One-Year Programmes

We offer the following types of one year programmes, if you would like to receive Academy training but do not require a full programme of study that leads to a degree. Students on these programmes are considered as fully-enrolled members of the Academy’s student body, and have equal access to the Academy’s resources (library, computers, practice rooms etc).

Organ Foundation

This is for gap-year students preparing for an Oxbridge organ scholarship, or for those who wish to develop organ/choral direction skills before formal university or conservatoire training. Audition requirements are available on the Organ department pages.

Application information is on our How to Apply web page.

Gap Year

This is for you if you are about to complete your secondary school (High School) studies and wish to spend a year at the Academy before taking up a full-time undergraduate programme of study at another institution. The audition requirements are the same as for BMus entry.

Application information is on our How to Apply web page.

If a Gap Year student decides to apply to join the Academy's Bachelor Degree programme (for the year following their Gap Year), they should do so within the normal application framework via UCAS Conservatoires. 


The Academy has exchange agreements with many conservatoires across the world. These are normally for students on a Bachelor Degree programme in Music, who have reached the Academy’s Year 3 entry level, but can also be for students studying on a Masters programme.

Application: Please see our Exchanges page for full details and for the application forms, which must be submitted through your own education institution's exchange office. The application deadline is 1st March.

Study Abroad  

Study Abroad is normally for non-UK students on an undergraduate (Bachelor) music degree programme who wish to benefit from a study placement at the Academy's BMus Year 3 level, as part of their degree programme at their current institution. Study Abroad students must be enrolled on a programme of study at another institution, it is not available as a 'stand-alone' or 'free-mover' option. 

The standard placement length is one academic year, although it can be possible to attend for shorter periods (minimum one academic term/trimester - September to December, or January to April). Placements usually take place during the Junior year (three), or sometimes Senior year (four). Students are encouraged to commence their studies at the beginning of the Academy’s academic year (September); this is because students who commence later in the year are unlikely to be able to join academic classes as these are mostly run on a full-year basis.

Application process: The application deadline is 1st March and you should use our application form downloadable from the links below. The same forms are used for study abroad and for exchange. The application must be sent to the Academy's Registry Office by your study abroad office, we are unable to accept direct applications. 

Common principles

The common principles of these programmes are to:

  • enable you to benefit from one year of conservatoire education
  • provide you with a tailor-made course of study according to your individual strengths and needs
  • offer you the same performance opportunities provided for degree students (with the approval of your Academic Tutor and Head of Study)
  • offer you appropriate academic subjects in consultation with your Tutor
  • assess your practical and/or academic progress by examination
  • provide a transcript of studies showing completed modules (but no degree, diploma or other award).
International Students

The Gap Year and Organ Foundation programmes are usually only available to candidates who hold a valid UK, EU or EEA passport; this is because they are not eligible programmes for gaining a UK study visa.
Study Abroad is an eligible programme for a Tier 4 Study visa because the studies are counted towards your degree qualification at your home institution. You can use the Short Term Study visa option if your placement is shorter than six months.

Exchange and Study Abroad candidates

Please note that Study Abroad and Exchange placements are only available at Bachelor Degree Year 3 or higher.

Study Abroad and Exchange students at the Academy are expected to return to their home institution on completion of their placement period here. If they decide to apply to join one of our degree programmes as a full student, they must do so within the normal framework for external candidates via UCAS Conservatoires; deadlines and requirements are available through, and agreement in writing must be provided from their home institution where this would be a transfer from their current studies. All students on exchange or study abroad programmes will be subject to the Academy’s Regulations. Please note that it is not possible to transfer into Year 4 of our BMus programme.


For more details, you can download the following documents or contact the Registry.