Our courses are designed to give you everything you need for a successful career in music

Classes & activities

In addition to one-to-one piano tuition and a 30-minute weekly singing lesson, students specialising in this area focus on a wide range of skills including conducting, arranging and orchestration. You will attend and accompany relevant Musical Theatre classes and workshops as your timetable allows. You will act as Musical Director on performance projects, collaborating with a professional director, and will accompany and conduct public performances and competitions.

  • Industry Development

    You will have the opportunity to work with professionals in performance, direction, casting, musical direction, choreography, performance coaching and psychology to formulate and practise strategies for breaking into the industry. How best to prepare for (and win) an audition is fundamental to this course.

  • Masterclasses

    Visiting performers, composers and directors give masterclasses and workshops during which they share their insight into the industry. Sessions held by representatives of professional bodies and mock auditions with guest professionals are also arranged. Recent guests have included Claude-Michel Schönberg, Pippa Ailion, Hadley Fraser, John Bucchino, Jenna Russell, Imelda Staunton and Cynthia Erivo.

  • History of Musical Theatre

    In these weekly sessions we listen to and discuss musicals from the Gershwin and Cole Porter era to the present day.

  • Projects

    Practical projects are rehearsed and performed throughout the year, allowing you to put everything you have learnt into practice. They are selected according to the individual needs of students and the company as a whole and are directed by top industry directors, both established and emerging. Past projects have included musicals, revues, concerts, cabarets, plays, showings of devised work, interdepartmental collaborations and recordings.

    As a Musical Director you will work in collaboration with an external director to oversee the music of these projects and assist the director in leading the company.

  • Agents' Showcase and Production

    You will take part in a showcase with an invited audience of agents and casting directors, as well as full-scale musical productions. Recent end-of-year productions have included The Light in the Piazza and Merrily We Roll Along – both accompanied by the Academy Musical Theatre Orchestra in the Susie Sainsbury Theatre.


    Frequently-asked questions

    What are the entry requirements for the MA?

    An undergraduate degree or, in some cases, APEL (Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning) with evidence of a current exceptional standard of ability plus previous relevant experience. Further information can be found on the entry requirements page here.

    Please contact us here if you have further questions regarding entry requirements.

    Can I visit in person before accepting my offer?

    If you are in receipt of an offer and would like to visit, please contact us here. We will accommodate brief tours wherever possible during term times.

    What are the fees?

    Details of fees for our courses can be found here.

    When are bursary and scholarship award decisions announced?

    Awards are announced once students are enrolled on the course and applications have been considered.

    How many hours a week will I study?

    This is a highly intensive course and core classes and some independent study time are scheduled from 9am-6.30pm each weekday. During term time there are also frequent evening and weekend masterclasses, rehearsals and competitions.

    Where will I be taught?

    Teaching takes place at the Royal Academy of Music on Marylebone High Road. Some project and production rehearsals take place at locations that are within a few minutes travel from the Academy.

    What facilities are available to me?

    We have one dedicated dance studio and three dedicated rehearsal rooms for group classes and projects throughout the term. One-on-one teaching takes place in practice rooms which each have a piano. MD students share a room with a piano, keyboard and audio equipment. Students can book rooms for practice before and after classes during the week and on Sundays.

    All of our large rooms have screens for online access and screening purposes. Tripods and back-drops for self-taping are also available.

    Performances are generally held in the The Susie Sainsbury Theatre, The Angela Burgess Recital Hall, and the The David Josefowitz Recital Hall.

    Production rehearsals sometimes take place off-site in local studio spaces.

    You will have your own locker adjacent to our classrooms and access to dedicated shower facilities. A subsidised café and a bar provide hot and cold food and drinks during term times.

    What is the practical/written work and assessment ratio?

    The main focus of the course is the development of your practical skills and craft, and your awareness of professional development, and this is reflected in the course and assessment structure.

    75% of your final mark is divided equally between your contribution to the Industry Showcase performances (Term 2) and your contribution to the Final Production rehearsal process (Term 3).

    The Portfolio component is the remaining 25% of your final mark. This comprises a written and visual record of, and reflection on, your journey through key aspects of your training on the course.

    How many productions will I work on during the course?

    Each term culminates in public or industry-facing performance/s in the Susie Sainsbury Theatre. There are also project and competition performances in each term for invited guests.

    Will I be able to work whilst on the course?

    The teaching timetable encompasses relatively full weekdays plus some evening and weekend rehearsals, masterclasses, competitions and productions, meaning there is little opportunity to work during terms. Students do sometimes have part-time work on Saturdays, and occasional paid stewarding opportunities are available at the Academy.

    What are my career options after graduation?

    Most of our graduates go into the Musical Theatre industry as a performer or MD (depending on their pathway on the course), most benefitting from agent and industry relationships that they made during their final two terms. Some also go on to act in non-musical theatre and/or screen productions, to create their own work, to teach singing or to work in other roles within the stage and screen industries.

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