An Overview


The RCS Brass department is an encouraging, vibrant place where players are challenged to become the best performers they can be. We have a worldwide reputation for training leading musicians and our teaching team includes many of Britain’s finest brass players.

The department is led by Head of Brass, John Logan. After a long playing career with many of the UK’s symphony orchestras, including a five-year tenure with Sir Simon Rattle at the CBSO, and a seventeen-year tenure as Associate Principal Horn with the RSNO, John works closely with students, sharing his extensive performance experience. John is still active in the professional performing world as a conductor and arranger especially in the area where Scottish folk and rock music collaborates alongside the symphony orchestra.

Unrivalled one-to-one tuition
The Brass programme has a long tradition of excellence and a worldwide reputation for training leading musicians. Our team of dedicated staff includes many of Britain’s finest brass players, with international reputations as soloists, orchestral, and chamber musicians. Students receive unparalleled principal study tuition plus additional tuition on a related study such as piccolo trumpet or natural horn. It is also possible to receive lesson time from our jazz department. We have regular visiting artists from all brass disciplines, including Visiting Professor, Ian Bousfield.

Performance opportunities
On this programme you’ll get a real sense of the demands of the professional world, with weekly classes in orchestral repertoire and the opportunity to set up your own ensembles and perform in our lunchtime concert series. We also enjoy professional collaborations with Scotland’s major orchestras and operate mentoring schemes with the RSNO, BBC SSO and the Orchestra of Scottish Opera. Through these connections it is possible, through competitions and auditions, to be assessed by performing a concerto alongside these top professional players.

In comparison to other conservatoires we run a smaller department, large enough to tackle challenging repertoire, but small enough to ensure widespread performance opportunities for every student. Our students take part in Symphony, Wind, Opera, and Chamber Orchestras, and a diverse range of ensembles including Big Band and Royal Conservatoire Brass. Our ensembles give concerts regularly at home and abroad; recent overseas performance opportunities have included China, Malta, Germany and Brazil.

Glasgow has so many great orchestras that there are a number of excellent brass players in the city who are connected to RCS. Frequently you’ll see tutors performing in professional situations and you’ll build up professional connections during your studies.

Institution Code:


Programme Code:


UK Deadline:

3 October 2022

International Deadline:

1 December 2022

Programme Structure

Common to all years are your principal study lessons, performance classes and creative and contextual studies.  Throughout the programme you will be given formative feedback grades in supporting studies that will include performance classes, ensembles including chamber, orchestra, repertoire classes and tutor reports.with the opportunity to undertake a second or related study and take part in masterclasses and concerts.

As the programme progresses you are given more credits of your own choice. These may be taken as added academic modules, cross-school modules or by being involved in more performance based activities.

You will benefit from individual one-to-one tuition from our experienced staff and have the opportunity to undertake a second or related study, and also classes in Creative and Contextual Studies.

From first year, your studies will revolve around performance. Using the Mondays and Fridays at One concert series, as well as a host of other programmed concerts, you will have the opportunity to perform frequently. Students can take part in symphony, wind, opera and chamber orchestras, and a diverse range of ensembles including the RCS Big Band and RCS Brass. Our ensembles give concerts regularly throughout Scotland and have also performed internationally with recent concerts including playing alongside Nicola Benedetti and conducted by Sir James MacMillan.

Staff by Instrument

Natural Horn
  • Beccy Goldberg
Natural Trumpet
  • Sandy McGrattan
  • Lance Green (Sub-Principal RSNO, FTCL ARCM)
  • Simon Johnson (Principal BBC SSO)
  • Dávur Juul Magnussen
  • Jonathan Hollick (BBC SSO)
Bass Trombone
Ophicleide and Cimbasso
  • Tony George (Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Orchestra of the 18th Century)
Visiting Specialities
  • Ian Bousfield (Visiting Professor)
  • Mike Lovatt (Associate Artist)
  • John Wallace CBE (Emeritus Professor)

Intro to the Brass Department

We spoke to Head of Brass, John Logan and our students to find out what it’s like to study with us and to hear about performance opportunities, teaching contact time and our prestigious links to the international brass community.

Why Choose Us?

