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Filling in your UCAS Conservatoires application

You make your application in our online system Apply. Here’s a step-by-step guide to applying to a conservatoire.
Relevant to
You can only apply once in a cycle. Please don't apply more than once in a cycle, as you can't receive a refund for further applications. If you've applied in previous cycles and want to apply again, you'll have to submit a new application. 
There’s quite a bit to fill in, but you don’t need do it all at once – you can save and sign back in anytime. You'll also find more help text within the Apply system.

1. Register to use Apply

Add some personal details, get a username, create a password and set your security question.

Have you applied before?

  • You can only apply once in a cycle. Please don't apply more than once in a cycle, as you can't receive a refund for further applications. 
  • If you've applied in previous cycles and want to apply again, you'll still have to submit a new application. 
  • International and EU students
    • It’s not possible to apply in an alternative language.
    • You can use some European characters in your personal details, personal statement, employment and referee details.

2. Sign in to the welcome screen

Here you’ll find your Personal ID – quote this if you need to contact us or your conservatoires. In ‘my application’ you add the other information that’s needed.

3.  Fill in the rest of your personal details

You can give a parent, guardian or adviser nominated access if you'd like them to speak on your behalf.

  • International and EU students

    If you’re taking or have taken an English language test, you might be able to add the details here, so that conservatoires can verify the results.

    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) registration number
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Test Report Form number

    If you’ve taken any other English language test or course, mention it in your personal statement.

4. Fill in some further details

  • Nationality, residential category, student support arrangements (how you expect to pay for your tuition fees), any relevant criminal convictions and any special needs or impairments.
  • International and EU students

    You’ll be able to enter your passport number as well, which will help you if you need to arrange a student visa. Don’t worry if you don’t have a passport yet – you can add your passport number after you’ve submitted your application.

5. State your previous education

Enter details of up to five schools, colleges and universities you have most recently attended or are still attending.

Please include any conservatoire junior departments or academies you’ve attended too.

6. State your previous qualifications

You must enter all your qualifications – whether you have the result (even any that were ungraded) or you’re still awaiting exams and results.

For course results you're still waiting for, these are the exam results we're able to process and forward on to conservatoires. If any of your pending qualifications aren't on here, you still need to add them to your application, but also remember you’ll need to send the results on to your chosen conservatoires when you get them.

Read our blog if you need advice on entering AS and A levels.

  • International and EU students
    • Make sure you add as much detail as possible – including grades and results. Without enough information conservatoires might struggle to make a decision.
    • Qualifications are listed by name and country, but don’t worry if yours isn’t there – just add it into the ‘other’ box.
    • You may have to send proof of your results in certificates or transcripts. At UCAS, we’re able to send some of your results – including the International Baccalaureate – but for most international qualifications you’ll have to send them to the conservatoire yourself. Different conservatoires have different policies for how they want to receive results. Some might ask for them as soon as you apply – others might do their initial assessment of your application before asking to see proof of your results.      
  • Mature students

    If you can't find your school exam certificates, contact the school or local authority, but if you have no luck, contact the conservatoires you're applying to and discuss your options.

    If you're adding an Access course to your application, there are four different kinds of Access course to choose from, so it's important to enter the correct one.

    • Access to HE Certificate
    • Access (other)
    • Access to HE Diploma (ungraded – last award 2011)
    • Access to HE Diploma (2009 onwards)

    If you're unsure it's best to speak to your Access course provider to check. Then fill in the details as follows:

    Title: Select from the drop-down list, or if it's not there, use the 'Other' box to type it.

    Qualification date: Enter either the date your qualification was awarded, or the date you expect to receive your results.

    Access Validating Agency: Enter the name of the board that awards your qualification.

    Result: Enter either 'Pending' or 'Completed'.

    Modules: How many you need to enter depends on the type of Access course.

    If your qualification is the Access to HE Diploma (2009 onwards), it's compulsory to add at least one of the modules, and if possible please add all of them. There's space for 20 modules, so if you have more, please contact your chosen conservatoires for guidance on how to send additional details to them directly

    If you're adding one of the other Access courses, your conservatoires may still need details of your modules – either all of them or particular ones – so it's always best to check.

    Please also enter the amount of credits allocated to each module under the heading 'Credit value'.

7. Make your course choices

You can choose up to six courses – in no preference order.

