The RCM’s Graduate Diploma in Vocal Performance equips non-conservatoire graduate singers with the additional specialist vocal and ancillary training necessary for them to match the range of skills and experience of conservatoire graduates. This course is also ideal for conservatoire graduates who feel they would benefit from additional training before undertaking Masters level study.
UCAS code 420F
Start date September 2020
End date July 2021
Duration 1 year full-time
The Graduate Diploma in Vocal Performance is primarily intended for graduates from three-year degree programmes. It provides a learning experience equivalent to the final year of an undergraduate performance degree at the RCM.
This one-year course is normally intended to be taken on a full-time basis in order to reinforce its equivalence to final year undergraduate study.
During your time on the Graduate Diploma you will develop your linguistic and dramatic skills and build or reinforce a solid vocal technique. Singers who demonstrate potential for significant vocal achievement, but who lack appropriate formal grounding, will have the opportunity to develop their repertoire knowledge.
By the end of the year you will have a vocal technique capable of sustaining the increased demands of more advanced study and assisting the voice to mature satisfactorily. You will have a broad familiarity with the nature of the vocal repertoire, coupled with a core of works known in some detail. In addition you will have facility in the principal European languages of the vocal repertoire and an informed awareness of the main national types. Your movement skills and knowledge of stagecraft will have advanced and you will begin to develop the ability to combine these with vocal accomplishment in operatic performance.
Crucially, you will foster a realistic perception of your suitability for further study and/or future professional career prospects, based upon critical self-evaluation and an awareness of the demands and opportunities of the profession.
If you achieve a result of 65% or more at the end of the course, you will automatically have the opportunity to progress to a Masters degree in vocal performance – leading to either the MPerf or MMus qualification. This allows for intensive technical work to be undertaken without interruption for audition preparation.
Learning and teaching hours
Learning and teaching hours are calculated as 100 hours per ten credits studied. For GradDip students this equates to 1,200 hours, which is split between self-directed study and contact hours with tutors. Contact hours include performances, one-to-one tuition, larger group tuition, seminars, faculty and academic classes, directed rehearsals, masterclasses, competitions and supervised study. Rehearsal and performance contact time will vary according to each student’s discipline and chosen study options.
Royal College of Music courses are internationally recognised as full degree courses with successful students awarded their qualifications under the RCM's Royal Charter.
RCM students enjoy a wide variety of performance opportunities including orchestral and choral projects, chamber music and solo opportunities, performance in jazz and historical instrument ensembles. The RCM runs a busy events calendar more than 500 events every year, the vast majority of which feature RCM students.
Faculty-based performance activities include chamber music and duo performance coaching, orchestral training, performance classes, acting and language classes (for singers), music technology (for composers), reed making (for double reed players) and improvisation (for organists).
Composition at the RCM fosters partnerships with the College's large body of gifted instrumentalists. Composers will hear performances of their own works in a variety of contexts and have the opportunity to benefit from a range of collaborations, which we host regularly with artistic organisations in London and beyond.
Find out more
All offers for performers are made on the basis of their performance at audition.
Applicants require an undergraduate degree or equivalent international qualification in any subject, 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.
Applications for entry in 2020 will open on 18 July 2019. The application deadline is 1 October 2019 for most audition locations. Some overseas audition venues have later application deadlines.
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.
All application fees are paid online through UCAS conservatoires.
Visit UCAS Conservatoires
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.
The Royal College of Music holds auditions in London, Asia and the USA. Auditions for all courses and all principal studies can be undertaken in London. Auditions for most courses and principal studies can also be undertaken in Asia and the USA. In some cases, candidates may be able to apply by recording instead.
Application deadlines, application fees, audition dates and the availability of RCM accompanists varies between locations.
Choosing where to audition
Most auditions will last approximately 20 minutes. You should ensure that you are familiar with the audition requirements as stipulated by the Vocal and Opera Faculty.
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.