External funding sources

Students are encouraged to begin their search for financial support as early as possible, as the Academy’s own resources, significant as they are, cannot support everyone.

In addition to the many leads on this page, don’t be afraid to approach local businesses and organisations within your community to see whether they might be able to help you.

Spread your net wide and don’t just concentrate on people who support music. You may be surprised at what other resources are available and to which you might be entitled. The possibilities can be very wide-ranging.

When writing an application for funding, be sure to provide the fullest picture. Successful applicants are, more often than not, those that demonstrate their achievements to date and their goals looking forward, as well as an honest outline of financial resources already in place. Funders rarely provide students with everything they ask for, so try to demonstrate creativity in financial management as much as you would your artistic ability.

The Academy subscribes to The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding. This guide is available to prospective and current postgraduate students and it contains details of how to find and apply for alternative sources of funding – especially charities. Charities are an underrated funding resource, and often make awards to students of any subject and any nationality. Securing funding also boosts your CV.

A link to our gateway can be found here. If you are a prospective student, you will require a PIN access code for this, which the Academy will email to you in late April. Please email admissions@ram.ac.uk if you believe you are eligible for this but have not received the PIN access code. Current Academy students can use the guide by logging in with their Academy email address.

The guide was written by two postgraduate students who, between them, have won over £50,000 from 50 different charity awards. It contains step-by-step guidance on how to put together a winning grant application, examples of model personal and financial statements, and over 500 links to voluntary sector funding sources.

Help Musicians UK

All students can consult the Help Musicians UK website, where there is a useful Funding Wizard.

Postgraduates should apply direct to HMUK to be considered for financial assistance. For students studying on a music performance-related course, applications normally open in January for one month. Award applications for musical theatre, opera, popular music and repetiteurship normally open in April for one month. More details can be found here.

Students will be judged according to their musical potential, an ability to sustain a career within the industry, and financial need. You must have lived in the UK for three consecutive years at the point of application.

Auditions take place in April (June for musical theatre, opera, popular music and repetiteurs), where you will be assessed on your musical potential by independent panellists.

There are many comprehensive guides to funding. The following may prove particularly beneficial:

The British and International Music Yearbook, published by Rhinegold Publishing.

The British Council has lots of useful info for international students. Address: 10 Spring Gardens, London, SW1A 2BN. Telephone: 020 7211 6000

European Funding Guide

The Directory of Grantmaking Trusts, available from Directory of Social Change. Telephone: +44 (0)20 7209 5151

ISM (Incorporated Society of Musicians) funding ideas can be found here.

The following links may also be useful:

When looking for financial support, you may find the Royal Academy of Music is already listed as a beneficiary of certain trusts and foundations. In this instance, please email the Advancement Team (developmentinbox@ram.ac.uk), who can help you decide whether or not it is appropriate to take forward an application of your own. Many organisations that make grants will only support organisations rather than individuals, so please check guidelines carefully (if available) before you submit any application.

Here is a list of the charities, trusts and companies who already help with Academy funding:

  • AF Trust Arts Club
  • Athena Trust
  • Sir John Beckwith Charitable Trust
  • Rainer & Doreen Burchett Trust
  • Calleva Foundation
  • Carne Trust
  • Carr Gregory Trust
  • CHK Charities Trust
  • Drapers Company
  • George Drexler Foundation
  • Ann Driver Trust
  • Music Sound Foundation
  • Allan & Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust
  • Fidelio Trust
  • Finzi Trust
  • Fishmongers
  • Charlotte Fraser Trust
  • Frost Trust
  • Future of Russia Foundation
  • Golden Charitable Trust
  • Khodorkovsky Foundation
  • Leverhulme Foundation
  • Lynn Foundation
  • Mills Williams Foundation
  • PF Charitable Trust
  • Santander
  • Shoresh Charitable Trust
  • Skyrme Hart Trust
  • South Square Trust
  • Steel Trust
  • Peter Storrs Trust
  • Thompson Family Charitable Trust

Crowdfunding is increasingly being used as a vehicle to raise funds towards fees. It enables individuals to raise money online to reach a financial target. Although this is a common route for people raising funds for charity, self-financing in this way needs care and thought. If you use crowdfunding, your ‘project’ must be seen to have value and possibly material benefit to a wider audience. These websites contain useful insights:

In addition, the following organisations may be in a position to help you – but please check carefully to see if you are eligible before approaching them, as criteria often change. Please note the Academy provides this data for information purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the organisations directly.

Anglo-Danish Society Scholarships for postgraduate research are available for Danish students wishing to study in the UK and vice versa.

