RADA: An introduction

The name RADA has always been synonymous with teaching the highest possible level of skills to the most talented young actors, designers, directors, stage managers and technicians.

The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art was first established in 1904 and since then has built an outstanding reputation as a world-renowned centre of excellence. We know how important it is, however, to keep the training relevant to the ever-changing industry and we are constantly striving to maintain and improve our courses, by expanding the range and depth of training we offer, by maintaining links with the industries that employ our graduates, by working with exceptional teaching staff, by involving leading figures of international standing as visiting lecturers, directors and designers and by providing the best possible facilities such as our three in-house theatres.

Many of our most outstanding graduates (including Kenneth Branagh, Ralph Fiennes, Adrian Lester, Alan Rickman, Diana Rigg, Sylvia Syms and Richard Wilson) still play a very active part in RADA’s life, as Council members, visiting lecturers and donors, because they share our belief in the Academy’s need to retain close links with the profession, keep our training relevant and up-to-date and remain open to all young people of exceptional talent and potential.

RADA’s student population represents an exceptionally diverse community, united by a shared passion for theatre-making. Among the many things which are distinctive to RADA is the extraordinary level of personalisation throughout all the training – the skills of highly experienced specialists are harnessed in providing a training tailored to the needs of each individual student. We pride ourselves both on the professional standard of our student productions, which are attended by agents, directors, casting directors and theatre practitioners from all sectors, and on our unparalleled track-record of employment in theatre, film and television which our graduates enjoy on leaving the Academy.

Conservatoire for Dance and Drama

Founded in 2001 the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama is made up of eight affilate schools:

RADA is a founding affiliate of this higher education institution.

King's College London

As neither RADA nor the CDD has degree awarding powers all of our higher education courses are validated by King's College London, who ensure that the training is of the highest possible standard and that the qualifications achieved are a badge of excellence. For information of which courses this applies to please see the individual courses pages.


We consider diversity to be enriching and a vital part of what makes us one of the world leaders in providing vocational training. We encourage the opportunity for self-development regardless of age, background, colour, disability, gender, nationality, political persuasion, race, religious belief or sexual orientation. We welcome applications from disabled applicants and encourage them to disclose relevant information regarding any disability when completing their application form, to enable us to provide additional support during the interview process. 

"We're not churning our numbers, I've never seen such dedication to the individual in the strands of training we offer. People thrive on that kind of focus."
Jane Boston
Head of Research and Staff Development