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Preparing for auditions

Violinist practicing
For most of our courses, every candidate who applies by the application deadline will be offered an audition. Some study options have an initial pre-screening process or portfolio submission. In these cases shortlisted candidates will be invited to audition or an interview.

Check the 'how to apply' details for your chosen course to see if you are required to submit a portfolio as part of the application process. Each of the 'study options & audition requirements' sections within our faculties pages gives more detail about what you can expect to happen at audition, including details of multiple-stage auditions where applicable.

For exchange applicants, performers will be auditioned by recording and composers by portfolio submission. We do not specify repertoire for the performance recordings and composers will not be interviewed.

Being properly prepared for your audition means you will be able to present yourself at your best. As well as learning the appropriate repertoire and refining your technique, there are some decisions to make, including where your audition will take place. You should also tell us if there are special circumstances that we need to be aware of.

Auditioning at the RCM

Current students share their tips on how to approach your RCM audition and some friendly insights into the process of auditioning with us.

Place & time

The Royal College of Music holds auditions in London, Asia and the USA. Auditions for all courses and all principal studies can be undertaken in London. Auditions for most courses and principal studies can also be undertaken in Asia and the USA. In some cases, candidates may be able to apply by recording instead.

Application deadlines, application fees, audition dates and the availability of RCM accompanists varies between locations.

Choosing where to audition

Candidates in need of special adjustments because of a disability

If you declared a disability on your application (this option is available through UCAS Conservatoires) the RCM will automatically write to you to find out whether you require any particular arrangements.

If you did not declare a disability on your application or if you would like any additional advice on this matter please contact Student Services.

Student Services

Enquiries relating to student support at the RCM

I can’t see my audition date and time on UCAS Conservatoires

When your audition details are posted you should receive a notification from UCAS Conservatoires to log into your account and check. Make sure that you click on the hyperlink for your application to the RCM to view these. Please note that you will only be able to see your audition details if you have paid the audition fee.

What should I do if I can't attend my scheduled audition time?

Scheduling auditions is very complex, with some panels only being held on one day. Auditions in London are organised in collaboration with the other UK conservatoires to avoid clashes, making it extremely difficult to reschedule. RCM staff only visit our overseas venues once a year and auditions often only take place on one or two days.

You should make every effort to attend at your allocated time. If you have a compelling reason why you cannot attend, please contact our Admissions team. We will attempt to find you an alternative timeslot if possible, but stress this cannot be guaranteed.

If you are sick on the day of your audition please contact our Admissions team immediately to let us know.


Admissions and general audition enquiries

Candidates who are resident outside of Europe and cannot attend their audition will be offered the chance of being considered by an alternative means. For performance applicants this will be by submission of a recording. For composition applicants it will be a video interview.

Overseas candidates may also volunteer to apply by these methods from the outset. However, performance applicants should be aware that they will not be considered for scholarships if they do so. 

Can I choose to audition in February?

The February auditions in London are only for a very small number of candidates: mostly those who were prevented from attending the main auditions due to unforeseen circumstances, eg illness. Some late applications may also be considered if places remain.

Some faculties may not hold February auditions if their courses are full, and the majority of scholarship funding will already have been allocated before February.

We strongly recommended auditioning during the main auditions if possible.

Do I need a visa to come to my UK audition?

Provided you are only coming to the UK for your audition and not for any study or work you can enter the country on a general visitor visa.

We recommend checking the UK Government website and with your local UK visa centre for the latest information.

As soon as the audition schedule is published we will send out invitation letters to all nationals of countries who are required to obtain entry clearance to the UK before departure, which can be used to support a visa application.

If you require assistance you can contact our Admissions team.


Admissions and general audition enquiries

Getting ready

Places at the RCM are awarded solely on your performance at audition or, for composers, on the basis of your portfolio and the strength of your interview. The same is true of scholarships, which are intended to support students who demonstrate the highest level of musicianship.

Candidates for the BMus programme who have applied for joint principal study will be auditioned in both specialisms. The two auditions may or may not be on different dates.

Candidates who have registered interest in second study will only be auditioned for their principal study specialism. If your application is successful you will be eligible to audition for second study when you start your course at the RCM.


If you have any questions about the audition process please contact our friendly Admissions team who will be happy to offer advice.


Admissions and general audition enquiries