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The course

The BA (Hons) in Acting course is progressive, expanding and building on the potential you bring with you.

You will start with building foundation skills and vocabulary in class settings. You will then assimilate these skills through open classes, showings and performances – initially presenting to small groups within the Academy, and, in the third year, in fully-staged productions for industry professionals and the general public.

The curriculum is designed to enable you to enter the profession confidently equipped to apply your talent and training in any performing medium.

Over the three-year course, RADA aims to:

  • provide student actors of exceptional talent with vocal, physical and imaginative training that will allow you to attain your full potential
  • stimulate in students an awareness of your potential for growth, and for the need to continue the learning process throughout your lives
  • create and sustain a spirit of enquiry and discovery within the Academy, to enrich and develop the potential of both students and staff
  • provide the dramatic arts industries with skilful, confident, virtuosic and resilient actors, enriching the industry nationally and internationally
  • encourage an active engagement with the role of the artist in society and culture
  • generate in as wide a spectrum of students as possible, a life-long commitment to the development of creative skills, to enrich both your own lives and those of your audiences

Timetable and workload

You will usually work around 40 hours per week, sometimes slightly longer, with some classes, projects and productions including evenings and weekends.

Third year hours are higher during production periods and routinely include evenings and weekends.

Assessment

The BA (Hons) in Acting is an unclassified degree; this means you will receive an honours degree, but without classifications like 2:1 or first class.

All assessment is based on practical work. You will be assessed regularly throughout your training on progress in each of the subjects you learn. You will also be assessed during projects and productions, working towards a series of public productions in the third year. We are looking for your ability to bring together all aspects of learning, and to embody it within your work as an actor.

You will receive regular feedback through tutorials, class notes and written feedback on assessments. We do not automatically share marks with students, but these are available if you would like to see them.

The programme does not have credit weighting. Students are required to pass all course components to complete the programme.

Year 1

  • Cumulative classwork, where students are marked across a number of subjects. Formal assessment points are in term 2 and 3
  • Acting project 1 (70% process, 30% presentation) in term 3

Year 2

  • Cumulative classwork, where students are marked across a number of subjects. Formal assessment points are in term 4 and 5
  • Acting project 2 (50% process, 50% presentation) in term 4
  • Acting project 3 (50% process, 50% presentation) in term 5
  • Acting project 4 (50% process, 50% presentation) in term 6
  • Acting project 5 (50% process, 50% presentation) in term 6

Year 3

  • Public production 1 (30% process, 70% presentation) in term 7
  • Public production 2 (30% process, 70% presentation) in term 7
  • Public production 3 (30% process, 70% presentation) in term 8
  • Public production 4 (30% process, 70% presentation) in term 9
  • Recorded drama: film project and radio project (combined marks 30% rehearsal, 70% public performance – projects are marked separately and final marks aggregated) in term 8

Across all three years, there are classes that are compulsory to attend but are not assessed.

Teaching staff

Visit our acting teaching staff list to read about our faculty teaching on the BA (Hons) in Acting and other acting courses.

I didn't really know what drama school was, and definitely didn't think it was somewhere for me... Now I'm having the time of my life! I am learning so much about myself and the craft of acting.

Year 1

Exploration

The first year of your training is about exploration. The work is rigorous and challenging but asks that you approach it playfully, imaginatively and with a willingness to explore yourself in new situations and exercises.

You will be asked to look at and let go of habits, to try things in ways you have never tried them before, to approach exercises with curiosity and openness, to take risks and not worry if they don’t bear fruit. You will play, explore and discover.

Acting technique classes focus on the development of individual process, using the systems of Stanislavski and some of his successors. You will also be introduced to the fundamental elements of theory and practice in voice (including voice practice, speech study, sight reading and text work) and movement – comprising pure movement, which develops body awareness, flexibility posture, stamina, strength and spatial awareness; and expressive movement, developing techniques in moving as different characters.

Other classes will focus on specific skills and techniques including screen acting, improvisation, dance, combat, individual and choral singing, and Alexander technique.

This work is complemented by cross-disciplinary teaching, developing yourself as an artist through practices that include close study of play scripts, self-reflection, research-led projects on theatre history, and collaborations with students on other courses as well as personal and professional development.

This year is about process rather than presentation or performance. There are some showings and sharing of work towards the end of each term – including two choral performances – throughout the year but you will only share your work with teaching staff and your year group colleagues in first year.

RADA also regularly hosts guest speakers, comprising leading figures from a wide range of industries and walks of life – from politics and arts, to photography, neuroscience and religion.

You will have weekly classes across the year in subjects including:

  • acting technique
  • improvisation
  • pure and expressive movement
  • practical voice and speech through voice
  • dance
  • dramaturgy
  • text and scene study
  • acting for camera
  • actor’s history
  • Alexander technique
  • rehearsal exercises
  • singing (1:1 and choral)
  • physical skills and stage combat
  • reflective practice
  • personal and professional development

Year 2

Assimilation

This year is about assimilation. The skills, techniques, working and research practices and exercises you have developed through your first year need to be drawn together in this year, as you refine your process.

