Skip to main content

MMus/MA Chamber Music

Our MMus/MA programme in Chamber Music is the perfect fit for advanced performers wishing to immerse themselves in the world of chamber music. 

Overview

This programme is designed primarily for existing chamber ensembles who wish to further their development through study at Masters level. The individuals making up the group will normally have undertaken formal study beyond undergraduate level: as a team, you should be ready to commit to working together for the duration of the programme. 

We also welcome applications from individual candidates who can demonstrate an aptitude for and experience of chamber music, and a keen desire to work with others. The offer of a place will be dependent upon the potential for viable ensembles to be formed. 

Our chamber music ensembles form part of a thriving performance community, with opportunities to collaborate both with fellow musicians and artists from other disciplines. There are several RCS chamber music competitions for ensembles to enter, as well as potential opportunities for performances both in RCS and around Scotland. 

Chamber Music coaching is provided by experienced chamber musicians and visiting specialists, including Joseph Swenson, Will Conway, Greg Lawson, Matthew Trusler and Thomas Carroll of Trio Apaches.

The important details

UK Applicant Deadline:
2 October 2023

International (including EU) Applicant Deadline:
1 December 2023

Institution Code:
R58

Programme Code:
MA: 336F OR MMus: 337F

Audition Fee:
£65.00

Application Fee:
£27.50


Why Study Chamber Music at RCS?

Our MMus/MA programme in Chamber Music is the perfect fit for advanced performers wishing to immerse themselves in the world of chamber music.

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

World-renowned teaching


The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is consistently ranked in the World Top 10 for performing arts education (QS World Rankings 2023)

Students participate in a masterclass hosted by the Brodsky Quartet. A tutor and a student play violins side-by-side, reading sheet music.

Learn from the best


Busy schedule of masterclasses with visiting artists; recent visitors include the Brodsky Quartet, the Nash Ensemble and the Danish String Quartet

Collaboration


Only conservatoire in Europe to offer collaboration opportunities across all the performing arts

An orchestra plays during a dress rehearsal in a traditional performance space.

Performance


Opportunity to perform with resident ensembles including Stevenson Winds and Red Note Ensemble.

Meet the Staff

Campus & Facilities

Our large venues are used regularly by symphony orchestra, wind orchestra, opera, ballet, musical theatre and chamber-sized ensembles. 

Externally you may play in the Glasgow City Hall, the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and the soon to be new home of the RSNO. 

As well as a fabulous library and several computer suites, our students have access not only to a purpose-built recording studio but the use of an expert recording producer. Recordings can be made for course assessments and also at any time for personal use. 

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra performs with students in the Stevenson Hall.

Programme Structure

The MMus is the standard two-year programme undertaken by most students.

The MA is a shortened version of the programme for students who wish to get a Masters degree in a single year of study.

The first three terms of the MMus and MA are identical: MA students complete a further module in term 4 in order to complete the degree in a single year. There is no difference in the nature of the degrees: both concentrate mainly on performance rather than academic work.

Principal Study 1 – 80 Credits

  • Individual lessons and ensemble coaching 
  • 2-3 negotiated performance assessments 

Supporting Studies 1 – 30/20/10 Credits 

  • Negotiated departmental activities, such as performance classes, ensembles, rehearsals 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 

Principal Study 2 – 90 Credits 

  • Individual lessons and ensemble coaching 
  • 2-3 negotiated performance assessments

Supporting Studies 2 – 30/20/10 Credits  

  • Negotiated departmental activities, such as performance classes, ensembles, rehearsals and masterclasses

Options – 0/10/20 Credits  

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

Negotiated Study – 60 Credits 

  • Individual or collaborative composition, performance or academic project

Entry Requirements

Academic Requirements

Candidates for both the MMus and 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. 

Music requirements

Ensembles should prepare a programme of approximately 40 minutes of music. Individual candidates should prepare an approximately 40 minute programme — accompanied, not solo — drawn from the relevant instrumental list on the website under each department. Please list in your personal statement the other member(s) of your ensemble. 

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. 


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: 

School of Music Programme Costs


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: MA: 336F OR MMus: 337F

The closing date for on-time applications for UK Applicants is 2 October 2023 and for International Applicants is 1 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 admissions@rcs.ac.uk 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.

Policy

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.

References

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 application/ 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 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: 

Through audition, applicants will be required to demonstrate:

  • a high degree of technical competency on the instrument or voice in the service of 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

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

Chamber Music

Ensembles should prepare a programme of approximately 40 minutes of music. Please list in your personal statement the other member(s) of your ensemble. Individual candidates should prepare a programme drawn from the instrumental list for the relevant department.

More from the Chamber Music Department