Each academic year runs from September to July and is split into three terms: autumn (12 weeks), spring (12 weeks) and summer (11 weeks). Timetables are published at the beginning of each term. There are no taught sessions during the summer term, only production work.
Core teaching hours are Monday-Friday 9am-6pm and students should expect to be involved in classes and other activities for up to 40 hours a week.
During production projects and placements, and especially during performance runs, there will be additional evening and weekend activities. The productions at RWCMD are public facing and provide students with a valuable real-world experience. During rehearsal and production weeks, students should be prepared for the longer working days and unsociable hours that are currently expected within professional theatre.
Teaching and Learning
Throughout your training, you will receive guidance and support from an established core team of staff, with considerable input from a wider range of experienced professional practitioners, including visiting directors and production supervisors.
Outside of contact hours, you will be expected to extend your learning and develop your creative practice through reading widely, undertaking independent research and attending a broad range of theatrical performances.
The course is extremely demanding, and is designed to reflect, as accurately as possible, the practices and conditions you will find within the wider industry. It requires you to demonstrate and develop the physical, mental and emotional resources and stamina that you will need to build and sustain a successful career in the theatre and live events industry. Support will be given in developing resilience to content that some may find triggering.
The College can offer confidential and professional advice and a range of practical support to ensure that students are able to successfully commence studies at RWCMD, progress through their course, and graduate successfully.
We employ a dedicated Mental Well-Being Advisor, and provide free access to a confidential counselling service. Our Disability Advisor can provide assistance to students in applying for Disabled Students Allowance, arranging needs assessments, and developing Individual Support Plans, which may include additional specialist tutorial support for students with specific learning difficulties or additional needs.
The RWCMD Library holds more than 50,000 items including books, journals, newspapers, and audio- visual materials. It is home to the UK’s largest lending collection of play sets in English. The Library also provides free access to online resources, including databases of thousands of drama texts and recordings of British theatre productions and behind-the-scenes documentaries.
Assessment and Feedback
The majority of modules are assessed on a continuous basis. The criteria for assessment reflect the working practices of the professional environment, and the skills required of its practitioners.
At the core of the course are the production placements. These provide the best opportunity to assess your progression and readiness for your career. With that in mind, you will be required to maintain a Personal Development Plan (PDP). This will include Personal Objective Proposals and self-assessments written by you at the beginning and end of each placement, along with formal written assessments provided by the Production Supervisor.
The assessment of production placements is based on the following criteria:
- The application of the skills you have been taught
- Your attitude and approach to tasks and duties and the way you respond to team members
- The effectiveness of your working practice and the methods you use to ensure the quality of your work
- The accuracy and effectiveness of both your written and verbal communication
- Your development throughout the project and your identification of future targets
The assessment of the Research & Communication modules includes presentations and essays.
Methods of assessment for other modules include practical exercises, tests and project work.
Students receive the best degree classification outcome of the two following methods:
Method 1: Calculate the average of the marks from the best 60 credits at Level 5 (production modules only) and the 120 credits at Level 6.
Method 2: Calculate the average of the marks from the 120 Level 6 credits.
- In order to achieve a First Class Honours degree, students must achieve an average of 69.5% or above
- To achieve an Upper Second Class Honours degree, students must achieve an average of 59.5% or above
- To achieve a Lower Second Class Honours degree, students must achieve an average of 49.5% or above
- To achieve a Third Class Honours degree students must achieve an average of 39.5% or above
A range of alternative exit awards are available for students who fail to complete a level of study.
You should consider your ongoing dialogue with tutors during classes, projects and productions outside of the formally timetabled tutorials to be a critical part of the feedback you receive throughout the course, and the advice that will be most useful to you in your future working life.
You can expect to receive formal feedback, either written or verbal, within 20 days of the last day of a project or production.
Formal academic transcripts are published at the end of each academic year.
A copy of the rules and regulations for this course is available.