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Diploma: Admissions

Entry Requirements

This course is aimed at a postgraduate/post-experience level and we accept applicants of all ages with no upper age limit. 

  • Applicants should be over 21 to apply, but in exceptional cases, we may consider slightly younger candidates only with significant experience.
  • No academic qualification is necessary.
  • Experience is expected (school performances, amateur dramatics, drama clubs, fringe shows, short films etc.)
  • English language level CEFR B1 or above. Your English must be strong enough for you to speak, read, write, listen and comprehend without the need for any class to slow down for you.
  • International Students, please click here for details on applying from outside the UK

"I wanted to thank you for the very enjoyable couple of days that I had auditioning for the school. I was expecting to be scared witless throughout the auditioning process and instead had a really fun experience. I also want to thank you for your detailed feedback. It is so much more encouraging to have something to work at than just being left without any idea of what I need to improve." Alison McGregor - 2014 Applicant 

Admissions Process

  • Applications are processed in blocks.
  • We will audition everyone within each block before releasing any offers.
  • If offered a place you will then be given a deadline within which to accept or decline the offer. After this deadline, your place will be offered to someone else. 
  • If we fill all of our places within the first few blocks, we will cancel all further blocks. Therefore, we recommend you apply in the earliest block possible.
  • We run a two-stage audition process: first round auditions and second stage recall auditions.
  • Auditions are usually held on Saturdays with First Round Audition and Recall taking half a day each. If successful in the first round, we expect you to be available to stay for your recall in the afternoon of the same day.
  • We cannot confirm you will get the Saturday audition of your choice.
  • Audition spaces are limited. We recommend you apply as early as possible.
  • The below dates are subject to change.

Block 1

Auditions Start: Saturday 13 January 2018
Auditions End: Saturday 20 January 2018
Results Day: Monday 29 January 2018 
Offer Deadline: Will be printed on your offer letter

Block 2

Audition Day: Saturday 10 February 2018
Results Day: Wednesday 28 February 2018
Offer Deadline: Will be printed on your offer letter

Block 3

Auditions Start: Saturday 03 March 2018
Auditions End: Saturday 17 March 2018
Results Day: Monday 26 March 2018
Offer Deadline: Will be printed on your offer letter

Block 4

Auditions Start: Saturday 07 April 2018
Auditions End: Saturday 14 April 2018
Results Day: Monday 16 April 2018
Offer Deadline: Will be printed on your offer letter 

Block 5

Auditions Start: Saturday 28 April 2018
Auditions End: Saturday 26 May 2018
Results Day: Tuesday 29 May 2018
Offer Deadline: Will be printed on your offer letter 

Additional Auditions will be booked on an ad-hoc basis and offers will be made a few days after each audition.

Admissions are now closed for our 1 Year Diploma 2018-2019.

After Your Audition

At the end of the first round audition you will be notified whether you have been recalled and will be given some personal, verbal feedback. If your audition is in the morning we may be able to schedule your recall audition that afternoon, alternatively, you can return at a later date if you wish.

Your recall result will be emailed to you at the end of your admissions block. You may be offered a place, placed on our waiting list or rejected. If successful, you will be sent a contract and other documents relating to the offer along with a deadline. Once the deadline is passed we will offer your place to someone else. Please note that this is an offer and is not secured until you return the signed contract and pay your deposit.

We look for talent, passion, a maturity of attitude, a certain level of technical ability and the ability to cope with the demands of the course in order to become employable, successful actors. 

If you wish to advise us of any difficulties or disabilities which may affect your performance at audition, we will be happy to make any reasonable adjustments we can to make sure you are given every opportunity to demonstrate your skills. Please let us know. 

The Waiting List

Getting the right balance on our student intake is a complex and lengthy business. When making offers we keep three things in mind; Talent, Passion and Flexible Approach. This applies to all year groups and to those being put on the waiting list. Everyone who comes to DSL will have all three. Alongside this we believe that achieving a diverse group of students is important for DSL, the profession and for our students themselves. This diversity is not just about visible difference, but also about invisible difference; idiosyncrasies of talents and needs. Whilst we are trying to get this balance we put some excellent students onto our waiting list. This is not because we think they are not as good as others or that we have doubts about them achieving professional standards, it is merely a holding position whilst we try to fit all the pieces together in the best possible way. We will notify you if a place becomes available or if all places are filled. You may be on the waiting list for many months as people can withdraw from the course very close to the start date. If you wish to be withdrawn from our waiting list please let us know. 

Audition Guidelines

First Round

A half-day session working with a small group of other auditionees. The audition will normally begin with a talk about the school and the training, then after a warm-up you will be asked to take part in a series of acting and improvisation exercises, either individually or in groups.

You should also prepare two two-minute speeches from published plays, not film or television scripts. One must be in verse from a play by Shakespeare or another Jacobean playwright, and one modern speech from a play written after 1955. You may not be required to perform both speeches to the group at the first round stage, but you will need both if you get a recall.

We would advise you to do pieces in your own accent, choosing the style based on what you feel you do best and what is reasonably close to you in age and background. Please, keep your speech to 2 minutes maximum!

In performance be truthful, honest and simple. Let your own instincts guide you, based on having read the whole play - we are looking for what you personally have to offer, not anybody else's interpretation of the speech. So don't worry if you haven't had either any help or 'coaching' on your speeches. We will also be looking at how people respond to feedback or direction.

Our values are Respect, Endeavour and Enthusiasm and we are looking for evidence of these even at audition.

At the end of the session, you will be told the result of your audition. If unsuccessful at this stage, you may be given advice on how to improve your potential for success in future acting training auditions; if successful, you will be asked to attend a recall audition.


A half-day session working with a small group of other auditionees. For this session, you will normally be working with a very senior member of the faculty. We try to ensure that the two people you meet at recall will not have met you in the first round. A brief warm-up will lead to performing your two speeches to the group, after which you may be asked to re-work your speech. You will then read through (and possibly spend some time working on) a scene of the director's choice, and possibly take part in further acting/improvisation exercises.

If you are successful at this stage, you will be asked to stay for a 20-minute interview.

You will be notified of your audition outcome on the results day of the block in which you auditioned.


  • Helen Belbin 2008

    Helen Belbin 2008

    Helen Belbin

    With credits across film, tv, stage, commercials, radio, corporate work and voice overs, Helen is clearly a versatile actress with lots of on-screen performances coming up.

    Read More
  • Helen Belbin 2008

    Helen Belbin 2008

    Helen Belbin

    With credits across film, tv, stage, commercials, radio, corporate work and voice overs, Helen is clearly a versatile actress with lots of on-screen performances coming up.

    Read More
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