Join Guildhall Short Courses & Summer Schools to:
- have fun, whilst learning and developing new skills
- have access to the professional tutors and world-class resources of Guildhall School
- get a taste of what it's like to be a part of Guildhall School
- explore a passion, build on existing knowledge, or develop your professional career
We offer a wide range of Short courses and Summer schools across music, drama, production arts and in other art forms (writing, poetry, visual arts and more). Whether you’re thinking about learning something completely new, exploring a hobby or passion, or just brushing up on existing skills, we have something for you. Every year we are joined by hundreds of participants of all ages and from all over the world.
We also offer a programme of online short courses so you can take part in courses from the comfort of your own home. From acting to music production, each online course has been created to ensure that they are just as exciting, enriching and memorable as they would be within our building.
Specific details about the age range of each course are listed on their respective webpages.
If you have any accessibility requirements (e.g. for a disability or specific learning difficulty) please contact us so we can discuss any alternative arrangements to assist you.
Guildhall School is located in the very heart of one of the most exciting cities in the world.
Our in-person short courses take place across the School’s campus, including our state-of-the-art venue Milton Court and our iconic Silk Street building. Local off-site spaces may occasionally be used. The School is situated a stone’s throw away from a number of central London attractions such as the Barbican Centre, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Museum of London, among others.
Our online short courses are accessible to participants from all over the world. They use platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Moodle to host live sessions and resources. Further details are specified on individual course pages and 'how to' guides are sent in advance of the courses.
We are delighted to be running in-person short courses again, and are planning on delivering our 2022 Easter and Summer Schools programme featuring both in-person and online courses.
We are following the latest advice from the UK government, Public Health England and the NHS. If we are no longer able to offer our programmes in person, we will contact participants as soon as possible. During these unprecedented circumstances, our first priority continues to be the health, safety and welfare of all our participants, staff and visitors.
Yes, participants who attend at least 80% of the classes will receive a digital certificate of completion at the end of the course, featuring the Guildhall School’s logo, stating the course and the period when they attended. But please note that our short courses and summer schools are not accredited, there is no formal assessment and no qualification issued at the end of the courses.
Most courses do not require preparation in advance, but where preparation is required we will send out details before the start of your course.
Meals are not provided as part of the courses unless specified in the course description. There are many options of shops and cafes available locally.
More information about dining options when staying in Sundial Court during selected summer schools is available on the Accommodation page.
You can book directly online from the individual course pages by clicking ‘Book Now’.
Some courses may require an application before you can book. Details and application links can be found on the individual course pages.
Places are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. A course will close if maximum capacity has been reached. Places are limited on courses so early booking is advised.
For the majority of courses, bookings will close one week before a course is due to start. Courses with a longer application process (such as Acting Summer Schools, Composition Summer Course or Vocal Summer School) will close earlier.
If spaces are available, you will be able to book the course online. Once the course has reached maximum capacity, this will be noted on the website course page and a waiting list will be available.
Yes, you can book as many short courses as you like as long as the dates of the courses do not clash with each other. Package deals are available for some courses; see individual course pages for more details.
Many courses are open to people of all experience levels and you only need to complete the online booking form and payment to confirm your place. Some more advanced level courses require you to apply by answering a few questions about your relevant experience or to submit an audio or video recording to demonstrate your ability. To learn more about the entry requirements for each course, please visit the dedicated course pages.
In-person Short Courses & Summer Schools: COVID-19 Guidance
The School has put in place a series of measures to ensure a COVID safe working and training environment for staff and participants. Our first priority continues to be the health, safety and welfare of all our participants and staff, and we are following the latest advice from the UK government to help limit the risk of COVID-19 infection.
There is a risk of the transmission of Covid–19 in any environment where people gather. This risk increases in enclosed spaces and with increased numbers of people.
The safety measures that have been introduced and are changing with UK government guidance are intended to minimise the risk of contracting COVID-19 but this risk cannot be completely eradicated. By attending a course or booking accommodation in Sundial, you are acknowledging that an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. Participants and residents attending a short course or staying in Sundial acknowledge that they do so at their own risk.
