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MEd in Learning and Teaching in the Arts

Be part of a vibrant and diverse community of educators sharing in a journey of professional enquiry and development designed to enhance your practice as an arts educator.


This part-time 180-credit programme provides a unique opportunity for arts educators to upgrade their teaching qualifications and obtain a Masters, which has been specifically designed to develop teaching skills for the arts. It is delivered on a part-time basis with a mix of face-to-face and online sessions, one-to-one tutorials and independent study. Students further afield have the option to study the programme fully online, accessing the face-to-face sessions through a video conferencing platform.

The programme is designed to allow you to integrate your studies within your professional teaching contexts. The process of professional enquiry that underpins all modules requires students to engage in a sustained critical analysis of their teaching and arts practice in order to identify and address their own developmental priorities at each stage. The programme culminates in a self-designed, self-generated, project that is intended to help students make a significant contribution to their professional practices and their learners. As such, we are looking for individuals who are ready to engage their creativity in developing and evolving innovative approaches to their practice as arts educators.

The important details

UK Applicant Deadline:
30 June 2024

International (including EU) Applicant Deadline:
30 June 2024

Institution Code:

Programme Code:

Audition Fee:

Application Fee:

An introduction to MEd in Learning and Teaching in the Arts

Watch a course overview to introduce the programme structure

Why Study MEd in Learning and Teaching in the Arts at RCS?

BEd student supports secondary learners. They read sheet music together. A violin sits on their table.

Enhance your teaching practice

You will develop professional knowledge, networks and collaboration opportunities as part of a diverse learning community

BEd student points to sheet music in their classroom during placement.

Learn new skills

Opportunities to develop specialist or new skills in your subject discipline or a related subject discipline

A range of dance, acting, music RCS students posing on set.

Like Nowhere Else

Get the opportunity to develop your arts education within a conservatoire setting, gaining access to all the facilities RCS has to offer, alongside personal supervision and mentoring by expert arts educators, experienced teachers and artists

Demonstrate your commitment

GTCS registered teachers can use this Education Scotland endorsed programme to build evidence of their commitment to their professional arts education learning

A teacher is showing students a slide show about the style of music.

Gain accreditation

Accredited by the GTCS, and upon completion of the programme, registered students will automatically gain GTCS Professional Recognition in Creative Arts Education.

A person is smiling off-camera. They are holding a pencil and a book. Another person looks on intently.

Build GTCS credits

This programme can be used to build credit towards an application for 2nd GTCS Subject Registration in dance, drama, music or art and design

A teacher is gesturing at students in a classroom.

Gain Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy

Lecturers/tutors* who undertake this programme will gain a Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

*Educators working in a further or higher education settings with learners at SCQF Level 7 or above (or equivalent)

Ruairidh Gray is performing in a semi circle of traditional musicians. He is side on, holding a microphone to his mouth, and smiling

Open to Gaelic speakers

Can be undertaken by educators who work with Gaelic as their teaching/main language

Who is this course for?

The MEd programme has been developed specifically for educators working within or teaching the arts, this includes (but is not limited to): dance, drama, musical theatre, music, film, production and visual/fine art. Students on this course will likely hold a role as an arts educator:

Within a formal education context such as:

  • GTCS registered primary teacher 
  • GTCS registered secondary teacher 
  • Further Education lecturer/tutor 
  • Higher Education lecturer/tutor 
  • Visiting Guest Tutor in a school
  • Instrumental Music Instructor 
  • Teacher in an International School 
  • Lecturer/tutor in an International Higher Education context 
  • Early Years educator 

Or within a UK or International informal context, such as:  

  • Community Arts Tutor 
  • Participatory Arts Tutor 
  • Private Tutor 
  • Dance Tutor/Teacher 
  • Tutor in a pre-HE organisation 
  • Freelance Teaching Artist

Online Discovery Sessions

Interested in finding out more about this distance learning programme? Join our online discovery sessions to learn more about the course and what it entails. By taking part in a focused discussion, we look at how this programme challenges your own ideas, critical analysis and personal development as a performing arts practitioner or educator.

What Makes a Passionate Arts Educator?

All sessions run twice on stated date, one in the morning and one in the evening (there is no need to be present for both).

