Drama School vs. University: The Big Differences

02 August 2023

If you’re considering applying for our BA (Hons) in Production & Technical Arts through Clearing this summer, you might also be looking at university courses in the field.

Training at a specialist drama school like LAMDA offers a very different student experience from a traditional academic degree, and it’s worth weighing up the pros and cons of both so you can make the right decision for you. Here’s a handy guide to the big differences. 

1. Contact Hours

For a typical undergraduate BA degree at university, you can expect to spend around 9 hours a week in lectures and seminars, and the rest of the week on independent study. At LAMDA, our Production & Technical Arts students spend 35 hours or more each week doing supervised practical work on site. 

2. Entry Requirements

Most university courses ask for certain grades or subjects at A Level or equivalent to qualify for entry. There are no academic entry requirements for our Production & Technical Arts course, we’re simply looking for enthusiasm and a willingness to learn. 

3. Vocational Training

You’ll likely be expected to write essays or other academic work on a university course, and your submissions will determine your final grade at the end of the degree. Our training is highly vocational; students spend most of their time using our state-of-the-art facilities to learn new skills, and they’re graded on their practical work. 

4. Industry Links

Industry links vary from institution to institution. LAMDA is internationally recognised as a centre of excellence for drama training and has strong ties with the creative industries in the UK. Our Production & Technical Arts students undertake a six week placement in a professional environment with one of our industry partners. 

5. Size

At university, you’ll be studying alongside thousands of other students on a variety of different courses. Specialist institutions like drama schools tend to be much smaller. At LAMDA, there are around 300 full-time students with class sizes of 28.


Find out everything you need to know about applying for September 2023 entry to our BA (Hons) Production & Technical Arts course, and whether Clearing is the right choice for you.