Many of our students receive financial help of one kind or another.
Scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit and bursaries are given to students based on financial need. Both come from a pool of individual supporters and portfolio of bequests that add to the Academy’s overall resource.
How the process works
- After auditioning, you may be offered a place, either with or without a scholarship.
- All international students and UK/EU postgraduates are also invited to apply for financial assistance (bursary).
- You should then accept your place and submit your financial assistance application online by 31 January (for offers made in December).
- The Bursary Committee meets at the end of February and will notify applicants if they’ve been awarded a bursary in early March.
- If financial assistance is not awarded through the bursary process, you can apply for hardship funds (more information below) after enrolment is completed at the start of the academic year.
All scholarship awards are ongoing for the duration of your study programme, unless otherwise stated, and are subject to satisfactory progression and engagement with the course.
Please note, if your course is extended for an extra year, scholarship awards are not automatically renewed.
Exchange or Study Abroad students are not eligible for Academy bursary or scholarship support.
Entrance scholarships (for degree and diploma students) are awarded on the basis of merit following your audition assessment (either by live audition or by video recording) during our advertised audition sessions. Composers are assessed for scholarships on the basis of their second-round interview. There is no separate application process for scholarships.
Scholarships range from small awards to full fees. Most awards are to help with tuition fees, although undergraduate scholarships for UK students, and EU students eligible for UK student finance, are administered as maintenance awards for living costs (unless the scholar wishes the award to go towards fees to prevent taking out a loan).
Scholarship disbursement for UK and eligible EU BMus students is processed through the Student Loans Company payment system after a loan application has been made, and payment is to your UK bank account. To open a student account, after you have completed enrolment you can ask Registry for a letter that confirms this, using the ‘Request Form for Bank Letter’ available on the Academy's Intranet.
Gap Year and Organ Foundation students are not eligible for Academy scholarship support.
If your course is longer than one year, the scholarship award will be reviewed each year and will depend on your satisfactory progression and engagement with the course.
Scholarships for the Research Degree (MPhil/PhD) are for the standard full-time supervised enrolment period, i.e. excluding the writing-up period.
Bursaries are given to students based on financial need. The Financial Assistance application form is automatically sent to all eligible students (via an online link) when they are made an offer by the Academy, and in January to eligible enrolled students who will be continuing on their course in the next academic year.
Funds vary from year to year and the Academy always tries to help as many students as it can, although not all applications are successful. The Academy awarded 258 students with bursaries in academic year 2020/21 with most bursary awards in the region of £1000-£2000.
UK-fee undergraduates are not usually eligible for Academy bursaries because they can access Student Finance tuition fee loans and maintenance support. However, from September 2021 we are offering Waiver Bursaries as payments for UK-fee students in the most challenging financial circumstances.
We also recommend that international students contact either their own education ministry and/or British Council office for details of possible awards for study abroad.
In order to make a successful online bursary application you need to demonstrate that you are:
1. Applying for any tuition fee or maintenance loans that are available in your country.
2. Applying for external funding from as many funds as possible. See here for more information: ram.ac.uk/study/fees-scholarships-and-bursaries/...
3. [Non-UK students:] Contacting your own education ministry and/or British Council office for details of possible awards for study abroad.
4. Prepared to work during the long Academy vacations.
Once you have submitted the form your Financial Assistance application will be discussed by the Bursary Committee at its next meeting, you can expect to be notified of the decision within ten weeks.
The Committee will make one of three decisions:
a. Bursary awarded: this is likely to be in the region of £1,000 - £2,000.
b. Application on hold: the Committee may postpone making a decision on your application if you are waiting to hear the outcome of external funding applications.
c. Unsuccessful application: the most common reasons for bursary applications being unsuccessful are that steps 1 – 4 above are not demonstrated.
Bursaries are awarded for one academic year only, so students need to make a new application if they require bursary support in subsequent years of study.
Hardship funds may be available to enrolled students who find themselves in particular difficulty due to unforeseen circumstances. Applications should be directed to the office of the Deputy Principal and Dean after you have enrolled. All students are eligible and will be means-tested. For enquiries, email Sarah Low; email@example.com.
BMus students from the UK, and those BMus students from the EU who are eligible for UK Student Finance, can provide their household income details to Student Finance when applying for a loan. If the income is below a certain amount, they will receive an Income Bursary.
- Students whose household income is £25,000 or below will automatically receive a £3,000 Income Bursary.
- Students whose household income is between £25,001 and £33,500 will automatically receive a £2,000 Income Bursary.
UK BMus students – your household income details will be drawn from HMRC records after you’ve completed your online loan application and consented to share your details, you will need to include your National Insurance number in your loan application and agree to be means-tested.
EU BMus students – if you cannot apply online for a tuition fee loan, you must download, print and complete the loan application on paper and return it as instructed on the form. You will then be emailed a link to a bursary form, which you print out, complete and return by post to the Student Finance EU Office with the requested documentation.
NB EU BMus continuing students: you are only income assessed once, usually at the start of the course; you will not need to complete the income assessment again but you must renew the loan application each year.
Your household income will be put into the Student Finance system and if you meet the eligibility criteria for the Income Bursary, the calculated amount will be paid to your UK bank account through the Student Finance system in three termly instalments.
Student Finance will ask you for your UK bank details if they do not have them when the Income Bursary is assigned to your loan application. If you are coming to the UK to join your course, you will be able to open a UK bank account after you have enrolled. You will need a Bank Letter which you request from the Registry using the online request form on the Academy Intranet.
