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Course summary

This is the UK’s only Bachelor of Music degree dedicated to traditional and folk music. Aspiring performers on this course explore Scotland’s unique and dynamic musical traditions as a conceptual, critical and creative framework within which to achieve a distinctively personal voice as an artist. This is interwoven with a solid basis in contemporary and eclectic performance practice. You will work closely with some of the world’s top solo and collaborative teachers and performers to consolidate your performance technique, repertoire and personal style as a traditional musician, interwoven with development as a critical, creative, entrepreneurial and/or teaching artist. This includes exploring both the established parameters of folk and traditional music and the shared technical vocabulary that links folk to classical and jazz worlds. External learning opportunities include an Isle of Skye residency, touring, teaching placements and work placements in Scotland and overseas, as well as appearances at high-profile events, including Glasgow’s renowned Celtic Connections festival, Piping Live, international occasions of state and a range of UK, European and North American festivals. The BMus with Honours (Traditional Music) places emphasis on the creative development of the individual and allows the curriculum to be relevant to aspiring musicians from anywhere in the world. We have welcomed students from as far afield as Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia, USA, Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, England, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Course details

Principal study options

During the application and audition process, you must select which instrument(s) you wish to specialise in for the duration of your course. On this course, you can choose from the following options:

Single specialism

Only one instrument is studied. It may be possible to study a further instrument formatively, but this will not contribute towards the qualification.


For all courses, you must select at least one specialism from the 'primary' list. For those studying primary/secondary pathways, two instruments may be selected – one from the 'primary' list and one from the 'secondary' list. Joint pathway students may select any two instruments from either list.

Primary instrument/specialism

  • Bodhran
  • Button Accordion (Traditional Music)
  • Cello (Traditional Music)
  • Fiddle
  • Flute (Traditional Music)
  • Gaelic Song


Year 1 In your first year, you will consolidate and enhance your performance technique, repertoire and personal style in your principal study instrument or voice, interwoven with development as a critical and creative artist, able to connect and engage critically with your own experience as a traditional musician or piper. An introduction to digital literacy and website design features, as you not only begin to construct your identity as a musician, but interpret it to the world. At the same time, broaden your collaborative musical experience in both a discipline-specific and cross-disciplinary bedrock of practical supporting studies, including group singing, folk ensembles, music theory, studio recording and the consolidation of your skills in programming, performing and calling a ceilidh. Year 2 In second year, you will continue to nurture and extend your knowledge and practical skills as a soloist and collaborative traditional musician through a broadening exploration of technique, repertoire and style relative to your instrument or vocal tradition. You will expand outwards, exploring historic and social contexts and concepts, and draw relationships between practice, perception and context. You will further nurture your soloist and collaborative composition, arrangement and performance skills and expand your entrepreneurial skillset with reference to licencing issues, intellectual property, marketing, digital music distribution and the option of organising your own tour. You will also begin to tap into the wider array of elective opportunities to be found in the department, the Royal Conservatoire and beyond. Year 3 Year three will see you develop a solid musical persona through fluent knowledge and expertise informed by your principal study and a consolidation of your critical artistry in research and reflection. You will do this whilst developing your skills in teaching traditional music in a range of environments. You will address essential vocational issues in greater detail, such as self-assessed taxation, contract negotiation, creative arts funding and administration and the option of a formal work placement, in addition to an ongoing array of elective opportunities to be found in the department, the Royal Conservatoire and beyond; thereby continuing to nurture your own distinct artistic specialisms in a traditional, folk, piping or broader arts context. Year 4 Year four – the Honours year – occasions a synthesis of your critical, technical and creative development as a traditional musician or piper. In addition to engaging in your own substantial project work, deeply rooted in both tradition and innovation, toward an independent and original contribution to the field, you will continue to take advantage of the array of elective opportunities to be found in the department, the Royal Conservatoire and beyond. The Honours year is student-centred: working to achieve a distinct identity and musical voice within your own established parameters, culminating in a themed final public recital.

How to apply

This course is closed for the 2022 academic cycle. Please contact the provider or view the 2023 courses.

*If you are an international applicant, or you are applying for a postgraduate course, or are choosing certain assessment locations, the 'on time' deadline may be later in the year - please contact the conservatoire directly.

Application codes

Course code:
Institution code:
Campus name:
Main Site
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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

International applicants

Currently around 20% of our students come from outside the UK. Between them, they represent over 60 different nationalities and add a rich diversity to the Conservatoire.

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

Additional entry requirements


Please refer to our Guide for Applicants for what to prepare for audition -Please refer to our Guide for Applicants for what to prepare for audition -

Assessment locations

In the event of a successful assessment, applicants may be invited for a further interview prior to being made an offer.

Remote assessment recordings may be accepted in the event that you cannot attend an assessment in person.

Single specialism assessment

LocationOn-time FeeLate Fee

Joint principal specialism assessment

LocationOn-time FeeLate Fee
RecordingNot available at this location

Additional information

For more information on what to prepare for the audition, please see our website -

Unistats information

Operated by the Office for Students
Student satisfaction
Employment after 15 months (Most common jobs)
Go onto work and study

The student satisfaction data is from students surveyed during the Covid-19 pandemic. The number of student respondents and response rates can be important in interpreting the data – it is important to note your experience may be different from theirs. This data will be based on the subject area rather than the specific course. Read more about this data on the Discover Uni website.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Channel Islands £9250* Year 1
Republic of Ireland £9250* Year 1
England £9250* Year 1
Scotland £1820* Year 1
Wales £9250* Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250* Year 1
EU £18393* Year 1
International £18393* Year 1

*This is a provisional fee and subject to change.

Additional fee information

For more information on fees and funding, please see our website -

Sponsorship information

The Royal Conservatoire is able to offer a number of entrance scholarships which are awarded as part of the audition/selection process on the basis of merit and financial need. Please see our website for more information -

BMus (Hons) Traditional Music at Royal Conservatoire of Scotland - UCAS