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Best drama schools in the UK, including fees

Updated: Apr 18, 2023

Drama school is a popular route for aspiring actors looking to build a professional acting career, but which are the best drama schools in the UK. Let's explore the history, notable alumni, training offered, and fees at four renowned UK drama schools.

  1. Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA)

    • History: RADA was founded in 1904 by actor-manager Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree. The school's mission was to provide comprehensive training for actors, stage managers, and technicians.

    • Famous Alumni: Notable RADA graduates include Sir Anthony Hopkins, Alan Rickman, Tilda Swinton, and Sophie Okonedo.

    • Training: RADA offers a 3-year BA (Hons) in Acting, which focuses on acting techniques, voice and speech, movement, and stage combat. Students also have opportunities to perform in full-scale productions.

    • Fees: Audition fee - £50, Termly fee - £5,500, Annual fee - £16,500


  1. London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA)

    • History: LAMDA was founded in 1861 by Henry Wylde as a music school. It later expanded its curriculum to include acting and became a pioneer in drama education.

    • Famous Alumni: Benedict Cumberbatch, Ruth Wilson, David Oyelowo, and Chiwetel Ejiofor are some of LAMDA's celebrated graduates.

    • Training: LAMDA offers a 3-year BA (Hons) in Professional Acting, covering acting techniques, voice, movement, stage combat, and screen acting. Students also participate in theatre productions and film projects.

    • Fees: Audition fee - £55, Termly fee - £6,000, Annual fee - £18,000


  1. Guildhall School of Music and Drama

    • History: Established in 1880 as part of the City of London Corporation's initiative to provide quality music education, Guildhall later expanded its curriculum to include drama, theatre, and technical arts.

    • Famous Alumni: Daniel Craig, Eileen Atkins, Orlando Bloom, and Lily James are among the well-known graduates of Guildhall.

    • Training: Guildhall offers a 3-year BA (Hons) in Acting, focusing on voice, movement, acting techniques, and stage combat. The program also includes opportunities for students to perform in theatre productions and work on film projects.

    • Fees: Audition fee - £60, Termly fee - £5,850, Annual fee - £17,550


  1. Bristol Old Vic Theatre School

    • History: The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School was founded in 1946 by Laurence Olivier as a branch of the Old Vic Theatre in London. It quickly became an independent institution, providing professional training for actors, directors, and stage technicians.

    • Famous Alumni: Olivia Colman, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jeremy Irons, and Naomie Harris have all studied at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

    • Training: Bristol Old Vic offers a 3-year BA (Hons) in Acting, emphasising acting techniques, voice, movement, and stage combat. Students engage in various theatre productions and screen work.

    • Fees: Audition fee - £45, Termly fee - £5,200, Annual fee - £15,600


Please note that these costs are accurate as of 2023 and are subject to change. Additionally, scholarships and financial aid may be available to help cover the costs of tuition. It's essential to research each institution's financial assistance options and apply accordingly.

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