You’ve made the decision that you want to study at a Conservatoire rather than a university, but how do you apply and when?
You can study specialist performing arts degrees at a Conservatoire which focus on the practical; with small class sizes, public performances in recording studios and live theatres, and masterclasses from leading industry experts.
It sounds like a sales pitch, but just look at the extremely long list of famous and successful alumni from all these Conservatoires and you can see why they are so very popular.
There are 11 Conservatoires in the UK focusing on practical courses in dance, acting, musical instruments or singing and these 11 Conservatoires can be broken down into three separate groups when you’re considerimg how to apply to them.
Group One: Applying online at UCAS
- Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
- Leeds Conservatoire
- Bristol Old Vic Theatre School
- Royal Academy of Music
- Royal College of Music
- Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
- Royal Northern College of Music
- Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
- Trinity Laban Conservatoires of Music and Dance
- Royal School for Speech and Drama.
If you want to apply for a 2023 course it is theoretically possibly until the end of August 2023, but you’ll need to phone and chat with the individual Conservatoire to see if they have any places left and can organise a last minute audition. There may be potential places but there is no guarantee.
If you’re thinking of applying for 2023 entry you can start in mid July 2022 as the deadline dates for music courses are 3 October 2020 18:00 and for dance and drama are 25 January 2023 18:00 .
To apply for a convservatoire course through UCAS, you'll need to:
1. Register with UCAS
2. Complete your profile
3. Add your previous education and qualifications
4. Select which courses you'd like to apply for
5. Write your personal statement
6. Ask for two references
7. Read and agree to the declaration
8. Pay your application and assessment fees.
As well as attending an interview once you’ve applied, you will also need to attend an audition whether that is for dance, singing, acting or playing a musical instrument. Please note you will be charged an audition fee.
It's best to be organised and apply as early as possible, as auditions start from 15 October 2022.
Group Two: Conservatoires UK, applying direct
CUK (Conservatoires UK) represents all 11 of the UK Conservatoires; the 9 in group one above and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, for which you need to apply directly to the school and not through UCAS. .
Their deadline dates for drama courses are 18 January 2023, 3 October 2023 for music, and 18 January 2023 for Production Arts courses. Please note that all applications close at 4.30pm London time on the date advertised for each course.
There will again be both an application and an audition, with fees, which you pay in advance but the schoold offers a Supported Application Scheme where your fee will be waivered, so it’s worth checking out the full details on their website.
Group Three: Conservatoire for Dance and Drama
This is a free standing Conservatoire that has 8 different specialist member schools, including 2 affiliate schools across the UK.
Although the Conservatoire is one entity you have to apply to each of the 8 schools directly via the individual school website and not through UCAS. However if accepted you can still apply for government funded student finances.
They all charge fees for the application and audition process but each individual school has slightly different deadline dates for applications so please visit their websites, which you can find below:
- Bristol Old Vic Theatre School
- Central School of Ballet
- London Contemporary Dance School
- National Centre for Circus Arts
- Northern School of Contemporary Dance
- Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance
- Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
Confused? We hope not. There really is a lot of choice and before you apply please remember to research, research, research and visit the open days for these Conservatoires.
They are all amazing places to study and you need the right one which will showcase you and shine a light on your talents.
Have fun and good luck applying!
For more tips and advice on applying for music, dance or drama courses, please see:
- Dance Personal Statement Examples
- Drama Personal Statement Examples
- Music Personal Statement Examples
- Choosing a university
- Personal statement writing guide
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