Research degrees

An RCM researcher using composition facilities on the computer at the RCM
The Royal College of Music is home to a lively and diverse community of approximately 50 doctoral students. We welcome applications in the areas of:

With access to fantastic resources, you can create and realise your own individual research project. Mentored and supported by internationally recognised staff at the forefront of research in your discipline, you will be challenged to push the boundaries of new knowledge.

The Royal College of Music (RCM) is ranked top UK conservatoire offering music as a single subject in the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021).

Introduction to doctoral study at the RCM

The RCM's doctoral programme offers both a DMus and PhD pathway. It is possible during the course of your degree to move between pathways to best reflect the way your individual project evolves.

The DMus pathway places emphasis on practical work in performance and composition, supported by a written commentary. The PhD emphasises written work with a longer final dissertation, which may be supported by practical contributions in appropriate circumstances.

For more information on our doctoral options, including how to apply, please follow the links below.

Find out more about the DMus

Find out more about the PhD

AHRC studentships

The Royal College of Music is a member of the London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP), made up of eight of London’s leading universities. LAHP awards around 90 fully funded AHRC studentships for doctoral study each year in an open competition that runs across all the performing and fine arts, and humanities subjects. AHRC studentships cover full fees and a generous living stipend, and offer exceptional opportunities, including supervision of interdisciplinary projects and industry placements, preparing the brightest and best doctoral students for successful careers.

Resources & facilities

The RCM is rich in both practical and intellectual resources. Our library and the Royal College of Music Museum manage outstanding collections of priceless musical instruments, composers’ manuscripts and historical documents, which form the basis for a sweeping range of research into the history of music in practice.

These are complemented by our magnificent performance spaces and by RCM Studios, which provide cutting-edge facilities for audio and video recording, super-fast video conferencing and technology-enhanced composition. Plus, we have the most important resource of all – supremely talented musicians eager to participate in bringing music to life.

Talk to us

If you are a prospective doctoral student with an enquiry about our doctoral degrees, please contact our Head of Research. Alternatively, our Admissions team can help you with more general application enquiries.

Professor Robert Adlington

Head of Research


Admissions and general audition enquiries

+44 (0)20 7591 4362

Back to top