Latest exam updates

Music Theory update

Paper Music Theory exams (Grades 6 to 8) – the next exams will take place in June. Please note, dates and booking periods for Grades 1-5 and Grades 6-8 may be different from now on. For full details, see our dates and fees page.

For each of our Diplomas, there are three subject lines: Instrumental/Vocal Teaching, Music Performance and Music Direction. Each subject line has three levels of award:

  • DipABRSM (Diploma of The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music)
  • LRSM (Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music)
  • FRSM (Fellowship of the Royal Schools of Music)

Syllabus’ are available here.

or if you are not in the UK or Ireland, please visit the homepage of our website, click ‘Our Exams’ and scroll down to ‘Advanced exams: Diplomas

Prices for all of our exams are listed on our website. Please visit our homepage and click on ‘Exam booking’ followed by ‘Exam dates and fees

Candidates must complete an application form and submit it with all supplementary materials no later than the published closing date. UK & Ireland candidates must send their entry form to our London office, and international candidates should send their entry to their Local Representative. It is not possible to enter online for Diploma exams. Entry forms are available to download from our website;

Unlike Graded Music exams, there are no applicant numbers required for entering a Diploma exam. Candidates each have their own unique number, and this should be included on the entry form. Candidates entering for the first time will be given a new candidate number when their entry is processed and should leave this section of the entry form blank.

There are 2 Diploma sessions per year in the UK and Ireland;

- Summer session (B period)

- Winter Session (C period)

Exam dates can be found here:

Candidates wishing to take their exams outside of these published periods in the UK and Ireland can request an Examiner Visit on their chosen date (please see below for details of Exam Visits)

If you live outside of the UK, Diploma exams will take place during the published exam period on our website. Please ensure you click on the flag on the top right-hand corner to direct you to information relevant to your country.

The closing date for all of our exams are listed on our website. Please visit our homepage and click on, ‘Exam booking’ followed by, ‘Exam dates and fees’.

There are currently 17 public centres in the UK and Ireland: Aberdeen, Ashburton, Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Dublin, Glasgow, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Oxford, Tonbridge, Winchester, York.

Please indicate your preferred centre on your entry form and we do all we can to accommodate this request.

Alternatively, groups of candidates can apply for an examiner to visit a private centre provided by them (please see below for details of Exam Visits).

You will need to have passed Grade 8 in the instrument you wish to take any Diploma in. Additionally, if you are taking an Instrumental/Vocal Teaching exam you will also need to have passed Grade 6 in Music Theory.

If you do not have these qualifications, it is often possible to substitute these prerequisites. Authorised prerequisite substitutions can be found in the relevant Diploma syllabus for your level and exam type:

If you wish to substitute the prerequisites with qualifications or experience not listed in the syllabus, please email [email protected] All substitutions will need to be agreed before your entry is made.

For exams in the UK and Ireland, if you cannot make a certain date, you may email [email protected] to let us know. Whilst we endeavour to accommodate date requests, no guarantee can be made and no refund will be offered should you be unable to attend on your allocated date. Your entry will be accepted on the understanding that your exam appointment may be on any day of the published session.

Outside of the UK and Ireland, Diploma exams are scheduled by our local representatives. You should contact them if you have any date requests.

Exams can be held at premises (a school, teaching studio, home, etc.) provided by the candidate and visited by the examiner.

Visits are offered to all Organ, Harpsichord and Percussion (Performance and Teaching Diplomas) candidates during the exam session. These exams are allocated at any date within the session, wherever possible taking into consideration any preferences.

In the UK and Ireland, Visits can also take place outside of the published exam dates and are called ‘Special Visits’. These can be requested by anyone with at least 3 hours of examining and dates can be requested.

Please be aware that Special Visits for Diploma exams are only available to candidates in UK and Ireland. All applications for Special Visits (including complete entries with supporting materials) must be received 6 weeks prior to the proposed exam date. If we do not have the appropriate documentation prior to the 6 week deadline we will be unable to confirm your exam date. Candidates wishing to apply for a visit (within the exam session) should adhere to the same entry deadlines as public centre candidates.

For more information on Visits and Special Visits, please see our website:

All candidates will receive confirmation of their entry 1 week after the entry closing date. We will not be able to confirm receipt of entries before this.

Appointment times, dates and venues will be released 4 weeks before the first date of the exam session. In the UK and Ireland, these are letters sent by post. For exams outside of the UK and Ireland, appointment notices are usually sent by our Local Representatives by post.

Yes, all Diploma candidates will have 45 minutes in a warm up room before their exam. We recommend all candidates arrive an hour before the start of their exam to allow for this.

If you are unable to make your Diploma exam date in the UK or Ireland please email [email protected] and include ‘Change of Appointment Request’ in the subject of your message. You can also call our switchboard on 020 7636 5400 and your request will be logged by our Customer Service team. Unfortunately due to the length of these exams and the complexity of the scheduling it is very difficult to change Diploma exams, so please be aware that we may not be able to change this exam. If you do not hear from us before your exam, please assume that on this occasion, it has not been possible for us to reschedule your appointment.

If your exam is taking place outside of the UK and Ireland, please contact your local representative.

We can only withdraw candidates with written confirmation so if your exam is in the UK or Ireland, please email [email protected] and add ‘Withdrawal Request’ in the subject of your message. If your exam is outside of the UK and Ireland, please email your local representative. Please state your candidate number, exam date and reason for withdrawal. Our Withdrawal, refunds and non-attendance policy can be found here;

We aim to release all results within 8 -12 weeks from the date of your exam. Diploma exams are sent to an external moderator for a more thorough review and therefore take longer to process than graded exam results. All Diploma results are sent by post.

If it has been more than 12 weeks and you have not received your results, please contact [email protected] and we will look into this for you.

Yes, candidates can carry forward marks that they have been awarded for certain sections of the exam, and only retake the sections they have failed. Please note that the exam must be completed within 3 years of the first exam in order for candidates to carry through marks from previous attempts.

Any other questions please send to [email protected]

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