Academy Specific Funding
This special scholarship programme is offered to up to 12 students each year on the basis of merit and need. No separate application process for the scheme is necessary. Candidates are considered automatically as part of the Royal Academy of Music’s Selection Board following the annual auditions.
The scholarship can include full tuition and maintenance fees. It also includes bespoke opportunities for career advancement and artistic development, ranging from a professional recording to enhanced personal tuition with globally renowned performers.
Beyond the musical opportunities, the programme invites scholars to become part of the Bicentenary network, encouraging international collaboration and support with artistic endeavours. There is an annual reunion, alternating between London and Italy, for all past and present scholars and students of the Bicentenary Scholarship Programme and the Mascarade Emerging Artists Programme. The network continues to support scholars and artists after graduation, as they shape their careers and begin to make their mark on the music industry.
Each year the Royal Academy of Music awards six ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) scholarships, on the basis of merit, to candidates who attend our audition sessions in the autumn. There are two awards for international-fee students, two for UK home-fee students and two for EU home-fee students: one each for undergraduate and postgraduate study.
No separate application process to the ABRSM is necessary. Candidates are considered automatically by the Royal Academy of Music’s Selection Board following the auditions, and recommendations are then made directly to the ABRSM.
The international scholarships cover full tuition fees and a generous maintenance award of £5,000 for the duration of both undergraduate and postgraduate study.
The UK/EU (home fee) postgraduate scholarships cover full tuition fees. UK/EU undergraduate scholarships are for £6,000 (which can be put towards fees or living expenses) for the duration of the undergraduate programme of study. UK/EU students do not receive extra scholarship assistance for maintenance.
Sony Music UK, in partnership with composer and pianist Alexis Ffrench, provides up to two four-year scholarships for black UK or international undergraduate students.
The scholarships are funded by Sony Music’s Social Justice Fund, created in June 2020 to support social justice, equal rights and anti-racist initiatives around the world. The Academy’s Awards Committee will distribute these awards to candidates who are registered to study performance and/or composition and there is no separate application process.
- Outstanding talent as determined through the usual audition process
- Priority will be given to candidates who are ethnically and culturally diverse, and are currently underrepresented in the musical theatre industry
- Potential to act as a role model to encourage students from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds who aspire to careers in musical theatre
- Disney Theatrical Productions and the Royal Academy of Music are committed to encouraging greater ethnic and cultural diversity in the industry and to enabling outstandingly talented artists from underrepresented backgrounds to take advantage of the world-class training and opportunities the Academy has to offer.
These are available to exceptionally gifted classical guitarists and lutenists who gain a place at the Academy. Each Julian Bream Trust Scholarship is awarded on the basis of musical merit and the award varies each year.
The Academy selects nominees during normal auditioning procedures. There is no separate scholarship application process.
Applicants may be of any nationality but must be under 20 years old for undergraduate and under 26 years old for postgraduate programmes at the date of enrolment.
International Students House offers a small number of scholarships comprising bed and half board for the duration of your course. These are awarded to students from low-income families who live in developing countries and who have been offered fee scholarships from the Academy. There is no application process. The Academy will make nominations to ISH following internal consultation.
The aim of the Nina Finburgh Scholarship is to give exceptionally talented disabled students an opportunity to flourish and achieve their full artistic potential. These competitive awards, generously supported by the Snowdon Trust, are intended for the next generation of disabled young people who will become leaders with the ability to influence and innovate in their chosen field.
The Nina Finburgh Scholarships are open to applicants from the Royal Academy of Music, studying a taught degree at Master’s level or above (on the MA, MMus, Professional Diploma or Advanced Diploma programmes). Those applying will need to demonstrate exceptional talent, passion and determination to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals, thereby providing inspiration and an example to others. Nina Finburgh Scholarships may be awarded up to the level of £30,000.
Academy students can opt to apply for the Nina Finburgh Scholarships via the Academy or directly to the Snowdon Trust. Students who are successfully nominated by the Academy will automatically be short-listed for consideration for a Nina Finburgh scholarship. The Snowdon Trust’s own scholarship scheme is open to Master’s-level students studying across the UK and the volume of applications received is therefore likely to be significant. Academy students cannot apply for both funding opportunities, so are encouraged to think carefully about which route is best for them.
Please note too that the Snowdon Trust also runs a separate grants scheme where students can apply directly for help with additional disability related costs that are not fully provided for by available statutory funding. Being in receipt of a Snowdon Trust-funded scholarship does not preclude a separate application for a Snowdon Trust grant.
Applications via the Academy are made through Acceptd. In “Select Program” choose Snowdon Trust and Nina Finburgh Award 2022/23. More information about the scholarships and the selection criteria can also be found here.
Applications via the Academy are now closed.
See the Snowdon Trust for more information about the national scholarships and grant scheme.
The Hans Keller Scholarship is awarded annually to an exceptionally gifted postgraduate student in the Department of Strings. Awardees may be of any nationality.
The scholarship covers full tuition fees. There is no separate application process: the Academy selects nominees for the Hans Keller Scholarship during normal auditioning procedures.
The scholarship is funded by the Cosman Keller Art and Music Trust, in memory of the musician and writer Hans Keller (1919-1985), who was a dominant force in British musical life for forty years after the second world war.
More information about the scholarship and about Hans Keller can be found at the Cosman Keller Art and Music Trust website.