COVID-19 protocols and safety measures - updated 31 March 2022
- While face coverings are no longer legally required, the wearing of face coverings in our buildings continues to be encouraged.
- Social distancing is not required, though please be aware of others’ personal space.
- If you test positive you should still refrain from coming into the School and please contact the Short Courses Team at firstname.lastname@example.org to inform us. Anyone with symptoms should stay at home and not enter the School or take part in any face-to-face activity.
- Cleaning and hand sanitiser regimes remain in place.
- Please clean shared instruments before and after you use them.
- Practise good hand hygiene, using our sanitiser stations
You are encouraged to wear a face covering when moving around the buildings and in public areas unless you are exempt.
If you are exempt from wearing a face covering, you can pick up a sunflower lanyard from Front Desk/Stage Door. Sunflower lanyards are a discreet sign, recognised across the UK, that the wearer may have a hidden disability.
Rigorous hygiene cleaning regimes continues. Sanitiser stations are available at entrance points and in other communal spaces, and we encourage everyone to practise good hand hygiene.
‘Clean as you go’ for practice rooms remains in place, with specialist piano wipes for shared pianos available from the front desks.
For any instrument that is borrowed from the School collection, the player must take full responsibility for cleaning it, both before and after use.
Staff and participants are no longer required by government to test twice weekly, and should follow testing advice for the general population. Please note we are no longer able to provide kits for collection.
If you test positive, you should stay at home while you're infectious to others.
You can do a rapid lateral flow test from 5 days after your symptoms started (or the day you had the test if you do not have symptoms) and another the next day.
If both tests are negative and you do not have a high temperature, you can go back to your normal routine, and return to School.
If your test result is positive on day 5, you can carry on doing rapid lateral flow tests every day until you get 2 negative test results in a row. It is also important that you inform the Short Courses Team.
Yes, please inform the Short Courses Team if you are unwell and cannot engage with in-person or online activity, if you are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19.
If you are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms or test positive, please do not come into the School and follow self-isolation guidance.
If you are residing in Sundial Court please also notify the Chaperones Team who will advise you on how to self-isolate in Sundial Court.
- If you need medical advice about your symptoms please call 111 or visit the NHS online coronavirus service.
- If you feel very unwell or think there’s something seriously wrong, you must call 999 as soon as possible.
- If you are at home, don’t come into the School and follow self-isolation guidance from Public Health England.
- If you are on site, please stay where you are and contact a member of the Short Courses team who will transfer you to the dedicated First Aid Room.
You can find general guidance on when to self isolate and what to do on the government website.
If you have been advised to self-isolate and are unable to come into the School to attend your course, please contact Short Courses.
We will only inform you if there has been a positive case if it is immediately relevant to your area of study.
Our in-person Short Courses and Summer Schools are open to international participants. If you are joining us from abroad please ensure that you comply with the UK Government guidelines before travelling. Anyone found to be in breach of travel regulations applicable at the time of the course date will be removed from the course and lose their course fee.
In the event of the border between your country and the UK being officially closed by either the UK government or the government of your country we will refund your course fee. We are not able to refund any travel and/or accommodation costs you have incurred, and recommend that you have appropriate travel insurance in place. Please be aware that you may need to quarantine on arrival to the UK and include this in your planning. If quarantine requirements change and you wish to withdraw from the course, our terms and conditions will apply.
Please see our terms and conditions for full details.
In the event of a further lockdown or changes to the rules it may not be possible for us to run courses in-person. We will inform participants with as much notice as possible and refund the course fee if your course has to be cancelled. We are not able to refund any travel and/or accommodation costs you have incurred, and recommend that you have appropriate travel insurance in place. Please see our terms and conditions for full details.
Our buildings are located in central London, next door to the Barbican Centre. Follow the latest advice on the UK government website to ensure your own safety, in light of COVID-19. Further information on how to travel to the School.
Government advice states that the risk of air conditioning systems spreading coronavirus is extremely low, and organisations can continue to use most type of air conditioning and ventilations systems as normal.
