Funding & Scholarships

The following information is a guide to the available sources of funding which may help you cover your fees and living expenses during your time at ArtsEd. Living and studying in London is expensive, but there are lots of funding options available to help.

Students on our three-year degree courses are usually in receipt of either a Dance and Drama Award or a Student Loan, both of which contribute towards tuition fees and offer means-tested maintenance support. The available Student Loan does not cover the full tuition fee but there are many bursaries and scholarships available to help bridge this gap.

Foundation and MA students are also eligible for Student Loans.

Funding Options

Dance and Drama Awards (DaDAs)

Level 6 Trinity College London Professional Performing Arts Diploma (PPAD) 

Dance and Drama Award (DaDA) funding is allocated for the completion of our three-year Level 6 Trinity College London Professional Performing Arts Diploma (PPAD) courses in either Acting or Musical Theatre. BA (Hons) and PPAD Diploma students study together, on the same three-year courses. The difference is only in the way that the students are funded.

The Trinity PPAD Diploma is awarded to those students who have received scholarship funding through the DaDA scheme. These students can voluntarily register for the degree, which incurs an additional cost of £548 and means that on graduation they will receive two qualifications: a diploma from Trinity College London and a degree from City, University of London.

DaDAs are only available to students studying our three-year full-time courses in Acting or Musical Theatre.

DaDAs offer annual scholarships to exceptionally talented performing arts students. Funded by the government through the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), DaDAs offer reduced tuition fees and assistance with living costs for the duration of the course.

Students in receipt of a DaDA are means-tested according to national scales and receive a scaled level of support for their course fees. They may also apply for an income-assessed maintenance grant of up to £5,185 per year. Each year, we allocate a limited number of awards to those students who have been judged at audition to have the most potential to succeed in the profession, and who are in the most financial need.

Approximately 30% of our 3-year degree students receive DaDA funding including full scholarships, fee subsidies and maintenance grants.

If you are offered a place on the course and you wish to apply for a DaDA, you will be asked to submit relevant information about your family’s annual household income. You can find further information about DaDAs at dadainfo.org.uk.

Student Loans

BA (Hons) validated by City, University of London

To be eligible for Student Loan Company funding, students must be studying a designated course. Our BA (Hons) degrees in Acting and Musical Theatre are designated each year by the Department for Education.

Student Finance England (SFE) currently lends a maximum of £6,000 per academic year towards tuition fees. (Please note that Student Finance Northern Ireland currently lends a maximum of £4,160 per academic year for any NI student wishing to study at ArtsEd.) Many students require further financial support to bridge the shortfall between the student loan and tuition fee. This may come from the ArtsEd Bursary Fund or external funds listed below.

Students living away from home and studying in London are able to apply for up to £12,010 per year in maintenance loans. Students on a low income may be eligible for income support.

Note: Students who accept DaDAs are not permitted to take out student loans, even if they choose to register for the BA (Hons) degree.

For further information about student loans, please see the student finance website at https://www.gov.uk/student-finance.

Full-Time Cert HE Foundation validated by City, University of London

To be eligible for Student Loan Company funding, students must be studying a designated course. Our CertHE Foundation courses in Acting and Musical Theatre are designated each year by the Department for Education.

Student Finance England (SFE) currently lends a maximum of £6,000 towards tuition fees. (Please note that Student Finance Northern Ireland currently lends a maximum of £4,160 for any NI student wishing to study at ArtsEd.)

Students living away from home and studying in London are able to apply for up to £12,010 per year in maintenance loans. Students on a low income may be eligible for income support.

Subject to the normal Student Finance eligibility requirements, our CertHE courses qualify for student loans towards tuition fees and maintenance. Following a 1-Year CertHE course at ArtsEd, students offered a 3-Year BA programme at an HE provider should be entitled to funding for a further full three years.

For further information about student loans, please see the student finance website at https://www.gov.uk/student-finance.

MA Acting validated by City, University of London

To be eligible for Student Loan Company funding, students must be studying a designated course. Our MA in Acting is designated each year by the Department for Education.

Student Finance England (SFE) currently lends a maximum of £11,222 towards maintenance or tuition fees. Please note: no additional ArtsEd Bursaries or Scholarships are currently available to MA students.

For further information about student loans, please see the student finance website at https://www.gov.uk/funding-for-postgraduate-study

Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA)

As a higher education student living in England, you can apply for a Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) if you have a disability. This includes the following:

  • long-term health condition
  • mental health condition
  • specific learning difficulty, e.g. dyslexia, dyspraxia

You must meet the definition of disability under the Equality Act 2010. The support you receive depends on your individual needs and not on household income. Details on eligibility and how to apply can be found at gov.uk/disabled-students-allowances-dsas.

ArtsEd Bursary Fund

The ArtsEd Bursary Fund is intended to provide support to students who have decided to take out a student loan but are struggling to fund their full tuition fees.

The Fund has grown considerably in recent years and we are continually working to secure additional funding for our students. In 2020/21 over 30 awards ranging from £1,000 to £9,000 were made to degree students from the Bursary Fund.