More independence, responsibility and resilience is expected. As you develop your unique process you will also be encouraged to consider speeches, plays and possible castings in anticipation of the final year.

Professional development continues in this year with a more outward focus on the role of the professional actor in the industry, including panel discussions and workshops with actors, directors, producers and writers.

Class work

Building on the class work of the first year, further strands in the training contribute to the development of a robust, independent process.

In acting training, Meisner technique (introduced in first year) is deepened in weekly acting technique classes, as well as in screen acting classes. Also in screen acting, you will learn self-taping and prepare for screen auditions. A devising strand is introduced with a focus on both theatre and film, building on the improvisation techniques accrued in the first year. The focus and rigour of these classes will enable you to develop as responsive, truthful, imaginative and courageous actors.

In voice training, technique work is further enhanced by encounters with varied texts with distinct challenges; these are explored in regular classes setting and in sharings RADA’s theatres and – where possible – non-theatre spaces.

Speech study encompasses a wider range of texts, from complex image-driven verse to political speeches and epic groups, expresses both individually and in groups. The second year also introduces dialect and accent study. Throughout the year, you will be guided through speech systems via playful vocal investigation, reflection and analysis.

In singing classes, you will begin to curate a repertoire of songs for presentations and auditions, forming a base for further development in the final year. You will take part in two singing presentations, with the emphasis on integrating singing technique with acting and character demands.

Movement classes in pure movement continue to higher level, to develop technique and expressiveness. New strands of movement work in neutral mask, chorus work and character work are introduced. Dance and fight develop so they can be applied to text and dramatic situations, and greater emphasis is placed on physicality as part of the actor’s process in rehearsal. You will also be expected to develop your own movement warm-up.

Projects

As well as a continuation of class work, you will work with teachers and outside practitioners and directors on extended projects.

Projects include Shakespeare Stanislavski scene study, Jacobean scene study, Greek Lab project, Prize Fights, Restoration comedy and the Shakespeare Schools’ Tour.

The projects provide an opportunity to apply your training. You will assimilate your acting, voice and movement techniques through these classical scene studies and play projects. They are supported by your acting, voice and movement teachers to help consolidate your technique as you put it into practice.

Performance

You will be introduced to a public audience at the end of second year with the Shakespeare Schools’ Tours, which perform in London secondary schools, RADA’s Jerwood Vanbrugh Theatre (as part of the RADA Festival) and – where possible – at international festivals.

Recently second year students have performed at international festivals including:

  • META (Meeting of European Theatre Academies) in Florence
  • Alpbach Forum in Austria
  • Gdansk International Shakespeare Festival
  • International Meeting of Theatre Schools in Poland
  • Theatre Schools Festival in Suceava, Romania

Year 3

Applying your training

Year 3 focuses on application of your first two years of training. Over the course of your third year RADA produces 13 stage productions, 6 short films and 4 radio plays, as well as industry showcases.

Each student will be cast in four stage productions, one short film (and crewing on at least one other), and two radio plays (live and recorded). You will be part of a repertory company working with outside directors and creative teams, fully supported technically and with expectations of professional practice.

Class work continues but with less frequency. You will have regular voice and movement, acting lab, singing and reflective practice classes as well as ongoing professional development. Voice and movement support is part of all productions and may include requirements specific to the production, such as combat, singing and ensemble work.

Evening and weekend work is expected during third year as part of your regular timetable. The hours worked during the year may exceed 50 hours a week during production periods.

Professional development

Professional development opportunities include seminars with agents, casting directors, directors, actors and other industry professionals, as well as other RADA teams such as Development, Marketing and Communications, and RADA Business.

There is a period of intense professional development leading towards your graduation at the end of third year as part of your transition into the industry. Q&As and graduate forums focus on the transition out of drama school, as part of the resilience strand of the training.

Opportunities for acting within RADA Festival productions are also available, including self-led creative projects.

In the third year students also benefit from the RADA Buddy mentoring scheme. This programme supports the transition from student to professional actor with graduate ‘buddies’ providing professional advice, feedback and networking opportunities throughout the final year and beyond.

Professional development sessions may include:

  • tax and self-employment
  • budgeting, both personal and for productions, grants and funding bodies
  • self-taping
  • mock auditions
  • auditions with Shakespeare's Globe, RSC and film and TV companies
  • workshop leader training and practice
  • voice reels

Performing in the final year

Third year stage, film and radio productions give you the experience of rehearsing and realising a performance in a supported professional environment, working with professional directors and creative and technical teams.

As you refine your own personal creative process, you will demonstrate your versatility and proficiency as an actor, exploring, developing and sustaining work in different media.

Stage productions

RADA's stage productions are fully realised, designed by professionals or graduating theatre production students and with full technical support by RADA theatre production students, supervised by RADA staff.

