Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, University of London

The Royal Central School of Speech & Drama is located in Swiss Cottage, in Camden – a dynamic, artistic area full of theatres, bars, restaurants and art galleries. Students get the opportunity to work with top academics and professional practitioners, who come in as guest speakers or to direct or design shows, or work alongside senior students in production teams, or as mentors on projects.


In or close to the centre of a town


The university (including student accommodation, teaching, and leisure facilities) is located on one site


Specialises in a single subject area, or a small range of subjects

UCAS Code: C35

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

TEF Gold is awarded to institutions that consistently deliver outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for their students. Find out more about TEF.

Student Statistics

Student population


Level of study

  • Undergraduate 62%
  • Postgraduate 38%

Mode of study

  • Full Time 94%
  • Part Time 6%

Where students come from

  • UK 74%
  • EU 9%
  • Other 17%

Student gender

  • Male 35%
  • Female 65%

Student Services and Facilities


  • The library offers a specialised collection of books and journals covering all aspects of the performing arts and related disciplines, as well as performance DVDs, feature films, sound effects, musical theatre CDs and music scores.
  • All students are automatically entitled to join the University of London's Senate House library.
  • Central also signs up to a number of online resources, giving students remote access to a vast range of material.

Counselling services

  • The student advice service offers information on Central's on-site counselling referral service, dedicated to the pastoral welfare of Central's students.
  • The counselling service subscribes to the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy's ethical framework for good practice.

Disability support

  • The Disability and Dyslexia Service (DDS) provides specialist advice and support to students with disabilities and learning differences to ensure they can fully participate in life at Central.
  • Please refer to the school's website to contact the DDS team.

Other services and facilities

  • Facilities include a 234-seat proscenium arch theatre; performance, movement and rehearsal studios as well as object and puppetry studio; music practice rooms; video editing suites, media laboratory and sound recording studio; and design studios, props and scenic construction workshops and wardrobe facilities.
  • In January 2017, Central opened a second campus space at Central Bankside, in the heart of London near to the Tate Modern and Shakespeare's Globe, hosting five new rehearsal rooms/studios.
  • A new £16.7 million North Block development, due to be completed in October 2018, will add further teaching, rehearsal and performance spaces, including film and media training studios and a new public courtyard theatre.

Students' Union

  • Central's Students' Union aims to bring students together to form a vibrant community and to represent the student voice. With Students' Union time on Wednesday afternoons to coincide with the rest of the University of London, the existing wide range of societies and sports activities continues to develop.
  • Students can use the facilities of Student Central in the heart of London, which offers a gym, sports hall, swimming pool, student café and restaurant, bar and club, and meeting rooms for societies.
  • There are also intercollegiate societies covering a wide range of interests and the opportunity to network with other colleges of the University of London.


  • Elsie Fogerty founded the Central School of Speech Training and Dramatic Art at the Royal Albert Hall in 1906.
  • In 1957 the School moved from the Albert Hall, having acquired the lease of the Embassy Theatre at Swiss Cottage.
  • In 2004 the Privy Council granted the Central the power to award its own taught degrees. In September 2005 Central became a College of the University of London, and in 2012 Central was awarded the Royal title, becoming the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

Fascinating Fact

  • The founder of the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Elsie Fogerty, was also a pioneer in speech therapy, opening a speech clinic at St Thomas's Hospital in 1913 – many speech therapists went on to train at Central School which had a Speech Therapy department by the 1960s.

Notable Alumni and Famous Faces

  • Dame Judi Dench − English actress and author.
  • Sir Laurence Olivier − an English actor who dominated the British stage in the mid-20th century
  • Dawn French − British actress, writer, and comedian; best known for the TV shows French and Saunders and the Vicar of Dibley.
  • Jennifer Saunders − English comedian, screenwriter, and actress; famous for the TV shows French and Saunders and Absolutely Fabulous.
  • Michael Grandage CBE − British theatre director and producer, formerly artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse in London.
  • Sir Cameron Mackintosh − British theatrical producer behind such shows as Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera and Cats.
  • Harold Pinter CBE − Nobel Prize-winning English playwright, screenwriter, director and actor; one of the most influential modern British dramatists.
  • Vanessa Redgrave CBE − English actress of stage, screen and television, and political activist.
  • Kit Harrington − English actor, famous for the series Game of Thrones.
  • Gareth Fry – Olivier Award winner for his sound design on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.


The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Eton Avenue, London , NW3 3HY