Royal Northern College of Music
Promoted by Royal Northern College of Music

Transform your love for music into a career at The Royal Northern College of Music

Since its inception in 1973, the RNCM has developed a reputation for being one of the most forward-thinking conservatoires in the world. Committed to delivering exceptional degrees which will define the future of music, its students have opportunities to perform and partner with leading artists as they study. This pioneering approach has attracted over 900 talented young musicians, composers and conductors from more than 60 countries.

The RNCM offers higher education courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The Bachelor of Music with Honours (BMus) develops graduates’ abilities to become well-rounded musicians through a proven combination of principal study, academic training and career development. Here, students learn to hone their artistic and technical expertise, whilst having the freedom to explore their passions for performance and composition.

Students on the Graduate Diploma of the RNCM (often called the Joint Course) have the unique chance to pursue two undergraduate courses simultaneously: the RNCM’s Graduate Diploma alongside the Bachelor of Music at The University of Manchester. Those enrolled on this course are afforded a rare opportunity to learn from two leading institutions and benefit from an unrivalled breadth of opportunities in study and performance.

The RNCM’s Bachelor of Music with Honours in Popular Music is the UK’s only four-year pop music degree of its kind; an innovative programme that is constantly reinventing itself to respond to developing trends and changes in the fast-paced popular music industry. Centred around Artist Development, students learn the three core skills of any musician: performance, composition and production which are delivered through the exploration of a range of popular music styles and genres, pushing students to develop their own style, creativity and originality.

Royal Northern College of Music

Students have the chance to work with renowned orchestras in the UK and Europe. Source: The Royal Northern College of Music

Every musician at the RNCM has their own unique voice — which is why its programmes are designed to be flexible. Outside of their core courses, students are free to tailor their studies according to whichever specialisms they are interested in. Options (elective modules) cover both practical and vocational aspects of music including conducting, choral singing, chamber music, opera and improvisational jazz.

RNCM students have more opportunities for performance than their UK peers with large orchestral projects, full-scale opera productions, chamber music recitals, multiple ensemble work, solo recitals and professional placements giving them the chance to hone their talents and perform in a real-world setting in front of an audience. Students work with guest conductors, composers and musicians throughout the year, offering a breadth of exposure invaluable to any budding artist.

Such professional opportunities are central to the study experience at the RNCM. Every undergraduate completes at least one work placement in which they can engage in a range of projects from performance and community outreach to teaching and music and health. In addition, all students can audition for professional experience schemes, where they can work as ensemble musicians with one of RNCM’s many orchestral partners. The opportunities offered by the scheme are an invaluable gateway to building meaningful and sustainable careers in the profession.

Royal Northern College of Music

Plenty of performance opportunities are available for students to pursue. Source: The Royal Northern College of Music

The RNCM’s location in Manchester is a large part of its DNA. The city is home to a dynamic music scene that has developed some of the world’s greatest talents. From the Hallé and  BBC Philharmonic Orchestras, Sir Harrison Birtwistle and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies to the Bee Gees, The Smiths, the Stone Roses and Oasis, Manchester has always forged its own path and so there is always something new to see and be inspired by.

For those looking to continue their studies in music, the RNCM has a range of postgraduate programmes to choose from. The Master of Music (MMus) caters for those with a clear vision of what they want to achieve and offers a personalised experience where they can refine their creative and technical skills. The Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Studies, a specialised programme for master’s level performers and composers, enables its students to perfect their craft, and the Master of Performance (MPerf) gives those aspiring to become professional performers the skills and training to set them on the path to success.

Royal Northern College of Music

Students support and lift each other up as musicians and friends. Source: The Royal Northern College of Music

RNCM graduates forge impressive careers in a broad range of areas. Alumni conduct ballet companies, are nominated for music awards by the BBC and perform with global musicians and multicultural artists. They establish themselves as singers and instrumentalists, build quartets and ensembles, compose symphonies, and perform in sold-out venues. They also find careers in music management, arts administration and in many industries allied to and complementary to music.

Studying music at higher education level is difficult. Competition for places is fierce and choosing the right place of study is very important. RNCM graduates demonstrate the endless career opportunities that are brought to life through a degree in music.

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