RCM scholarships and awards

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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.

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Students on undergraduate and taught postgraduate courses

There are a number of scholarships and awards available to help fund your course at the RCM. Please check the different types below, expanding each section for details on eligibility and how to apply. 

Scholarships for 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 2024 and 2025 will be considered for scholarship, whether you attend an audition or interview in person or submit a video audition. There is no separate application process.

How to be considered

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 RCM does not currently have scholarships or study awards available for students on the MSc in Performance Science course.

Notification of awards

If you are offered a scholarship you will normally receive a letter via email with further details within 10 days of receiving your formal offer.

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.

How awards are paid

All postgraduate and international 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.

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 Home undergraduate 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 in three termly instalements, with the first following New Student Check-in in September.

Duration of awards

The duration of scholarships for students on taught performance & composition courses can vary, see the details below. 

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.

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. 

Undergraduate bursaries

As part of its Access and Participation Plan commitments, from 2025/26 the RCM is establishing a new bursary scheme, to promote equality of opportunity to access conservatoire study, by providing financial support to UK undergraduates from low-income backgrounds.

Bursaries are allocated based on the assessment of your household income by the Student Loan Company (SLC) for your student loan application. There is no separate bursary application process.

  • The amount available as a bursary depends on your household income. Students from households with an income of £25,000 or lower will be eligible for a bursary of £3,000 for each year of the BMus course. Students from households with an income of £25,001 to £35,000 will be eligible for £1,500 per year.
  • A further top-up bursary of £1,000 will be available to care leavers in years 1, 2 and 3, to assist with additional housing costs during the summer vacations.
  • Eligibility is reassessed at the start of each academic year.
  • All UK students (new and current) on the BMus programme will be eligible for consideration for bursary funding from the 2025/26 academic year onwards.
  • Bursaries are in addition to any RCM scholarships awarded following audition. An RCM scholarship does not count towards your household income.

Eligibility

To receive a bursary students must be:

  • Registered on the Bachelor of Music programme
  • A UK national or have settled status in the UK
  • Ordinarily resident in the UK (this means that your main, permanent address must be in the UK and you are not in the UK for the main purpose of education)
  • Home fee status
  • Eligible for a maintenance loan from the Student Loan Company (SLC)
  • Assessed by the SLC as having a household income of £35,000 or less per year

How to apply

Bursaries are allocated based on the assessment of your household income by the SLC for your student loan application. There is no separate bursary application process. Students must apply for a student loan from their relevant local funding agency (Student Finance England, Student Finance Northern Ireland, Student Finance Wales or the Student Award Agency for Scotland). We recommend applying promptly when funding applications open to ensure your assessment is visible to the RCM by the start of October.

Visit the GOV.UK website for details of how to apply for a student loan.

As part of the student loan application students must consent to means testing by their funding body and agree for their data to be shared with the RCM. Students must re-apply annually for Student Finance from the SLC and will be re-assessed for bursary eligibility for each year of their studies. Students can be considered in any year of their BMus programme. It is not a requirement to have been a bursary recipient in previous years.

Notification of awards

The RCM will review the household income data provided by the Student Loans Company in October following enrolment. If students are eligible for a bursary, they will receive a letter confirming the value of their award.

How awards are paid

Eligible students will need to provide their bank details to the SLC. Awards will normally be paid in two equal instalments, in November and February each year. Top up bursaries for care leavers will be paid in June.

Scholarships for Black, Asian and ethnically diverse students

Each year the RCM awards at least three scholarships to recognise outstanding potential and encourage participation in conservatoire education from students from Black, Asian and ethnically diverse backgrounds, who are currently underrepresented in the classical music industry. The scholarships are worth the 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 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 in three termly instalments per year, with the first following New Student Check-in in September.

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 2025 entrants, but in 2024 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

If you are offered a scholarship you will normally receive a letter via email with further details within 10 days of receiving your formal offer. 

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.

Duration of awards

The duration of scholarships for Black, Asian and ethnically diverse students and ABRSM scholarships will be for the duration of the course.

The duration of scholarships for students on taught performance & composition courses and the undergraduate bursaries can vary, see the details below. 

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.

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. 

Students undertaking research degrees

See the details below on the bursary and studentships available to eligible doctoral students.

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 (up to a maximum of three full-time or six part-time years of registration).

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 the payment of any scholarships and study awards that have already been awarded by the RCM.

Student Finance team

Tuition fee payment enquiries

studentfinance@rcm.ac.uk

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