Applying to RCMJD

RCMJD students singing in choir
Entry to the RCMJD is competitive by audition in March/April for entry in September the same year. This is our only audition period, though we may offer auditions outside this period in exceptional circumstances.

Our application deadline for places from September 2024 has now passed.

If you wish to enquire about making a late application, please email As a minimum your email will need to include the following details about the applicant:

  • Full name, current age and current school year
  • First study (which instrument or voice/composition), length of time learning and name of current teacher
  • Most recent first study practical exam grade, mark and date, or approximate standard if exams have not been recently taken (please consult the applicant's current teacher if you are unsure about this)
  • Details of any other instruments on which the applicant has tuition, including the same information as for first study (see above)
  • Name and address (including postcode) of current school

If you would like to visit the RCM Junior Department please see our page on Visit Opportunities. 

Age requirements

Students are admitted from the age of eight upwards and normally remain in the RCMJD until the end of secondary schooling (aged 17 or 18), provided that they continue to merit their place.

Students are normally admitted for a minimum of two years’ study. If you are interested in studying for one year only, please contact the RCMJD office before applying. Please note that we do not normally admit Gap Year students, and that if you want to apply as a first study singer, you should be at least 14 years old for reasons of vocal maturity.

Older students

If you have finished school or are over 18, the RCM has an exciting undergraduate programme, full of opportunity. You can browse a full catalogue of our post-18 courses right through to postgraduate level.

Younger students

Our learning and participation team offers a range of activities for all ages and abilities, including activities for families and schools. If you're not yet old enough to apply to RCMJD be sure to explore what RCM Sparks has to offer. Their learning pathways allow young children to undertake a journey of musical learning from early years, onto RCMJD and then to undergraduate study at the RCM.

Expected standard

This is our most frequently asked question, and it’s quite a tricky one to answer, particularly for our younger applicants as we’re looking for potential as well as achievement.

There are always going to be some exceptions but as a general rule, if you’re 11 or younger your first study will need to be at least Grade 5 level when you join JD. This will allow you to take full advantage of the ensemble opportunities that form part of our programme. If you’re older than 11 then we expect you to be more advanced (our sixth formers are almost always at or beyond Grade 8 standard).

On instruments often started at a later age, particularly viola, bassoon, horn, trombone, tuba, harp, organ and double bass, a lower level of attainment may be acceptable. On our most popular instruments (currently violin and piano) the students that we usually offer places to are often working at a significantly more advanced level. Your current teacher, or a professional musician who has seen and heard you perform, is the best person to advise you as without having heard you we will be unable to comment.

Present attainment, the number of places available for each instrument and suitability for the course are all also taken into consideration. Entry is competitive by audition, but we try to keep these as friendly as possible. We currently try to schedule an audition for every person that applies to us within the correct time frame though cannot guarantee to do so.

Not quite there yet?

If you're interested in music but don't think you're really ready for the intensive programme we offer, the RCM Sparks team have a wide range of music making you can take part in. Read all about RCM Sparks.

Your county music service or hub should also be able to help you find ways to explore your musical talent. A list of hubs is available to download from Arts Council England.


If you have any enquiries please contact our team who will be happy to help. 

We would recommend emailing the team with your enquiry in the first instance. If you would prefer to speak to someone instead, please call the number below.

RCM Junior Department

General enquiries

+44(0)20 7591 4334 (11am-3pm Tues to Fri)

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