Why RCS?

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is resolutely international in outlook and we celebrate and are enriched by the diversity of our community of students and staff. Around one in three students at RCS originally come from outside the UK (31.37% as of April 2022). Between them, they represent over 65 different nationalities and add a rich multicultural diversity to RCS.

Find out why international students choose to study at Scotland’s National Conservatoire below!


International Student FAQs

Entrance Requirements

English language

If your first language is not English, you will be required to provide evidence of your language ability before you begin your studies. Specific levels of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or equivalent will be required.

We are currently in the process of updating our english language requirements. Further details will be available here as soon as this process is complete.


Academic requirements

Each programme will have its own academic entrance requirement and you should look at the individual course pages for more information.

For international students, we accept recognised equivalences, such as the following listed below.

  • Canada: High School Diploma/Secondary School Diploma
  • USA: High School Diploma/GED Certificate
  • South Korea: General High School Diploma
  • China: Senior High School Entrance Examination
  • Singapore: 2 A Level passes/IB Diploma (score of 24 with 3 Higher passes)
  • Norway: Vitnemal videregaende opplaring (Upper Secondary Leaving Certificate)

If you are unsure about your qualifications, please get in touch with the Admissions team: admissions@rcs.ac.uk

Visa Requirements

Students from outside the UK will, in most cases, need a visa to study at RCS. It is important that you leave enough time to apply for a visa before starting your course.

You will need a visa unless you:

  • hold a full UK passport (note this does not include British National (Overseas) passports)
  • hold Indefinite Leave to Remain
  • hold Settled or Pre-Settled Status in the EU Settlement Scheme
  • already have a different type of visa that allows you to study for the full length of your programme.

If you require a visa, you will need either a:

  • Visitor Visa (if you intend to study at RCS for 6 months or less)

For more information, please see the Visitor Visa section on the UKCISA website OR

  • The Student Route (if you intend to study for more than 6 months on a course at degree level or above)

For information on the Student route visa and the requirements you will need to meet, please read the RCS’s guide to Studying in the UK – The Student Route

You can also find more general information on who requires a visa and the Student route application process on UK Government Visas and Immigration and UKCISA website.

If you have any questions, please contact the International and Student Experience team at international@rcs.ac.uk

Working during your studies

Employment restrictions under the Student route

When you are granted a Student route visa you are permitted to:

  • work part-time during term time
  • work full-time during vacation or holiday periods
  • do a work placement as part of your course
  • work as a Student Union Sabbatical Officer for up to two years

There are some restrictions on the above. You can find more information about working during your studies on our dedicated page.

Working after your studies

Many students would like to secure employment in the UK after graduation. There are currently a number of immigration routes that may be applicable now or in the future, to some of our graduates who do not automatically have the right to work in the UK after the end of their studies.  The UK launched a new immigration system on 1 January 2021.

You can find out more about the routes available to graduating students on our working after your studies page.

Get in touch

If you’d like to speak to a member of our admissions team about studying at RCS, please feel free to get in touch by emailing hello@rcs.ac.uk 


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