Pre-Sessional English Language Course

If you’re an RNCM offer holder and your first language isn’t English, you’re required to meet our language requirements as part of your offer conditions.

Our Pre-Sessional English Language Course is designed for students whose English is slightly below our English Language requirements and who need additional time to develop their language skills before embarking on their studies with us.

The RNCM Pre-Sessional Course will help to:

  • Introduce students to different aspects of studying in Britain
  • Develop and build confidence in using English language skills through listening, speaking,
    reading, and writing
  • Develop musicology skills
  • Prepare students for independent learning at the RNCM

The course is divided into the following areas:

Introduction to Studying in Britain

These sessions will focus on referencing, writing a bibliography, and the importance of using your own words and ideas in an essay/presentation. You will discuss studying and living in a new country with tutors and peers.

Grammar and vocabulary in context

You will revise your grammar skills and expand your vocabulary, whilst developing strategies for dealing with unfamiliar words. You will enhance your reading skills to help you become an efficient reader and you will practice structuring an essay, organising your argument, sequencing your ideas, and writing in an academic style. You will advance your listening and speaking skills through online discussions with your tutors.


You will be introduced to an academic approach to music, looking at how you can begin researching and writing about musical works. You will study recordings and examine scores and editions to understand what they reveal about the development of a piece of music. You will build on your vocabulary skills to help describe musical processes and techniques.

Study project

You will use the skills you have learnt during your English and musicology classes to complete a study project, giving you practice in drafting an academic essay. Your developed speaking skills will be utilised in a short presentation of your work at the end of a course.


There are two types of assessment on the course: continuous and final.

Continuous assessment

Takes place on a weekly basis. Tutors will discuss your progress with you during your course.

Final assessment
Will be based on the written work and presentation you give for your Study Project; alongside this you will also complete an Oxford Placement Test.

Please note: Progression on to your main programme of study at the RNCM is subject to your continuous and final assessments and successfully completing the course to the required level for your programme of study.*

Acceptance onto the Pre-Sessional English Language Course will depend on the assessment of your English language results by the RNCM Admissions Teams and our English Language Support Tutor Jean Ammar.

*You must also meet all other UCAS Conservatoire offer conditions. These can be found on UCAS Conservatoire Hub.