Career Development

Professional Diplomas

Whether you’re an aspiring teacher, musician or performing artist, we recognise your ambition to succeed. You live to create, perform or teach – and the RSL Professional Diploma will help get you there!

Professional Diplomas with a difference

RSL Professional Diplomas equip Creative Industries Professionals with recognition for their practice, whether that’s performance, teaching or creative enterprise. Two levels of award support these qualifications which sit along-side undergraduate degree level of study benchmarked against the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in the UK

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With 1 year to submit each qualification and a suggested 40 hours input from the candidate, the RSL Professional Diplomas offer a flexible route to an accredited qualification.

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Enhanced Skill Sets

The Professional Diplomas’ optional units aim to develop the skills needed to enhance your competence as a contemporary creative professional. These include but are not limited to; self-care, health and safety and how to write effective business plans.

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Customised Specialist Pathways

Each pathway includes an optional unit, giving you the ability to customise your specialist pathway in Teaching, Performing or Creative Enterprise. The units have been designed to develop and recognise excellence in the creative arts.

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Career Progression

Focus on establishing yourself as a Creative Professional whilst evidencing your skills through employed work, practical training or alongside other academic study. Diplomas can be studied in preparation for, alongside or instead of an undergraduate degree course. They could also be used to enhance your skill-set in your time following graduation.


Online Submission

The bespoke digital system developed by RSL Awards for this qualification will put the submission of work in your hands. You will be able to upload submissions for units and see your progress against key milestones. Units are supported by exemplar material and supporting texts.

Learning Platform Teacher Access

Internationally Recognised

RSL qualifications are taken in over 40 countries worldwide. The Professional Diploma qualifications have been designed to equip students for careers in the creative industries, however, they are also regulated qualifications that are benchmarked at undergraduate degree level in the UK. Regulated by Ofqual and with worldwide recognition.

Which Professional Diploma is right for you?

The Professional Diplomas recognise expertise in people who are already working in the creative arts industries. They provide acknowledgement for high level achievement in either performance, teaching, or creative enterprise.

Both Level 4 and Level 6 qualifications can be completed at your own pace and no specific form of training is required. However, it is recommended that you contact a suitable trainer or mentor who will be able to provide you with opportunities for learning and the practical application of skills.

Level 4 Diploma

Level 4 is generally for new professionals looking for recognition in their practice as they enter the creative industries.

Level 6 Diploma

Level 6 is typically for experienced professionals looking to enhance their career through the recognition of their current professional practice.

Professional Diplomas Fees

See the fees below for RSL’s Professional Diplomas.

Level Price (GBP)
Level 4 Professional Diploma £295.00
Level 6 Professional Diploma £450.00

Retaking Unit Assessments

Service Fee
Retaking a single unit(s) £50 per unit
Retaking double unit(s) £100 per unit

Enquiries about results / appeals

Service Fee Cap for multiple candidates Refundable
Informal Review No Charge
Clerical Check £10 £50 No
Remark Level 4 £37 per single unit £74 per double unit £100 £200 if there is a change of grade
Remark Level 6 £56 per single unit £112 per double unit £100 £200 if there is a change of grade
Investigation and Report No Charge
First level appeal 60% of exam fee £150 if enquiry is upheld
Second level appeal 75% of exam fee £200 if enquiry is upheld

Replacement Certificates

Service Fee
Replacement Certificate £10

Key Dates

There are no set dates for Professional Diplomas, you can enter anytime.

You have one year to complete your Professional Diploma. With only 40 guided learning hours, the RSL Professional Diplomas offer a flexible route to an accredited qualification.

Need more information?

Please visit our Professional Diplomas FAQ page to find some useful information to help you get started.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • The professional diplomas are to recognise expertise in people who are already working in the creative arts industries. They provide recognition for high level achievement in either performance, teaching, or creative enterprise.

