MSc in Performance Science


One year full-time
Two years part-time

The MSc in Performance Science is an internationally distinctive programme, providing opportunities to examine the art and science of performance in real-world educational and professional contexts.

Drawing on the expertise and facilities of the Centre for Performance Science, as well as the lively performance environment of the RCM and of London, the MSc challenges students to engage with key facets of peak performance, musicians’ health and wellbeing, musical development, and effective learning and teaching.  

Who is it for?

The programme will benefit anyone who is motivated to gain a scientific understanding of how music is created, learned, performed and perceived, including performers and teachers aiming to progress their current careers through continuing professional development.

Equally, it serves as an ideal base for those wishing to pursue doctoral research and/or teaching in performance science, music psychology or musicians’ health, or in any area in which knowledge of scientific methods and techniques would be an advantage. 

About the programme

Seminars and tutorials are organised according to the following core modules. Click on each title for further information.

Performance Psychology

30 credits

An introduction to processes and perspectives that define and underpin performance psychology, including the mental skills that enable effective practice and successful performance. 

Performance Health and Wellbeing

30 credits

An examination of the physical and mental demands of music making and the ways musicians at all levels meet those demands.

Performance Education

30 credits

An analysis of fundamental principles of musical development, education and expertise, exploring music perception and production throughout the lifespan and implications for learning and teaching. 

Performing Research I: Methods

30 credits

An introduction to the scientific method and related methodological approaches appropriate to conducting independent research in performance science, explored through seminars and interactive workshops.

Performing Research II: Project and Dissertation

60 credits

The application of knowledge and experience to complete an independent research project, informed and shaped by practical, theoretical and ethical considerations.

Optional Principal Study Lessons

The RCM offers an additional study route for MSc students to receive instrumental, vocal or composition lessons from Principal Study professors; however, this option is not available as a matter of course. To be considered, students must successfully pass an RCM postgraduate audition. See audition requirements for more information.

Please note: Principal Study lessons cannot replace core units required as part of the MSc programme, they do not provide credits towards the completion of the MSc degree, and they incur an additional fee.

Find out more

Find out how to apply.

For enquiries, email

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Royal College of Music, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BS. Tel: +44(0)20 7591 4300 Royal College of Music, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BS.
Tel: +44(0)20 7591 4300
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