Musical Theatre Diploma

A course which develops your skills as a musical theatre performer, with specific classes on singing, dance, improvisation, text analysis, voice, movement and character development.

Musical Theatre diploma in London with Central School of Speech & Drama

    Course fee

    £3,500.00 (for 2020)

This unique course is ideal for new actors who wish to receive Central’s outstanding and world-leading training before applying to a full-time acting or drama course or going into the theatre industry.

About the course

  • A one year, part-time, evening and weekend course which promises to be challenging, stimulating, enlightening and exciting.
  • Designed to act as a springboard for those wishing to undertake actor or performance training with a focus on musical or music theatre.
  • You will have a dedicated director, musical director, choreographer, and vocal coach working with you to nurture your talents and push each element of your performance.
  • Develop your skills as a musical theatre performer with specific classes on singing, dance, improvisation, text analysis, voice, movement, and character development (see ‘Structure of the course’ below for more detail).
  • All teaching staff are theatre professionals and work within the drama school sector as well as the industry.
  • Experience the full-time, demanding, and varied ethos of Central.

In line with the ethos of our full-time courses, full attendance is expected of all modules as well as the Intensive Weeks.


The Musical Theatre Diploma will not be taking place in 2021. We are currently developing an online version of the Acting Diploma that you may interest you instead. More details will be available later in the year.  

To be the first to hear, please fill out the contact form on the left-hand side of this page and we will be in touch with further details once they are available. 

Who is this course suitable for? 

This is a practical, part-time musical theatre course suitable for people who:

  • wish to pursue your musical theatre skills and knowledge without having to give up your day job
  • work in an allied area (e.g. arts management/administration, education and outreach) and wish to gain a more practical experience
  • would like to gain confidence and enhance communication skills
  • are considering studying musical theatre or acting at BA or MA level and would like experience within a drama school
  • enjoy musical theatre and would like a practical experience in a professional environment.

What we’re looking for in applicants 

We’re looking for people who:

  • demonstrate commitment to the subject
  • can work well within a team
  • are passionate about musical theatre
  • are willing to work independently
  • show an understanding/respect for rehearsal room etiquette e.g. time keeping, discipline, etc
  • want to progress and learn about musical theatre in a practical way.

Requirements for admission

  • Applicants must have IELTS score of 7.0 or equivalent in the English language.
  • Minimum age for admission is 18.
  • You must audition for this course.

What our students do after the course 

As the course grows, our graduates’ destinations become increasingly exciting. Students from our Diploma courses have won places on:

  • BA and MA Acting courses here at Central
  • Guildhall
  • Rose Bruford
  • East 15
  • Mountview
  • ALRA
  • Arts Educational
  • other leading universities.

Students have also gone on to perform at The Royal Court, The Bush Theatre, and BBC, amongst others.

Tutor Spotlight

Adam Gerber

Adam Gerber, tutor on Central's Musical Theatre DiplomaOne of the main tutors on the Musical Theatre diploma, Adam is a Conductor, Composer, and Musical Director in London working on projects in a variety of musical genres. 

Adam is sought after as an educator and has enjoyed working with many organisations in addition to Central, such as: The Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts as a Musicianship Tutor; The University of Aberdeen as the Principle Conductor of their Concert and Wind Bands; Scottish Opera as an Assistant Conductor to their Connect Education Company; The University of Glasgow as an Assistant Conductor; The Citizen’s Theatre as a Musical Director; Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts as a Composer; and YMT as a musical director.

Find out more about Adam.

