Exchange and study-abroad courses for external students to study at the Academy
Exchanges and Study Abroad placements are normally for students on a Bachelor’s degree course in Music who seek an study placement aligned with the Academy’s BMus Year 3 or Year 4, but can also be for students studying on a Master’s course.
The deadline for receipt of exchange/study-abroad applications is 15 March for the following academic year.
We are proud to announce the Sir Elton John Global Exchange Programme to promote global mobility and international collaboration.
In addition, we have Exchange agreements with the following institutions:
- Musikhochschule Lübeck
- Conservatoire National Supérieur Musique et Danse de Lyon
- Mannheim Hochschule für Musik
- University of Miami (for undergraduate jazz)
- Sydney Conservatorium
If your institution is not on that list, it is not possible to apply for an exchange at the Royal Academy of Music. Instead, you can apply for a Study Abroad place: details about this option are available further down this page.
Study-abroad and exchange placements are only available at Bachelor’s degree Year 3 or higher.
We regret that exchange or study-abroad placements are not available for:
- Choral Conducting
- Musical Theatre
- Research degree programme (MPhil/PhD).
In the Sir Elton John Global Exchange Programme, placements will normally be short project-specific exchanges, lasting between one week and one month, or one-term exchanges.
Other Exchange and Study Abroad placements are normally for a full academic year. Although we may be able to offer shorter placements, please be aware that attending for only part of our academic year may mean you miss standard assessment dates. This will affect whether you can be awarded credits for your study period, and also whether we can provide an official transcript for your home institution. If we cannot award credits or issue a transcript, we will write a letter confirming your study period and the course modules that you attended during the placement. Please see 'Credits for study' below, for more information.
Students with a shorter placement are encouraged to start their placements at the beginning of the Academy’s academic year (September).
The Academy’s exchanges are normally a reciprocal arrangement. If your application is successful but our exchange balance means we cannot offer an exchange place, you may instead be offered a Study Abroad studentship (see below) which has a tuition fee.
Your exchange/study-abroad placement must form part of your degree studies at your home institution, and the application must be approved by your Exchange or Study Abroad office. We are unable to accept individual direct applications.
Please begin by asking your own institution’s Exchange or Study Abroad Officer for further details about applying for a placement at the Academy; they can find additional information by logging into the Members area of www.aec-music.eu and visiting the Academy's section, or by contacting email@example.com.
Placements require an Erasmus+ Inter-Institutional Agreement, or (for non-Erasmus+), a Memorandum of Understanding/Study Abroad agreement.
Study Abroad and Exchange students at the Academy are expected to return to their home institution on completion of their placement period here.
If they decide to apply to join one of our degree courses as a full student, they must do so separately, within the normal framework for external candidates via UCAS Conservatoires; deadlines and requirements are available through on the Your Application page and agreement in writing must be provided from their home institution where this would be a transfer from their current studies. All students on exchange programmes will be subject to the Academy’s regulations.
Please note that it is not possible to transfer into Year 4 of our BMus course.
If you join us for a part-year placement and wish to extend your placement period, that must be agreed both by the Academy and by your home institution, and there will be a tuition fee payment required for the additional time. The fee will be pro-rated, based on the relevant Study Abroad fee for the full academic year. Study Abroad or Exchange students are not eligible for Academy scholarship or bursary support, and are not eligible for UK student loans. Extending the placement period may also require you to return home to get the correct visa.
Study Abroad is normally for non-UK students on an undergraduate (Bachelor) music degree programme who wish to benefit from a study placement at the Academy's BMus Year 3 level, as part of their degree programme at their current institution.
The tuition fee for Study Abroad students is published on our Fees page.
Study Abroad students must be enrolled on a programme of study at another institution, it is not available as a 'stand-alone' or 'free-mover' option.
The standard placement length is one academic year. It can be possible to attend for shorter periods (minimum one academic term/trimester - September to December, or January to April) but this may restrict the ability to be awarded credits.
Placements usually take place during the Junior year (three), or sometimes Senior year (four). Students are encouraged to commence their studies at the beginning of the Academy’s academic year (September); this is because students who commence later in the year are unlikely to be able to join academic classes as these are mostly run on a full-year basis.
Application: Please see the Application section below for full details and for the application forms, which must be submitted in consultation with your own education institution's exchange or study abroad office. The application deadline is 15 March. The same application process and forms are used for Study Abroad and for Exchange.
If you join us for a part-year placement and wish to extend your placement period, that must be agreed both by the Academy and by your home institution, and there will be a tuition fee payment required for the additional time.
The fee will be pro-rated, based on the relevant Study Abroad fee for the full academic year. Study Abroad or Exchange students are not eligible for Academy scholarship or bursary support, and are not eligible for UK student loans.
Extending the placement period may also require you to return home to get the correct visa.
If English is not your first language, we require the following levels for your English language skills:
- Bachelor Year 3 or 4: equivalent to at least IELTS Academic 6.0 / PTE Academic 58 with a minimum score of 5.5/58 in each part of the test
- Master's: equivalent to at least IELTS Academic 5.5 / PTE Academic 58 with a minimum score of 5.5/58 in each part of the test
Other tests we accept are listed in our English Language Entry Requirements section. A satisfactory test result is a requirement for a UK Student Visa application.
Information about our course credit structures, to assist with compiling the Learning Agreement (below) is available from the course books on the Academy Handbooks web page.
If your placement is in the final year of your degree course at your home institution, your final assessment (final recital) must be done at your home institution.
Postgraduate: Postgraduate (Master’s-level) placements normally must be for our full academic year to gain credits. Part-year placements, we regret, cannot gain formal credits, though we can confirm the content of your study profile to your home institution. The maximum number of credits available for a full academic year is 90 Academy credits (45 ECTS).
