A guide to Drama Schools in the UK
If your sole aim is joining not just any drama school but the very best of the pack, the choices available are aplenty. But, there are certain considerations to mull over before you take the plunge. Here are some useful tips and must know information about applying for drama schools in the UK.
How to apply
Before you start applying you have to thoroughly research the training that the top institutions offer. When you have narrowed down your selection, you can start filling the application forms. This can be done via the website of the school or you can send a filled in application form via post.
The UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) can also be used to send the application form. Before you send, make sure the information entered in them is correct. Normally it takes around four weeks to receive the date of your audition.
Useful tips to know for interested students
Here are a few useful tips that will ensure your application process goes smoothly without any hitches:
Whether you are applying for a diploma of two to three years or for a bachelor degree, you have to be 18 years old or more when the course starts. The level of emotional maturity (you need to be open and comfortable of your own abilities) is the main criterion looked for.
Best time to apply
The right time to apply to various acting school in the UK is during October or November and definitely before January 15; this is the deadline set by UCAS. While there are centers that accept applications at a later date, the fee structure may be more or the course may fill up fast before you land an audition.
Fees for drama auditions range from £45 to £65. But some institutes waiver the fees if you are from a low income family. Or, you can even opt for other funding options, like Open Door, which provides free auditions for young talent.
Many London drama schools and those in South East offer auditions regionally.
UK theater schools are popular for their high level of training as the country has splendid theater training, vocal training, and acting methodology history. So, before you choose here are a few considerations:
Choosing a metropolitan city, like London, Glasgow, or Cardiff will be apt if you want to experience social student life and enjoy your nights out. On the other hand, if you want to have your focus on the training, a quieter location would be ideal.
The specific style of UK drama schools
UK drama schools have a rich history associated with theater in general, in addition to Shakespeare and other thespians’ works in particular. As an actor, you have to train to transform yourself into the role you are playing to give it the depth needed. They train you in every aspect, including movement, voice, devising, and more. On the other hand, acting institute in the US, for instance, have a more subtle, nuanced, and impromptu training system.
Type of drama training
Acting has evolved a lot during the past few centuries. As a result, you can find several methods; all of them successful in their own way. These methods help hone your acting skills and make you a better performer.
The methods used range from centuries-old ones to recent methods, including methods formulated by practitioners, such as Patrick Tucker, Stanislavski, Sandford Meisner, and Peter Hall. The training you choose can be a bachelor degree or a non-degree training course that spans a few weeks. You can also go for a specific acting course, like MFA in professional acting.
Why study acting in the UK
Stage acting involves discipline, technique, sharpening your performing skills and mental strength. You have to possess all these in order to perform a single show repeatedly several times in a week. That being said, UK offers the best atmosphere for acting as besides being steeped in rich theater culture for many centuries, the country offers a wide number of choices in acting institutes.
And conservatoires system is unique and popular for its formalized and professional training methods. Unlike the four-year training program in the US, you have just a 3-year intensive training in the UK, which helps you hit the road running. The master’s degree that spans another year is a selective one that gives additional training in specific niches like script writing, classical acting etc.
Choosing the best establishment from the available choices can be overwhelming. But, you should go with your instincts and choose a drama school that you feel will cater to your passion and hunger for acting.