four students sitting at the stairs and playing violin, spotlights, the word music in pink and pink speaker

Thinking of studying music and pursuing your dreams in the UK? Learn about the rankings of music schools in the UK.

In Hong Kong, many children start learning musical instruments at a young age under their parents' guidance, aiming to cultivate their interests and patience. However, if students aspire to further their music education as they grow older, Hong Kong may not provide sufficient resources. Only a few universities in Hong Kong offer music programs, and with limited spots and intense competition, many passionate students turn to studying music in the UK. For those interested in pursuing a music degree, please continue reading to learn about the rankings of music schools in the UK.

girl in cardigan playing violin

Source: Unsplash 

What are the advantages of studying music in the UK?

University degrees in Hong Kong have always been highly competitive, especially for more niche courses. This is particularly true for art and music-related programs, leading many students interested in these fields to look abroad, with the UK being the most popular choice. Compared to Hong Kong, the UK has a vibrant music and arts scene, and the music schools there offer more freedom in terms of musical development, allowing students with a passion for different genres to showcase their talents. Additionally, there are several renowned music institutions in the UK, making it a popular destination for students aspiring to study music.  


The UK has numerous top-ranked music schools, including specialised music institutions alongside traditional universities. These schools not only have state-of-the-art recording studios and facilities but also provide ample performance spaces for students to familiarise themselves with equipment. Moreover, the schools frequently organise concerts and workshops where students collaborate with professional musicians, providing them with an in-depth understanding of the industry's operations and trends, closely connecting them to the market.  


Furthermore, the UK has a rich history of music education, with many music schools being members of the Association Européenne des Conservatoires (AEC), representing a European cultural and educational network comprising 300 institutions from 57 countries worldwide, offering professional music training. Let's take a look at the rankings of music schools in the UK together!

Rankings of Music Schools in the UK

According to the 2023 QS University Rankings (Performing Arts), the top 5 universities are as follows:  


1. Royal College of Music (RCM)

Royal College of Music Campus

Source: Royal College of Music

The Royal College of Music, founded by King Charles III, is one of the world's most outstanding music schools. It is dedicated to nurturing exceptional musicians, conductors, and composers worldwide. The Royal College of Music has been ranked as the best performing arts school globally for six consecutive years, providing its students with abundant performance opportunities and producing numerous internationally renowned musicians.  


2. Royal Academy of Music (RAM)

Royal Academy of Music Campus

Source: Royal Academy of Music 

The Royal Academy of Music, one of the constituent colleges of the University of London, was established in London by Lord Burghersh in 1822 and later granted a royal charter by King George IV. The academy offers professional programs in instrumental performance, composition, opera, vocal studies, and musical theatre. Its graduates have consistently been sought after by major international record companies.  


3. Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland New Atheneum Theatre

Source: Guildhall School of Music & Drama 

Located in Glasgow, Scotland, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland was founded in 1845 and is a higher education institution dedicated to music and drama education. It comprises three centres: the School of Music, the School of Dance, and the Junior Conservatoire. The conservatoire offers courses in music arts, music education, Scottish music, contemporary performance, and musical theatre. It is one of the top-performing arts schools globally.  


4. Guildhall School of Music & Drama

Guildhall School of Music & Drama Campus

Source: Guildhall School of Music & Drama 

Established in 1880, the Guildhall School of Music & Drama is located in the heart of London at the Barbican Centre. The school maintains long-standing partnerships with various orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, and the Royal Opera House. Additionally,the Guildhall School of Music & Drama serves as a primary institution for providing professional music training to students under the age of 18. Its pre-college program accommodates nearly 2,500 students, paving the way for young individuals to pursue their musical dreams.  



5. Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance

Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance Campus

Source: Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance 

Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance is a leading institution in the UK for music and dance education. It was formed by the merger of Trinity College of Music and Laban Dance Centre. The conservatoire offers a wide range of music and dance programs, fostering creativity and artistic excellence in its students. It is recognized for its innovative approach and commitment to training future musicians and dancers.

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