Entrance Requirements

Our entrance requirements for all courses are listed below.

If you need any assistance, please email admissions@rncm.ac.uk or telephone +44 (0)161 907 5210/5465.

Undergraduate requirements

BMus (UCAS Conservatoires code: 300F)

Applicants must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age on 31 December in their year of entry.
  • Have passes at GCE A level (A2) in a minimum of two subjects at grade E or above, normally including music, and passes in three different subjects at GCSE level (Grades A*-C) or acceptable equivalent.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must have IELTS 5.5 or equivalent in each and every component (or CEFR B2).
  • Pass an RNCM audition in the year prior to entry demonstrating a high standard of performance (composition ability for composers) and potential, of at least ABRSM Grade 8 standard.

Candidates with Scottish or Irish qualifications and those with other qualifications (for example, BTEC, NVQ) should contact Admissions on 0161 9075 210/465 or email admissions@rncm.ac.uk

International students should also refer to the international student entry requirements.


BMus (Hons) 3-year intensive pathway*

Applicants for the 3-year pathway should apply for the standard 4-year BMus (Hons) on UCAS Conservatoires.

Applicants must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age on 31 December in the year of entry.
  • Have passes at GCE A level (or equivalent) in at least three different subjects, normally including Music at grades AAB.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must have IELTS 5.5 or equivalent in each and every component (or CEFR B2).
  • Pass in the Diploma in Music Performance of the ABRSM (DipABRSM), or a Level 4 equivalent, normally in the Principal Study instrument. This must be achieved either by 30 April prior to September entry to the programme, or by means of the annual special DipABRSM examination held at the RNCM (normally April/May with results in June).


GRNCM/MusB (Hons) (UCAS Conservatoires code 399F)

This course is designed for students with outstanding practical and academic ability, and is run in collaboration with The University of Manchester. Numbers on the course are strictly limited and entry is highly competitive. For three years students follow the University’s MusB Honours Programme, concurrently with the GRNCM Diploma which is made up of the Principal Study and Professional Skills of the RNCM’s BMus (Hons) Programme. Applicants should also consult the prospectus of The University of Manchester.

GRNCM/MusB applicants must:

  • Have a high level of performing/compositional ability
  • Have a high profile of grades in GCE A levels (e.g. AAA), normally including Music. Equivalents to A-levels (as determined by The University of Manchester Admissions Department) are allowed where such examinations are not normally available.
  • Applicants are normally expected to have achieved ABRSM Grade 8.
  • For applicants whose first language is not English, IELTS 7.0 or equivalent is also required.
  • Pass an RNCM audition (and an interview at The University of Manchester) in the year prior to entry demonstrating a high standard of performance (composition ability for composers) and potential, of at least ABRSM Grade 8 standard.

Submission of Recordings/Composition Portfolios:

Applicants should submit an application via UCAS Conservatoires and send a short video recording via Decision Desk before 3 October for shortlisting. The video recording should consist of at least two contrasting pieces of applicant’s own choice, totalling no more than 15 minutes. (Composers need to consult composition audition requirements and submit a portfolio via Decision Desk).

References and other supporting documents (e.g. copies of qualifications) must also arrive by 3 October. All video recordings, portfolios and supporting documents should be submitted online via Decision Desk.

GRNCM/MusB Shortlisting Procedure

Unless Admissions is notified otherwise in writing at the time of application, applicants not shortlisted for the GRNCM/MusB will be automatically invited for an audition for the BMus (Hons) programme with the RNCM only. Therefore, it is not necessary to make a second application for the BMus programme at the RNCM. Candidates will only need to pay one non-refundable audition fee via UCAS Conservatoires to be considered for both GRNCM/MusB (‘Joint Course’) and BMus.


BMus (Hons) Popular Music (UCAS Conservatoires code 201F)

Applicants must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age on 31 December in their year of entry.
  • Possess passes at GCE A level (A2) in two subjects, or a Rockschool Level 3 Music Practitioner qualification, or a National Diploma in a music-related subject.
  • Have four GCSE level passes (grades A*-C) including English Language and Mathematics.
  • Pass an RNCM audition in the year prior to entry demonstrating a high level of performing ability – equivalent to ABRSM/Rockschool/Trinity grade 8.

Graduate School requirements

Master’s Programmes 

Applicants for Master’s programmes should apply through UCAS Conservatoires, quoting the RNCM’s institution code R57 as well as the relevant course code, e.g. 801F.