Australian Music Foundation is a charitable organisation that promotes and celebrates Australian musical life, offering scholarships and awards to Australian musicians pursuing their further musical education outside Australia.

British Spanish Society grants are available to postgraduate students of either UK or Spanish nationality.

Sir James Caird’s Travelling Scholarship: grants and scholarships are available to Scottish postgraduate students for one year, but may be renewed for up to two further years.

Canadian Centennial Scholarship Fund (CCSF) provides awards ranging from £2,000-£5,000 to Canadian men and women for academic and artistic study in the UK.

The Cherubim Music Trust is a charity that loans professional-calibre orchestral instruments for five-year periods to advanced music students aged 15 to 25, who cannot afford one that matches their ability.

China Scholarship Council

The Concordia Foundation provides funding for musicians and ensembles who are currently studying and would like to pursue a performance career in music.

The Coro Nuovo Bursary supports young musicians aged 18 to 26 with a Sussex connection as they embark on a professional career in music.

The Countess of Munster Musical Trust is an annual award towards the cost of postgraduate study in the UK and abroad. Open to instrumentalists, singers and composers undertaking performance-based courses. Interest-free instrument purchase loans are also available for those on the brink of a platform career.

The Cross Trust is open to students of Scottish birth or parentage. Aims include encouragement of performance participation in music and drama. Applicants must demonstrate outstanding merit; financial hardship is also taken into account.

CH Dixon Charitable Trust offers funding for musicians of all ages in England. Apply to RM Robinson, 22 Vicarage Drive, London, SW14 8RX.

Drake Calleja Trust financially supports and artistically nurtures exceptionally talented musicians studying in London. The scholarships are open to classical solo instrumentalists and singers of all nationalities aged 18 and above.

The Elizabeth Eagle-Bott Memorial Fund has annual awards of up to £10,000 to visually impaired organists and other classical musicians. Funding is for any musical activity in preparation for the music profession. Open to UK citizens only. Contact: The Music Advisory Service, RNIB, 105 Judd Street, London, WC1H 9NE. Tel: 020 7388 1266.

Fulbright Commission offers postgraduate student awards to US citizens wishing to study in the UK.

Glasgow Educational and Marshall Trust helps Glaswegian students to advance their academic or vocational qualifications.

Help Musicians UK is the leading UK charity for professional musicians. You can find more information in Where to Start (above).

The Hnatyshyn Foundation is a private charity established by the late Right Honourable Ramon John Hnatyshyn, Canada's 24th Governor General. Each year the Developing Artists Grants Programme provides eight $10,000 scholarships to exceptional young Canadians in post-secondary performing arts training programmes.

London Goodenough Association of Canada (LGAC) offers scholarships for graduate study in London. The LGAC awards scholarships go towards the cost of accommodation at Goodenough College.

Making Music Awards for young musicians: Making Music presents a number of awards, bursaries and prizes to individual musicians, groups and organisations in both the voluntary and professional sector.

The Philharmonia MMSF Instrumental Fellowship Programme (formerly the Martin Musical Scholarship Fund) is a fund administered by the Philharmonia Orchestra for those aged under 25 on 31 January. If you are a UK citizen, the award can be used to study in the UK or abroad. If you are not a UK citizen, the award must be used for study in the UK. You must be studying for a performing career as a soloist, chamber musician or orchestral player. Organists, singers, guitarists and academic studies are not supported by the Fund.

Marshall Scholarships are available for US students to study at the Academy. Separate applications must be forwarded to both the Marshall administration and to the Academy. If the Marshall administration selects you as a potential recipient of scholarship support, that offer will be held until your Academy entrance audition process has been completed.

Oppenheim-John Downes Memorial Trust has awards for deserving artists of any kind, whether writers, painters, sculptors, musicians, dancers, craftsmen or inventors, who are unable to pursue their vocation because of financial hardship. Awards are restricted to persons who are natural born British subjects, of parents both of whom are British subjects, and applicants must be over 30.

Pendle Young Musicians' Bursary was set up in 2012 to give young musicians a chance of gaining substantial funding to help them continue their musical studies. The bursary is open to those aged 17 to 21 years who reside in a specified catchment area.

The Prince’s Trust: for applicants aged 16 to 25 who are not in education, training or employment. Form available online or call 0800 842842.

Royal Over-Seas League Music Competition has four solo awards for Keyboard, Strings, Wind/Percussion and Singers, the winners of which compete for the Competition Gold Medal and First Prize. The solo awards are open to UK and Commonwealth citizens, including former Commonwealth countries, for instrumentalists and singers up to and including the age of 30 at a specified date.

