Offer-holder FAQs

Lots of Offer Holders have questions – here’s a list of the most frequently asked.

If your question isn’t listed below, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Autumn Term 2020 FAQs

When will the Autumn Term start and what format will it take?

Our Autumn Term will run from Monday 28 September to Friday 18 December. In line with most UK Higher Education Institutions, and in response to the ongoing restrictions associated with Covid-19, we will be offering a blended approach to learning and teaching. All academic lectures and support services will be delivered online, with small-scale practical activities taking place within the building wherever possible and increasing as the academic year unfolds and restrictions are lifted.


What is blended learning?

Blended learning is a term used to describe learning that takes place through a mixture of in-person contact time, remote online contact time, and directed tasks set by a lecturer/tutor via an online virtual learning environment such as Moodle.

As with traditional in-person contact time, there will also be student-directed preparation and follow up work to do. The online and remote elements of blended learning do not replace the need for student independent study.

Blended learning can apply at a number of different levels:

Programme level: A blended programme will contain a mixture of modules that are taught either all in-person, all remotely, or a blend of both in-person and remotely. It is the make-up of the programme that makes it a blended programme.

Module level: A blended module will contain a mixture of teaching activities that are in-person and remote. The remote element may be synchronous (i.e. live student/tutor interactions via a video link such as Zoom) or a-synchronous (i.e. directed tasks to be done in the students’ own time by a certain date/time). It is the make-up of the module that makes it a blended module.

Class level: A blended class will be an in-person class where students or tutor may participate remotely. An example might be a class where 10 students are present in the building, and 10 students are present via a video link such as Zoom. Another example might be where a group of students, such as a chamber group, might be present in the building, and the staff coach might be present via a video link such as Zoom. It is the make-up of the class that makes it a blended class.

During the 2020/21 academic year, we will be teaching a blended programme. The Autumn Term will consist solely of blended modules. If a student choosing to remain away from Manchester during the Autumn Term, any in-person classes will become blended classes to enable them to attend remotely whilst others attend in-person.


Will I have a choice of how I complete my studies during the Autumn Term?

Yes. We understand that all personal circumstances will differ, which is why it’s important to us that you’re provided with optimum choice and flexibility at this time. If you would prefer to complete the full term online or to commence your studies remotely and join us later in the Autumn due to health reasons, travel restrictions and/or to reduce your living costs, we would be very happy to accommodate this. All we would ask is that you give us an indication of your intentions in advance through emailing our Admissions Team by 1 July. This will not be binding should your plans change, but it will help us as we continue to work through a range of detailed scenarios over the summer.


What practical and performance activities will take place onsite?

We are very fortunate at the RNCM to have access to three public performance venues and eight large rehearsal studios, all of which will help us to safely accommodate small-scale practical and performance activity from the start of the Autumn Term. There will also be opportunities for onsite recording, live streaming and the development of digital projects and other creative initiatives as the term progresses. At this stage, we anticipate that Principal Study and School Class activity will be delivered partly online and partly within the building, moving to being fully on site as restrictions allow. Further information about this will be delivered later in the Summer.


What Principal Study activity will take place on site?  

As we start the Autumn Term, we expect to prioritise Principal Study activity where instruments or equipment are only available within the building. This does not mean exclusivity for those disciplines, as our planning incorporates on site Principal Study training across all Schools of Study as far as it is safe to do so.  


If I choose to attend onsite activities, what health and safety measures will be in place?

Please be assured that your health and safety will continue to be at the forefront of all current and future plans as we remain responsive to Government advice. Social distancing measures will be observed throughout the College building and we will be putting in place a range of additional steps to protect everyone in our community. This includes controlled access and circular routes, the wearing of facemasks or other appropriate coverings wherever possible, increased hygiene facilities, and a ‘click and collect’ food and drink service.


What health and safety measures are in place around the city?

Our City Council continues to work closely with organisations across Greater Manchester to ensure that the city is a safe place to live, work and study. Its Leader, Sir Richard Leese, said: ‘You don’t need me to tell you what a fantastic city Manchester is, and I don’t believe there is any better place to be a student. I can understand anybody feeling anxious about travelling at the moment, but let me assure you – Manchester is open for business, it is safe – and we will continue the hard work to keep it safe for you. I am sure you will notice some changes, but scratch beneath the surface and the Manchester we love, and which attracted you in the first place, is still there.’


I'm worried about accommodation, what should I do?

Sir Charles Groves Hall of Residence (now managed by Unite Students) has kindly agreed to be as flexible as possible for new students during this difficult time. Please email admissions@rncm.ac.uk for further information.

If you are living or due to live in private accommodation, you will of course need to make independent arrangements.


I haven’t been able to take an IELTS examination. What shall I do?

You will still need to submit evidence that you meet our English Language Requirements.

However, we are aware of the difficulties that our offer holders have and, for those with an offer to join us in September 2020, we will also consider the forms of evidence listed below:

IELTS Indicator

TOEFL iBT or TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition (Note: We will not consider the TOEFL iTP.)

