At ICMP, we have a vibrant and exciting international community, with around 40% of our total student body being international students. That means the ICMP experience is a truly global one, providing you with plenty of opportunities for both music and cultural development.
Being an international student brings with it some special challenges, and the ICMP team understands this. From your initial contact with our admissions advisers, engagement with our wellbeing team or any other interactions you have before, during and after your studies with ICMP, we’re here to provide practical and relevant help and support to make your experience a positive one.
Our International Student Handbook covers all the information you need to know in your ICMP journey, from your initial enquiry right up to your arrival in London.
If you have questions about joining us as an international student, contact one of our Admissions Advisers at any time, they will be happy to help.
We look forward to welcoming you to ICMP Music College in London.
HOW TO APPLY
BEFORE YOU ARRIVE
WHEN YOU ARE HERE
Applying to study at ICMP is a straightforward process and we’re here to help or discuss the best course option for you whenever you need us.
Information about our application process and entry requirements can be found on the course information pages for each programme.
As an international student, you can audition remotely if you’re unable to visit us in London. Please contact our Admissions Team on + 44(0)20 7328 0222 firstname.lastname@example.org to book your audition.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS
If you require a visa to study with us, you’ll need to submit evidence that you meet the appropriate level of English for study. You can meet this requirement by taking IELTS (UKVI) at an UKVI Approved SELT centre and attaining a Grade B2 overall and in each of the four key areas (reading, writing, speaking and listening).
If you’re applying to study on a BA, BMus, MA or MMus programme, you can also demonstrate your English ability by sitting:
- IELTS (Academic) – Grade B2 Overall and in each area (Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening)
- Cambridge English – First (FCE) B2 or Advanced (CAE) C1 or Proficiency (PAE) C2
- Trinity College London – Integrated Skills in English (ISE) at ISE II (B2) or higher
Please contact the admissions team on email@example.com before booking your test/course to confirm that it will meet our requirements.
Please read this information relating to Alternative English Language testing during this Covid-19 period.
If you have previously received additional learning support, or if you require further advice and guidance on disclosing a disability on your application, please click here.
UK’S NEW IMMIGRATION SYSTEM – STUDENT ROUTE VISA
As a new international student to ICMP, in addition to your course application, you’ll need to apply for your visa using the Student Route – part of the UK’s new points-based immigration system which came into effect from 1st January 2021. This system replaces the previous Tier 4 route.
All international students should now apply through the Student Route for a visa, except for EU/EEA and Swiss students resident in the UK before 31st December 2020. If this is you, you’re eligible to apply through the EU Settlement Scheme before 30th June 2021. If you’re an EU/EEA or Swiss student arriving in the UK after 1st January 2021, you’ll need to apply for the Student Route along with other international students.
To apply through the new Student Route, you’ll need to demonstrate that you meet the required 70 points as part of your visa application. You’ll achieve the required points if you have an offer from an approved educational institution, speak a required level of English and are able to support yourself financially during your studies in the UK.
Please note that visas already issued through the Tier 4 route are still valid. If eligible, when your Tier 4 visa expires, you may be able to apply for further leave to remain under the new Student Route.
REMAIN IN THE UK FOR TWO YEARS AFTER GRADUATION
The UK Government’s new points-based immigration system launches on 1st January 2021 and includes access to a new post-study work visa known as the ‘Graduate Route’.
The Graduate Route will be available to international students who graduate from an ICMP undergraduate or master’s degree from 2021 onwards, regardless of whether you applied through the old Tier 4 route or the new Student Route. The new Graduate Route visa will allow you to stay in the UK for up to two years after you graduate, with no restriction on the type of work you can do.
EU/EEA AND SWISS CITIZEN STUDENTS
If you’re an EU/EEA or Swiss citizen looking to join us in the future, entry conditions are changing following the UK’s departure from the European Union (EU). If you apply in 2020 to study at ICMP starting September 2021, you’ll now need a student visa under the ‘Student Route’ initiative of the UK Government’s new points-based immigration system. You can apply for the Student Route up to six months in advance of your course starting.
EU/EEA and Swiss students can continue to visit the UK for up to six months without having to apply for a visa to participate in short-term study.
If you’re an EU/EEA or Swiss citizen already resident in the UK or who will be resident in the UK before 31st December 2020, you and your family members are eligible to apply via the EU Settlement Scheme (before 30th June 2021) rather than the Student Route.
Despite Brexit, EU/EEA/Swiss students are as welcome as ever at ICMP. You’ll receive a warm reception, and will still be able to connect to the London and UK music industries, access high-quality accredited education, and discover the joys of our large, vibrant, multicultural city
CREATIVE DEVELOPMENT SCHOLARSHIP
ICMP offers a scholarship up to the value of £3,750 to each eligible EU, EEA or Swiss student enrolling on one of our undergraduate or postgraduate programmes, starting in September 2021. There is no application process involved, the scholarship is automatically deducted from your course fees. Please visit our fees page for full details.
