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MMus/MA Performance

Our MMus/MA Performance is a flexible programme with a strong emphasis on performance, designed to refine and extend your musicianship in preparation for your next steps into your chosen career path.


The MMus/MA Performance programme is designed for students who aim to make music their life’s work.

Perhaps you aspire to become an opera singer, a concert artist or orchestral musician; to accompany, compose or arrange; to work as a freelance instrumentalist or to be a conductor, music leader or animateur. You may be planning to coach or teach, either as the sole focus of your professional life or, more likely, as part of a portfolio career. You might have your sights set on doctoral study, on making a contribution to Scotland’s vibrant traditional music culture or may perhaps wish to fulfil one of the vital specialist music roles in related art forms such as ballet.

Whatever your rationale for joining the Conservatoire’s MMus/MA programme, you are here to refine and extend your musicianship in preparation for your next steps.

Our MMus/MA Performance pathway places a main emphasis on performance instead of academic work, with 80 of 120 credits for MA students and first year MMus students dedicated to your principal study. For students undertaking the two-year MMus, this rises to 90 credits in second year. The programme is designed to be flexible and in both stages you will be able to choose your other credits from a range of options including performance classes, ensembles, rehearsals and masterclasses, and/or other courses from across the many disciplines we offer here at the Conservatoire.

The important details

UK Applicant Deadline:
2 October 2024

International (including EU) Applicant Deadline:
1 December 2024 (2 October 2024 for Keyboard principal study)

Institution Code:

Programme Code:
890F - MMus OR 801F - MA

Audition Fee:

Application Fee:

Principal Study

Students on the MMus/MA Performance pathway can choose from the following principal studies:

Programme Structure

Principal Study 1: 80 credits

  • Individual instrumental/vocal lessons
  • 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 the School of Music and/or School of Drama, Dance, Production and Film

Negotiated Study: 60 credits

Individual composition, performance or academic project

Principal Study 2: 90 credits

  • Individual instrumental/vocal lessons
  • 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 the School of Music and/or School of Drama, Dance, Production and Film

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.

The MMus in Performance can be studied part-time across three or four years. The possible patterns are:

  • Stage 1 full time, Stage 2 part time over two years (three years total)
  • Stage 1 part time over two years, Stage 2 full time (three years total)
  • Stage 1 part time over two years, Stage 2 part time over two years (four years total)

No MA programme may be taken part-time.

However, please note international students on student visas are not permitted to undertake any of the part-time routes.

Your part-time programme will be negotiated individually, but will typically involve spreading your Principal Study tuition over two years, with B assessment/s in the first part-time year and the A assessment as the culmination of the second. Supporting Studies activities will be distributed across the two years, while any Options chosen will occupy a single part-time year.

Please note, if you wish to apply to undertake this programme part-time there will be a separate instance on UCAS. We will update the ‘Apply Now’ button with this link as soon as it is available.

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

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.

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 Accreditation 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



  • Full-time: £12,870
  • Part-time: £6,435


  • £17,875

International (including EU):


  • Full-time: £27,467


  • £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 2026, you must apply next year.

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland institution code is R58. You will also require the following programmes codes to apply: 890F – MMus Performance OR 801F – MA Performance

The closing date for on-time MMus/MA Performance applications for UK students is 2 October 2024 and for International students is 1 December 2024, unless you are applying for principal study in Keyboard, in which case the closing date for ALL on-time applications is 2 October 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 Conservatoires application fee of £28.50. 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 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.

Audition Information

Audition requirements depend on which principal study you are applying for. You can find these requirements on the individual department pages below:

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 

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