  • Conservatoires will be able to see where else you’ve applied, but your choices are listed in no preference order.
  • There are ‘study type’ options for music courses, but for other subjects this will just state ‘Main specialism’.
  • Then you can choose from one of the audition locations.

There’s usually no need to apply for more than one course at any particular conservatoire.

Are you studying music?

If you’re applying for music courses, you might be able to select two instruments if you’d like to.

  • Main specialism is just one instrument.
  • Joint main specialism is two instruments studied equally.
  • Secondary specialism is two instruments – one as your main and one as your secondary.
  • Alternative main specialism is giving two options, either of which you’d be happy to study as one main instrument.

Thinking about several courses for the same instrument or discipline?

  • If you want to apply for several courses for the same instrument or discipline at the same conservatoire, just mention one of them on your UCAS Conservatoires application.
  • Then contact the conservatoire directly to mention your interest in other courses (stating your name and the Personal ID we’ll email you after you’ve submitted your application to us).

Not sure which courses you’re qualified for?

  1. Firstly you’ll know whether you’re at undergraduate or postgraduate level – depending whether you’ve previously completed further education or graduated from an undergraduate degree.
  2. Then you can choose a type of course at that level. They have different entry requirements, so it’s a good idea to contact the conservatoire to check which course they think you should apply for.
  3. If there’s uncertainty over which will be the most suitable, just apply for the highest level course you’re interested in, then the conservatoire will be able to make a final decision at the audition or interview stage.
  • For example, if you’ll be studying at undergraduate level and you’re not sure if you’ll be qualified for a diploma or a BMus degree, only apply for the BMus degree.
  • If you’ll be studying at postgraduate level and not sure whether to apply for a postgraduate diploma or a master’s degree, only apply for the master’s degree.
  • International and EU students

    There are audition locations around the world, but if you can’t attend any, you might be able to send in a video or recording instead.

8. Write a personal statement

This is your chance to show conservatoires why you want to study the course and why you'd make a great student. It might take a while until you’re happy with it and you’ve checked it through with teachers, advisers or family, so it’s a good idea to start early.

9. Get two references

A reference is a written recommendation from a teacher, adviser or professional who knows you academically.

  • You’ll need an academic reference and a practical reference. Write down the details of your referees on the application, then arrange for the references to be completed.
  • You’ll need to print or download the reference forms to post or email to your referees – and they need to send the reference to the conservatoires you’re applying to. This must be completed by the end of October for music courses, or as soon as possible for courses with other deadlines – check conservatoire websites for specific dates.

10. Read the declaration

Once you’ve marked all previous sections as complete you’ll be able to read and agree to the declaration – which allows us to process your info and send it to your conservatoires.

11. Verify your email address

We need you to do this so we can make sure we have your correct email address. Click ‘generate a verification code’ and then enter it on this screen. If your email address is wrong you can go back to amend your personal details.

Can’t see the verification email?

We send it from – add this to your list of contacts, and check your junk/spam folder just in case.

If you still haven’t received it, click the link on the ‘verify email’ screen to get another email sent to you. Although if this means you end up with two emails, just use the code from the most recent one.

12. Pay application and assessment fees

There’s an application fee of £24, paid when you send your application to us.

For most courses you’ll need to attend an audition or interview, or send a recording or portfolio to each conservatoire.

  • There’s usually a fee for these auditions and assessments – we collect most of these fees at this stage, but in some cases you’ll need to pay the conservatoire directly.
  • When you’re ready to send your application, the Apply system will tell you how much each fee is, and whether you need to pay now or send the fee direct to the conservatoire.

Some card transactions fail due to a number of reasons – although not exhaustive, below are the most common reasons.

  • Card not registered for 3D secure – 3D secure stands for 3 Domain secure. The three parties involved in the process are the vendor, the acquiring bank and Visa or MasterCard. The protocol was developed by Visa to improve security of online payments. It offers the ability to authenticate cardholders through the use of a password during online purchases, reducing the likelihood of fraud. It is offered under the service names Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode. Please visit the issuing bank’s or card issuer’s website or speak to your card issuer or bank for further details. For an incorrect 3D secure password – also visit the issuing bank’s website or speak to your bank or card issuer.
  • Incorrect card details entered – please ensure you check the long number on the original card, the expiry date of the card and security number (last three digits on the back of your card) are entered correctly before clicking the ‘make payment’ button.
  • Lack of funds in your bank account or exceeding your credit card limit – visit the issuing bank’s website or speak to your bank or card issuer.