Graduate Destinations

Successful completion of this qualification provides evidence of your commitment to professionalism to learning and teaching. We expect graduates to progress further in their careers, increase their employability and be able to work in a host of different arts settings. 

Many students on the programme secure promoted roles within their own organisations or may move to different organisations whilst still studying on the programme. 

Some graduates from the existing MEd and MA Psychology in the Arts (Music) have gone on to further PhD study, continuing their professional/academic enquiry beyond the programme.

Student testimonial

“This programme has had a huge impact upon my professional development especially as I developed my practice moving from a primarily creative practitioner to working within an HE Environment.”Previous MEd Student

Student testimonial

“It is indescribable as to how the programme has helped me professionally. I am now a committee member of a community theatre group here in Hong Kong and I have made professional and academic connections. The programme has made me more knowledgeable, curious and confident in myself as a teaching artist.”Previous MEd Student

Programme Structure

The programme is delivered over a three year period (part-time), through a combination of online workshops, distance and independent learning, weekend seminars and work placement or work-based learning.

This programme is primarily concerned with helping arts education professionals engage in a process of active enquiry, and the underpinning structure of the delivery model reflects three distinct types of enquiry: Teaching Practice Enquiry, Arts Practice Enquiry, Professional Enquiry.

The aim of the programme is to encourage you to investigate your teaching practice alongside your arts practice in order to lead towards a significant piece of work in year three that is intended to have an impact within your professional context.

In your first year your will focus on, developing the knowledge and skills required to evidence the quality of your teaching and arts practice. Over this year you will develop a working knowledge of the definitions, conventions and priorities expressed within the arts and arts education. You will be encouraged to use research and critical reflection to ensure that your teaching practices are underpinned by robust evidence.

Teaching the Arts | 30 Credits

This module is designed to help you to build an evidence-base to support a critical evaluation of your teaching practices. Having articulated the philosophies, principles and values that underpin your current teaching practice, you will design, deliver and evaluate learning activities, demonstrating how your teaching is underpinned by appropriate and current policies and learning theories. This evaluation will see students using feedback from peers and fellow learners to inform ongoing development priorities. 

Arts Context and Culture | 30 Credits

This is a 30-credit module that will engage you in building an evidence-base to demonstrate a critical understanding of your art form. Having articulated the philosophies, principles and values that support your understanding of your arts discipline, your will engage in an enquiry of the social, political, cultural and economic factors that define the context in which it operates. Through this module, you will gain an understanding of how to build a plan for your own development that is built on a robust foundation of relevant literature, resources and discourses in your artform.

In year two, the focus shifts to the ways in which you can engage in a meaningful exploration of your teaching and arts practice in order to challenge preconceptions and to take advantage of innovations in education and the arts. You will focus on proposing and testing hypotheses designed to advance your practice both as an practitioner and educator.

The Teacher as Researcher | 30 Credits

In this module, undertaken by all MEd students, you will focus on the development of a practice-based research project that will help you explore new and innovating ways in which you might meet the identified needs of your learners. You will explore the impact of these new practices through the ethical use of research data and objective critical analysis, informing your ongoing development as an educator.

Artist Development | 30 Credits | Non-Gaelic Educators

In this module, for students who are not working in Gaelic-speaking education, you will undertake an exploration into your professional arts practice, targeting gaps in your knowledge and your skills in understanding your specific art form. In this self-directed module you will explore a range of self-identified contexts and partnerships to discover and evaluate your learning experiences. At the end of the module you will critically evaluate your experiences in relation to your teaching practices and your ongoing development priorities.


Gaelic Artist Development | 30 Credits

In this module, designed for Gaelic-speaking educators, you will undertake an exploration into your professional Gaelic arts practice, targeting gaps in your knowledge, your skills, your understanding of specific art forms and of your knowledge of Gaelic culture and literacy. You will explore a range of self-identified contexts and partnerships to discover and evaluate your learning experiences. At the end of the module, you will critically evaluate your experiences in relation to your teaching practices and your ongoing development priorities.

In year three, the focus changes towards an enquiry that is designed to have a significant impact on your learners and the context within which you work.

