An Overview

As a participant on the PG Cert in Learning and Teaching in the Arts 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.

This part-time 60-credit programme provides a unique opportunity for arts educators to upgrade their teaching qualifications and obtain a PG Cert qualification that has been designed to develop teaching skills for the arts. It is delivered on a part-time basis through a blended learning model, which includes a mix of face-to-face sessions, online sessions, one-to-one tutorials and independent study (distance students can study the programme fully online, accessing the face-to-face sessions through a video conferencing platform).

The programme is designed to allow arts education professionals to integrate their studies within their professional teaching contexts. The process of professional enquiry that underpins all modules requires students to engage in a critical analysis of their teaching and arts practice in order to identify and address their own developmental priorities at each stage.

Please note: our audition content is being updated for entry in September 2023 and will be shared soon, if you have any questions in the meantime please e-mail

Institution Code:


Programme Code:


UK Deadline:

2 October 2023

International Deadline:

1 December 2023

Programme Structure

The programme is delivered over a two year period, through a combination of online workshops, distance and independent learning, weekend seminars and work-based learning.

At its core, the programme is primarily concerned with helping arts education professionals engage in a process of active enquiry into their teaching practice.

The aim of the programme is to encourage you to investigate your teaching practice and develop the skills of critical reflection, academic writing, scholarship and practice-based research whilst engaged in a sustained process of development with the aim of enhancing your teaching practice.

Year One – Teaching The Arts

In year one, the focus will be on developing the knowledge and skills required to evidence the quality of your teaching practice. Over this year you will develop a working knowledge of the definitions, conventions and priorities expressed within arts education, helping you engage with policies, philosophies and practices that are most relevant to your specific context. The submissions will encourage you to use research and critical reflection to ensure that your teaching practices are underpinned by robust evidence both in relation to your subject area, and to credible learning theories.

This is a 30-credit module 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, and use feedback from peers and your learners to inform your ongoing development priorities.

Year Two – The Teacher As Reseacher

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

In this 30-credit module for all 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. In this module you will explore the impact of your new innovative practices through the ethical use of research data and objective critical analysis, informing your ongoing development as an arts educator.

Delivery Schedule

The Programme is delivered through a mix of scheduled sessions and one-to-one support. In each year of study, students will be required to attend 6 days of intensive study, either face-to-face at RCS or through accessing online (for distance learners). In academic year 20/21, the weekend sessions will be delivered on the following dates:

  • 23rd and 24th September 2023
  • 11th November 2023
  • 10th and 11th February 2024
  • 27th April 2024

Online sessions run approximately every second Thursday throughout term time. These are delivered in the morning between 10am and 12pm, and are repeated between 6.30 and 8.30pm in the evening. All other tutorial support can be negotiated with personal supervisors, mentors and peers on the programme.

International students can attend weekend sessions remotely for the duration of their studies.

Why Choose Us?

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is in the World Top 10 for performing arts education 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020, 2021 and 2022 (QS World Rankings)
  • A unique programme designed specifically for arts educators
  • Opportunity to gain a PG Cert qualification at masters level
  • Personal supervision and mentoring by expert teachers in the arts
  • Access to unrivalled performing arts education provision, facilities and, resources
  • Opportunity to develop professional knowledge, networks and collaboration opportunities as part of a diverse learning community

A Campus Built For The Performing Arts

Explore the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in our 360 virtual tour. You’ll be able to see our rehearsal and practice rooms, professional performance venues, production workshops, editing suite, ballet studios and more.

” As a theatre practitioner in a more rural part of Scotland, the course has been an absolute game-changer for me. I have gone from feeling stuck and isolated to feeling challenged and supported.”

Meet the Staff

Jamie Mackay

Head of Postgraduate Learning and Teaching Programmes

Dr Rachel Drury

Lecturer (Post 16 and Community based Arts Education)

Dr Jill Morgan

Lecturer (Early Years to Senior Phase)

Additional Staff

Lecturers In Arts Education

Annie McCourt

Eilidh Slattery

Dr Lio Moscardini

Louise Brown

Professional Recognition

AdvanceHE and HEA Fellowship

*For lecturers/tutors working in a further or higher education context with learners at SCQF Level 7 or above (or equivalent), this programme leads to Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.

**GTCS registered teachers who have a remit for an arts subject within their school teaching context can use this programme to build evidence of their commitment to their professional learning as an arts educator. We include the following within our definition of an arts ‘subject’: music, dance, drama and art and design.

For all participants, the programme can be used to develop knowledge and skills as an arts educator and to build an evidence-base to demonstrate commitment their professional learning in designing and delivering learning activities.

Entry Requirements

Admissions process

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.

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).

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.

Appropriate Prior Learning (APL)

In some cases, applicants to the programme may already have achieved academic credit on another programme/module of study and are seeking to reduce the number of modules they will need to study on the Programme. Applications for APL will normally be decided prior to the applicant’s admission to the Conservatoire.

The staff team will use the applicant’s previous transcript and module information to attempt to match the existing credit against modules in the programme. Staff must identify a match between the level, the learning outcomes and volume of credit associated with the unit/module passed by the applicant and the corresponding Conservatoire module.

APL will not normally be awarded for students who are seeking HEA Fellowship status, however, module credit from another AdvanceHE accredited programme may be considered if the content is deemed a suitable match.

