Our courses are packed with variety and creative opportunities

Whatever course you are coming to study at the Academy, you will be among like-minded musicians who share your commitment and talent.

Proven track record

Our emphasis on one-to-one lessons, small-group teaching and our tailored approach to artist development result in one of the best employability records of any British university.

Decorative Image of the Teacing Excellence Framework 'Gold' designation

In 2023 the Academy was awarded 'Gold' by the Office for Students as part of the Teaching Excellence Framework scheme.

Your qualification

The Royal Academy of Music is a member institution of the University of London. This means that students studying for our BMus, PG Cert, MA, MMus, MPhil and PhD courses will receive degrees/awards from the University of London when graduating.

The University of London is one of the oldest and largest universities in the UK, so you can be sure that your qualification will be recognised around the globe.

Undergraduate courseS

Tailor your studies to suit your musical interests on our four-year Bachelor of Music (BMus) degree course.

We also offer one-year courses, where you'll benefit from all the facilities we offer, as well as enjoying a variety of performance opportunities.

This course is right for you if you’re passionate about music and your specialism (or instrument). The BMus provides a solid foundation for a career in music, whether you’d like to be a performer, composer, teacher or to work in another related field.

Core elements of the BMus

1. Principal study
This is the focal point of your musical development. You will experience individual lessons, as well as a combination of masterclasses, performance classes, chamber music, concerts and everything else you do in your specialism. The focus for performers is on gaining experience in public concerts.

2. Artist development
We offer a wide range of activities, events and modules for you to hone your skills in studio recording and editing techniques, self-promotion and marketing, writing CVs, making funding applications, understanding the music business and working in arts management.

You can also get involved in Open Academy, which has an active programme aimed at helping people in the community. If you want to develop your teaching skills, you can study for the Academy’s teaching licence (LRAM), too.

3. Academic study
Academic study is essential to your creative and intellectual development. Core modules in Aural, Analysis and History reinforce your awareness as a listener, develop your interpretative abilities and extend your knowledge and imagination.

1. Gap Year course
This course is right for you if you love music but know you want to study something else for your main degree in future. It’s the ideal fit if you’re finishing secondary school (high school) and are looking for a gap-year opportunity, enabling you to reach a high level of achievement in music, while also allowing you to pursue another career path. The audition requirements are the same as for the BMus course (see the relevant Department details).

2. Organ Foundation course
This is for gap-year students preparing for an organ scholarship at Oxford or Cambridge, or for those who want to develop organ and choral direction skills before starting formal university or conservatoire training.

3. Exchanges and Study Abroad schemes
The Academy has exchange and study-abroad agreements with conservatoires across the world. Placements are normally for a full academic year, although shorter times may be possible.

Please note that the Gap Year and Organ Foundation are not eligible courses for a UK Student visa.

Postgraduate courses

Postgraduate study is a vital part of the Academy’s musical culture. We have the largest body of postgraduate musicians in the UK.

Whether you want to focus solely on performance, study a specialism or incorporate research into your studies, we offer a variety of flexible study programmes to suit your individual interests and career ambitions.

If you have any questions, please contact our admissions team for more information.

The Master of Arts, Master of Music and Postgraduate Certificate courses are normally two years in length. However, it may be possible to complete in one year. Your offer email will specify the expected length. You can submit an internal transfer request during the first study term (autumn term) if you wish to change from 2 years to 1 year, or from 1 year to 2 years.

If you have a UKVI Student Visa and your request is approved to change to a course which finishes after the expiry date of the visa, before we can change your course you will have to travel home and get a new visa for the length of the new course. Please note this will remove your eligibility to apply for the UK Graduate visa at the end of the course.

Two-year MA students are able to submit an internal transfer request during the first study term (autumn term) to transfer for Year 2 into the MMus programme, likewise MMus students can request a transfer to MA.

Postgraduate Vocal Studies students (Masters or PGCert) can apply via UCAS Conservatoires to audition in December for the Royal Academy Opera Advanced Diploma, which takes two academic years.

