Admission & Audition

The school is inspected by Ofsted and has been awarded Level 2 'Good'. "The course is outstandingly well designed and fully equips the aspiring actor in all their essential disciplines."

Entry Requirements

This course is aimed at a postgraduate/post-experience level and we accept applicants of all ages with no upper age limit. 

  • Applicants should be over 21 to apply, but in exceptional cases we may consider slightly younger candidates only with significant experience.
  • No academic qualification is necessary.
  • Experience is expected (school performances, amateur dramatics, drama clubs, fringe shows, short films etc.)
  • English language level CEFR B1 or above. Your English must be strong enough for you to speak, read, write, listen and comprehend without the need for any class to slow down for you.
  • International Students please click here for details on applying from outside the UK

"I wanted to thank you for the very enjoyable couple of days that I had auditioning for the school. I was expecting to be scared witless throughout the auditioning process and instead had a really fun experience. I also want to thank you for your detailed feedback. It is so much more encouraging to have something to work at than just being left without any idea of what I need to improve." Alison McGregor - 2014 Applicant 

Admissions Process

  • Applications for our 1 & 2 Year Diploma Courses are processed in blocks.
  • We will audition everyone within each block before releasing any offers.
  • If offered a place you will then be given a deadline within which to accept or decline the offer. After this deadline, your place will be offered to someone else. 
  • If we fill all of our places within the first few blocks, we will cancel all further blocks. Therefore, we recommend you apply in the earliest block possible.
  • We run a two-stage audition process.
  • Auditions are usually held on Saturdays with First Round Audition and Recall taking half a day each.
  • We cannot confirm you will get the Saturday audition of your choice.
  • We cannot guarantee a recall on the same day or even within the same block as your first round. Audition spaces are limited. We recommend you apply as early as possible.
  • The below dates are subject to change.

Block 1

Auditions Start: Saturday 26 November 2016
Auditions End: Saturday 04 February 2017
Results Day: Tuesday 07 February 2017 
Offer Deadline: Will be printed on your offer letter

Block 2

Auditions Start: Saturday 11 February 2017
Auditions End: Saturday 18 March 2017
Results Day: Tuesday 28 March 2017
Offer Deadline: Will be printed on your offer letter

Block 3

Auditions Start: Saturday 01 April 2017
Auditions End: Saturday 20 May 2017
Results Day: Tuesday 23 May 2017
Offer Deadline: Will be printed on your offer letter

Block 4

Offers will be made a few days after each audition.

At the end of the first round audition you will be notified whether you have been recalled and will be given some personal, verbal feedback. If your audition is in the morning we may be able to schedule your recall audition that afternoon, alternatively, you can return at a later date if you wish.

Your recall result will be emailed to you at the end of your admissions block. You may be offered a place, placed on our waiting list or rejected. If successful, you will be sent a contract and other documents relating to the offer along with a deadline. Once the deadline is passed we will offer your place to someone else. Please note that this is an offer and is not secured until you return the signed contract and pay your deposit.

We look for talent, passion, maturity of attitude, a certain level of technical ability and the ability to cope with the demands of the course in order to become employable, successful actors. 

If you wish to advise us of any difficulties or disabilities which may affect your performance at audition, we will be happy to make any adjustments we can to make sure you are given every opportunity to demonstrate your skills. Please let us know. 

The Waiting List
Getting the right balance on our student intake is a complex and lengthy business. When making offers we keep three things in mind; Talent, Passion and Flexible Approach. This applies to all year groups and to those being put on the waiting list. Everyone who comes to DSL will have all three. Alongside this we believe that achieving a diverse group of students is important for DSL, the profession and for our students themselves. This diversity is not just about visible difference, but also about invisible difference; idiosyncrasies of talents and needs. Whilst we are trying to get this balance we put some excellent students onto our waiting list. This is not because we think they are not as good as others or that we have doubts about them achieving professional standards, it is merely a holding position whilst we try to fit all the pieces together in the best possible way. We will notify you if a place becomes available or if all places are filled. You may be on the waiting list for many months as people can withdraw from the course very close to the start date. If you wish to be withdrawn from our waiting list please let us know. 

Audition Guidelines

First Round

A half-day session working with a small group of other auditionees. The audition will normally begin with a talk about the school and the training, then after a warm-up you will be asked to take part in a series of acting and improvisation exercises, either individually or in groups.

You should also prepare two two-minute speeches from published plays, not film or television scripts. One must be in verse from a play by Shakespeare or another Jacobean playwright, and one modern speech from a play written after 1955. You may not be required to perform both speeches to the group at the first round stage, but you will need both if you get a recall.

We would advise you to do pieces in your own accent, choosing the style based on what you feel you do best and what is reasonably close to you in age and background. Please, keep your speech to 2 minutes maximum!

In performance be truthful, honest and simple. Let your own instincts guide you, based on having read the whole play - we are looking for what you personally have to offer, not anybody else's interpretation of the speech. So don't worry if you haven't had either any help or 'coaching' on your speeches. We will also be looking at how people respond to feedback or direction.

Our values are Respect, Endeavour and Enthusiasm and we are looking for evidence of these even at audition.

At the end of the session, you will be told the result of your audition. If unsuccessful at this stage, you may be given advice on how to improve your potential for success in future acting training auditions; if successful, you will be asked to attend a recall audition.


A half-day session working with a small group of other auditionees. For this session, you will normally be working with a very senior member of the faculty. We try to ensure that the two people you meet at recall will not have met you in the first round. A brief warm-up will lead to performing your two speeches to the group, after which you may be asked to re-work your speech. You will then read through (and possibly spend some time working on) a scene of the director's choice, and possibly take part in further acting/improvisation exercises.

If you are successful at this stage, you will be asked to stay for a 20 minute interview.

1 & 2 Year Course applicants will be notified of your audition outcome on the results day of the block in which you applied.

BA (Hons) applicants will be notified of your audition outcome within 4 weeks following the recall.

Key Facts

  • Start Date: Monday 4th September 2017
  • End Date: Sunday 29th July 2018
  • Course Fee: £12,000+vat
  • Audition Fee: £47.50
  • Certificate of Study: Vocational Diploma in Professional Acting
  • Academic Qualification: Level 5 Trinity College Diploma in Professional Acting (optional)
  • Accreditation: Drama UK
  • Career Launch: Showcase, Ensemble Performance, Graduation Show
Keyton Frances

Frances Keyton

1YR Professional Acting 2016

For people who have tried life but keep coming back to acting, this school is the perfect fit. Every day the intensive lessons challenged and drew something unexpected out of me. At DSL you're expected to be brave. I was at my best physically and spiritually during my training, and still use many of my notes daily. A life investment.

Visit our alumni pages


Thinking of Applying?

Read Robert Hazle's (2014 graduate) blog about his experiences Applying and Auditioning for drama schools. "If you're reading this, you're either applying or considering applying to DSL or another Drama School. If that's the case, you're in the right place. Here's my experience of the process..." 

Read More