Final Project | 60 Credits

Tailored to provide an opportunity for you to design a unique module of study for yourself that will help you address an established gap in the provision for your learners, and to help you meet your own professional learning priorities. You will focus on the development of a project that brings together the findings from your Arts Practice Enquiry and your Teaching Practice Enquiry. This project is expected to have an impact on your learners at a local level but may have a broader application and may impact your sector more widely. 

Entry Requirements

Academic Requirements

Applicants for the programme normally have a good degree or international equivalent in a subject area relevant to the demands of the programme. It is recognised that some applicants may not have achieved a full degree in a relevant subject area and we will take account of relevant professional experience where it is deemed to be a suitable equivalency.

English language requirements

International English Language Testing System score (IELTS) (if applicable) Level 7.5 with a minimum score of 7.5 in speaking and with a minimum score of 5.5 in all parts. 

Gaelic speaking students will be required to demonstrate fluency in spoken Gaelic and a basic level of competence in written Gaelic. 

Other requirements

Applicants seeking to build evidence towards GTCS second subject registration, must already hold full GTCS registration and have a remit for the second subject within their teaching workload. Applicants seeking GTCS Professional Recognition must also hold full GTCS registration.   

Applicants seeking Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) must have a remit for teaching in a Further or Higher Education context with learners working at SCQF Level 7 and/or above (or equivalent). Participants seeking HEA Fellowship, APL will not normally be awarded for the modules that contribute to the award of HEA Fellow, unless they have been achieved on an AdvanceHE accredited programme that is deemed a suitable match.

Fees & Funding

Tuition fees

You can find out more about tuition on our dedicated page:

Tuition & Fees

Funding & Scholarships

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

Funding & Scholarships

If you’re interested in studying the MEd in Learning and Teaching in the Arts part-time, please find additional funding support here:

Part-time Postgraduate Support Package

This consists of a tuition fee loan of up to £7,000, which is split equally across each year of the course. Part-time students do not qualify for a Living Cost Loan.

Cost of Living & Programme Costs

This course can be studied fully online if you live further afield and don’t wish to relocate. For any students who would like to move to Glasgow to pursue hybrid learning on the programme, it is estimated that you will need between £11,200 and £15,300 per year to live here, though much will depend on your lifestyle. 

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.  

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 programmes codes to apply: MEd Learning & Teaching in the Arts – 310P 

The closing date for all on-time applications is 30 June 2024.  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 application fee of £27.50 to register to use UCAS Conservatoires. 

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland additionally charges an audition assessment administration fee of £55 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 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

You need to submit your application for the course online through UCAS Conservatoires. 

Once you submit your application, please complete our short questionnaire via Acceptd. Once we have received your application and response to the questionnaire, we can arrange an interview for you. 

Interview process

The interview is designed to provide the programme team with an insight into your level of suitability for study on the programme.

The interview will comprise of two parts consisting of a short presentation and an interview:

Short presentation (no more than 10 minutes) 

Your presentation will focus on your ideas for the ‘Final Project’ module of the programme which enables you to design and undertake a substantial project that will synthesise your personal understanding of your learning and teaching philosophy and practice and your professional arts and education practice into one cohesive piece of work. 

 You are invited to share some initial ideas for how you might use this project. For example, you may choose to focus on investigating: 

  • Gaps in the existing provision of learning within your specialist profession 
  • Opportunities within your specialist area that you could engage with 
  • Areas of your specialist area that you believe would benefit from further research 
  • Ways in which you might use this final module to address gaps in your own development 

You will be requested to provide some evidence to support your initial proposals, drawing on published journal articles, books or other key sources and to be prepared to provide some critical analysis of these in light of your project ideas. 


Following your presentation, there will be a 20-minute discussion about your presentation and application with the Head of Programme and a member of the delivery team. This will be used to explore your educational background, experience, opportunities and aspirations and you will be invited to address the following questions: 

  1. What has led you to apply for this programme?
  2. How do you see this programme contributing to your professional development?
  3. What opportunities will you have to work with learners during the programme?


The decision to offer you a place on the programme will be based on both your application and the interview. This will normally be communicated to within two to three weeks of your interview.

More from MEd in Learning and Teaching in the Arts

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.