How to choose between courses and conservatoires

Take a look at how courses are delivered, find out more about conservatoires and compare them. Read more about choosing courses, here.
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Compare course content

When you search for courses, read through the details to see if you like what’s on offer and how it’s taught.

  • Who are the tutors and are they experts in areas you want to gain experience in?
  • What’s the balance between practical training, lectures, seminars and performances?
  • What performance opportunities and masterclasses are available?
  • What professional and industry links does the conservatoire have?

Applying for multiple courses?

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

  • If you’re applying for music courses, you can choose either a joint course (50/50), a major/minor course (75/25) or you can provide two options, either of which you’d be happy to study.
  • If you want to apply for several subjects for the same instrument or discipline, just mention one 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 what courses you’re qualified for?

Check with the conservatoire. 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.

Compare conservatoires and locations

There are a few ways you can research conservatoires – read their websites and prospectuses, or speak to them at conservatoire open days.

  • What creative arts do they specialise in?
  • Can you get experience in or payment for public performances?
  • Do they have facilities or societies you’d want to join?
  • How near home, a city centre or the countryside are they?

  • International and EU students

    There’s a wide range of performing arts courses available in the UK, with excellent standards of teaching and practical training, so there will be something to suit your goals in the creative arts.

    1. Search for courses and see what you like best.
    2. Each conservatoire has different specialities, so see which is most suitable for you.
    3. Check that employers or professional organisations in your country will accept UK conservatoire qualifications.
    4. Make sure the course has the performance opportunities and academic content you’re looking for to help you in your chosen career.

    There are various conservatoires you can apply to in the UK – all with different expertise. So rather than choosing the most famous, see which has the best course for you.

    • Ask how many other international students or students from your country are studying there.
    • Find out if the conservatoire has cultural or social clubs you would like to join.
    • Remember to check entry requirements in the course descriptions to see what you need to do to get a place on a course.
    • The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education ensures courses in the UK are high quality – take a look at their website to read conservatoire reviews.


Check conservatoire reviews

As well as talking through your ideas with family, friends, teachers or advisers, you can find other opinions online.

  • Get the student viewpoint at Unistats for subject and conservatoire reviews.
  • Read conservatoire reviews from The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education.
  • Check specialist league tables that rank course providers. Make sure you check the sources though, as some are biased. The Guardian, The Times and The Complete University Guide are some of the more impartial places to look.