Royal Conservatoire of Scotland ranked fifth in world for performing arts

It’s the sixth time since the league table was established that the conservatoire has been rated in the global top 10.

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland ranked fifth in the world for performing arts education RCS/Robert McFadzean
RCS ranked as one of the world's best to study performing arts.

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) has been ranked as one of the world’s top five destinations to study the performing arts in prestigious global rankings published on Wednesday.

International higher education think tank, QS Quacquarelli Symonds, listed the conservatoire, in Glasgow, as number five for performing arts in its QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022.

It’s the sixth time since the ranking was established in 2016 that RCS has been rated in the global top 10.

QS Quacquarelli Symonds produces comparative analysis on the performance of 15,200 university programmes taken by students at 1543 universities in 88 locations across the world, across 51 academic disciplines.

The conservatoire was established in 1847 and provides education across a range of performing arts, research and learning environments, including classical and modern music, drama, dance, production and film.

Students from more than 60 countries study at RCS, which has active partnerships with all of Scotland’s national arts companies.

The learning environment at RCS encourages students to create new work, collaborate with peers across disciplines and develop ideas across a range of platforms, focused on equipping the next generation of artists and creative producers to make an impact in the world.

RCS alumni make their mark, on cinema and TV screens, backstage and onstage in theatres, concert halls, classrooms and everywhere in between.

They include actors James McAvoy, David Tennant, Sam Heughan and Ncuti Gatwa, global opera star Karen Cargill, Oscar-nominated screenwriter Krysty Wilson-Cairns, Hollywood composer Patrick Doyle, conductor Ryan Bancroft, guitarist Sean Shibe, and Nicola Killean, Sistema Scotland director and CEO.

James McAvoy attends the premiere of 20th Century Fox's Getty Images
James McAvoy attends the premiere of 20th Century Fox’s “Dark Phoenix”in June 2019.

Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, principal of RCS, said: “We know the convening power of the arts, their ability to share our stories and comment on the best and worst of the human condition.

“We’ve campaigned continuously to keep our arts alive throughout the pandemic for our conservatoire and for the whole of our nation.

“This recognition is a wonderful testament to the reliance, perseverance, and creative expression of our students, staff and wider community of supporters and I thank them all for their amazing efforts.”

Nick Kuenssberg, chair of RCS, said: “Scotland’s national conservatoire has delivered excellence in teaching for over 175 years and this latest recognition reinforces its reputation as a global leader in performing arts education and research.

“Despite the pandemic, yet again the conservatoire has been able to maintain its value set and continues to develop its pedagogy and unique combination of disciplines at the highest level.”