Dates & Duration

The following dates (for the 2020 course) are indicative and given as a guideline only:

Term 1: Acting Fundamentals, Voice, Movement

13 January – 18 March 2020
Mondays and Wednesdays, 7:00pm – 9:30pm
Intensive Saturday: 15 February, 12:00pm-5:00pm

Term 2: Singing, The Actor and the Text, Acting Through Song

20 April – 1 July 2020 (No classes on Bank Holidays, 4 and 25 May)
Mondays and Wednesdays, 7:00pm – 9:30pm
Intensive Saturday: 23 May, 12:00pm-5:00pm

Term 3: Rehearse and perform extracts from Musicals

Monday 13 July 2020, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Wednesday 15 July 2020, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Saturday 18 July 2020, 10:00am – 4:30pm

Monday 20 July 2020, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Wednesday 22 July 2020, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Saturday 25 July 2020, 10:00am – 4:30pm

Intensive week: 27 July - 1 August 2020, 10:00am – 6:00pm 

Intensive week: 3 – 7 August 2020, 10:00am – 6:00pm

Performance day: 7 August 2020

Structure of the course 

The diploma is divided into three terms. In the first two terms you will work for two evenings and one Saturday for a total of 55 hours a term. In the third term you will work on Saturdays and for an intensive 2-week period.

Example classes

Term 1:

Acting Fundamentals 

You will develop the precursors to acting: relaxation; trust; exuberance; discipline; response to criticism; a playful attitude; and the ability to work as part of an ensemble. You will learn the fundamentals of acting, including: concentration; pursuing an objective with actions; listening and responding; and working from moment-to-moment, using both improvised and scripted scenes.


Through physical and vocal exercises, you will begin to release your voice from habitual tensions and develop breath connection, support and stamina. You will begin to learn how to project your voice without strain, using the principles of general and specific resonance and develop vocal range. Articulation work will enable you to approach text and lyrics with greater specificity, accuracy and muscularity.


You will work on group singing exploring harmonies and how your voice sits in ensemble settings. You will sing in ensemble groups and as a soloist within an ensemble. A brief overview of Kodály practice will be explored to aid pitching and then you will explore solo singing.


This module emphasies the important role the body plays in expression. You will be introduced to a preparatory body-centred methods of training including Chekhov, Laban and Viewpoints. You will learn exercises that can be practiced independently in order to develop your skills further.

Term 2

The Actor and The Text 

This module will allow you to apply your acquired skills from Acting Fundamentals to script work. You will learn a clear process, including active and textual analysis, which will allow you to explore and realise monologues, duologues and scenes effectively.


You will look at jazz dance technique and be introduced to ballroom dance including Waltz, Foxtrot and Swing. You should expect to take part in structured dance classes, working on flexibility, strength, stamina and ability to learn choreography. You will also work with songs to explore combining singing and dance.

Acting through Song 

You will align fundamental acting strategies to acting through song. You will learn to analyse a song in order to make clear and specific acting choices. You will explore a range of techniques that can be applied to acting through song. You will work one-to-one in a masterclass setting on acting through song and general delivery.

Term 3

Performance Project: Rehearse and Perform extracts from Musicals  

This unit culminates in the rehearsal and performance of extracts from musicals. The use of your acting, voice and movement skills will be evaluated in both the rehearsal process and final performance. You will be cast in extracts from musicals and have an intensive rehearsal schedule. You will be expected to attend all rehearsal and also work in your own time. You will apply systems of rehearsal to your work, learn choreography and songs and be expected to take and adapt well to direction. You will perform the show in front of an invited audience.

Please note that this is NOT a showcase and agents will not be invited.



I can’t make any of the audition dates that have been emailed to me – do you have other dates coming up? We schedule 1-2 dates per month from April until early December for entry in January of the following year for the Acting and MT Diploma’s, and April until late August for entry to the Gap Year Diploma starting in September. We normally schedule dates two months in advance. If you’re unable to attend any of the upcoming dates we will keep your details on file and get in touch when new dates are released.

Can I audition via Skype/Video? We’re only able to audition people in person for the Diploma courses.

Do you offer international auditions for this course? We accept international students (provided they’re able to secure a visa to be here for the duration of the course) however, all auditions must take place in person at our main campus in London. Please note, as this course is classed as 'part-time, non-accredited study' it does not qualify for a Tier 4 Student Visa. 

Do you give out audition advice? Once you’ve booked your audition slot, our team will send you a list of tips to help you prepare for your audition with us.

