Strengths of Guildford Schools of Acting

GSA is traditionally known for its high-quality musical theatre training and was one of the first drama schools to create a Musical Theatre dedicated course in 1967. It has been active in a number of different locations but currently teaches on the campus of the University of Surrey. The facilities are truly world-class and the added funding they’ve received from being affiliated with the University of Surrey has contributed dramatically to their success. As well as their musical theatre course the GSA has numerous acting courses:

Musical Theatre courses

Over the last ten years, the quality of their teaching has improved dramatically. Unlike some independent drama schools, the quality of GSA’s teaching must be up to the standard of a university degree. This helps in securing funding but it also means that their teaching has to be top-notch. GSA is also a member of the Federation of Drama Schools which is a positive sign of the quality of their teaching.

What is also important to take note is that the school isn’t one of the “old guard” that has been around for hundreds of years. Guildford School of Acting doesn’t have a long history to fall back on such as RADA or LAMDA but this can be seen as a negative or a positive depending on what you want our of acting training. GSA treads a good balance between being a well-established institution that is flexible in how it teaches its students.

They’re known for being a relevant and cutting-edge drama school that caters to modern-day acting needs. Their alumni work far and wide in TV & film to the west end in new musicals.

What the audition is like

GSA has a friendly reputation so anyone auditioning should not be worried that the auditioners are going to be tough. If you want advice on how to pick speeches for drama school or which schools to consider then check out our flagship article: How to Get Into Drama School. In that article we dive into the standard speeches you need to prepare for a drama school audition:

  • At least one contemporary speech from a play after 1955 but preferably from a recent writer.
  • A classical speech in blank verse no more than two minutes long.
  • A song which you can act truthfully through.

Things to consider

Guildford School of Acting is situated on the University of Surrey campus in the town of Guildford. Whilst Guildford is a lovely city with a beautiful cathedral it is certainly not in the heart of London, New York, LA or Paris.

Guildford is a town to the South West of London which is about 45 minutes from the centre of London.

The cost of living on a university campus is significantly cheaper than it is in London. Besides the fact that pints are much cheaper at a student union, living in Guildford is much cheaper than living in the halls of a central London drama school. This will help those that are cost conscious.

With that comes some caviats, Guildford may be a thriving town but there is limited things to do apart from hang out with other students.

Where to apply

In order to apply to GSA, you have to use the University of Surrey application portal.

University of Surrey acting application portal:

However, after you look at their online portal then you have to apply through UCAS – University and Colleges Application Service. It is important that you apply within the deadlines of university applications and it is better to sign up early than do it later.


GSA is in a fantastic location for those acting students who don’t want to study in the center of London. Guildford is a great city for young students because it’s also home to the University of Surrey. Those who prefer to spend their time in the “big smoke” can take a 45-minute train and end up at London Waterloo.

It is also worth noting that GSA is affiliated very closely with the University of Surrey. This guarantees the quality of their courses due to the fact that there are rules and regulations surrounding certified university courses.

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