Fair Access Expo 2021

We’re excited to announce that bookings for our upcoming Fair Access Expo are now open!!! 

Come along and join us on Thursday 4th November for open discussions around Widening Access to the Arts. 

We are delighted that the wonderful screen actor Julie Hesmondhalgh will be opening the Expo, sharing her passion for the arts and its power to transform lives and communities. We will also be sharing stories and flagging up opportunities for people interested in a career in Dance, Drama, Music, Film, Production, Theatre and the Performing Arts. 

This year, the main discussions that you can take part in are:

 Young People as Champions of Widening Access to the Arts 
A group of young people will come together to share their experience of choosing the arts as a pathway. We’ll delve into what it’s been like and how they see themselves moving forward.    

 Where Theatre Meets Film 
In this discussion we will hear from theatre-makers and filmmakers and people who do both – we will explore the many varied opportunities that are available in Film and theatre and how both practical and creative disciplines can straddle both art forms.   

 Being Working Class in The Arts 
A career in the arts is not always celebrated as a life choice or even as an option at all – in this panel we will hear from a panel of speakers from working-class communities who have forged creative careers, often against the odds.   

Ticket like button for registering

Attention all teachers and community groups:

If you would like to make a day of it and are able to host the event streamed live into your classroom/space, we have goodies!!! Register your interest in hosting a live stream of the Fair Access Expo to your young folks and we will send you through a box of goodies to give out on the day. Request your pack in Question 4 of the form by telling us roughly how many young people you are hoping will attend. The event will run from 12noon – 3pm. 

Audition Skills: Creative Conversation

Are you going to be applying to a music course soon? Or have you applied to a course where you have to attend an audition? Or are you interested in writing, telling stories, and making your own theatre or film?
WACI have a selection of workshops and short courses that are now open for booking:
🎺 Music Audition Prep
🎭 Audition Skills: Creative Conversation
Head over to our Bookings Page to find out more and to book your free place.

Contact Us
If you have any questions contact WACI at 📧 WACI@rcs.ac.uk

Let's Tell a Story with Raisah Ahmed - bookings open now!

Are you a young person of colour who lives in Scotland? Aged 13 – 18?

Interested in writing, telling stories, or making theatre or film of your own?

Writer/director Raisah Ahmed will lead this new digital workshop to explore how to come up with new ideas and tell stories, whatever your medium – and you’ll get to put your new skills into practice and make a piece of work of your own.

Through a series of Zoom workshops and conversations, you’ll get to work with other like-minded young people and learn all about storytelling from an experienced artist while work on your own project.

Whether you’ve already got loads of experience or you want to try something for the first time, this project is a great way to get your creativity flowing and make something to share.


Workshops will take place every Wednesday evening, 5 – 7pm, from 20 October – 8 December *Rescheduled Dates* over Zoom. These Zooms will be closed sessions specifically for people of colour.

Please let us know if you have any access requirements.

Click here to sign up now!

Raisah Ahmed

Raisah is a Scottish Asian Muslim Writer/Director, based in Glasgow, working across television and film. She is currently developing a WWI feature Half-Moon Camp with Film4 and Producer Zorana Piggott. Writing credits include several CBeebies shows and BBC The Social phone-drama Control. Alumni of EIFF Talent Lab 2014, Raisah’s first writer/director commissioned short Meet Me By The Water premiered at EIFF 2016, before screening on BBC Scotland’s Next Big Thing. She has directed on BBC3’s The Break III and CBBC’s Sparks.

Focus on Applications - BOOKINGS NOW OPEN

WACI are thrilled to announce that our first workshops for 2021/22 are now open for bookings.

If you’re thinking about applying to study one of the following types of courses:

at college, university or conservative, these workshops are for you!

We’ll help you prepare everything you’ll need in order to make your application, and make a start on your personal statement.

We’ll also go through the process of applying for a course via UCAS Conservatoires, as well as other creative courses at college and/or university.

Since the deadline for applying to UCAS Conservatoires courses in Music is earlier – applications have to be made by 1st October – this year we’ll be running two sessions: one for people hoping to study Music, and another for everyone else.

Focus on Applications: Music

When: Tues 31 Aug + Tues 7 Sept.
Location: Online, via Zoom.

Bookings Now Closed

Booking deadline: Mon 30 Aug

Focus on Applications: Drama, Dance, Film and Production

When: Tues 28 Sept + Tues 5 Oct.
Location: Online, via Zoom.

