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Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

the United Kingdom

View institution website 26 courses available to international students

Top reasons to study at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

Specialised training, preparing you for a career in the arts 

Our mission is to inspire, educate and train the performers, practitioners and creatives who will shape the future of theatre and the performing arts. 

Our courses are available at both undergraduate and postgraduate level and cover the entire breadth of the performing arts, from acting to production, from applied theatre to drama therapy, and from sound design to writing for film and television. We also offer a range of flexible short courses enabling young people and those in full-time work to access dramatic training. 

We collaborate with the creative industries every day 

We ensure our students complete their training with everything they need to launch a creative career. As part of this preparation, many of our courses offer opportunities to undertake an industry placement with a wide range of leading arts organisations and theatre companies. 

Students are taught by industry professionals and enjoy continuous opportunities to build their professional networks through public facing work, industry showcases, exhibitions and more.  

Students leave with a thorough understanding of the industry and a clear plan for moving forward. 

Find out more about our industry connections 

Our facilities support your learning 

Studying at Central gives you access to a wide range of high calibre, industry-standard facilities. Our building has been tailored to facilitate our unique training and designed to support excellence. Central’s campus is made up of multiple performance spaces, movement studios, rehearsal rooms, specialised workshops and more. Our North Block building, opened in 2019, comprises a studio dedicated to film, media and digital work and 4 other new double height rehearsal and production spaces, including an additional public performance venue. 

Find out more about our facilities

We’re in the heart of London, UK 

Our city is home to 3,000 parks and green spaces, and our campus is based just a 10 minutes’ walk from picturesque Primrose Hill. Meanwhile, from Swiss Cottage it’s a very short tube ride to the infamous West End, arguably the theatre capital of the world. The close proximity of our campus to the industry makes Central the ideal starting point for launching a career in the arts and with all the culture, entertainment and nightlife that London has to offer, you’ll never be at a loose end.  

Find out more about London life

We are an international community of creators 

Our students, alumni and tutors are a global network of performance practitioners. We welcome people from all over the world to Central and in 2021-22, students came from over 65 countries to study with us. 

Central students benefit from professionals sharing their knowledge and experience from across the creative industries. Some Central students will also travel abroad to undertake projects that positively impact communities in locations such as USA, India and South Africa over the last few years.

Our graduates go on to do special things across the globe including performing on stage and screen, running theatre companies, setting up organisations and innovating new performance methods and approaches in Hong Kong, Australia and India. Many international students take their learnings from Central back to their home countries to share the work, skills and experience they have gained.  

Find out more about studying at Central as an International Student

Our students are at the heart of everything we do 

We place great importance on the wellbeing of our community.  

Our Students’ Union host multiple events throughout the academic year, often in the campus bar, a hub of Central social life. Liberation Officers support and represent students from different communities and push forward the campaigns students want to see on campus. 

Meanwhile, our friendly Student Centre is there to offer support to anyone who may need it and includes the Neuro-Inclusion and Disability Centre, our free counselling service and the Student Advice Service who can help you with everything from managing finances to securing accommodation. 

Find out more about our student support

Our graduates go on to amazing things 

You’ll probably have heard of or seen some of our alumni. Central graduates star in and produce television, theatre, films and festivals all around the world, from theatre producer Sonia Friedman, award-winning sound designer Gareth Fry and War Horse puppeteer Toby Olié to Dame Judi Dench, Game of Thrones‘ Kit Harington, Spiderman’s Andrew Garfield and Golden Globe-nominee Riz Ahmed. While we have many alumni you might recognise, Central graduates are known throughout the industry for the calibre of work they produce and undertake in theatres, film-sets, schools and arts organisations around the globe. 

Find out more about our alumni

We’ve been training the next generation of theatre makers for over 100 years 

Central was founded in 1906 By Elsie Fogerty, originally in the Royal Albert Hall. In 1957, we moved to Swiss Cottage into The Embassy Theatre where we have been training theatre practitioners ever since. In 2012, Central was given Royal status, and we have developed our courses so that we currently have the broadest portfolio of theatre and dramatic arts courses in any European higher education establishment. In 2021, 75% of our research was classed as, ‘World Leading’ in the Research Excellence Framework, demonstrating how we are creating new knowledge that helps drive the creative industries forward. 

The creative arts have never been more important in society as they are today, and we recognise the value that creative training can bring to individuals and communities across the globe. We are proud that Central is at the forefront of training, and that we play our part in helping to develop the future of theatre and performance. 

About Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

Country the United Kingdom
Number of courses 26
Year founded 1906
Number of students 1100

At Central we put your future career at the heart of everything we do, and when you leave, you’ll be a specialist in your subject – with the preparation you’ll need to get work in a fast-moving performing arts industry.

Who We Are

We’re a small specialist institution for the performing arts and offer everything from evening courses, diplomas and summer schools to undergraduate degrees, MA/MFAs, and research programmes. Our areas of specialism cover performance (acting, voice, movement), creative, design and production (theatre practice) and applied theatre.

State-of-the-art facilities

Our facilities are state-of-the-art: we have everything you’d expect from a world-famous drama school, and more – along with plenty of rehearsal and practice spaces - and an experimental lighting studio.

Learn more about Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

View institution website

Location of Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

Royal Central School of Speech and Drama main campus location is shown on the map below:

Map showing location of Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

Photos from Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

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Fees, Funding and Scholarships at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

Central have multiple scholarships, bursaries and awards for incoming and continuing students including the Leverhulme Scholarship of up to £10,000.

You can find out more about the funding currently available for Central students here

Study Abroad Information

Central is located in Swiss Cottage, just three short tube stops from London's West End and buzzing theatre district. London is famous for its restaurants, cafes, bars and nightlife and we can guarantee you'll never be bored.

As a Central student you'll be encouraged to make the most of the capital's huge range of live performances and will receive a weekly email with a list of ticket offers and deals. 

Central's proximity to the West End and the performing arts industry make it an ideal starting point for a career in the arts, enabling students to begin building professional networks while still studying.

Find out more about attending Central as an International Student

Facts about Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

  • Year institution founded: 1906
  • Total enrolled: 1100

We welcome students from all over the world to Central and support them throughout their time with us.

Find out more on our International Students page