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RCM scholarships and awards

Recipients of Big Give scholarships
The RCM currently supports more than 60% of its students through scholarships and awards thanks to the generosity of charitable trusts, companies, businesses, individual members of the public and legacies.

Scholars play a full and active role in the life of the RCM. They also benefit from the long-term personal relationship formed with their donor and the support this can give them through their studies and beyond.

Support our students

We are always delighted to hear from organisations and individuals who would like to make donations in support of Royal College Music students.

Find out more

Students on taught performance & composition courses

Every student who auditions in person for a place on one of the RCM's performance or composition courses will be considered for a scholarship or study award. Composers who audition by video interview will also be considered.

There is no separate application process.

Eligibility for scholarships is based on merit, which is determined by performance at audition or the strength of portfolio and interview for composers. Unfortunately, the following applicants cannot be considered for scholarships or study awards:

  • Performers who audition by recording
  • Applicants for the Bachelor of Science in Physics and Music Performance
  • Applicants for the Master of Science in Performance Science
  • Applicants for the Master of Education

If you are offered a scholarship or study award you will receive a letter, normally sent by email, confirming this and the conditions of your award.

ABRSM Scholarships

Each year the RCM awards six scholarships supported by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music:

  • Two scholarships to Home/EU students taking undergraduate courses (excluding the BSc in Physics and Music Performance), which are worth £6000 per year.
  • Two scholarships to Home/EU students taking taught postgraduate courses, which are worth the cost of full tuition fees.
  • Two scholarships to International students, which are worth the cost of full tuition fees plus a £5000 per annum stipend for living expenses.

Nominations are made to the ABRSM by the RCM’s Admissions Committee based on performance at audition.

There is no separate application process.

How to be considered

To be considered applicants must audition in London during the main audition period. All other criteria listed above must also be met. There is no opportunity to be reconsidered for scholarship in future years.

Notification of awards

Applicants who do not receive an award letter should assume that they have not been awarded a scholarship. The RCM website provides guidance on finding other sources of funding.

Award letters for students who auditioned in London and composers who auditioned by video interview are normally sent out by mid-January.

Award letters for performers who auditioned at an overseas audition venue are normally sent out at the same time as we offer you a place to study at the RCM.

How awards are paid

Home/EU undergraduate students are eligible to take out a loan from the Student Loans Company to cover their full tuition fees. Accordingly, Home/EU students award holders can choose whether to have their scholarship deducted from their fees or to use their scholarship for their living costs. The RCM’s Finance Office will write to awards holders in August prior to the start of each academic year of their course, to ask how they wish to use their scholarship. Those choosing to take their scholarships for living costs will have their award paid to them following New Student Check-in in September of the relevant academic year.

Overseas undergraduate award holders have the value of their award deducted from their tuition fees. These awards are not paid directly to you and will be reflected on your tuition fee invoice.

All taught postgraduate award holders have the value of their award deducted from their tuition fees. These awards are not paid directly to you and will be reflected on your tuition fee invoice.

RCM BAME Scholarships

Each year the RCM awards three scholarships to encourage participation in conservatoire education from students from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds. The scholarships are worth up to the value of full fees for each year of the course and can be used either to cover tuition fees or to help with living costs.

Eligibility

Eligible applicants must:

  • be a UK national and eligible to pay Home tuition fees
  • be from a black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) background
  • apply for the Bachelor of Music course
  • apply on time by the 1 October deadline and attend an audition (or interview for composers) during the main London audition period in late November to mid-December

How to be considered

UK applicants for the BMus programme will be sent an e-mail in November inviting them to apply for consideration for these scholarships. Where there are more eligible applicants than available awards, scholarships will be allocated on merit based on performance at audition.

Notification of awards

Successful applicants will receive an award letter via e-mail before Christmas.

How awards are paid

As Home/EU undergraduate students are eligible to take out a full tuition fee loan from the Student Loans Company, they may choose whether to have their scholarship deducted from their tuition fees or to use their scholarship for their living costs.

The RCM’s Finance Office will write to BAME scholarship holders in August prior to the start of each academic year of their course, to ask how they wish to use their scholarship. Those choosing to take their scholarships for living costs will have their award for that year paid to them following New Student Check-in in September.

