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What will I learn?

This PGCE course is designed for graduates of universities and conservatoires who wish to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) whilst specialising in instrumental teaching. This includes teaching wind, brass, strings, percussion, voice, piano/keyboard, guitar, bass guitar and drums.

The RNCM runs this unique Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) course in collaboration with Manchester Metropolitan University (Man Met).

Who the PGCE is suitable for

This one-year full-time course offers instrumentalists and vocalists a range of distinctive features. If you want to learn how to teach music in a secondary school context and how to teach your own instrument and related family instruments or voice in a variety of different settings through innovative methodologies, then this is the course for you.

We are looking for outstanding musicians from all disciplines - including popular music, jazz and folk - who show a real passion for music education in all its guises and who strive to develop outstanding musicianship in their teaching practice.

How the PGCE is delivered

The PGCE is delivered at both the RNCM and Man Met, and during the year, trainees complete two teaching placements at secondary schools and Music Services in the North West.

At the RNCM: develop your teaching and performance skills

You will have the opportunity to develop your teaching and performance skills via integrated approaches to instrumental and vocal teaching. This includes focusing on embodied methodologies such as Dalcroze and Kodály. Instrumental pedagogy includes an introduction to related instruments within instrumental families while developing strategies for teaching individual, small group and whole class lessons. There is also a focus on developing your creative musicianship through classes on improvisation, aural and vocal approaches, ensemble leading/conducting, world music and educational research.

Experience in both classroom and music service settings equips graduates with all of the necessary skills to support the varied portfolio careers that young professional musicians and teachers undertake. Students will undertake teaching from Key Stage 1 through to Key Stage 5 (ages 7 - 18) in educational settings including primary, secondary, sixth form and special education needs.

These experiences are enabled through the outstanding professional collaboration that the RNCM has with its various Music Education Hub partners throughout the North West whose excellent teaching and mentorship provide the backbone of this course.

Which department am I in?

Royal Northern college of music

Study options

Full Time (1 year)

Tuition fees
To be confirmed
Start date

September 2022


Royal Northern College of Music

124 Oxford Road,


M13 9RD, England

Entry requirements

For international students

You will normally have a minimum of a 2:2 undergraduate honours degree awarded by a UK university, or an equivalent higher education qualification or you must possess and show the necessary skills as a musician and an educator. Music is a unique subject and we have several high-quality trainees who have had degrees in non-music subjects, but through professional work have shown the necessary skills to enter the course. For exceptional candidates, particularly those with substantial relevant work experience in schools or relevant occupations, we will consider applications from those who hold a 3rd class degree. You will also need GCSEs at grade C/4 or above in English language and mathematics. However, Equivalency tests in English, Mathematics and Science are provided by Manchester Metropolitan University. The School of Teacher Education will accept these equivalency tests for any of its initial teacher education programmes, at undergraduate or postgraduate level. This will be at the discretion of the admissions tutor, and only offered if considered appropriate after interview. We do not accept the following qualifications as equivalent to GCSE: Adult numeracy and literacy, Functional Skills or Key Skills. Overseas candidates should have Cambridge Proficiency in English or IELTS Band 7 with no less than 6.0 in any element.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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