The MMus degree is a calendar-year programme, with a final submission date in the early part of the Autumn term.

Students on the Postgraduate Certificate course will graduate with an MA degree upon successful completion of the PGCert syllabus if they also submit a satisfactory Portfolio.

Master of Arts (MA)

MA in Performance or in Composition (including orchestral or choral conducting)

The MA in Performance or in Composition is the standard postgraduate course for students who want to focus on their principal study and build their professional skills. It is normally a two-year course, but in certain cases, students can be allowed to take it in one year (intensive option).

MA in Musical Theatre

A one-year course of intensive full-time study for Musical Theatre specialists.

Our MAs are right for you if you already have a bachelor degree, or equivalent (it doesn’t have to be in music) and a high standard of musical ability.

The main focus of the MA is developing your practical skills as a musician.

Master of Music (MMUS)

MMUS in Performance or in Composition (including orchestral or choral conducting)

The MMUS in Performance or in Composition has the MA at its core and adds a Master’s project. The project can be a concert with commentary, a recording-based project, a dissertation or a combination of these.

This is the standard postgraduate course for composers and is normally a two-calendar-year programme, but in certain cases students can take it in one calendar year (intensive option).

The MMus is right for you if you’re interested in studying beyond bachelor degree level and you want support in developing a substantial creative and/or academic project. Because the MMus includes delivering the project, it’s slightly longer than the MA, lasting two full calendar years, rather than two academic years. This is the most common study programme to do if you’re hoping to do a PhD in the future too.

Professional Diploma (Prof Dip)

The Professional Diploma offers you the chance to explore a specialism in preparation for the next stage of your career development. Applicants normally hold a postgraduate degree in performance or composition, and must put forward a proposal outlining their specialism and what they hope to achieve.

The Professional Diploma is right for you if you’re looking for a high-level music course that is a next step above the MA or MMus. Tailored to your needs, this course is designed to equip you with the skills you need for professional success.

Advanced Diplomas (Adv Dip)

Adv Dip in Performance

The Advanced Diploma in Performance is designed to provide high-level professional performance training within a largely self-directed one-year programme of study.

You will be mentored by an Academy professor and receive one-to-one lessons throughout the year. The openness of this structure will allow you to tailor your study to your individual artistic needs. Applicants for the Advanced Diploma will usually hold a postgraduate degree in performance.

The Adv Dip in Performance is right for you if you’re already a well-established professional musician. Our Advanced Diploma is ideal if you’re pursuing a career as a soloist, whether you have a recording contract or are looking to build your international profile as a performer.

Adv Dip in Opera

Royal Academy Opera offers two years intensive training for opera singers. You’ll gain experience of working in a small opera company, within an educational framework, and benefit from one-to-one teaching, communal productions and classes. Normally applicants will have a Master’s degree, but the Academy welcomes applications from anyone who meets the appropriate performing standard.

The Adv Dip in Opera is right for you if you’re looking for top-level, pre-professional training in opera skills and to enhance your employability in the industry.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Diploma in Community and Participation

The CPD Diploma offers the opportunity of an intensive one-year course for professional musicians to gain valuable skills, knowledge and experience.

The CPD Diploma in Community and Participation is right for you if you’re hoping to have a varied portfolio career in music. This diploma enables you to build on a range of skills suited to a multitude of sectors, including health and wellbeing, schools and education, as well as gaining experience with people living with dementia and people with learning difficulties. C&P students can take part in Open Academy projects, and you will also be offered placements with partner organisations. In the final term you will be supported to design, lead and evaluate your own project.

PGCERT in Performance (including orchestral or choral conducting) or Composition

The PGCert is designed as an option for postgraduate students who cannot meet the academic entrance requirements for each of the Master of Arts courses. The syllabus is identical to the MA apart from submitting a final portfolio. However, if you successfully complete the PGCert course and also submit a satisfactory portfolio you will graduate with an MA.

Our PGCerts are right for you if you have a high standard of musical ability and wish to study at postgraduate level but you don’t have an Honours degree or equivalent. The PGCert is for students who want to focus on performance or composition and build on their professional skills.

