Royal Northern College of Music

The Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) is a leading international conservatoire located in the heart of Manchester. With a reputation for attracting talented students, teachers, conductors, composers and artists from all over the world, the RNCM is home to around 320 teaching staff and over 800 students from 60 different countries. Students pursuing their professional musical training receive the very best teaching, learning and performance opportunities.

City Centre
City Centre

In or close to the centre of a city


Specialises in a single subject area, or a small range of subjects

UCAS Code: R57

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

TEF Gold is awarded to institutions that consistently deliver outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for their students. Find out more about TEF.

Student Statistics

Student population


Level of study

  • Undergraduate 65%
  • Postgraduate 35%

Mode of study

  • Full Time 99%
  • Part Time 1%

Where students come from

  • UK 70%
  • EU 9%
  • Other 21%

Student gender

  • Male 49%
  • Female 51%

Student Services and Facilities

Libraries and Information Services

  • The library houses over 87,000 books and items of printed music, and more than 20,000 sound recordings, 20 listening stations and 24 IT workstations.
  • IT facilities outside of the library include PCs situated around the main building and an air-conditioned IT studio with 11 PCs, all with the latest copy of Sibelius (composition software) installed.

Student jobs

  • The RNCM's Professional Engagements team helps students to get external performance opportunities and gigs.
  • There are also part-time work opportunities in the college's own bar, front-of-house and the wider community, including a student ambassador scheme.

Careers advice

  • Students at the RNCM are encouraged from the outset to look beyond their studies to their future career.
  • Opportunities are provided to help students to develop the confidence, drive and communication skills needed to establish and maintain a successful career in a competitive work sector. These include Professional Experience Schemes, work experience placements, professional engagements and opportunities to take part in outreach work through the RNCM Engage programme.

Health services

  • One-off or regular weekly Alexander Technique classes are available for a small charge. Alexander Technique is a tried-and-tested approach for improving personal performance and avoiding undue effort or stress.
  • Student well-being staff can also offer advice on matters such as arranging an appointment with a BAPAM Consultant (British Association for Performing Arts Medicine) and applying for funding through the BAPAM/Help Musicians Student Health Scheme (conditions apply).
  • The RNCM is the first UK conservatoire to appoint a lecturer in musicians' health and well-being.

Counselling and Mental Health Support

  • A free and confidential counselling service is provided by highly-experienced and BACP-accredited counsellors. They provide individual sessions and can help with any personal issues that may be affecting students.

Disability support

  • Students with disabilities are supported in many ways at the RNCM.
  • Please refer to the RNCM website for details.

Other services and facilities

  • Specialist course facilities include over 120 pianos (of which over half are grand pianos), 80 tutorial spaces and individual practice rooms. There are also three large public performance spaces (Opera Theatre, Concert Hall and Carol Nash Recital) plus Studio 1, the world's largest BOXY modular studio system at the time of installation in 2016.

Students' Union

  • The RNCM has an active Students' Union; please refer to the RNCM website for details.


  • One of the RNCM's founding colleges, the Royal Manchester College of Music, was established in 1893 with Sir Charles Hallé as Principal. It was renowned for the New Manchester Group of composers, which included Maxwell Davies and Birtwistle.
  • A merger with the Northern School of Music in 1973 created the Royal Northern College of Music.

Fascinating Fact

  • Alumni of the Royal Northern College of Music include Golden Globe and Emmy nominated Benjamin Wallfisch, composer of music for over 60 feature films including Blade Runner 2049 (co-scored with Hans Zimmer).

Notable Alumni and Famous Faces

  • Sir John Tomlinson – singer.
  • Sir Peter Maxwell Davies – composer.
  • Stephen Hough – pianist.
  • Joan Rodgers CBE – singer.
  • GoGo Penguin – ensemble.
  • Sir Harrison Birtwistle – composer.
  • Sian Edwards – conductor.
  • Brodsky Quartet – ensemble.
  • Alexandra Dariescu – pianist.
  • Jamie Phillips – trumpet.


Royal Northern College of Music, 124 Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9RD