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1 Year Diploma in Professional Acting

We are still accepting applications for 2020 entry. APPLY NOW.

Start Date: Monday 21 September 2020*
End Date: Saturday 31 July 2021
Course Duration: 42 Weeks
Hours Per Week: 30
Audition Fee: £47.50
Course Fee: £12,000 
Certificate of Study: Vocational Diploma in Professional Acting (non academic) 
Academic Qualification: NQF/QCF Level 5 (for those taking the optional Trinity Diploma)

*Please note, dates may be subject to change.


Our 1 Year Diploma in Professional Acting started back in 1966 as a radical, new and vocational approach to drama training. The training is vocational and practical, is full-time and runs over 42 weeks.

During the course we aim to take students through the three stages of learning:

1. Awareness: of yourself and the needs of the profession.
2. Skills: learning techniques which are relevant to you and for your career.
3. Application: using this awareness and these skills in performance and employment.


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Drama Studio London is ACCREDITED by the CDMT, a governing body that accredits only the top drama schools in the country and is a member of the Federation of Drama Schools.

Our full-time courses are vocational and practical and upon graduating you will receive a recognised diploma in Professional Acting along with Spotlight and Equity membership and a full career launch to present you to professional agents and casting directors.

Should you wish, you can elect to take the Trinity College London Diploma in Professional Acting alongside the second year of your course with minimal extra time commitments and only a small additional fee. The Diploma is QCF/NQF Level 5, which is also equivalent to the first 2 years of a BA which you can top up later to a full BA degree.  Find Out More

Who is it the course for?

• Applicants who have some acting experience either at University or elsewhere
• Those who have the energy and resources to work flat out for 40 weeks
• Actors who have considerable talent, no matter how raw, mixed with a passion, an enthusiasm, a sense of fun and a commitment to hard work.
• Applicants aged 21 years and above. We also welcome more mature students.

Classwork 50%

We teach in groups of approximately 12-14 to ensure a balance of group and individual work. Classes are interactive and practical. These are vocational, not academic courses. We believe in classical training with a modern focus. We do not dictate a single methodology but offer several and encourage each student to find their own process. 

Productions 50%

There are between two and four productions each term. As the courses progress the productions become longer with an increase in production values. During the course, students will perform in a variety of European and American Dramatic styles. In the graduation productions, the students perform in full-length plays with technical support. All of our directors are working professionals offering an invaluable gateway into the profession.

Text Blocks

The course begins with Scene Studies from modern plays before moving onto longer in-house productions of Chekhov, Restoration, Pantomime and Shakespeare before the final full-scale graduation productions.

Our courses also include projects on Cabaret, Musical Theatre, Ensemble and Devised Work.

Student Progress

Before and after every block of work the Directors of Studies meet with Heads of Department along with outgoing and incoming directors and review every student's development. Casting for the next block is decided upon needs and development. Our strong Tutorial System supports this process, providing both educational support and pastoral care.

Film & TV

Core acting classes for screen and TV stretch throughout the year. You work with current professional TV directors on all styles of screen acting. You also have training in commercials and TV interviews, with sight reading on camera. The final exercise will be to produce a short film which you can use professionally for casting. You can see the previous year's film clips here.

Microphone Technique

As part of the Microphone Technique course, students record two extracts of approximately one minute each which are then uploaded to their Spotlight page, allowing casting directors, radio producers and theatre and television directors to hear examples of their acting and voices on mic.  A teacher from the department assists with the selection and direction of pieces which show the student to best advantage and these are recorded in our on-site studio by an experienced sound technician. You can listen to previous year's sound clips here.

After graduation, there is the opportunity to record a longer voice reel - for an additional cost - to which these extracts can be added. 

Preparing for Work

Working professionals visit the studio throughout the year to share their knowledge and to answer student questions. Industry-oriented classes are added as the year goes on. These instruct you in auditioning skills, letter writing, CVs and photographs, culminating in a Work Week where students are seen by agents, casting directors, TV directors, professional employers and others.

Festivals & Competitions

Students are eligible to represent Drama Studio London in the BBC Carleton Hobbs Radio Competition, Spotlight Showcase, Sam Wanamaker Festival at the Globe Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company Workshops. Find Out More

The Graduation Season

Presentation to the profession begins with the graduates' showcase in the Summer term. This progressing to Ensemble performances and final Graduation Productions in a central London theatre. Agents, casting directors and other industry professionals are invited to attend. Find Out More  

Career Prospects

Drama Studio London has a high graduate employment rate. The nature of our courses means that our graduates are versatile and able to perform on stage and screen alike. Many of our graduates have gone on to have steady careers right across the industry from stage and screen to writing and directing. 

75% of our students who graduated in July 2017 have already secured representation. 

»Read More 

  • Tika Kohlschein
1 Year Diploma in Professional Acting
From the moment you walk into Drama Studio London you feel at home, part of a close and supportive family who will challenge you, support you and bring out the best in you. Going to drama school was the best thing I have ever done and I have DSL to thank for that.

    Tika Kohlschein

    1 Year Diploma in Professional Acting


    From the moment you walk into Drama Studio London you feel at home, part of a close and supportive family who will challenge you, support you and bring out the best in you. Going to drama school was the best thing I have ever done and I have DSL to thank for that.

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