Plays are drawn from the whole range of world theatre, both classical and contemporary, and may include new writing, devised and interdisciplinary work, and musicals. The plays are chosen and cast by the Director of RADA in consultation with the Director of Actor Training, the director of the production, the Academy Dramaturg and other staff as appropriate.

Rehearsals follow standard professional hours: 8-10 hours a day, up to 6 days a week, over four weeks in the rehearsal room. You will then move into the theatre for technical and dress rehearsals, working for up to 11 hours on a number of days.

Directors, who may be guest professionals or members of RADA staff with professional directorial experience, are encouraged to work with you as they would with more experienced actors, employing their own personal creative approaches and such exercises, rehearsal methods and preparatory work as they think appropriate to the text and production.

In addition to rehearsals and feedback from the director of the production, you will receive voice and movement support from Academy staff and feedback from the Director of RADA and other staff as appropriate. Productions may include coaching for combat, dance, singing and dialect.

Film and radio productions

Screen acting work culminates in film productions, giving you the experience of realising a screen performance within a supported professional shooting environment. The films require acting and crewing, providing experience both in front of and behind the camera, to understand and appreciate the technical demands and expectations of a professional film set.

Shot on location and with minimal preparation time, you will need to adapt and refine your personal creative process to work quickly and efficiently alongside visiting professionals. The completed films are screened to industry before being entered into international film festivals. You will also be given access to the finished films for show reel purposes.

Microphone work culminates in radio productions and the creation of individual voice reels. The radio plays and voice reels are directed by visiting professionals from the radio and audio industries, and include a combination of studio recordings and live recording in front of an audience. Copies of the completed work are available to students after being professionally edited.

Film and radio productions take place over a five-week period. Radio occupies the first two weeks and ends with a live radio production in front of an audience. Students are then divided into three groups, allowing you to rotate between acting in a film, crewing in a film and recording voice reels. The recording/shooting process follows standard professional hours (8-10 hours a day, up to 6 days a week) and may involve filming on location overnight.

Casting

Production casting is designed to provide you with as wide a range of parts – large and small – as possible. Every effort is made to ensure that casting is equitable and that you are given parts appropriate to your skills and learning needs. You will be stretched in a constructive way, ensuring you are neither under-challenged nor handed a responsibility you cannot take on.

Casting aims to ensure that you perform to a public audience in a variety of different spaces and forms of theatre. Gender and colour-neutral casting are regularly employed in the process of offering equal opportunity to all actors, commensurate with the degree to which you have absorbed the training.

Performances and screenings

Productions run for 10 or more performances (usually including at least one matinee) to an audience of industry professionals and the paying general public in a RADA theatre. Other performance opportunities include:

  • the Tree (industry showcase)
  • the Film Tree (industry showcase)
  • live radio plays performed for RADA audience

Assessment of performances

Each student performs in five public productions over the course of the year (four stage productions and one short film). In expected circumstances, four of these five are assessed, and the film must be one of the four assessed productions.

Some flexibility may be possible around which productions are assessed in exceptional circumstances. Equivalent professional work may – in exceptional and agreed circumstances – substitute for an assessment point.

My three years at RADA undoubtedly set an invaluable foundation for my last few years as an actor, and I am excited for whoever chooses RADA as the drama school for them.

How to apply

Click 'Apply now' at the top of this page to download an application form, and return by post to RADA by 28 February 2019 (or earlier for auditions outside of London - please see the application form for all relevant dates). Please ensure you use the correct postage - A4 envelopes in the UK will need a large letter stamp and incorrectly paid postage will delay your application. Late applications will not be considered under any circumstances.

There is an intake of up to 28 students in September each year. We audition all eligible applicants who apply before the deadline.

You may only apply once per academic year, but you may apply for our Foundation Course in Acting at the same time and using the same form as our BA (Hons) in Acting.

Preliminary auditions run from November until April, with the option to audition in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Bristol and Plymouth as well as overseas in Dublin, New York and Los Angeles. Please indicate on your form where you would like to audition, and we will confirm your audition date as soon as possible.

We audition everyone who applies and we are committed to making our training as widely accessible as possible. Every year, over 50% of our students on core courses receive financial support, ranging from fee waivers, contributions towards maintenance costs (accommodation, travel and course materials) and full scholarships.

