Study options & audition requirements

A male student, wearing a smart black shirt, conducting a brass ensemble in a performance room.
We understand that auditions are a significant milestone on every conservatoire applicant’s journey. The guidance below will help you prepare to the best of your abilities and make you aware of what will happen at your Royal College of Music audition.

Conductors are assessed through a three stage audition process.

Stage 1

Submit your application form on UCAS Conservatoires and video footage as follows:

  • An original video recording lasting between 10 and 20 minutes of a rehearsal(s) or performance(s) you have conducted in the last 18 months. 
  • A video showing yourself conducting the first movement of Ravel Suite: Ma Mère l’Oye (Mother Goose Suite) in silence. This exercise means that the applicant should imagine the sound, while showing how they might communicate their musical intentions physically. This must not be done with a recording, but the applicant is welcome to sing or hum if this helps.

Stage 2

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an online 30 minute working session in late December with the panel, which will include a short lesson with each professor. In addition, a video recording to be provided in of yourself performing on your own instrument, or singing. The length should be 4-8 minutes. This can be accompanied or unaccompanied, but the repertoire should be selected accordingly. For composers, a portfolio of your work should be provided instead, which will be discussed in addition to your audition above.  A second shortlisting process will then take place and the successful candidates invited to an in-person final round audition in early February.

Stage 3

The selected candidates will be invited to work with an orchestra and ensemble at the RCM, as well as a short interview. They will also take part in a group discussion with the conducting professors and an RCM composer (whose work they will conduct in the final round) and separately a chance to discuss life at the RCM with the present students.

Principal studies

Conducting is only available as a principal study specialism at Masters level. A module in conducting is available to undergraduates in years 3 and 4 and Masters students, as well as second study being available to undergraduate and masters students with prior conducting experience.

In addition to the normal academic and musical standards expected for entry to the RCM's MPerf or MMus (Perf) course, conducting applicants will be expected to show a detailed knowledge of orchestral repertoire and to prove a genuine commitment to conducting as a significant part of their professional career.

Submitting your recording

The application deadline for entry in September 2025 is 2 October 2024.

Video recordings must be submitted to the RCM by 28 October 2024 to the portal below. 

Submit your recording

What to expect at audition

The time shown on UCAS Conservatoires is your audition time. You should plan to arrive at the RCM at least 30 minutes before this, to allow time to check in and warm up. We advise allowing plenty of extra time for travelling into or across London.

If you are caught in an unavoidable delay, please telephone the Admissions team on +44 (0)20 7591 4362 immediately so that, wherever possible, alternative arrangements can be made.

Contact Admissions

When you arrive at the RCM, you should find out from the front desk where your audition will take place.


Every student who applies for a place on one of the RCM's performance or composition courses commencing in 2025 will be considered for a scholarship, whether you have applied by video or attended an audition or interview in person.

There is no separate application process.

Eligibility for scholarships is based on merit, which is determined by performance at audition (or by submission of video) or the strength of portfolio and interview for composers.

If you are offered a scholarship or study award you will receive a letter, normally sent by email, confirming this and the conditions of your award.

In exceptional circumstances, an applicant may be offered a scholarship on the day of their audition.

After your audition

You will be informed of the result of your audition as soon as possible. The RCM cannot enter into correspondence over the results of auditions. 

Find out more

Audition queries

Please double-check that you are available at the time and date of your audition. If there are any special circumstances the RCM needs to be aware of before your audition, please let us know in advance.

Find out more

If you have any questions about auditions or the application process please contact our Admissions team.


Admissions and general audition enquiries

+44 (0)20 7591 4362

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