Originally called the Birmingham School of Acting this institution goes back to 1937. The school changed its name in 2017 to the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire but most people know it by its previous name the Birmingham School of Acting. They are a school that has a solid reputation with casting directors and within the industry. They may not have a recognizable name like the LAMDAs or RADAs of this world but their reputation is great. They’re rated very highly with student teaching satisfaction and quality of teaching. Because Birmingham is a large city it has a good quality of life for students – without the price tag of London.
Strengths of Birmingham School of Acting
A great strength of a Conservatoire is the fact that many other disciplines train alongside you. Birmingham, like other conservatoires, trains music students as well as stage managers and practitioners of the arts. You get to be on campus with like-minded budding artists which can’t be said for University courses or drama schools. Birmingham’s great atmosphere is reflected in its satisfaction ratings.
What the Audition is Like
The initial audition is a filmed submission which is uploaded as a link to YouTube. You have to apply through UCAS as Birmingham uses a different system than some other private drama schools that have their own admissions policy.
You’ll need to prepare two pieces, one from a classical play and one from a contemporary play. If you get a recall then the audition runs as a half day event either in the morning or the afternoon at the facilities in Birmingham.
They have a very friendly reputation and the audition process is quite light intensity compared to other schools. Some places have endless amounts of recalls so it’s quite liberating to have a school that is embracing the virtual audition process.
Things to Consider
Birmingham could be considered as a regional capital in the UK as it’s the second biggest city and a lively place. What’s great is that it’s only a couple of hours from London and similar in atmosphere but doesn’t have the hefty rent or lifestyle price tag attached to it. For those people that want a typical uni lifestyle of partying then living in a city is a must. You’re not going to have many bars or outings if you live in the middle of a field – I’m looking at you Oxford School of Drama.
However, there is something to be said about retreating to a serene destination when you’re training in acting. You want to have time and space to craft your art. If you’re a person that really wants to concentrate then consider whether training in a city is for you.
Where to Apply
Bear in mind that the fees to attend drama school are £9,250 per year and in order to apply to Birmingham you have to go through UCAS. This is a standard university application procedure for most UK students and if you’re applying to other universities then you’ll most likely have an account.
Guidance for UK students
UK students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.
If you’re an international student then you’ll need to complete an International Application Form and Equal Opportunities Form, and submit them together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates. You’ll need to email these documents through or call them on +44 121 331 5389.