Our Engineering Department has completed a risk assessment of natural and mechanical ventilation systems in relation to coronavirus, and has taken the following steps to ensure ventilation risks are as low as possible:
- We have changed the settings of our systems so that we are putting 100% fresh air through our ventilation systems, which constantly pump external fresh air into our buildings. This reduces the risk of airborne transmission and provides much more fresh air than our usual operation of these systems.
- We’re avoiding using any systems that recirculate air from one area to another and won’t operate any plant if we consider the risk of running it to be higher than switching it off.
- We inspect filters every month and replace as necessary, alongside carrying out regular maintenance of our ventilation systems.
- Ahead of reopening, we have changed our extraction method so the air that is extracted from the rooms in our buildings is directed straight outside, rather than back into the building.
The above steps are being taken to keep participants, staff and students as safe as possible. It will mean that it may be harder to control the temperature and humidity in areas, and you may experience minor discomfort because of draughts or changes in temperature humidity (for example, more fresh air directly from outside). Despite this, where there are local controls, we kindly request that you do not switch equipment on/off or close windows and vents in order to keep risks associated with ventilations systems as low as possible.
Online Short Courses & Summer Schools
To participate in online classes you will need the following:
- An email address
- A reliable internet connection
- A laptop/tablet/desktop computer with a microphone and camera (most have these included)
- Speakers/headphones (the speakers in your laptop/tablet/computer should be sufficient for most courses)
- A fully updated web browser able to use the most up to date version of Zoom, or a fully updated Zoom client
For some courses (e.g. music performance, sound engineering) you may find an external microphone or good quality headphones useful. These will be indicated on the course page.
Additional materials or equipment may be required for some courses, for example, a set text. Details can be found on individual course pages.
Specific platforms are used to deliver these courses such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Moodle. These are detailed on the course webpages and all are free to access.
Courses consist of a variety of content including live online sessions with course tutors, forums to discuss topics with other participants, and access to specifically created resources.
You will receive specific information for your course, and instructions and login details for the appropriate platforms in advance of your course.
The Zoom session link will be sent to you an hour before your session.
Additional information and resources between each week may be emailed to you or hosted on Moodle. Any resources hosted on Moodle will be accessible for at least four weeks after the last course session.
Please make sure you check your emails, including your junk and spam folders.
Your username is the email address you used to sign up for the course.
There is a 'Forgot Password' link under the login box on Moodle. This will allow you to reset your password.
Please ensure you have read through the PDFs you were sent ahead of the course, but if you don't see your issue addressed here, please contact us and a member of our team will respond as soon as possible.
Accommodation is available in Sundial Court for some of our summer schools. If accommodation is available on a course, the information and fee options will be indicated on the course page.
Sundial Court is our secure gated facility that serves as the School's term-time halls of residence. Sundial Court is located on Chiswell Street, a minute’s walk from Guildhall School’s teaching spaces where the summer schools are taking place, and a stone’s throw away from many central London attractions such as the Barbican Centre, St Paul’s Cathedral and Tate Modern.
Accommodation options can be selected and paid for during the booking process.
No, we do not have a service for collection or drop-off at airports or train stations. You will be required to make your own arrangements to travel to Guildhall School and Sundial Court.
We are not able to recommend other local accommodation providers, but there are many hotels and other accommodation options within walking distance of Guildhall School. We are located in central London, 5–10 minutes walk from Barbican, Moorgate and Liverpool Street stations.
Chaperones, Short Courses & Summer Schools Assistants
Chaperones, Short Courses and Summer Schools assistants are current Guildhall students or recent graduates. They are fully DBS checked, first-aid trained and receive safeguarding training.
Our team of Chaperones, led by an experienced Lead Chaperone, reside in Sundial Court for the duration of our summer schools. They act as the first point of contact for any safeguarding concerns, as well as being available for any general enquiries in Sundial Court.
Chaperones are responsible for the pastoral care of under-18 residential participants staying in Sundial Court.
Our Short Courses and Summer Schools assistants are present during courses to supervise under-18 participants outside of scheduled course activities and during breaks.
We recruit a ratio of one Chaperone per twelve under-18 residents, plus a Lead Chaperone who supervises the team.
