An Overview

The Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (Music) is a vocational, one-year programme for graduates who aspire to teach music in secondary schools. On this programme, you will engage with intensive studies in education (professional studies) and 90 days of school placement.

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 teaching. GTCS standards are recognised in the UK and internationally.

To find out more and to apply, please email

Institution Code:


Programme Code:


UK Deadline:

31 January 2024

International Deadline:

31 January 2024

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

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 placements and give you an opportunity to develop the skills required for teaching music. Placements will be 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.

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)

  • Intensive school experience and education studies which are tailored specifically for the teacher of music
  • All eligible graduates are guaranteed a probationary year of employment as a classroom music teacher
  • Study at Scotland’s national conservatoire and be exposed to performance education from across the performing arts
  • Intensive classroom music skills to support your work on placement.
  • 100% of graduate respondents from our other teacher education programmes are in employment or further study (HESA, 2015/16)

Meet the Staff

Moira Summers

Lecturer in School Experience

Dr Angela Jaap

Lecturer in Professional Learning

Dr John Gormley

Lecturer in Music Studies

Additional Staff

Lecturer In Arts Education

Annie McCourtrn

Eilidh Slatteryrn

Dr Lio Moscardini

Louise Brown

Lecturer In School Experience

Kathyrn Callander

Alan Fraser

Lecturer in Contemporary Classroom Instruments and Music Technology

Alan Fraser

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
General Academic Entrance 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:

  • 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 can be found on the GTCS Memorandum on Entry Requirements.

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.

*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.

Applicant Expectations

(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)
  • analysing, 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.

How To Apply

Apply on UCAS Conservatoires

Applications are made through the UCAS Conservatoires website. The UCAS Conservatoires application system is separate from the main UCAS undergraduate application system.

There is a UCAS application fee of £27.50 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 date for all applications for entry in August 2024 is 31 January 2024

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland institution code is R58. You will also require the following programme code to apply: Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (Music): WX44

We do not offer deferred entry. If you wish to commence in August 2025, you must apply next year.

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 or e-mail our team for further information at

Application fee

There is a UCAS Conservatoires application fee of £27.50. In addition to the application fee, each conservatoire charges an audition assessment administration fee. For RCS, the audition assessment administration fee is £35 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 £35 per course.

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.


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 audition/interview 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.


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.

Prior to submitting a recorded audition, you must apply via UCAS Conservatoires. You will need to create an account, but then you can easily upload the recordings you wish to be considered. Recordings will not be considered until a UCAS Conservatoires application has been submitted. Once you have completed the UCAS Conservatoires application, you should proceed to Acceptd to submit your video recording. We will only accept recordings submitted via Acceptd and will not accept any other format, i.e. DVDs.

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.

Please see below for an explanation of 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.

Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme

Due to the nature of the programme and specifically because you will come into contact with children, there is a requirement for students of the PGDE (Music) programme to be members of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme. This means that checks are carried out for any unspent and spent convictions and cautions. The checks also include any non-conviction data held by the police that may be relevant to teaching.

Applications for the PVG Scheme membership are processed and assessed by Disclosure Scotland which provides this service as a means of enhancing security, public safety and protecting the vulnerable in society. The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland will administer students applying to be members of the PVG Scheme. It is the student’s responsibility to pay for the check. If for any reason, the check reveals anything in your past which might impact on your suitability to be registered as a teacher, or as a student teacher, your offer of a place on the programme may be rescinded.

Reserve offers

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.


Fees and Scholarships

Scottish students

The Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) will pay tuition fees for all eligible full-time Scottish-based and other non-UK undergraduate EU students, who are studying in Scotland at degree level for the first time. Students should apply to SAAS for payment of tuition fees even if they are not applying for any other means of support. Eligible students can also apply for student loans through SAAS. For further advice and to check eligibility contact SAAS directly on 0300 555 0505 or visit the SAAS website.

Non-Scottish UK students

Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland studying in Scotland will be eligible for the same funding/loan package that they would benefit from if they attended an institution in their home country. For further advice please visit student finance England , student finance Wales , or student finance Northern Ireland as appropriate.

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.

Cost of living and associated programme costs

Investing in your future is important and you need to consider the cost of your tuition as well as the cost of living during your studies. In addition to tuition fees, it is estimated that you will need between £10,000 and £12,000 per year to live in Glasgow, plus programme costs. Associated programme costs can be found on our Finance page.

Tuition fees for academic year 2024/25

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