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.

Who's the boss? Hilary Boulding is 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.

Prospectus: 029 2039 1361, visit the website here and follow @RWCMD.

UCAS code: R86 (acting, stage management and theatre design)

CUKAS code: R59 (music)

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Not particularly, no. Two A-levels (or equivalent) or just plenty of talent, with musicians expected to be able to play at grade 8. Expect a tough interview or audition.

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: 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 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. Strong links with Welsh National Opera and BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Good employment record as at the end of the course, student actors showcase their work in Cardiff, Manchester and London.

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. It’s rare in the conservatoire sector in offering music technology. Junior music department and access studies (JMAS) runs on Saturdays, and attracts children from the ages of four to 18.

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.

Any accommodation? Yes - a new hall of residence opened ten minutes from the campus in 2006 with rooms costing from roughly £100 per week.

Cheap to live there? You bet - self-catering rooms in private houses can cost as little as £65 per week.

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.

Fees: £9,000 for home and EU students, per year.

Bursaries: Students who perform well at interview or audition are put forward for bursaries, ranging between £1,000 and the full cost of fees.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: The college bar has live bands, promotions and events nights arranged by the students' union. City has lively club scene.

Sporting facilities: Linked to Cardiff's students' union so students can make use of all the facilities and clubs on offer there.

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.

Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Commonwealth GamesThe actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Sport
Karen Dunbar performs
Entertainers showcase local wit, talent and irrepressible spirit
Sport
Members of the Scotland deleagtion walk past during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game