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Master of Education

Student listening in a lecture
The Master of Education (MEd) is an advanced taught degree programme with research elements that develops students' vocational skills by building on their music educational experience in the profession. The course is suitable for musicians engaged in education work, such as teachers, animateurs, creative education leaders and facilitators, ensemble/choir directors and coaches, and professional performers, such as orchestral players whose work includes educational activities.


UCAS code (part time) 
UCAS code (full time) 716F
Start date September 2020
Duration 1 year full-time or 2-4 years part-time

Students will study a combination of modules that enable them to analyse, develop and share their own practice, building a portfolio of evidence and conducting in-depth action research investigating an area of their own choice.

The programme will be available part-time over a period of two to four years and is designed to fit around a professional musician's portfolio of other commitments. On a case-by-case basis, a one-year full-time route will also be available, subject to approval by the Programme Leader. Students requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK must select the one year option.

Students will complete a major independent research project based on their own experience and build a portfolio of practice that shows evidence of their professional development. Contact time is structured around intensive study blocks with weekly face-to-face classes and observational placement opportunities for some optional modules.

The study block dates for students beginning their studies in 2020 are as follows:

  • Study block 1: Sunday 25 October 2020 – Wednesday 28 October 2020
  • Study block 2: Sunday 11 April 2021 – Wednesday 14 April 2021
  • Study block 3: Saturday 24 July 2021 – Tuesday 27 July 2021

The programme is suitable for:

  • Orchestral and other graduate professional musicians who have experience in education (including creative education and community music, individual teaching, etc).
  • Conservatoire Junior Department teachers.
  • Music staff in specialist schools.
  • Conservatoire professors new to Higher Education teaching.
  • Music teachers working in schools, community and other settings, who satisfy the application requirements.

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


We continually invest in our facilities to ensure RCM students have the very best opportunities. Our impressive performance spaces are matched by top-quality academic and technical provisions, such as our historic library and professional grade studios. The Royal College of Music is proud to offer some of the finest facilities anywhere in the world.

The RCM’s largest performance spaces are the Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall, which has an illustrious history, and the 400-seat Britten Theatre, which boasts excellent technical facilities for the RCM’s thriving International Opera School. In addition, more intimate spaces include The Parry Rooms, which have unparalleled views of the Royal Albert Hall, and our 100-seat Recital Hall.

As well as practice rooms and space for one-to-one and group teaching, the RCM contains dedicated opera rehearsal spaces, 11 Amadeus Music Pods and organ rooms. We have over 140 pianos, including 60 grand pianos and 20 early keyboards, instrument storage with special facilities for harps and double basses, plus in-house instrument workshops.

RCM Studios is a top commercial-grade facility, equipped with the latest audio, video and composition technologies, supporting the RCM’s recording needs and enabling live broadcast of performances around the world.

The RCM Library contains more than 400,000 items of printed music, 9,000 CD recordings, extensive music literature, more than 400 music journals, plus an internationally renowned collection of original manuscripts (including examples from Mozart and Elgar) and early printed editions.

The RCM Museum holds more than 1,000 instruments dating from the late 15th century to the present day, some of which are the earliest known examples of their kind. The collection is a unique resource and many of the instruments can be studied or played by RCM students.

The public museum is currently closed for refurbishment, but its vital resources are still available to our students. 

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

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

Applicants should have one of the following:

  • An undergraduate degree in music from a conservatoire.
  • An undergraduate degree from a university with a major final-year performance module passed with a minimum of 2:1.
  • An undergraduate degree from a university and the ability to demonstrate a high level of performance ability, for example with a licentiate, diploma or international equivalent.

Applicants must also provide evidence of a minimum of five consecutive years of professional experience in education work, undertaken after graduation from their undergraduate degree. This should involve a substantial amount of sustained work. Examples of sustained work may include:

  • One day per week of teaching over at least 30 weeks of the year.
  • Weekly ensemble directing and/or coaching over at least 30 weeks of the year.
  • Regular intensive vacation teaching on courses (summer and/or spring week-long courses)
  • Weekly creative music-making work in either a single community or after-school setting over at least 30 weeks of the year, or regular projects in different community settings.
  • Regular creative education work for an arts organisation or orchestra in different settings.

Please note this programme is for mid-career professionals, or those approaching mid-career. While we assess each application individually, it is not suitable for current undergraduate students as a direct continuation of their studies.

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

Please note, applications for the Master of Education has two stages. You should first apply through UCAS, after which you must supply supporting materials through our online portal.

The application deadline for entry in 2020 has been extended to 1 May 2020.

You must submit your application for entry through UCAS Conservatoires, where you can apply simultaneously to all the institutions that are members of Conservatoires UK. You can track your application, find out when your interview is and get the results of your application all on UCAS Conservatoires. You can also confirm your decisions online.

Candidates are required to pay an application fee of £50. All application fees are paid online through UCAS conservatoires.

UCAS Conservatoires application fees

Using UCAS Conservatoires incurs a £25 administration fee. This is in addition to our application fees. You cannot use another system. Both the application and administration fees are paid online through UCAS Conservatoires. If you encounter any problems with their payment system please contact their support team.

All late applications are subject to an additional fee of £10.

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.

Supporting materials for application

In addition, applicants will be required to prepare a portfolio of supporting documentation comprised of the following items:

Video of professional experience

  • No longer than 20 minutes.
  • Can show part of a longer lesson, workshop, class, etc, or be made up of edited excerpts.
  • Must show you playing your instrument and/or singing as part of the lesson, as well as working with a student or students.
  • Permission is needed if you are presenting a video of children or young people under the age of 18, or vulnerable and/or at-risk adults. Please download the permission form and upload it with your application as required.

Please note a performance video is not required.

Reflective statement

Reflecting on your video, address the following questions:

  • What are the key moments in your video (no more than 250 words)?
  • What surprised you when you watched it and why (no more than 250 words)?
  • What does your video not show about your teaching/educational practice (no more than 250 words)?
  • What have you learnt about yourself through the process of videoing your teaching/educational practice (no more than 250 words)?

Curriculum vitae

  • Demonstrating professional experience in education work.


You should submit your supporting materials online via the RCM submission portal. The information you upload to the portal does not constitute your entire application, but does form an integral part of it. You should ensure you have provided everything that is required. Incomplete applications may not be considered.

Submit your supporting materials

Shortlisting & interview

Applications for the Master of Education follow a two-stage process. Applicants who satisfy the prerequisites and provide two suitable references will enter a shortlisting process where the application, reflective statement and video will be reviewed.

Applicants who are succesfully shortlisted will then be invited to interview. The interview will be conducted in person, but in the circumstance where applicants cannot travel to London, we will arrange a phone or video interview. We do not offer interviews for the Master of Education at our international audition venues. 


If you would like an informal discussion about your suitability for the Master of Education, please contact Dr Mary Stakelum.

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.

Dr Mary Stakelum

Area Leader in Music Education


Admissions and general audition enquiries