If you want to study music, dance, or drama, further after school, then university might not be the right place for you. You might be better off at a specialist conservatoire.

Now conservatoires sound very fancy, they sound undoubtedly strange, but they're just specialist music, dance, and drama colleges. And each one is going to be very, very different. They each going to have that in specialisms. This could be based on the teachers that they have on staff; this could be based on the area that they're in. So if you're thinking about applying to a conservatoire, you need to do your research and which one is going to be the best fit for you, your skills, and where you want to take your career in the future. The experience at a conservatoire is going to be very different to a standard university experience. It is going to be very, very practiced-based, very, very performance-based. There's not going to be a lot of lectures going on. I think it's going to be much more intense. You're only going to be working from nine to five with performances in the evening, and you can have a block of the academic week and then a block of performance week. You are going to get a lot of exposure to the professional world. Because we seem to go to a conservatoire, that this is the direction you want your career to take. So the teachers that you work with are going to be professional performers as well. You're going to be doing performances at prominent places in the evening, and then you're going to be exposed to the culture, the atmosphere, and the experiences of workings of a professional musician, dancer or actor. The sum application's still by the UCAS process, so still, the normal process that everyone has to go through. But you're going to expect to have to submit a portfolio and do an audition, maybe one or two audition pieces as part of the application process. It is much more like a full-time job, a full immersion experience, as opposed to, going to a university and then having large chunks of time to do independent study. You're going to be expected to be working, to be rehearsing, either by yourself or in small groups or potentially in large clusters for large chunks of time. But is it going to be one of the best experiences for you if you know that this is the direction you want your career to take.

The following conservatoires can be applied for via UCAS

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

Bristol Old Vic Theatre School

Leeds College of Music

Royal Academy of Music

Royal College of Music

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Royal Northern College of Music

Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama

Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance