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Artist Diploma in Opera

UCAS code

851F

Start date

September 2023

End date

July 2024 or July 2025

Duration

1 or 2 years full-time

Learning & Teaching Opportunities Entry requirements How to apply Enquiries
RCM singer performing on the Britten Theatre stage
The Artist Diploma (ArtDip) in Opera is designed for students with the potential to become professional opera singers. The programme is rich in individual and class provision as well as performance opportunities. Students will develop not just their vocal technique, but also their acting skills and the number of roles in their repertoire.

UCAS code

851F

Start date

September 2023

End date

July 2024 or July 2025

Duration

1 or 2 years full-time

Learning & Teaching Opportunities Entry requirements How to apply Enquiries

The Royal College of Music's Artist Diploma (ArtDip) programmes represent the highest level of taught postgraduate study. They are aimed at musicians who want to hone their skills by working intensively on particular areas of their artistic development. Places on our Artist Diploma programmes are only offered to students who have already demonstrated a high level of ability at Masters level.

The Artist Diploma in Opera may be studied for up to two years. The duration for individual students will depend on their individual progress and readiness for assessment. Most students will complete the programme over two years and it will be assumed that a student will complete after two years, unless they discuss a wish to complete within one year with their Head of Faculty.

Most teaching on the Artist Diploma in Opera takes place within the RCM Opera Studio. Practical experience is gained through performance of operatic scenes and the opportunity to participate in our fully-staged operatic productions.

RCM students perform on the Britten Theatre stage

Learning & teaching

All our Artist Diplomas focus on one-to-one provision and practical project work, tailored to your particular career aspirations.

Course outline

Artist Diploma Programme Regulations

Term dates 2019-2026

Royal College of Music courses are internationally recognised as full degree courses with successful students awarded their qualifications under the RCM's Royal Charter.

Key staff

At the RCM, you will be taught by a team of world-class vocal professors, many of whom hold principal positions in major ensembles and some of the biggest names in their field. In addition, contextual studies are taught by a range of academics, including those who undertake research and are regarded as experts in their field. You may also be taught by specialists external to the College. The key staff listed below oversee important areas of learning and teaching on our ArtDip programme.

Head of Vocal & Opera

Nicholas Sears

One-to-one teaching

The relationship with your one-to-one teacher will be one of the most important during your studies. For a full list of one-to-one teachers in the vocal and opera faculty, please visit the vocal and opera page. 

Meet our vocal and opera staff

Contextual studes & academic teaching

A wide range of staff provide tuition in contextual and other academic studies.

Opportunities

From the very beginning of the course you will be able to draw on exceptional resources and opportunities, such as the RCM Library, the RCM Museum, the Centre for Performance ScienceCreative Careers Centre and RCM Sparks – our outreach and education programme.

Facilities

The Royal College of Music is proud to offer its students fantastic practice and performance facilities with resources to support teaching and learning. We continually improve our facilities to ensure RCM students have the best opportunities.

Explore our facilities with a video tour of the RCM

Key facilities at the RCM include:

  • The Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall - our primary performance venue for orchestras and large ensembles.
  • Our 400-seat Britten Theatre, home to the RCM’s thriving International Opera School.
  • A new Performance Hall, offering an alternative space for ensembles, with a retractable stage, Fazioli grand piano and variable acoustics.
  • Intimate spaces for solo and chamber performance in our Performance Studio and Parry Rooms.
  • Sound-proofed Amadeus Music Pods for private practice.
  • A purpose-built percussion suite – you can watch a video tour on YouTube.
  • Over 160 pianos, including 60 grand pianos and 20 early keyboards, as well as organ rooms.
  • A Blüthner Practice Suite which holds ten Blüthner Model A upright pianos.
  • Instrument surgeries including luthier services.
  • RCM Studios: a commercial-grade facility, enabling live broadcasts around the world.
  • Digital Innovation Lab: a state of the art recording and mixing suite.
  • RCM Library with more than 200,000 scores, books and recordings in its lending collection, as well as access to more than 400 music journals.
  • Recently refurbished RCM Museum, holding more than 14,000 instruments, portraits and images, as well as a climate-controlled performance space and dedicated research facility.

Find out more about RCM facilities

Career development

The RCM’s Creative Careers Centre, which is recognised internationally for its innovative approach to supporting young musicians, provides an unparalleled service to current students and recent alumni. The dedicated team partners with leading consultants, reputable arts organisations and local communities, delivering unique career-building opportunities and a direct route to the music industry.

The work of the Creative Careers Centre allows students to discover their professional identity, gain hands-on experience and new skills, develop an entrepreneurial mind-set and build a fulfilling professional portfolio.

Extensive performance and teaching opportunities are available, as well as valuable guidance on CV and biography writing, concert programming, communication skills, project management, marketing and publicity, online promotion, financial matters and how to develop a business idea.

Find out more about the Creative Careers Centre

Federal Disclosure Requirements: Gainful Employment Programmes

Course reviews

RCM courses are reviewed annually in response to student and examiner feedback, which sometimes results in minor changes, such as the availability of particular modules. A more thorough review is undertaken every five to six years, after which more substantial changes may be made while maintaining the ethos that underpins the course. Our review process is part of the RCM’s continued commitment to provide the best possible education and music training. The information provided here reflects the official course outline as it currently stands. In the event of alterations following a review, we will update this page as soon as possible.

Entry requirements

All offers for performers are made on the basis of their performance at audition.

Candidates require a postgraduate diploma or a Masters degree in music, or equivalent experience.

The RCM welcomes applicants from all backgrounds and alternative qualifications may be considered. If your qualifications are not listed here, please contact our Admissions team, who will be happy to discuss your suitability for the programme.

English language requirements

All applicants must be able to demonstrate that their level of English language ability meets the Royal College of Music’s minimum requirements in order for their application to be accepted.

If you require a visa to study at the RCM, you must meet the English language requirements before the RCM is permitted to sponsor your visa application.

Find out more

How to apply

Applications for entry in September 2023 will open on 15 July 2022. The application deadline is 3 October 2022.

All applicants (including international applicants) should apply online through the UCAS Conservatoires admissions service, where you can apply simultaneously to all the institutions that are members of Conservatoires UK. You can track your application, find out when your audition is and get the results of your audition all on UCAS Conservatoires. You can also confirm your decisions online.

Guidance on completing your application form is available on the UCAS Conservatoires website. As part of your application you will require two references: one practical (normally from your current principal study teacher) and one academic (normally from someone at your current/previous educational institution who can comment on your academic ability). You must enter your referees’ details into the application, and an automated e-mail will be sent to them requesting a reference. Only once your referees have responded will your application be forwarded to the RCM, so it is important to begin your application in good time. Further guidance is available from UCAS Conservatoires if you think your referees may not be able to provide a reference in time.

If you are a current RCM student applying for a postgraduate performance or composition course, we only require a practical reference as we can verify your academic record. To enable you to submit your application, for the academic reference, tick the option to submit an offline reference. You will still need to enter details of a referee, but ticking the box will enable you to submit your application without UCAS sending them a reference request. However, note that if you are also applying to other conservatoires, you are likely to need an academic reference too. 

All application fees are paid online through UCAS conservatoires.

Visit UCAS Conservatoires

UCAS Conservatoires application fees - 2023 entry

Using UCAS Conservatoires incurs a £27 application fee. This is in addition to our assessment fees. You cannot use another system and both the application and assessment fees are paid online through UCAS Conservatoires. If you encounter any problems with their payment system please contact their support team.

If you change your mind about applying, you can contact UCAS Conservatoires to cancel and request a refund. To be entitled to a refund you must cancel within 14 days of the date you submitted your application. You can find further details about how to do this, and also information about amending your application details, on the UCAS Conservatoires website.

Auditions

Video auditions for 2022 entry

We are planning to audition in London for 2022 entry but applicants who would prefer not to travel due to coronavirus may submit a video audition instead. This option is open to all Principal Study specialisms, with the exception of Conducting, for which we hope to hold final round auditions live in London in Spring 2022.

Further information on deadlines and submission requirements for video auditions can be found here

All candidates will automatically be considered for scholarships on the basis of their audition, including those who audition by video. 

Video auditions are assessed on the basis of the video submission and UCAS Conservatoires application. Some applicants may be asked to participate in a short video interview after their audition recording is assessed.

Find out more 

You can find out more about what to expect at your audition and what to prepare by viewing the audition requirements as stipulated by the Vocal and Opera Faculty.

Enquiries

If you have any questions about studying at the RCM or about the admissions process please contact our Admissions team, who will be happy to help you.

Admissions

Admissions and general audition enquiries

+44 (0)20 7591 4362

admissions@rcm.ac.uk