Leeds Conservatoire scraps audition fees to improve accessibility

By Kath Hartley


Leeds Conservatoire has removed its audition fees for all courses, in a bid to improve the accessibility of conservatoire training for prospective students from all backgrounds.

The conservatoire has taken the lead in removing all of its audition fees to ensure that talented musicians and performers are not precluded from attending an audition due to their financial position. 

In addition, the conservatoire is offering to refund travel expenses for applicants from low-income households, in order to reduce financial barriers within the application process. 


“We are committed to providing inclusive music and performing arts education which is accessible to all,” says Vice Principal & Director of Curriculum at Leeds Conservatoire, Professor Joe Wilson. “Attending an audition is an imperative part of the application process for our performance-based courses, and we do not want capable artists to be deterred due to a lack of financial support.

Everyone has a right to arts education and should be able to pursue their ambition based on their talent and creativity, without the cost of auditions being a barrier to success.” 

This will come into effect for students auditioning for places for September 2020.

Pete Massey, Director North, Arts Council England, commented: “At the Arts Council we welcome the move by [the conservatoire] to do away with audition fees and to provide travel costs to prospective students from low income households. This will remove a critical barrier to entry into one of the UK’s best conservatoires and will hopefully enable a wider range of people from a breadth of different backgrounds to access their excellent teaching. The creative economy will be all the richer for it.”

The announcement comes as Leeds Conservatoire launches two brand new degrees in BA Acting and BA Actor Musician, which open for applications this Autumn, and also the start of its BA Musical Theatre degree, which welcomes its first cohort of students this September. 

Find out more about Leeds Conservatoire.

For further information please contact Kath Hartley, k.hartley@lcm.ac.uk.

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