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UCAS Conservatoires: when to apply

Find out when the deadlines for conservatoire courses are, when and how to apply, and how to meet entry requirements.
Relevant to

Deadlines for applications

For courses starting in 2017 you can register and start your application now. It should be with us by one of these dates to ensure consideration by the conservatoires.

  • 3 October 2016, 18:00 (UK time) – for music courses
  • 15 January 2017, 18:00 (UK time) – for most undergraduate dance, drama or musical theatre courses

However there are some exceptions, particularly for certain audition locations, international applicants or postgraduate courses, so check the conservatoire websites for full details.

If you miss the deadline for your course, you must ask the conservatoires whether they have vacancies before applying – we’ll still process your application either way, but it will be deemed ‘late’ and some conservatoires might not consider you. 

  • International and EU students
    • Many conservatoires will continue to accept applications from international students until later in the year, nearer the beginning of the course. Just contact the conservatoire first before you apply to check they will consider your application.
    • Don’t leave it too late though, because if you do get a place, you’ll still need to arrange a visa and your accommodation.

What needs to be done by these dates?

You’ll need to leave enough time to complete your application, resolve any queries and make sure it reaches us by the deadline. Later, after you find courses and you’re ready to apply, we’ll explain everything in more detail, but here’s an overview.

  1. Fill in your details, qualifications and course choices.
  2. Write a personal statement to demonstrate you’ll be a good student.
  3. Pay your application and audition fees.

Your application will also require an academic and practical reference to be sent by email or post to each conservatoire. 

  • International and EU students

    Most students apply independently – all the advice and help you need can be found here on ucas.com, or by asking us questions on Facebook or Twitter. 

    Alternatively, you could choose to seek help from a local adviser – a member of staff at a school, advisory service or agency that provides information about studying in the UK.

    • They can sometimes help you with your UCAS Conservatoires application or visa application.
    • It’s your choice whether you use an adviser or not – they can offer valuable support, but if you don’t use an adviser you’ll not be disadvantaged in any way.
    • Please note, some advisers may charge for their services if they are agents. 
  • Are you deferring your application until the following year?

    Applicants cannot apply for deferred entry. However, when considering applications, conservatoires can offer deferred places in response to an applicant's request or after obtaining the applicant's agreement.

    • You’ll still need to meet the conditions of the offer this year – for example, if you receive a conditional offer in 2016/17 to start a course in 2018, you have to meet the conditions of the offer by 31 August 2017 (unless the conservatoire tells you otherwise).
    • Make sure you’re sure about the course though, because if you secure a place you’ll be committed to it, and could only be released from the course if the course provider agrees to let you.
  • Are you applying through any other UCAS services?

    You can’t hold more than one confirmed place in higher education, so if you make an application through two or more of our application systems at the same, please accept one and withdraw from the others.

    • Our other services are UCAS UndergraduateUCAS Teacher Training and UCAS Postgraduate.
    • For future reference, a UCAS Conservatoires confirmed place is a guaranteed unconditional offer (GU1) – in Undergraduate and Teacher Training these are referred to as an unconditional firm (UF).

How to meet entry requirements

As well as an audition and/or interview, each course has different requirements you should have or be working towards in school or college – usually a mix of qualifications, subjects or exam grades. As such, many applicants apply during their final year at school or college.

  • When you try to find courses you’ll need to check the entry requirements so you can apply for courses you have a good chance of getting a place on.
  • This is where the option to apply for up to six courses comes in handy, so you can choose courses with different entry requirements.
  • 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.
    • You can use equivalent international qualifications that you’ve already completed, or that you’re still studying now – allowing you to apply earlier in the year.
    • You’ll also need to demonstrate your English language skills.
  • Mature students

    Don’t worry if you don’t have the right qualifications. You can discuss alternatives with conservatoires, such as taking an Access course, or getting accreditation for prior learning, life experience or work experience.