SUPPORTING YOUR APPLICATION
Over the past 30 years, ICMP has been the first choice for thousands of students moving to the UK to study music, so we have plenty of experience in supporting our international students. Our Admissions Team is on hand to help you navigate the process and can be contacted on + 44 (0) 20 7328 0222 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.
REMAINING IN THE UK AFTER GRADUATION
If you’re an EU/EEA or Swiss citizen graduating from an ICMP undergraduate or master’s degree from 2021 onwards, you’ll have access to the new ‘Graduate Route’. This allows you to stay in the UK for up to two years after you graduate, with no restriction on the type of work you can do.
If you’re an EU/EEA or Swiss citizen already resident in the UK or who will be resident in the UK before 31st December 2020, you’re eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSSS) before 30th June 2021. If your application is successful, it means you can continue to live in the UK after 30th June 2021 and, depending on whether you’ve lived in the UK for a continuous five-year period or not, you’ll be given either ‘settled’ or ‘pre-settled’ status. EU/EEA and Swiss citizens with settled or pre-settled status can work in the UK, use the NHS for free, enrol in education or continue studying, access public funds such as benefits and pensions, and travel in and out of the UK.
Our International Student Handbook is a guide for students travelling to the UK to commence their studies with us. This provides you with essential information about what you need to consider prior to departing for the UK and how to relocate to London in the easiest and smoothest way possible. We’ve also included further information around the documents you’ll need to bring with you, travel arrangements into London, emergency and out-of-hours contact numbers, and details of how to contact home upon arrival. View the handbook.
The UK British Council has put together a useful hub of information for students moving to the UK. They also have a designated page for students starting their studies in 2020 - we recommend you visit both these pages.
ACCOMMODATION / LIVING EXPENSES
You can choose either private or shared accommodation or to live with fellow students. Remember that you may have to pay other bills on top of your rental costs, such as electricity, gas and water.
Please visit our accommodation page for more information and links to our accommodation guide.
COLLECTING YOUR BRP & POLICE REGISTRATION
When you arrive at airport border control, you’ll need your letter confirming that you have successfully applied for a Student Route visa. The Immigration Officer will issue you with a 30-day* multiple-entry vignette. On arrival in the UK, you will need to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) from your allocated Post Office before your vignette sticker in your travel document/passport expires, or within 10 days of arriving in the UK, whichever is later. Further guidance on Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs) is available on the Home Office website here.
Afterwards, you may also need to register your stay with the police. If you need to register, this requirement will be written in your passport and you’ll need to do so within 7-days of your arrival in the UK. If you don’t receive this stamp on your visa when entering the UK, it means you don’t have to register with the police. if your details change they must report this to the police, as required. The GOV.UK also provides useful information on UK visas and registering with police here. Additional information about police registration can also be found here.
*Please note that during Covid-19, the Home Office (UKVI) have extended this 30-day period to 90-days, although we are unsure when this will be reviewed.
TRAVEL IN THE UK
With the London underground, buses and trains at your disposal, you can make the most of exploring the area. To travel on London transport, you’ll need to purchase an Oyster Card which will allow you to board the bus and use the Underground (tube). As a full-time student, you’re entitled to a ‘Student Oyster Photocard’ which gives a 30% discount on travel cards and bus and tram passes.
TRAVEL OUTSIDE OF THE UK
Your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) allows you multiple-entry into the UK, however you will need to ensure that you have your BRP with you every time you travel in and out of the UK and Common Travel Area (CTA).
WORKING IN THE UK ON THE STUDENT ROUTE
Depending on the exact details of your studies and situation, you may be able to take up part-time work in the UK alongside your education. Different restrictions apply regarding the type of employment permitted, but you’ll be notified of the work conditions that apply to you when your Student Route application is granted. Your visa may be curtailed, if you are found to be working longer hours than you are permitted to do so, as specified on your visa/Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).
As part of your Student Route visa application, you’ll need to pay the Immigration Healthcare Surcharge (IHS) – this is an annual fee to cover the cost of using the NHS in the UK, however it is paid for the duration of your visa upfront, rather than on an annual basis. Students receive a 25% discount on the fee. It’s important to ensure you’ve paid the surcharge before you submit or send your visa application, otherwise, it will likely be rejected. Calculate your Immigration Healthcare Surcharge in advance.
Once you arrive in the UK, you’ll need to register with a doctor (GP) before you can use the NHS. Find out more about registering with a GP.
London is a safe place to live, but it’s always worth taking personal safety into account wherever you are. Read our tips for staying safe.
BEWARE OF FRAUD
UKVI and Action Fraud have created a guidance pack with essential information on how to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of fraud.
The ICMP Awards Ceremony takes place in October/November each year. It’s an opportunity for all our students to celebrate their success with their family and friends. This is a formal event and includes a presentation of awards across each course for the most improved and best overall student, plus performances by graduating students and a drinks reception.
If you’re studying on a course validated by one of our university partners, you’ll be invited to attend an additional graduation ceremony on their campus, complete with traditional cap and gown.