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The course

Our BA (Hons) in Acting develops the talent and potential you bring with you to RADA, giving you techniques and approaches that will confidently equip you for a successful and long-term career in the industry.

You will start by building foundation skills through class work, before putting these into practice in sharings and open classes to small groups within RADA, and finally through public performances and film-making in your final year.

The course will help you to develop a spirit of curiosity and discovery that will enrich your personal and professional development.

It is designed to help you reach your full potential through vocal, physical and imaginative techniques, and provide you with the ability to continue learning and developing beyond these three years and throughout your professional life.

Course aims

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.

You can find our term dates up to summer 2021 here.

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
  • 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
  • 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.

Hear from Lead Acting Tutor John Beschizza about acting technique classes at RADA
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.
Omar Bynon, BA (Hons) in 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 focus on specific skills such as 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 including 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 – but in the first year you will only share your work with staff and peers.

You will also hear from RADA's regular guest speakers, comprising leading figures from a wide range of industries and walks of life – from politics and arts, to photography, neuroscience and religion.

Weekly classes across the year will include:

  • 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
Lead Singing Tutor Jane Streeton explains the importance of singing classes for actors

Year 2

Assimilation

This year is about assimilation. The skills, techniques, working and research practices and exercises you developed in 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 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 of training contribute to your development of a robust, independent process.

In acting training, Meisner technique (introduced in the first year) is deepened in weekly acting technique classes, as well as in screen acting classes where you will also 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 a responsive, truthful, imaginative and courageous actor.

In voice training, technique work is further enhanced by encounters with varied texts with distinct challenges; these are explored in regular classes and in sharings in 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, expressed 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 a 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 are developed 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 the second year with the Shakespeare Schools’ Tours, which perform in London secondary schools, RADA’s Jerwood Vanbrugh Theatre and – where possible – at international festivals.

Recently second year students have performed at international festivals including:

Year 3

Applying your training

Year 3 focuses on application of your first two years of training. The third year includes 13 stage productions, six short films and four radio plays, as well as industry showcases. Screen acting and microphone technique form a vital part of our actor training.

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.

Find out about voice training throughout the three years from Lead Voice Tutor Joe Windley

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

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.

There are also opportunities for acting in RADA Festival productions, including self-led creative projects.

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 your third 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.

You will also have the opportunity to perform in showcases for an invited industry audience.

Stage productions

RADA's stage productions are fully realised, designed by professionals or graduating theatre production students and with full technical support by our theatre production students, supervised by 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 six 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 directing 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 specific coaching for combat, dance, singing and dialect.

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 one of our on-site theatres.

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. See a sample of our short films here.

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 six days a week) and may involve filming on location overnight.

Casting

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.

We also aim to ensure that you perform in a variety of different spaces and forms of theatre. We regularly employ gender and colour-neutral casting to offer equal opportunity to all actors, commensurate with the degree to which you have absorbed the training.

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.
Patsy Ferran, BA (Hons) in Acting, 2014

How to apply

Complete the application form and post it to RADA at the address on the form. Please indicate on your form where you would like to audition, and we will confirm your audition date as soon as possible.

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.

We audition everyone who applies and we are committed to making our training as widely accessible as possible. Student loans and scholarships are available, and you can apply for free if you have a family income of less than £25,000.

Audition dates

  • London
    Nov 2019 to Apr 2020 (applications close 28 Feb)
  • Glasgow
    27-28 Jan 2020 (applications close 13 Jan)
  • Birmingham
    5-7 Feb 2020 (applications close 13 Jan)
  • Bristol
    10-11 Feb 2020 (applications close 13 Jan)
  • Dublin
    13-14 Feb 2020 (applications close 13 Jan)
  • Newcastle
    17-18 Feb 2020 (applications close 13 Jan)
  • Plymouth
    21 Feb 2020 (applications close 13 Jan)
  • New York
    24-28 Feb 2020 (applications close 10 Feb)
  • Los Angeles
    2-4 Mar 2020 (applications close 10 Feb)
  • Sheffield
    11-12 Mar 2020 (applications close 10 Feb)
  • Manchester
    16-20 Mar 2020 (applications close 10 Feb)

