This section provides information for existing students and those who are interested in applying to one of the Conservatoire schools. You will find details here about the application and audition process and information about the support available to Conservatoire students, including specific support for disabled students.
In addition, this section includes an explanation of what it means to undertake vocational training and answers some frequently asked questions about studying at the Conservatoire.
Fees and financial assistance
If you are thinking about applying to the Conservatoire for a course starting in 2013, our Fees and Finance 2013 section provides a comprehensive guide to course fees and sources of financial assistance.
If you started your course in 2012, please visit:
Fees and Finance 2012
If you started your course in 2011, please visit:
Fees and Finance 2011
About Vocational Training
It is important to note that the Conservatoire schools offer vocational training. This means that your time at the school will be spent learning the specific, technical and practical skills to enable you to pursue a professional career as, for example, an actor, dancer, circus performer, theatre technician, stage manager, choreographer or designer.
All of our courses are intensely practical. You will usually spend around 35 hours each week in contact with lecturers, directors and other students. This time will be spent in technique classes (whether this is classical ballet, contact improvisation, voice skills, Alexander Technique, learning how to operate a lighting rig or sewing techniques) and involves work on repertoire and ultimately preparation for performance and then performance itself.
Our courses are located firmly within higher education, even though they are not academic in focus. This is because students are expected to acquire and demonstrate the very highest level of accomplishment in their chosen art form and to develop the self-reflection and critical thinking that are necessary to become an engaging and persuasive artist.
Assessment is usually based on practice rather than written examinations, although some of the Conservatoire courses include written elements. Vocational training is not ‘easier’ than academic study: it is physically and intellectually demanding and any student embarking on such training should be prepared to work long hours.
If you would like further information about vocational training, beyond that offered here or by the Conservatoire schools, you may find it useful to visit the websites of the Council for Dance Education and Training and the National Council for Drama Training. These organisations have produced a guide to vocational training in dance and drama.