Master of Education
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.
The study block dates for students beginning their studies in 2021 are as follows:
- Study Block 1: Sunday 24th October 2021 – Wednesday 27th October 2021
- Study Block 2: Tuesday 5th April 2022 – Friday 8th April 2022
- Study Block 3: Saturday 23rd July – Tuesday 26th July 2022
This 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.
Learning & teaching
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.
You will be taught by a team of world-class professors, many of whom hold principal positions in major ensembles and some of whom are the biggest names in their field. Contextual studies are taught by a range of academics, including those undertaking active research, who are regarded as experts in their disciplines. You may also be taught by external specialists and have the chance to learn with visiting artists.
The staff listed below oversee important areas of learning and teaching on our Masters programme.
From the very beginning of the course you will be able to draw on exceptional resources and opportunities, such as the RCM Library, the Centre for Performance Science, Creative Careers Centre and RCM Sparks – our outreach and education programme.
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 has three major performance spaces. The Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall which has an illustrious history and is the primary performance venue for RCM orchestras and large ensembles. Our 400-seat Britten Theatre boasts excellent technical facilities for the RCM’s thriving International Opera School. The Performance Hall offers an alternative space for ensemble performances and orchestral rehearsals, and boasts a retractable stage, comprehensive technical infrastructure and variable acoustics, providing versatility for the range of events staged by the College.
In addition, more intimate spaces for solo and chamber performance include the Performance Studio and 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, a number of sound-proofed Amadeus Music Pods and organ rooms. We have over 160 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 commercial-grade facility, equipped with professional 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 scores, books and recordings in its lending collection, plus access to more than 400 music journals. The library also subscribes to many online resources including Oxford Music Online, Naxos Music Library, JSTOR, Met Online and the Berlin Philharmonic Digital Concert Hall. In addition, the RCM also boasts an internationally renowned collection of original manuscripts (including examples from Mozart and Elgar) early printed editions and archives.
The RCM Museum holds more than 15,000 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 in the collection 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 September 2021 is 15 January 2021.
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.
Guidance on completing your application form is available on the UCAS Conservatoires website. As part of your application you will require two references, which may be professional or academic. Please ignore the headings of “academic” and “practical” references. 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.
Candidates are required to pay an assessment fee of £50. All assessment and application fees are paid online through UCAS Conservatoires.
UCAS Conservatoires application fees - 2021 entry
Using UCAS Conservatoires incurs a £26 application fee. This is in addition to our assessment fees. You cannot use another system. 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.
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.
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)?
Alternative arrangements due to coronavirus
We understand that some applicants will not have the opportunity to video lessons due to coronavirus (Covid-19). Instead, you are permitted to submit an extended reflective statement in which you:
- draw out the key features that define you as practitioner (no more than 350 words) and;
- comment on what makes your practice distinctive, referring to the values, beliefs and principles underpinning your professional experience (no more than 400 words).
- 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.
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 is normally 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.
Changes to interview availability
We have been closely monitoring the ongoing situation with coronavirus in the UK, as the safety of our applicants is paramount. As a result, all interviews for candidates shortlisted for the second stage of the application process for the MEd in Music Education will now take place via video conferencing. This applies to 2021 entry.
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