International Artist Diploma

The Postgraduate Diploma in Solo Performance/Vocal Studies and Opera (International Artist Diploma) represents the pinnacle of achievement in performance at the RNCM and is intended for a small number of artists on the cusp of international careers.

Through intensive tuition and specialist classes, you’ll receive advanced musical training to the highest level in performance or conducting, honing your artistic, technical, presentation and communication skills. You’ll also expand your recital and concerto repertory and benefit from prestigious performance opportunities with the BBC Philharmonic and the College.

RNCM student plays a grand piano.

Course Duration and Routes Available

Solo Performance/Vocal Studies and Opera:
9 months full-time
UCAS Conservatoires Code:
Applications Open: 1 October
Application deadline: 
31 January

Please note that a maximum of four places are available each year and all students accepted onto this programme will have their tuition fees covered in full.

Solo Performance offers high-profile public performance opportunities, bespoke packages of intensive one-to-one tuition with a range of tutors, access to a professional pianist, and professional career development. Assessment is a full-evening public recital at the RNCM and a concerto with the BBC Philharmonic.

Vocal Studies and Opera offers opportunities to work with renowned international coaches, directors and conductors, develop performance skills through intensive one-to-one coaching, vocal consultancy and language coaching, experience a wide range of classes focusing on stage skills, and major roles in the College’s opera productions.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the International Artist Diploma (Level 7) is by competitive audition and entrants must demonstrate exceptional ability and potential for an international career.

Stage 1

Applicants should apply via UCAS Conservatoires in the first instance and submit a recording of 30 minutes of repertoire to Acceptd. The 30 minutes of repertoire should be taken from the Stage 2 guidance below (and will probably be shorter if a Vocal application). No further guidance on repertoire will be given. Successful shortlisted applicants will then be invited to the RNCM for a live audition.

The deadline for completed applications is 31 January 2024. 

Stage 2 

Auditions normally take place in March and/or April. Precise dates will be listed here when available.. We will let you know if you have been shortlisted no later than 9 February. If you are successfully shortlisted for Stage 2, please prepare the following:

Keyboard: 30 – 40 minutes of solo repertoire and a movement (or excerpt 10-15 minutes) from a concerto

Strings: 30 – 40 minutes of varied repertoire, to include an unaccompanied work. You may include a concerto movement.

Winds, Brass and Percussion: 40 – 50 minute programme to include a 21st-century piece (either solo or accompanied) and at least one unaccompanied work.

Vocal: Four contrasting arias in at least two languages (a minimum of three must be operatic, one may be from the oratorio repertoire).

If you have any questions, please email David Horne, Head of Graduate School, at [email protected].

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