Audition dates 2018-19

  • London: Nov 2018 to Apr 2019 (applications close 28 Feb 2019)
  • Newcastle: 11 - 13 Feb 2019 (applications close 25 Jan 2019)
  • Dublin: 11 - 13 Feb 2019 (applications close 25 Jan 2019)
  • New York: 18 - 22 Feb 2019 (applications close 25 Jan 2019)
  • Los Angeles: 25 - 27 Feb 2019 (applications close 25 Jan 2019)
  • Manchester: 4 - 8 Mar 2019 (applications close 15 Feb 2019)
  • Birmingham: 11 - 13 Mar 2019 (applications close 15 Feb 2019)
  • Bristol: 18 - 19 Mar 2019 (applications close 15 Feb 2019)
  • Plymouth: 20 Mar 2019 (applications close 15 Feb 2019)

Entry requirements

Candidates must:

  • have complete fluency in the English language
  • be 18 years old by 1 September 2019
  • demonstrate an intellectual, creative and practical ability to undertake degree level training

Application fee, fee waivers and travel bursaries

Application fees

We charge an application fee for all courses. Our admissions process is not automated and may involve significant contact with an individual applicant. We do not refund application fees.

The application fee for the BA (Hons) in Acting is £46 for applications received on or before 13 December; and £76 for applications received after 13 December.

Application fee waivers

We offer application fee waivers for UK students who are coming to higher education for the first time, with a family income of less than £25,000. These students may also be eligible for financial support with travelling to later-stage auditions or interviews.

You will need to submit a fee waiver application at the same time as your course application to be considered. This is based on your household income, and we will ask you to provide evidence of that income.

Download our application fee waiver form here.

Travel bursaries

All UK/EU students new to higher education who meet one of the following criteria may be considered for a travel bursary at third or fourth round of the BA (Hons) Acting auditions, or an interview for our Theatre Production courses. The criteria are:

You attended a state school; and one or more of the following:

  • Your family income is below £25,000
  • Your family income is less than £43,000 and your home address is in a neighbourhood with low participation (in accordance with the Polar4 Postcode Check)
  • You will be considered to be a care leaver when you begin your training

Please make sure that you have indicated your family income in the box on the application form to be considered. We will require evidence of need. We do not set a specific amount paid for travel bursaries as it will depend on the distance travelled and mode of transport. We will only pay travel bursaries for travel within the UK.

Admissions procedure

Auditions take place between November and June, and are between 9am-6pm Monday to Friday, with occasional Saturdays and evenings.

Our audition process is rigorous, spanning several months, and you may be called to attend at short notice. Owing to the number of candidates we audition, we do not routinely provide feedback.

If you are auditioning outside of London please be prepared to attend subsequent recalls and workshops in London if required. A list of audition guidance notes will be sent to all applicants.

Fee waivers and travel bursaries are available dependent upon circumstances.

Auditions

The four audition stages

  • Preliminary audition – November to April
  • Recall audition – December to May
  • Short workshop (three-hour session)
  • Workshop day

Preliminary audition

Preliminary auditions run continually between November and April. You will be seen at preliminary auditions by two members of the audition panel.

What to prepare

The preliminary audition usually consists of two, but sometimes three, audition speeches. Each speech should last about 2 minutes, and certainly no longer than 3 minutes. The panel may stop you if your speech is longer than 3 minutes.

Piece A – Classical
The classical piece should be from Shakespeare or an Elizabethan/Jacobean playwright (Jonson, Marlowe, Webster, etc.). It should be originally written in English – so do not choose a piece from a Greek tragedy or a Molière comedy, for example.

Piece B – Contemporary
The contemporary piece should provide a clear contrast to the classical piece and be written after 1960. Do not use Chekhov or Shaw for this piece.

Piece C – Alternative Classical
You must have an alternative classical piece prepared (same rules as Piece A), which you may or may not be asked to perform.

Recall audition

Speeches presented at the preliminary audition are repeated at the recall audition, unless you have been recommended to prepare a new audition piece. You are also required to sing a prepared unaccompanied song.

Short workshop

A three-hour workshop. Bring both your classical speeches (Piece A and Piece C) and contemporary speech (Piece B) from earlier rounds.

Workshop day

This is the final stage and you will need to prepare a new audition speech of your choice. It can be from any era, Greek to contemporary. If you have not used Piece C in previous rounds you may choose that.

Regional/overseas auditions

You can attend auditions in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Bristol and Plymouth as well as overseas in Dublin, New York and Los Angeles. You should indicate where you want to audition on your application form. Please note the earlier application deadlines for auditions outside of London.

Candidates opting for regional/overseas auditions should ensure that they are available for a recall on the same day if required. Recalled candidates will also be requested to attend a workshop in London at a later date.

Find more details about what to prepare for each stage of the audition process in our admissions procedure document.

Information for disabled applicants

We consider diversity to be enriching and a vital part of what makes us one of the world leaders in providing vocational training. We encourage the opportunity for self-development regardless of age, gender, disability, ethnicity, marital status, nationality, sexual orientation, parental status, religion or belief.

We welcome applications from disabled applicants and encourage them to disclose relevant information regarding any disability when completing their application form, to enable us to provide additional support during the interview process. There is more information for disabled applicants on the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama website.

Home, EU or international student?

There are strict regulations regarding residency which must be met in order to qualify for Home Student status. All EU students who are offered a place at RADA are required to verify their EU status prior to the offer of the place being confirmed.

