English Language Requirements

Applicants must be able to demonstrate that their level of English language meets the necessary entrance requirements for their chosen programme.

If you’re not a national from majority English speaking country, you’ll need provide evidence of your English language ability.

If you require a Student visa to study in the UK, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) requires a minimum of B2 standard on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) in all four components (reading, writing, speaking, listening). You’ll need to provide evidence of your English language ability before the RNCM can sponsor your visa application.

UKVI regularly reviews the English requirements for Student Visas, and in the event of any change, visa nationals will be required to meet both the RNCM and UKVI requirements to obtain a visa for their course.

The RNCM reserves the right to request further evidence from all applicants to demonstrate their English Language ability.

English Language Requirements


Bachelor of Music with Honours (4 years)

IELTS 5.5 or equivalent in each and every component (CEFR B2 in each and every component)

Bachelor of Music with Honours (3 years with direct entry to Year 2)

IELTS 7.0 or equivalent in each and every component (CEFR C1 in each and every component)

Bachelor of Music with Honours in Popular Music

IELTS 5.5 or equivalent in each and every component (CEFR B2 in each and every component)

Graduate Diploma of the RNCM ‘Joint Course’

IELTS 7.0 or equivalent (CEFR C1)


Master of Music (2 years or 1 year)

IELTS 6.0, with no less than 5.5 in each component (or equivalent as defined by UKVI). Some options within the course may require IELTS 6.5 or 7.0.

Master of Performance (2 year or 1 year)

IELTS 5.5 or equivalent in each and every component (CEFR B2 in each and every component).

Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Studies

IELTS 6.0, with no less than 5.5 in each component (or equivalent as defined by UKVI).

Meeting the English Language Requirements

  1. Being a National of a Majority English-Speaking Country (as Defined by the UKVI).
    Evidence: passport
  2. You Have a Degree-Level Qualification or above taught in a Majority English-speaking Country (as Defined by the UKVI, Canada not included).
    Evidence: degree certificate or results transcript plus a statement of comparability from UK ENIC confirming that the qualification meets or exceeds the level of a UK degree.
    Please note: Partial transcripts from a previous study are not acceptable.
  3. You Have Completed a Degree in the UK.
    Evidence: Degree Certificate or results transcript.
    Please note: Partial transcripts from a previous study are not acceptable.
  4. You have obtained GCSE, A Level or Scottish equivalent qualification in the UK before the age of 18.
    Evidence: certificate or transcript.
    Please note: having one A Level (or equivalent) studied in English, but the others in another language is not acceptable.
  5. You have obtained sufficient results from acceptable English Language Tests by the RNCM within two years before the start date of your course.
    Evidence: IELTS Test Report Form or equivalent.

Acceptable English Language Tests

The RNCM can accept English Language results from the following tests. You will need to obtain sufficient results before 1 May in the year of entry.

The levels outlined below are an indication of the scores that you will need to achieve to meet our standard entrance requirements. Please note that in all cases you will need to meet the overall score required, as well as the individual scores required for each element – reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

IELTS 5.0 5.5 6.0 6.5 7.0
TOEFL iBT 35-45 46-59 60-78 79-93 94-101
PTE Academic 43+ 59+ 59+ 59+ 76+
Trinity N/A ISE II (B2) Pass ISE II (B2) Pass ISE II (B2) High Pass ISE III (C1) Pass
Cambridge 154-161 162-168 169-175 176-184 185-191
LanguageCert ESOL B1 Achiever B2 Communicator Pass B2 Communicator High Pass B2 Communicator High Pass C1 Expert Pass

We may also consider other certificates, if the scores meet our entry standards and the certificate meets our academic standards. Please email our Admissions Team with the details below:

  • The name, level and date of the test.
  • The country in which it was taken.
  •  The scores that you obtained.
  • A scan, or clear photograph of the certificate or transcripts.

If you have obtained multiple test results within two years before the course start dates, we may be able to access them together in meeting the English Language requirements. However, please note that it is at the RNCM’s desecration to accept or decline combined results on a case-by-case basis.

The RNCM will not accept English Language Result that marginally missed the requirement on its own.

Pre-Sessional English Language Course

If your level of English is slightly below the relevant requirements, you may benefit from attending the RNCM Pre-Sessional English Course.

Entry to the Pre-Sessional English Course depends on the necessary requirements for your programme of study. Acceptance will depend on the assessment of your English language results by our Admissions Teams or English Language Support Tutor. Detailed Requirements for 2022 entry will be published in Spring 2022.

The application deadline is usually 15 April. Information for 2022 will be published next Spring.

English Language Support During Your Studies

In-sessional support is offered to international students who are non-native speakers of English. The year-round provision aims to support students in their academic studies and improve their competence in English. There are two types of in-sessional language support: one-to-one tutorials in support of academic work and weekly general English language lessons.

One to one tutorial are available for all international students needing help with their academic work. The tutorials are planned around the needs of each student, their level of language and the academic work they have to do.

English language lessons are also available on a weekly basis. The classes are organised according to the level of individual students and the RNCM course they are following. While improving their general English skills, students have the opportunity to work towards an internationally recognised English examination taken at the college at the end of the academic year.


COVID-19 Update: Our venues have reopened to the public and we’re looking forward to welcoming you back this Autumn. Before attending an event at the RNCM, please read our Audience Protocol…