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Doctor of Music

Student working in the RCM Library
The Doctor of Music (DMus) research degree is aimed at outstanding performers and composers who wish to explore research questions arising directly from their artistic practice.

Overview


Start date September 2018
End date Flexible depending on planned duration and possibility of a write-up period before completion
Duration 3 or 4 years full-time; 5 or 6 years part-time


The RCM research community currently includes approximately 50 doctoral research students working in all of its key areas. The RCM’s doctoral awards are specialist research degrees that particularly encourage research in the areas of performance, composition, musicology and performance science.

As a doctoral student, you will work with at least two supervisors in addition to attending group tutorials and seminars relevant to your particular area of research. In addition, you will be expected to take an active role within the research life of the Royal College of Music.

The RCM’s doctoral programme offers both a DMus and PhD pathway, and it is possible during the degree to move between pathways depending on how your individual research project evolves.

DMus students will submit a substantial portfolio of practical work in performance or composition and write an extended commentary of between 20,000 and 50,000 words, contextualising your research.

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

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

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. 

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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Entry requirements

To be admitted onto the programme, you will normally need to have a good Masters degree, the ability to demonstrate a close familiarity with existing theoretical and practical aspects of your topic area, a developed awareness of fundamental research skills, and some ability to design and define a viable project.

There should also be a good match between your intended project and expertise of staff at the RCM.

Performance applicants should be performing at a level that matches the entry requirements for the Artist Diploma in Performance.

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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How to apply

Applications for entry in 2018 will open in November 2017. The application deadline will be 31 January 2018.

Candidates should apply directly to the Royal College of Music using our online form. There is an application fee of £100.

Interviews are held in London between late February and early March each year.

For details of what you should provide as part of your application portfolio, please see 'Guidance on how to prepare your doctoral application' below.

Application form

You should submit your supporting materials online the RCM submission portal. The information you upload to the portal does not constitute your entire application, but does form an integral part of it. You should ensure you have provided everything that is required. Incomplete applications may not be considered.

Submit your supporting materials

Useful documents

Enquiries

If you are interested in pursuing your research interests at the RCM please contact our Head of Postgraduate Programmes for a discussion about your project ideas.

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

Dr Natasha Loges

Head of Postgraduate Programmes

researchdegrees@rcm.ac.uk

Admissions team

Admissions and general audition enquiries

admissions@rcm.ac.uk