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Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama

UCAS Code: R86, CUKAS R59

Location: Cardiff, south-east Wales Show on Map

Site: Single campus in the city centre

Specialist music & drama school 

Student Population

Total Students:608
FE Students:0%


Total undergraduates:503
Full Time:92%
Mature on Entry:14%
UK Students:94%

Teaching Staff

39 full-time, 368 part-time

Broad study areas

Music; acting; theatre design; stage management; arts management; event management; scenic arts.


Admission Information:Minimum of 120 points. Admissions by interview or audition 
Points on Entry (Mean):200
Drop Out Rate:7%
Accommodation:Most first years housed. 


Founded:1949, as Cardiff College of Music. Became Welsh College of Music & Drama in 1971 and Royal College in 2001.
Site:Cardiff city centre in grounds of Cardiff Castle (major new redevelopment of campus facilities). 
How to get there:Cardiff Central Station is on the national rail network; coaches to bus station (next to train station); M4 from London and M5 (west country and midlands). Campus close to main bus and railway stations.  
Special features:The national conservatoire of Wales. Visiting artists include Micheal Sheen, Quincy Jones, Donald Maxwell, Charles Rosen, Robert Tear, Julian Lloyd Webber, Gwyneth Jones.   

Student services & facilities

Student advice & services:Student services, welfare team, counsellors, chaplaincy, police liaison.  
Amenities:Refectory, coffee shop, SU shop and bars. Concert and opera ticket concessions; strong practical association with industry including BBC and Welsh National Opera.  
Sporting facilities:Sporting societies/clubs run in conjunction with Cardiff University.
Accommodation:167 places in halls of residence (all ensuite, with telephone and data points); rent £98 per week, contracts 42 weeks. Privately-owned accommodation locally, £250 per month for shared house, self-catering + bills. SU holds lists of reputable landlords, housing agencies etc.

Study opportunities & careers

Library & information services:Library with 50,000 items, including reference resources, scripts, scores, journals, CDs and DVDs; computer workstations provide word-processing, email and internet access.  
Other learning resources:2 theatres 4 studio theatres and workshops; 2 recital galleries, professional recording studio, courtyard and foyer performance spaces; 50+ practice rooms. All-Steinway conservatoire.  
Study abroad:Exchange opportunities.  
Careers:Information, advice and placement service.  


Living expenses budget:Minimum budget of £7000 pa (excluding tuition fees) recommended by college.  
Term-time work:College allows part-time work. Some available in college - ushers, front of house, bars.  
Financial help:Some scholarships, value £500-£15,000 pa; hardship bursaries. Access funds available. 
University tuition fees:Home students paid £9000 pa for first degrees. International students paid £15,700 pa. 


Academic features:

Emphasis on practical and performance-based training. Degrees in music, theatre design, stage management, technical theatre, event management.  

Awarding body:

University of Glamorgan.

Main undergraduate awards:

BMus, BA.

Length of courses:

4 years BMus, 3 years BA.

Main subjects offered:

  • Acting
  • Arts Management
  • Costume Design
  • Drama
  • Drama Training
  • Events Management
  • Film Music
  • Jazz
  • Media Technology
  • Music
  • Music Technology
  • Music Theatre
  • Performance Arts
  • Popular Music
  • Stage Management
  • Theatre Design
  • Theatre Studies

Student view


It's in the picturesque surroundings of Cathays Park, just behind Cardiff Castle. Access is marvellous, only 10 minutes' walk from the central bus station, railway station and city centre. College has new halls of residence at Cambrian Point, mostly for undergraduates (several postgrad places in flats at Severn Point); superb quality, city-centre accommodation just 12 minutes walk from College, in a highly secure and comfortable environment. Individual music practice rooms on-site and colour TV (with Sky digital package). If you don't fancy halls, it's easy to find houses in walking distance of college (in Cathays, Roath or Canton); a comprehensive SU housing list is part of student life pack sent to all new students. Variety of ages and nationalities at college, even though it is one of the smallest in UK. Enthusiastic SU organises successful graduands' and freshers' balls. Freshers' week is packed full of entertainment; many other events throughout the year. Societies currently include LGBT, overseas society, girl's and boy's football, cricket, yoga, aerobics and Christian Union. College is friendly and intimate so you will soon discover fellow students with similar interests. As a capital, Cardiff has a plethora of pubs, clubs and takeaways to suit all tastes and, of course, cinemas and theatres. St David's Hall, the Cardiff International Arena, the Millennium Centre and the Millennium Stadium (spiritual home of Welsh rugby) are all in the heart of Cardiff, putting on a huge range of events. Relations between staff and students are good; much of the teaching is in small groups. The atmosphere for both music and drama students is less cut-throat than at some colleges, and the drop-out rate is low. Numerous concerts, annual full-scale opera and usually 6 drama department productions a term. Stage management pantomime is an annual must - mercilessly mocks everyone else in college! Whatever the course, the emphasis is always firmly on performance.


Housing: Halls of residence; SU housing list for private housing. Eats: College canteen and coffee/sandwich bar (meal £3-ish). Outside college, abundance of good (and bad!) restaurants and takeaways from every corner of the world at varying prices. Drink: SU run college bar is cheap (£1.80 a pint). Plenty of local student pubs around to cater for Cardiff's large student population. Brains is local brewery. Nightlife: Regular SU events in college. Cardiff is full of things to do and plenty of busy, entertaining nightclubs. Locals: Very friendly; high student population in city. Sports: Union sports societies; access to Cardiff University sports centre; cheap student membership at the Welsh Institute of Sport. Travel: Main train and bus stations within walking distance. All student housing close to college. Financial help: Bursary funds and hardship funds. College staff helpful in giving advice. Jobs: Relatively easy to find part-time work in term-time. College employs students as front of house staff as do local theatre and concert venues. Informal Name: RWCMD, or Royal Welsh Coll. Best features: Welcoming, friendly and very supportive college. And worst: Being small - everyone knows everyone else (good when you need a friend or good time but bad the morning after you've been a little naughty).  

Past Students

Anthony Hopkins, Victor Spinetti, Simon Trinder (actors); Peter Gill (writer and director); Caryl Thomas (harpist); Iris Williams (singer); Anthony Stuart Lloyd (opera singer); Eve Myles (Torchwood). 

More info?

Ring SU on 029 2037 2700. 



Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama
Castle Grounds
Cathays Park
CF10 3ER


029 2039 1361





Student enquiries:

Admissions Office


CUKAS (music, acting) or UCAS (theatre design, stage management)

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