Undergraduate: We recommend a full academic year for an undergraduate (Bachelor-level) placement. The minimum attendance period to gain credits for undergraduate (Bachelor-level) placements is one term (trimester), September to December, or January to April. For Jazz, if you come for only one term, it must be September to December. Please note that our summer term (third trimester) is mainly for examinations.
There will be restrictions on the credits we can assign if your placement is less than one academic year; your attendance period will affect the number of credits you gain because credits are primarily gained from submission of assessments. If your placement finishes before the assessment point for the module you are studying, you may only gain a minimum number of credits based on department activities and one-to-one lessons.
If your placement is in the final year of your degree, your final recital assessment will be in your home institution and will not form part of your Learning Agreement credit calculation.
Please consult our course books on the Academy Handbooks web page for details about our credit structures.
Transcripts: Official transcripts are issued in July after the final Examination Board of the academic year. If your exchange period finishes earlier in the year and you need confirmation of your Academy studies for your home institution, we will be able to write a letter confirming your study period dates and the course modules that you attended during the placement.
The deadline for receipt of exchange/study-abroad applications in the Acceptd portal is 15 March for the following academic year.
We aim to respond with a decision during May.
For Exchange or Study Abroad applications, the following items must be uploaded into our Acceptd portal by the application deadline. We do not use UCAS Conservatoires or EASY/Dreamapply for exchange or study-abroad applications.
- Application form including the course level and study year of the proposed placement (for example, BMus Year 3, if you are currently in year 2). Please consult our course books on the Academy Handbooks web page when you compile your learning agreement. We can provide a Word version of the application form on request.
- Curriculum Vitae
- Learning agreement
- Letter of motivation and short spoken English video
- Reference (recommendation) from your teacher: please input the teacher's email address in Acceptd
- Academic transcript from your current study course
Application recording or portfolio
Video recording: around 20 minutes of current repertoire, verified as being an authentic recording of your performance.
All recordings must be recent/current and you should present a minimum of two contrasting works.
All accompanied works should have the appropriate accompaniment in your recording. This can be a “minus one” track, you do not need to hire an accompanist for your audition recording.
- a video file, not links to YouTube or other storage portals.
- a spoken introduction in English: identify yourself by your name, and then say something about your musical background and the training you have had, your musical ambitions and your reasons for applying to the Academy
- Timpani and Percussion candidates must record every item in the relevant repertoire list on the Percussion audition page.
- Jazz candidates should upload up to 20 minutes of current repertoire, preferably one medium-to-up-tempo standard, one ballad tempo standard, and an own arrangement or own composition with a PDF concert pitch score. “Stage 1 – video audition” on our Jazz audition page can be used as a guide.
Composition candidates should upload:
- a portfolio of three or four recent scores in PDF format, plus recordings if available (please upload audio files, not links to YouTube or other storage portals).
- a spoken introduction in English: identify yourself by your name, and then say something about your musical background and the training you have had, your musical ambitions and your reasons for applying to the Academy.
Submitting your application
Your video recordings or composition items, verified by your own institution, and all your completed application documents as listed above should be uploaded to our Acceptd portal.
Please select the Program Group 'Exchange or Study Abroad'. You will probably need to type in the name of your current place of study. Then ask your exchange or study abroad co-ordinator to email firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm your application.
For the question “Do you already have your teacher's recommendation letter to upload into Acceptd?", if you already have the reference (support letter) from your teacher to include with your other items, you can select ‘Yes’. If you do not have the reference, please select ‘No’ and put the referee’s email details into Acceptd, then they will be mailed by Acceptd to write or upload their reference.
Study-abroad and exchange placements are only available at Bachelor’s degree Year 3 or higher.
To help us place you correctly in our own course structures, your current study year and academic programme [for example, Bachelor’s degree Year 2] must be clear in your application form. We also ask you to state the academic level of your proposed study placement at the Academy so we know, for example, if you are planning to come to us in your final Bachelor year or as a Master’s degree student.
If you are currently in your final Bachelor year and will be joining a Master’s degree, the institution providing the Master’s course must confirm that you hold the place, because the placement must form part of degree studies at your home institution.
You are welcome to indicate a preference for studying with a particular professor at the Academy, but the final decision about allocating students to professors is made by your Head of Department at the Academy during the summer vacation. It might not be possible for you to study with the professor you have requested.
If you do not hold a UK passport, you will need to apply for a Student Visa (see www.ram.ac.uk/immigration-advice) and we will require a suitable language test result (www.ram.ac.uk/english-language-requirements).
If your study placement is less than six months in length, you can come to the UK with a Standard Visitor Visa instead, but the Standard Visitor Visa cannot be extended. and work is not permitted under this visa – this ban includes external performances and being self-employed (for example, private teaching or composition commissions).
Short Term Student: Visa Nationals
Visa nationals must have a visa before travelling, even if coming to the UK for six months or less. You must apply for the Standard Visitor entry clearance before you leave home. A list of visa national countries can be found in Appendix 2 on this web link.
Short Term Student: Non-Visa Nationals
We strongly advise that you apply for Standard Visitor entry clearance (visa) before you leave home, even if you are not on the visa national list. It is possible to get this visa from immigration officials at the airport/port of entry, but there are often problems if you request this visa on arrival. We strongly advise against entering the UK without entry clearance.
The Academy was awarded an Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE) under the Erasmus+ scheme, and was a founding member of the Erasmus movement. We are also a member of AEC (Association of European Conservatoires).
- ERASMUS institution code : UK LONDON023.
- PIC : 946054581.
Following the June 2016 vote for the UK to leave the EU, Erasmus+ opportunities are available for incoming students until the 2022/23 academic year if their home institution's Erasmus National Agency supports the placement.