Access & Participation

Supported Application Scheme workshop participants

Access & Participation intro

Access and Participation activity is designed to:

  • encourage undergraduate applications, dismantling and dispelling barriers to applying, for those who are currently underrepresented in the School’s student population;
  • increase familiarity with the School and confidence with audition and interview processes;
  • instil a feeling of belonging in all participants, creating long-lasting and supportive communities;
  • provide skill development opportunities, raising participants’ confidence in their creative abilities, and supporting them to realise their aspirations;
  • offer an insight to the Guildhall School teaching style, ensuring applicants are well equipped to make decisions about their future studies – irrespective of whether this eventually includes formal study at the School;
  • ensure children and young people have funded access to high-quality performing arts training, particularly in music where this can come at considerable expense to families;
  • support current students to succeed at the School, whether through financial support, practical guidance on learning or careers, or as a safe and friendly space for advice.

To achieve these objectives, we run a number of free schemes and projects for eligible young people, applicants and students.

You can find out more about the Access and Participation Plan which informs this work in our Executive Summary.

Access and Participation Plan Executive Summary.pdf


Access activities

Opportunities for children, young people and those interested in studying at Guildhall in the future include:

Image shows a student rigging lighting in a theatre.

Get Backstage

Get Backstage introduces young people to our Production Arts programmes, offering hands-on workshops to try some of the skills and techniques we teach students, and providing information about the many career pathways available to graduates.

Young musicians playing brass instruments.

Guildhall Young Artists Access Bursaries

Guildhall School commits significant funding to music training bursaries in our under 18 centres, awarded annually to ensure that children are able to access sustained, high quality music training, irrespective of their financial circumstances.

Actors dancing in a movement class

Monologue Bootcamp

Monologue Bootcamp, run in collaboration with Leeds Conservatoire, prepares future Acting applicants for drama school audition processes, equipping them with the skills to help choose, interpret and deliver a monologue.

Originate cohort 2022


This collaborative project, in partnership with RADA, Theatre Peckham and Young and Talented, offers 18 young actors in London eight months of free training, culminating in an industry showcase.

student playing drums

Participation Bursaries

We offer full and half bursaries to eligible applicants for a number of short courses that take place in the spring and summer term, providing a taste of what it is like to study at the School.

Supported Application Scheme workshop participants

Supported Application Scheme

The Supported Application Scheme offers eligible undergraduate applicants a free application, advice and guidance, invitations to events, performances and workshops, travel bursary support for auditions, free tickets to shows and a £350 start-up fund on enrolment for successful applicants.

Support for new and current students

In addition to significant support for children, young people and applicants, the Access and Participation team also provide support to current undergraduate students who are underrepresented in higher education.

Contact us

You can email the Access and Participation Team at Our office hours are 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday.


Impact and Evaluation

Guildhall School of Music & Drama’s continued success in Access and Participation relies on effective evaluation and reporting to the Office for Students.

Read our regulatory reports, containing information submitted annually to the Office for Students, and project level reports, which outline statistics, successes and next steps. Please note that this is a developing area of work for the Access and Participation team - further reports will be published in due course.

Access and Participation - Impact Report 2019-20.pdf