Henry Wood Accommodation Trust Awards

Henry Wood Accommodation Trust awards assist students of any nationality who are struggling with the cost of accommodation in London. Awards are for one year only and may be for any amount up to £1000.  Applicants and current students on the RCM’s BMus, GradDip, MPerf, MComp, MMus and ArtDip programmes may be considered. The RCM makes nominations to the Trust based on recommendations of the Faculty and/or the RCM Hardship Committee.

There is no separate application process.

If, during the course of your studies, you find yourself in unexpected financial hardship in connection with your accommodation costs, please refer to the information below about the RCM Study Support Fund.

If you would like more information about the Henry Wood Accommodation Trust Awards, please contact our Admissions team. Do not contact the trust directly.

Admissions team

Admissions and general audition enquiries

admissions@rcm.ac.uk

Other RCM scholarships & awards

How to be considered

All eligible applicants will be considered (see above).

There is no opportunity to be reconsidered for scholarship in future years.

Notification of awards

Applicants who do not receive an award letter should assume that they have not been awarded a scholarship. The RCM website provides guidance on finding other sources of funding.

Award letters for students who auditioned in London and composers who auditioned by video interview are normally sent out by mid-January.

Award letters for performers who auditioned at an overseas audition venue are normally sent out at the same time as we offer you a place to study at the RCM.

Duration of awards for vocal students

Awards for vocal students are normally made for one year only. All vocal students are eligible for consideration for awards in subsequent years of their course.  These awards are made by the Faculty on the basis of students’ progress on their courses; there is no additional application process.

Duration of awards for other students

Awards for other students may either be paid in full at the beginning of the first year of their course or be paid in identical instalments at the beginning of each year. If you receive an award you will be notified which of these categories your award falls into.

Those students who receive their entire award at the beginning of their first year retain the title of ‘RCM Scholar’ for the duration of their course.

How awards are paid

Home/EU undergraduate students are eligible to take out a loan from the Student Loans Company to cover their full tuition fees. Accordingly, Home/EU students award holders can choose whether to have their scholarship deducted from their fees or to use their scholarship for their living costs. The RCM’s Finance Office will write to awards holders in August prior to the start of each academic year of their course, to ask how they wish to use their scholarship. Those choosing to take their scholarships for living costs will have their award paid to them following New Student Check-in in September of the relevant academic year.

Overseas undergraduate award holders have the value of their award deducted from their tuition fees. These awards are not paid directly to you and will be reflected on your tuition fee invoice.

All taught postgraduate award holders have the value of their award deducted from their tuition fees. These awards are not paid directly to you and will be reflected on your tuition fee invoice.

Students undertaking research degrees

Doctoral bursaries

The RCM offers bursaries to support doctoral students in funding their studies. Awards normally represent a contribution towards tuition fees.

Eligibility

Doctoral students who are undertaking their initial or main period of registration are eligible to apply. Students who are writing up are not eligible.

How to be considered

Applicants who have been offered a place and continuing students will be sent a link to the online application form. 

Duration of awards

Doctoral bursaries are awarded for the coming academic year only. Continuing students will be invited to apply for bursary funding again in subsequent years of their course.

How awards are paid

Doctoral bursaries are deducted from students' tuition fee invoices.

Doctoral studentships

The RCM's Research Department is sometimes also able to offer funded studentships for doctoral applicants for specific areas of research. Any available studentships will be advertised on the RCM website along with the relevant and application processes and criteria. 

Unexpected financial hardship during studies

The RCM has a Study Support Fund to assist students who find themselves in unexpected financial hardship during their studies. Sums awarded tend to be modest (for example, assistance with a shortfall in rent). Current RCM students should contact the Student Services Team for details of how to apply.

Student Services team

Enquiries about student support at the RCM

studentservices@rcm.ac.uk

Enquiries

Please contact the Admissions team for enquiries about auditions and award letters.

Admissions team

Admissions and general audition enquiries

admissions@rcm.ac.uk

If you are a current student and would like to enquire about how to reference your award (including in your biography), or relations with your scholarship donor, please contact the Scholarships team.

Scholarships team

General enquiries about RCM scholarships and seeking other sources of funding

rcmscholarships@rcm.ac.uk

Please contact the Finance department for enquiries about payment of scholarships and study awards. The Finance department can also speak to private donors who wish to make a payment towards students’ tuition fees.

Student Finance team

Tuition fee payment enquiries

studentfinance@rcm.ac.uk