Preparing for auditions

An RCM student standing and singing next to a piano
For most of our courses, every candidate who applies by the application deadline will be offered an assessment. Some study options have an initial pre-screening process or portfolio submission. In these cases shortlisted candidates will be invited to audition or an interview.

Being properly prepared for your audition means you will be able to present yourself at your best. As well as learning the appropriate repertoire and refining your technique, there are some decisions to make which are outlined below.

  1. Check the 'how to apply' section of the course you want to apply to and see if you are required to submit a portfolio as part of the application process.
  2. Choose where to audition. You can see all of our audition locations here.
  3. It is important that you apply on time, so check the Apply page for a list of all of our deadlines.
  4. Read our What to expect at audition and After your audition pages so you know how the process works.
  5. Tell us if there are special circumstances that we need to be aware of.

Exchange applicants

For exchange applicants, performers will be auditioned by recording and composers by portfolio submission. We do not specify repertoire for the performance recordings and composers will not be interviewed.

Do I need to apply for a scholarship?

Scholarships are based on merit at audition and all candidates who audition live or via video will be considered for a scholarship. There is no separate application you need to complete.

Candidates in need of special adjustments because of a disability

If you declared a disability on your application the RCM will automatically write to you to find out whether you require any particular arrangements.

If you did not declare a disability on your application or if you would like any additional advice on this matter please contact Student Services.

Student Services

Enquiries relating to student support at the RCM

I can’t see my audition date and time on UCAS

When your audition details are posted you should receive a notification from UCAS to log into your account and check. Please note that you will only be able to see your audition details if you have paid the audition fee.

What should I do if I can't attend my scheduled audition time?

Scheduling auditions is very complex, with some panels only being held on one day. Auditions in London are organised in collaboration with the other UK conservatoires to avoid clashes, making it extremely difficult to reschedule. RCM staff only visit our overseas venues once a year and auditions often only take place on one or two days.

You should make every effort to attend at your allocated time. If you have a compelling reason why you cannot attend, please contact our Admissions team. We will attempt to find you an alternative timeslot if possible, but stress this cannot be guaranteed.

If you are sick on the day of your audition please contact our Admissions team immediately to let us know.


Admissions and general audition enquiries

+44 (0)20 7591 4362

Can I choose to audition in February?

The February auditions in London are only for a very small number of candidates: mostly those who were prevented from attending the main auditions due to unforeseen circumstances, e.g. illness.

Some faculties may not hold February auditions if their courses are full, and the majority of scholarship funding will already have been allocated before February.

We strongly recommended auditioning during the main auditions if possible.

Do I need a visa to come to my UK audition?

Nationals of many countries outside the EEA will need a visa to travel to the UK. You can check whether you need a visa on the UK Government website. Provided you are only coming to the UK for your audition and not for any study or work you can enter the country on a Standard visitor visa. Nationals of countries in the EEA and several other countries do not need to apply for a visa in advance and can be granted leave to enter the UK as a visitor at the border on arrival. Nationals of some other countries need to apply for a visitor visa in advance before travelling. You can check whether you need to apply for a visa in advance on the UK Government website.

We recommend checking the UK Government website and with your local UK visa centre for the latest information.

As soon as the audition schedule is published we will send out invitation letters to all nationals of countries who are required to obtain entry clearance to the UK before departure, which can be used to support a visa application.

If you require assistance you can contact our Admissions team.


Admissions and general audition enquiries

+44 (0)20 7591 4362

Auditioning at the RCM

Current students share their tips on how to approach your RCM audition and some friendly insights into the process of auditioning with us.

Getting ready

Places at the RCM are awarded solely on your performance at audition, whether by video or in person. For composers, places are awarded on the basis of your portfolio and the strength of your interview. The same is true of scholarships, which are intended to support students who demonstrate the highest level of musicianship.


If you have any questions about the audition process please contact our friendly Admissions team who will be happy to offer advice.


Admissions and general audition enquiries

+44 (0)20 7591 4362

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