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is in the World Top 10 for performing arts education 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020, 2021 and 2022 (QS World Rankings)

  • Highest-quality tuition from expert teachers, many of whom are also players in the national artistic companies.
  • Access to mentoring schemes with BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Opera and Scottish Chamber Orchestra, as well as the Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s Professional Experience Scheme to learn from industry professionals.
  • Opportunity to rehearse with and obtain feedback from players of national orchestras.
  • An individual lesson on your principal study per week | Opportunity to undertake an additional performance study.
  • Small class sizes allowing tutors more time to dedicate individual attention to each student.
  • Access to the John Webb collection of over 450 historical brass instruments.
  • International performing opportunities.
  • Cross-collaboration performance opportunities with other departments including jazz, traditional music and ballet.
  • Excellent graduate employment success, with many of our students obtaining employment with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Opera and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
  • Undergraduate music students can take advantage of learning within this unique Scottish conservatoire and undertake a module within traditional music, enabling you to broaden your repertoire, musicality and ensemble arrangement practices

Graduate Destinations

Many Royal Conservatoire brass alumni occupy positions in orchestras and ensembles across the world. 

  • Christopher Gough Principal Horn, RSNO
  • Kyle MacCorquodale Principal Bass Trombone, Hallé Orchestra
  • Dávur Juul Magnussen Principal Trombone, RSNO
  • Andrew McLean Associate Principal Horn with RSNO
  • Martin Murphy Associate Principal Horn, RSNO
  • Cillian Ó Ceallacháin Principal Trombone with Scottish Opera
  • Tom Poulson Co-Principal Trumpet with the Vasteras Sinfonietta, WorldBrass and Stockholm Chamber Brass
  • Martin Wright City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Principal Firth Horn
  • Paul Klein Principal Horn, Ulster Orchestra
  • Neil Gallie Principal Trombone Ulster Orchestra
  • Johnny Durrant Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
  • Rachel Boddice-Brown Senior Aircraft Woman, RAF Cranwell, posted to RAF College.
  • Haley Tonner Horn Scottish Ballet
  • Allan Adams Bass Trombone Scottish Ballet

Virtual Tour

Explore the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in our 360 virtual tour. You’ll be able to see our rehearsal and practice rooms, professional performance venues, production workshops, editing suite, ballet studios and more.

RCS Presents

Watch one of the first live concerts performed under Covid restrictions in the RCS Presents series, performed in November 2020.

Entry Requirements

General Academic Entrance Requirements
  • Scottish Highers — 3 passes (grade C or above)
  • A Levels — 2 passes
  • International Baccalaureate — minimum score of 24 with 3 subjects at Higher Level
  • Recognised equivalences (EU and International Entry Requirements)

We welcome the Scottish Baccalaureate and will accept combinations of Highers and Advanced Highers.

We offer a flexible approach to students taking Higher over more than one academic year and/or who achieve their qualifications in more than one sitting.

Subjects recommended

Within the minimum academic entrance requirements listed above, the subject recommended are:

  • Music at Higher, Advanced Higher or Advanced level or equivalent
  • English at Higher, Advanced Higher or Advanced level or equivalent
Other Standards

A strong indication of potential is sought at the entrance audition for this programme. Successful applicants will normally be of a standard at least equivalent to Grade 8 with Distinction of the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music in their Principal Study. You can apply and audition without having obtained Grade 8 with distinction, however as an indication only, applicants are normally expected to have reached this standard in their performance.

Language of Study

The language of study is English. Applicants who first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of proficiency in English. We accept the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Level 6.0 (with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component) is required of applicants to the School of Music.

Direct Entry

Applications for direct entry beyond Year 1 will be considered on a case-by-case basis and in accordance with the Royal Conservatoire’s Recognition of Prior (Experiential) Learning policy. If you wish to apply for direct entry, please mark the point of entry on UCAS Conservatoires application as 2 or 3.

Non-Standard Entry

We welcome applications from individuals whose academic qualifications or English language qualifications do not match (in terms of equivalence) or fall short of the normal entrance requirements, where specified*. Having satisfied the Audition Panel that they meet the selection criteria and demonstrated that they have the capacity to pursue the proposed course of study, such applicants will be considered through examination of contextualised data provided in accordance with the Non-Standard Entry Policy. The appropriate Head of Department/ Programme will make a case in support of the applicant for consideration by the Directors of the Schools and Convener of the Quality and Standards Committee.

*Note that UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) imposes minimum English Language qualifications in respect of international (non-EU) applicants who require a Tier 4 Visa to study in the UK.

Mature Students

RCS welcomes applications from mature students, i.e. students over the age of 21 at entry to the programme. Whilst the selection procedures will still be applied, consideration will be given to appropriate artistic experience not normally expected in school leavers, which is deemed to compensate for any lack of traditional entrance qualifications. Successful mature applicants, as for all other applicants, must convince auditioning panels that they have the ability and potential to cope with the demands of the programme. Their progress, especially in the early stages of the programme, will be closely monitored and appropriate advice and support given.

