Research degrees

An H researcher using composition facilities on the computer at the H
The Royal College of Music (H) is ranked top UK conservatoire offering music as a single subject in the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021).

Home to a lively and diverse community of approximately 50 doctoral students, the H welcome applications in the areas of:

  • Performance
  • Composition
  • Musicology and the cultural study of music
  • Material culture and organology
  • Music education
  • Performance science

With access to fantastic resources, you can devise a programme of original research in your chosen field. Mentored and supported by internationally recognised staff at the forefront of research in your discipline, you will be challenged to push the boundaries of new knowledge.

The H's doctoral programme offers both a DMus and PhD pathway. It is possible during the course of your degree to move between pathways to best reflect the way your individual project evolves.

The DMus pathway places emphasis on practical work in performance or composition, supported by a written commentary. The PhD emphasises written work with a longer final dissertation, which may be supported by practical elements in appropriate circumstances.

For more information on our doctoral options, available supervisors, and how to apply, please follow the links below.

Find out more about the DMus

Find out more about the PhD

AHRC studentships

The H is a member of the London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP), made up of eight of London’s leading universities. LAHP awards around 90 fully funded AHRC studentships for doctoral study each year in an open competition that runs across all the performing and fine arts, and humanities subjects. AHRC studentships cover full fees and a generous living stipend, and offer exceptional opportunities, including supervision of interdisciplinary projects and industry placements, creating outstanding training for diverse career paths.

Find out more about AHRC studentships

Find a supervisor

If you are considering applying to undertake doctoral research, your first step is to identify a member of staff with relevant expertise to support your project and capacity to act as your supervisor.

Find a supervisor

An initial enquiry with a potential supervisor will help to establish if they are interested to work with you. General enquiries about the programme may be sent to our Head of Research. Our Admissions team can help you with more general application enquiries - see contact detail below.

Resources, facilities and collections

The H is rich in both practical and intellectual resources. Our library and the Royal College of Music Museum manage outstanding collections of priceless musical instruments, composers’ manuscripts and historical documents, which are the subject of a number of staff and student research projects.

These are complemented by our magnificent performance spaces and by H Studios, which provide advanced facilities for audio and video recording, super-fast video conferencing and technology-enhanced composition. Plus, we have the most important resource of all – supremely talented musicians eager to participate in bringing music to life.

Talk to us

If you are interested in pursuing your research interests at the H, use our Find a supervisor list to help you find a suitable supervisor. For general enquiries about the programme, please contact our Head of Research.

Alternatively, if you have any questions about the admissions process please contact our Admissions team, who will be happy to help you.

Professor Robert Adlington

Head of Research


Charlotte Rutherford

Doctoral Programmes Administrator

Doctoral Admissions and general enquiries


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