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Study Options & Audition Requirements

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We understand that auditions are a significant milestone on every applicant’s journey towards a career as a conservatoire musician. The guidance below will help you prepare to the best of your abilities and make you aware of what will happen at your Royal College of Music audition.

Composers audition by submitting a portfolio of work to the RCM for consideration. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to an interview.

Typical questions you may be asked during your interview include:

  • Why do you want to study at the RCM?
  • What are your musical interests?
  • What do you think you need to do most to improve your composition?

Most students audition at the RCM in London. We also offer auditions at a number of venues overseas. The audition process differs between venues. You are advised to read the information below carefully.

Principal Studies

Every student undertakes principal study in their main specialism, which lies at the heart of their RCM experience. You can audition for the following principal studies.

Composition

Undergraduate & Postgraduate

All applicants must submit a portfolio of at least two, but not more than five, contrasting examples of their compositions.
We are looking for evidence of both a talent for composition and, depending on the level at which you wish to study, the ability to realise effectively, or to start to realise, your ideas in a variety of forms and media.
Candidates whose portfolios demonstrate potential will be invited to interview, where they may also be asked to complete a number of tasks.

Composition for Screen

Postgraduate Only

All applicants must submit a portfolio of at least two, but not more than five, contrasting examples of their compositions.
In addition to the normal academic and musical standards expected for entry to the RCM's MMus or MComp course, Composition for Screen applicants will be expected to demonstrate:

  • a command of musical gesture and expression
  • instrumentation and orchestral skills
  • proficiency in music technology applications such as sequencing and score processing
  • experience in the use of Logic or similar software
  • a keen awareness of music's narrative and dramatic functions within and beyond film, television and multimedia

Candidates whose portfolios demonstrate potential will be invited to interview. Prior to interview Composition for Screen candidates will be sent a short vocational task to complete (such as composing a short excerpt to accompany an image or scenario).

Submitting Your Portfolio

All portfolios must be submitted by the application deadline for your chosen audition venue.

You should submit your portfolio online through the DecisionDesk platform. Please do not post your portfolio to the RCM. Any portfolios that are not submitted through DecisionDesk will not be accepted.

Submit your portfolio through DecisionDesk

If you experience any problems uploading your portfolio please contact our Admissions Team.

Admissions Team

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What to Expect at Interview

What to Bring

You do not need to bring anything to your interview with you.

What Not to Bring

You cannot bring a teacher or a translator into your interview. The only people in your interview room will be you and the interview panel. As our courses are taught in English we expect you to be able to communicate in English at your interview.

Scholarships

Any student who auditions in person for a place at the RCM will automatically be considered for a scholarship. Scholarships are offered purely on the merits of your performance at your audition.
Candidates who apply by composition portfolio only (ie with no interview) will not be considered for scholarships.
Decisions about scholarships are usually made at the end of the audition period and applicants who are offered an award will receive a scholarship letter by mail. In exceptional circumstances, an applicant may be offered a Scholarship on the day of their audition.

Composition & Composition for Screen Interviews in London

You should plan to arrive at the RCM at least 30 minutes before your scheduled interview time.

We advise allowing plenty of extra time for travelling into or across London. If you are caught in an unavoidable delay, please telephone the Admissions Officer immediately on +44 (0)20 7591 4362 so that, wherever possible, alternative arrangements can be made.

When you arrive at the RCM, you should find out the room in which your interview will take place from the steward in the entrance hall.

Composition and Composition for Screen interviews last approximately 20 minutes.

Getting to the Royal College of Music

Composition & Composition for Screen Interviews Overseas

You should plan to arrive at the audition venue at least 30 minutes before your scheduled interview time.

We advise allowing plenty of extra time for travelling into or across the city where your interview is being held.

You will be sent detailed instructions about what to do at your chosen venue in your invitation email. When you arrive at the interview venue check for signage. Please note that we there will not be a front desk run by an RCM steward, although some venues have a public reception desk manned by their own staff.

Composition and Composition for Screen interviews last approximately 20 minutes. Candidates are also required to participate in an hour long group seminar later that same day. The seminar will be run by the audition panellists and each candidate will be asked to revisit the works they prepared for their audition.

Overseas Audition Venues

After Your Interview

You will be informed of the result of your interview as possible. The RCM cannot enter into correspondence over the results of interviews.

Find out more

Interview Queries

If there are any special considerations the RCM needs to be aware of before your interview, or if you are unable to attend your interview on the date required, please click the button below for more information.

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If you have any questions about interviews or the application process please contact our Admissions team.

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