Elsie Fogerty founded The Central School of Speech Training and Dramatic Art at the Royal Albert Hall in 1906. While Central developed a name for actor training, its founder was at the same time committed to advancing the study of theatre as an academic discipline.
By 1961 three distinct departments had been established within Central. The Stage department was running its three-year course for actors. The Teacher Training department was preparing students for its own Diploma. And its Speech Therapy department for its work in training actors.
In 2004 the Privy Council granted the School the power to award its own taught degrees. In 2005 students from the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art transferred to CSSD after a 100-year history of significant contributions to stage and screen. In the same year Central was finally designated as the Higher Education Funding Council for England's Centre for Excellence in Training for Theatre.
With effect from September 2005 Central became a College of the University of London. At that moment it finally realised the ambitions articulated a hundred years earlier by its founder Elsie Fogerty.