Research Degrees


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.

This programme can be taken over three to four years full-time, or five to six years part-time.

DMus or PhD

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) research degree focuses on musicological and scientific approaches to performance and composition.

You will submit a written dissertation of between 80,000 and 100,000 words, which may include supporting practical work if appropriate to the topic.

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.

You 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.

It is possible during the degree to move between PhD and DMus depending on how your individual research project evolves.

About the Programme

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.

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.

If you are interested in pursuing your research interests at the RCM, please contact Dr Natasha Loges, Head of Programmes (Postgraduate) at

Find out more about Research at the RCM including:

Find out about our admission process by visiting our How to Apply section


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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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