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RCM scholarships and awards

Recipients of Big Give scholarships
More than 50% of current students receive some financial support, thanks to the generosity of individuals, legators, companies and charitable trusts.

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.

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Students on taught performance & composition courses

Every student who applies for a place on one of the RCM's performance or composition courses commencing in 2023 will be considered for scholarship, whether you have applied by video or attended an audition or interview in person.

There is no separate application process.

Eligibility for scholarships is based on merit, which is determined by performance at audition (or by submission of video) or the strength of portfolio and interview for composers.

Unfortunately, the following applicants cannot be considered for scholarships or study awards:

  • 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 scholarships supported by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. The details of these awards is to be confirmed for 2023 entrants, but in 2022 the following scholarships were awarded:

  • One scholarship to a UK undergraduate student worth £6000 per year.
  • One scholarship to an EU undergraduate student worth £6000 per year.
  • One scholarship to a UK postgraduate student on a taught course in performance, worth the cost of full tuition fees.
  • One scholarship to an EU postgraduate student on a taught course in performance, worth the cost of full (home or international) tuition fees.
  • Two scholarships to International students (one undergraduate, one postgraduate), 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 (November-December). 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

Undergraduate students who are eligible for Home fees can take out a loan from the Student Loans Company to cover their full tuition fees. Accordingly, Home student 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 in termly instalments, 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 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.

Scholarships for Black, Asian and ethnically diverse students

Each year the RCM awards three scholarships to encourage participation in conservatoire education from students from Black, Asian and ethnically diverse 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, resident in the UK and eligible to pay Home tuition fees
  • be from a Black, Asian or ethnically diverse 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 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 Black, Asian and Ethnically Diverse 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.

RCM Tuition Fee Bursaries

With effect from 2020/21, the RCM will be offering a minimum of two tuition fee bursaries per year to students from the areas with the lowest levels of participation in higher education in the UK, to encourage equality of access to conservatoire study. 

The bursaries will be worth a minimum of half tuition fees (currently £4,625) for each year of the Bachelor of Music course.

Eligibility

Eligible applicants must:

  • be a UK national and eligible to pay Home tuition fees
  • be resident in a postcode that is classified as POLAR quintile 1 for young participation in higher education. You can check the classification of your postcode on the Office for Students website
  • 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

POLAR is a widely recognised measure that categorises how likely young people are to participate in higher education based on where they live. Areas of the UK are classified into five quintiles, with residents in quintile 5 areas being the most likely to participate in higher education, and those from quintile 1 areas the least likely. The RCM uses POLAR data to provide contextual information, allowing staff assessing an application to take into account the possible impact of educational disadvantage. 

How to be considered

Applicants must audition in London during the main audition period and successfully be offered a place on the BMus course. All other eligibility criteria listed above must also be met. 

Awards will be made to applicants who would not ordinarily meet the criteria to receive an RCM Scholarship but who, on the basis of this contextual information and evidence of musical potential demonstrated at audition, are identified as meriting support. Where there are more eligible applicants than available awards, bursaries 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 will be paid

Tuition fee bursary holders will normally have the value of their award deducted from their tuition fees. However, they can alternatively opt to have the award paid to use towards their living expenses.

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.

Prospective 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 the recommendations of the RCM Hardship Committee. Current students should apply using the RCM Hardship Fund Application form.  

If you would like more information about Henry Wood Accommodation Trust Awards, please contact our Student Services team. Please do not contact the Trust directly.

Admissions

Admissions and general audition enquiries

+44 (0)20 7591 4362

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

The award letter will specify whether a scholarship, study award or tuition fee bursary is an entrance award, to be received in the first year only, or whether you will receive an amount for each year of the course. Awards are made based on performance at audition and there is no opportunity for reconsideration in subsequent years of the course.

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

How awards are paid

Undergraduate students who are eligible for Home fees can take out a loan from the Student Loans Company to cover their full tuition fees. Accordingly, Home student 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 in termly instalments, 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 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

Students experiencing unexpected financial hardship partway through their course, or who need assistance towards paying for treatment for performance related injury, or disability related costs that cannot be met through the Disabled Students Allowance may be able to apply to the RCM’s Hardship Fund.

Enquiries

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

Admissions

Admissions and general audition enquiries

+44 (0)20 7591 4362

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