Graduate Diploma of the Royal Northern College of Music (‘Joint Course’)

The GRNCM/MusB, informally known as the ‘Joint Course’, offers a unique opportunity for students with outstanding practical and academic ability to gain the advantage of simultaneous study at both a world-class conservatoire and a world-class university. 

Unistats data

About the GRNCM/MusB

Students on this unique programme will spend three years at both the RNCM and The University of Manchester (located side-by-side on Oxford Road). Your fourth year is spent entirely at the RNCM. On successful completion of the course, students receive a diploma (Graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music, GRNCM) from the RNCM, and a degree from the University of Manchester (MusB).

The GRNCM/MusB offers exceptional students an opportunity to study at two institutions concurrently: the RNCM and The University of Manchester. You will study the complete 3-year MusB course at the University; at the same time you will attend the RNCM to undertake all modules relating to performance or composition (including a weekly one-to-one lesson) and artist development, over a 4-year period. This unique course provides students with unparalleled world-class tuition, scholarship, and performance and composition opportunities.
Dr Michelle Phillips, Course Leader

How You Will Learn

What You Will Undertake at the RNCM (GRNCM):

The GRNCM builds on your ability as a performer or composer and consists of two key areas: Principal Study in Performance/Composition, and Artist Development. All performance tuition, coaching, chamber ensembles and most orchestral playing opportunities are provided by the RNCM throughout the four years.

What You Will Undertake at The University of Manchester (MusB):

The MusB (Hons) of the University of Manchester complements this study with scholarly practical education: it is a highly-regarded degree programme involving the interrelated study of musical performance, composition and musicology. Full details of the MusB programme are available on the University’s website.

Course Content and Structure

Years 1 & 2:

One-to-One Principal Study: In years 1 and 2, you will spend at least one hour per week in your one-to-one lesson with your Principal Study (instrumental/vocal/composition) tutor. This study prepares you for a technical examination in Spring (scales and orchestral extracts for instrumentalists and vocalists, composition according to a specific brief for composers), and a final year recital in Summer.

Professional Skills: You will receive weekly tuition in essential professional skills such as stage presence, memorisation and how to rehearse and practice. All students join a chamber music group and receive specialist coaching throughout the year.

Years 3 & 4:

Placements: Along with your hourly one-to-one instrumental/composition/vocal lesson, in year 3 all students will complete a placement. Examples of placements include working with music and health, music in schools or arts administration, employment with the Hallé, or sound engineering and recording.

Independent Project: In year 4, all students complete an independent project, which is designed by yourself and supervised throughout the year. Previous projects include organising a charity concert, organising a music competition, recording an EP, and undertaking a tour with a musical  ensemble or as a soloist.

Ensemble Activity: Along with this tuition, instrumentalists will join a variety of College ensembles, delivering performances throughout the year. Composers will have the opportunity each term to hear their compositions performed in full for any ensemble at multiple public concerts. All students have many opportunities to perform as parts of their own ensembles or as soloists in a wide range of concerts.

Download the detailed programme specification.

Exchange Opportunity

You can broaden your horizons by studying abroad for one term of your fourth year. We currently have partnership links with institutions across Europe, Asia, Australia, Canada, South America and the USA.

Student Stories

Discover more about the RNCM student experience here by clicking on our student stories page, which includes profiles of GRNCM/MusB students.

Application Factfile

UCAS Conservatoires code: 399F
Applications for September 2019 entry: Open July 2018, via UCAS Conservatoires
Application deadline for September 2019 entry: 1 October 2018

Further guidance on making an application for the GRNCM/MusB is available here.