    Note: that it is not a requirement for candidates to be active in the music or performing arts industries, just that the level of performance expected is commensurate with this. The practical and vocational nature of the qualifications is intended to enable candidates to use their real-world professional practice when preparing their assessment submissions, where it is possible and feasible for them to do so.

  • Purchase your entry via the RSL Shop. You will then be able to add your details and gain access to your unit modules

    Please note however that RSL Professional Diplomas are externally assessed and are not taught by RSL in the form of a course. It is recommended candidates contact a suitable trainer or mentor who can provide them with opportunities for learning and practical application of skills.

  • Learners are not required to have any recognised prior learning for these qualifications. However, learners should ensure that they are aware of the requirements and expectations of the qualifications before entering for an assessment.

  • The descriptions ‘Level 4’ and ‘Level 6’ refer to the UK education and qualifications framework. Level 4 is equivalent to the first year of an undergraduate degree and Level 6 is equivalent to the final year of an undergraduate degree.

  • All repertoire should be agreed at least 6 weeks in advance of the submission of the video with RSL. Chosen repertoire will be checked to ensure that it is comparable to the standard of the indicative repertoire lists and approval will be given once this check is complete.

    You must submit complete programmes and may send in only one complete programme for approval at any time. We are unable to consider approval of individual pieces. RSL will aim to approve programmes within 15 working days. If RSL is unable to approve programmes within this time you will be notified accordingly.

    If the proposed repertoire is agreed, RSL will issue a permission statement, which will remain valid for six months. You should submit the evidence for this unit within this timescale.

    If the proposed repertoire is not agreed, RSL will contact the learner by email. The learner should then change piece(s) as necessary and re-submit the whole programme (or replace the whole programme with pieces from the relevant repertoire list).

    In approving programme proposals, we do not consider either timing or balance. The approval is simply in terms of technical and musical difficulty, and it is the learner’s responsibility to design an appropriate and balanced programme that complies with the stipulated timings.

    RSL cannot accept responsibility if you submit evidence for this unit before requesting approval for your programme. RSL’s decision on approval of any item or programme is final.

  • Yes. All assessments are designed for candidates to complete the required standards in the ways that suit their individual learning styles. Candidates can tell us any specific adjustments needed by emailing us at regarding special considerations and we will do everything we can to make the qualification as accessible as possible. View all of our Policies and Regulations relating to this area.

  • Yes, all assessment for Professional Diplomas and the Level 3 Supporting Learning certificate is based around submission of evidence to our bespoke online entry system. This can be accessed anywhere in the world.

Any questions?

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    Digital Files

    For the RSL shop we’ve chosen the most widely used media for ease of use and flexibility when transferring across different devices.

    Every complete digital book (e.g. Electric Guitar Grade 1) includes:

    • PDF sheet music
    • MP3 audio
    • Supporting tests

    Download Limits

    We know downloading digital content can be frustrating at times which is why we’ve given you multiple chances to download your audio and sheet music.

    Each complete digital book purchased includes:

    • 5 audio downloads
    • 3 sheet music downloadsThis means if you misplace your content, or if your download times-out, you’ll still have plenty of attempts to download your content.

    Purchase Options

    1. Hard Copy

    The hard copy or paperback version can be purchased from our shop for shipping to the UK. Orders for shipping to other countries can be placed via The paperback version includes everything you need for your exam in one essential book, including sheet music, a code for access to MP3 audio and complete supporting tests.

    2. Digital Download (where applicable)

    Digital downloads is the most popular way of purchasing and downloading a Rockschool book, track or supporting test. Rockschool digital book downloads come complete with PDF sheet music, MP3 audio and supporting tests for instant accessibility on all your favourite devices.

    Note: Digital sheet music is stamped with your email address and order number.

    3. Digital Download + E-Book Access

    The RSL e-books, utilising Learning Platform technology powered by MatchMySound, are the ultimate practise tool, giving you the ability to master your instrument like never before.

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