Do free drama school auditions exist and where can I find them?

According to the Federation of Drama Schools, drama schools operate as non-profit organisations, which is why audition fees exist despite students paying to attend drama school each year, as this money goes towards the running of the school i.e. keeping the building safe and equipped with all the necessities, and paying teachers etc.

But we’re not here to talk about audition costs, we’re here to tell you about which drama schools offer free auditions. 

As a way of making drama school more accessible for everyone, a large number of drama schools across the country have put a stop to audition fees and now offer auditions at no cost.

The following colleges are included in the Conservatoires for Dance and Drama (colleges for the study of classical music or other arts) and their key aim is “to increase and secure access to training for the most talented students regardless of their background.” They provide an audition and interview waiver scheme that was designed to ensure that financial barriers do not limit the ability of talented students applying to their schools.

  • Bristol Old Vic Theatre School
  • Central School of Ballet
  • London Contemporary Dance School
  • National Centre for Circus Arts
  • Northern School of Contemporary Dance
  • Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance

See if you are eligible here.


Other drama schools who have abolished or reduced audition fees include…

Fourth Monkey

Fourth Monkey made the decision to abolish audition fees in September 2019. This applies to all audition dates for 2020 intake across both courses offered by the school, consisting of their BA (Hons) Acting Two Year Accelerated Degree and the Year of the Monkey one year intensive training programme.

See all Fourth Monkey courses here.


London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA)

Sarah Frankcom recently became the new Director of London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and her first act as Director was to create a new audition process and audition fee structure, which saw the cost of first round auditions slashed for all applicants by 75%.

See all LAMDA courses here.


Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

RCSSD offers free auditions for a large number of applicants. Applicants must meet the criteria to be eligible for a free audition. See if you meet the criteria here.

See all Central School courses here.


Rose Bruford College of Theatre & Performance

Rose Bruford doesn’t charge audition fees if your household income is under £25,000 per year, you are a recipient of benefits including disability benefits, you have care responsibilities or you can offer evidence of financial hardship. There are a number of other requirements that would make you eligible for a free audition which you can find here. 

See all courses at Rose Bruford here.


Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama

RWCMD offers audition fee waivers for applicants from low-income backgrounds. However, they are not able to refund accommodation or travel costs. Applicants for an audition fee waiver must be a current UK resident and meet one or more of the criteria which you can find here.

See all courses at RWCMD here.


Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

If you apply via the UCAS Conservatoires application there is a fee of £25, whereas the usual audition administration fee is £55 per course. Audition fee waivers are also available and offered to applicants who may face financial hardship. See if you meet the criteria here.

See all courses at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland here.


Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA)

RADA has an application process for those from low-income households to apply for a free audition. Applicants must complete an application form specifying they are applying for a free audition.

See all RADA courses here.



Audition fees stand at £45, however Mountview offers a number of free auditions for students unable to afford the cost. Also, if you live in Southwark you are eligible to apply for one free audition for one of the Foundation, BA or MA Performance courses. See all information here.

See all Mountview courses here.



The audition fee for ArtsEd is £45, however there is an Audition Fee Waiver Scheme in place as a means of encouraging applications from talented applicants who face financial barriers. Find out more about this here.

See all ArtsEd courses here.


Guildhall School of Music and Drama

Guildhall is the latest performing arts school to slash their audition fees. They have reduced the audition fees for their acting courses by almost 50% in a move aimed at levelling the playing field for aspiring Performers and boosting diversity. They also offers fee waivers through a Supported Application Scheme.

See all courses at Guildhall here.



Not only do The MTA offer free auditions but they only audition 15 people each day providing every individual with written feedback and a same day decision which will save them on the costs to return for a recall.

Find out more here.



Published: 17 February 2020

Photo: Shutterstock

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