Eighteen of the best: Drama schools

Eighteen of the best: Drama schools

By Holly Whytock 25/04/14

Decided that drama school is the route you want to take into the industry? Now’s the time to really consider which school will be right for you. Holly Whytock rounds up the 18 schools that are Drama UK accredited...

1. ALRA – The Academy of Live & Recorded Arts

ALRA has campuses in London and Wigan and offers Foundation, BA and MA training in acting, stage and technical management.

2. Arts Educational Schools London

ArtsEd has a School of Musical Theatre providing triple thread musical theatre training in acting, singing and dance and a School of Acting with a focus on acting for TV and film as well as theatre.

3. BSA – Birmingham School of Acting

BSA is part of the Birmingham City University and offers Foundation, BA and postgraduate training in acting, applied performance, stage management and voice.

4. Bristol Old Vic Theatre School

Bristol Old Vic Theatre School offers professional acting Foundation, BA and postgraduate courses, as well as arts, stage and production management and directing and design courses. 

5. Drama Centre London 

Drama Centre London is part of Central Saint Martins and the University of the Arts London, and provides Foundation, BA and MA courses in acting, directing and writing.

6. Drama Studio London

Drama Studio London runs a one-year and a two-year diploma in acting. 

7. East 15 Acting School

East 15 Acting School is part of the University of Essex and offers BA courses in acting, world performance, physical theatre and stage management.

8. GSA – Guildford School of Acting

Part of the University of Surrey, Guildford School of Acting (GSA) offers Foundation, BA and post graduate training in acting, musical theatre, and professional production skills.

9. Guildhall School of Music & Drama

GSMD provides training at BA and MA level in music, acting and technical theatre.

10. Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts 

Italia Conti has a main campus in London and a centre in Guildford. The academy offers Foundation and BA courses in acting and teacher training in performing arts.

11. LAMDA – London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art 

LAMDA offers foundation and BA courses in acting, stage management and technical theatre, an MA in directing and postgraduate diplomas in design, movement and musical direction.

12. LIPA – The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts

LIPA provides training at foundation level in acting and musical theatre, commercial dance and pop music sound and technology. The BA courses include acting, dance, music, sound technology and design. 

13. MMU – Manchester Metropolitan University School of Theatre

The Manchester School of Theatre at the Manchester Metropolitan University offers an acting BA course and postgraduate courses in design for performance and theatre studies.

14. Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts

Based in London, Mountview provides training at foundation level in acting, musical theatre and theatre production arts, BA courses in acting, actor-musician, musical theatre and theatre production arts. Postgraduate courses include directing, musical direction and acting.

15. Oxford School of Drama 

The Oxford School of Drama offers foundation level training in acting and musical theatre, a three-year course in acting and an advanced professional course in musical theatre.

16. RADA – Royal Academy of Dramatic Art

RADA is in London and provides a foundation course in acting, BA courses in acting and MA courses in directing, theatre lab and text in performance. Postgraduate diplomas in production and design range from lighting to scenic art.

17. Rose Bruford College of Theatre & Performance

Rose Bruford is in Sidcup, Kent and offers an acting foundation and a range of BA courses including acting, actor musicianship, lighting, stage management and theatre design. Ensemble theatre and theatre for young audiences are offered at MA level.

18. Royal Central School of Speech & Drama

RCSSD is in London and offers undergraduate training in acting, drama, applied theatre and education and theatre practice. There are a range of MA and postgraduate courses available from acting and musical theatre to scenography and creative producing.


There are many other universities, colleges and centres offering degrees, short-courses and training. Drama UK provides a full list of courses and institutions.


Is there a drama school you'd like to recommend? Please add it in a comment. 


For more articles, jobs and opportunities, visit our Performing Arts hub.

Image by Montell305 on a Creative Commons license.

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