Short Courses and Summer Schools Assistants
Short Courses and Summer Schools assistants will be stationed in relevant Guildhall School buildings foyers throughout the courses to help participants with navigation, and to answer general enquiries. They will be present during breaks on the School premises outside of scheduled course activity.
Chaperones and Sundial Court
All residential participants under the age of 18 are supervised by Chaperones while staying in Sundial Court outside of course activity, unless:
- we receive a Release Form from the parent/guardian stating that they are allowed to be unsupervised until the 9pm curfew
- we receive a Leave of Absence form from the parent/guardian
- they are moving between Guildhall sites, such as when returning to Sundial Court for dinner after finishing class
- if you would like your child to be chaperoned when moving between sites please contact us in advance to make arrangements.
More information about supervision and timings will be sent in advance of the courses.
Guildhall School’s Short Courses & Summer Schools are open to all - anybody can book them (subject to the entry requirements), whether domestic or international applicants and the course fees are the same for everybody.
Classes are taught in English so it is important that you have sufficient English language skills to cope with the course demands. All courses require good speaking and listening skills, and some courses also require good writing and reading skills (for example, those courses working with complex texts such as Shakespeare).
We do not require proof of language qualifications, but we would recommend that all participants should have at least B2 proficiency as defined by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). This is roughly equivalent to IELTS level 6 and above.
If you are not sure if your English skills are sufficient, CEFR has a self-assessment table for English that may help you decide.
Please note that translation assistance is not available.
You may need to obtain a visa prior to entry to the UK if you are a visa national or upon entry to the UK if you are a non-visa national. It is each participant’s responsibility to have the right documentation. If you do not have a valid visa, you will not be allowed to study at Guildhall School.
The UK government has a visa checking tool, which recommends the type of visa you will need to apply for and the appropriate documentation you will need for entry into the UK.
Further information on the restrictions and conditions associated with each type of international student visa is available on the UK Council for International Student Affairs website.
If you live outside the UK, you are not entitled to free NHS healthcare. You should take out appropriate personal health or travel insurance before travelling to the UK. Please also check if a reciprocal healthcare agreement exists between the UK and your country.
Further information can be found on these webpages:
- How charges for NHS healthcare apply to overseas visitors (UK Government website)
- Visitors from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) (NHS website)
We do not have a service for collection or drop off at airports or train stations. Participants are required to make their own arrangements to travel to Guildhall School and Sundial Court.
Information for citizens of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland after Brexit.
It is each participant’s responsibility to have the right documentation for study in the UK.
If you are from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you do not need a visa to study in the UK for courses up to 6 months if you are studying at an accredited institution.
However, you should check the UK government website to ensure you have the appropriate documentation for entry into the UK. The UK government has a visa checking tool, which will confirm your visa-free status and what documentation you need to bring.
Further information can be found on the UK Government website under Studying in the UK: guidance for EU students.
If you live outside the UK, you are not entitled to free NHS healthcare. You should take out appropriate personal health or travel insurance before travelling to the UK.
Further information can be found on these webpages:
- How charges for NHS healthcare apply to overseas visitors (UK Government website)
- Visitors from EU countries, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland (NHS website)
Please also check if a reciprocal healthcare agreement exists between the UK and your country.
Giving a Short Course or Summer School as a Gift
Yes, you can purchase a place on a course as a gift to somebody else. Please fill in the booking form with the details of the person attending the course rather than the person booking it. You can then proceed through to the payment section and make the payment yourself.
If you would like to keep the gift a secret in the first instance, please use your email address on the booking form as you will receive a confirmation email when the place is booked. You will then need to provide the attendee's email address in advance of the course to us so that the necessary information can be sent out. Please contact us to update the contact details to those of the attendee.
We offer a number of Participation Bursaries for certain courses that are available to applicants who meet our eligibility criteria.
If you are not eligible for a participation bursary, you can try searching for funding opportunities on the following websites:
- British Council: study-uk.britishcouncil.org/scholarships
- Unigrants: www.unigrants.co.uk
- Money Saving Expert: www.moneysavingexpert.com/family/grants-education/