An Overview

Led by lecturer and piano accompanist, Scott Mitchell, alongside a team of highly experienced professional accompanists and chamber musicians, you will engage in a wide range of collaborative opportunities to prepare you for this demanding profession working with students and lecturers from all departments at RCS.

Developing core accompaniment skills form the foundation of the programme. In addition to the extensive development of standard accompaniment repertoire, additional supporting skills are also cultivated in weekly group classes including; sight-reading, orchestral reductions, transposition, figured bass, choral accompaniment, vocal and instrumental coaching and languages.

MMus Accompanists also enjoy extensive performing opportunities, whether in concerts, competitions or accompanying students. The programme provides a wide range of choice for assessment, including studio recordings, commissions of new collaborative works, independent projects and full-length recitals.

Students who have graduated in this course have gone on to have professional careers as accompanists and work for a wide range of institutions and organisations throughout the world. Graduates also work in the fields of music education, arts management and administration, and music in the community, where an MMus degree is highly valued.

Institution Code:

R58

Programme Code:

MA: 831F / MMus: 893F

UK Deadline:

3rd October 2022

International Deadline:

1st December 2022

Programme Structure

Stage 1: PGDip

Principal Study 1 — 80 SCQF credits

Supporting Studies 1 — 30, 20 or 10 SCQF credits

Approaches to Critical Artistry — 10 SCQF credits

Options — 0, 10 or 20 SCQF credits

Principal Study

The primary focus of your learning will be the Principal Study. This core activity — and in particular, the individual lesson — will refine the skills essential to meeting the artistic and technical expectations of the programme. It will equip you with many of the skills needed to exercise independent learning and develop the autonomy necessary for a professional career. In the case of the degrees in Performance, and Historically Informed Performance Practice, the Principal Study is your instrumental or vocal discipline; for the degrees in Opera, Conducting, Repetiteurship, Piano for Dance, and Accompaniment, it refers to the full range of skills associated with those roles, including high-level performance skills. For the MMus Composition, Principal Study is the practice of composition, within which you may specialise in acoustic or electroacoustic composition. For the MMus Chamber Music, the Principal Study will comprise the ensemble work of the group. Within the credit assigned for Principal Study, the contact hours are flexibly assigned to suit your particular needs as a student.

Supporting Studies

Supporting Studies incorporates many of the distinctive features of conservatoire study, and contributes towards the creation of a near-professional learning environment. In this module, you will have the opportunity to take part in a range of negotiated activities in support both of your Principal Study and your development as an emerging professional. The emphasis is on working with your peers, whether through the presentation of performance classes or collaborative activities such as chamber music, orchestra or ensemble work. The module also incorporates a series of cohort-wide graduate seminars, addressing such areas as research skills, critical thinking, professional development, reflective practice, health and wellbeing, and equality and diversity.

Approaches to Critical Artistry

The philosophy of ‘critical artistry’ underpins all taught postgraduate programmes at RCS. This module will challenge you to critically interrogate an aspect of your arts practice by means of an individually-negotiated portfolio of research, reflection and/or documentation. The delivery is shared across all Masters programmes from both Schools.

Options

Options give space within the curriculum for you to engage in studies which enhance your professional versatility, by pursuing areas of interest either close to or far away from your core discipline. The range of modules available is very wide, including otions drawn from the undergraduate programmes in both the School of Music and the School of Drama, Dance, Production and Film. The design of the programme puts no restrictions on the level of the options/s chosen. There is a significant range of choice available in the amount of credit taken in this way, with students free to choose pathways which place greater weight on Supporting Studies.

Principal Study 2 — 90 SCQF credits

Supporting Studies 2 — 30, 20 or 10 SCQF credits

Options — 0, 10 or 20 SCQF credits

Stage 2: MA

Negotiated Study (or HIPP dissertation) — 60 SCQF credits

Principal Study

The primary focus of your learning will be the Principal Study. This core activity — and in particular, the individual lesson — will refine the skills essential to meeting the artistic and technical expectations of the programme. It will equip you with many of the skills needed to exercise independent learning and develop the autonomy necessary for a professional career. In the case of the degrees in Performance, and Historically Informed Performance Practice, the Principal Study is your instrumental or vocal discipline; for the degrees in Opera, Conducting, Repetiteurship, Piano for Dance, and Accompaniment, it refers to the full range of skills associated with those roles, including high-level performance skills. For the MMus Composition, Principal Study is the practice of composition, within which you may specialise in acoustic or electroacoustic composition. For the MMus Chamber Music, the Principal Study will comprise the ensemble work of the group. Within the credit assigned for Principal Study, the contact hours are flexibly assigned to suit your particular needs as a student.