Entry requirements

Candidates must:

  • have complete fluency in the English language
  • be 18 years old by 1 September 2020
  • demonstrate an intellectual, creative and practical ability to undertake degree level training

Applying for free and travel bursaries

Fees and applying for free

You can apply for free if you are a UK student who is entering higher education for the first time, with a family income of less than £25,000. If so, you may also be eligible for financial support with travelling to later rounds of auditions.

There is no limit to the number of people who can apply for free; it is based on eligibility.

You will need to submit a form with evidence of your eligibility and household income.

Download the form here.

Otherwise, the application fee will depend on when you apply. We encourage you to apply as early as possible as this is the cheapest fee and helps us to schedule our auditions earlier. Our admissions process is not automated and may involve significant contact with an individual applicant. We do not refund application fees.

The 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.

Travel bursaries

All UK/EU students new to higher education who meet one of the following criteria will be considered for a travel bursary for the third or fourth round of the auditions. 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 must be in a POLAR4 Quintile 1 or 2 neighbourhood for this to apply
  • You will be considered to be a care leaver when you begin your training (care leavers can receive travel bursaries for all rounds of audition)

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 process

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

Candidates who opt to audition outside of London should ensure that they are available for a recall on the same day if required. Short workshop and full workshop days only take place in London and travel bursaries are available for these stages.

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. The information below explains each stage of the process, but a list of additional audition guidance notes will be sent to all applicants.

Auditions

The four audition stages

  • Preliminary audition – November to April
  • Recall audition – December to May
  • Short workshop (three-hour session)
  • Full workshop day (usually on a Saturday)

Find more details about what to prepare for each stage of the audition process in our Admissions Procedure guide.

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 two minutes, and certainly no longer than three minutes. The panel may stop you if your speech is longer than three minutes. We do not have a set list of speeches; advice on choosing your speeches can be found in the Admissions Procedure guide.

Speech 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.

Speech 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.

Speech C – Alternative Classical
You must have an alternative classical piece prepared (same rules as Speech 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 (verse and chorus only).

Short workshop

A three-hour workshop. Bring both your classical speeches (Speech A and Speech C) and contemporary speech (Speech B) from earlier rounds. The sessions will include some exercises which may involve eye contact and physical contact with other members of the group.

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 Speech C in previous rounds you may choose that. Other sessions include movement, voice and scene study.

Our intention is that the day is relaxed and enjoyable for all applicants so that, regardless of the outcome, you will have had an enriching experience.

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. If you are a disabled student and would like further advice or guidance, please contact the admissions team directly on admissions@rada.ac.uk.

Read more in our Admissions Procedure 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:

  • 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

Undergraduate fees for the academic year 2020-21:

Home students (UK and EU)
£9,000*

International
£20,450

*The UK government has guaranteed that all EU undergraduates starting in 2020-21 will have the same tuition fee levels and status as Home (UK) students. Visit www.gov.uk for more details.

Tuition fees: in detail

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 £61,350. For international students, please note that we are likely to increase your fees year on year by a cost of living amount.

Check below for information on whether you will be classed as a Home (UK), Home (EU) or International student. This also affects the financial support available.

Please note that fees for Home UK/EU students starting in 2020-21 are regulated by the Office for Students. The fees are unlikely to be less than £9,000 unless government policy changes and new levels are set. RADA may seek to apply a higher fee of £9,250 subject to us receiving an independent teaching excellence rating. We will update this information as soon as possible.

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

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.

Please look at our FAQs for information about the implications of Brexit on EU students. We will update this regularly as information is shared with us.

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.

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.

