H

Bachelor of Music

UCAS code

300F

Start date

September 2024

End date

July 2028

Duration

4 years full-time

Learning & teaching Opportunities Entry requirements How to apply Enquiries


Female student enjoying herself and playing the cello in an orchestra.
The Bachelor of Music (BMus) programme at the Royal College of Music is driven by our passion for music and our unique knowledge of the industry.

UCAS code

300F

Start date

September 2024

End date

July 2028

Duration

4 years full-time

Learning & teaching Opportunities Entry requirements How to apply Enquiries


Undergraduate study at the Royal College of Music balances high-level training in solo, chamber and ensemble performance with critical enquiry into music past and present. Students investigate music in context and how it operates in contemporary cultures. The H also provides a range of options for developing practical, theoretical, and applied skills.

The nature of your undergraduate experience at the H depends on your principal study specialism. In essence, it includes individual lessons with distinguished musicians; core units in historical, technical, practical, and vocational subjects delivered in small groups; and a variety of performances.

Learning & teaching

Our undergraduate programme is designed to be flexible, especially in years 3 and 4, ensuring you can undertake study directly relevant to your needs and aspirations. A variety of options helps every student develop their interests during their time at the H.

The H and other conservatoires from around the world launched the Global Conservatoire in May 2021, allowing students to learn from a global classroom and develop their international networks. Students are able to choose Global Conservatoire modules as part of their programme of study.

One-to-one lessons

One-to-one lessons are at the very heart of every H student’s learning experience. The H’s impressive list of professors includes renowned instrumental and vocal soloists, distinguished repertoire and operatic coaches, prominent composers and conductors, plus principal players in major London orchestras such as the as the London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra and Royal Opera House Orchestra. Our world-class professors offer students not only first-rate teaching, but also mentorship and networking opportunities.

All principal studies are delivered through a combination of one-to-one tuition complemented by performance classes, workshops, masterclasses, lessons from visiting professors, ensemble activities, seminars and lecture series as appropriate.

Course outline

BMus Overview

BMus programme regulations

Term dates 2021-2027

Assessment

Each module in the H's undergraduate programmes is assigned a level within the National Qualifications Framework.

Assessment for undergraduate students is grouped into subject, general and key skills. The assessment tasks within the H's undergraduate courses are varied, including technical assessments, performance exams, take-away assignments and practical assessments in performance or practical modules; unseen written exams, essays, individual and group presentations in academic or theoretical modules; and reflective diaries, workshops, and vivas in skills-based modules.

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

H options

The majority of students focus on a single principal study instrument or specialism. Single study students may want to pursue additional related or second study tuition alongside their principal specialism, but this is not a requirement.

Single study: principal & related study

Related study allows instrumentalists to receive tuition on an instrument closely related to their principal study, such as oboe and cor anglais, flute and piccolo or piano and harpsichord..

Related studies are approved by the relevant Head of Faculty once a student has started their course. No audition is required and you do not need to let us know about your interest in related study before you arrive at the H.

Single study: principal & second study

Second study allows students to receive tuition in a second specialism, taught and assessed at a lower intensity than their principal study, in an area that does not qualify for related study. Examples include piano and violin, or trumpet and composition.

You will apply and be auditioned for your principal study specialism only. If your application is successful you will be eligible to audition for second study when you start your programme at the H.

Joint principal study

Students with an equally high level of ability in two areas may undertake joint principal study, in which their two specialisms are taught and assessed with equal weight. This is a demanding option, requiring a very high level of practical skill.

Due to the large number of scheduled vocal classes it is not possible for singers or percussionists to undertake Joint Principal H.

If you wish to undertake joint principal study you should submit only one application and select joint principal study on your application form. You will be auditioned for and may be offered a place to study two specialisms at equal intensity. Depending on your performance at audition, the H may decide to offer a place on only one of the two principal studies.

Key staff

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 undergraduate programme.

Headshot for Dr Ann van Allen-Russell

BMus Programme Coordinator

Dr Ann van Allen-Russell

Headshot for Amos Miller

Head of Brass

Amos Miller

Headshot for Dr Jonathan Cole

Head of Composition

Dr Jonathan Cole

Headshot for Toby Purser

Head of Conducting

Toby Purser

Headshot for Professor Ashley Solomon

Head of Historical Performance

Professor Ashley Solomon

Headshot for Professor Vanessa Latarche

Head of Keyboard

Professor Vanessa Latarche

Headshot for David Hockings

Head of Percussion

David Hockings

Headshot for Mark Messenger

Head of Strings

Mark Messenger

Headshot for Nicholas Sears

Head of Vocal & Opera

Nicholas Sears

Headshot for Marie Lloyd

Head of Woodwind

Marie Lloyd

Headshot for Peter Buckoke

Area Leader in Alexander Technique

Peter Buckoke

Headshot for Miranda Francis

Area Leader in Aural Training

Miranda Francis

Headshot for Dr Gerardo Gozzi

Area Leader in Creative Musicianship and Improvisation

Dr Gerardo Gozzi

Headshot for Dr Sarah Fuchs

Area Leader in History

Dr Sarah Fuchs

Headshot for Dr Mary Stakelum

Area Leader in Music Education

Dr Mary Stakelum

Headshot for Dr George Waddell

Area Leader in Performance Science

Dr George Waddell

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 teaching staff in your area of study, please refer to our individual faculties.

See our faculties

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 H Library, the H Museum, the ,  and  – our outreach and education programme.

Performance opportunities

H 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 H runs a busy events calendar of more than 500 events every year, the vast majority of which feature H 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 H 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 about performance opportunities

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 H students have the best opportunities.

