Skip to main content

MA Historically Informed Performance Practice

Delivered in partnership with the University of Glasgow, MA Historically Informed Performance Practice offers you the unique opportunity to study alongside world-class performer-scholars within a University and Conservatoire environment. 


The MA in Historically Informed Performance Practice is offered by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in conjunction with the University of Glasgow. It will provide you with opportunities to develop insight and experience in the historical performance practice of music, through a combination of vocal or instrumental study, performance-related academic research and an element of apprenticeship with professional ensembles. 

The programme draws upon the staff expertise and facilities of both institutions, offering a unique opportunity to study alongside world-class performer-scholars within both the University and the Conservatoire environment. 

Your study will involve attending seminar series, practical presentations and a practical portfolio. You will also be assessed by dissertation and through a performance recital. 

As an accomplished performer, you will find that this programme will enhance your performance skills and knowledge with detailed, rigorous study of historical performance practice (particularly of music of the 17th and 18th centuries). 

If you are aspiring to perform professionally or wish to undertake historical research relating to performance practice, or both, this programme is designed for you. 

The important details

UK Applicant Deadline:
2nd October 2023

International (including EU) Applicant Deadline:
1st December 2023

Institution Code:

Programme Code:

Audition Fee:

Application Fee:

Why Study Historically Informed Performance Practice at RCS?

Desgined for You

If you aspire to perform professionally, wish to undertake historical research relating to performance practice, or both, this programme is designed for you. This programme will enhance your performance skills and knowledge with a detailed, rigorous study of historical performance practice (particularly of music of the 17th and 18th centuries). We offer the unique opportunity to study alongside world-class performer-scholars and work within the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the University of Glasgow. 

Future Opportunities

You will join the successful graduates of the HIPP programme. The HESA report (15/16) highlights that 100% of postgraduate respondents from the School of Music are in employment or further study.

Students dancing at a party.

Study in the City of Music

Glasgow is the UK’s first UNESCO city of music, home to the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Opera and National Theatre of Scotland. Studying here gives you access to opportunities provided by these organisations. Additionally, you will benefit from access to facilities including seminar and practice rooms, the University of Glasgow and RCS library, audio labs and an electroacoustic music studio, the Royal Conservatoire and the University’s concert halls and studios. 

Meet the Staff

  • University of Glasgow

    John Butt

    David McGuinness

  • Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

    David Watkin

Programme Structure

Principal Study 1 – 80 Credits 

  • Individual Lessons (22 Hours) 
  • Seminars (20 Hours) 
  • Assessed through a recital plus two academic presentations 

Supporting Studies 1 – 30/20/10 Credits 

  • Negotiated departmental activities, such as performance classes, coaching, languages and masterclasses 

Practice Research – 10 Credits 

  • Research Project 

Options – 0/10/20 Credits 

  • Range of optional classes drawn from School of Music and School of Drama, Dance, Production and Film 

HIPP Dissertation – 60 Credits 

  • A dissertation of 10,000 words on a chosen topic 

Entry Requirements

Academic Requirements

Candidates for the MA are normally expected to hold a good honours (at least 2:2) degree, or its overseas equivalent, in a subject area relevant to the demands of the programme. 

English language requirements

The language of study is English. Applicants whose 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 following 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 the UCAS Conservatoires application as 2. 

Fees & Funding

Tuition fees

  • UK £17,875 
  • International: £35,090 

Funding & Scholarships

You can find out about the funding and scholarships available for studying at RCS by visiting our dedicated page:

Funding & Scholarships

Cost of Living & Programme Costs

In addition to tuition fees, it is estimated that you will need between £11,200 and £15,300 per year to live in Glasgow, plus programme costs. Much will depend on your lifestyle and whether your course runs for three or four terms. 

Programmes within the School of Music have a range of associated costs related to the specific activities required and advised by the programme team. You can find an indication of these costs below: 


How to Apply

Apply via UCAS Conservatoires

Applications are made through the 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.

You can read our guidance about using UCAS Conservatoires on our dedicated how-to-apply page.

We do not offer deferred entry. If you wish to commence in 2025, you must apply next year.

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland institution code is R58. You will also require the following program codes to apply: 327F

The closing date for UK on-time applications is 2nd October 2023 and for International applications 1st December 2023.  If you submit your application after this date, we cannot guarantee that your application 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

Application/Audition fees

There is a UCAS Conservatoires application fee of £27.50. In addition to the application fee, each conservatoire charges an audition assessment administration fee. The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland charges an audition assessment administration fee of £65 for this programme.

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 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.


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 based on merit and potential. However, due attention is also paid to the range of Principal Studies accepted 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. 

Audition Information

All auditions are planned to take place in person at our campus in Glasgow in November 2023.  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. 

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 the 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. 

For more information on recording a video audition, Guitar Lecturer Matthew McCallister reveals his top tips on recording your music audition online.

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

Applicants should prepare two contrasting items that demonstrate their technical ability and interest in historically informed performance. Please feel free to email if you wish for further guidance on what to prepare for your audition. Applicants should also submit the following:

  • Proposal (maximum of 500 words) 
  • An example of written work 

All of the above should be submitted to Acceptd. Through audition, applicants will be required to demonstrate: 

  • A high degree of technical competency in the instrument or voice in the service of a specific repertoire 
  • An ability to demonstrate a considerable degree of understanding of the repertoire performed 
  • An ability to perform specific repertoire convincingly 
  • A considerable degree of self-confidence and creativity with respect to the repertoire performed 
  • A degree of self-sufficiency, initiative, and independence in selecting, preparing and performing a particular programme 
  • A developing musical personality 


Why RCS?

We are the only place in Europe where you can study all of the performing arts on the one campus. There is a distinctive creative energy at RCS and you’ll be made to feel part of our inclusive and diverse environment from the very beginning of your studies.

Our graduates are resourceful, highly employable and members of a dynamic community of artists who make a significant impact across the globe.

At RCS, students develop not just their art but their power to use it.

Find out more 

A ballerina wearing a teal dress jumps over the Kelpies monuments in Scotland during a grey day.

World Top Ten

We were voted one of the world’s Top Ten destinations to study the performing arts (QS Rankings) in 2024, the eighth time we have been placed in the top ten since the ranking was established in 2016.