(Image credit: RCS/Robert McFadzean)
In May 2022, I had the pleasure of visiting the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland: one of the world’s very top institutions for performing arts. Their main building (one of two) is located smack bang in the centre of Glasgow – a UNESCO City of Music – and just a few minutes walk from many of the city’s premier performing venues, including The Royal Concert Hall, Scottish Opera and The National Theatre of Scotland.
From the moment I walked in the building I was struck by the friendliness of both staff and students – there is a palpable sense of warmth, professionalism and collaboration. Music exams were taking place so I couldn’t get a look at all of the 5 professional venues, but the RSC is one of the busiest performing arts centres in Scotland, staging hundreds of performances each year. These guys are busy – an average school day often mirroring the number of hours that would be spent if working in industry!
Students come from all over the world to study – a family I was looking around with had come all the way from India just to visit! The likes of Alan Cumming, David Tennant, Ruby Wax, Sheena Easton, Tom Conti and John Hannah are all alumni.
- Conservatoire of drama, dance, music, production, film and education.
- Purpose built building in Glasgow city centre across from the Theatre Royal. A second campus for ballet and production is near Cowcaddens – about 10 minutes walk from the main building
- Good public transport within the city
- Undergraduate enrolment – around 900
- Total student population – 1440 (2021/21)
- 31% international students (2021/22)
- Acceptance rate – approximately 13% (2020/21)
- Consistently one of the best schools in the world for Performing Arts Education. 2022 QS World University Ranking = No. 5.
- Prince Charles is patron and Sir Cameron Mackintosh is the current president
- Research degrees undertaken are awarded and validated by the University of St Andrews
- Hundreds of public performances each year make it one of the busiest performing art venues in Scotland. Students and staff get free tickets to all events!
- Alexander Gibson Opera Studio – built in 1998 was the first purpose built opera school in Britain
- 90+ private practice rooms
- 5 professional performing venues
- Several professional recording studios
- Automated flying system – Stage Automation Training is offered as part of the curriculum
- Neighbours include the National Theatre of Scotland and the Scottish Opera
- Two schools: School of Music, and the School of Drama, Dance, Production and Film + a Junior Conservatoire.
- Accommodation is available in Base Glasgow which was purpose built for performing arts students – facilities include a cinema room, gym, roof terrace, and fully equipped and soundproofed music rooms and dance studios.
- Glasgow is a UNESCO World City of Music – there are a host of great music venues and 100s of music events each week.
- Home to five of the six national arts companies and more than 100 cultural organisations, the city is bursting with creative energy.
- 2019 voted the World’s Friendliest City
- Over 130,000 students, low cost of rent, compact and easy to navigate, very international and diverse population.
- Easy access to nature – Loch Lomond is just 40 minutes north of the city.