Booking deadline: Mon 27 Sept.

Click here to book your place.

WACI Scholarship: Online Summer Schools

Now open for applications

WACI are pleased to be offering fully-funded places for WACI pupils on one of the Summer Schools taking place here at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
Taking place throughout the summer school holidays these courses offer an opportunity for you to try something new, develop your existing experience and/or gain a more in-depth understanding in a variety of art forms.

Available Summer Schools 

There are a variety of summer schools to choose from in:
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Film
  • Music
  • Production
Click here to have a look at the Short Courses Summer School’s programme to help you figure out which course is the right course for you. Some of the courses are very popular, and spaces will fill up quickly – we’ll be assessing applications as and when they come in, so get your application in as soon as possible to avoid being disappointed!

How to apply

All you need to do is fill out the application form below telling us:
  • a little bit about you
  • why you would like to do the course you’ve chosen 
If it would be easier, you can provide a voice recording or video statement in support of your application.

Apply now!

*Applications now closed*


Our WACI Ambassadors are a group of young people aged 13 – 18 from schools all over the West of Scotland who have come together to encourage people their age to participate in the arts.

Young people have told us about some of the barriers they face in participating in the arts, including everything from lack of confidence, lack of opportunities and not being able to afford drama or dance classes.

Our WACI Ambassadors tell us that the types of messages they have received about studying arts subjects can be one of the hardest to overcome.

These messages include that it’s not ‘useful’ in ‘the real world.’ That music, dance, media studies and drama are ‘skive’ subjects. ‘You’ll only make money if you’re famous.’ ‘You need to get a real job.’

Instagram Takeover

From next week, our Ambassadors will be taking over our Instagram page to help spread the word!

They’ll be sharing their ‘day in the life’ on Instagram Stories, as well as interviews with people already working in the arts and creative industries, and encouraging artists to share their tips for overcoming the barriers they faced in getting into the industry.

How YOU can help!

Anyone can help by engaging with the social media takeover at @RCSWACI – liking, sharing and commenting on images and videos the young people share throughout May.


Teachers can sign the pledge and share a picture to show that their school supports the arts!

To sign our pledge please post a selfie and write the pledge as your caption or in your story. You can also tag @RCSWACI and #AnyoneCanBeWACI to show your support.

Pledge: ‘We pledge to encourage, support, and respect all young people aspiring to study the performing and production arts’

Artists and teachers

Artists working in the creative industries – including teachers teaching creative subjects like music, drama, dance or media studies – can use the hashtag #AnyoneCanBeWACI to share their story on Instagram.

Post a photo or video with the caption ‘I’m a [dance/actor/musician/writer, whatever] #AnyoneCanBeWACI’ and share your story – how did you first get into your art form? What were some of the barriers you faced or messages you received and how did you overcome them? What’s one bit of advice you would give someone currently in secondary school who is considering a carrier in the arts?


Like artists, organisations can use the hashtag #AnyoneCanBeWACI to share inspiring stories about people who have overcome barriers to work in the arts, as well as sharing any (free) opportunities to participate in the arts which might be available to young people in the West of Scotland.

Come and Try Online Festival

WACI are delighted to announce that applications for our Come and Try Online Festival are now open!

Whether you’ve already got loads of experience or you want to try something for the first time, the Come and Try Online Festival is a great way to get your creativity flowing, work with experienced artists and meet other young people who are into the same things as you are.

Taking place from 6th – 15th April, all of the workshops and Q&A sessions will take place on Zoom – and best of all, it’s all FREE!

Who’s it for? 

Good news! Our IN CONVERSATION sessions are for anyone! All you need to do is sign up and we’ll send you a Zoom link on the day.

Our SHORT COURSES and MASTERCLASSES are open to secondary school age pupils who:

These sessions are also open to current Transitions students.


In these sessions, you’ll work with an experienced tutor over several sessions to make a scene, make a song or learn how to write a story for film.

Let’s Make a Scene with Robbie Gordon and Jack Nurse  
Tuesday 6th April, 
Thursday 8th April, 
Tuesday 13th April and 
Thursday 15th April  
10am – 12pm

Interested in drama, acting or making theatre? Always wanted to give it a go? Budding dramatists will work with theatre-makers Robbie Gordon and Jack Nurse to create, critique and collaborate on their own short, dramatic scenes as part of this short course.

