Fees and funding

Like other conservatoires, RCS charges different fees depending on the ‘tuition fee status’ of students.

Your tuition fee status may be:

  • Home – Scotland (Scotland)
  • Home – RUK* (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
  • EU/Overseas (the rest of the world)

*Because of a long-standing agreement between the UK and Republic of Ireland, new students from the Republic of Ireland starting their studies will be eligible to pay the rest of UK (RUK) fee.

Your tuition fee status is determined by:

Your tuition fee status will be automatically decided based on the information you supply about yourself in your UCAS Conservatoires application. If there is any uncertainty you will be sent a Tuition Fee Assessment Form by the Recruitment and Admissions team. Upon return of this form, it will be reviewed by the Assistant Registrar (Recruitment and Admissions) and an outcome communicated to you by email.

Your tuition fee status is decided in accordance with Scottish Government legislation, The Education (Fees and Student Support) (EU Exit) (Scotland) (Amendment) Regulations 2021.  These regulations were laid in the Scottish Parliament in January 2021 and came into force on 1st August 2021.

If you think a mistake has been made with your tuition fee assessment you should contact the Conservatoire immediately explaining why you think there has been a mistake and ask us to explain our decision in more detail.   This can be done by email via L.Stirrat@rcs.ac.uk.  After doing this, if you still think there has been an error, please write to International@rcs.ac.uk, giving the reasons why you think there has been a mistake.  It is important to communicate in writing and to keep copies of all correspondence.

If you are unsure of your fee status, please see the information available from the UK Council for International Student Affairs.

Cost of living

All applicants should be aware that to study at the Royal Conservatoire, funding should be arranged well in advance. In addition to your tuition fees, you will need between approximately £12,000 and £13,500 per year for rent and living costs in Glasgow.

EU Students

The Royal Conservatoire is resolutely international in outlook and we celebrate and are enriched by the diversity of our community of students and staff. Students from across the globe are welcome and valued members of the RCS community, and we continue to welcome applicants from across the EU and throughout the world.

Q: What is the fee situation for EU students?

A: On July 9 2020 Scotland’s Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, Richard Lochhead announced changes to the fee regime for EU students studying in Scotland. From academic year 21/22 onwards, all EU students commencing study in Scotland will pay fees at the International rate.

EU citizens who are living in the UK before the end of 2020 have until 30 June 2021 to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme for settle status.

If you need more information, there is guidance for EU students in the UK.

Please check our Fees and Funding section for the most up-to-date information.

Q. I’m an EU student looking to start my studies in 2023-24. How does this impact on me?

A. All EU students commencing study in Scotland will pay fees at the International rate.

Only EU nationals who are ‘settled’ or ‘pre-settled’ in the UK will remain eligible to apply for home tuition fees providing they meet the residency conditions.

Other EU nationals and associated groups, starting a course of study in academic year 2023-24 or later, are not eligible to apply to SAAS for tuition fee support.

Because of a long-standing agreement between the UK and Republic of Ireland, new students from the Republic of Ireland starting their studies in 2023-24 will be eligible to pay the rest of UK (RUK) fee and will be able to access a tuition fee loan from SAAS.

Please also see the SAAS website for more information.

Q. I’m an EU student looking to start my studies in 2023-24. Are there additional study-related costs resulting from Brexit?

A: Most non-UK students (except Irish nationals) will need to apply for a Student Route visa to study their course at RCS.  They will also need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge and have access to funds for their living costs in addition to the course fee.  For the latest costs please see: https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/Information–Advice/Visas-and-Immigration/Student-route-eligibility-and-requirements

Q: Will there be scholarship support available to EU students?

A: The RCS Trust currently disburses more than £1.3million to incoming and continuing undergraduate, postgraduate and research students from Scotland, the rest of the UK, and international (including EU students) on the basis of merit and/or financial need. You can find more details on the Scholarship section of the website.

In addition, the Scottish Government in July 2020 committed to exploring a scholarship programme specifically to support European students to study in Scotland. We will share further details as soon they become available.

Higher Education Discretionary Fund (Home fee paying students only)

Once you are a student at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, you may be eligible to apply for assistance from the Discretionary Fund if you find yourself experiencing financial difficulty. These funds are provided by the Scottish Government to help UK students who are experiencing financial difficulty which they could not have anticipated at the outset of their programme. Available funds are limited, so students must have exhausted all other possible sources of funding such as their student loan or bank overdraft before applying for assistance.  To be eligible to apply in the first instance you must have taken out the maximum amount of student loan that you’re entitled to.

Money awarded to students from the Discretionary Fund cannot be used to pay outstanding tuition fees but can instead be used to pay rent, utility bills, for travel to the Conservatoire and for essential programme-related costs. Visit our Money Advice page for more information.

Higher Education Childcare Fund (UK students only)

All eligible full-time UK undergraduate and postgraduate students can apply for support from the Childcare Fund, which alongside the Discretionary Fund, is administered by the International and Student Experience team in the Academic Administration and Support Office (Gillian Mackenzie and Pauline McCluskey.) This fund provides assistance with the cost of formally registered childcare expenses for dependent children. If you are a student who has a child (or children), in the care of a registered child-minder, nursery or official after-school club while you are studying at the Conservatoire then please get in touch as soon as you commence your studies.

Non-UK Discretionary Fund

The Conservatoire has a small crisis fund for non-UK students who find themselves in financial difficulty resulting from a change in circumstances. It is expected that you’ll start your studies with enough funds to progress through your programme but if you encounter a change in circumstances you may wish to apply to this fund via the RCS portal.

Please note that the non-UK Discretionary Fund provides small amounts of short-term financial assistance and cannot be used to pay outstanding tuition fees.

If you have any questions regarding funding or fee assistance, please get in touch with us at welfare@rcs.ac.uk