Royal Philharmonic Society has various instrumental, singing, and composition awards.

Scottish International Education Trust provides support to Scots who show exceptional ability and promise.

The Tait Memorial Trust offers annual grants for postgraduate students and young Australian professional musicians (age limit 35) while they’re living in the UK. The grants provide training and performance opportunities and generally help further careers.

The Worshipful Company of Musicians offers a wide range of awards, from a jazz young musician award to the John Clementi Collard Fellowship – an honorarium of £5,000 awarded to a professional musician of standing and experience, aged 27-50.

Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe: awards can be used for any purpose related to advancement of studies. Open to full-time students of any nationality under the age of 28, studying at recognised higher education institutions in the UK. Entries by CD or DVD.

This page gives some funding options based on your country of origin if you come from outside England.

We recommend that international students contact either their own education ministry and/or British Council office for details of possible awards for study abroad.

On this page, we have details specifically for students from Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, India, Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Turkey, the USA and Wales.

Australia

The Australian Music Foundation is a charitable organisation that promotes and celebrates Australian musical life, offering scholarships and awards to Australian musicians pursuing their further musical education outside Australia.

The Tait Memorial Trust offers annual grants for postgraduate students and young Australian professional musicians (age limit 35) while they’re living in the UK. The grants provide training and performance opportunities and generally help further careers.

Canada

Most Canadian provinces offer some financial support if you are studying full time outside the province, for example through the Canada Student Loan Program. Also see Employment and Social Development Canada for government loan information.

The Canadian Centennial Scholarship Fund (CCSF) provides awards ranging from £2,000 to £5,000 to Canadian men and women for academic and artistic study in the UK.

Canada Council for the Arts offers a broad range of grants and services to professional Canadian artists and arts organisations.

The Hnatyshyn Foundation is a private charity established by the late Right Honourable Ramon John Hnatyshyn, Canada's 24th Governor General. Each year the Developing Artists Grants programme provides eight $10,000 scholarships to exceptional young Canadians in post-secondary performing arts training programmes.

London Goodenough Association of Canada (LGAC) offers scholarships for graduate study in London. These go towards the cost of accommodation at Goodenough College.

Quebec, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut offer their own student financial assistance programmes.

China

China Scholarship Council.

Denmark

Anglo-Danish Society Scholarships for postgraduate research are available for Danish students wishing to study in the UK and vice versa.

Germany

There are various funding bodies open to German students wishing to study in the UK, including:

India

Private loan assistance for Indian students is offered through Global Education Management Services (GEMS). The application form is available on the GEMS website, and all applicants will require an Indian relative as co-signer, with assets in India.

Ireland

The Arts Council of Ireland Funding Guide is a useful guide to funding sources.

Irish Heritage Music Bursaries are for Irish composers and performers based in Ireland or Britain. For further information contact Patrick Lennon on 01932 229755 or visit the website.

Scotland

Sir James Caird’s Travelling Scholarship: grants and scholarships are available to Scottish postgraduate students for one year, but may be renewed for up to two further years.

The Cross Trust: open to students of Scottish birth or parentage. Aims include encouragement of performance participation in music and drama. Applicants must demonstrate outstanding merit; financial hardship is also taken into account.

Glasgow Educational and Marshall Trust helps Glaswegians to advance their academic or vocational qualifications.

Student Awards Agency for Scotland provides a range of awards for undergraduate and postgraduate study.

The Scottish International Education Trust provides support to Scots who show exceptional ability and promise.

Spain

British Spanish Society grants are available to students of either UK or Spanish nationality and are awarded for postgraduate studies in any discipline including any field related to the work of the Societies Principal Supporters, who generously fund the scholarships.

Turkey

The Dr Nejat Eczacibasi Foundation offers scholarship opportunities for prospective postgraduate students from Turkey.

USA

Fulbright Commission offers postgraduate student awards to US citizens wishing to study in the UK.

Marshall Scholarships are available for US students to study at the Academy. Separate applications must be forwarded to both the Marshall administration and to the Academy. If the Marshall administration selects you as a potential recipient of scholarship support, that offer will be held until your Academy entrance audition process has been completed.

VA Benefits for US forces veterans: The Academy is registered with the US Department of Veterans Affairs, so if you are a veteran you can get financial support towards your tuition and maintenance costs for studying with us. Further information, including how to apply for this funding, is on this webpage:
https://www.benefits.va.gov/gi...

Wales

The Arts Council of Wales provides a range of awards for study.