We are The Arden, a drama school in Manchester that trains the actors, dancers, singers, performers, producers, and theatre-makers of the future. We are a family, a collective, a network of artists and creatives, and we are proud to do things differently.

When we were first established in association with The Royal Exchange Theatre, we were one of the first establishments in the UK to offer vocational, degree level theatrical courses. Our founder, Robert S Ely, had a vision of excellence and innovation and we continue that legacy through the delivery of our first class programmes taught by industry-facing lecturers.

We have incredible and long-established links with theatre companies and industry professionals across Manchester and the North West. Theatres such as HOME, The Lowry, Hope Mill, and 53Two not only know us, they actively support our work, our staff, and our students. Our reputation precedes us, and this presents our students with some fantastic opportunities and experiences. 

Our aim is simple; we produce independent, work-ready performers with the confidence to face the industry and the courage to create their own work. We do this by actively seeking students with the potential to become self-reliant practitioners, to gain a robust knowledge of their art form, to make a positive impact on the industry.

We recognise how special we are, how unique our offer to our students is, and we promise to continue to deliver the highest quality programmes by rewriting the rules of drama school training.

City Campus Manchester

60 Great Ducie Street


Located just a 2 minute walk from Manchester Victoria Station, and opposite the AO Arena.

Explore our facilities