This is the only conservatoire-based technical theatre degree in Scotland. Through the programme we aim to produce production technicians, stage managers and lighting designers who can turn their hands to any related role, making them employable in a range of contexts, whilst also being specialists in career pathways, i.e. stage management, stage technology, sound technology, lighting technology and lighting design.
We’ll help you to create your own pathway through the programme, focusing on your areas of interest. You will learn to work creatively, as an individual artist, as part of a production team and in collaboration with other students of all disciplines.
RCS is a major public performance venue with world-class facilities. The combination of professional venues, extensive workshops, construction spaces, design studios, and the latest stage and workshop technologies provide a fantastic learning environment.
We work closely with industry to ensure our curriculum is current, competitive, and of the highest professional standard, so you will gain all of the skills and knowledge needed for your future career. We have very close relationships with the key Scottish national companies, such as Scottish Opera, the National Theatre of Scotland and Scottish Ballet as well as the majority of regional theatres such as the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, Pitlochry Festival Theatre and the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh.
Further afield in the UK we have well established relationships with national organisations such as the Association of British Theatre Technician (ABTT), the Association of Stage Pyrotechnicians (ASP) the Production Lighting and Sound Association (PLASA), and companies such as Stage Technologies, Just FX and the National Theatre in London.
Our graduates will aspire to become the creative leaders and innovators of the future and will be encouraged to push accepted boundaries and create new standards of practice in the industry at large.
Principal study options
During the application and audition process, you must select which instrument(s) you wish to specialise in for the duration of your course. On this course, you can choose from the following options:
Only one instrument is studied. It may be possible to study a further instrument formatively, but this will not contribute towards the qualification.
For all courses, you must select at least one specialism from the 'primary' list. For those studying primary/secondary pathways, two instruments may be selected – one from the 'primary' list and one from the 'secondary' list. Joint pathway students may select any two instruments from either list.
- Stage Management
- Stage Technology
Students on this programme are interviewed and accepted based on their profile in one or several areas of study taken from the four core subjects on offer (stage management, lighting, sound and stage technology). All of these disciplines are studied in year 1 and into year 2 before specialist pathways are followed. At this point Lighting Design becomes part of the core provision and a specialist pathway in its own right alongside Production lighting.
Your first year will be based on experiential learning and skills acquisition focusing on the context of production through a range of classroom, workshop and venue-based experiences. This culminates in allocated assistant roles in each core area on RCS productions (e.g. Assistant Stage Manager, Assistant Electrician). You will engage with a broad-based introduction to the production environment and standard practices both in core subject areas and more broadly in related production arts and design subjects. In Professional Practice modules you will investigate and analyze the importance of personal development and the broader creative context as well as being introduced to the importance of health and safety and the RCS requirement for best practice in this area. You will also investigate the collaborative nature of production and performance and work with other students from across RCS.
Year 2 aims to consolidate fundamental skills and knowledge and to introduce more advanced approaches and techniques including management and self-promotion. You will be allocated to production roles, with increasing levels of responsibility and will choose a specialist subject to focus on. Advanced teaching in the key areas of your specialism, as well as integral skills such as management and communication, then leads to allocation on more senior roles on RCS productions (e.g. Stage Manager, Production Electrician). From this position you can begin to develop leadership skills whilst at the same time consolidating your practical capabilities. Term 2 brings a return to the ‘ classroom’ and a menu of both compulsory and elective studies through which you will equip yourself to continue your personal development journey and ultimately undertake more complex, senior roles. Professional practice at Level Two focuses on the development of the individual practitioner, looking at more advance health and safety practices, practical management techniques such as budgeting and scheduling, personal development and promotional tools such as CVs and websites as well as a mock interview with an industry partner. You will also engage with options modules where you can choose from a range of modules on offer from programmes across the institution or undertake a negotiated project.
In your final year, you are expected to perform with full autonomy, consolidating your learning and applying the specialist skills you have gained on senior roles on RCS productions. You will begin by working collaboratively with year 2 students offering the opportunity to explore more complex operational roles rather than solely leading a team. This will enable your skills base to develop to the highest possible standards as well as providing an opportunity to reflect on leadership strategies by observing other students in management roles. Staff support is available on request and through tutorials but we expect you to operate on an almost professional level. You will negotiate your individual pathway in your final year to take advantage of the available production roles, options modules and secondment opportunities along with a final managerial role. Professional practice at Level 3 builds on previous modules but focuses on the company rather than the individual introducing broader management techniques, H&S management and the development of entrepreneurial and business skills. You will also be offered the opportunity to visit at least one major trade show or association conference during your final year.
Most work is assessed through staff observations of your practice but reflection underpins the approach to assessment. Reflective blogs and summary statements form a key component of assessment in all modules. There is a strong emphasis on the assessment of process and so all paperwork generated in each practical role is also assessed as evidence of your widening understanding of the production process and your role within it.
How to apply
If your application is completed by the following date, it’s guaranteed to be considered:
15 January*If you apply after this deadline, universities or colleges don’t have to consider your application if they’ve filled their spaces, so the sooner you apply, the better!
*If you are an international applicant, or you are applying for a postgraduate course, or are choosing certain audition locations, the 'on time' deadline may be later in the year - please contact the conservatoire directly.
You will need these codes when you add a choice to your application.
|Campus name||Main Site|
Points of entry
The following entry points are available for this course:
- Year 1
Currently around 20% of our students come from outside the UK. Between them, they represent over 53 different nationalities and add a rich diversity to the Conservatoire. Skype interviews can be arranged for international and non UK applicants.
|A level||Passes in two subjects at GCSE Advanced level|
|Scottish Higher||Passes in three subjects at Higher level|
Additional entry requirements
Please refer to our Guide for Applicants for what to prepare for interivew- https://www.rcs.ac.uk/studyhere/how-to-apply/dramaanddance/
In the event of a successful audition, applicants may be invited for a further interview prior to being made an offer.
Remote audition recordings may be accepted in the event that you cannot attend an audition in person.
Single specialism audition
|Location||On-time Fee||Late Fee|
Joint principal specialism audition
|Location||On-time Fee||Late Fee|
|RCS||Not available at this location|
|Skype Interview||Not available at this location|
For more information on what to prepare for interview, please see our website - https://www.rcs.ac.uk/courses/ba-production-technology-management/.
Fees and funding
|Northern Ireland||£9,250||Year 1|
Additional fee information
The Royal Conservatoire is able to offer a number of entrance scholarships which are awarded as part of the audition/selection process on the basis of merit and financial need. Please see our website for more information - https://www.rcs.ac.uk/studyhere/scholarships/.