Supporting Studies

Supporting Studies incorporates many of the distinctive features of conservatoire study, and contributes towards the creation of a near-professional learning environment. In this module, you will have the opportunity to take part in a range of negotiated activities in support both of your Principal Study and your development as an emerging professional. The emphasis is on working with your peers, whether through the presentation of performance classes or collaborative activities such as chamber music, orchestra or ensemble work. The module also incorporates a series of cohort-wide graduate seminars, addressing such areas as research skills, critical thinking, professional development, reflective practice, health and wellbeing, and equality and diversity.

Options

Options give space within the curriculum for you to engage in studies which enhance your professional versatility, by pursuing areas of interest either close to or far away from your core discipline. The range of modules available is very wide, including otions drawn from the undergraduate programmes in both the School of Music and the School of Drama, Dance, Production and Film. The design of the programme puts no restrictions on the level of the options/s chosen. There is a significant range of choice available in the amount of credit taken in this way, with students free to choose pathways which place greater weight on Supporting Studies.

MMUS or MA?

The MA and MMus programmes share many similarities, with the first three terms of the programme being common to both. The chief differences are in the length and volume of study, and in the pattern of delivery in relation to the four terms that make up the academic calendar. There are also some differences in the programme aims and learning outcomes, and in the proportional number of hours available for principal study lessons.

The MA degree is designed for students who wish to achieve a Masters level qualification in one year, with 180 SCQF credits at level 11 (90 ECTS credits). The programme runs full-time for four terms, 43 weeks in total, with the fourth term being dedicated to a largely independent project. 31 weeks of 90 minutes principal study lessons are offered, to a total of 46.5 hours. (Nine extra hours may be allocated to additional study of a related instrument, where appropriate).

The MMus degree is intended for students who are seeking an extended and thorough professional grounding at Masters level in their chosen area of specialism. This is a two-year, full-time programme, leading to 240 SCQF credits at level 11 (120 ECTS credits). The majority of the teaching and learning takes place in terms one, two and three of both years, to a total of 81 hours across the two years. (Nine extra hours may be allocated to additional study of a related instrument, where appropriate).

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)

  • Like Nowhere Else – This is 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.
  • Learn From The Best – Study here and you’ll learn from some of the best educators and performers in the industry, benefiting from their knowledge and experience.
  • Location – The city of Glasgow is renowned for being a cultural powerhouse of music, creative arts and theatre. Find out why more than 130,000 students choose to study in Scotland’s largest city.
  • Performance – With more than 600 performances programmed each year, you will have lots of opportunities to engage with performance – whether you’re on the stage, working backstage, designing the set or filming material. Our curriculum revolves around performance.
  • Collaboration – Study at RCS and you will have the opportunity to collaborate, create new work and grow your own network of contacts across the performing arts.
  • 90-minute individual lesson per week on your principal study

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.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Admissions process

Our admissions processes are designed to be fair, transparent and efficient. The audition/interview approach serves the dual nature of allowing the panel to assess first-hand an applicant’s suitability for their chosen programme and it also affords the applicant the opportunity to gain a deeper insight into the nature of that programme and the opportunities offered by the RCS.

In arriving at its recommendation, the audition/interview panel will take account of all aspects of the applicant’s profile i.e.:

  • Performance at audition/interview
  • Commitment to the particular programme
  • Potential to benefit from the programme
  • Academic qualifications
  • Personal statement
  • Performance qualifications
  • Performance/practical experience
  • References
  • Contextualised data
Academic Entry 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.

In addition to the general entry requirements, candidates will preferably already have public performance experience of working with singers and instrumentalists. Knowledge of a specialist area of relevant repertoire (e.g. vocal, string, wind) is also desirable.

Language of study

The language of study is English. Applicants who 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.

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.

Non-standard Entry

We welcome applications from individuals whose academic qualifications or English language qualifications do not match (in terms of equivalence) or fall short of the normal entrance requirements, where specified*. Having satisfied the Audition Panel that they meet the selection criteria and demonstrated that they have the capacity to pursue the proposed course of study, such applicants will be considered through examination of contextualised data provided in accordance with the Non-Standard Entry Policy. The appropriate Head of Department/ Programme will make a case in support of the applicant for consideration by the Directors of the Schools and Convener of the Quality and Standards Committee.

*Note that UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) imposes minimum English Language qualifications in respect of international (non-EU) applicants who require a Tier 4 Visa to study in the UK.

