ArtsEd or Arts Educational School London is a well-established higher education institution for actors and performers based in London. The school is over 80 years old and has had many iterations but is now based in Chiswick. It has had a string of positive reviews including a recent “outstanding” award from Ofsted. Their main studio has also undergone a renovation with help from the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation.

Within the industry the performers from ArtsEd enjoy a very good reputation. Their alumni can be seen on film & tv as well as on the west end which is a great sign of the quality of their vocational training.

Strengths of ArtsEd

ArtsEd sticks to a core offering of courses in acting and musical theatre. They don’t offer extended courses in European theatre studies, actor-musician courses or specialist courses which can be seen as a strength to some applicants. Their vocational courses have got great reviews and ArtsEd features in our top 10 drama schools of 2020. Courses ArtsEd offers:

Foundation Courses

BA Courses

MA Courses

What the Audition is Like

ArtsEd is based in Chiswick which is a very easy area to get to if you live in London. Even if you don’t live in London it is quite easy to get a train into London and then use the underground in order to get to your audition. Chiswick isn’t considered central London but is a good balance between the suburbs and the hustling bustling city center.

Both Turnham Green and Stamford Brook are relatively easy to get to if you live in London or travel in by train. The easiest line is the District Line – the green one on the Underground map.

ArtsEd follow the principle that auditionees need a full day to showcase their potential. For those who are auditioning the first round is a full day which will involve voice, movement and team workshops. You’ll need to prepare two speeches:

  • One monologue from a contemporary play written after 1990
  • One monologue from a classical play (preferably Shakespeare)

After that you’ll need to prepare some more material for recalls but these two monologues are standard for almost all the drama schools that you’ll be auditioning for. The only difference is that ArtsEd consider a contemporary monologue from after 1990 whereas some drama schools allow you to learn speeches from 1960’s onwards.

Things to Consider

There are other drama schools that offer more specialist courses such as actor-musician courses or European/American theatre courses that cater to certain applicants. ArtsEd has got a great reputation for the courses that it offers but hasn’t ventured into more exotic offerings like many of the modern drama schools. If you have a particular area that you want to explore then I would advise that you look at drama schools that offer that.

ArtsEd is very much based in London like many of the top drama schools in the UK. We always note that the cost of living is substantially higher if you do decide to study in London. This is the same if you’re considering LAMDA, RADA, Guildhall or any other of the established schools.

Where to Apply

ArtsEd is a member of the Federation of Drama Schools and they are another school that do their own admission process. The best place to look for their updated information is the audition section of their website:

Much like many drama schools you’ll need to prepare a variety of modern and classical speeches. If you’re auditioning for the musical theatre course then expect to need to prepare musical pieces as well.


ArtsEd seems to have gone through a renaissance in the past ten years. They’ve settled in their new location and the renovation of their main residence has contributed positively to their student reviews and standards. An “outstanding” rating from Ofsted has not come out of the blue. The principal, Chris Hocking, has steered the institution to a position that is rivaling schools with more resources and history behind them. Needless to say, if you are reading this and you’ve been accepted to ArtsEd then we have no hesitation in recommending the school for aspiring professional performers.

If you would like to see reviews of other UK drama schools then feel free to check out our articles here.

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