UCAS Conservatoires

Applications are made online via 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.

PgCert L&T in the Arts— 110P

Institution code: R58

Description of applicants

The programme is designed to appeal to individuals who have a role as an arts educator within an informal context, such as a:

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

or within a formal context such as a:

  • 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*
  • GTCS registered primary teacher**
  • GTCS registered secondary teacher**
  • Early Years educator
Is this course for you?

Students on these programmes typically have an undergraduate arts qualification in one of the following discipline areas:

  • Dance (e.g. contemporary, ballet, highland, jazz)
  • Drama (e.g. acting, directing, dramaturgy, playwriting)
  • Musical Theatre
  • Contemporary Performance (e.g. devised theatre)
  • Music (e.g. classical, jazz, traditional, contemporary, world, pop, rock, composition)
  • Film (e.g. screenwriting, directing, cinematography)
  • Production (e.g. set and costume design, scenic art, sound design, production management, costume making, stage management)
  • Visual Art (e.g. painting, sculpture, design)

It has opened my eyes up to so much more information than I ever could have expected such as websites, organisations, research and also it changed my mind in what I want out of education. It has allowed me to network with experts and meet other like-minded people. I am a far better educator for being on this course.” – PG Cert graduate

How To Apply

Application 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.

Please email to enquire about late applications.

Interview process

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

There will be a 30-minute discussion about your 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 be normally be communicated to within two to three weeks of your interview.

Reserve outcomes

If you have received a ‘reserve’ outcome, it means that RCS is not able to offer you a guaranteed place at the time of making our decision. A ‘reserve’ outcome indicates that RCS would like the opportunity to review its outcome to you in the light of acceptances/declines to its guaranteed offers. You will become part of a ‘pool’ of ‘reserve’ candidates and RCS may choose to make you a guaranteed offer if a suitable place becomes available. Reserve does not mean that a place has been ‘reserved’ for you. If RCS chooses not to make you a guaranteed offer, you will not have a place to start at RCS.
If you have been given a ‘reserve’ outcome, in order to be considered for a guaranteed place (should one become available) you will need to accept the outcome (and meet any conditions if applicable).

Reserve outcomes remain active until the end of August. The decision to wait and see whether a guaranteed place becomes available, or to accept an offer at another conservatoire is entirely at your discretion. As soon as your situation changes, this is updated on UCAS Conservatoires.

Fees and Scholarships

Scottish students

New Scottish domiciled students may be eligible for a Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan. All eligible students will be able to apply directly to Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for a non-means-tested loan of up to £3,400. See the SAAS website for further details of the PSAS scheme.

Scottish domiciled postgraduate students on eligible courses can also apply for a Postgraduate Living Cost Loan up to £4,500 towards living expenses. This is in addition to the existing loan available towards the cost of their tuition fees.

English students

Postgraduate students from England can benefit from a postgraduate loan to be used towards tuition fees and/or living costs.

Northern Irish students

Students from Northern Ireland may be eligible to apply for a Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan to help with the cost of their course fees. Please see the Student Finance NI website for more details.

Welsh students

From 1 August 2019, students ordinarily resident in Wales (and those from the EU studying at a Welsh institution) may be entitled to a combination of loan and grant as a contribution to costs while studying a postgraduate Master’s degree course. The total amount of support available is non-means-tested and is paid directly to the student. Please see the Student Finance Wales website for more details.

EU students

The Royal Conservatoire is resolutely international in outlook and we celebrate and are enriched by the diversity of our community of students and staff. Students from across the globe are welcome and valued members of the RCS community and we continue to welcome applicants from across the EU and throughout the world.

QWhat is the fee situation for EU students?

A: On July 9 2020, Scotland’s Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, Richard Lochhead announced changes to the fee regime for EU students studying in Scotland. From 2021/22, all EU students commencing study in Scotland will pay fees at the International rate.

Q: I’m an EU student looking to start my studies in 2024/25. How does this impact me?

A: From academic year 2021/22 onwards, all EU students commencing study in Scotland will pay fees at the International rate.

Only EU nationals who are ‘settled’ or ‘pre-settled’ in the UK will remain eligible to apply for home tuition fees providing they meet the residency conditions.

Other EU nationals and associated groups, starting a course of study in 24/25 are not eligible to apply to SAAS for tuition fee support.

Because of a long-standing agreement between the UK and Republic of Ireland, new students from the Republic of Ireland will be eligible to pay the rest of UK (RUK) fee and will be able to access a tuition fee loan from SAAS.

Please also see the SAAS website for more information.


Any potential student who auditions for a place at the Royal Conservatoire will automatically be considered for a scholarship. They are awarded on a combination of talent, potential and financial need. More information about Scholarships is available on our Fees and Funding page.

Sources of external funding

For more information about alternative funding sources, including external scholarships and bursaries, please visit our Fees and Funding page.

The Conservatoire’s International and Student Experience team are available to advise and assist applicants and current students in respect of queries about funding your studies at the Conservatoire. Please email or telephone +44 (0)141 270 8281/ +44 (0)141 270 8223 for further information.

Tuition fees for academic year 2024/25

You can find tuition fees for entry in September 2024 on our fees and funding page.