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Cygnet Theatre

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Course Fees

3 Year Professional ActingIMG_3907
Three year (9 terms) starting September 2015 – July 2018

Fees are £2,500 per term.  There are 3 terms per year, resulting in 9 terms in total over your three years here. A refundable deposit of £2,500 is required to secure place.

2 Year Professional Acting
Two year (6 terms) starting September 2015 – July 2018

Fees are £2,500 per term.  There are 3 terms per year, resulting in 6 terms in total over your two years here. A refundable deposit of £2,500 is required to secure place.

1 year (3 Terms) Foundation Course Full Time
Three Term Foundation Course starting Sept 2015 – July 2015. Dependant on experience of applicant, this can be a 2 term course starting in January. See our Foundation Course page for more information.

Fees are £2,500 per term. There are 3 terms in this year, with the opportunity to join the Senior Company upon completion. A refundable deposit of £2,500 is required to secure place. Cygnet is currently looking for actors to join this unique ensemble for January/ September 2015. 

To apply: Cygnet Application Form


WomenTroy_10Cygnet cannot currently offer any help with finances- although in some cases our current students can apply to our Trustees in cases of financial hardship. There are other ways you can source funding for your training here. We advise all students to contact your local education authority via your Council in the first instance to find out what funding might be available for you to apply to. We are not an accredited course, therefore student loans and DADA awards cannot be applied for. However, you can apply for a Professional and Career Development Loan – for details click here.

Cygnet is not an accredited course because we choose to operate as a professional company to give our students practical experience in acting- resulting in longevity of their careers. Learning now how to apply for funding is beneficial to any actor’s career, and a valuable tool for anyone wanting to work within the industry.

It is possible to raise funds from charities, trusts and foundations, however it is a time consuming project and needs careful planning and research.  There are many ways of raising funds: applications to grant-making trusts and public bodies for grants and subsidies; and to commercial companies for sponsorship.

We also advise students to find out about local charities and charitable trusts that offer grants and donations to actors and students.


When applying for a grant, it is important to target prospective funders effectively.  Trusts, companies, local authorities, and statutory bodies do not respond well to circular letters or untargeted phone calls, and they are unlikely to succeed.  It is important to approach those funders whose priorities and concerns are directly relevant to your situation, needs and aims. 

Below is a list of organisations offering advice who can help applicants target appropriate funders and sponsors.

It is important to prepare funding applications carefully.  In applying to charities and trusts you need to be specific about how your needs and aims meet the objectives of the organisation.  Seek detailed advice on writing applications, and request any information and guidance notes that the charity or trust provides before making a written application.

Consider approaching local businesses or trusts that may support training in the arts: ask your local library for more information.  Try contacting trade unions and other professional bodies and approach family contacts that could be useful.  You could try approaching individuals in the profession, but remember that well known actors and directors receive hundreds of requests from students every year – what makes your application different?

Organisations Offering Advice


Association of Charitable Foundations
Tel: 020 7255 44992
Central House
Upper Woburn Walk
London  WC1H 0AE

The UK’s support organisation for grant making trusts and foundations of all types.  Contains useful information on the website but cannot give advice about individual applications, nor help grant-seekers find suitable funders.

Family Welfare Association
501-505 Kingsland Road
London E8 4AU
Set up to help students and parents by putting them in touch with likely sources of financial aid, also offering information about welfare grants. The Service advises students and parents faced with difficulties in their negotiations with LEAs and provide liaison with educational charities. There is also a useful online database which will search for charities appropriate for your course.

The Foundation for Sport and the Arts
Tel: 0151 259 5505
PO Box 20,
Liverpool  L13 1HB
Occasionally makes awards for dance and drama studies.

The University of London Careers Service
Stewart House
32 Russell Square
London  WC1B 5DN
Maintains a reference library containing information from various educational trusts and foundations who may offer assistance to students,


endowed scholarships and details and guidance on all grants available from LEAs.

Arts & Humanities Research Board (AHRB)
Tel: 0117 987 6544
Whitefriars,Lewins Mead
Bristol  BS1 2AE
Administers a scheme of postgraduate professional and vocational awards.

The Central Advisory for Trusts and Scholarships
7-11 Kensington High Street
London  W8 5NP

Centre for Creative Communities
Tel: 0845 111 1711
Regent House Business Centre
24/25 Nutford Place
London W1H 5YN
Library which you can use by appointment.  Mon – Thurs, 10am-4pm.

A Dolls House_2706_33Charitable Trusts and Foundations

Below is a list of some charitable trusts and Foundations that have awarded grants to students in the past.  However it is not a definitive list and you should also refer to the books and directories of Trusts and Foundations listed below.