How to Apply

Apply via UCAS Conservatoires

Applications are made through UCAS Conservatoires website. The UCAS Conservatoires application system is separate from the main UCAS undergraduate application system. If you wish to apply to conservatoires and universities within UCAS, you will need to register for both services. There is a UCAS application fee of £26.50 to register to use UCAS Conservatoires.

To begin a new UCAS Conservatoires application, you will need to register. You can read the UCAS Conservatoires’ advice on completing the UCAS Conservatoires application. If you need assistance with your application, you can contact UCAS Conservatoires team by telephoning (Monday to Friday, 8.30 — 18.00). Phone 0371 468 0470 from within the UK or +44 330 3330 232 if you are calling from overseas.

Application deadline date

The deadline dates to apply and submit your audition recording can be found in the table below –

UCAS Conservatoires Application Deadline Audition Recording Deadline
Applicants 3 October 2022 17 October 2022

If you submit your application after this date, we cannot guarantee that your application/audition recording will be reviewed by the audition panel. If you do want to submit a late application, you must contact in the first instance to check we are accepting late applications. Late applications will be considered on a case by case basis and may not be considered in the first round of scholarship allocation.

We do not offer deferred entry. If you wish to commence in 2024, you must apply next year.

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland institution code is R58.

BMus (Hons) Performance: 300F

Joint Principal Study (Hons): 301F

Book an advice lesson with one of our Music tutors

An advice lesson gives you the chance to experience having a lesson at the Conservatoire and provides a great opportunity for you to gain some expert advice and insight. Advice lessons normally take place from late August to early October and are dependent on staff availability. Book your advice lesson here or e-mail our team for further information at

Application Fee

There is a UCAS Conservatoires application fee of £26.50. In addition to the application fee, each conservatoire charges an audition assessment administration fee. For RCS, the audition assessment administration fee is £65 per programme applied for. Fees are not refundable. The fees are paid via the UCAS Conservatoires website and not directly to RCS.

Audition Assessment Administration fee

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland charges an audition assessment administration fee of £65 per course.

We recognise that auditioning and interviewing for conservatoires, drama and ballet schools can be costly. The audition assessment administration fee charge allows us to offer a thorough and positive experience to all applicants and we encourage you to get in touch to ask the panel questions and find out more about the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to see if it is the best place for you.

We are committed to ensuring fair access to a conservatoire education for students who have the talent and potential to benefit from it, regardless of their background. In support of this, audition fee waivers are offered to applicants whom financial hardship may be a barrier to auditioning. Please see the audition fee waivers document for more information.


It is your responsibility to ask two separate referees to write references and ensure that these are sent to RCS.

The references must be written by two different people and we will not accept references from family, other relatives or close friends. You can submit your UCAS Conservatoires application form and send your references at a later date, but they must be received prior to your audition date.

UCAS Conservatoires provides reference forms for you to download and send to your referees for completion.

Selection Process

Applicants are selected first and foremost on the basis of merit and potential. However, due attention is also paid to the range of Principal Studies accepted in order to ensure the optimum experience for each student and to sustain the critical mass required for curricular activities, such as the symphony orchestra and choral activities.

Please note that the Conservatoire is obliged to offer one audition date per application. If you are unable to submit your application/audition recording by the deadline date above, you must email us immediately stating the reason. We have a specific period allocation to audition and all on time applications will receive a decision before Christmas. If your audition recording is delayed, there is a risk that places will already have been taken and your application may not be considered in the first round of scholarship allocation.

BMus Joint Principal Study (JPS)

The Joint Principal Study pathway is intended to cater for the needs of individuals who are equally accomplished in two Principal Study disciplines (e.g. Flute and Composition, or Trumpet and Conducting, etc.) and who wish to maintain this intense level of dedication in their musical studies. Please note that Conducting is only available as a Joint Principal Study and Jazz Performance is only available in conjunction with Conducting or Composition.

The selection process for applicants applying for Joint Principal Study is the same as that for other applicants; please prepare for two separate in-person auditions, or, for International applicants, please submit your audition recordings via Acceptd for each principal study. Applicants to the Joint Principal Study pathway who are successful in only one of their Principal Studies may be offered a place on the relevant ‘single-study’ pathway (i.e. Performance, Composition or Jazz).


