Ways to Fund Your Performing Arts Training and Career

Funds, Bursaries and Awards you should know about to help to pursue your passion in the Arts.

We all know studying doesn't come cheap so it's reassuring to know that there is financial help available to help talented students, performers and theatremakers. We've listed some of the bursaries, scholarships and awards available to help cover the costs of studying or progressing your performing arts career.

Use these quick links to scroll to the section you need:

Pre-drama school training

Drama School education


Career Development

Support for Pre-drama School Training

16-19 Bursary Fund - Financial support up to £1200 for those in care, a care leaver or a receiver of certain benefits who study at a publicly funded school or college or are on an unpaid training course. The bursary can help with education-related costs such as lunch, equipment or transport to school/college.

Family Action - Education grants to help individuals on a low income/in receipt of benefits to begin their studies as well as supporting existing students to continue and complete their education.

Open Door - Provides financial support or resources to help prepare young people at the start of their training who want to pursue a career in acting, backstage or production arts. 

  • Age: 18-26 for Actors, 17-26 Behind the Scenes
  • Location: London, Essex, Sheffield, Rotherham and the East Midlands
  • More Information: opendoor.org.uk 

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland - Assisting prospective performers and producers with funding for development, training and pre-higher education activities to pursue a career in the performing arts.

  • Age: 16+
  • Location: Scotland
  • More information: rcs.ac.uk 

Funding Drama School

Agnes Allen Bursary - Provides support to young people and adult learners who need financial assistance to take short courses in dance, drama, music, production or screen. 

  • Age: Any
  • Location: Any
  • More Information: rcs.ac.uk

Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation - Offers a scholarship for one student at nine different dance, music and drama schools/colleges to cover course fees.

Dance and Drama Award (DaDA) - Helps talented students aged between 16-23 with fees and living costs at one of 17 private dance and drama schools.  

James McAvoy Drama Scholarships - Financial help for drama students with their tuition fees at Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS)

  • Age: 25 and under
  • Location: Scotland
  • More Information: rcs.ac.uk

National Youth Arts Trust - Grants music, dance and drama bursaries of up to £1000 to talented young people to pay for classes, tuition fees at drama school and other expenses.

Graduate Prizes

Alan Bates Award - Open to acting students who are graduating from drama school, the £5000 prize goes to one recipient to help launch their career. 

  • Age: Unknown
  • Location: Any but applicants must have the ability to work in the UK for 12 months following graduation
  • More Information: actorscentre.co.uk

Career Development Funds

Joseph Millson Bursary - Offers a bursary for anyone aged 22 and over who wants to act but hasn’t attended drama school or had the means or capability to explore their potential.

  • Age: 22+ 
  • Location: UK
  • More Information: actorscentre.co.uk (scroll down the page to find the information beneath the Alan Bates Award)

Stage One Bursary Award - Financial and practical assistance for theatre producers, who are Stage One members, to get their first productions up and running and to accelerate their development as a producer.

The acting industry can be tough and sometimes you may need some support during your career. If you don't qualify for any of the funding we've listed on this page then take a look at our list of fantastic charities who help performers who may be able to help you.

If you know of any other funds that we should add to our list then please let us know on Twitter @SpotlightUK or email [email protected].