The RNCM is a thriving conservatoire located in the heart of Manchester, with an international community of more than 800 students from 60 different countries. Students pursuing their professional musical training receive the very best teaching, learning and performance opportunities.

Entry Requirements

  • A high level of performing/compositional ability assessed by audition.
  • Passes at GCE A level (A2) in a minimum of 2 subjects, normally including music, and passes in 3 different subjects at GCSE level (Grades A, B or C) or acceptable qualification equivalents.
  • International students should refer to the international student entry requirements on the RNCM website.

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.

Teaching Methods

  • One-to-one Principal Study training in a student’s instrument, voice, or composition lies at the heart of the RNCM's teaching, with development of both technical and creative expertise. 
  • Students will also receive expert tuition in conducting, recording and editing, teaching skills and musicians’ health, as well as small group teaching, and training in navigating the music industry.

Undergraduate Courses

Type of Qualification:

Mode of study:

Course Flexibility

  • Optional modules, designed to give students the opportunity to tailor their studies according to their areas of interest, are available to students from all RNCM Schools of Study.
  • Every student will have the opportunity to try out possible career choices in their Year 3 placement in the music industry. 
  • Students also have the opportunity to study abroad for a term or full academic year, usually in Year 3. There are currently links with institutions across Europe, and in Asia, Australia, Canada, South America and USA.

Student Services and Facilities

  • 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 elsewhere 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.
  • 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.
  • Please refer to the RNCM website for details.

Students' Union

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

Availability of Part-Time Work

  • The Professional Engagements team helps students get performance 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 Guidance

  • Students at the RNCM are encouraged from the outset to look beyond their studies to their future career.
  • The RNCM provides opportunities 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 outreach work through the RNCM Engage programme.

Student Mix

Student population


Level of study

  • Undergraduate 68%
  • Postgraduate 32%

Mode of study

  • Full Time 99%
  • Part Time 1%

Where students come from

  • UK 70%
  • EU 10%
  • Other 20%

Student gender

  • Male 52%
  • Female 48%


  • 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.

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 Manchester M13 9RD
UCAS Code R57