Home (UK) student

In order to be classed as a Home (UK) student you normally need to meet all of the following criteria on the first day of the first academic year of the course:

  • You are settled in the UK (this means there is no immigration restriction on the length of your stay)
  • You are ordinarily resident in the UK, and have been for the full three years before the first day of the academic year (ordinarily resident means that your main home is in the UK, and you are choosing to live in the UK.)
  • The main reason for you being in the UK was not to receive full-time education.

EU student

You will be classed as a Home (EU) student if, on the first day of the first academic year of your course:

  • You are an EU national, or the relevant family member of a non-UK EU national, who is in the UK as a self-sufficient person or as a student, or the relevant family member of a UK national.
  • You must have been ordinarily resident in the European Economic Area and/or Switzerland and/or the overseas territories for the three years before the first day of the first academic year of the course.
  • You must not have been resident wholly or mainly for the purpose of receiving full-time education

International student

If you do not fall under the Home (UK) or Home (EU) fee definitions, then you will be classed as an international student.

International students coming to RADA on a full-time course of more than six months will require a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa before coming to the UK to start your course. Without the visa you will not be allowed to enter the UK. Please download our guide for more information.

The definitions on this page are only a very brief summary and there are a number of exceptions to the conditions listed. For more detailed information, please refer to the UK Council for International Student Affairs guide.

Admissions, appeals and complaints

For information about RADA’s admissions, appeals and complaints procedures for higher education courses, please download and read our Admissions, Appeals and Complaints document. Please note that this process covers the following courses only:

  • BA (Hons) in Acting
  • FdA Technical Theatre and Stage Management
  • BA (Hons) in Technical Theatre and Stage Management (progression year)
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Theatre Costume
  • MA Theatre Lab
  • Foundation Course in Acting

Policies, terms and conditions

If you would like to know more about RADA’s admissions policies for higher education courses, please download and read our Admissions Policy.

Please download the RADA Fees Policy for more information about fee levels and increases, deposits and payment.

You can read our terms and conditions for students here.

You may also be interested in

Foundation Course in Acting

Our Foundation Course in Acting is a six-month course that provides rigorous training in the foundations of acting, giving you an insight into life at a conservatoire drama school.

Application is via the same route at the BA (Hons) in Acting.

Find out more

Costs and funding

Tuition fees

Make sure you’ve checked above in 'How to apply' about your status and whether you are classed as a Home (UK), Home (EU) or International student. This affects the fee and also the financial support available.

For home UK/EU students, please note that our fees are regulated by the Office for Students.

Undergraduate fees for the academic year 2019-20:

Home students (UK and EU)
£9,000

International
£19,070

Your course is three years in length so for home students the total tuition will be not less than £27,000. For international students, the total tuition will be not less than £57,210. For international students, please note that we are likely to increase your fees year on year by a cost of living amount.

The UK government has guaranteed that all EU undergraduates starting in 2019/20 will have the same tuition fee levels and status as Home (UK) students. Visit www.gov.uk for more details.

Please see the fees policy for more information about how RADA calculates tuition fee increases for each year of a course.

Other costs

Almost all materials and resources you require for your courses are included in your tuition fees. However, you should also be aware of the following additional costs during your time at RADA and during the application process.

Costs not included in the fees

Almost all materials you require for your course, including travel for any trips, will be included in your course fees.

Other materials costs: £300

The things not covered include practice clothes and footwear, play texts and stationery. We take a repayable deposit from students for locker keys, access passes and against any unpaid library fees. This totals around £100. Any student likely to have difficulty paying a deposit can notify us before arriving at RADA.

International students will also need to pay for visa costs; see below under 'Funding your training' for further details about visas.

Please see the Life at RADA section for information about likely accommodation costs.

Application fee, fee waivers and travel bursaries

Application fees

We charge an application fee for all courses. Our admissions process is not automated and may involve significant contact with an individual applicant. We do not refund application fees.

The application fee for the BA (Hons) in Acting is £46 for applications received on or before 13 December; and £76 for applications received from 13 December onwards.

Application fee waivers

We offer application fee waivers for UK students who are coming to higher education for the first time, with a family income of less than £25,000. These students may also be eligible for financial support with travelling to later-stage auditions or interviews.

You will need to submit a fee waiver application at the same time as your course application to be considered. This is based on your household income, and we will ask you to provide evidence of that income.

Download our application fee waiver form here.

Travel bursaries

All UK/EU students new to higher education who meet one of the following criteria may be considered for a travel bursary at third or fourth round of the BA (Hons) Acting auditions, or an interview for our Theatre Production courses. The criteria are:You attended a state school; and one or more of the following:

  • Your family income is below £25,000
  • Your family income is less than £43,000 and your home address is in a neighbourhood with low participation (in accordance with the Polar4 Postcode Check)
  • You will be considered to be a care leaver when you begin your training

Please make sure that you have indicated your family income in the box on the application form to be considered. We will require evidence of need. We do not set a specific amount paid for travel bursaries as it will depend on the distance travelled and mode of transport. We will only pay travel bursaries for travel within the UK.

