RNCM Launches UK’s First Four-Year Degree in Popular Music

The RNCM is launching the UK’s first ever four-year BMus (Hons) Degree in Popular Music this week.

The course, one of only three four-year popular music degrees in the world (alongside Amsterdam Conservatorium and Berklee College of Music), provides intensive training for instrumentalists and singers with a high level of performing ability who intend to work as freelance musicians, bands and artists in the popular music industry, or as a preparation for postgraduate study.


Delivered at the RNCM, Blueprint Studios and Lever Street Studios, students will work with teaching staff who are high-standard academics and active professionals in the music industry, working as session musicians, producers, songwriters, recording artists, composers, music directors, managers, promoters and performers in their own right.

Andy Stott, Head of Popular Music at the College, said: ‘I believe there’s a revolution going on in Manchester, driven by the creative talents of the popular music students at the RNCM. We find ourselves in a unique position – offering the UK’s first four-year BMus Popular Music Degree while enjoying all the benefits of a world-class conservatoire in a city with a rich musical heritage and dynamic popular music scene.

Evolving from two year Foundation and three year BA (Hons) Degrees to a single four-year course that sits alongside the College’s classical degree programmes, the new BMus (Hons) in Popular Music seeks to develop students’ musical identity through creative composition, production and performance-based modules that enables them to be high quality performers and original artists in their own right.

Session Orchestraedit

‘What is also exciting is the amount of collaboration that is going on at the RNCM with students from across all disciplines – this is again unique to the College,’ said Andy. ‘There’s a tangible energy around the popular musicians working with orchestral players and they are producing some inspirational new music on a level that is creating a real buzz and lots of industry interest.

‘Our core purpose is to enable these talented young people, from across the world, to fulfil their potential as musicians. Through dedicated coaching, a thorough academic grounding and extensive performance experience, our students thrive and succeed. We have the opportunity and ambition to cultivate what is already the UK’s premier training programme for popular musicians into one of the world’s leading centres for popular music education, innovation and artistic development. Our students are our biggest asset, and it won’t be long before they become leading lights in the UK’s popular music industry – trained in Manchester.’

Applications are now open for study commencing September 2016. 


27 September 2015