included.

UCAS CODE: Institution code: C35, Course code: W460

Course Duration: 3 years full-time

Course Fee: £ 9250.00 For Year

Awarding Bodies
Federation of Drama Schools
Conservatoires UK