To apply for any of the PGCert courses please see the Academy’s Postgraduate courses on the UCAS website page.

Our research degrees are aimed at performers and composers with highly developed skills and focused career aspirations. You will work with a supervisor and a team of creative staff on a substantial research project. This will normally be driven by your activity as a performer or composer, but will also require critical context and reflection.

The Academy offers an integrated MPhil/PhD degree over four years. Transfer to PhD status usually takes place at the end of the second year, and students are eligible to submit for MPhil and exit at that stage. (The fourth year is for ‘writing up’ and has a reduced fee.) You will be allocated 30 hours of supervision per year, divided between academic and practical supervision, as negotiated with the Postgraduate Programmes Board and your supervisor.

A research degree is right for you if you already have highly developed skills in performance or composition and you want to work on an extended project that sets your work in context and communicates the discoveries you make in it to others.

Exchanges and study abroad schemes

The Academy has exchange and study-abroad agreements with conservatoires across the world. Placements are normally for a full academic year, although shorter times may be possible.

We regret, however, that it is not possible to offer exchange or study-abroad placements in Conducting, Choral Conducting, Musical Theatre, Opera or Répétiteur, or for the Research degree programme (MPhil/PhD).

Musical teaching qualification (LRAM)

Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music (LRAM) is a licence to teach music in the context of a principal-study discipline. This course reflects practices in the state and public sectors, emphasising employability and relevance as key aims.

This is a practical course, informed and supported by pedagogical theory, which will give students an understanding of current national teaching practices, promote reflective teaching and align with national standards. This is a basic, all-encompassing foundation and a basis for growing skills and confidence.

LRAM is currently open to enrolled students at the Academy, specifically BMus undergraduates (3rd and 4th year) and postgraduates.

The construction of your teaching skill set begins with LRAM. This six-day intensive course is packed with subjects for you to engage with and develop. Pedagogical subjects will consist of large cohort lectures featuring important topics such as:

  • The power of music
  • The beginner
  • Safeguarding
  • Special educational needs and music
  • Technology in music
  • Music in the community
  • Teaching form the eyes of an examiner
  • Your student, our patient
  • Creativity in music

Many valuable pedagogical and practical subjects are introduced to align with current practices in schools and music hubs, to give you as many skills as possible to thrive as a music teacher.

Practical sessions will be split into instrumental groups, largely congruent with the orchestral families, to build a solid foundation and introduce the first few lessons on your instrument and its relatives. We then work in smaller groups to look at more advanced individual instrument techniques.

Six hours of sessions will provide more instrumental parity and wider participation and will include topics such as:

  • How the instrument/body works
  • Building a strong foundation
  • The importance of the first lesson in establishing good playing habits
  • Learning the repertoire and evaluating beginner study literature
  • Group teaching skills
  • Teaching more advanced students

The individual instrumental sessions will feature a more in-depth look at instrument knowledge and technique with experienced instructors.

A keyboard bootcamp is also available for those of requiring help in aural training, basic accompaniment and singing warm-ups.

Reflection is key tool that enables the modern teacher to monitor their skills for constant improvement. You will identify how an individual learns and recognise your strengths and weaknesses, which will in turn enable you to improve your skill set and begin your teaching journey.

Each student will receive a journal that asks pertinent questions about relevant subjects and delves into your ability and personality as they relate to teaching.

A viva voce examination will be a discussion based on the information recorded in your journal.

This journal also contains a teaching toolkit designed to help you in your teaching careers. The bibliography, templates, payment information and tips will help you as you build your teaching portfolio.

The course takes place in the spring term and costs £360.

Your next steps

Undergraduate and Postgraduate

Want to know more about studying your specialism or instrument? You’ll find lots more detail about all our courses on the relevant department page.


For more details about the LRAM course, please email the LRAM team.

Academy Handbooks

For more information about courses and programmes of study, take a look at our course and programme handbooks here.

Please note that the Gap Year and Organ Foundation are not eligible courses for a UK Student Route visa.