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 will be 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:

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;

Beginning in the 2021/22 academic year, BMus students from the UK, and those 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 a Waiver Bursary.

  • Students whose household income is £25,000 or below will automatically receive a £3,000 Waiver Bursary.
  • Students whose household income is between £25,001 and £33,500 will automatically receive a £2,000 Waiver Bursary.

UK 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.

EU 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.

EU 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. Please note that from the 2021/22 academic year, the fee waiver is replaced by a Waiver Bursary.

Your household income will be put into the Student Finance system and if you meet the eligibility criteria for the Waiver 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 Waiver 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

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, will provide two four-year scholarships for black UK or international undergraduate students starting in September 2022.

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.

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 Academy awards (a maximum of two per annum), 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 only to applicants from the Royal Academy of Music, studying 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 £15,000. Academy students who fit the eligibility criteria for the Nina Finburgh Scholarships, but who are in need of more substantial financial support, may elect instead to apply directly to the Snowdon Trust, which runs an annual funding call based on comparable criteria. 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.

To apply you will need to submit:

Application form

The application is your opportunity to explain why you are the right person for a Nina Finburgh Scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music. We want to understand how your skills and aptitude have developed to date and your commitment for continued improvement. In short, we are looking at how closely you fit the “ideal candidate” criteria. Please provide clear and concise answers to each of the questions.

Personal reference

The personal reference is a letter of support from someone of appropriate standing (not a family member), who has known you personally for at least two years and can comment with authority on your suitability for a Nina Finburgh Scholarship. Primarily, we are looking for comment on your personal qualities and how you fit our ideal candidate criteria. It should also include comment on your disability, how this impacts your life and learning and how you cope/manage it. Please ensure that your referee has read our criteria and that their reference addresses these.

Academic reference

You should supply one reference from an academic referee who is in a position to comment on the standard of your academic work and suitability for postgraduate level study. Where this is not possible, we will accept references from other sources that provide evidence of your ability to undertake postgraduate study and suitability for your chosen programme (for example an employer or colleague). We cannot accept academic references from family members, partners or spouses. This can be the same document that was used in support of you application for your postgraduate degree.

Applications are now closed for the coming academic year. Applications for the 22/23 academic year will open in early 2022.

Read the privacy policy here.

See the Snowdon Trust for more information about the national scholarships and grant scheme.

The Athena Scholarship supports students, normally resident in Greece, who are coming to study at the Royal Academy of Music. The award of an Athena Scholarship is made to candidates, both undergraduate and postgraduate, across all musical disciplines, for the duration of their studies at the Academy.

The award was first made in 2012, and since then has been granted to more than 17 students.

There is no separate application process for the Athena Scholarship: eligible candidates are automatically considered after the entrance auditions that take place at the Academy in December each year. In the following spring, successful candidates will be notified that they have been offered an Athena Scholarship that will commence at the beginning of the new academic year.

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.

In partnership with the British Council and the GREAT Britain Campaign, the Royal Academy of Music is offering two scholarships to students, one each in China and Indonesia, applying for postgraduate courses in any music discipline.

The GREAT Scholarships 2021 programme, launched by the British Council together with 41 UK universities, supports postgraduate students from Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand to access world-class UK higher education opportunities.

The scholarship programme offers financial support of a minimum of £10,000 to students pursuing one year postgraduate study in the UK. Students can apply for courses in a range of subjects, at the 41 institutions across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

All Indonesian and Chinese nationals who apply to one of our one year Post Graduate programmes before 31st March 2021 will be considered for a GREAT scholarship. All applications need to be made by via UCAS Conservatoires, please see the application pages of our website.

Scholarships will be awarded on the basis of audition (performance) or interview (composition). The recipients of the GREAT scholarships will be confirmed on 18th June 2021. The scholarship will be awarded following enrolment in September 2021.

Please note that applicants should be passport holders of China and/or Indonesia.

For more information on the GREAT Scholarships 2021, please visit Study UK and the British Council website in your country.