Master of Music

RCM violinist in rehearsal
The Royal College of Music offers a diverse Masters programme with multiple study routes, which allow students to work towards the qualification most suited to their needs. The Royal College of Music’s Master of Music (MMus) qualification combines research work with a range of intensive training and varied performance opportunities designed to develop your performance or composition skills to a professional level.

Overview


UCAS code (Composition)
 807F
UCAS code (Composition for Screen) 808F
UCAS code (Conducting) 804F
UCAS code (Brass) 810F
UCAS code (Historical Performance) 800F
UCAS code (Keyboard) 811F
UCAS code (Percussion) 712F
UCAS code (Strings) 805F
UCAS code (Vocal) 806F
UCAS code (Woodwind) 803F

Start date September 2018
End date July 2020 or September 2019
Duration 2 years full-time or 12 months fast-track (fast-track not available to conductors or vocalists)


Normally taken over two years, the Master of Music (MMus) qualification develops students’ critical, analytical and research skills, as well as their ability to express themselves verbally to a high level. Such skills are particularly relevant for those who are interested in studying the background and context of the music they perform and analyse, and those who hope to teach or communicate about music beyond their principal study (for example as professional educators, facilitators or curators). This is in addition to continuing to develop students’ practical skills to a very high standard.

The MMus can also provide the basis for further research through our Level 8 doctoral degrees: DMus and PhD.

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

Graduate Diploma versus Masters programme for vocalists

If you are a vocal applicant who is unsure whether you are ready for our Masters Programme, we recommend contacting the Vocal Faculty for advice before applying.

If you are still unsure, please apply for the Masters and indicate that you are also willing to be considered for the Graduate Diploma in Vocal Performance in your personal statement. If your application is successful, you will be offered a place on the course that we feel best suits your needs.

Do not submit two applications, as you will be charged twice and will only have one audition.

Which Masters qualification?

The RCM's Masters programme for performers and composers offers two different study routes, which lead to different degree qualifications.

The Master of Performance (MPerf) and Master of Composition (MComp) route develops your performance or composition skills to a high professional level through intensive training.

The Master of Music (MMus) route augments MPerf/MComp study with two additional research-led modules, which are designed to train your critical, analytical and research skills, as well as your ability to express yourself verbally to a high level. Owing to the additional emphasis on research, the MMus is a more intensive undertaking that also requires an ability to speak and write confidently in English.

If you are not sure which Masters qualification is best for you, please only submit one application. We recommend applying for the MMus initially, which has higher academic entry requirements. You are then welcome to discuss your options at your audition. You may be accepted on the MPerf/MComp route instead.

If you are offered a place on the MMus and, prior to beginning your studies, decide the MPerf/MComp better suits your interests, you can switch routes. You may also be able to transfer from the MMus to the MPerf/MComp route when you start the Masters Programme in September, although we recommended making a final decision before arriving at the RCM, especially if you require a Tier 4 to study in the UK.

RCM students sitting on the steps of the Royal Albert Hall in front of the Royal College of Music

One-to-one lessons

One-to-one lessons are at the very heart of every RCM student’s learning experience. The RCM’s impressive list of professors includes renowned instrumental and vocal soloists, distinguished repertoire and operatic coaches, prominent composers and conductors, plus principal players in major London orchestras such as the LSO, Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra and Royal Opera House Orchestra. Our world-class professors offer students, not only first-rate teaching, but also mentorship and networking opportunities.

All principal studies are delivered through a combination of one-to-one tuition complemented by performance classes, workshops, masterclasses, lessons from visiting professors, ensemble activities, seminars and lecture series as appropriate.

The RCM's Masters programme for performers and composers offers two different study routes, which lead to different degree qualifications.

The Master of Performance (MPerf) and Master of Composition (MComp) route develops your performance or composition skills to a high professional level through intensive training.

The Master of Music (MMus) route augments MPerf/MComp study with two additional research-led modules, which are designed to train your critical, analytical and research skills, as well as your ability to express yourself verbally to a high level. Owing to the additional emphasis on research, the MMus is a more intensive undertaking that also requires an ability to speak and write confidently in English.

