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How much does it cost to go to Drama College?

Aug 05, 2021

In this article, we’re going to be talking about fees and funding for drama college, because it doesn't matter where you apply for, it’s going to be expensive.

I have a couple of real-life examples for you. In the first case study, a student in his first year at an elite theatre school was paying:

  • £9,250 annual fee for his education
  • £745 a month (£8,940 a year) on a student flat in central London (sharing with 3 other students)
  • No commuting costs, he walks the 20 minutes to the school every day.

If you manage to find some cheaper accommodation a bit further away from your school, you’ll need to factor in commuting costs. It costs £237 a month for a travel pass for zones 1-5. As an example, let’s say you’ll be in London for 10 months of the year, there’s an extra £2,370 you’re going to need to find.

Those figures might sound scary at first but don’t let them put you off. He managed to afford this by applying for a student loan from the government website. He and his family had to be means-tested (where they check on your finances) and they offered him the loan, however, this loan only covers his education, rent, and bills.

Whilst training he had to get a job to cover his food bill. He got a job in a bar so he was usually training for 10 hours a day and then working till 3 am as a barman. Long days will inevitably lead to exhaustion but these are the lengths you might need to go to to be able to follow your dreams and feed yourself.

When it came to food shopping, the first week he went a little too crazy when buying food so ended up throwing a lot of it out. Once he was settled he realized he needed to eat as healthily as he could as he was burning a lot of energy with all of the dance classes he was doing. He managed to get his food bill down to £70 a month so he needed to earn at least £280 a month at work so he could eat. (£3,360 a year)

That didn’t include socializing or the need for new clothes, these were his minimum costs.

Another case study was very similar however she had just finished her 3rd year. A lot of the costs were the same, she used student accommodation which cost her £800 a month, just over 9 and a half grand a year. In her second year, she teamed up with some friends and rented a house. She managed to get her rent and bills down to £600 a month. 

So although it might seem financially impossible for you to go to drama college it is definitely possible for everyone because there is a lot of support out there. Let’s take a look at some of the support packages.


If you’re a British citizen, studying for a degree program then you can apply for a government student loan. For more information, go to their website:

Make sure you read every detail of the T’s & C’s because it may say that you need to log into the website every year as you progress through your course.


Each foundation degree course is slightly different. You will find this information on your course’s website.


Unfortunately, most non-degree courses don’t qualify for a student loan, and I don’t believe they’re capped at £9,250 (the usual price of a degree course). All this means is you’ll need an alternative way of funding your education and there are a number of different ways you can do this:

  • SCHOLARSHIPS: A number of performing arts schools offer scholarships to the most promising auditionees. A scholarship is a financial support designed to help students pay for their education. These are different from student loans in that they don’t have to be repaid. Your college will notify you if you’re being considered for a scholarship, and you may have to go to another audition to get the scholarship, but again, it’s different for each institute.

  • DANCE AND DRAMA AWARDS (DaDA’s): A DaDA is a scholarship that’s available to assist students on dance and drama courses, funded by the Learning and Skills Council. A DaDA can help cover both your course fees and living costs and is available for 17 different schools. The scholarship amount will depend on your household income and the course that you’re applying for. For more info go to http://www.gov.uk/dance-drama-awards 
  • PRIVATE FUNDING: Some students manage to get sponsorship or private funding through a company or a school. It might be beneficial to contact your local newspaper to see if they can help with your search for funding.

There will also be other options available to you that I haven’t covered in this session but don’t let the financial struggle put you off. I’ve seen incredibly talented students move to London to train in the musical theatre even though they thought it was absolutely impossible because of the finances. It is possible, you just have to work for it.

Now we know that finances are going to be a problem, you can focus on developing your skills so you’re ready for your college auditions, and they’ll be so impressed that they want to give you a scholarship. 

If you’d like any help developing those skills, be sure to check out The Academy at MyTheatreSchool.com

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