Other costs

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

Other materials costs: £300

The things not covered include practice clothes and footwear, play texts and stationery.

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

See the How to apply section for details about application fees and whether you an apply for free.

Funding your training

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 (i.e. student loans).

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.

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.

Applying for a student loan

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.

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 2020 – 2025 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.

Support for UK/EU 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 above 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.

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

We are a close-knit, welcoming arts community where our students are individually supported throughout their training and beyond. Our students and staff come from many different backgrounds and from all over the world; we are united by our shared passion and commitment to theatre-making and storytelling.

We are based in Bloomsbury in Central London, near to University College London, Birkbeck, SOAS, the British Library, British Museum and a short walk to Covent Garden, the Southbank (National Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe) and West End theatres. We are well-served by transport links, with mainline railway stations (King’s Cross, Euston, St Pancras) and a number of underground lines and buses within easy reach. Our location means we remain easily accessible for members of industry and the profession.

Classes and rehearsals are based in our buildings on Gower Street and Chenies Street. Gower Street, with its familiar façade, has been RADA’s home since 1905 and combines our history and heritage with contemporary theatre facilities that replicate today’s industry standards.

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

Our library houses 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.

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. You can find out who we are on the staff page.

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, free of charge.

Healthcare

RADA has a relationship with a local GP (Ridgmount Practice), which is open to students living in designated postcodes. We can advise you on areas which will give access to this practice, especially if you have ongoing health needs. RADA offers students free access to physiotherapy on referral.

Chaplaincy and faith services

We have students from all faiths at RADA and our Student and Academic Services team can put you in touch with someone from a particular faith to support you at RADA. We do not have prayer rooms on-site 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 (DSA) 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 DSA 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), and direct students to this service.

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.

Find out more

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 work by our acting graduates.

West End productions

  • Fleabag
  • Hamilton
  • Hamlet
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  • The Importance of Being Earnest
  • The Inheritance
  • The Jungle
  • King Lear
  • The Lieutenant of Inishmore
  • The Night of the Iguana
  • The Play That Goes Wrong
  • Plays at the Garrick season, Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company
  • Pinter at the Pinter
  • The Prince of Egypt

London theatres and companies

  • Almeida Theatre
  • Barbican
  • Bridge Theatre
  • Cardboard Citizens
  • Donmar Warehouse
  • King's Head Theatre
  • Lyric Hammersmith
  • National Theatre
  • Old Vic
  • Orange Tree Theatre
  • Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
  • Royal Court
  • Royal Shakespeare Company
  • Shakespeare's Globe / Sam Wanamaker Playhouse
  • Tara Arts
  • Theatre Royal Stratford East
  • 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
  • Sheffield Crucible
  • Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol
  • Theatre Royal Bath
  • Watermill Theatre

Television

  • Bodyguard
  • Call the Midwife
  • Coronation Street
  • Doctor Who
  • Fleabag
  • Game of Thrones
  • Killing Eve
  • Line of Duty
  • Luther
  • Sex Education
  • This Country
  • The Crown
  • A Very English Scandal
  • The Walking Dead
  • The Young Offenders

Film

  • All Is True
  • Bridge of Spies
  • The Favourite
  • Harriet
  • Mary Queen of Scots
  • Murder on the Orient Express
  • Peterloo
  • Rocketman
  • The Shape of Water
  • Skyfall
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story
  • Thor
  • Vita and Virginia
  • Widows

FAQs

    I am under 18, can I apply to RADA?

    Candidates must be at least 18 by 1 September 2020 to apply for the BA (Hons) in Acting. We offer other opportunities for young people under 18 including the RADA Youth Company, Shakespeare Awards and Short Courses.

    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.

    English is not my first language. How is fluency in English assessed?

    Applicants should have excellent conversational English and be able to understand a variety of texts. As with all applicants, during the audition the panel will consider how you deliver your speeches and also how you are able to interact and converse with them.