If you are not sure which Masters qualification is best for you, please only submit one application. We recommend applying for the MMus initially, which has higher academic entry requirements. You are then welcome to discuss your options at your audition. You may be accepted on the MPerf/MComp route instead.

If you are offered a place on the MMus and, prior to beginning your studies, decide the MPerf/MComp better suits your interests, you can switch routes. You may also be able to transfer from the MMus to the MPerf/MComp route when you start the Masters Programme in September, although we recommended making a final decision before arriving at the RCM, especially if you require a Tier 4 to study in the UK.

Performance opportunities

RCM students enjoy a wide variety of performance opportunities including orchestral and choral projects, chamber music and solo opportunities, performance in jazz and historical instrument ensembles. The RCM runs a busy events calendar more than 500 events every year, the vast majority of which feature RCM students.

Faculty-based performance activities include chamber music and duo performance coaching, orchestral training, performance classes, acting and language classes (for singers), music technology (for composers), reed making (for double reed players) and improvisation (for organists).

Composition at the RCM fosters partnerships with the College's large body of gifted instrumentalists. Composers will hear performances of their own works in a variety of contexts and have the opportunity to benefit from a range of collaborations, which we host regularly with artistic organisations in London and beyond.

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Facilities

Our ground-breaking performance simulator allows students to perform and autition in front of an interactive virtual audience or audition panel. The simulator allows students to benefit from repeated exposure to realistic performance situations in a contained environment, which can be useful for evaluating their technique and can help combat performance nerves. It also provides a fantastic research tool for researchers in performance science.

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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Study abroad

The RCM has a large number of student exchange opportunities with leading European, American, Japanese and Australian conservatories and universities. These provide RCM students with the opportunity to study abroad and students in other countries to benefit from a period of study with us in London.

The RCM is a member of the ERASMUS programme, a European Union initiative that promotes exchange of knowledge and learning throughout Europe. As a member, the RCM receives funding in order to offer financial support to those students who choose to go on a European exchange while they are registered at the RCM.

BMus students who choose to take part in exchange programmes usually go abroad in year 3 of their studies.

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A student writing

Entry requirements

An undergraduate degree or diploma, or an equivalent international qualification, usually in music. You will be required to submit two recent examples of extended written work in English, such as essays, directly to the RCM. You may also have an interview to discuss your work. You will be told if you need to do this.

The RCM welcomes applicants from all backgrounds and alternative qualifications may be considered. If your qualifications are not listed here, please contact our Admissions team, who will be happy to discuss your suitability for the programme.

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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An RCM bassonist in rehearsal

How to apply

You can submit your application for entry in 2018 to UCAS Conservatoires from mid-July 2017Through UCAS Conservatoires you can apply simultaneously to all the institutions that are members of Conservatoires UK. You can track your application, find out when your audition is and get the results of your audition all on UCAS Conservatoires. You can also confirm your decisions online.

Applicants interested in second study, joint principal study or alternative study are reminded to submit only one application. If you submit two applications you will be charged twice.

All application fees are paid online through UCAS conservatoires.

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UCAS Conservatoires application fees

Using UCAS Conservatoires incurs a £24 administration fee. This is in addition to the application fees listed below. You cannot use another system. Both the application and administration fees are paid online through UCAS Conservatoires. If you encounter any problems with their payment system please contact their support team.

All late applications are subject to an additional fee of £10.

If you change your mind about applying, you can contact UCAS Conservatoires to cancel and request a refund. To be entitled to a refund you must cancel within 14 days of the date you submitted your application. You can find further details about how to do this, and also information about amending your application details, on the UCAS Conservatoires website.

Auditions

The Royal College of Music holds auditions in London, Asia and the USA. Auditions for all courses and all principal studies can be undertaken in London. Auditions for most courses and principal studies can also be undertaken in Asia and the USA. In some cases, candidates may be able to apply by recording instead.

Application deadlines, application fees, audition dates and the availability of RCM accompanists varies between locations.

Choosing where to audition

Most auditions last approximately 20 minutes, but there are exceptions for some specialisms and at some venues. You can find out how long your audition will be by reading the full set of requirements for your chosen discipline(s).

Enquiries

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

admissions@rcm.ac.uk