Funding your training

It is important that you understand when you accept a place at RADA that you know how you will pay for it and whether you will need financial assistance. We do not take account of financial need when offering places, but we do reasonably assume that if you are applying to come to RADA, you will be able to pay the fees and support yourself.

Although applications are made directly to RADA, not through UCAS, RADA is a Registered Provider with the Office for Students. This means that our courses are eligible for student financial support.

RADA also offers a number of scholarships, the majority of which are awarded on the basis of income to undergraduate students studying in higher education for the first time. See the Scholarships tab below for more details.

Student loans

You can apply for a student loan (or a grant in some EU countries) for your tuition fees and living costs (maintenance) if:

  • you are a Home (UK/EU) student
  • you have not already completed a course at the same level (for example another BA degree)

Tuition fee loans are not means tested and this means that you do not have to pay any fees upfront for your course.

Depending on your home/residency country, you will also be able to take out a maintenance loan to support you in your studies. These loans are means tested and will depend on whether you are living at home or independently. Information about how much you can borrow and a student finance calculator are available on the student finance website.

All EU students offered a provisional place at RADA are required to verify their EU status prior to the offer of the place being confirmed. Please contact the Student Finance Services European Team on EU_Team@slc.co.uk or +44 (0)141 243 3570. You will need to complete and return an application to the EU team to be assessed for financial support.

Support for EU/UK undergraduates taking a second degree

Second-degree students are not eligible for government-sponsored loans for a degree at the same or lower level.

RADA welcomes applications from UK/EU students who already hold a degree from another institution or in a different subject and we hold a small number of places at the UK/EU fee rate for such students.

You will need to finance yourself for both fees and living expenses. We have a very limited number of scholarships, which include full-fee and/or full-maintenance scholarships for students who are not eligible for student finance. Please read our scholarship section below for more information.

It is important that you understand when you accept a place at RADA that you know how you will pay for it and whether you will need financial assistance. We do not take account of financial need when offering places, but we do reasonably assume that if you are applying to come to RADA, you will be able to pay the fees and support yourself. We will prioritise students from low-income backgrounds and from groups under-represented in the profession in allocating financial support.

It is in your interest to provide us with information about how you intend to pay for your fees and support yourself through training, if you are not eligible for government-sponsored student finance.

Support for international students

For students defined as ‘international’ (neither a UK nor EU student - see the How to apply section for more details), you are required to pay the full cost of your fees and living expenses. Your offer is made on the basis that you can meet these expenses from your own funds. There are also financial requirements associated with the allocation of a Tier 4 visa. Download our visa guidance for more information.

RADA is not, at present, eligible for US Federal Loans. We will notify any US applicants in year if this situation changes.

Scholarships

RADA offers a number of scholarships. The majority of our scholarships will be awarded on the basis of income to undergraduate students studying in higher education for the first time.

We have a limited number of scholarships for second degree students. We do not usually offer scholarships to international students from outside the UK or EU.

Means-tested scholarships

For UK/EU student, new to higher education, starting an undergraduate course in September 2019, we offer the following awards:

Income under £25,000
Minimum award of £2,000 for each year of study

Income £25,001 - £43,000
Award between £500 and £1,999 for each year of study

Care leavers

In accordance with our 2019-20 Access and Participation Plan, RADA offers an additional scholarship to care leavers (for living costs) of £3,000 per year for each year of study. This is for UK/EU students on undergraduate courses.

Students are invited to apply for scholarship support once the offer of a place is made.

Our job is to help students to work with honesty, generosity and openness and awaken their imaginations to something ‘other’. It is a thrilling journey, and fair to say, that we learn as much from them as they do from us.
Annie Tyson, acting technique and scene study teacher

Life at RADA

RADA is based in the heart of London with the museums, universities and libraries of Bloomsbury on one side, and the West End and film world of Soho on the other.

Studying and living here gives you access to one of the most vibrant cultural hubs in the world. There are over 17,000 theatrical performances each year in London with venues at the forefront of theatrical innovation. The West End represents some of the highest quality commercial theatre in the world and the wealth of fringe theatres means you can experience unique performances right on your doorstep. Our graduates go on to work in many of these venues, both on and off the stage.

RADA is an international community and we welcome people from across the world to both our higher education and short courses.

Facilities

Our theatres

Our three theatres give you the opportunity to work in industry-standard spaces: the Jerwood Vanbrugh Theatre, a fully flexible theatre with 194 seats; the GBS Theatre, a studio theatre seating up to 70; and the Gielgud Theatre, an intimate studio space seating up to 50. All our acting and theatre production students will work in at least one of these theatres during their time at RADA.