Mature students

RCS welcomes applications from mature students, i.e. students over the age of 21 at entry to the programme. Whilst the selection procedures will still be applied, consideration will be given to appropriate artistic experience not normally expected in school leavers, which is deemed to compensate for any lack of traditional entrance qualifications. Successful mature applicants, as for all other applicants, must convince auditioning panels that they have the ability and potential to cope with the demands of the programme. Their progress, especially in the early stages of the programme, will be closely monitored and appropriate advice and support given.

How To Apply

Apply on 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. There is a UCAS application fee of £26.50 to register to use UCAS Conservatoires.

To begin a new UCAS Conservatoires application, you will need to register. You can read the UCAS Conservatoires’ advice on completing the UCAS Conservatoires application. If you need assistance with your application, you can contact UCAS Conservatoires team by telephoning (Monday to Friday, 8.30 — 18.00). Phone 0371 468 0470 from within the UK or +44 330 3330 232 if you are calling from overseas.

Application deadline date

The deadline dates to apply and submit your audition recording can be found in the table below –

UCAS Conservatoires Application Deadline  Audition Recording Deadline
UK Applicants 3rd October 2022 17th October 2022 (for applicants unable to attend an in-person audition)
International Applicants 1st December 2022 1st December 2022

International student applicants

We are aware that international students, particularly those coming from the USA, may struggle with the UCAS deadline. As a consequence, we have set an additional deadline of 1st December 2022 for international students.

If you submit your application after this date, we cannot guarantee that your application/audition recording 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. Late applications will be considered on a case by case basis and may not be considered in the first round of scholarship allocation.

We do not offer deferred entry. If you wish to commence in 2024, you must apply next year.

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland institution code is R58.

MMus Performance (2 years) – 890F

MA Performance (1 year) – 801F

Book an advice lesson with one of our Music tutors

An advice lesson gives you the chance to experience having a lesson at the Conservatoire and provides a great opportunity for you to gain some expert advice and insight. Advice lessons normally take place from late August to early October and are dependent on staff availability. Book your advice lesson here or e-mail our team for further information at hello@rcs.ac.uk.

MMus Accompaniment (2 years) – 893F

MA Accompaniment (1 year) – 831F

Book an advice lesson with one of our Music tutors

An advice lesson gives you the chance to experience having a lesson at the Conservatoire and provides a great opportunity for you to gain some expert advice and insight. Advice lessons normally take place from late August to early October and are dependent on staff availability. Book your advice lesson here or e-mail our team for further information at hello@rcs.ac.uk.

Application fee

There is a UCAS Conservatoires application fee of £26.50. In addition to the application fee, each conservatoire charges an audition assessment administration fee. For RCS, the audition assessment administration fee is £65 per programme applied for. Fees are not refundable. The fees are paid via the UCAS Conservatoires website and not directly to RCS.

Audition Assessment Administration fee

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland charges an audition assessment administration fee of £65 per course.

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 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.

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 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

All auditions are planned to take place in-person at our campus in Glasgow in November 2022.  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. For those submitting a recording, the deadline dates to apply and submit your audition recording can be found in the table below:

UCAS Conservatoires Application Deadline  Audition Recording Deadline
UK Applicants 3rd October 2022 17th October 2022 (for applicants unable to attend an in-person audition)
International Applicants 1st December 2022 1st December 2022

International student applicants

We are aware that international students, particularly those coming from the USA, may struggle with the UCAS deadline. As a consequence, we have set an additional deadline of 1st December 2022 for international students.

Recording Guidelines:

    • When setting up for your video recording, the panel would like a view of you (the performer), the keyboard, and pedals.
    • The video recording can consist of different tracks for each piece/movement, or it can be ONE continuous shot of the entire performance.  If you choose to supply separate tracks for different musical pieces/movements, the individual pieces/movements must not be edited.
    • 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 more information on recording a video audition, Guitar Lecturer Matthew McCallister reveals his top tips on recording your music audition online below:

All decisions will be posted on UCAS Conservatoires following your audition or recorded submission via UCAS Conservatoires track (you will need your username and password). We aim to post outcomes before Christmas.

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

Accompaniment Audition

Applicants will be required to source their own singer and instrumentalist. RCS will provide applicants with a singer and a instrumentalist should they attend an in-person audition and choose the set repertoire as noted below. Recorded submissions and changes from set repertoires will require the applicant to source their own singer and instrumentalist.

The repertoire is as below:

  • Instrumental : Beethoven Cello Sonata in C Op. 102 No.1 (Andante — Allegro vivace)
  • Vocal : Schubert — Ganymed (Key Ab) and Debussy — Mandoline (Opening note “G” in piano part)

We would also accept three contrasting accompanied works of your own choosing.

