Master of Performance

Through a combination of advanced practical and pedagogical training and vocational studies, the RNCM’s specialist Master of Performance (MPerf) programme heightens the skills and techniques needed to ensure you thrive.

It’s perfect for graduates who are looking to become professional performers, providing exceptional one-to-one tuition, solo and ensemble performance opportunities, and specialist guidance on self-promotion. The course also offers training in instrumental teaching, the chance to gain real-world experience via an external industry placement, and the opportunity to work with professionals to create and edit your own expertly-produced recording, ensuring your future is as sustainable as it is successful.

Programme Overview

Duration: 2 years, full-time or 1 year intensive, full-time
FHEQ Level: 7
UCAS Conservatoires codes:
2 years: W310/1 year intensive: M486
2 years (Popular Music): W320/1 year intensive (Popular Music): W330

Applications open: 12 July 2023
Deadline for on-time applications: 2 October 2023

The programme consists of 180 credits and comprises five main components: Principal Study, Recording Project, Practical Pedagogy, Research Module and one Practical Option.

Students experience training in performance to a professional level, and gain the knowledge necessary for self-promotion in the music industry. You will benefit from the expertise and guidance of the RNCM’s world-class teaching staff and visiting tutors, receiving a tailored blend of regular learning and performance opportunities, including one-to-one tuition, masterclasses, solo and small ensemble performance, specialist classes and workshops, lectures and seminars, practical exercises, independent learning and an external professional placement.

Click here for fees.

Entrance Requirements

Qualifications and Standards

MPerf entrants must pass an RNCM audition and normally hold a good honours 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.

Candidates whose first language is not English must have IELTS 5.5 or equivalent in each and every component (or CEFR B2).

Direct Entry (Accreditation of Prior Learning)

In some cases, candidates who have completed relevant modules of a postgraduate (Level 7) qualification at a recognised Higher Education Institution may be considered for direct entry into year 2 of the RNCM MPerf programme. In the first instance, please email details of your prior learning (summary of educational background and copies of transcripts) to [email protected]

Programme Details

Routes Available

Performance in Keyboard, Strings, Voice, Wind, Brass, Percussion and Popular Music

Principal Study

Double Bass
Bass Guitar
Electric Guitar
Cor Anglais
E-flat Clarinet
Contra Bassoon
French Horn
Tenor Horn
Euphonium/Baritone Horn
Drum Kit


All MPerf students will:

  • Receive weekly instrumental tuition from the RNCM’s team of internationally-acclaimed tutors
  • Work with professional producers to create a demonstration-standard recording showcasing your work
  • Learn how to teach musicians across a range of age and ability through practical work directed by teaching professionals
  • Build on their knowledge of the stylistic and interpretative challenges in a range of repertories and traditions within classical music


The MPerf comprises five main components:

Principal Study tuition which consists of intensive one-to-one tuition, masterclasses, group classes, lectures and workshops. This solo performance component equips you with the breadth and depth of musical experience required for a career as a professional instrumentalist, singer or collaborative pianist.

Recording Project which provides intensive practical knowledge of the recording industry and the recording session environment. You will collaborate with professional producers to make a demonstration recording showcasing your work. Teaching is delivered through lectures, masterclasses, team teaching and one-to-one tutorials.

Practical Pedagogy, devised in collaboration with One Education in Manchester, provides vocational training in developing the skills, methodologies and strategies essential for a career in instrumental/vocal music teaching.

Research Module in which you have a choice from giving a lecture recital to undertaking research degree proposal training or writing a dissertation, delivered flexibly through seminars and one-to-one tutorials.

  • Research Lecture Recital
  • Minor Dissertation (30 credits) (in Artistic Research, Musicology)
  • Repertoire Project
  • Research Methods (choice of Artistic Research, Music Education, Music Psychology, Musicology
  • Dalcroze in Context

And one Practical Option from:

  • Accompanying
  • Arrangement
  • Aural Analysis and Critique
  • Composition Elective
  • Conducting Elective
  • Contemporary Songwriting
  • Dalcroze Eurhythmics and Dynamic Rehearsal
  • Electronic Experimental Ensemble
  • The Freelance Musician
  • Musicianship for Instrumentalists
  • Musicianship for Vocalists: Consort Singing
  • Professional Audition
  • Professional Placement
  • Small Ensemble Performance (chamber music; historical performance; jazz; popular music)

Click here for module descriptions.


1-Year MPerf

  • Major Solo Performance (60 credits)
  • Core Modules
    • Practical Pedagogy (30 credits)
    • Recording Project (30 credits)
  • Research Module (30 credits), from list above
  • One optional practical module (30 credits), from list above

2-Year MPerf

Year 1:

  • Core Principal Study (no credits)
  • Research Module Choice (30 credits)
  • Optional Module (30 credits)

Year 2:

  • Core Principal Study (60 credits)
  • Practical Pedagogy (30 credits)
  • Recording Project (30 credits)

Further Study and Research Opportunities 

The Advanced Postgraduate Diploma is for those with a Master’s-level qualification who wish to pursue a further year of study and training within a world-class conservatoire.

Information about research at the RNCM is available here.