PTE Academic or PTE Academic UKVI (Note: We will not consider PTE Home.)

Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE) ISE II (B2) or ISE III (C1)

Cambridge B2: First or Cambridge C1: Advanced

LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator or LanguageCert International ESOL C1 Expert or LanguageCert International ESOL C2 Mastery

GCSE English (all UK boards) or iGCSE English, Grade C or above.

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 36-42 43-50 51-58 59-65 66-73
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

Please contact our Admissions Team for more information.

We will also consider other certificates, if the scores meet our entry standards and the certificate meets our academic standards.

Please e-mail the 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.

Can I attend the Pre-sessional English Course?

Our Pre-session English Course will be delivered online this year. We’re working hard behind the scenes to ensure we can offer the best alternative to live face-to-face interaction and will provide more information soon. Please note that attendees must still submit evidence that they meet the English Language Requirements needed for the Course.


When will I receive visa information and advice?

We’re aware that the majority of UKVI Visa Application Centres (VACs) are currently closed and will write to our international offer holders soon with more information and advice about visas for study here in the UK.


Can I defer my offer until September 2021?

Due to the competitive nature of our entry auditions, we are not able to offer deferrals or transfer any scholarship or bursary which you may have been offered. Anyone wishing to defer their start date to September 2021 would need to re-apply and re-audition.

If you have questions or concerns about starting your studies in September, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


When will I hear more about the Autumn Term?

Further details outlining the structure of the Autumn Term will be delivered over the summer, pending Government advice regarding social distancing and the easing of lockdown.


General FAQs for Offer Holders

I've missed the conditions of my offer – what should I do?

Please contact us for further advice.


I have been offered a Reserve place, can I accept another offer?

You can accept a Reserve Offer as your first choice and a Guaranteed or a Reserve Offer as your second choice on UCAS Conservatoires.


I’ve been offered a Reserve place, when will I find out if it will be converted to a full offer?

Anytime between February and August. We’ll notify you as soon as the situation changes. Unfortunately some reserves do become unsuccessful.


How are tutors allocated?

The allocation of students to specific Principal Study tutors is the responsibility of the relevant Head of School in consultation with other specialist colleagues, taking account of performance at audition. Prospective students who may have a preference for a particular tutor are encouraged to make this known to their respective School. It should be emphasised, however, that in all cases, the final decision about tutor allocation will remain the responsibility of the Head of School.


Is it compulsory to attend an Offer Holders’ Event?

No, these aren’t compulsory but we do advise that you attend if possible as they provide a unique opportunity to experience RNCM life on a busy day during term time. You’ll receive a taster Principal Study lesson and have the chance to meet current students, members of staff and future classmates. Click here to learn more.


I'm a UK/EU undergraduate offer holder. How do I arrange my student finance?

The quickest way to apply is via the Student Finance website, but in order to do so you must have a confirmed place at university.

Simply apply using your preferred choice of course, which can be updated later if needed. It can take up to six weeks to process applications, so it’s important that you apply as soon as possible so that your finance is in place at the start of your studies.


How do I apply for a Postgraduate Loan?

The Government provides a loan of up to £10,000 per student for postgraduate Master’s study. For up-to-date information click here.


How and when do I pay my tuition fees?

Tuition fees are payable prior to registration at the start of the academic year. For UK and EU students this will normally be paid directly through the Student Loans Company/SAAS and you’ll need to provide proof of this during enrolment. If you’re paying fees yourself, it may be possible to pay by instalments. Tuition fee agreements must be set up prior to registration, and the first instalment must be paid before you enrol.

Click here for more information.


I'm an international Offer Holder, do I need a visa?

As an international student, you need to check if you need a visa to study in the UK. 

EU and EEA nationals will not need a visa in order to study at the RNCM. All other international students may require a visa, though the type will depend on a variety of factors (e.g. length of study and nationality).

To check whether you need a visa to study with us, visit UK Visas and Immigration.


What is Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)

A Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) is an essential electronic document that you must obtain before you can apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa. It will only be issued to students with a Guaranteed Unconditional (GU) Offer.  

Important: before you can request a CAS from the RNCM, you’re required to pay a 25% deposit of your tuition fees for your first year of entry. You’ll also need to prove that you have enough money to pay the remainder of your tuition fees for your first year of study and have additional funds to cover accommodation/living costs. 

While waiting for your CAS you can start to prepare your visa application. Once your CAS is issued, we’ll send you an email containing everything you need to complete your application. 

Do not attempt to apply for a Tier 4 Visa without the CAS as the application will be rejected. 


How do I get a place in the Hall of Residence and is there parking?

All undergraduate students can choose to live in Sir Charles Groves Hall of Residence, right next door to the College, and you’ll be automatically allocated a room if you accept your offer by 31 January. Once undergraduate allocation has taken place, postgraduate students will be offered the remaining places.

If you would prefer to live in private accommodation, please visit the Manchester Student Homes website for further information.

Unfortunately, due to the limited capacity, car parking for students isn’t available at the RNCM or Sir Charles Groves Hall. Provision for disabled students can be discussed with us directly.