Guildhall School of Music & Drama is one of the world's leading conservatoires and drama schools, offering musicians, actors, stage managers and theatre technicians an inspiring environment in which to develop as artists and professionals. Guildhall School has professional partnerships with the Barbican Centre, the London Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Opera House and the Academy of Ancient Music.

Entry Requirements

  • Most applicants to undergraduate degrees at the Guildhall School will need to have 2 A levels at grades A–E, or 4 Scottish Highers at grade D or above. Other qualifications are accepted including BTEC diplomas and the International Baccalaureate. Course requirements vary; please refer to the GSMD website for details.
  • In exceptional circumstances, applicants to the GSMD who do not meet the standard entry requirements may still be considered if they excel in other areas.
  • Candidates must pass an audition or interview before being admitted to the school. Detailed instructions for the audition/interview will be provided upon invitation.

*N.B. Guildhall School does not accept applications via UCAS Conservatoires. Applications must be submitted directly to the school using their online application form. 

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

TEF Silver is awarded to institutions that deliver high-quality teaching, learning and outcomes for their students, and consistently exceed "rigorous national quality requirements" for higher education in the UK. Find out more about TEF.

Teaching Methods

  • Teaching and assessment methods vary depending on the programme.
  • At the heart of music students' training are an ongoing series of intensive, 1-to-1 and small group sessions with GSMD's core staff of over 400 practitioners and teachers, as well as the opportunity to work side by side with the finest visiting international performers, composers and conductors.
  • Technical Theatre programmes are practical and production-based; students work on public productions with professional directors, designers and conductors participating in the creation of acclaimed dramas, musicals and operas.
  • Acting students spend the first 2 years training, dividing time between classwork and rehearsal projects to develop and integrate 4 main areas of study: acting, voice, movement and play texts. In their final year, students spend most of their time rehearsing and performing to the public and to potential employers.

Undergraduate Courses

Type of Qualification:

Mode of study:

Course Flexibility

  • First-year module choices vary depending on the programme.
  • GSMD offers student exchange agreements with an array of internationally-renowned European conservatoires and Musikhochschulen through the Erasmus scheme.
  • All programmes are closely engaged with the professions, and include work placements and performance collaborations.

Student Services and Facilities

  • The library has one of the most extensive specialised collections of music and drama, print and electronic resources in Europe.
  • The Milton Court building includes a modern concert hall, a lyric theatre, a studio theatre and several major rehearsal rooms.
  • The Grade II-listed Silk Street offers a more intimate music hall, a dedicated lecture recital room, a flexible theatre, theatrical workshops and labs, electronic music studios, recording and sound studios, and numerous teaching and practice rooms.
  • The School's Audio Visual Department provides audio and video production facilities, as well as an industry-standard recording studio.

Disability Services

  • The School provides confidential advice and support to both prospective and enrolled students with disabilities – including physical disabilities, sensory impairments, specific learning disabilities, long-term medical conditions and mental health requirements.
  • GSMD promotes an inclusive and enabling learning environment and encourages applications from students with disabilities or specific learning difficulties.
  • Support can include individual consultation and supportive sessions, screening for specific learning difficulties, a programme of specialist study skills tuition within the school, and assessments, recommendations and adjustments of residential and learning environments.

Students' Union

  • The Guildhall Students' Union is led by a full-time President, elected annually.
  • The President of the Students' Union is a member of the school's Board of Governors and sits on the majority of school committees with student representatives, who gather feedback from current students on all aspects of their experience at the school.
  • The Students' Union is at the centre of Guildhall's social scene, and offers many clubs and societies including the LGBT+ Society, the Christian union, the Pops Orchestra and the increasingly successful Guildhall football team. Other activities include paintballing, trips to concerts, BBQs and much, much more.

Availability of Part-Time Work

  • The Guildhall School is based in central London, and with the city's countless shops and thriving tourism industry, part-time jobs are available for students.

Careers Guidance

  • Students at Guildhall have numerous opportunities to work on performances and develop practical experience in their respective creative fields.
  • Students are invited to career development and employability sessions by their department, and the Student Affairs Department offers a programme of cross-School employability support to students and recent graduates.
  • Employability events focus on personal and professional development, with seminars and workshops on topics such as setting up a creative enterprise, applying for funding, establishing an international career, and marketing and self-promotion, as well as advice appointments on CVs, cover letters and job applications.
  • Students also receive talks and workshops from visiting industry figures, mentoring and master classes.

Student Mix

Student population


Level of study

  • Undergraduate 62%
  • Postgraduate 38%

Mode of study

  • Full Time 93%
  • Part Time 7%

Where students come from

  • UK 68%
  • EU 19%
  • Other 14%

Student gender

  • Male 50%
  • Female 50%


  • The Guildhall School of Music was founded in 1880, and with 62 part-time students it was the first municipal music college in Great Britain. 
  • In 1920, full-time courses were introduced by public request. Departments of Speech, Voice and Acting were added and by 1935 the School had added "& Drama" to its title.
  • The School moved to its current Grade II-listed building in the architecturally-renowned Barbican Centre in 1977, and continues to grow and develop, unveiling the newly redeveloped Milton Court building in 2013.

Notable Alumni

  • Daniel Craig – actor notable for performances as James Bond, including a guest appearance at London 2012 Olympics.
  • Ewan McGregor – actor who came to prominence with Trainspotting, also a UNICEF ambassador.
  • Lily James – actress, best known for her role as Lady Rose Aldridge in the TV series, Downton Abbey.
  • Michaela Coel – poet and BAFTA-winning actress for her role in the TV show, Chewing Gum.
  • Sir Bryn Terfel – opera and concert singer.
  • Alison Balsom – award-winning trumpet soloist.
  • Mica Levi – known as Micachu; singer, songwriter and BAFTA- and Academy-Award-nominated composer and winner of a European Film Award for best composer.
  • Tasmin Little – award-winning classical violinist.
  • Neil Constable – Chief Executive, Shakespeare’s Globe.
  • Judy Craymer MBE – creator producer of musical theatre, notable for Mamma Mia! 

Further Details

Address Guildhall School of Music and Drama
Silk Street