Master’s courses available on UCAS Conservatoires:

Master of Music in Composition (2 years) 820F
Master of Music in Composition (1 year intensive) 823F

Master of Music in Performance (2 years) 801F
Master of Music in Performance (1 year intensive) 805F

Master of Performance (2 years) W310
Master of Performance (1 year intensive) M486

MMus and MPerf entrants must hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent (or be of equivalent professional standing). This qualification need not be in music, but all candidates must be able to satisfy the College that they have already achieved an advanced standard in their main discipline area, and have the potential to develop further towards a professional level of attainment.

English language requirement:

Candidates whose first language is not English must meet the English language requirements as specified on the international students page.

Supporting Documents Requirements for MMus Applicants:

All applicants are required to submit an example of prior written work demonstrating academic referencing in electronic format (e.g. Word document, PDF) via Decision Desk.

The example of prior written work must be in history or analysis of music. It must be written in English and no longer than 1000 words (a section drawn from a larger essay is acceptable). The work will be assessed by academic staff members using the following Marking Guidelines for Written Work.

All work submitted must be original work written by the applicant. A plagiarism test will be conducted.

All applicants must also submit an academic transcript of undergraduate studies achieved to date.

All MMus applicants are also required to undergo an academic assessment once they succeed in their audition.

Advanced Studies in Musical Performance/Composition (Postgraduate Diploma)

Applicants for Advanced Studies (PGDip) should apply through UCAS Conservatoires, quoting the RNCM’s institution code R57 as well as the relevant course code:

Advanced Studies in Composition (PGDip) 620F
Advanced Studies in Musical Performance (PGDip) 601F

Entrants must hold an MMus or equivalent. Candidates whose first language is not English must meet the English language requirements as specified on the international students page.

Supporting Documents Requirements for Advanced PGDip Applicants:

Advanced PGDip applicants should submit details of an academic and practical referee and a copy of your Master’s-level qualification (or transcripts to date if final qualification is still pending) via Decision Desk.

Professional and vocational courses

Postgraduate Diploma (International Artist)
An exceptionally high level of performing ability is expected of applicants, who should be on the brink of a professional performing career. Applications are invited for the International Solo Artist Course, the International Chamber Music Course, and the RNCM Opera and Voice Studio. Students will normally have already completed postgraduate studies in performance at a conservatoire or similar specialist environment. Overseas students who require a Tier 4 student visa must also meet the minimum English requirement, IELTS 5.5 in each component, set by UKVI. For details about how to apply, please visit our Audition Process page. Candidates shortlisted for an audition must attend a live audition; DVD auditions are not accepted.

Hallé/RNCM String Leadership Course
This course is available to a maximum of six string students (UK nationals) who demonstrate at audition exceptional ability and the potential for national/international careers as orchestral musicians/future section leaders. Students will normally have already completed postgraduate studies in performance at a conservatoire or similar specialist environment. Applications should be made by sending a CV and two references (one specific to orchestral playing) through Decision Desk. For more information call +44(0)161 907 5260/210.  Audition requirements: a major concerto movement, and prepared excerpts which will be sent to successful applicants.

PGCE in Specialist Instrumental Teaching (SIT)
Applicants should possess a high level of instrumental skill in Wind, Brass, Percussion, or Strings, as well as a first degree in music (or equivalent). Applications should be made through UCAS Teacher Training. Application Deadline: 1 December.

Research

Declaration on conduct of written work: MPhil/PhD

Applicants for MPhil/PhD should normally hold a good Master’s degree (e.g.MMus, MA, MSc or equivalent) in a relevant subject, which included a research component.

Candidates will normally enrol for MPhil for the first 12 months of full-time study, before transferring, subject to successful review, to the PhD programme; likewise, students enrolled in the RNCM’s MMus taught degree programme, who have successfully completed 60 credits of research training, may be eligible to apply for transfer to MPhil.

For applicants whose first language is not English, the minimum standard for entry to MPhil/PhD is an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score of 7.0 or acceptable equivalent. English language comprehension and writing standards may be tested further at interview.

If you are unsure of the status of your qualifications, please contact research@rncm.ac.uk.

Please see the Apply for an MPhil/PhD section for further information.

Late applications

Late applications for all Graduate School courses will be considered subject to the availability of places.

International students

International students should also refer to the international student entry requirements.