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The Rose Bruford story – A spirit of collaboration

What binds all students together is their passionate determination to make their own innovative – sometimes radical – impact on the communal world of theatre and performance. 

Be a part of history

In 1950, Rose Bruford – a trained actress and verse and speech teacher who taught at the Royal Academy of Music – founded a unique drama school that unified theatre practice and drama education into one curriculum. She aimed to train actors who could teach and teachers who could act. Her college, dedicated at first to the training of drama teachers, officially opened on July 6, 1951 as The Rose Bruford Training College for Speech and Drama. The acting work then, as now, was based on the theories and principles of Konstantin Stanislavski.

Rose was part of a pioneering British post-war movement that saw theatre training as more than an elite, privileged activity. Her school, and its famous Theatre Arts programme, produced practitioners with an informed view of their responsibilities as communicators and educators. Graduates were teachers and theatre workers who were fluent in the theory and practice of theatre making. In 1976, the College created and began offering the first UK Honours Degree in professional acting and theatre practice.

Rose Bruford was interested in the community of theatre and the role of the theatre in the life of the community. She and every Principal to succeed her have led an institution that has produced graduates who have made significant contributions to the development of theatre production and practice and theatre education worldwide. Today, the international scope of the College is significant.

While much has changed at the College since its founding, especially with the addition of more BA and MA programmes and professional programmes in performance and technical arts, Rose Bruford’s pioneering philosophy and vision are still at the heart of its mission. Students from different walks of life study at our campus in Sidcup or by distance learning in other parts of the world. At undergraduate level, our programmes provide specialist pathways into the creative industries alongside opportunities to study particular styles and genres of theatre practice. Our postgraduate students are developing and extending their knowledge into advanced areas of theatre, theory and performance, and the postgraduate programmes we offer provide platforms for research and innovative theatre making.

Tradition & innovation

At the heart of all work at Rose Bruford College is a spirit of collaboration. We embrace the broadest range of performing arts and skills-based training, providing an educational experience that offers all students the breadth of transferable skills and the depth of knowledge required to be successful in a rapidly changing world.

What binds all students together is their passionate determination to make their own innovative – sometimes radical – impact on the communal world of theatre and performance.

Rose Bruford

Rose Bruford Statement of academic & artistic freedom

Rose Bruford College defends the principle of freedom of thought, practice and expression within its academic and artistic community, while recognising its responsibilities in promoting tolerance, mutual respect, and cultural understanding. Material is chosen for study and performance on the basis of its value in examining a broad range of practices and ideas. From time to time, such study material may challenge students’ perspectives and values. The College expects students to engage with chosen material without censorship, and encourages a spirit of openness, recognition of creative expression and intellectual debate. At the same time it seeks to ensure that the choice, interpretation and treatment of such material is not gratuitous, exploitative or illegal.