FdA in Technical Theatre & Stage Management
RADA’s two-year Foundation Degree in Technical Theatre and Stage Management (TTSM) offers broad, practical training in all the areas that contribute to a theatre production, with the opportunity to specialise in your second year in the area you wish to take into a long-term successful career.
Many Foundation Degree graduates go on to pursue successful careers in stage management, and in the varied and fascinating technical career options: lighting, sound, props, scenic art, construction, costume, technical and production management.
Applications for 2018-19 are now closed. The information on this page relates to entry in 2018-19 and will be updated in October 2018 when applications open for 2019-20.
The programme h2>
Your training will be vocational and practical, focusing on preparing you for work in the industry. Career guidance and professional development sessions are given throughout the programme. In your second year, you will have the opportunity to specialise in the vocational area that interests you, choosing from stage management, lighting, construction, sound, property making, scenic art or costume.
You will also undertake a professional placement in your second year for up to six weeks with a theatre company, organisation or practitioner.
Rich and diverse in its scope and facilities, our TTSM programme combines in-depth technical instruction with a clear insight into the organisational, managerial and collective skills which form the core of successful work in theatre and other areas of the entertainment industry, for example film, radio, television, conferences, events and other commercial ventures.
We encourage clear personal development, considered reflective practice and strong individual growth because these are the skills that will support you through a complex, high-pressured and rewarding career.
From the outset, you will work on RADA public productions as crew and/or operator. These productions are directed by professionals and usually involve professional designers. In your second year you will work alongside them in more senior roles, for example: stage manager, deputy stage manager, assistant stage manager, production electrician, head of construction, wardrobe supervisor, scenic artist, assistant production manager or property maker.
The degree covers the following areas:
- Stage management
- Stage electrics and lighting design
- Sound design and production sound engineering
- Scenic art
- Scenic construction
- Property making and procurement
- Set design
- Alternative theatre production
- Digital technology
- Projection and the manipulation of digital imagery
- Production management
- Technical and creative film roles e.g. script supervisor, first assistant director, location manager
- First aid certification
- Health and safety in the workplace
- Technical drawing
- Music score reading
- History of theatre
- Company management
First year h3>
Our students learn by doing. During the first year, you combine rotational teaching in each of the different disciplines with work on a production. You cycle through the areas over each half term (six rotations in total). You will also receive ongoing training in stage management through classwork, some project work (for example in design) and theatre history lectures.
You will also have the opportunity to develop your skills by undertaking project work in your chosen skill areas such as property making, costume making, scenic art and scenic construction; by taking part in projects based on alternative theatre styles and digital production processes; or by working on one of the six short films or radio recordings we make during the year.
Second year h3>
In the second year, you will specialise in a chosen area and work exclusively through productions or project work, as well as completing an industry placement.
Students will be working for a minimum of 35 hours per week. During production periods, this will be extended into weekends and evenings.
The FdA in Technical Theatre and Stage Management is a vocational programme. Students are assessed entirely on their practical work. Assessment follows six ‘rotations’ or blocks of performance throughout the year, where students are assessed on production roles, project work or placements. Students across the programme complete a self-assessment which is an opportunity to reflect on their learning.
The final award is based on completing the necessary credit across the programme and the average of marks in the final year for all assessments. The Foundation Degree is classified into Pass, Merit or Distinction. TTSM students receive both written feedback and their marks throughout the programme.
Entry requirements h3>
We require you to have achieved a standard of education which means you can study for a foundation degree, but we do not judge this from formal qualifications. All eligible applicants are interviewed.
- have IELTS level 5.5 or above in all four components if English is not your first language
- be 18 years old on 1 September 2018
- have some practical experience of theatre production disciplines or related activity
- demonstrate an intellectual, creative and practical ability to undertake foundation degree training
- have a passion for the subject of theatre production
- be able to evidence an understanding of the nature of the work
- be able to talk enthusiastically about their passion and experience at interview
Graduates from RADA’s FdA in Technical Theatre and Stage Management can be found practising their professional skills across the industry. Approximately half of the current year group may go on to a third year at RADA to obtain a BA (Hons) in Technical Theatre and Stage Management. Other graduates go directly into the profession.
Resources and support h2>
Our three theatres give you the opportunity to work in industry-standard spaces: the Jerwood Vanbrugh Theatre, a fully flexible theatre with 190 seats; the GBS Theatre, a studio theatre seating up to 80; and the Gielgud Theatre, an intimate studio space seating up to 50.
An important resource for students, with a large collection of rare and out-of-print plays in the English language. Membership also gives 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 for 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 and provide access to dyslexia, dyspraxia and other learning support needs; access to specific support for students with other impairments; and support in applying for Disabled Students' Allowance.
Fees and funding h2>
Tuition fees for UK/EU students applying for the Foundation Degree in Technical Theatre and Stage Management will be no less than £9,250* per year (*subject to formal parliamentary approval and further increase in subsequent years in line with government policy).
RADA welcomes applications from students who already hold a degree and has a number of places at the UK/EU rate for such students. Second degree students are not eligible for government-sponsored loans or grants. They are eligible for RADA Scholarship support (see below for more information).