All auditions are planned to take place in-person at our campus in Glasgow in November 2022.  Should you apply on time, you will be e-mailed directly with details of your audition date and time, and your UCAS Conservatoires track will be updated with this information.

International applicants are welcome to submit a recorded submission via Acceptd. For those submitting a recording, the deadline dates to apply and submit your audition recording can be found in the table below:

UCAS Conservatoires Application Deadline Audition Recording Deadline
Applicants 3 October 2022 18 October 2022

Recording Guidelines:

  • When setting up for your video recording, your body (typically, from about the waist up) and instrument should be the focal point of the frame. The committee wants to be able to see not just your face but how well you navigate your instrument.
  • The video recording should be provided in ONE continuous shot without separate tracks for different musical pieces.
  • Please begin the recording by introducing yourself to camera and stating what you will be performing. You can take a little time between pieces so long as your body must remain in the frame.
  • For any pieces that were written for your instrument and piano accompaniment, you are encouraged to perform with piano accompaniment (whether live or pre-recorded) if practical for you. Be assured, however, that if this is not possible for you, then you will not be disadvantaged in any way.

All decisions will be posted on UCAS Conservatoires following your audition or recorded submission via UCAS Conservatoires track (you will need your username and password). We aim to post outcomes before Christmas.

Details of the repertoire requested for your in-person audition/recorded submission can be found below:


Performance of one piece selected from the following list, and one piece of your own choice.

–        Mozart — Horn Concerto No. 3 in Eb, K.447

–        F Strauss — Nocturno, Op. 7 (Universal)

–        R Strauss — Concerto No. 1 in Eb, Op. 11, 2nd movement: Andante (Universal)


Performance of one piece selected from the following list, and one piece of your own choice.

–        H Busser — Andante et Scherzo (Leduc/UMP)

–        J Hubeau — Sonate, 1st and 2nd movements: Sarabande and Intermède (Durand/UMP)

–        Hummel — Trumpet Concerto, 1st and 2nd movements or 2nd and 3rd movements (Bb or Eb trumpet, any edition). C, A or Eb.


Performance of one piece selected from the following list, and one piece of your own choice.

Arban — Study No. 10 from Cornet Method (Boosey & Hawkes)

J Hubeau — Sonate, 1st and 2nd movements (Durand/UMP)

D Wright — Cornet Concerto (Studio Music)

Tenor Trombone

Performance of one piece selected from the following list, and one piece of the your own choice.

–        J S Bach — Menuettos 1 and 2 from Cello Suite No 1 in C (arr. Lafosse) (Leduc/UMP)

–        Galliard — Sonata No. 1, any three of the five movements

–        Guilmant — Morceau symphonique, Op. 88 (Schott 10484)

Bass Trombone

Performance of one piece selected from the following list, and one piece of your own choice.

–        P McCarty — Sonata for Bass Trombone (Ensemble Publications)

–        Boutry — Tubaroque (Leduc/UMP)

–        J S Bach — Menuettos 1 and 2 from Cello Suite No. 1 in C (A.Wenzinger, ed. Bärenreiter)


Performance of one piece selected from the following list, and one piece of your own choice.

–        J Horovitz — Euphonium Concerto (Novello)

–        J S Bach — Cello Suite No. 1 in C (Leduc) (arr. Lafosse)

–        Arban — Study No. 10 from Cornet Method (Boosey & Hawkes)


Performance of one piece selected from the following list, and one piece of your own choice.

–        W Hartley — Suite for unaccompanied Tuba, complete (Elkan-Vogel/UMP)

–        G Jacob — Tuba Suite, 1st and 2nd movements

–        Hindemith — Tuba Sonata, 1st movement (Schott 4636)

–        V Williams — Tuba Concerto, 1st movement

Following your Audition

All decisions will be posted on UCAS Conservatoires following your audition via UCAS Conservatoires Track,  (you will need your username and password). You will also receive notification from UCAS Conservatoires when decisions on all your choices are available.

Please see below for an explanation of UCAS Conservatoires codes:

Guaranteed Unconditional (GU) RCS is satisfied from the information you have given, that you have already met the conditions for entry. Unless your application and/or qualification are subsequently shown to be fraudulent, a guaranteed unconditional offer is binding.

Guaranteed Conditional (GC) RCS has made the offer subject to you meeting certain conditions such as examination results. Conditions can be viewed via UCAS Conservatoires Track. Unless your application and/or qualifications are subsequently shown to be fraudulent, the offer is binding if you accept the offer and meet the conditions. You must meet the conditions of the offer by 31 August 2021, unless an earlier date is specified. If your conditions include obtaining IELTS (English Language test), you must meet this condition by 31 May 2021.

