Conservatoire assessments

Conservatoires will let you know what you should prepare for an assessment.

An assessment is how your application is being considered by the conservatoires in the way of an audition, interview, review of a portfolio, or a recording.

For all disciplines, we've put together a handy document giving you information on  making the most of your audition (1.15 MB)

You may need to have more than one audition/interview, depending on the conservatoire's audition policy, and the study type and course you choose:

  • Main specialism – one audition will be needed.
  • Joint main specialism – two auditions, one for each specialism, will be needed.
  • Secondary specialism – some conservatoires will audition on your main specialism only, whereas others will audition on both your main and secondary specialism.
  • Alternative main specialism – two auditions, one for each specialism, will be needed.

What an audition might involve

  • Music performers normally play two or more contrasting pieces in a live audition held at the conservatoire. In some cases you can send a recording or video instead.
  • Musicians may be asked to play or sing scales, read or sing at sight, take an aural test or have an interview.
  • Composers are often asked to submit a portfolio or some other evidence of practical ability, or to have an interview.
  • Dance and drama applicants may be asked to prepare monologues, a performance piece, participate in a dance class, sing, sight-read text or improvise.
  • Drama production applicants may be given set tasks prior to the interview, where you will then discuss the tasks, your understanding of the course, and your career aspirations, amongst other things.

Assessment fees

We usually collect assessment fees with our application fee – which is £25 for the 2020 cycle and £26 for the 2021 cycle.

The assessment fees charged depend on the conservatoire(s), type of course, and if:

  • the audition is a live performance or a recording
  • separate auditions are required for two study areas, for example, different instruments, singing or conducting
  • the audition is held in the UK or overseas
  • the application is received at UCAS by 18:00 (UK time) on 1 October for music courses. For dance, drama or musical theatre courses, the deadline may be different. Please refer to conservatoires' websites for information
  • an audition is required 

Our search tool displays the locations and fees for the assessment/audition for each course under the 'Assessment info' tab.

After completing your application in Apply, when you click 'Pay and send', Apply will calculate and display your audition or assessment fees.

Will you have difficulty paying your assessment fees? Some conservatoires will waive fees if you're unable to pay. Contact the conservatoires directly to discuss this and provide evidence of hardship. This must be agreed before you apply, and you should inform us when you submit your application that you are paying a reduced overall fee. Or, if you're applying from London or the East Midlands, Open Door is non-profit organisation that could provide you with guidance and financial support.

How to pay

Use a credit or debit card to pay your application fee and assessment fees online. If you do not have a credit or debit card, you can use someone else's with their permission. We accept UK and international Visa, Visa Electron, JCB, MasterCard and Maestro credit or debit cards. At the moment we do not accept American Express or Diners Club cards.

If you are unable to use a credit or debit card, you can pay by cheque, postal order or bank transfer. In this case, once you have completed all sections of your application and verified your email address, you will reach the 'Pay and send' screen. If you agree to the declaration, you then go through to the 'Payment' screen. If you do not have one of the cards we accept, please click on the link – this takes you to an invoice to print off, and will give you instructions as to when and how to send the payment with the printed invoice.

If you have forgotten to print off the invoice, please follow these instructions:

You must enclose a letter with your payment – remember to include your name, address, and Personal ID and attach it to your payment.

Cheques and postal orders must be made payable to UCAS and crossed 'Account payee only'.

If you are paying by bank transfer you must send the official bank receipt; we cannot accept a photocopy.

The bank account details are:

  • Bank name: Barclays Bank plc
  • Bank address: 128 High Street, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 1EL
  • Account name: UCAS International Account
  • Account number: 20802182
  • Sort code: 20-20-23
  • Swift code/BIC number: BARCGB22
  • IBAN number: GB16 BARC 2020 2320 8021 82
  • Payment Reference: use your Personal ID as the payment reference

All payments must be in GB pounds sterling. We do not accept Uniform Eurocheques. Write your name, address and Personal ID on the back of your cheque, postal order or other payment document and send it to UCAS Conservatoires, Rosehill, New Barn Lane, Cheltenham, GL52 3LZ.

Your application will be cancelled if your payment is not received within seven days of the date of your application.

What happens after your assessment?

After your assessment, conservatoires will tell us when they've made a decision and we'll let you know in Track. Once all decisions are in, you can reply to your offers.