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The course

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 course is taught by RADA tutors and directors.

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

Timetable and workload

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.

Assessment

Although this is a non-accredited course, you will receive ongoing verbal assessments throughout the course, so that you can track your progression through the training. However, there is no formal assessment.

Teaching staff

Visit the acting teaching staff page to read about our faculty teaching on the Foundation Course in Acting and other acting courses.

Graduate destinations

Many students on the Foundation Course in Acting go on to full-time BA-level training at RADA and other drama schools and conservatoires. Some decide to pursue further study at a university, or go straight into work in the industry, be it performing, writing or directing.

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 entry in 2019 close on 28 February 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, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Bristol and Plymouth as well as overseas in Dublin, New York and Los Angeles.

Entry requirements

  • Applicants must be 18 or over on 1 September 2019
  • Candidates must have complete fluency in English

Find out more about requirements for international students in our visa guidance document.

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 is £46 for applications received on or before 10 December; and £76 for applications received after 10 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.

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

The audition process

The audition is a two-stage process. The preliminary audition is the same as that for the BA (Hons) in Acting, followed by a separate workshop audition day at a later date.

Preliminary audition

Preliminary auditions run continually between November and April. Auditions are between 9am-6pm Monday to Friday, with occasional Saturdays and evenings. You will be seen at preliminary auditions by two members of the audition panel.

Workshop audition

The second round of auditions is a workshop day specifically for entry to the Foundation Course in Acting.

The workshop audition includes a practical element and an interview, and is facilitated by the course director along with two Foundation Course teachers/directors.

The morning session involves the whole group in a workshop that is broken up into three parts:

  1. movement
  2. group dynamic work
  3. text analysis

Each part is led by one of the three facilitators. This part of the day culminates in you showing your contemporary monologue to the group, whilst the course director runs some of the interviews.

In the afternoon the group is split in half. Each half is led by one of the two tutors/directors, who work with you on your chosen classical monologue. During the afternoon session the course director runs the remaining interviews.

The afternoon session culminates in a classical monologue showing and a brief Q&A. At this point you will be given more detailed information about the course, and the opportunity to ask any questions you might have.

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.

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

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

BA (Hons) in Acting

Our full-time BA (Hons) Acting course aims to provide student actors with a thorough training for the professional actor. Over three years of training you will learn and develop the necessary skills in acting, voice, movement, singing, research and personal/professional development, to sustain you in a professional career in a wide variety of media including theatre, television, film and radio.

Costs and funding

Tuition fees

The fee for the RADA Foundation Course in Acting 2019-20 will be £13,350.

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

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.

For international students, there are also financial requirements associated with the allocation of a Tier 4 visa. Download our visa guidance notes for more information.

Please see the Life at RADA section below 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 10 December; and £76 for applications received from 10 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

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.

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

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.

FAQs

    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.

    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.

    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 Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Bristol and Plymouth, as well as overseas in Dublin, New York and Los Angeles. Please indicate on your application form where you would like to audition, and audition dates will be announced soon.

    What are the audition requirements?

    Please refer to the Auditions tab under 'How to apply' above for details of the piece you should prepare for interview.

    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?

    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 interview – this can take several weeks depending on panel availability and application numbers.

    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 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 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 course, 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. 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.