Fees are set by the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama (CDD). The Conservatoire is a publicly-funded institution. This means that UK and EU students are eligible for government-sponsored loans and grants as well as financial aid provided by the Conservatoire and schools. Applications are direct to the school, not through UCAS, and this does not affect the ability to obtain financial support.
Non-EU international are students are required to pay the full cost of their fee and living costs and made an offer on the basis of paying privately. However, all funding issues are discussed individually with each student once an offer has been made. Fees for 2018-9 have yet to be agreed, but will not be less than £18,100. Further information about fee rates for non-EU international students will be available from RADA and on the Conservatoire website, once agreed. Please check our website regularly for updates.
Costs not included in the fees
You will need to purchase some equipment and clothes (including appropriate boots). We estimate the overall costs of materials for the programme to be no more than £400.
UK/EU students new to higher education can apply to Student Finance England/Wales/NI or Student Awards Agency Scotland for a loan to cover their fees and be assessed for a maintenance grant depending on their personal or family income. Students who already have a degree are not eligible for maintenance loans and will need funding from other sources to pay for their living expenses. Graduates may be eligible to apply for a Career Development Loan which is available to all UK/EU students except those on the RADA Foundation Course in Acting. For more alternative sources of funding visit the CDD website.
All RADA undergraduate students who are new to higher education are immediately eligible for financial support through the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama’s scholarship scheme. RADA aims to 'top up' these scholarships, which are based on income assessments for people with a family income of under £42,875. Amounts may vary; for the last two years, the amount offered to each eligible student has been a minimum of £3,000 per year (inclusive of the CDD support).
We have a small number of scholarships available for UK/EU students who have a prior degree qualification. These can cover fees and, in some cases, living costs. Our priority is supporting students on undergraduate degrees (BA Acting, FdA/BA Technical Theatre and Stage Management), although we will consider applications from students on the MA Theatre Lab and the PgDip Theatre Costume in exceptional circumstances. Please note, we do not usually offer scholarships to students from outside the UK or EU.
Students are invited to apply for scholarship support once the offer of a place is made.
Home student status
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. Please contact the Student Finance Services European Team on: EU_Team@slc.co.uk or +44 (0)141 243 3570.
How to apply h2>
Application is by written application and interview. Interviews are held between from December and May in London, Manchester and Plymouth.
Application fee, fee waivers and travel bursaries
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. Please see our Admissions Policy for further information.
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 may be eligible for an audition fee waiver and 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.
All UK/EU students new to HE students who meet one of the following criteria may be considered for a travel bursary at third or fourth round of the BA (Hons) Acting or an interview for our theatre production programmes. The criteria are:
You attended a state school; and one or more of the following:
- Your family income is less than £43,000 and your home address is in a neighbourhood with low participation (in accordance with the HEFCE Polar4 Postcode Check)
- Your family income is below £25,000
- 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.
Terms and conditions
Admissions procedure h3>
Once you have submitted your application, we will get in touch with you to arrange an interview date. We interview applicants between December and May.
You should come prepared to talk enthusiastically about your passions and your theatre experience. If you have a portfolio of work, please bring it with you.
Admissions procedure: more detail
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, appeals and complaints
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 Theatre Costume
MA Theatre Lab
Foundation Course in Acting
Candidates must be at least 18 on the 1 September 2018. We do offer other opportunities for young people under 18, you can find more information here.
There is no upper age limit and all candidates who apply will be offered an interview.
We require you to have achieved a standard of education which means you can study for a foundation degree, but we do not judge this from formal qualifications. All eligible applicants are interviewed, and you are welcome to bring evidence of your passion, enthusiasm and experience with you on the day.
It depends on the individual. Both routes are acceptable but we also look for practical experience – this could be part of the BTEC or a suitable A level, or as a hobby.
Yes, we hold open days for the Technical Theatre and Stage Management programme. If you would like to be added to the mailing list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
RADA does not use the UCAS service for applications and we have an independent admissions process. You can download our application form from our website.
Yes. We interview in both Manchester and Plymouth. Interview dates are stated on the application form. Please make sure you note the different closing dates if you would like to interview outside of London – please be aware that we will contact you as soon as possible after the closing date in order for you to arrange transport.
Applications for entry in 2018 have now closed. Applications for entry in 2019 will open in October.
If you have not heard from us within two weeks of sending your application, please contact email@example.com
RADA has application fee waivers available for lower-income applicants. For more information please refer to the 'How to apply' section above.
The Conservatoire for Dance and Drama (CDD) also offers a number of free interview places across the Conservatoire schools. Places are offered on a first-come-first-served basis and interested applicants must meet specific criteria. Please check the CDD website for further details.
RADA can also offer travel bursaries to applicants and we will provide information about this during the process.
The application fee is not refundable under any circumstances.
If you are ill on the day, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. While we will try to provide an alternative date, this may not be possible and is dependent on where we are in the interview process.
No. You should apply for a place in the year before the September you wish to begin your training.
If you are from the UK/EU and are new to higher education, you may be eligible to apply for a tuition fee loan through the Student Loans Company.
Students who have a prior higher education qualification, or are from a non-UK/EU country, will need to pay their fees themselves.
You should have lived in the UK/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 20 years, you would be liable to pay the international rate.
RADA does not have its own student housing. We include advice on finding accommodation in the information pack we send students offered a place on our full-time course