Studios and workshops

We have a range of studios and workshop spaces across our buildings on Gower Street and Chenies Street. These include teaching and rehearsal studios for actors; dedicated metalwork, carpentry, scenic art, video and props workshops; extensive props and costume stores; a costume-making workroom; a CAD suite; state-of-the-art sound studios; and equipment for filming on and off-site.

Library

This is an important resource for students, with a large collection of rare and out-of-print plays in the English language. You will also have access to a number of digital resources. Visit the Library page for more details.

Refectory and RADA Bar

The Refectory offers subsidised meals for students (for example a salad bowl is £1.50) with hot and cold food daily. You may also heat up your own food to eat in the Refectory. The RADA Bar and café is open to staff, students and the public during the day (and in the evening during public productions), and offers a discount for RADA students.

Student services and support

We have a dedicated Student and Academic Services (SAS) department who are here to support you during your time at RADA from before you arrive until after you leave. You can drop in and see us if you need letters confirming student status, if you have queries about fees or student finance, or need assistance in applying for student finance. We aim to get to know all students at RADA so we can help with your particular needs.

Find out more about our Student and Academic Services teams

We have four teams in the Student and Academic Services department:

  • Registry and Admissions, who manage the admissions process and support you as a student
  • Higher Education Courses and Programming, responsible for the smooth running of your courses and supporting the Directors of Training and course leaders
  • Student Wellbeing, who offer pastoral care, counselling and referral to other services if necessary
  • Widening Participation and Outreach, responsible for extending opportunities to engage with RADA

Student wellbeing services

The Student Wellbeing Service is located in our Chenies Street building and includes pastoral care and access to counselling at a time that suits our students’ busy schedules. Students can drop in or make an appointment to see someone.

Counselling support is available throughout the training for any personal problems and is free of charge. RADA includes sessions on drugs and alcohol, sexual health and consent, nutrition and budgeting within the personal development training strand for all undergraduate students.

Healthcare

RADA has a relationship with a local GP (Ridgmount Practice). If you have any particular health concerns, it is worth looking for accommodation that is within the wider Ridgmount Practice catchment area.

We offer students who require physiotherapy support a limited number of free sessions. We have a relationship with a local practice and students referred for support can see someone on-site or at the practice.

Chaplaincy and faith services

We have students from all faiths at RADA.

Our Chaplaincy service is there to support you in your faith, especially if you have moved away from your home place of worship. RADA has a long-standing relationship with St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden, known as the Actors’ Church. Our Student and Academic Services team can also put you in touch with someone from a particular faith to support you at RADA.

Support for disabled students

We support students as individuals at RADA, and we will work with you to make appropriate adjustments and ensure that you can obtain additional support. We encourage potential students to disclose any disabilities early in the application process so we can make reasonable adjustments for you.

You can apply for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) to cover some of the extra costs that you might have because of a mental health problem, long-term illness or other disability. These allowances are additional to your other student finance and you won’t need to repay them. Find out more information about DSAs here.

Once you have a place at RADA, we can assist in identifying whether you are eligible for support. You will likely require a ‘needs assessment’ to determine what adjustments and financial assistance is necessary. We have a relationship with the North London Regional Access Centre (run by Middlesex University), which is a good place to have any assessment ahead of coming to RADA.

In keeping with our personalised training, you may be able to receive additional support for any condition or impairment directly from RADA. We will determine this with you as you progress through your course.

Where to live

RADA does not currently have its own student accommodation. This means that our students live in one of the following:

  • local halls of residence, including those run privately
  • with other students in private houses and flats
  • lodging with another person.

Once you have accepted your place at RADA, we will provide information about local accommodation contacts. We aim to connect incoming students with one another, which can help you to look for accommodation together. Our current students will also be looking for people to share with, and we also help you to make those connections.

For low-income students (i.e. those from a background of under £25,000), please talk to us once you have your place if you might struggle with a deposit for a flat or house.

Some students will carrying on living at home whilst at RADA and others live across London. We advise that you balance out both the time and cost of a commute with spaces that might seem more expensive, but are closer to the Academy – you will spend a lot of time here.

Our students pay an average of around £650 per month (based on a 12-month contract) for a room in a shared house. Some private halls can be considerably more expensive. If you have specific access needs, please speak to someone in our Student and Academic Services team for assistance in finding an appropriate place to live.

Careers

I can't even imagine having had a career without RADA. It is inseparable from who I am as an actress
Juliet Stevenson CBE, RADA Acting graduate

Our BA (Hons) Acting prepares you for work in English-speaking classical and contemporary theatre, as well as the film, television and radio industries. Graduates work internationally, especially in the US on Broadway and in Hollywood.

Graduates have also worked in the video game and digital performance industries, while others have continued to post-graduate education at both MA and PhD level at a range of academic institutions.

As well as performing, many graduates become directors, writers and producers, creating their own work, founding their own companies and running leading theatre venues across the UK.

