Artist Diploma in Chamber Music

A string quartet rehearsing in the Britten Theatre
The Artist Diploma (ArtDip) in Chamber Music offers the opportunity for a pre-formed chamber ensemble to engage in one year of concentrated study. The programme encourages the development of ensemble skills and repertoire knowledge through a variety of different disciplines, both traditional and more exploratory, including focused repertoire study, improvisation, harmonic and structural awareness.


Start date September 2018
End date July 2019
Duration 1 year full-time

The Royal College of Music's Artist Diploma (ArtDip) Programmes represent the highest level of taught postgraduate study. They are aimed at musicians who want to hone their skills by working intensively on particular areas of their artistic development. Places on our Artist Diploma programmes are only offered to students who have already demonstrated a high level of ability at masters level.

All our Artist Diplomas focus on one-to-one provision and practical project work, tailored to your particular career aspirations.

The Artist Diploma in Chamber Music culminates in a juried public recital. If successful, all the members of the ensemble will be awarded an Artist Diploma, the RCM’s prestigious and internationally recognised qualification.

For 2018/19 the Artist Diploma in Chamber Music is only available to string quartets.

Royal College of Music courses are internationally recognised as full degree courses with successful students awarded their qualifications under the RCM's Royal Charter.


We continually invest in our facilities to ensure RCM students have the very best opportunities. Our impressive performance spaces are matched by top-quality academic and technical provisions, such as our historic library and professional grade studios. The Royal College of Music is proud to offer some of the finest facilities anywhere in the world.

The RCM’s largest performance spaces are the Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall, which has an illustrious history, and the 400-seat Britten Theatre, which boasts excellent technical facilities for the RCM’s thriving International Opera School. In addition, more intimate spaces include The Parry Rooms, which have unparalleled views of the Royal Albert Hall, and our 100-seat Recital Hall.

As well as practice rooms and space for one-to-one and group teaching, the RCM contains dedicated opera rehearsal spaces, 11 Amadeus Music Pods and organ rooms. We have over 140 pianos, including 60 grand pianos and 20 early keyboards, instrument storage with special facilities for harps and double basses, plus in-house instrument workshops.

RCM Studios is a top commercial-grade facility, equipped with the latest audio, video and composition technologies, supporting the RCM’s recording needs and enabling live broadcast of performances around the world.

The RCM Library contains more than 400,000 items of printed music, 9,000 CD recordings, extensive music literature, more than 400 music journals, plus an internationally renowned collection of original manuscripts (including examples from Mozart and Elgar) and early printed editions.

The RCM Museum holds more than 1,000 instruments dating from the late 15th century to the present day, some of which are the earliest known examples of their kind. The collection is a unique resource and many of the instruments can be studied or played by RCM students.

The public museum is currently closed for refurbishment, but its vital resources are still available to our students. 

Career development

The RCM’s Creative Careers Centre, which is recognised internationally for its innovative approach to supporting young musicians, provides an unparalleled service to current students and recent alumni. The dedicated team partners with leading consultants, reputable arts organisations and local communities, delivering unique career-building opportunities and a direct route to the music industry.

The work of the Creative Careers Centre allows students to discover their professional identity, gain hands-on experience and new skills, develop an entrepreneurial mind-set and build a fulfilling professional portfolio.

Extensive performance and teaching opportunities are available, as well as valuable guidance on CV and biography writing, concert programming, communication skills, project management, marketing and publicity, online promotion, financial matters and how to develop a business idea.

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Federal Disclosure Requirements: Gainful Employment Programmes

A student writing

Entry requirements


  • Performing regularly as a stable ensemble.
  • Developing a profile as an established quartet.
  • Able to demonstrate potential, and a commitment to the continuity and future success of the group.
  • Prepared to act as ambassadors for the Royal College of Music (not only in the standards it upholds, but also the philosophy and approach to music-making and the desire to reach a wider audience).
  • All ensemble members must hold a postgraduate diploma or Masters degree in music, or equivalent experience.

English language requirements

All applicants must be able to demonstrate that their level of English language ability meets the Royal College of Music’s minimum requirements in order for their application to be accepted.

If you require a visa to study at the RCM, you must meet the English language requirements before the RCM is permitted to sponsor your visa application.

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  • Able to provide evidence of regular performance activity.
  • Able to provide a portfolio of publicity material and or/ commercially available recorded material.
  • A desire to fully develop the potential of the ensemble through the opportunities provided by the Royal College of Music.
RCM students sitting on the steps of the Royal Albert Hall in front of the Royal College of Music

How to apply

Applicants should email the following material to our Admissions team:

  • Completed application form (available below).
  • A covering letter, which should include details of the longevity of the quartet, how long the current members have been in the ensemble, why you wish to undertake the course and what you hope to achieve, the activities you might see yourself being involved with and initiating whilst at the RCM and a little about your philosophy and approach to music-making, performance and study.
  • Any current publicity material.
  • Any recorded material (CD, DVD, on-line clips).
  • Two references.

Deadlines, fees & auditions

The application deadline is 31 January 2017 for entry in September 2017.

The ensemble must submit an application fee of £130.

Auditions, which take place at the RCM in London, will be scheduled for early May 2017. Candidates should ensure that they will be available.

Shortlisted ensembles, will be called for a selection interview and audition. This process is likely to comprise the following:

  • A short audition of two contrasting movements (or excerpts thereof).
  • An interview.
  • A short coaching session on agreed repertoire.


If you have any questions about studying at the RCM or about the admissions process please contact our Admissions team, who will be happy to help you.

Admissions team

Admissions and general audition enquiries