How to apply through UCAS Conservatoires

You make your application online. Here’s a step-by-step guide to applying to a conservatoire.

You make your application online. Here’s a step-by-step guide to applying to a conservatoire.

When you’ve found a course you want to apply to, there are a few key points to note before you start your application:

  • You can only apply once in a cycle – don't apply more than once as you won’t receive a refund for further applications.
  • Check the application deadlines before you apply – check our search tool to find the date for your courses.   
  • 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 your application and sign back in at anytime.

1. Register with UCAS

Register in the UCAS Hub and complete the registration questions – confirming the year you want to start your studies and that you're interested in ‘conservatoires’.

You’ll then be taken to your UCAS Hub dashboard where you’ll see a tile called ‘Your application’. Simply click ‘Start’ to begin your application.

International and EU students

  • It’s not possible to apply in an alternative language.
  • You can use some  European characters (276.15 KB) in your personal details, personal statement, employment and referee details.

2. Complete your profile

There are some key points to note:

  1. You must complete all mandatory questions and you can’t skip any sections. These must all be complete before your application can be sent. But you don’t have to do it all at once – sign in and save your progress at any time.  
  2. Make sure your email address is always up-to-date – so you don’t miss important updates on your application.
  3. We’ll ask for your residency status – if you’re from outside the UK and need clarification on this, visit the UKCISA website for detailed information.
  4. We ask how you plan to fund your studies – but we do not manage student finance applications. Find out more about funding and finance
  5. You can give a parent, guardian, or adviser nominated access – if you'd like them to be able to speak to us on your behalf. We'll be able to discuss your application with them, but for security reasons, we can't share your login details (for example, if you need to change your password).

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.

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. 

3. Add 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.

4. Add your previous qualifications

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'.

5. Select 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.

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.

6. 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.

Tips on how to write a personal statement

7. 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. These must be completed by two different referees. Enter the details of your referees on the application, and send a request to them to complete the reference for you. This will then be attached to your application when you submit it.
  • If you are unable to get your references in time, you can proceed without a reference by selecting the relevant tick box in the reference section of your application.You will need to print or download the reference forms and email them to your referees – and they need to send the references 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.
More about arranging your references

8. 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.

9. Pay application and assessment fees

There’s an application fee of £27.50 if you’re applying to study in the 2024 entry cycle. The application fee will be £28.50 for the 2025 entry cycle. 

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 it, your application will tell you how much each fee is, and whether you need to pay now or send the fee direct to the conservatoire.
Read about assessment fees