The number of students placed within the conservatoires sector increased by 10% to 2,020 in 2014. Demand for these specialist courses remains high with around one quarter of the 8,000 applicants being placed.
UCAS Conservatoires manages applications to performance-based music, dance and drama courses at eight conservatoires in the UK. All offer music courses with two also offering dance courses and two offering drama courses. The courses are highly vocational, enabling graduates to enter the cultural and creative industries as artists and arts practitioners.
Today, UCAS publishes a detailed analytical report setting out the nature of admissions to this important part of higher education provision.
Some of the key findings are:
· Two thirds of applicants are to undergraduate courses, mostly aged 18 or 19, with a third of applicants to courses at the postgraduate level, mostly aged in their twenties.
· Most applicants are from the UK, but a quarter of undergraduate applicants, and half of postgraduate applicants, are from outside of the UK.
· Music courses have the highest number of applicants and acceptances - they remain the largest subject area across the scheme.
· Undergraduate drama and dance courses are particularly competitive: only one in 20 of applicants to drama courses and one in 12 of applicants to dance courses in the UCAS Conservatoires scheme, are placed.
· In 2014 around 60% more women applied than men, as has been the case since dance and drama courses have been offered through the scheme, but similar numbers of men and women were placed.
· Young people from the least advantaged areas of the UK are more likely to apply and to enter conservatoires compared to four years ago. However, the most advantaged fifth of young people in the UK remain around six times more likely to enter courses at conservatoires than the least advantaged group.
Hilary Boulding, Chair of Conservatoires UK, said: “The Cultural and Creative Industries are the fastest growing industry in the UK, a trend mirrored by the 10% increase in acceptances to conservatoires announced today. These professions look to the UK’s conservatoires to provide them with a regular flow of talent. This is a field in which the UK excels and our graduates continue to succeed at the forefront of a global industry.”
Mary Curnock Cook, UCAS' Chief Executive, said “Graduates from music, dance and drama courses play an important role in our cultural life. These courses are rightly sought out by applicants across the world and entry is often very competitive. However, while the gap between rich and poor is reducing, the six fold difference in entry rates remains a key challenge for this sector.”
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Notes to Editors
UCAS Conservatoires (formerly named CUKAS) is a small admissions scheme which processes applications to music, dance and drama courses at conservatoires in the UK. The scheme handles applications for eight conservatoires, and includes both undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
All eight conservatoires offer music courses, with two offering dance courses and two offering drama courses. The courses are mainly vocational, being performance and production based.
Applicants can apply to both UCAS Conservatoires and the main undergraduate UCAS scheme simultaneously, in 2014 53 per cent of applicants to undergraduate courses at conservatoires also applied to UCAS.
The 2014 UCAS Conservatoires End of Cycle Report