Something is rotten in …Drama UK


News this week has emerged that Drama UK is faltering and haemorrhaging Drama Schools! From the point of view of a new and small school this is very interesting! For years students have been advised that they should only attend accredited schools and since September that would mean that you shouldn’t consider RADA, LAMDA, Bristol Old Vic, Guildhall & Oxford School of Drama!!

Now we know here at DSA that there are a number of excellent courses and schools out there that don’t necessarily have any accreditation including Stage School of the year 2013 The Musical Theatre Academy. But it is always an uphill struggle to convince young people that these courses are every bit as good if not better than their bigger accredited counterparts. 

Drama UK was created by a merger between the National Council of Drama Training and the Conference of Drama Schools in 2012. Initially it seemed a great idea because it was a closed shop and new schools found it very hard to get accredited. The hope was that it would make things easier for both the Drama Schools and people looking for advice on where to train…that just wasn’t the case! Now it is more confusing with different levels of recognition and anyone can advertise on the site so there is no real quality control. The other issue is that it costs over £30,000 to be a member of Drama Uk for 5 years as an accredited course and that is money that could be spent elsewhere for the benefit of the students! 

I am not against accreditation as a means to help students find a high quality course to train but as there is no such option for a 1 year course as yet and you have to run a course for 5 years before you can be assessed; factor in that if you are not accredited it is hard to get students to look at your course, it is all a bit chicken and egg!

It all seems that the new overhaul just hasn’t worked and Drama Schools are now deciding that they don’t really need an external body to qualify the quality of their provision. Only time will tell what the future holds for Drama UK. 

In my opinion you should look at the individual school’s achievements and make a choice based on that. With training costing more and more it is important that you consider where you are spending your money and not just rely on an accreditation body that is only there for the big institutions that can afford their exorbitant fees!!

The Dorset School of Acting’s 1 year Diploma Course in Acting & Musical Theatre is based on the first year of a BA Acting and prepares it’s students for all the aspects of auditioning for accredited Drama Schools. Check out the course at:

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