Royal Northern College of Music

The Royal Northern College of Music (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.


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

UCAS Code: R57

League Table Scores

  • Entry Standards
    Entry Standards

    The average UCAS tariff score of new students entering the university.

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  • Student Satisfaction
    Student Satisfaction

    A guide to how satisfied students are with the quality of teaching they receive.

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    4.18 / 5.00
  • Research Quality
    Research Quality

    A measure of the quality of the research undertaken in the university.

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    3.08 / 4.00
  • Research Intensity
    Research Intensity

    A measure of the proportion of staff involved in high-quality research in the university.

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    0.25 / 1.00
  • Graduate Prospects
    Graduate Prospects

    A guide to the employability of graduates on completion of their courses at the university.

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    92.3 / 100.0
  • Student-Staff Ratio
    Student-Staff Ratio

    The average staffing levels at the university.

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  • Academic Services Spend
    Academic Services Spend

    A guide to how much the university spends on supporting services such as libraries and IT.

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  • Facilities Spend
    Facilities Spend

    A guide to how much the university spends on supporting facilities such as the careers service, health and counselling services and sport facilities.

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  • Good Honours
    Good Honours

    The percentage of graduates achieving a first or upper second class honours degree – the class of degree achieved can impact a graduate’s employment prospects.

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    88.0 / 100.0
  • Degree Completion
    Degree Completion

    The proportion of students expected to successfully complete their studies and gain a degree from the university.

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    94.6 / 100.0

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 67%
  • Postgraduate 33%

Mode of study

  • Full Time 99%
  • Part Time 1%

Where students come from

  • UK 72%
  • EU 9%
  • Other 19%

Student gender

  • Male 52%
  • Female 48%

Undergraduate Courses

Type of Qualification:

Mode of study:

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.

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.
  • 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 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).

Counselling services

  • 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

  • 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.
  • Specialist course facilities include over 120 pianos, more than half of them 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 including Maxwell Davies and Birtwistle which emerged in the fifties.
  • 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