The transferable skills in the training have also enabled graduates to further their studies and establish careers in psychology, teaching, law, communications, business and life coaching, elite sports coaching and public speaking.

Recent graduate destinations

Here is just a selection of recent destinations of our acting graduates.

West End productions

  • Hamilton
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  • The Importance of Being Earnest
  • The Inheritance
  • The Jungle
  • King Lear
  • The Lieutenant of Inishmore
  • 'Plays at the Garrick' season (Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company)

London theatres and companies

  • Almeida Theatre
  • Bridge Theatre
  • Cardboard Citizens
  • Donmar Warehouse
  • National Theatre
  • Old Vic
  • Orange Tree Theatre
  • Royal Court
  • Royal Shakespeare Company
  • Shakespeare's Globe / Sam Wanamaker Playhouse
  • Tara Arts
  • Unicorn Theatre
  • Yard Theatre
  • Young Vic

Regional theatres

  • Chichester Festival Theatre
  • Citizens Theatre, Glasgow
  • Edinburgh International Festival
  • Liverpool Playhouse (repertory company)
  • Manchester Royal Exchange
  • New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich
  • Nottingham Playhouse
  • Royal & Derngate, Northampton
  • Tobacco Factory Theatres
  • Theatre Royal Bath

Television and radio

  • BBC
  • BBC Radio
  • Channel 4
  • Hat Trick Productions
  • Hulu
  • ITV
  • Netflix
  • Sky
  • Tiger Aspect

Film

  • 20th Century Fox
  • Disney
  • Marvel Studios
  • MGM
  • Universal Pictures
  • Warner Bros. Pictures
  • Working Title Films

FAQs

    I am under 18, can I apply to RADA?

    Candidates must be at least 18 by 1 September 2019 to apply for the BA (Hons) in Acting. We do offer opportunities for young people under 18. These include the RADA Youth Company, Young Actors' Workshops, Summer Schools and Shakespeare Awards.

    Is there an upper age limit to apply to RADA?

    There is no upper age limit and all candidates who apply are offered an audition.

    What qualifications do I need?

    Application is by audition only; no formal qualifications are required.

    Does RADA hold open days for the BA (Hons) in Acting ?

    No, we do not hold open days for this course.

    Where can I get a prospectus?

    All our information on full-time courses can be found on the RADA website, including course content, costs and funding, graduate destinations, the application process, welfare support and where to live.

    If you are working with young people and would like printed information, we are also producing a leaflet with key information on each of the above courses. These are available to pick up at RADA, or can be obtained by emailing enquiries@rada.ac.uk.

    Do I apply through UCAS?

    RADA does not use the UCAS service for applications and we have an independent audition process. You can download an application form at the top of this page.

    When is the deadline for application and when do the auditions take place?

    The deadlines and audition dates vary according to each venue - please see the 'How to apply' section above or the application form for all deadlines and audition dates.

    First round auditions will take place from November 2018 to April 2019. The final stages of the audition process will likely run until June 2019.

    Does RADA hold auditions outside of London?

    Yes. RADA holds regional auditions in Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Newcastle and Plymouth as well as overseas in Dublin, New York and Los Angeles. Please see the 'How to apply' section above or the application form for all audition dates and relevant application deadlines.

    What are the audition requirements?

    Please refer to the How to apply section above, which includes detailed information about each stage of the audition process.

    Do I need to be able to sing to get into RADA?

    No. You should be prepared to sing at a recall audition and our panel will assess your ability to project your voice and your vocal range.

    How many students are accepted each year?

    RADA accepts 14 men and 14 women onto the BA (Hons) in Acting course each year.

    After I’ve sent in my application, how long will it take to hear back from you?

    You will receive an automated email confirming receipt of your application as soon as it has been received and processed. If you do not hear from us within two weeks of sending in your application, please email admissions@rada.ac.uk.

    We will then contact you with a date for your audition – this can take several weeks depending on panel availability and application numbers.

    What if I cannot afford the application fee?

    RADA offers application fee waivers and travel bursaries to students from a low income background. Please see the How to apply section above for more information. Download our application fee waiver form here.

    RADA can also offer travel bursaries to applicants and we will provide information about this to you during the admissions process.

    If I do not attend my audition will my application fee be refunded?

    The application fee is not refundable under any circumstances.

    What if I am ill on the day of my audition?

    If you are ill on the day, please email admissions@rada.ac.uk in advance of your audition.

    We will try to provide an alternative date, but this may not be possible as it is dependent on where we are in the auditions process.

    Can I defer entry?

    No. You should apply for a place in the year before the September you wish to begin your training.

    I am from the US, can I apply for a Federal Loan for this programme?

    RADA is not, at present, eligible for US Federal Loans. We will notify any US applicants in year if this situation changes.

    Is there any accommodation/housing provided?

    RADA does not currently have its own student accommodation. All students offered a place are provided with guidance on finding accommodation in London.

    Please read the Life at RADA section above for more guidance on where to live.