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Our audition procedure is designed to enable us to find out about you.

Not just how good a performer or composer you are, but what sort of a person you are, and to assess whether you have the potential to be the sort of musician who will benefit from the approach that we have.

Here you will find specific information relating to your chosen area.


We ask you to prepare to perform two contrasting works. The panel will expect you to play for no longer than 15 minutes.

There will be two examiners present for your performance audition – usually the Head of Department and a specialist in your principal study. If your principal instrument is Percussion & Timpani/Drum Kit there will be three examiners on your audition panel. You may also be asked to work on a particular passage of your piece with the Head of Department. Please note that the audition panel will not stop you whilst you are playing, but in the case of a piece with several movements or sections they may specify that you only play part of the work.

If your principal study is Composition, the audition will take the form of a discussion about your portfolio, which should be submitted online no later than 2 weeks prior to your audition.

At the end of your audition there will be a short interview when the panel will ask you to talk about your past training, achievements and about your musical aspirations. They will want to try to get to know you better as a person and examine the breadth of your musical understanding. You should come prepared to talk about the music you listen to at home, concerts you have attended, music making opportunities you have had, etc.

Details of the locations of your various sessions are shown on your audition timetable and a warm-up session is scheduled for you before the practical examination. Stewards will take you to the relevant rooms during the day.


All Instruments Not Listed Below

Audition Requirements
All Postgraduate programmes

The audition will last for 30 minutes. The table below provides full information about the audition process.


Piano Performance*

Postgraduate Level programmes

The audition will last for 30 minutes. The table below provides full information about the audition process.


Percussion & Drum Kit/Timpani

Percussion audition requirements (PDF)



Composition auditions will take 30 minutes and take the following format:

PRIOR TO THE AUDITION All Composition applicants are required to submit a portfolio of compositions via Embark. Read more about recorded auditions.
ON THE AUDITION DAY The audition will take the form of a discussion of this portfolio. You will be asked to perform for 2-3 minutes on an instrument of your own choice in any style. All Masters applicants will be required to take a 30-minute written test, to include a critical commentary on a piece of prose. Please note past papers are not available.
PORTFOLIO Your portfolio will be assessed according to:
– Compositional techniques
– Writing for instruments/voice
– Analysis
– Harmonisation
RECORDED AUDITIONS Recorded auditions will be assessed using a portfolio as described above, but in addition you will be required to provide a spoken introduction to their work along with written work for Master’s applications.

Compositions portfolios must be submitted via Embark by 9th November to be considered as an on-time application.


Jazz Performance

The audition will last for 30 minutes. Assessments will be based upon the applicants ability to combine creativity with a sound technique and strong aural skills. The table below provides information about the audition process.

Important Notes

For Jazz auditions, a band is provided. Applicants are asked to use the rhythm section in a quartet rather than mock Big Band setting. This band consists of the following, less the applicant’s own instrument:

  • drum kit
  • lead instrument (this may be a vocalist)
  • bass (electric or acoustic)
  • guitar or piano

Applicants may not play to a backing track.

Jazz Vocalists, please note that microphones will not be provided. If you require a microphone, please bring your own.

Jazz Drummers should bring their own cymbals and clutch.



In the Audition

You should prepare three items of your choice in contrasting styles and moods. Two items should be in languages foreign to you and of classical repertoire. Following a review of our auditions processes, You will receive an email detailing your schedule for the day, which will include a warm-up time and tour

You may be required to take a short sight-reading test and/or improvisation test.



Single Reed Theatre Doubling

1) Entrance Audition Requirements:

i) Present items on both saxophone and clarinet at a standard appropriate to postgraduate study, and normally show some ability on flute.
ii) Pieces performed on both instruments must have a piano accompaniment.
iii) Sight reading for both instruments.
iv) Scales for both instruments.
v) Clarinet transposition.
vi) Interview.



MA Music Education and Performance

These are the audition requirements for the MA Music Education and Performance.  Please make sure you are aware of the entry requirements prior to application.  


DURING THE AUDITION Applicants must play a contrasting and suitably demanding programme of no more than 15 minutes in total.Applicants will have a combined practical/ academic interview centring on pedagogical issues, during which they may be required to take a sight-reading, improvisation and/or initiative test.
DURING THE AUDITION DAY Applicants will be required to take a 30-minute written test, to include a short critical commentary on a piece of prose (describing a pedagogical concept) or on a video of a teaching activity, and the creation of practice exercises in association with a piece of previously unseen repertoire.


* Please note piano applicants are asked to bring scores for the Panel. We do not provide page-turners.

More about Auditions, including International Auditions

Two oboists performing