About Conservatoires UK

CUK is the voice of conservatoire education in the UK. Our role is to develop best practice for training and education in the performing arts and to promote the sector’s excellence nationally and globally.
Trinity Laban – Photo by James Keates

At CUK we are an influential voice speaking to government, policy makers and opinion formers, nationally and globally. More generally, we advocate for the many benefits the sector engenders in society and the creative and cultural economies.

Our role is threefold: to develop best practice for training and education, to promote the sector’s excellence, and to negotiate with government and policy makers. Currently, our membership comprises eleven conservatoires, including all of the UK’s music conservatoires.

The Conservatoire Way

The UK’s conservatoires play a unique and pivotal role in the higher education landscape as international centres of excellence in higher education and training in the performing arts. Our methodology is a distinctive blend of intensive one-to-one tuition, practice-based studio training, ensemble and group work and reflective education, which is provided all the way through from early years to postgraduate and professional level. Through the conservatoire way our members aim to nurture and develop rounded, versatile artists who are capable of becoming the cultural leaders of the future.

Our Vision

To develop talented individuals to lead the global performing arts sector through the distinctive and intensive experience of a specialist conservatoire education.

Our Mission

We lead advocacy, drive innovation and project the UK’s leading international position in conservatoire teaching, learning and research in the professional specialisms of dance, drama, theatre design, music, screen and technical theatre.

Our Aims are to

  • Present the case for conservatoire education, continuing to build relationships with government, councils, agencies and key influencers to inform the debate on policy matters of common interest for the sector
  • Secure sustainability for the sector, working closely with funding councils and grant-making bodies to engender wider understanding of appropriate conservatoire funding
  • Drive innovation in conservatoire learning and teaching at all ages and stages
  • Extend our reach through widening access, working with UCAS Conservatoires, schools, community and industry partners
  • Build support for conservatoire students, developing cooperation and networking between our student associations and unions to support growth in the public knowledge of the scope and reach of conservatoire activities
  • Drive research and knowledge exchange in the performing arts, promoting collaborative research among our members and their professional networks and bringing the essential conservatoire ethos to the attention of the wider public
  • Engage nationally and transnationally with educational and advisory bodies and creative and cultural industry partners
  • Be a forum for sharing ideas, information and policy about conservatoire education.

Read CUK’s Commitment to Safeguarding within the Conservatoires Sector and  Principles of Best Practice in Conservatoire Teaching .

Royal Central School of Speech & Drama - Photo by Patrick Baldwin
Royal Conservatoire of Scotland - Photo by Robert McFadzean

Together, conservatoires in membership of CUK attract some 1300 international students annually