Following your audition

All decisions will be posted on UCAS Conservatoires following your audition via UCAS Conservatoires Track,  (you will need your username and password). You will also receive notification from UCAS Conservatoires when decisions on all your choices are available.

UCAS Conservatoires Codes

Guaranteed Unconditional (GU) RCS is satisfied from the information you have given, that you have already met the conditions for entry. Unless your application and/or qualification are subsequently shown to be fraudulent, a guaranteed unconditional offer is binding.

Guaranteed Conditional (GC) RCS has made the offer subject to you meeting certain conditions such as examination results. Conditions can be viewed via UCAS Conservatoires Track. Unless your application and/or qualifications are subsequently shown to be fraudulent, the offer is binding if you accept the offer and meet the conditions. You must meet the conditions of the offer by 31 August 2021, unless an earlier date is specified. If your conditions include obtaining IELTS (English Language test), you must meet this condition by 31 May 2021.

Reserve Unconditional (VU) RCS is satisfied from the information you have given, that you have already met the conditions for entry and you have been offered a place on our reserve pool.

Reserve Conditional (VC) RCS has offered a place on its reserve pool subject to you meeting certain conditions such as examination results. Conditions can be viewed via UCAS Conservatoires Track.

Unsuccessful (R) RCS does not wish to offer you any type of a place.

Reserve outcomes

If you have received a reserve offer, it means that RCS is not able to offer you a guaranteed place at the time of making our offer. A reserve offer indicates that RCS would like the opportunity to review its offer 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. If RCS chooses not to make you a guaranteed offer, you will not be eligible to start at RCS.

A reserve (VC or VU) offer does not mean a place has been ‘reserved’ for you. Until such time as you receive (and accept) a guaranteed offer (GU or GC) from the Royal Conservatoire, you have not been accepted to study at RCS.

If you have been given a reserve offer, in order to be considered for a guaranteed place (should one become available) you will need to accept the offer (and meet any conditions if applicable).

If you are holding a reserve offer, RCS can elect to make you a guaranteed offer at any time during the application cycle. Reserve offers remain active until after the A-level results have been issued in August so you could have a reserve offer 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.

Replying to offers

As soon as a decision is made, UCAS Conservatoires will let you know. You must reply online via UCAS Conservatoires Track. Your reply date is displayed on Track. If you do not reply by the date given, your offers will be declined automatically. The reply date may be different to other applicants as it is based on when you receive your last decision.

Last decision by Your reply date is
3 January 2023 1 February 2023
15 March 2023 11 April 2023
15 May 2023 1 June 2023
11 July 2023 27 July 2023
2 August 2023 8 September 2023

Please see the UCAS Conservatoires website for more information on replying to offers. If you make an application through UCAS Conservatoires, UCAS or UCAS Teacher Training, you cannot hold more than one confirmed place. A confirmed place in UCAS Conservatoires is a guaranteed unconditional offer as your first choice (GU1) and in UCAS and UCAS Teacher Training it is an unconditional firm (UF) place. If you receive more than one confirmed place, UCAS will ask you to accept one offer and withdraw from any others.

Policy

Fees & 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 of up to £11,222 (in 2020/2021) to be used towards tuition fees and/or living costs.

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. The total support available to an eligible student is £17,000. A grant of up to £6,885 is available, depending upon household income. The balance of support is a loan.

Support comprises of the following elements:

  • A non-means-tested contribution to costs base grant of £1,000 is available to all eligible students.
  • An additional means-tested contribution to costs grant of £5,885 is available to eligible students with a household income of up to £18,370 per annum. For every £6.937 of household income per annum above this threshold, the amount of additional means-tested grant will be reduced by £1.
  • A non-means-tested contribution to costs loan is available to all eligible students. The amount of loan available will be equal to the level of total support (£17,000 in 2019/20) less the total grant (base grant plus additional grant) a student is eligible for.

For part-time study, support is allocated over the number of years the course is studied. Support is capped in each academic year; for example, £17,000 for a one year course, £8,500 per year for a course lasting two years and £4,250 per year for a course lasting four years. Full-time courses between one and two years are eligible for support. Part-time courses of up to four years are eligible for support.

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.

Q: What 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 next academic year (21/22) 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 2021-22. How does this impact me?

A: From the next academic year (21/22) 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 academic year 2021-22 or later, are not eligible to apply to SAAS for tuition fee support.

Scholarships

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 2023-24

MMus – UK Students 

£10,722 (full-time), £5,361 (part-time)

MMus – International Students (Including EU) 

£21,207 (full-time), £9,819 (part-time)

MA – UK Students

£14,541

MA  – International Students (Including EU)

£25,491

From the next academic year (21/22) all EU students commencing study in Scotland will pay fees at the International rate.