Source: Royal Northern College of Music
Source: Royal Northern College of Music

Music, art, performance — these have shaped the development of our society for years on end. For many, they act as forms of expression, opening up to different points of view, and helping in the development of empathy and compassion for others. It’s a pathway that celebrates talent — pushing each and every individual involved to their greatest heights. 

More than that, participation in the arts has proven to be beneficial for the wider society, too. Research shows that in adults, arts participation has a positive impact on the health of civil society, including increased civic engagement and better social tolerance, for example. Much of this has to do with the arts being a reflection of society itself — asking us to challenge the preconceptions and beliefs we have about how we live and interact with others. 

In this, an arts education is one of the most rewarding to pursue. The best arts schools equip students with not only the skills they need to succeed in the industry, but the drive and confidence to face their future challenges. Most of all, they connect students with other rising talents who are passionate about what they do — creating more opportunities for collaboration, networking and camaraderie.

These are some of the best institutions that offer outstanding programmes in the arts. 

Royal Northern College of Music

Source: Royal Northern College of Music

Source: Royal Northern College of Music

Passion and conviction — these traits characterise students who attend the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM). First established in 1973, the RNCM acts as a conservatory for exceptional music thinkers and performers eager to expand their art. It’s a space where music comes alive — inviting everyone, regardless of where they come from, to hone in on their talent and bask in the thrill of pursuing what they love. 

Take the RNCM’s excellent Undergraduate School. Here, all forms of music are studied and celebrated, from classical forms to popular, current sounds. This includes an innovative Bachelor of Music with Honours in Popular Music, the UK’s first four-year degree of its kind. It’s a programme that continually reinvents itself, preparing its students to respond to the changes of a fast-paced music industry. 

The RNCM Graduate School is just as impactful. Choose from conducting, performance, composition, music education and more — each programme is designed to be highly flexible and ripe with the real-world experience to set forth into the music industry. The Master of Performance, for example, provides various solo and ensemble performance opportunities and opportunities for industry placements. 

Students learn and perform in a thriving UK live music hub, complete with a fully-equipped concert hall and theatre. They collaborate with orchestras and ensembles worldwide that have established longstanding partnerships with the RNCM. It’s a perfect starting point for musicians aiming to make their mark on the wider world. Follow the Royal Northern College of Music on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance

Source: Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance

Trinity Laban has produced some of the greatest artists and musicians of our time. Source: Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance

A Mercury Prize nominee. A composer for some of Hollywood’s best loved films. The president of EMI Records. An internationally renowned violinist. Award-winning musicians, producers, and instrumentalists. They all trained at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.

Music education at this leading London institution is more than just a degree-seeking venture – it’s an experience that will take you places. One of the world’s leading centres of music and contemporary dance, with a long and illustrious history that goes back to 1872, today, it continues to spearhead exciting opportunities for collaboration between musicians, composers, dancers and choreographers.

At Trinity Laban, students are prepared for the arts industry from the get-go. They learn from a teaching staff of highly respected musicians and dance artists — from performers and widely-known composers to principals from the UK’s major orchestras, chamber and jazz ensembles. They’re encouraged to branch outside of the classroom through 500 performances scheduled yearly, from critically-acclaimed operas to daily lunchtime concerts and recital opportunities. 

South London is their playground. They thrive in a creative hub that’s renowned for its artistic impact, surrounded by a dynamic, diverse community. That’s not to distract from the facilities they have at their disposal — an award-winning contemporary dance centre and a music faculty in a world heritage site being some. It’s the ideal space to inspire talent and art in its purest form. 

Norwich University of the Arts

Source: Norwich University of the Arts

Norwich University of the Arts tutors are experts in their field and offer individualised attention. Source: Norwich University of the Art

Located in one of Britain’s greenest, safest cities. An award-winning student body of creatives. A picturesque environment home to thriving art, music, and cultural scenes. These are several reasons why students from all over the world flock to Norwich University of the Arts (NUA). It’s a place where any creative aspiration can be nurtured. 

NUA’s courses are practical. Students will experiment with different techniques and test different formats. The tutors, on the other hand, are experts in their field and offer individualised attention that can advance your knowledge swiftly and enhance your academic experience as a whole. You’ll hear from visiting professionals about the latest practice in the workplace, and expert technicians who will give you the chance to develop essential skills during introductory sessions. 

Look around the city centre campus, and you will find dedicated studios, media labs, creative spaces, plus cutting-edge and industry-standard equipment in 11 buildings, all of which have been designed to help you build specialist knowledge and flourish in the programme. All of these installations won a THELMA Award in 2018 for outstanding buildings, and sit among the cafés, bars, independent galleries and shops of Norwich’s cultural quarter. 

Employers and industries value an NUA education. From being awarded Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework and being ranked among the World’s Top 50 Creative Schools by The Rookies in 2020 to winning international design competitions and achieving recognition for creative excellence –– NUA is a proven launchpad for aspiring artists.

*Some of the institutions featured on this article are commercial partners of Study International.