Exams needed for Music Colleges

Music Grades

If you’re thinking about studying at a Music or Drama College you may need to take some music grades or examinations in your chosen instrument.

Here are some examples of the admission requirements for a few of these colleges. Please check with the colleges  for exact details. There are many courses available catering for post-16 education, diplomas and degrees. The following list is just a sample but will give you an idea of the musical qualifications you may need for entry.

London College of Music

The London College of Music (LCM) have a number of music courses which all require music grades for entry. The RGT grades are accredited by the LCM so are ideal.

BMus (Hons) Music with Foundation

Selection of Books for RGT Guitar music exams
RGT Music Exam Books

Applicants must ideally have all of the following:

  •  Grade 6-7 instrument or voice
  •  Grade 5 theory.

BMus (Hons) Music Performance with Music Technology

BMus (Hons) Music Performance with Music Management

Applicants must ideally have all of the following:

  •  Grade 8 instrument or voice
  •  Grade 5/6 sight reading
  •  Grade 5 theory.

BIMM (Brighton)

BIMM stands for the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. There are several colleges around the UK but the nearest one to Sussex is Brighton.

Minimum Requirements

Four GCSEs at C or above (including English) and Grade 4-6 equivalency playing skills. If you haven’t taken grades in your instrument you may need to have an audition to establish your level of playing.

Royal Academy of Music

The Royal Academy holds auditions which last 20-30 minutes. As time is limited, you may be interrupted before you have performed a complete piece. You may be given sight-reading or quick study tests. Instrumentalists may be asked to play scales, arpeggios, etc to ABRSM Grade 8 standard.

This is the same grade as the RGT exams. It may be prudent to check that the RGT Grades are considered equivalent by the Royal Academy of Music. If the ABRSM grades are essential we can enter you for these exams instead of the RGT exams.

Leeds College of Music

Music grades are essential for Classical, Jazz, Popular Music and New Music.

Students studying   a 3 year degree need Grade 8 standard in their principal instrument. Grade 5 Theory is also required..

4 Year BA degrees have an integrated foundation year and have slightly lower requirements.  Grade 6 standard or above on their instrument is sufficient.

See their website for more details.

Academy of Contemporary Music

The Academy of Contemporary Music has two sites. These are Guildford and Chiswick. Entry requirements 2 A Levels at C grade or equivalent Grade 5 Music Theory is preferred but not essential

University of West London

Requires a minimum of grade 6 performance on your first instrument or voice. You’ll also need grade 5/6 sight reading and grade 5 Music Theory. If you don’t have any formal qualifications but believe you meet the required standard you’ll be asked to audition.   See London College of Music which is part of the University of West London.