From a small office in West London in 1991, RSL (Rockschool Ltd) had a dream to change the landscape of formal music education, and sought to become the first viable alternative to the traditional offerings available in Britain at the time.

To simultaneously fill the void and satisfy a demand that they knew was out there, founders Norton York and Dr. Simon Pitt initially developed a guitar, bass and drums syllabus for the contemporary musician. Rockschool began offering these exams in the summer of 1991, making it the world’s first graded exam syllabus for popular music.

With grade exams now available in 9 different disciplines, we ensure each syllabus is developed with the care, skill and expertise to ensure that every addition is creative, innovative and industry relevant; with the objective to provide access to music education for the many, not the few.

After successfully developing the market domestically in the UK, the company began expanding its operations into the international marketplace. Beginning with a handful of test venues many years ago - RSL now delivers exams in over 40 countries worldwide, across 6 different continents.

In 2018, RSL proudly received the Queens Award for Enterprise in International Trade. Widely regarded as the most prestigious business awards in the country, the award celebrates the UK’s small and medium sized businesses for outstanding achievement, with 2018 marking the 52nd anniversary of the scheme.

By continuing to create engaging contemporary qualifications, we have since expanded operations from Graded Music Exams (1991) to the inclusion of Teaching and Performance Diplomas, Vocational Qualifications (2005) and Performance Arts Awards (2010).

We expand and evolve when we feel it is necessary to further reflect the demands of the creative industries, with the aim to validate the efforts of the contemporary artist and ensure they are confident and prepared for all their future endeavours.

We pride ourselves on delivering the most academically rigorous and industry relevant qualifications, designed to support all aspiring musicians, performers, educators and teaching establishments – wherever they may be.

Creating benchmarks, not boundaries.


More About RSL


RSL qualifications are fully regulated by every UK regulatory body. Learn more about our accreditation status here.


Find out more about the RSL brand by downloading the RSL Brand Guidelines here.


We're always looking for creative minds to join the RSL team. To discover what opportunities we currently have please visit our careers page here.


We work with some of the best music and contemporary arts schools, colleges and institutions across the world. To see a selection of our current partnerships please click here.

Policies & Regulations

Our policies and regulations ensure our customers are treated fairly and compassionately. Learn more.


At RSL we value your privacy and have an extensive privacy policy that covers everything from cookies, to how we protect your data. Learn more.


For those whose work concerns the assessment of young people and adults at risk. Please click here to review our Safeguarding Policy.


We think the world of our customers. To find out what they think of us - click here for some of our favourite testimonials.

UCAS Points

RSL qualifications carry huge rewards, find out how many UCAS points you can earn with us on our specific UCAS page.