After my audition, how long will it take for me to find out if I’ve been offered a place? We will let you know the outcome of your audition within 2 weeks. In the event that you’ve been unsuccessful we may be able to offer brief feedback on request, please note that this may take up to a month for us to respond to.

Can I be considered for more than one Diploma? Yes – you only need to audition once though. Please make sure our team are aware of which Diploma’s you would like to audition for when you call to book your slot. The Audition Panel will then decide which Diploma they think you’re most suitable for.


Is there a concessionary fee available for this course? Unfortunately not. The full fee applies to everyone.

When do I have to pay the fees by? If you’re successful in gaining a place, you will need to pay a 25% deposit of the full fee amount to secure your place within two weeks of being offered it. You will then be expected to pay the balance of the fees by the Thursday before the course begins. In exceptional circumstances we may be able to arrange a payment plan with you if you are struggling to pay the full amount before the course begins. The team will be able to give you more details of this if you are successful at gaining a place.

Do you offer any bursaries? Yes. In order to improve access to education for people who are from low-income backgrounds, we have a bursary fund you can apply to if you earn under £25,000 per year (or if your family earn less than £25,000 if you’re under 25 and still live at home). More details are available on request once you have been offered a place on a Diploma course.

Please note: applications to the bursary fund always exceed the amount of money available so there is no guarantee we will be able to offer you a bursary.

Attendance/Fitness to Study

How important is it that I’m available for every session?

Very important, vital, in fact. Our Diploma’s give you the chance to experience conservatoire-style training and as such we take attendance and punctuality as seriously as we do on our BA and MA courses. All of our courses are collaborative in nature and if you’re missing from class it impacts on your fellow students’ learning, as well as your own. If your attendance dips below an acceptable level, you will be asked to leave the course and no refund of fees will be given.

How demanding is this course? This course offers a practical, physical, hands-on experiential learning experience and you need to be prepared to fully commit physically, mentally and emotionally to that.

The Diploma is highly rewarding and a fantastic way to learn new skills whilst still being able to work during the day but it can also be taxing on top of your daily life. We urge you to think carefully about this and consider whether you currently have the time, energy and wellness levels to fully engage before applying.


Where does the course take place?

All of our Diploma classes take place at our purpose built, main campus at Swiss Cottage. It’s in Zone 2, and right next to Swiss Cottage tube station on the Jubilee Line.

How many students do you have per class?

We accept around 28 people onto both the Acting and the Gap Year Diploma’s each year (split into classes of 14). There are a maximum of 12 places available on the Musical Theatre Diploma.

Each year we audition around 500 people for the three courses.

How often does each Diploma run?

Once per year. The Acting and Musical Theatre Diploma’s start in January each year and the Gap Year Diploma starts in September.

Will this course help me get accepted to the BA Acting at Central or elsewhere?

Places on our BA and MA courses (and equivalent courses elsewhere) are highly sort after with hundreds of people applying for each place usually. There are no short cuts to gaining a place and completing one of our Diploma’s is in no way a guarantee that you will go on to be accepted for BA or MA study at Central or elsewhere. That said, you will learn a great deal on the Diploma and the skills learnt, coupled with hard work and talent, will be beneficial when it comes to auditioning. Each year there are usually a handful of students who are successful in gaining a place somewhere for further study.

Will this course help me get a Spotlight pin?

At the present time, Spotlight does not accept part-time, non-accredited courses as a way to get a pin. If you already have a pin, however, you’ll be able to list that you took one of our courses under the Education section.

My question isn’t covered here. Who can I contact? Please email the short courses team for more information or call 0207 559 3960 where one of the team will be happy to assist you.

International students information

As a purely vocational course, students on the Musical Theatre Diploma are not eligible for a Tier 4 visa. 

At the current time, students from EU countries are able to attend the course without securing a visa, but this is subject to change due to the UK leaving the EU. 

For applicants from outside of the UK/EU, if you are under 30 and from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Monaco or Japan you may be eligible to apply for a Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa which allows you to work and study. 

Before applying, please ensure you have checked whether you're eligible for a visa that will cover the full duration of the course (8 months). More information can be found here