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Artist Diploma Programmes

These courses represent the highest level of non research-based postgraduate study.

They are aimed at musicians wishing to hone their skills by working intensively on particular areas of their artistic development, and are offered to students who have already demonstrated a high level of ability at Masters level.

They focus on one-to-one provision and practical project work, as suited to your particular career aspirations.

The RCM offers Artist Diplomas in the following areas:

ArtDip in Opera

1 or 2 years

The Artist Diploma is designed for students with the potential to become professional operatic singers. The programme is rich in individual and class provision as well as performance opportunities through operatic scenes and fully-staged operatic productions. These elements are designed to develop students acting skills, expand the number of roles in their repertoire. Most teaching takes place within the RCM International Opera School and its teaching and rehearsal spaces.


ArtDip in Performance

1 or 2 years

The Artist Diploma in Performance is designed for students who wish to work intensively on solo performance as a prelude to entering the music profession. It provides time for preparation of concerts, recitals and competitions, under the guidance of the RCM’s Principal Study staff and instrumental Faculty specialists, and a final examination in the form of a Concert, Recital Engagement or Concerto Performance.


ArtDip in Chamber Music (new for 2014)

1 year

The new Artist Diploma in Chamber Music (String Quartet for September 2014) offers the opportunity for a pre-formed chamber ensemble to engage in one year of concentrated study. The programme encourages the development of ensemble skills and repertoire knowledge through a variety of different disciplines, both traditional and more exploratory, including improvisation, harmonic and structural awareness.

Key Aspects

  • Bespoke chamber music programme delivered by RCM chamber music professors and visiting artists
  • Access to the range of world class performance spaces at the RCM
  • Performance opportunities as part of the RCM's own concert series, and at external venues through collaboration with the Woodhouse Centre
  • Use of the RCM's recording studio facilities
  • Professional and career advice and support from specialists at the Woodhouse Centre for the duration of the programme, and for up to five years following completion.
  • Access to the RCM's library and research resources. The library houses a recognised collection of books and music, including many manuscripts such as the autograph of Haydn’s quartet op 64 no 1
  • Opportunities to integrate into the RCM’s innovative Quartet Collective residency and to work with the RCM’s Quartet in Association, the Sacconi String Quartet

Assessment and Qualifications

The course culminates in a juried public recital.

If successful, the members of the quartet will be awarded an ArtDip, the RCM’s prestigious and internationally recognised qualification.

Click here for details of How to Apply.

ArtDip in Composition (new for 2014)

1 or 2 years

The Artist Diploma in Composition is designed for students wishing to work intensively on the technique and practice of composition as a prelude to professional activity as a composer. It provides time for concentrated study with a principal study composition teacher, or teachers, and enables sustained focus on a project or projects leading to final examination in the form of a portfolio submission of work.

Download the PDF below for information on Gainful Employment courses eligible for US Federal Student Aid.

Gainful Employment Federal Disclosure Requirements (17 kb)