Bachelor of Music with Honours

The Bachelor of Music programme focuses on the core skills required for musicians in today’s music industry, providing students with the best employment prospects within a rapidly-changing sector.

Application Fact File: BMus (Hons)

Duration: 4 years, full-time. 3-year intensive pathway for outstanding applicants.
Credits: 480
UCAS Conservatoires Code: 300F
Applications for September 2018 entry: Open July 2017, via UCAS Conservatoires
Deadline for on-time applications: 1 October 2017

Course Content and Structure


Principal Study

One-to-one Principal Study training in a student’s instrument, voice, or composition lies at the heart of each student’s four-year journey, with development of both technical and creative expertise.

Alongside your Principal Study, all students will receive expert tuition in conducting, recording and editing, teaching skills and musicians’ health.

Year 3 Placements

Every student will have the opportunity to try out possible career choices in their year 3 placement in the music industry. Examples of organisations with whom students have recently undertaken a placement include: The Bridgewater Hall, Young Voices, One Education Music, RNCM Young Strings, Foden’s Youth Band, National Children’s Orchestra, and School of Sound Recording (SSR).

Creative Project

Year 4 students will run and design their own independent creative projects, guided and supported by professional musician mentors. Examples of past projects have included the promotion and organisation of concerts, competitions, masterclasses and workshops; commissioning new works; and the organisation of Music for Health workshops.

Navigating the music industry

All students receive expert tuition in conducting, recording and editing, website design, teaching skills and musicians’ health, providing industry-relevant skills. Training in entrepreneurship, including copyright law, tax, and accounting for freelance musicians, is delivered by experienced RNCM staff and visiting experts, who bring the latest industry insight and expertise.

Small group tuition

The programme’s focus on small group tuition will develop your knowledge and capacity to talk from an informed perspective about composers and repertoire, and hone your critical thinking skills in areas such as music theory, musicianship training, performance studies, and music and culture.

You will also develop your intellectual, musical, interpretative and analytical skills through studying areas of specialism of your choosing, taught by world-leading researchers in their respective fields.

Example topics in year 3 and 4 include:

• Aesthetics of Film Music
• Composition and Performance
• Music Psychology
• Metal
• Beethoven’s Music for Solo Piano
• Song Cycles
• Music and Gender
• Music Under the Third Reich

3-Year Intensive Pathway

The College offers, for outstanding candidates, a 3-year pathway through the BMus (Hons) course.

Normally 10 places will be available to applicants who can demonstrate outstanding academic and practical ability, as well as exceptional maturity, at audition and interview.

The 3-year pathway is also intended to enable such exceptional students to be able to apply for and progress to the 1-year MMus at the College and so potentially enter the profession after four years of conservatoire-level training, rather than the usual 5 or 6. Exchange opportunities are available to students pursuing the 3-year pathway.

This course includes all of the same content as the standard BMus, but it is completed in a shorter time frame, and is therefore more intense. This course has separate entrance criteria, including that students must have the DipABRSM (HE, Level 4) qualification before they begin their course of study. This enables students to undertake the year 2 recital in their first year, rather than the year 1 recital.

Exchange Opportunity

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During your time at the College you can broaden your horizons still further by studying abroad for a term or full academic year.

Exchanges usually take place in year 3. We currently have links with institutions across Europe, and in Asia, Australia, Canada, South America and USA.

For more information about exchange opportunities and our full list of partner institutions, visit the international pages of our website or email

Exchanges in Europe are offered through the Erasmus exchange programme. You can visit the pages of the British Council and the Association of European Conservatoires for further information and useful advice.

Additional Qualifications


Throughout your degree studies you will be offered opportunities to work towards other externally-recognised qualifications at reduced cost. These qualifications will give you additional accreditation when you graduate and are very important to enhance your employability.

LRSM & FRSM opportunity

The RNCM has negotiated a scheme with the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) whereby year 3 students may enter for the award of Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music (LRSM), and year 4 students may enter for the Fellowship of the Royal Schools of Music (FRSM).

Special arrangements are made for the practical examination so that your end-of-year recital can be assessed concurrently by the RNCM (towards your degree) and also by the examiner of the ABRSM.

What Our Students Say

Discover more about the RNCM student experience here by clicking on our student stories page.

How to Apply

For information on entrance requirements, how to apply and tuition fees, please click here.


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