College Documents


The Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) was established in 1973 as an amalgamation of two Manchester-based music Colleges (the Royal Manchester College of Music and the Northern School of Music), each with its own long and illustrious history. The College occupies a single site just south of the centre of the City of Manchester, between The University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University, both of which enjoy excellent relationships and collaborations with the RNCM.

Legal and charitable status

The RNCM is an independent corporation, established as a Higher Education Corporation under the terms of the Education Reform Act 1988, and operating within the provisions of an Instrument of Government made by the Privy Council in May 1993 under the terms of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992. As a recipient of substantial public funding and by virtue of its educational objectives, it is an exempt charity, with the Office for Students (OfS) acting as its Principal Regulator.

Governance arrangements

The members of the HEC constitute the Board of Governors of the RNCM, the activities of which the Corporation has been established to conduct, and whose objects, powers and framework of governance are set out in its Articles of Government, the current version of which was approved by the Board of Governors (‘the Board’) in July 2011, and by the Privy Council in October 2011. The Board is also, in relation to the charitable activities of the RNCM, its Trustee Board. Members of the Board are therefore the Trustees of the RNCM, and of its two Trust Funds, each of which is a separate charity registered with the Charity Commission. Links to corporate documents and to further information are provided alongside.

Financial statements

The RNCM’s current Consolidated Financial Statements, and those of the previous four years are available alongside.

Public value

The RNCM is aware of its responsibilities as a charity to act for the public benefit and has had due regard to the Charity Commission’s public benefit guidance. The Purpose of the RNCM, as set out in the Articles of Government, is ‘to educate and train musicians to the highest level in an environment that is both stimulating and rich in opportunity, for the benefit of individuals and society at large’. A link to the current Public Benefit Statement is provided alongside.

Access Agreement

An access agreement sets out the fees the College intends to charge and how it intends to safeguard and promote fair access to Higher Education through its outreach work and financial support. This will include activities to support the recruitment and retention of under-represented groups at the College. The RNCM’s Access Agreements can be found in the Downloads section of this page, grouped by academic year. 

The access agreement must include information on:

  • Fee limits
  • Access programmes, student success procedures and retention measures the College will put in place
  • The estimated cost of these access, success and retention measures
  • Targets and milestones
  • How the College will inform students about bursaries and other financial support
  • How the College plans to monitor the effectiveness of its access, success and retention initiatives.

The access agreement has to be renewed every year and is approved and monitored by The Office for Fair Access (OFFA). 

OFFA is an independent, non-departmental public body which promotes and safeguards fair access to higher education for lower income and other under-represented groups. OFFA does this by approving and monitoring access. All publicly funded providers of higher education in England that wish to charge tuition fees above the basic level have to submit an access agreement to OFFA for approval.


The principal place of business and the address of the RNCM is:

Royal Northern College of Music
124 Oxford Road
M13 9RD

Any enquiries regarding the charitable status of the RNCM should be directed in the first instance to the Clerk to the Board.