Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
Friday 03 August 2012
Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
History: Started in 1949 in a couple of rooms in Cardiff Castle as the Cardiff College of Music. Expanded quickly. In 1977 it spread to new purpose-built buildings in the castle grounds.
Address: Cathays Park, behind Cardiff Castle, built on Roman remains.
Ambience: Picturesque surroundings. In the main building there are teaching and rehearsal rooms, the Bute Theatre, Caird Studio and Sir Geraint Evans recital room. A £2.3m wing in converted listed stables houses the award-winning Anthony Hopkins centre, named after the actor. The centre has three performance spaces (the Weston Gallery, the Corus Recital Room and the S4C studio), a professional recording room and 25 practice rooms. The recent completion of £22.5m in developments saw the opening of five new buildings in June 2011. The new facilities include: the Richard Burton Theatre; four state-of-the-art, full-sized, double-height rehearsal studios: the Dora Stoutzker Hall; the Linbury Gallery; and a café bar and terrace overlooking Bute Park.
Vital statistics: Wales's national conservatoire has 640 students. Around one-third study theatre-related subjects and the rest study music. Just over a quarter are postgraduates. RWCMD is part of the Glamorgan Group and its courses are validated by the University of Glamorgan. Courses are practical. It presents more than 300 performances a year.
Added value: Junior music ddepartment and access studies (JMAS) runs on Saturdays, and attracts children from the ages of four to 18. It’s rare in the conservatoire sector in offering music technology. Strong links with Welsh National Opera and BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Good employment record. At the end of the course, student actors showcase their work in Cardiff, Manchester and London. The library has around 50,000 items.
Easy to get into? Not particularly. Two A-levels or equivalent qualifications, or just plenty of talent, with musicians expected to be able to play at grade 8. Expect a tough interview/ audition.
Glittering alumni: Sir Anthony Hopkins; Keith Allen, actor and father of Lily; Rob Brydon, actor; Rosemary Joshua, opera singer; Dougray Scott, actor; Anthony Stuart Lloyd, opera singer; Rakia Ayola, actor; Ruth Jones, actor; Aneurin Barnard, actor; Kimberley Nixon, actor; Tim Routeledge, stage manager; Dave Stapleton, jazz musician and composer.
Transport links: Good for planes, trains, coach, car and bicycle. The college is well served by the M4 and Cardiff Wales Airport. Main rail and bus stations within walking distance. Trains to London run every hour, taking under two hours.
Who's the boss? Hilary Boulding, principal. Prior to taking up the post in 2007 she had worked as head of music strategy for the Arts Council of England and head of arts and music at BBC Wales.
Teaching: The only institute in the UK to provide specialist conservatoire training in music, acting, theatre design, stage management and arts management. The college collaborates with leading arts and cultural organisations and visiting professionals to ensure that the teaching environment reflects the current practices and conditions of the working world.
Research: Staff at the college are active in a wide range of creatively-driven research projects, particularly those relating to contemporary professional practice in music, drama and design, innovative approaches to learning and teaching at advanced levels, and the promotion of a lively and inclusive research culture of national significance.
Nightlife: The college bar has live bands, promotions and events nights arranged by the students' union. City has lively club scene.
Any accommodation? Yes – a new hall of residence opened in 2006, with rooms costing £92.50 per week.
Cheap to live there? You bet. Self-catering rooms in private houses can cost as little as £53 per week.
Fees: International students will be picking up a tab of £15,700 a year for their studies here. Although domestic students will pay less, the difference is hardly worth mentioning.
Bursaries: Students who perform well at interview or audition are put forward for bursaries, ranging between £1,000 and the full cost of fees.
Prospectus: 029 2039 1361; www.rwcmd.ac.uk
UCAS code: R86 (acting, stage management and theatre design)
CUKAS code: R59 (music)
The 20 best things to do this summer 2012
Oxbridge Finals: The toughest exams in the country
Young, dumb and disenfranchised: Why we should look to the next generation to build a better Britain
Dropping out of university: It's not the disaster you think it is
Masters' degrees: Are they worth the bother?
- 2 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
- 5 Woolwich attack: The EDL will seek to exploit this evil crime for their own evil ends
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.