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Guildford School of Acting

United Kingdom


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7 Undergraduate programs
3 Postgraduate programs


Institution type Private
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About Guildford School of Acting

Part of the University of Surrey, Guildford School of Acting (GSA) is one of the most highly regarded theatre schools in the UK and arguably the foremost musical theatre school in the world.

As part of the University of Surrey’s School of Arts, GSA provides conservatoire-style training within a university environment. As a GSA student you will receive all the benefits of being part of one of the top universities in the country while training in our purpose-built studios.

We attract talented students from all over the world, many of whom go on to achieve success in theatre, film and television. Our very distinguished alumni include performers such as Brenda Blethyn OBE, Michael Ball OBE, Bill Nighy, Celia Imrie, and Justin Fletcher MBE.

GSA began life in 1935 when Bice Bellairs and Pauline Grant founded the Grant Bellairs School of Dance and Drama in West London.

There have been many changes at GSA since then, but the objective of the school is the same: We remain a vocational school for the performing arts, which combines industry level practice with academic rigour and cutting-edge practice-as-research. We train actors and directors (for stage, film and TV), musical theatre performers, stage managers, designers and technicians. Our association with the University means that we can continue to develop our world-class teaching and learning within a secure and beautiful environment and with the very best facilities.

GSA is a member of Drama UK, the Royal Television Society, ABTT, Stage Management Association and the Theatrical Managers’ Association.

Guildford is a major centre of learning, home to the GSA and the University of Surrey, as well as Guildford School of Law, Guildford College, several distinguished schools. It also boasts the renowned Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, which originates many productions for the West End stage.



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When you are choosing a University, the range, quality, location and cost of accommodation on offer will be important factors in making your final decision. Our Accommodation Office will help you find the right place to live, on or off Campus, at an affordable rent, throughout your time at the University of Surrey.

Staying in University accommodation will play a big part in your student life at Surrey. You will be sharing with students not only taking different courses, but also coming from many different parts of the world, introducing you to some great new friends and making unforgettable memories.

If you wish to apply, please ensure to read through our Conditions of Residence in the Residents Guide before making your application for accommodation, since they form an important part of your contract with the University.


GSA‘s new headquarters opened in 2010 at the entrance to the University of Surrey campus, comprising 15 purpose-built studios, 12 tutorial rooms, common spaces and a Starbucks coffee shop. TV and film skills are taught in the University’s professional film and television studios.

Productions are predominantly staged in the Ivy Arts Centre, opposite the GSAbuilding. The Ivy houses a 200-seat theatre and 50-seat studio space, as well as dance studios and rehearsal rooms. It is also fitted with professional-standard sound and lighting equipment and an extremely well stocked wardrobe department, as well as the paint and construction workshops.

GSA productions are also presented in theatres and venues in and around Guildford, giving students ample opportunity to experience a wide range of professional environments and facilities. These venues include the renowned Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, The Mill Studio and The Electric Theatre, a 180-seat adaptable performing space in the centre of town.

By Train
Guildford is on the main line between London Waterloo and Portsmouth. Half-hourly train services run from Guildford to Waterloo, with a journey time of around half-an-hour. 

Walking from the Station
Leave station by footbridge and rear (western) exit. Turn right from the station along Guildford Park Road and take the secondturning on the right (just past the Evangelical church). Follow thepath through the council car park to the campus.

Bus from the Station
ARRIVA buses (leave station by footbridge and rear (western)exit, cross main road to bus stop) operate a regular service to the campus. Services 3, 17, 27 and 37 run approximately every ten minutes during the day. 

Taxi from the Station
Taxis leave from the main (eastern) exit.

From London Heathrow Airport
Rail-air link coaches leave for Woking railway station from the Heathrow central bus station, which is a few minutes’ walk from Terminals 1, 2, and 3. The coaches call at Terminal 5, and there is a limited service from Terminal 4. Passengers using Terminals 4and 5 can transfer free to or from Heathrow Central (for the bus station) by the Heathrow Express or Heathrow Connect train.

Coaches run up to every 30 minutes and the journey time is approximately one hour. There are frequent trains from Woking to Guildford.

From London Gatwick Airport
Gatwick station is positioned in the South Terminal of the airport and provides direct rail-air link trains to Guildford hourly between approximately 5.15am (6am on Sundays) and 11pm. 

By Coach
National Express coach number SH030 runs services to and from the Egerton Road/Tesco stop (a short walk from the University). 

By Car to Stag Hill
Guildford is 30 miles south-west of London, on the A3 LondonPortsmouth road. If approaching from London or the M25 (Junction 10), remain on the bypass (A3) until you reach the exit signed to the Cathedral and University. The campus is very close to this junction. Simply follow the signs to the University, being careful not to follow signs to the town centre on the A322 or A323 from Bagshot or Aldershot, at the A3 roundabout take the exit signed to Portsmouth, and then turn off the A3 at the first exit (signed to the Cathedral and University).

If entering Guildford from Horsham (A281) or Godalming (A3100), leave the central gyratory system at the exit signed for Farnham (A31). After approximately 200 yards, at the mini-roundabout, take the first turning right into Guildford Park Road, and continue along Madrid Road and The Chase for a mile. At the next roundabout, take the third exit for the University entrance.

By Car to Manor Park and the Surrey Sports Park
Manor Park and the Surrey Sports Park are only a few minutes’ drive from the main Stag Hill campus. Go out of the main University entrance, straight ahead under the A3 and across the next two roundabouts into Gill Avenue, which also leads to the hospital and Research Park. Proceed to the top of Gill Avenue and turn left into Manor Park.

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