Royal Conservatoire of Scotland ranked among world's top ten performing arts schools

·3-min read
Actor and RCS graduate Sam Heughan returns to RCS in July 2022 to receive an honorary doctorate. © Martin Shields <i>(Image: RCS)</i>
Actor and RCS graduate Sam Heughan returns to RCS in July 2022 to receive an honorary doctorate. © Martin Shields (Image: RCS)

Scotland’s school of music, dance and drama has been named one of the world’s top ten places to study the performing arts.

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland has been ranked sixth best in the world for students, placing it alongside iconic institutions such as the Julliard School in New York in fifth place and the Royal College of Music, which was ranked first.

It is the seventh time the conservatoire in Glasgow has been placed on the list since it was established in 2016. However, it has fallen one place from last year, when it was ranked fifth.

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Founded in 1847, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland offers specialist teaching across music, drama, dance, production, film and education.

As Scotland’s only conservatoire, students work and learn alongside award-winning teaching staff and internationally acclaimed guest artists, where they develop their craft and collaborate across art forms.


Sam Heughan

Famous graduates of the conservatoire, previously known as the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD) include acting stars Sam , Richard Madden, James McAvoy, Stella Gonet and Daniela Nardini.

Others include Tom Conti, Ruby Wax, Sheena Easton and Judith Ralston.

The full list: 

1) Royal College of Music, London 

2) Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris, Paris 

3) Royal Academy of Music, London 

4) Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien, Vienna 

5) The Juilliard School, New York  

6) Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow 

7) Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London 

8) Curtis Institute of Music, Philidelphia  

9) Norwegian Academy of Music, Null 

10) Moscow State Conservatory P. I. Tchaikovsky, Moscow 


Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “To be consistently ranked in the world’s top ten at a time of challenge for the arts in education and society is a tremendous tribute to our inspirational community of students, staff, alumni and partners, and we’re enormously proud of their creativity and contribution to the arts, across all its forms.

“We thank them for their passion, dedication and the important part they play in the ambitious evolution of this institution.

Alumni of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland make an impact across the world and can currently be found on cinema and TV screens, in concert halls and classrooms and on stage and behind the scenes

More recent graduates include Ncuti Gatwa, TV’s new Doctor Who, Krysty Wilson-Cairns, Oscar-nominated Hollywood screenwriter, Fergus McCreadie, Mercury Prize nominee and jazz pianist, Isobel McArthur, Olivier Award-winning actor, director and playwright, Patrick Doyle, Hollywood film composer - who has been commissioned to write a new Coronation March for King Charles’ - Karen Cargill, global opera star and Nicola Killean OBE, Chief Executive Officer at Sistema Scotland.


Professor Dorothy Miell OBE, Chair of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “Congratulations to Principal Jeffrey Sharkey and everyone at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland for this recognition of the high international standing RCS holds amongst the best performing arts educators across the globe.

“Retaining a top ten position is a reflection of the distinctive learning environment at RCS, which nurtures and supports inclusive art-making, at every level, to enrich and shape the future of society.”