Studying at a conservatoire

There are many reasons why the UK is the natural destination for anyone in search of a conservatoire education.
Leeds Conservatoire
Leeds Conservatoire

A conservatoire is a specialist and practical school for training professionals in the performing arts.

Every conservatoire is different. Each conservatoire might offer different artistic disciplines, programmes, curricula, or have different locations, sizes, and teaching staff. However, all CUK conservatoires share a common approach to teaching and supporting students.

This CUK page sets out some of the values we share as a sector, as a starting point for communicating what UK conservatoires do and why. If you are interested in finding out more about the specific opportunities for you at a conservatoire, please visit the individual websites of CUK member institutions.

We look for artistic ability, passion, and potential

Students from all backgrounds come to learn at conservatoires. At audition or interview we look for applicants who have the passion and dedication to develop their craft to the highest level.

As small institutions we focus on individual student needs

We provide an environment for you to grow as an individual, to develop your distinctive identity as an artist, and to discover your voice. And your voice matters to us. As small institutions, we work in dialogue with our students to shape our approaches to learning, teaching, and assessment. 

 We support you to follow your passion

Studying at a conservatoire is immersive. You will explore your creative passion through a range of practice-led learning activities, including classes, lessons, rehearsals, personal practice or preparation, concerts, and performances – much more activity than you would typically experience on a university course. You’ll be learning in a dynamic environment where no two days are the same and everyone is motivated by a passion for their artistic practice.  

We support you to flourish as an artist

We support our students to develop fulfilling, lifelong careers in the arts. Our graduates use their creative practice to enact positive change in our society, often building personalised portfolio careers that reflect their strengths and interests.

We prepare our students to be makers in the creative industries of today and tomorrow

By collaborating with industry partners, we ensure that your conservatoire experience prepares you for the industry of the future, equipping you with the knowledge, skills and understanding to excel in professional environments. We’ll provide you with the skills, resources, and opportunities to make new work that will transform the future of the creative industries.      

We are a bridge between tradition and innovation in the arts

Our teaching builds on established performance traditions while recognising that our artforms don’t stand still. We embrace new traditions and encourage you to challenge and innovate your discipline.

Our strengths in Research and Knowledge Exchange provide inspiration and promote discovery

Our staff and students are engaged in diverse forms of knowledge creation and the sharing of new artistic insights with others. Research and knowledge exchange are embedded in our institutions in ways that deepen students’ artistry, expand and innovate practice, and help to shape the creative industries of tomorrow.

As creative communities we value diversity

We recognise that diversity makes us stronger. As a sector we are working hard to widen student access and diversify staff recruitment. We aspire to reflect the diversity of wider society and we are working closely with our students, staff, and industry partners to achieve this. We recognise our important role in shaping the profession to become more inclusive.

We are embedded in our wider communities

Conservatoires are melting pots of creative activity in their local community, connecting artists, teachers, professionals, learners, and audiences. You will benefit from opportunities to co-create with others outside the conservatoire, leading to the strengthening of artistic communities and your own development as an artist citizen.

We are committed to delivering an inclusive curriculum

Every CUK conservatoire is engaged in ongoing curriculum development to improve representation and recognise historical injustices. We want all students to see themselves reflected in the curriculum and know that they belong. We are committed to offering inclusive teaching and assessment where every student has the chance to excel.  

 We are globally connected

We are proud of our international outlook and our connections with international artistic communities. Our international students, staff, and global partnerships promote cross-cultural dialogue, strengthening our curriculum and preparing students for today’s global society.

We encourage bold thinking and risk-taking

The arts can inspire, move, and provoke new ways of thinking. Conservatoires provide a supportive environment for you to try out new ideas, realise imaginative new work, and build your confidence. We encourage all students to see themselves as change-makers, equipped with the creative agency and vision to make valuable cultural contributions, changing our world for the better.