Key facilities at the H include:

  • The Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall - our primary performance venue for orchestras and large ensembles.
  • Our 400-seat Britten Theatre, home to the H’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 .
  • 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.
  • H Studios: a commercial-grade facility, enabling live broadcasts around the world.
  • Digital Innovation Lab: advanced recording and mixing suite.
  • H 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 H Museum, holding more than 14,000 instruments, portraits and images, as well as a climate-controlled performance space and the associated Wolfson Centre in Music & Material Culture | Royal College of Music (rcm.ac.uk)

Find out more about H facilities

Career development

The H’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

H abroad

Exchanges are an excellent opportunity for Royal College of Music students to broaden their horizons by getting to know another city, its language and its culture. They also provide an opportunity to study with a new teacher and to develop new contacts that can help advance your future career as a musician.

We have a large number of exchanges available with leading European, American, Japanese and Australian music conservatories and universities. These exchanges provide an excellent opportunity to study abroad at other revered institutions as part of your H studies.

Many students who take advantage of such opportunities make connections that enable them to work overseas when they graduate from the H, often launching international careers. Most outgoing exchanges are for a period of one term during the Autumn term, although there is an option for BMus students to undertake exchanges in the USA and Australia for a full year.

BMus students who choose to take part in exchange programmes usually go abroad in the third year of study.

Find our more

Course reviews

H courses are reviewed annually in response to student and external 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 H’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.

The BMus curriculum was last reviewed in Spring 2020.

Entry requirements

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

All offers for composers are made on the basis of their portfolio and interview.

Applicants from the UK

A Levels

  • Two A Levels at grade E or above, or
  • One A Level at grade E or above and two AS Levels (in different subjects from the A level), one at grade D or above and one at grade E or above

Most UK applicants will take A Level music or equivalent and achieve a Grade A or B. If you are choosing your subjects now, we recommend that you choose music if possible.

Other UK qualifications

Alternative qualifications which are accepted instead of A Levels include:

  • Three Scottish Higher grade passes at grade D or above
  • Cambridge Pre-U certificate in at least two principal subjects at P3 level or above
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (formerly BTEC Level 3 Diploma)
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma (at least 24 points)
  • Welsh Baccalaureate (accepted as equivalent to one A Level)
  • RSL Level 3 Diploma for Music Practitioners

If your academic qualifications are not listed here, you are welcome to contact our Admissions team to discuss your suitability for the course.

Further guidance

Most applicants to the H will study music as part of their pre-conservatoire academic qualification(s). If you are choosing your subjects now, we advise that you choose music if possible. However, if music is not available to you as an academic subject, we recommend undertaking studies that equip you with an appropriate level of musical knowledge, theory and literacy, in addition to your practical studies.

Applicants from other countries

Please see the list of international qualifications below for details of qualifications that are commonly accepted by the H as equivalent to our UK entry requirements. This list is not exhaustive and other qualifications will be considered.

List of international qualifications

The H will verify the level of your qualification using the UK National Agency for International Qualifications and Skills (UK ENIC).

Transfer between institutions

The H is happy to consider applicants for entry into Year 2 or 3 of the BMus programme where equivalent prior study has been completed. Entry for performers is subject to audition; composers need to submit a portfolio and may be invited for interview. Students wishing to transfer should apply via UCAS Conservatoires, stating the year of study you wish to be considered for. You will need to provide full transcripts from your current university or conservatoire to demonstrate that you have successfully completed studies equivalent to the first year(s) of the BMus programme. 

The H is also willing to facilitate transfer from the H to other institutions.

To discuss transfer options please contact our Admissions team.

The H 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 H, you must meet the English language requirements before the H is permitted to sponsor your visa application.

Find out about English language requirements

How to apply

The application deadline has now passed for this course and we are unable to consider any further late applications.  Applications for 2025 entry will open in July. Please contact our friendly Admissions team if you need any advice on applying. 

Please note that there is a later deadline for some overseas auditions.  Information on audition locations can be found here.

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.

Applicants interested in joint principal study are reminded to submit only one application. If you submit two applications you will be charged twice.

Guidance on completing your application form is available on the 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 H, so it is important to begin your application in good time. Further guidance is available from if you think your referees may not be able to provide a reference in time. 

All application fees are paid online through UCAS Conservatoires.

UCAS Conservatoires application fees - 2025 entry

Using UCAS Conservatoires incurs a £28.50 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 .

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  website.

Auditions

The Royal College of Music normally 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.  International applicants who cannot travel to the UK or other Overseas audition venues may submit a video audition instead.

Application deadlines, application fees, audition dates and the availability of H accompanists varies between locations.

Choosing where to audition

Most auditions last approximately 20 minutes, but there are exceptions for some specialisms and at some venues. You can find out how long your audition will be by reading the full set of requirements for your chosen discipline(s).


Candidates for who have applied for joint principal study will be auditioned in both specialisms. The two auditions may or may not be on different dates.

Transparency data

All UK Colleges and Universities are required by the Office for Students (OfS) to publish information on attainment of academic awards on completion of their course to UK domiciled applicants only. The data provided in the PDFs below meets the requirements and format defined by the OfS, who provide further information on the .

The information published below shows:

  • The number of students who attained a particular degree or other academic award, or a particular level of such an award, on completion of their course with us.

It also shows these numbers by reference to:

  • The gender of the individuals to which they relate.
  • Their ethnicity.
  • Their socio-economic background.

Transparency Data 2023 - Table 1a

Transparency Data 2023 - Table 1b

Enquiries

If you have any questions about studying at the H 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

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