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Starting Your Application: Information For All Applicants

The RNCM welcomes applications from all applicants of a suitable age and ability. Read through the following information to find out more about the key steps in the application process – and see the options at the bottom of this page for specific information by course.

Age Requirement

Undergraduate applicants to the RNCM should be 18 years of age by 31 December in the year of intended entry.

Required Standard

For guidance, undergraduate applicants are expected to be of at least Grade 8 standard in their Principal Study instrument, with at least Grade 5 knowledge of music theory. Visit the entrance requirements page for further details and specific requirements for each programme.

Composers, Conductors and GRNCM applicants:

Please note that Composers, Conductors and applicants to the GRNCM programme should submit appropriate shortlisting material (composition portfolio/shortlisting video) along with their supporting documents (see Decision Desk below). Further information on the appropriate shortlisting material can be found on the respective School and Programme pages.

UCAS Conservatoires

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Applications for most RNCM programmes should be made online via UCAS Conservatoires.

Exceptions to this are the Professional and Vocational courses e.g. PGCE, Postgraduate Diploma International Artist, Research programmes, Junior Fellow in Conducting, RNCM/Hallé Strings Leadership Course.

The deadline for on-time UCAS Conservatoires applications for September 2017 entry is 3 October 2016.

Your audition fee must be paid through UCAS Conservatoires in order for the RNCM to arrange an audition for you.

Enquiries regarding the UCAS Conservatoires system itself should be made to UCAS Conservatoires, whose contact details can be found here.

Decision Desk

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To ensure that all your personal supporting documents are submitted and held securely in one place, the RNCM is working with an online document management system called Decision Desk. This website will enable you to upload your supporting documents which can then be viewed by the RNCM in conjunction with your UCAS Conservatoires application – all you need to do is sign up to Decision Desk and upload the appropriate files (e.g. references, copies of qualifications and videos where applicable).

GRNCM/MusB, Conducting and Composition applicants will need to submit their video recording and all supporting documents at the point of application. Documents cannot be added after the Decision Desk application is finalised.

Decisions Desk submissions cannot be made unless all documentation is uploaded – failure to supply all documents may result in your application being received after the deadline. Please click on the relevant programme panel below (e.g. ‘Guidance for BMus (Hons) Applicants’) for information on supporting documents requirements.

Decision Desk submission deadlines

  • The deadline for submission of supporting documents for applicants to the GRNCM/MusB (‘Joint Course’) and Composition programmes (BMus and MMus) is 3 October 2016.
  • The deadline for submission of supporting documents for all other programmes/instruments is 1 November 2016.

Qualifications Not Yet Completed

The RNCM understands that many applicants are currently in the process of completing the qualifications required for their programme (e.g. Bachelor’s degree). In such cases, we ask only that you upload your highest current qualifications to Decision Desk. Once you have achieved your qualification, please submit a copy of your documents to admissions@rncm.ac.uk. A Level results released in August 2017 do not need to be submitted to admissions as the RNCM will be automatically notified of these through UCAS Conservatoires.

Please note offers will only be made Guaranteed Unconditional (GU) once we receive copies of all the qualifications required. 

English Language Requirements for Non-Native Speakers

All students who do not speak English as a first language should submit IELTS certificates which meet the criteria for their course – please see the International Applications page for details.

Exceptions to this rule can occasionally be made, for example if students have studied a Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in English, or hold an English A-level of suitable standard, which has been taught in English. Exceptions are dealt with on a case-by-case basis and should be discussed with Admissions via admissions@rncm.ac.uk. Exceptions will not be made unless confirmation is given by the Admissions department.

Quick Summary – Dates to Remember!

  • UCAS Conservatoires deadline for on-time applications for September 2017 entry is 3 October 2016. International applicants can apply all year round.
  • The Decision Desk deadline for submission of supporting documents is 1 November 2016. Composers and GRNCM/MusB (‘Joint Course’) applicants must submit their documents by 3 October 2016.
  • Applicants who have applied by the UCAS Conservatoires deadline will be notified of their audition date/time via UCAS Conservatoires Track by the end of October 2016.
  • Audition dates: GRNCM/MusB interviews/auditions will take place 17/18 November 2016. All other auditions will take place between 21 November – 9 December 2016.
  • Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their audition before Christmas 2016.

Please now click on the relevant panel below to read programme-specific requirements.