Let’s Make Music with Sarah Hayes
Wednesday 7th April, 
Friday 9th April, 
Wednesday 14th April 
and Friday 16th April
10am – 12pm

Flautist, singer and keyboard player Sarah Hayes leads this short course exploring songwriting and making music. You’ll learn about generating ideas for words and music; ways in to collaboration and co-writing; and using software to create and record your own tracks. Sarah will also be offering one-to-one support and feedback on your own creations!

Storytelling for Film with Raisah Ahmed
Wednesday 14th April and Thursday  15th April
5 –7pm

Writer/director Raisah Ahmed leads this workshop on how to write for film. You’ll explore how to come up with new ideas, and learn about some of the tools you’ll need to tell visual stories on screen.


Musical Theatre with Stephen Mullan 

Tuesday 6th April
2.00 – 3.30pm

Warm up your vocal chords and put on your dancing shoes for this interactive musical theatre masterclass with actor/director Stephen Mullan.

Set Design with Meghan Grieve
Wednesday 7th April
2.00 – 3.30pm 

Find out all about designing sets for stage and screen with Meghan Grieve – we’ll send you a pack in the post and you’ll get to try your hand at making your own creations!

Technology and Management with Claire Hibberd
Thursday 8th April
2.00 – 3.30pm 

Ever wondered how things work in the secret ‘backstage’ world of production? This masterclass will introduce you to some of the technology and expertise required to work in this exciting industry!

Costume Design with Meghan Grieve
2.00 – 3.30pm
Wednesday 14th April

Find out all about designing costumes for stage and screen with Meghan Grieve – we’ll send you a pack in the post and you’ll get to try your hand at making your own creations!    

Dance with Emma Jayne Park
Thursday 15th April
2.00 – 3.30pm 

Put on your dancing shoes for this dance masterclass with Emma Jayne Park.


These creative conversations are open to anyone – hear from a range of different artists living in Scotland and working all over the world, and ask any burning questions you have about how to get started, how to keep going and how to make a living as an artist.

Making it Work with Cat Hepburn and Kevin P Gilday
Tuesday 6th April
4pm – 4.45pm  

Writers, performers and spoken word artists Cat Hepburn and Kevin P Gilday share their secrets to making their own work, working across multiple art forms and taking a show to the Edinburgh Fringe.

How to Make a Living as an Artist with Su-a Lee and Adam Kashmiry
Wednesday 7th April
4pm – 4.45pm  

Join musician Su-a Lee and actor Adam Kashmiry who will talk about how they got started, and how they make a living as artists.

Behind the Scenes with Claire Hibberd and Carla Feuerstein
Wednesday 14th April
4pm – 4.45pm 

Find out what goes on behind the scenes at a live show with sound engineer Carla Feuerstein and sound technician Claire Hibberd.


Bookings Now Closed

Audition and Interview Prep Workshops

WACI are delighted to offer a range of workshops in November and December for those who are thinking about applying to study at college, university or conservatoire:

Person singing words saying 'Singing Audition Prep'

Two people holding paper, smiling. Words saying 'Filmmaking Interview Prep'

You’re eligible if you live in the West of Scotland are one of the following:

  • attending a FOCUS West School
  • living in an SiMD1 postcode
  • are Care Experienced or Estranged


Bookings are now closed


#GetReady #FocusOnFutures

Watch Our Fair Access Expo Live Sessions!

The Fair Access Team would like to extend a warm thanks to everyone who virtually attended our recent Fair Access Expo.

It was a bit different this year –  however, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. We’re glad so many of you found it useful. For those who couldn’t make it along on the day, our microsite contains a recording of the live sessions ready to watch back. 

Image of a website in various device screens.

Have you ever wanted to know more about Fair Access at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, including information on the Transitions and WACI Programmes? Are looking for advice in studying or working in the performing arts?

Why not head over to our microsite now to watch back our live sessions:

  • Meet The Teams, Transitions and WACI
  • Industry Interview, with Laura Waddell and Graeme Smilie
  • Student Life, a showcase and Q&A (Content Warning! Swearing)

You can also: 

  • watch pre-recorded videos from students and professionals 
  • hear from the Assistant Principal and Fair Access Manager at RCS
  • watch our Fair Access Virtual Band perform
  • find links to information on UCAS and UCAS Conservatoires, 
  • links to funding information from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS)
  • direct links to our programme websites

Again, thanks to everyone from all the team!

Visit the Fair Access Expo microsite here:

🌐 rcs.ac.uk/fair-access-expo