Guildhall School campus

Royal Central School of Speech & Drama

At Central our mission is to inspire, educate and train the performers, practitioners and creatives who will shape the future of theatre and the performing arts.

Students acting on a stage

We put your future career at the heart of everything we do. Our specialist courses will prepare you for work in the fast-moving performing and creative arts industry.

Our undergraduate and postgraduate level courses cover the entire breadth of the performing arts, from acting to production, from applied theatre to drama therapy, and from sound design to writing for film and television.

Students are taught by industry professionals and enjoy continuous opportunities to build their professional networks through public facing work, industry showcases, exhibitions and more. Many of our courses offer opportunities to undertake an industry placement with a wide range of leading arts organisations and theatre companies. Situated in central London, our campus is made up of multiple performance spaces, movement studios, rehearsal rooms, specialised workshops, a
studio dedicated to film, media and digital work and more.

Pink swirl background design

International students

Our students, alumni and tutors are a global network of performance practitioners. We welcome people from all over the world to Central and in 2021-22, students came from over 65 countries to study with us.

Central students benefit from professionals sharing their knowledge and experience from across the creative industries. Some Central students will also travel abroad to undertake projects that positively impact communities in locations such as USA, India and South Africa over the last few years.

Our graduates go on to do special things across the globe including performing on stage and screen, running theatre companies, setting up organisations and innovating new performance methods and approaches in Hong Kong, Australia and India. Many international students take their learnings from Central back to their home countries to share the work, skills and experience they have gained.

Quick Fact

Central graduates star in and produce television, theatre, films and festivals all around the world, from theatre producer Sonia Friedman, award-winning sound designer Gareth Fry and War Horse puppeteer Toby Olié to Dame Judi Dench, Game of Thrones‘ Kit Harington, Spiderman’s Andrew Garfield and Golden Globe-nominee Riz Ahmed. While we have many alumni you might recognise, Central graduates are known throughout the industry for the calibre of work they produce and undertake in theatres, film-sets, schools and arts organisations around the globe.



Central guided me from a place of blind enthusiasm to one of diligent craft, providing me with the solid foundations I needed over the coming years. My course leaders showed such belief and patience towards us, and built such trust, that I ultimately followed them into this unknown territory. I grew more in that one year than I could have ever imagined.

Riz Ahmed, Graduated 2006, appeared in Nightcrawler, Jason Bourne and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and received an Emmy Award for Best Actor as Naz in HBO’s The Night Of.

My time at Central taught me how to work with a wide range of people and disciplines and opened my mind to the full spectrum of theatre genres. It was there that I was able to transition into working on real live projects. It was an amazing opportunity to explore the areas that I enjoyed, and those that I didn’t, to set the foundations for an exciting career working in technical theatre. Working on projects within Central with fellow students and later with the freedom to develop my own work and contacts outside, gave me opportunities that shaped my future development.

Gary Beestone, Gary established Gary Beestone Events & Theatre providing production and project management for clients such as Disney and Sonia Friedman Productions, as well as worldwide Technical Director for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child.

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