The bursary scheme is means-tested and awards vary year-on-year, depending on individual circumstances and funds available. The average bursary awarded is £2,500, although larger bursaries are available and awarded to students who have demonstrated exceptional talent and commitment to their studies. Students must apply each year, as bursaries are awarded annually and are not guaranteed for the full three years of study.

ArtsEd bursary funds are strictly limited so not all applicants will be successful in securing funding.

ArtsEd Student Support Fund

The ArtsEd Student Support Fund is an internal fund that helps us to provide timely and flexible support to current students who find themselves facing unexpected financial constraints. The fund is administered internally and directly to students.

Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation Scholarship

We are delighted that the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation is continuing its long-term support of ArtsEd with a full three-year scholarship for the BA/Diploma Musical Theatre course.

Prospective students who score the highest marks at audition will be invited back to ArtsEd to audition for this prestigious award (which is judged on the combined basis of merit and financial need).

The recipient of the award will have their full course fees covered for the entirety of the course. They will also be able to apply for a student loan towards maintenance. Most importantly, the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation Scholarship carries a great deal of prestige in the profession. Former scholars include Emmanuel Kojo, Rhianne-Louise McCaulsky and Emily Langham.

Leverhulme Trust Scholarships

We are delighted that the Leverhulme Trust has increased its support of ArtsEd and we are now able to offer six Leverhulme Trust Scholarships per year. Allocated as part of our internal Bursary Fund process, these scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate talent and commitment to their studies and who are in financial need.

External Funding

Every year, we are invited to nominate or invite students to apply for awards from external organisations. The following are examples of schemes in which our students have recently been successful.

Equity Student Bursary

Equity is continuing its Student Bursary Scheme under which two awards of £500 each will be made. The scheme is funded by donations from Equity Life Members who wish to help support talented young people at the start of their professional careers in the entertainment industry. Each year, ArtsEd nominates up to two students (one male and one female) who, in the opinion of the school, have a bright future in the industry. There might also be a consideration of financial hardship, but the prime reason for nomination must be talent. Nominated students must be existing Equity Student Members and in their final year of training.

The Laurence Olivier Bursary

Each year, drama students from across the UK are awarded bursaries by the Society of London Theatre to help them complete their training. ArtsEd nominates two 2nd Year BA (Hons) Acting students, who then audition in front of a panel at a West End theatre and are interviewed by a panel of theatre industry professionals, led by West End producer and Chair of the Laurence Olivier Bursaries Committee, Lee Menzies. Read about the 2020 award here.

Lilian Baylis Awards

The Lilian Baylis Awards are granted to Acting students from each of the 11 accredited London Drama Schools to help them complete their training by reducing financial stress. Nominated by their drama schools, students have to fulfil three criteria: show promise, with the potential to make a significant contribution to the development of theatre; experience hardship, with their course completion in jeopardy without additional finance; and complete two years of a three-year course.

Spotlight Prize

Final Year drama school graduates from across the UK and Ireland are selected to perform in front of an exclusive industry panel at the annual Spotlight Showcase. Over seventy drama schools and universities are invited to nominate a student from their graduating class to submit a self-tape audition for each year’s Spotlight Prize. Twenty finalists are selected by a panel of industry experts based on the quality of their audition. Nominees then take part in a screen acting workshop, and their final performances are filmed and judged by a panel of leading casting directors for TV and film. These performances are screened as part of a theatre showcase, with footage shared with industry professionals throughout Ireland, the UK and the US. Two prizes of £2,000 are awarded for Best Screen Acting Performance and Best Stage Performance, in front of an invite-only audience of casting directors, agents, producers, directors and actors.

Lionel Bart Foundation Award

Undergraduate students can apply to the Foundation through the school. One-off grants towards fees are given in the range of £1,000 to £3,000.

Sir John Gielgud Charitable Trust Bursary

The Sir John Gielgud Charitable Trust principally grants bursaries to Final Year BA (Hons) Acting students who are suffering financial hardship. Each year, one student is nominated by the school to be considered for an award of £4,500. Read about the 2020 award here. 

BAFTA UK Scholarship

The BAFTA UK Scholarship Programme is open to students in need of financial assistance to undertake eligible undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the UK. Eligible candidates are nominated by the school, with each BAFTA Scholar receiving up to £12,000 towards their annual course fees, as well as mentoring support from a BAFTA member and free access to BAFTA events around the UK.

Ian Fleming Musical Theatre Awards – Help Musicians

Students embarking on their third year of study on the Musical Theatre course can apply for this award. Help Musicians warmly encourage applications from students from underrepresented backgrounds. Awards are made following an audition process.

Honourable Society of Knights of the Round Table

Each year the Society provide a bursary grant to a Musical Theatre student, nominated by ArtsEd, to provide financial support to a student who shows exceptional potential and financial need.

Further Funding

Some charities require students to apply directly, which is often the case for smaller, local organisations. We encourage you to have a look for other funds that may be available to you. A great place to start is the Grants Search tool on the Turn2Us website.