Reserve Unconditional (VU) RCS is satisfied from the information you have given, that you have already met the conditions for entry and you have been offered a place on our reserve pool.

Reserve Conditional (VC) RCS has offered a place on its reserve pool subject to you meeting certain conditions such as examination results. Conditions can be viewed via UCAS Conservatoires Track.

Unsuccessful (R) RCS does not wish to offer you any type of a place.

Reserve Outcomes

If you have received a ‘reserve’ outcome, it means that RCS is not able to offer you a guaranteed place at the time of making our decision. A ‘reserve’ outcome indicates that RCS would like the opportunity to review its outcome to you in the light of acceptances/declines to its guaranteed offers. You will become part of a ‘pool’ of ‘reserve’ candidates and RCS may choose to make you a guaranteed offer if a suitable place becomes available.  Reserve does not mean that a place has been ‘reserved’ for you. If RCS chooses not to make you a guaranteed offer, you will not have a place to start at RCS.

If you have been given a ‘reserve’ outcome, in order to be considered for a guaranteed place (should one become available) you will need to accept the outcome (and meet any conditions if applicable).

Reserve outcomes remain active until the end of August.  The decision to wait and see whether a guaranteed place becomes available, or to accept an offer at another conservatoire is entirely at your discretion. As soon as your situation changes, this is updated on UCAS Conservatoires.

Replying to Offers

As soon as a decision is made, UCAS Conservatoires will let you know. You must reply online via UCAS Conservatoires Track. Your reply date is displayed on Track. If you do not reply by the date given, your offers will be declined automatically. The reply date may be different to other applicants as it is based on when you receive your last decision.

Last decision by Your reply date is
3 January 2023 1 February 2023
15 March 2023 11 April 2023
15 May 2023 1 June 2023
11 July 2023 27 July 2023
2 August 2023 8 September 2023

Please see the UCAS Conservatoires website for more information on replying to offers. If you make an application through UCAS Conservatoires, UCAS or UCAS Teacher Training, you cannot hold more than one confirmed place. A confirmed place in UCAS Conservatoires is a guaranteed unconditional offer as your first choice (GU1) and in UCAS and UCAS Teacher Training it is an unconditional firm (UF) place. If you receive more than one confirmed place, UCAS will ask you to accept one offer and withdraw from any others.


We have a number of policies and statements which you should read when applying to study at the Royal Conservatoire.

Please select the links below to read each policy.

Fees and Scholarships

Scottish Students

The Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) will pay tuition fees for all eligible full-time Scottish-based and other non-UK undergraduate EU students, who are studying in Scotland at degree level for the first time. Students should apply to SAAS for payment of tuition fees even if they are not applying for any other means of support. Eligible students can also apply for student loans through SAAS. For further advice and to check eligibility contact SAAS directly on 0300 555 0505 or visit the SAAS website.

Rest of UK Students

Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland studying in Scotland will be eligible for the same funding/loan package that they would benefit from if they attended an institution in their home country. For further advice please visit student finance England , student finance Wales , or student finance Northern Ireland as appropriate.

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.

QWhat 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 2021/22, all EU students commencing study in Scotland will pay fees at the International rate.

Q: I’m an EU student looking to start my studies in 2022-23. How does this impact me?

A: From 2021/22, 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 2021-22 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 2022-23 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.


Any potential student who auditions for a place at the Royal Conservatoire will automatically be considered for a scholarship. They are awarded on a combination of talent, potential and financial need. More information about Scholarships is available on our Fees and Funding page.

Sources of External Funding

For more information about alternative funding sources, including external scholarships and bursaries, please visit Fees and Funding.

The Conservatoire’s International and Student Experience team are available to advise and assist applicants and current students in respect of queries about funding your studies at the Conservatoire. Please email or telephone +44 (0)141 270 8281/ +44 (0)141 270 8223 for further information.

Cost of Living and Associated Programme Costs

Investing in your future is important and you need to consider the cost of your tuition as well as the cost of living during your studies. In addition to tuition fees, it is estimated that you will need between £10,000 and £12,000 per year to live in Glasgow, plus programme costs. Associated programme costs can be found here.

Tuition fees for academic year 2022-23

Scottish Students


Rest of UK (RUK) Students


International (including EU)


From 21/22 academic year all EU students commencing study in Scotland will pay fees at the International rate.