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Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (Music)

As a participant on the PGDE (Music) programme, you will join a vibrant and diverse community sharing in a journey of professional enquiry designed to enhance your practice as an arts educator. 


The Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (Music) is a vocational, one-year professional programme for graduates who aspire to teach classroom music in schools. On this programme, you will engage with intensive studies in education (professional studies) and 90 days of school placement. There are also opportunities to develop your music skills through complimentary placement studies in areas that will support your work in the classroom. 

Following graduation, you will qualify for provisional registration with the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS). All eligible graduates are guaranteed a probationary year of classroom music teaching in a Scottish secondary school. GTCS standards are recognised and highly regarded in the UK and internationally. 

The important details

UK Applicant Deadline:
29 January 2025

International (including EU) Applicant Deadline:
29 January 2025

Institution Code:

Programme Code:

Audition Fee:

Application Fee:

Why Study the Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (Music) at RCS?

The Education department at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland offers unique opportunities to learn and develop a unique identity as an arts educator. Our approach sets us apart, with benefits including:

A music teacher guides secondary student musicians through a performance at Lourdes.

Intensive experience and studies

Intensive school experience and education studies which are tailored specifically for the teacher of music. You will also learn classroom music skills to support your work on placement.

BEd student presents about harps to secondary learners in their classroom during placement.

Probationary year of employment

All eligible graduates are guaranteed a probationary year of employment as a classroom music teacher. 

The front of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland building during a sunny day.

Study at Scotland's national Conservatoire

Study at Scotland’s national conservatoire and be exposed to performance education from across the performing arts. 

A primary school music teacher explains ideas in front of her students.

Further employment

100% of graduate respondents from our other teacher education programmes are in employment or further study (HESA, 2015/16). 

Programme Structure

You can find out more about the structure of the course by downloading a timetable overview. Your year will include the following areas of study: 

Professional Studies will focus on your developing identity as a teacher. You will explore issues related to learning and teaching in Scotland, study key issues about how children learn and teacher professionalism including the GTCS Standard for Provisional Registration. 

Subject specialist lectures will prepare you for school placements and give you an opportunity to develop the skills required for teaching music in both the primary and secondary school. Placements will take place in different schools where you will be supported by music teachers and an RCS School Experience Tutor. School placements are normally offered within reasonable travelling distance of your term-time address. 

Entry Requirements

Academic Requirements

The minimum entry requirements for PGDE courses are set by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS). All applicants must meet the following minimum entry requirements before the course commences. 

The minimum entry requirements to qualify to teach Music are as follows: 

  • Degree (preferably Honours) in which you have studied music for at least three years 
  • Degree should normally contain a minimum of 80 credits relevant to the subject 

In addition, applicants must have the following qualifications in place before the course start date: 

  • A national qualification in English at SCQF Level 6 (Higher) or equivalent 
  • A national qualification in Maths at SCQF Level 5 (National 5) or equivalent 

More information about entry requirements, including a list of the accepted English and Maths requirements, can be found on the GTCS Memorandum on Entry Requirements. 

For applicants who do not currently hold the English and Maths requirements, we recommend that they consider undertaking the following courses: 

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

(i) Demonstrate intellectual music skills (some of which would be advanced) across the following: 

  • Musical repertoire and musical contexts 
  • An understanding of interdisciplinary approaches (e.g. music and the relationship to other disciplines) 
  • aAnalysing, synthesising and interrogating musical materials. 

(ii) Demonstrate that they are competent in practical musical skills (some of which should be advanced) across the following: 

  • Instrumental performance 
  • Vocal performance 
  • Keyboard performance 

(iii) Have experience of music technology in some format (e.g. use of microphones, experience of recording and producing). 

It would be expected that all applicants should meet the requirements of (i). Applicants who do not meet the requirements of (ii) or (iii) will have to demonstrate competence through an interview process. 

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. 

Fees & Funding

Tuition fees

  • Scotland: £1820 
  • RUK: £9250 
  • International: £27,968

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

Applications are made through the UCAS website. You can read our guidance about using UCAS 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 R68. You will also require the following programmes codes to apply: WX45


Application/Audition fees

There is a UCAS application fee of £28.50 to register to use UCAS.

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland additionally charges an audition assessment administration fee of £35 for this programme.

We recognise that auditioning and interviewing for conservatoires 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. 


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

PGDE interviews will take place in February and March. Applicants who apply on time are invited to an online interview by email, approximately three weeks before the interview date. 

Please note that the Conservatoire is obliged to offer one interview/audition date per application. Alternative dates will only be provided (subject to availability) in exceptional circumstances.  If an audition is delayed, there is a risk that places will already have been taken. 

Audition Information

The audition process has two parts: 

  • The Interview
  • The Folio 


Interviews will take place in February and March 2023, in-person at the Conservatoire campus in Glasgow. Online interviews can be arranged if required. At the interview applicants will be expected to be able to: 

  • Demonstrate a clear desire to be a teacher; 
  • Reflect on the qualities that make a good teacher; 
  • Identify their own areas of weakness and in doing so, show a commitment to continuous personal development; 
  • Discuss with some depth the current issues in education and how these might impact on Music education; 
  • Display extensive knowledge of and interest in music; 
  • Demonstrate a good level of knowledge of ICT with some experience of using Music Technology; 
  • Discuss their personal statement; 
  • Talk about the things they do besides Music (e.g. hobbies and/or other interests) 

The interview will be conducted in an informal manner. Applicants will be assessed on their: 

  • Ability to express themselves clearly and fluently; 
  • Perceived commitment to and enthusiasm for teaching; 
  • Level of preparation and reflection 

The Folio 

Before their interview, applicants will submit online via Acceptd a folio of evidence containing the following: 

  • A video (5-10 minutes) of you performing on your first study instrument/voice 
  • A video (2-3 minutes) demonstrating your singing ability (not required for first study singers) 
  • A video (2-3 minutes) demonstrating your ability on piano. This may be through performance of solo piano repertoire, an accompaniment or of an improvisatory nature eg. improvise a convincing accompaniment for a song from a lead sheet (not required for first study pianists) 
  • Examples of work using Music Technology 
  • Some examples of original composition and/or arrangement (no more than three pieces) 
  • Any other work that you think might be relevant to their application 

The selection panel recognises that applicants may have extensive experience in some of these areas whilst having limited experience in others. The portfolio allows applicants the opportunity to demonstrate their skills, knowledge and understanding in a range of areas common to the discipline, therefore, having limited experience in some areas should not preclude anyone from applying. 

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.


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.