See map

University Name:

See all universities
See all Universities

Guildhall School of Music & Drama

Location: Central London Show on Map

Site: Single site in the Barbican

World-class music, drama & technical theatre school 

Student Population

Total Students:800
FE Students:0%


Total undergraduates:535
Full Time:100%
Mature on Entry:10%
UK Students:76%
State school entry:58%

Teaching Staff

39 full-time, 479 part-time

Broad study areas

Acting, music, stage management & technical theatre 


Admission Information:Entry by audition. 2 A-levels or equivalent required.  
Drop Out Rate:3%
Accommodation:Most first years housed 


Founded:1880, degree status granted 1945
Site:Barbican, central London 
How to get there:Moorgate underground station; many buses.  
Special features:Only major European conservatoire which is both a music school and a drama school, and which is pre-eminent in technical theatre, professional development and music therapy.

Student services & facilities

Student advice & services:Student affairs office provides health and welfare advice, study skills and disability support, counsellors, support for international students, physiotherapy, financial advice.
Amenities:Music hall, theatre (orchestra pit of 80), lecture recital room, John Hosier Practice Annexe (46 practice studios), theatre-training gymnasium, Barbican Centre. New facilities (2013) include concert hall, 2 new theatres and drama teaching spaces.
Sporting facilities:Use of City University facilities.
Accommodation:Most first years housed. Hall of residence (Sundial Court) with 177 rooms in flats; rents £120 per week. Student life officer helps with privately-owned accommodation, rents from £100 pw. 

Study opportunities & careers

Library & information services:Library has over 89,000 volumes, 90 periodicals, 44 study places; 7000 playscripts, 10,000 audio recordings and 2100 DVDs and videos; number of music and performing arts subscription e-resources and streamed audio services with remote access. Online library catalogue and web access for self-renewal. Library and IT service separate. Networked terminals in library and student common room. Introductory library induction, and handouts; staffed enquiry points on both library levels. Specialist collections: Alkan Society Collection, Appleby Collection (guitar music), Harris Collection (opera vocal scores), Goossens Oboe Collection, Merrett Collection (double bass), Worshipful Company of Musicians Westrup Collection.
Other learning resources:Professional 16-track recording studio; listening facilities. Audio-visual facilities with 25 stations, composition room with Macs and printing (Finale, Sibelius and MIDI equipment).
Study abroad:Music students may study in Europe through the Erasmus scheme; also a collaboration with Griffin University (Australia) and the Banff Centre (Canada).
Careers:Advice from senior staff. 


Living expenses budget:Minimum budget of £1050-£1200 a month (excluding tuition fees) recommended by School. 
Term-time work:Outside engagements service provides work at functions etc for student musicians.
Financial help:14 scholarships of £3000 in Year 1 (£1000 in subsequent years) open to students whose family income is up to £25k pa. Variety of other bursary and scholarship schemes. Hardship fund to help those meeting unexpected financial hardship
University tuition fees:Home students pay £9000 pa for first degree courses. International students pay £18,250 pa.


Academic features:

Students experience working in a professional context to professional standards with an exemplary pool of outstanding artists who work in the School while being active in their professions. Strong ties with the Barbican Centre, the London Symphony Orchestra, the BBC, the City of London Festival and the London Jazz Festival.

Awarding body:

Guildhall School of Music & Drama, City University

Main undergraduate awards:

BA, BMus

Length of courses:

4 years (BMus); 3 years (BA)

Main subjects offered:

  • Acting
  • Drama
  • Drama Training
  • Music
  • Music Therapy
  • Stage Management
  • Theatre Design
  • Theatre Studies

Student view

James Danaswamy (BMus, Vocal Studies)


What's it like as a place to live? Living in the City of London is very much enjoyable. It is a vibrant city and although expensive to live it has great appeal.

How's the student accommodation? Although I currently do not live in the halls of residence, I have many peers who do. The accommodation is well furbished and modern. It is within 5minute walking distance of the college which is itself beside the Barbican Centre in the city centre. Even though it is cheap for its locality it is still expensive for most students.

What's the student population like? The student population is very diverse as the school looks abroad for talented individuals to take part. There are many students from abroad.

How do students and locals get on? As London is a cosmopolitan city the locals and the students have no problems that I am aware of.


What’s it like as a place to study? Very enjoyable. The course is well balanced and although the practice rooms can become hard to come by, they are of good quality.

What are the teaching staff like? The teaching staff are of world-class standard, be it in academic work or performance-based work.


What are student societies like? Due to the relatively small scale of the college, the school does not have a large range of activities or societies, as most large third level institutes have, but there are many social events organised by a well-organised Student Union body.

What’s a typical night out?  As London is an expensive city for a night out, many evenings start off in the student bar which is within the halls of residence. Food and drinks are very cheap for London and the bar itself has the ability to acquire a late licence for specific nights.

And how much does it cost? £15 to £20 for a great night out. Good for London.

How can you get home safely? This really depends on where you live in London. If you live in the halls of residence you only have to walk across the courtyard. If you live in a less attractive area of London you may run the small risk of finding yourself in trouble.


Is it an expensive place to live? Unfortunately it is an expensive city to live in. There is a lot going on in London....if one can afford to do it.

Average price of a pint? In the student bar: £2.20. In the rest of the city anything from 3.40 to extortionate.

And the price of a takeaway? Around £8.

What's the part-time work situation? The cost of living is high but the chances of finding work are just as high. London wages are on average higher than elsewhere. The college has no problem with those who work, as long as it doesn't affect their work


What's the best feature about the place? Personally it is location; London is the centre of many fields be it art, sport or business and there are very few times you will find yourself bored.

And the worst? Personally it is the expense; the city has many great qualities and the school itself has a café which is subsidised but the expense of the city itself can be problematic.

And to sum it all up? Great school, great location, great place to be but cost of living is on the high side.

Past Students

Orlando Bloom, Eileen Atkins, Fred Astaire, Claire Bloom, Geraint Evans, Joseph Fiennes, James Galway, Max Jaffa, Damian Lewis, Tasmin Little, Benjamin Luxon, Alastair McGowan, Ewan McGregor, Julia MacKenzie, George Martin, Dudley Moore, Jacqueline du Pré, Fay Ripley, Peter Skellern, Mollie Sugden, Bryn Terfel, Anne Sofie von Otter.  

More info?

Visit the website www.gsmdsu.co.uk.



Guildhall School of Music & Drama
Silk Street


020 7628 2571





Student enquiries:




Featured Universities

Canterbury Christ Church University
Canterbury Christ Church University

Location: Canterbury

Students: 19105

View Profile
Liverpool University

Location: Liverpool

Students: 21875

View Profile
© Student Book 2017