• Created in 1973 from a merger of the Royal Manchester College of Music (founded in 1893 with Sir Charles Hallé as Principal and renowned for the New Manchester Group of composers including Maxwell Davies and Birtwistle which emerged in the fifties) and the Northern School of Music.

Location and Transport

  • Situated on Oxford Road, Manchester's cultural corridor, 1.6km (1 mile) south of Manchester city centre and on 'the busiest bus route in Europe'.
  • Manchester is at the centre of the most comprehensive motor and rail network in the UK. It is a major motorway hub and has major national rail stations with links to the rest of country. 

Entry Requirements

  • A high level of performing/compositional ability assessed by audition.
  • Passes at GCE A level (A2) in a minimum of two subjects, normally including music, and passes in three different subjects at GCSE level (Grades A, B or C) or acceptable qualification equivalents.

Student Mix

The 805 students enrolled in the academic year 2014/15 comprise:

Level of study

  • Undergraduate 74%
  • Postgraduate 26%

Mode of study

  • Full Time 99%
  • Part Time 1%


  • UK 75%
  • EU 8%
  • Other 17%

Course Flexibility

  • Possibilities for electives and tailor-made courses at undergraduate and, more particularly, at postgraduate level.

Teaching Standards

  • Achieved its own taught degree-awarding powers in January 2007.

Research Standards

  • Read about research at RNCM online.

Academic Strengths

  • The college is renowned internationally for its chamber music tuition. Also much imitated for its preparation of its students for the real world, giving them wide variety of practical experience.

Undergraduate Courses

Type of Qualification:

Mode of study:

Student Facilities

  • Library with over 87,000 books and items of printed music, and more than 20,000 sound recordings, 20 listening stations and 24 IT workstations.
  • Terminals situated around the main building, including an air-conditioned IT Studio which houses 11 PCs, all with the latest copy of Sibelius (composition) software installed.
  • Over 120 pianos, more than half of them grand pianos.
  • 80 tutorial spaces and individual practice rooms.
  • 4 large public performance spaces including opera theatre and concert hall.

Disability Services

  • Students with disabilities are supported in many ways at the RNCM. Further information can be found on our website.

Students' Union

  • The RNCM has an active Students' Union. To find out more information about the Students' Union visit the website.

Availability of Part-Time Work

  • The Professional Engagements team help students get performance gigs. Opportunities in the college's own bar, front-of-house and the wider community.

Notable Alumni

  • Peter Manning – distinguished violinist and conductor. Concert master of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden.
  • Peter Donohoe – top prize winner of the Tchaikovsky competition in 1982 and made CBE last year.
  • Steven Osborne – prize winning pianist with a notable concert and recording career.
  • Eduard Kunz – BBC young generation artist.
  • Emily Howard – winner of Paul Hamlyn award for composers (2008) and much sought after since her graduation from the RNCM in 2004, including commissions for the London Olympic Games, the RLPO and the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra.
  • Benjamin Wallfisch – graduated from the RNCM in 2001. Now a composer and conductor based in Hollywood, USA – Benjamin has had commissions from leading organisations including the Rambert Ballet company and the English Chamber Orchestra which he has conducted. He has written and orchestrated scores for many films including 'Atonement'.
  • Amanda Roocroft – soprano.
  • Christine Rice – mezzo-soprano.
  • Barry Banks – tenor.
  • Simon Keenlyside – baritone.
  • Sir John Tomlinson – bass.

Further Details

Address Royal Northern College of Music
124 Oxford Road
M13 9RD
UCAS Code R57