Become a Member

To be considered for membership of Conservatoires UK, an institution will need to demonstrate they match the CUK membership criteria.
Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
Royal Conservatoire of Scotland – Photo by Robert McFadzean

To be considered for membership of Conservatoires UK, an institution must be able to evidence through external endorsement the following distinguishing characteristics:

  • A world-leading provider of specialist education and training in music, drama, dance and/or circus, branded and recognised internationally as a Conservatoire.
  • An institution in receipt of enhanced public funding reflecting its international standing, the quality of its teaching, performance and research and the employability of its graduates.
  • An independent free-standing specialist higher education provider with a critical mass of minimum 750 full-time students.
  • A highly vocational portfolio of higher education programmes in music, drama, dance and/or circus which is demonstrably successful in producing a significant number of performing arts professionals pursuing international careers.
  • A primary focus on intensive learning and teaching methods, involving high student/staff contact hours and a demanding rehearsal and production schedule.
  • An emphasis on one-to-one tuition and small ensemble/group teaching, complemented by a wide range of large ensemble activities.
  • A vibrant research culture that enriches learning, teaching and performance at all levels and produces outputs of national and international standing.
  • A highly selective audition and/or interview process.
  • An assessment model that supports and promotes the development of high level practicebased skills in music, drama, dance and/or circus.
  • Active links with the external profession, achieved by encouraging core academic staff to maintain a professional profile and providing students with frequent opportunities to work with visiting professionals of national and international renown.
  • A proto-professional learning environment, which is rich in public-facing performance opportunities for students.
  • An appropriate physical environment, including bespoke teaching, practice and rehearsal studios, high specification public performance venues and access to instruments and recording facilities of professional quality.
  • Extensive specialist pre-tertiary provision, typically a large-scale Junior Conservatoire or equivalent.
  • An emphasis on the development and assessment of the whole person – aesthetic, intellectual, physical and emotional.

Membership of CUK is only open to conservatoires and other similar organisations which meet the membership criteria set by the Directors from time to time.

In accordance with CUK’s Articles of Association, any decision of the Directors about whether to accept an organisation into membership is final and must be approved by at least 80 per cent of the Directors.


CUK Criteria for the admission of new institutional members, with effect from March 2017.