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The difference between a conservatoire and a university

Would you opt for a university or a conservatoire? Source: Shutterstock

The benefits of a university and conservatoire education have long been debated, yet the differences aren’t always clear.

To reiterate, a university education refers to education and research that results in an academic degree in various disciplines, typically providing undergraduate education and postgraduate education. A conservatoire education, on the other hand, has a strong vocational, performance orientation and course structures are focused on creative specialisms like dance, music and the arts.

The core advantages of a conservatoire education

Conservatoires offer multiple benefits for creative and innovative students.

Providing detailed drama, music and art-based courses, you’ll be entering a domain full of like-minded learners. Instilling a domino effect of creativity and artistry, behind-the-scenes of conservatoires lies a balance of business training and practical sessions, enabling students to become both performers and producers.

According to UCAS, “Professional musicians teach at conservatoires as part of their portfolios, and many teach at more than one conservatoire. At the postgraduate level, students can choose to study under a particular tutor because of their reputation and distinction in their field. A particular tutor can be the main driving factor for choosing to study at a particular conservatoire.”

So, if you want to develop a specific artistic discipline, a conservatoire could be the best option to lead with.

Check out established conservatoires like Trinity Laban or the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to gain a better understanding of the courses offered and the facilities conservatoires promote.

The core advantages of a university education

Unlike a conservatoire, a university education supplies students with a plethora of degrees in a multitude of disciplines.

While universities generally offer creative courses in performance arts, music, theatre and more, they don’t necessarily have the exact same facilities a conservatoire may provide.

Connecting you to a network of potential employers and professors, distance and blended learning courses can be moulded to your lifestyle, as well as many accelerated degree programmes.

A university has the choice to be solely creative, but you may find that conservatoires prepare you more for rigorous full-time training and that the classes are smaller, or that there may be more individual attention.

Also, a university with a dance or arts department will offer a broader curriculum with an opportunity to minor or double major in a non-arts related field, but conservatoires can still offer BFA degree programmes.

Either way, both higher education styles suit degree applicants from a multitude of disciplines. It’s just a matter of finding which course suits your aspirations best!

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