“The Foundation Course in Acting was a great introduction to drama school. After just six months I not only felt more confident and open as a person but more prepared to begin my training.”
Freddy Carter, Foundation Course graduate
Funding and Fees
Three Year and One Year Courses
We want to make sure that everyone can get access to training so we work hard to ensure that applicants who are offered a place on our Three Year and One Year courses can get the financial support they need to enable them to train at the School.
For most of our students that will be a combination of different government funding.
There are two government schemes that support our students.
Dance and Drama Awards
The Oxford School of Drama is privileged to be part of the Government’s DaDA Scheme which provides scholarship grants for exceptionally talented people aged 18–23 years who wish to pursue a career as an actor. The maximum Award will fund 100% of a student’s course fees and provide them with an annual living allowance of £4,550 in the form of a grant (it does not need to be repaid). The awards are means-tested and eligibility depends on your household income. Household income is parental income unless you have worked full time for three consecutive years prior to the start of the course. If you are under the age of 24, have lived in the UK for the last 3 years and have a household income of less than £90k you will be eligible to get a Dance and Drama Award. Please note students are not eligible for DaDA funding if they are resident in The Channel Islands, ie. Jersey and Guernsey or the Isle of Man.
For further information and national income scales visit: www.gov.uk/dance-drama-awards
Advanced Learner Loans
Students who are over the age of 19 are eligible to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan (ALL) of up to £7,395 per year towards their course fees. These are not means-tested and they require no credit checks. They are available even if you have previously had a student loan. You need to have lived in the UK for the last 3 years to be eligible for an ALL. When you take out an ALL you will also get access to bursaries to support your travel, living and childcare costs. The School will be responsible for applying for those bursaries on your behalf. The loan will only start to be repaid after you leave the course and only when/if your monthly earnings exceed £2,274.
For more information visit: www.gov.uk/advanced-
How to Apply for funding
Students who are offered a place on the Three Year and One Year Course will receive the relevant funding pack from the School on acceptance of their place on the course by way of a £500 course deposit. All applications are made through the School. The first step of the funding process is to return the self declaration form to inform the School whether you would like to apply for a DaDA and/or an ALL. If applying for a combination of both, the DaDA application form needs to be completed first. Proof of household income is required to complete a DaDA application. On completion of the application you will know how much, if any, course fees you have left to pay.
The DaDAs are means-tested scholarships. Below is an overview of the national income bands. Under the DaDA scheme:
1. Students from households with an income of £30,000 or below will pay no course fees and are eligible for a grant to help with their living costs (up to £4,550 per year).
2. Students from households with an income of £30,001 to £33,000 will pay no course fees
3. Students from households with an income between £33,001 and £90,000 will not pay the full course fees, but will have to make some contribution towards them. The remaining contribution can be covered by the ALL.
If you are ineligible for a DaDA, you will be provided with the details to apply for an ALL to cover up to £7,395 (per year) of your course fees.
Bursaries and Scholarships
The School has a number of bursaries and scholarships available to support course fees and living costs for students who need extra support or who are facing financial hardship.
The Oxford School of Drama Bursaries
The Oxford School of Drama is committed to promoting inclusivity in the arts and is working proactively towards greater diversity in the range of actors training for the profession. Lack of available funding, which disproportionately affects those applying for our Foundation and One-Year courses, can be a barrier to talented prospective students.
As part of our commitment to ensuring fairer access, we offer three bursaries for students accepted onto our Six Month Foundation Course and two for our One Year Acting Course, for entry in September 2023.
The bursary amounts are as follows
- 3 x Foundation Course bursaries – £3.5k each
- 2 x One Year Course bursaries – £5K
For the Foundation Course bursaries, applications are welcomed from anyone with a household income under £35,000 for whom the total fee amount acts as a barrier to accepting a place.
For the One Year Course bursary, applications are open to anyone who will be 24 or over on the day the course begins and therefore not eligible for a DaDA award, with a household income under £35,000.
Please find more information on the bursaries here. To request an application form please email the Student Support Manager here. The deadline for applications is midnight on 5 July 2023. Applicants who receive an offer after this date cannot be considered for the bursaries.
Garfield Weston Foundation Fund
The School is very grateful for the support that it receives from the Garfield Weston Foundation to assist students with both course fees and living costs. The School is able through these funds to respond to the individual needs of students who may be unable to take up a place at the School without some additional support to make the training affordable. Priority access is given to students with the greatest need. This may be because they are from low income families or they are unable, because of their age, to take up funding from the Dance & Drama Award Scheme. The School will invite students who are offered places to train at the School to apply to the Fund.
Mhairi Armstrong Bursary
This bursary is in memory of Mhairi Armstong, former Voice Tutor and Trustee of the School, in recognition of her dedication to the work of the School. This bursary is given to a Three Year Course student at the end of their first year of training.
Laurence Olivier Bursary
The Society of London Theatre offers these annual bursaries to help second year students on the Three Year Course facing financial difficulty in their final year of training. The School is invited to nominate two candidates to audition for this bursary.
Sir John Gielgud Bursary
The School is invited to nominate one second year student on the Three Year Course who is facing financial hardship for this bursary.
Constellations Creatives Drama Student Bursary
The School is invited to nominate a student of East Asian origin for this bursary awarded by Yellow Earth Theatre Company to encourage and promote greater participation and representation of East Asian actors on stage and screen.
The School nominates one third-year graduating student to audition for the Spotlight Prize.
Equity Student Bursary
Equity makes two awards of £500 each year to help support actors at the start of their professional career. The school, alongside other Federation of Drama School members, nominates two students for the award. Nominated students must be existing Equity Student Members and in their final year of training.
Student Hardship Fund
The Oxford School of Drama has established its own Hardship Fund which is distributed each year to students on the Three Year and One Year courses at the School. Students not in receipt of government funding and students with disabilities are prioritised.
The fees for the academic year 23/24 are as follows:
3 Year Course: £18,200 per year for students who do not receive government funding
One Year Course: £18,200 per year for students who do not receive government funding
Foundation Course (Sept 23 – March 24): £8,700 for the whole course
Please note that, unfortunately, there is no public funding available for the Foundation Course.