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RCM ranked top UK conservatoire offering music as a single subject in Research Excellence Framework 2021

Thursday 12 May 2022

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

The REF panel – which assesses the quality of research in UK higher education institutions – assess institutions against three criteria: Outputs, Impact and Environment.

Since the last REF exercise, the RCM’s overall research environment has performed significantly well, and 70% has been rated as ‘internationally excellent’. The RCM’s research environment is now more highly rated as internationally excellent than any other UK music conservatoire. This section of the assessment considers research strategy, staff development and support for postgraduate researchers, collaboration both inside and outside academia, and equality and diversity. It also includes data on research income and postgraduate degrees awarded.

The RCM also ranked highly for the impact of its research, with 50% of its activity rated as world leading in this area. As a sector, UK music conservatoires scored strongly in this category, highlighting the significance of their research for the wider world beyond academia.

Professor Colin Lawson, Director of the RCM, says: ‘This REF result highlights the RCM’s position as a natural first choice for talented musicians from around the world and I am thankful to all those who contribute to our vibrant research community.’

These results alongside the 2022 QS World University Rankings by Subject, which saw the RCM named the global number one institution for performing arts, consolidate its reputation as a world-class centre for music research. They also demonstrate the institution’s strong commitment to research and innovation across both theory and practice.

Further information about the Royal College of Music’s performance in the latest REF will be released in June. Find out more about the Research Excellence Framework.