    For applicants outside of the EU/EEA, we recommend that you read the guidelines published by UK Visas and Immigration. RADA can choose how to assess a student’s knowledge of English. They must still be at:

    • CEFR level B2 if you’re studying at a degree level or higher
    • SELT in reading, writing, listening and speaking and CEFR level B1 if you’re not studying at a degree level
    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 the information you need about our full-time courses can be found on our 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 also produce a leaflet with key information about our courses. These are available to pick up at RADA, or can be obtained by emailing enquiries@rada.ac.uk. You can also download a RADA careers poster to display in your school, theatre or organisation here.

    Do I apply through UCAS?

    We do not use the UCAS service for applications and we have an independent audition process. Download an application form at the top of this page and send it directly to RADA.

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

    No. You will be asked to sing at your recall audition so we can see how you communicate in a different medium, and how you approach performing in different scenarios – the ways you engage with a text and with the ideas behind it.

    The BA (Hons) in Acting course includes individual and choral singing lessons; you can find out more about these in the course information further up this page.

    How many students are accepted each year?

    RADA accepts 28 students onto the BA (Hons) in Acting course each year, and 32 on to the Foundation Course in Acting.

    How long will it take to hear back from you once I have applied?

    You will receive an automated email confirming receipt of your application as soon as it has been processed. We will then contact you with a date for your audition – this can take several weeks depending on panel availability and application numbers.

    Please note the admissions office can get incredibly busy at peak times while we process applications and schedule auditions and recalls. We’ll try to get back to you as promptly as possible. If you haven’t heard from us after one month of sending your application, please contact admissions@rada.ac.uk so we can confirm whether we have received your application, or update you on when we anticipate having an audition date for you.

    How much advance notice will I get about my audition date?

    We aim to give as much notice as possible, however we encourage you to be ready to audition when you apply. We could call you within a matter of days to audition the following week, but it is more likely there will be a short delay while we process your application and book you an audition. We encourage applicants to apply as early as possible.

    There are certain dates I’m not available to audition. Can you schedule around them?

    If you are issued a date that you cannot attend, please contact admissions@rada.ac.uk as soon as possible. Due to the high numbers of applicants, we have a very limited capacity to reschedule auditions.

    Do you accept applications via email?

    We currently only accept applications for the BA (Hons) in Acting by post directly to RADA. Please ensure you know the deadline you are working towards and aim to have your application sent at least a week prior to this with the correct postage amount, to avoid your application being delayed. Overseas applicants should send their applications in plenty of time before the deadline in case of delay.

    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 outside the UK. How does this affect my fees and my funding options?

    There are different fees for UK, EU and international students. You must have lived in the UK or EU for three consecutive years prior to starting the course in order to qualify for UK/EU level tuition fees.

    If, for example, you were born in the UK but then moved to Australia for twenty years, you would be liable to pay the international rate.

    Please see the information under 'Tuition fees' above to know if you are an UK, EU or international student.

    If you are a UK/EU student new to higher education, you can apply for a student loan (or a grant in some EU countries) for your tuition fees and living costs. If you are an international student, 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. RADA is not, at present, eligible for US Federal Loans.

    We do not usually offer scholarships to international students from outside the UK or EU.

    Read full details in our ‘Costs and funding’ section above.

    I am an EU student. How will Brexit affect my application or my fees/funding?

    We accept applications from students from all over the world.

    The UK government has guaranteed that all EU undergraduates starting in 2020-21 will have the same tuition fee levels and status as Home (UK) students. Visit www.gov.uk for more details.

    Will I have the time to work while studying at RADA?

    Due to the academic timetable including evening and weekend classes or productions, there would be little opportunity to work during term time. It is important that students have a balance of study and rest throughout their time at RADA to enable them to complete their training satisfactorily.

    What are the term dates?

    You can find our term dates up to summer 2021 here.

Regulations and policies

Read our regulations and policies relating to admissions and current students here.