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The programme

The Foundation Course is particularly relevant if you are considering whether actor training at degree level will suit you, but is also invaluable if you are considering a career that demands communication and presentation skills at the highest level.

During the course you will have the opportunity to explore careers in theatre and related industries, and will be introduced to practitioners who can discuss the range of career options available.

The curriculum offers skills classes in:

  • acting technique (focusing on Stanislavski and Meisner)
  • movement (including group Alexander technique, animal studies and character work)
  • dance (covering a wide range of periods)
  • voice
  • singing (group and solo)
  • text analysis

Specialist classes in:

  • acting for screen
  • introduction to playwriting
  • introduction to filmmaking
  • clowning

Rehearsal projects:

  • contemporary playwrights
  • Realist movement
  • Shakespeare

During the course you will have the opportunity to explore careers in theatre and related industries, and will be introduced to practitioners who can discuss the range of career options available.

The course is taught by RADA tutors and directors.


The Foundation Course in Acting consists of two terms of 12 teaching weeks each year beginning in September and finishing in March.

The programme is intensive and can involve evening and Saturday work.

Entry requirements

  • Applicants must be 18 or over by the start of the course
  • Candidates must have complete fluency in English

Resources and support


An important resource for students, with a large collection of rare and out-of-print plays in the English language. This is access to the following digital resources: Drama Online, Cambridge Journals, Theatre in Video, Digital Theatre Plus and RADA Accents Archive.

Wellbeing and counselling

We have a drop-in and appointment-based service for advice, a chat or a more formal assessment. Counselling support is available throughout the training and with any personal problems. There are also talks on sexual health, nutrition, drugs and alcohol.

Healthcare, injury prevention and response

We have a relationship with a GP practice, access to specialist medical support and osteopathy.

Disabled students’ support

We ensure Learning Agreements are in place, access to dyslexia, dyspraxia and other learning support needs, access to specific support for students with other impairments, and support in applying for Disabled Student’s Allowance.

Fees and funding

The fee for the RADA Foundation Course in Acting 2018-19 will be £12,950.

This is a non-accredited course which does not attract government funding. All students offered places on the foundation course are required to fund both the annual fee and all living costs privately.

Fees policy

Please read our fees policy.

How to apply

Application for this course is via the same route as applying for the BA (Hons) in Acting, using the same form. There is no additional charge for applying for both courses.

Applications for 2018 are now closed. Applications open in October for entry in 2019.

If you are applying for both the Foundation Course and the BA (Hons) in Acting, you will only need to attend a single preliminary audition for which there are no additional requirements.

Preliminary auditions take place from November until April, with the option to audition in London, Leicester, Manchester, Chester, Newcastle, Bristol and Plymouth as well as overseas in Dublin, New York and Los Angeles.

Application fee, fee waivers and travel bursaries

Application fees

RADA charges an application fee for all full-time courses. We do not refund application fees. Please see our Admissions Policy for further information.

Application fee waivers

We offer application fee waivers for higher education courses 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.

This is in addition to fee waivers offered by the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama, which you may use at RADA or at another CDD school. Details can be found on the CDD website. RADA fee waivers are only available for applicants applying to RADA.

The audition process

The audition is a two-stage process:

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

Preliminary audition

Preliminary auditions run continually between November and April. You will be seen at preliminary auditions by two members of the audition panel. The preliminary audition usually consists of two, but sometimes three, audition speeches. Each speech should last about two minutes, and certainly no longer than three minutes. The panel may stop you if your speech is longer than three 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.

All candidates must have an alternative classical piece prepared (same rules as Piece A), which they may or may not be called upon to perform.

Recall audition

This is a workshop audition which includes group work.

Admissions procedure: more detail

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.

Admissions policy, appeals and complaints

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

For information about RADA’s Admissions, Appeals and Complaints 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) Technical Theatre and Stage Management (completion)
  • PgDip in Theatre Costume
  • MA Theatre Lab
  • Foundation Course in Acting

Terms and conditions


    I am under 18, can I apply to RADA?

    Candidates must be at least 18 by 1 September of the year they applying to join. We also 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.

    Is the application procedure for the Foundation Course in Acting the same as the BA (Hons) in Acting?

    The application procedure is the same, using the application form on our website. You can apply for the Foundation Course in Acting at the same time as the BA (Hons) in Acting.

    Can I apply only for the Foundation Course in Acting, and not the BA (Hons) in Acting?

    Yes, please just tick the relevant box on the application form.

    Does RADA hold auditions outside of London?

    Yes. We hold regional auditions in Leicester, Manchester, Chester, Newcastle, Bristol and Plymouth, as well as overseas in Dublin, New York and Los Angeles. Audition dates are included on the application form. Please make sure you note the different closing dates if you would like to audition in locations outside London.

    When is the deadline for applications?

    The deadlines for application vary according to each location. If you are looking to audition outside of London, please note that there is a limited number of allotted times for each venue. We advise that you apply early to avoid disappointment. We do not accept any late applications.

    What are the audition requirements?

    Each candidate should prepare three speeches: two classical (Shakespeare or another Elizabethan/Jacobean playwright) and one contemporary/modern speech i.e. from a play written post-1960. You will usually be asked to perform one classical and one contemporary piece, but the panel may ask to see your alternative classical piece. Please refer to the section above on how to apply for more details on the audition process.

    How many students are accepted each year?

    RADA accepts 32 students on the Foundation Course in Acting each year.

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

    We aim to contact you with an audition date within two weeks of receiving your application. If you have not heard from us within two weeks of sending your application, please contact Admissions.

    Please note: applicants wishing to apply for the reduced rate application fee should ensure that they allow plenty of time (or use special delivery) before the December deadline to ensure receipt prior to RADA’s Christmas closing. Applications received after the deadline will be charged the full application fee.

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

    The application fee is not refundable under any circumstances.

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

    If you are ill on the day, please email While we will try to provide an alternative date, this may not be possible and is dependent on where we are in the audition cycle.

    Does RADA offer audition feedback?

    We are unable to provide audition feedback at all stages of the process due to the large number of applicants.

    Can I defer entry to the course?

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

    If I get a place on the Foundation Course in Acting, do I automatically get a place on the BA (Hons) in Acting the following year?

    No. Students on the Foundation Course in Acting might choose to apply for the BA (Hons) in Acting programme, and if so will need to follow the same admissions process. However, they do skip the preliminary audition and go straight to the second stage of the BA (Hons) audition process.

    Do I have to pay the UK, EU or international rate tuition fees?

    The tuition fee rate is the same for UK/EU and international students.

    Is there any accommodation or housing provided?

    RADA does not currently have its own student accommodation, but we do assist students in securing suitable housing prior to joining the course.