RNCM Associate Student Scheme and CPD

Music students and teaching professionals can take advantage of learning opportunities at the College through the RNCM Associate Student Scheme and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses.

Two students are leaning over a piano looking at sheet music on a laptop.

RNCM Associate Student Scheme (one term – one year)

Lasting from one term to a full academic year, the RNCM Associate Student Scheme allows students from all over the world and from within the UK to take a short and intensive period of study at the College without following a specific degree or diploma programme.

Open to both singers and instrumentalists, Associate Students are fully integrated into the RNCM community and may take a range of studies, drawn from the existing College modular offer at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. They may elect to be assessed in the modules that form part of their Associate Studentship, but this will not be a requirement.

At completion, the RNCM offers a certificate of attendance, detailing the duration of the studentship, along with a transcript of studies. The transcript includes a description of those modules studied, and those for which assessment has been undertaken, and which have led to the award of credit. Results of Associate Students will be held on the same College record system as all other students, although the credit accumulated will not normally build to an award. All modules will carry Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS) points.

For students who subsequently apply for an award-bearing course at the RNCM, credit awarded may, at the discretion of the College, contribute to the programme of study undertaken subsequently.

Please note: Anyone may study as an Associate Student if the College considers that they have an appropriate background and the necessary skills to be successful, that they will benefit from the study and that they can be accommodated.

Possible packages

Terms 1, 2 and 3
Terms 1 and 2 only
Term 1 only
Term 2 only

(Term 1 starts in September; Term 2 starts in January; Term 3 starts in March/April (dependent on Easter holidays) and ends in June).

Please note: Those who require a visa to study in the UK may be limited to a maximum of six months (equivalent to two terms) on the Associate Student Scheme. Please contact [email protected] for further information.


RNCM Associate Foundation Studies

Our Associate Student Scheme also includes Associate Foundation Studies.

These courses are designed for those who wish to develop skills in performance or composition; music theory, history and analysis; and English for academic study with the intention of progressing to undergraduate study at the RNCM or another UK or English-speaking conservatoire.

For international applicants whose first language is not English, the areas of study are:

  • Principal Study
  • English for Academic Study
  • Introduction to Musicology

Entry to the programme is in October or January and study periods are six or three-months. Six month courses take place between October and March and three month courses occur between October and December or January and March.

Students will receive an exit assessment in each area of study. For those wishing to apply for a place at the RNCM in the year following their Foundation Studies, an entrance audition will be offered without additional fee. Successful completion of Foundation Studies will be recognised in an RNCM Certificate of Attendance (Associate Foundation Student).

Please note: Completion of Associate Foundation Studies will not guarantee a place on an RNCM undergraduate programme. Offers are dependent on the outcome of the entrance audition.

If you have already submitted an application to study at the RNCM via UCAS Conservatoires, please email [email protected] to express your interest in this programme. New applicants should view the Submitting Your Application tab below for details of how to apply.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

The RNCM offers bespoke CPD Studentship packages consisting of 1-to-1 principal study tuition and access to practice facilities, available for singers and instrumentalists.

Following a periodic review of our CPD Studentships, in line with their current delivery, an updated costing structure will be introduced from September 2024.

Applications must be submitted via Acceptd in the term preceding the proposed start date of the Studentship (i.e. by 7 July 2024 for September 2024 entry).

If you are interested in applying for a CPD and would like more information, please get in touch with our Admissions team.

Please note: Those who require a visa to study in the UK may be limited to a maximum of six months (equivalent to two terms) as a CPD student. Please contact [email protected] for further information.

Submitting Your Application

All applications for the Associate Student Scheme, Foundation Studies and CPD should be made via Acceptd.

For further guidance, please visit our Make An Application page.

Acceptd Document Requirements

Associate/CPD applicants must supply the following information before they are able to complete their Acceptd submission:

  1. Name and email address of your chosen practical referee
  2. Name and email address of your chosen academic referee
  3. A personal statement outlining your musical background and future plans

Audition Requirements

Each School of Study/Principal Study instrument has its own audition requirements. Please visit the Audition Process page for your proposed School of Study.