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International Students

Students from across the globe are valued members of the RCS community and we welcome and encourage applicants from all throughout the world. If you’d like to find out more about studying at RCS, please get in touch with our admissions team by emailing

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We are delighted that you’re interested in studying at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Around one in three students 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.

We understand that it all may feel quite daunting when you first arrive in Scotland. To help you during your first week here, you can take part in several organised activities that will help you to feel at home. You’ll meet many other international students and many more from the UK, who will be new to Glasgow too.

Useful Information

For more information about being an international student at the Conservatoire, including English language requirements and Visa applications and employment restrictions, please visit the pages below

Students celebrate their graduation with a glass of champagne in the RCS cafe. They wear blue graduation gowns and formal attire.


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.

Find A Course

Hear from an International Student

Meet Parker Millspaugh, an MMus Vocal Performance student from Oklahoma, USA.

Parker is pictured here at Loch Lomond, a 30-minute drive from our campus in Glasgow city centre. She recently spoke to us about why she loves studying in Scotland:

“My favourite thing about living in Glasgow, in Scotland, is the accessibility to anything: if you’re someone who loves an urban city, and want to go see the symphony, if you want to go to the jazz orchestra, and do these things, you have the access. Not only in terms of location but it’s also financially really accessible to go to these things. It’s £6 for a ticket, so I’ll just pop over and go see the BBC SSO (Scottish Symphony Orchestra) and so it’s such a wonderful thing.”

“What I also love […] is that you’re able to hop in a car, or get on a train or the bus for 30 minutes and you’re in a different world. Take 45 and you’re in Edinburgh which feels completely different than Glasgow.”

A woman wearing a bright red dress stands on a hillside in heather bushes. Her dress flows in the air. Mountains are in the background.

Studying in Scotland

Hear from some of our current and past international students about their experience studying at RCS and studying in Scotland!

Parker Millspaugh
MMus Vocal Performance

Elizabeth Gange
MMus Performance (Strings)

Laura Hundert
MMus Performance (Woodwind)

RCS Ambassadors

We’ve recently introduced our new RCS ambassadors, including national and regional ambassadors, who help us amplify and enhance the understanding of RCS across the world. You can learn more about the fantastic individuals we’re working with, their experiences studying at RCS, and what they’ve been up to since leaving us on their profile pages.

International Student FAQs

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.

More information is available on our English Requirements page

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:

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:


  • 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

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 Visas page

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 Visas page

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

When you arrive at RCS

We run several events and services specifically tailored to the needs of international students who are from outside the UK. When an event is scheduled, details will be listed below. For further information please get in touch with our International and Student Experience team at

Family Welcome event

For the parents, carers, friends, and wider family members of new RCS students starting a full-time degree programme in September 2024, we will hold a Family Welcome event including an informal tour of both our Renfrew Street and Wallace Studios campuses. Further information will be circulated to our students via the induction portal.

Further Information

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