Bristol Old Vic Theatre School
Image: Graham Burke
The Conservatoire for Dance and Drama comprises eight specialist schools delivering world-leading education and vocational training in the performing arts. We train the performing artists and production professionals of the future: actors, circus artists, dancers, stage managers, technical theatre practitioners, choreographers and directors.
The Conservatoire schools are:
The Conservatoire offers vocational training courses in dance, drama and circus arts at a higher education level. This includes professional training in directing, choreography, stage management, property making, theatre design, lighting design, sound design, scenic art design, and costume production.
Visit our courses section to find out what each school offers.
Applications are made directly to the school where you wish to study. Although it is not possible to apply to any of the Conservatoire’s schools through the UCAS system, you will still be able to access Student Finance in the same way as students from any other university.
Admission to the Conservatoire’s courses is by audition and/or interview. It is not unusual for there to be a round of auditions, followed by call-back auditions and interviews for the successful applicant. Application closing dates and auditioning dates vary so please check with the relevant school for the latest information. For further information, please see the how to apply section of our website.
The table below shows the Conservatoire’s fees for courses starting in 2016. If you started your course before 2016, please visit our Fees and Financial Support section for more information.
Fees for students starting a course in 2016
|UK undergraduate students||£9,000|
|EU undergraduate students||£9,000|
|Second degree undergraduate students||£9,000|
|Students from the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man||£9,000|
For information about tuition fees for postgraduate courses and overseas students, please contact the relevant school for the course you are interested in.
As a result of recent changes in Government funding to higher education, the Conservatoire faces a considerable reduction in its teaching grant from 2012. In order to continue to offer the world-class level of training and facilities for which our schools are renowned, we are charging new students £9,000 per year for all undergraduate programmes.
The Conservatoire will continue to subsidise the full cost of its vocational programmes, which cost an average of around £17,000 per student to deliver. We have also put in place an extensive financial support package to ensure that we continue to admit the most talented students, irrespective of backgrounds.
If you apply and are offered a place at one of the Conservatoire schools, when you enrol you will be registered jointly with the school and as a student of the Conservatoire.
One of the benefits of training at a Conservatoire school is the enhanced opportunities for collaboration. Recent examples have included artistic collaborations between lighting design students and dancers, placements for technical theatre and stage management students on circus arts productions, and cross-disciplinary performances between contemporary dance and circus arts students for an informal Christmas cabaret. There is also an annual Student Conference, which has included themes on ‘Collaboration’, ‘Making and Creating Work: Taking Control of Your Career’, ‘The CDD Jigsaw’, and most recently, ‘Artproofing’.
At present, the Conservatoire does not have degree awarding powers. The Conservatoire schools’ courses are validated by different universities:
|Conservatoire school||Validating university|
|Bristol Old Vic Theatre School||University of the West of England|
|Central School of Ballet||University of Kent|
|LAMDA (London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art)||University of Kent|
|London Contemporary Dance School||University of Kent|
|National Centre for Circus Arts||University of Kent|
|Northern School of Contemporary Dance||University of Kent|
|Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance||University of Kent|
|RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art)||King’s College London, University of London|
To apply for a tuition fee loan, maintenance loan or maintenance grant, you need to visit the Student Finance England website:
Remember you will need to reapply for each year of your training.
We suggest that you apply for Student Finance as early as possible because the Conservatoire will use the financial assessment to help us decide whether you are eligible for a Conservatoire scholarship.
You can apply for financial assessment through Student Finance even if you are not eligible for a loan, or if you do not intend to take out a loan. We would advise you to keep a second copy of the financial details submitted to Student Finance England for income assessment. This will speed up the process should the Conservatoire also require them to assist with the preparation of any financial aid package for which you might be eligible.
For students from Northern Ireland, go to:
For students from Scotland, go to:
For students from Wales, go to:
If you are a new student from the EU you will need to download an application pack to apply for Student Finance:
Yes. If you are aged 16 or 17 and starting a Conservatoire undergraduate course, you can apply for a student loan from the Government.
The Conservatoire offers financial support in the form of bursaries for students who started a course in or before September 2011.
Visit the Fees and Financial Support page for further information. The Conservatoire Scholarship Scheme supports students who have started courses from September 2012 (see below).
The Conservatoire Scholarship Scheme supports students who have started courses since September 2012. For information about Scholarships, please visit the Fees and Financial Assistance section and select your year of entry.
If you wish to be considered for a Conservatoire Scholarship, you need to indicate as appropriate on your application form to the school. You then need to complete an application to Student Finance England (or its equivalent) as early as possible in order to be income assessed. This will allow the Conservatoire to assess what level of support you may be entitled to. We would advise you to keep a second copy of the financial details submitted to Student Finance England for income assessment. This will speed up the process should the Conservatoire also require them to assist with the preparation of any financial aid package for which you might be eligible. Don’t forget to allow ‘consent to share’ on your application form.
The maximum amount you can receive through the Conservatoire Scholarship Scheme is usually £4,000 per year for each year of training.
Scholarships based on talent and potential will be awarded by staff at the individual schools. If the Scholarship is available in the first year, the decision will be made at audition / interview level. If the Scholarship is awarded in the second year, a judgement will be made based on your first year of study.
If your financial circumstances change, the amount of income-assessed financial support you are entitled to will increase or decrease respectively. This will not affect your maintenance loan entitlement from Student Finance England within that year of training, or Conservatoire Scholarships which are awarded on the basis of talent and potential.
The Conservatoire welcomes applications from graduate students who wish to pursue a professional training in acting, circus, dance or technical theatre. If you have a degree already you will not be eligible to apply for a tuition fee or maintenance loan from Student Finance England. You may still be eligible for a Conservatoire Scholarship or a school bursary.
If your application is successful, we will notify you that you have been offered a place. The school may ask you to complete an interim income assessment form. This will help us to provide you with provisional information about any financial package for which you may be eligible.
Where possible, we are trying to let all applicants to whom we offer a place know whether they will be entitled to a scholarship before they accept. You will still need to apply to Student Finance England for income assessment. In general we advise you to apply for student finance as early as possible so that we will be able to make you an offer with as much information as possible.
The Conservatoire is committed to admitting and supporting disabled students and we warmly encourage you to inform the school you are applying to so that appropriate support can be offered.
Full information about support for disabled students and how to apply for the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) can be found on our Support for Disabled Students page. In this section you can also view videos of disabled students talking about their training and the support in place at a Conservatoire school.
The Conservatoire is committed to admitting and supporting students from all backgrounds. The Conservatoire offers financial support to care leavers in the form of cash bursaries.