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Royal College of Music

UCAS Code: R56

Location: Central London Show on Map

Site: Single site in Kensington 

World-class music school. 

Student Population

Total Students:720
FE Students:0%


Total undergraduates:385
Full Time:100%
Mature on Entry:0%
UK Students:60%
State school entry:49%

Teaching Staff

200 (full- and part-time).

Broad study areas



Admission Information:Music A-level (grade C minimum) plus 1 other, or 2 AS-levels grade C. UCAS tariff not used.  
Points on Entry (Mean):312
Drop Out Rate:2%
Accommodation:Most first years housed 


Founded:1882, by Prince of Wales (later Edward VII).
Site:South Kensington, close to the Albert Hall and Imperial College. 
How to get there:South Kensington and Gloucester Road underground stations; various buses.  
Special features:Regular performances, master classes and workshops with top international musicians. Performance opportunities in London and across UK. Outreach and summer schools, working with local schoolchildren and teenagers. 

Student services & facilities

Student advice & services:Student services manager gives advice on finance and welfare; Alexander Technique training. Use of Imperial College counselling and health services and chaplaincy.  
Amenities:Britten Theatre, large concert hall and recital halls. Nearby music shop gives 10% discount to RCM students; facilities of Imperial College at special rates (incl swimming pool and gym).  
Sporting facilities:Students can make use of many of the facilities of Imperial College London.
Accommodation:Most first year students in college accommodation (24% of all students). 170 self-catering places in hall (with practising facilities), £125−£144 per week (£82 pw shared), 43-week contracts; half-board accommodation for women available at Queen Alexandra’s House nearby. Other students live in privately-owned accommodation,rents £95−£135 pw for self-catering or in other hostels. London rents are expensive; students need to ensure there are no objections to practising instruments. 5% of first-degree students live at home. 

Study opportunities & careers

Library & information services:Reference and loan collections; 300,000 volumes, including rare early printed material and manuscripts. Information provision, £172 pa spent for each student (FTE). 
Other learning resources:Computing facilities and internet café, recording studios and research resources. Concert hall, recording studios and theatre on-site. Specialist collections: portraits and performance history. Instrument museum.  
Study abroad:College has formal relationships with many musical organisations, including exchanges in Europe, North America and Australia.  
Careers:Information, advice and performance opportunities from communications department. 


Living expenses budget:Minimum budget of £9000−£11,000 pa (excluding tuition fees) recommended by College. 
Term-time work:College encourages professional work - considered an important part of professional development as performers (80% believed to work). Some work available on campus (stewarding, orchestral stage work, admin). Communications department helps find paid performing opportunities and teaching work.  
Financial help:Scholarships up to full fees (for UK/EU and international students), awarded at the time of audition; also 4 scholarhips for BMus students with a family income of up to £25k pa, provides fee waivers for the first two years.
University tuition fees:Home students pay £9000 pa for first degrees. International students pay £18,600 pa. 


Academic features:

BMus with strong performance orientation. BSc physics with music, taught jointly with Imperial College. Range of postgraduate courses in performance and composition.

Awarding body:

Royal College of Music.

Main undergraduate awards:


Length of courses:

4 years

Main subjects offered:

  • Music

Student view


RCM holds the key to an inspiring and stimulating student and professional life. Surrounded by Imperial College, Royal College of Art, Albert Hall, numerous museums, as well as Hyde Park - an overwhelming sight every time you approach it. The professors are amongst some of the finest teaching today and the facilities are first-rate, especially the Britten Theatre. As well as a busy working life, there is an enthusiastic students' association, which makes you feel welcome from day one and organises many social events throughout the year. Some of the highlights are freshers' week, rag week and the summer ball. It has a truly cosmopolitan atmosphere, with students on the standard four-year course and some exchange students; many RCM students also take anything from three months to a year studying at a music college abroad. Students can get outside performance or teaching bookings through the college. RCM continues to provide the high standard of musical education it always has; you would be hard pushed to find a student who was not proud to be there.


Housing: College hall in Shepherd's Bush is friendly, good value and easy to get to college. Lists of private accommodation from college. Eats: RCM canteen convenient (meal £3-ish) or Imperial College. Damarios Pizza Restaurant (£4+). Drink: Students' association bar (home from home), is place to relax and have fun (pint £1.80). Nightlife: Many local haunts for RCM students locally; West End just around the corner. Sports: Football team. Imperial College sports centre open to RCM students. Financial help: Scholarships available; hardship funds. Some interest-free loans to buy instruments from RCM Society. Welfare office gives advice. Jobs: External engagements and teaching. Best features: Good sense of community. And worst: Hectic; big working culture.  

Past Students

Gustav Holst, Benjamin Britten, Michael Tippett, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Oliver Knussen, Mark-Anthony Turnage (composers); Rick Wakeman, Colin Davis, Peter Pears, Janet Baker, Barry Douglas, Julian Bream, James Galway, Gwyneth Jones, Joan Sutherland, John Lill, Elizabeth Maconchy, Neville Marriner, Sarah Walker, David Willcocks. 

More info?

Contact SA on tel 020 7584 8195, email sa.president@rcm.ac.uk. 



Royal College of Music
Prince Consort Road
South Kensington


020 7591 4300





Student enquiries:

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