The Altrusa Careers Trust
PO Box 6160,
Orkney KW16 3HA
The Trust was established to help women in the UK and Eire further their career prospects or to retrain after bringing up a family. Present loan maximum is £500. Applications received are reviewed after 31 March each year.

The Crescent Trust
Tel: 020 7730 5420
The Crescent Trust
27a Sloane Square
London  SW1W 8AB
Contact Ms C Akehurst

Equity Trust Fund
Tel: 020 7404 6041
222 Africa House
64 Kingsway
London  WC2B 6BD
Only able to help professional performers, but some students may be able to meet the criteria set by the trust.

Fame Academy Bursary to fund West End Dreams
Tel: 020 8576 8043
Offering up to 20 awards worth a total of £150,000 to aspiring performers to kick start or continue their musical theatre studies.  Open for applications early spring.

The Fenton Arts TrustA Dolls House_2706_14
PO Box 135, East Horsley, Surrey KT24 9AB

Grants are made towards the creative arts, principally painting and drama.  Applications in writing to Ms Shelley Baxter.

The Follett Trust
Tel: 01934 838337
17 Chescombe Road
Bristol  BS19 4EE
Contact M D Follett.

Mackintosh Foundation
Tel: 020 7637 8866
1 Bedford Square
London  WC1B 3RA
Awards scholarships to promote and develop theatre and the performing arts.

The Rosemary Bugden Charitable Trust
Tel: 0117 917 3922
Osbourne Clarke
50 Queen Charlotte Street
Bristol  BS1 4HE
Contact J W Sharpe. Funding for performing arts in U.K

A Dolls House_2706_23smallSydney Dean Whitehead’s Charitable Trust
Moore Stephens
Moore Sephens
30 Gay Street
Tel: 01225 486100
Fax: 01225 448198
Ernest & Young
Sydney Dean Whitehead’s Charitable Trust
1 Barbirolli Square
Manchester ME 3EY
Apply to the Secretary, in writing (including SAE).  The trustees apply their funds towards supporting parents with the educational costs of their children and respond more readily to appeals relating to children with special talents, particularly in the artistic fields.  They also respond more readily to appeals which show that there is an element of self-help already in operation and where a lack of finance could preclude children from receiving the type of education their particular ‘gift’ merits.

The Sidney Perry Foundation
PO Box 2924
Faringdon   SN7 7YJ
Assistance to those of great promise, under 35 at the start of their course, who would be unable to proceed with their studies through lack of means. Average grant in the region of £500. Application form available from Mrs L A Owens enclosing a stamped, self-addressed envelope.

The Talbot House Trust
White Horse Court
25C North Street
Bishop’s Stortford
Hertfordshire  CM23 2LD
Assistance for individuals undertaking courses in the performing arts.
Grants to help with the cost of equipment/instruments, fees or maintenance/living expenses. No grants are made to Postgraduates.Forms should be submited by March for consideration in May. Contact: Mrs Jane Day.

Winterbourne Charitable Trust
9 Wilton Row
London SW1X 7NR
Contact  A S D Barrett.

Helpful BooksStrawberries in Jan_24

Some of the books listed should be available in large public libraries, many of them can be purchased from the Directory of Social Change (DSC) including the Educational Grants Directory, A Guide to the Major Trusts, Grants for Individuals in Need and The Arts Funding Guide.

The Educational Grants Directory
By Michael Eastwood and David Casson.

Available from Directory of Social Change Ltd, 24 Stephenson Way, London NW1 2DP.  020 7391 4800

Sponsorship for Students
This publication lists 2,500 scholarships and bursaries from 200 different organisations.

Published and distributed by Hobsons Publishing plc (in conjuction with COIC/CRAC )  Available from:  Customer Services, Biblios PDS Ltd.  Star Road, Partridge Green, West Sussex RH13 8LD.

The Grants Register
This publication lists over 4,000 awards for students studying both in the UK and abroad.

Published yearly by Palgrave Macmillan Reference Ltd.

Available from: or Palgrave Macmillan , Houndsmill, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 6XS

The Directory of Grant Making Trusts
Published by the Charities Aid Foundation.

Available at most public libraries and from Directory of Grant Making Trusts, Kingshill, West Malling, Kent ME19 4TA

Sponsorship and Funding Directory
Published annually by Hobsons.  Listing of employers and companies offering sponsorship and placement opportunities.

Available from:  Hobsons, Bateman Street, Cambridge CB2 1LZ.

Charities Digest
Contains a chapter on education which includes details of scholarships.

Available from

Money To Study: The Complete Guide to Student Finance
Available from Family Welfare Association, 501-505 Kingsland Road, Dalston, London E8 4AU

IMG_8936Useful Websites

The Stage Advice


Grants for Actors

Professional and Career Development Loan

The Actor’s Guild

For further queries please contact Cygnet office on 01392 277189