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Music at University and Conservatoire (Guidance for 2021)

Note: 2021 Applicants. You can start searching for institutions here but the system is not open for registering yet for either Unis (you can register now but not send before September 8th) or Conservatoires (opens July 16th).

A collection of links and documents to help you choose and prepare for applying to take music at University (more academic focused) or Conservatoire/Music College (more performance focused). There is an excitingly huge range of very different courses out there so you need to make sure you really know what you are applying for. Spend time looking at the details of courses your want to apply for to check that they offer what you want and that you have a skills and qualifications you need to get a place and succeed.

Although both Universities and Conservatoires are on UCAS, you have to make and pay for separate applications and your offers etc. are kept separate. College manages your UCAS UNIVERSITY application but you manage your own UCAS CONSERVATOIRES application (with some help from me). The deadline for Conservatoires are is October 1st and you need to be ready to audition immediately after that point.


You need to research different types of course and also make sure you have done some extra studying so that you are better prepared for interviews next year.

Complete University Guide League Table – Music (a useful starting point but all these sort of things should be taken with a massive pinch of salt)

Guardian University League Table – Music 2020

Music at University (power point on different types of courses etc.)

Music Applicants Extension Tasks (recommended summer term / holiday tasks for those applying for traditional music degree courses). You could also look at some of the transition to uni tasks elsewhere on this site

Lite Bites – notes and tracks from the Year 12 mini lectures on diverse topics from Medieval music to Schenkerian analysis (normally I do these in the Summer term but sadly not in 2020)

Mini Chorale Workbook (some universities want you to have done some four-part harmony in the style of Bach. We don’t do it as part of our course, but here is a little workbook based on www.choraleguide.com)


Presentation on the Conservatoires Applications Process (updated July 2020) READ THIS FIRST

UCAS Conservatoires Application Home Page

Key dates:
  • Applications open July 16th (see here)
  • 1st October – entry deadline for Music Applications (for drama and some other performing arts courses at conservatoires the deadlines are later)
You need to TWO references that are done separately from the King Eds system:
1) A music academic reference (I will do these for all students in consultation with your SST where necessary)
2) A music practical reference – for nearly everyone this will be their instrumental/vocal teacher
Process for getting references can be found here.
A few things to bear in mind:
  • Remember that some colleges and some instruments will have specific audition requirements which you need to be aware of as soon as possible. LOOK ON THEIR WEBSITES
  • The Guildhall School of Music and Drama is not in UCAS Cons, but has its own application process done through its website.
  • Music Technology at Leeds and Popular Music at LIPA and BIMM are done through main UCAS process
  • A very useful (but costly) service offered by many conservatoires is the consultation lesson in which you have a lesson with one of their teachers who then offers you advice. Contact institutions directly about this
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