Financial Support

The Academy supports undergraduate and postgraduate students based on both merit and need. Occasionally we can assist those facing extreme financial hardship. We rely on the generosity of individuals and charitable organisations to provide financial support and every effort is made to increase the amount available to us on an annual basis.

Apart from our own resources, students should also seek Government support where possible. In particular UK and EU undergraduate students should enquire about tuition fee loans and, if applicable, maintenance loans. Similarly, UK and EU Masters and Doctoral students should explore the possibility of loans to assist with the costs of study. Details of how to apply can be found under the Government Support heading. The UK Government has confirmed that European Union (EU) students who begin their study programmes in September 2019 will be eligible for financial support.

Students are particularly encouraged to begin their own search for financial support as early as possible as the Academy’s own resources, significant as they are, cannot support everyone. As well as the many leads on the following pages, don’t be afraid to approach local businesses and/or others 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 categories of support 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 applications are, more often than not, those that demonstrate successes to date, goals and achievements, aspirations looking forward, as well as an honest outline of financial resources already in place, both hoped-for and required. 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.

Scholarships and Bursaries

Overview

A significant number of our students receive financial help of one kind or another. These derive from a significant pool of individual supporters as well as a large portfolio of bequests that add to the Academy’s overall resource. A flowchart demonstrating the Academy’s awards process is available here.

Scholarships

Entrance Scholarships (except for Gap Year and Study Abroad programmes) are awarded on the basis of merit following a live audition 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. Scholarship disbursement for UK and EU BMus students is processed through the Student Loan Company payment mechanism after a loan application has been made. See the UK Government's Student Finance pages for details of how to make the loan application.

Bursaries

Bursaries may be applied for by students who are seeking additional help towards the cost of their studies. Students are invited in January to submit an online Financial Assistance form outlining their financial situation for the following 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 link to the Financial Assistance form is sent automatically to eligible students. UK and EU home fee paying undergraduate students are not usually eligible for RAM bursary assistance because they can access tuition fee loans. In exceptional circumstances, however, consideration for bursary help might be considered.

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.

Government Support

UK and EU undergraduate students (home-fee status) 

BMus students can get tuition fee loans to cover the tuition costs

Fee loans are funded by the UK government and are administered through the Student Finance Company.

EU students: The UK government has confirmed that tuition fee loans will be available for eligible EU students who join their Bachelor degree programme in September 2019, for the duration of the degree course: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/further-financial-support-for-uk-and-eu-students  

UK students can also apply for maintenance awards to assist with living costs. The UK Government's Student Finance pages have details of the application process.

If you are a Bachelor Degree student and a European Union (non-UK) citizen, you do not need a National Insurance (NI) number for your tuition fee loan application. If you do not have an NI number you should leave the National Insurance number box blank in the loan application form. However, if you already have an NI number, or if you get a job in the UK and are allocated an NI number, you should include it in the application form or contact the Student Finance Company's European Team call centre on +44 (0)141 243 3570 to tell them the number.

UK and EU Masters and Doctoral students (home-fee status)

The UK Government provides direct financial support to help UK and EU students fund study for a Master’s qualification (MA or MMus) and for the PhD through the Postgraduate Student Loan scheme. Details are available on www.gov.uk/funding-for-postgraduate-study. You apply online for these loans, and the UK government has provided these guidelines for the Student Finance England loan:

  • The UK government has confirmed that these loans will be available for eligible EU students who join their degree programme in September 2019, for the duration of the degree course: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/further-financial-support-for-uk-and-eu-students  
  • Masters degree students: if your Academy programme starts on or after 1 August 2019, you will be able to borrow up to a maximum of £10,609 for your whole course in total, as a contribution to the costs of the postgraduate study programme (tuition fees and/or any other costs associated with study, including living costs). Only Masters degree programmes will be eligible for this funding, other postgraduate programmes (certificate or diploma programmes) are not eligible. The Masters courses can be for one or two years full-time. For a two year course, you receive half the loan amount in each year.
  • Doctoral students (normally resident in England) can borrow up to £25,000 for the whole programme, pided into equal amounts for each year of the programme.
  • Payments will be made direct to students in termly instalments by the Student Loan Company (SLC).

You can find full details, including eligibility criteria, on www.gov.uk/masters-loan and www.gov.uk/doctoral-loan 

Other Support

Professional and Career Development Loans (UK nationals only)

The Academy is a Professional and Career Development Loans (PCDL) registered Learning Provider, registration number 2437. A PCDL is a commercial bank loan that you can use to help pay for work-related learning. For further information about PCDL financial assistance to support your learning, please visit https://www.gov.uk/career-development-loans or contact the National Careers Service on 0800 100 900. PCDL will close to new borrowers in 2019, so loans are only available for current students or those joining their programme in September 2018. The final date for students to submit applications, including top ups to any existing loans, will be Friday, 25 January 2019.

Erasmus+ Master Loan 

An Erasmus+ Master Loan is available for eligible students from Programme Countries towards the costs of studying on a Masters degree at the Academy, which holds an Erasmus Charter for Higher Education. 

For more details please see the Erasmus+ webpage www.erasmusplus.org.uk/master-loan.

Hardship

In cases of extreme financial hardship that may arise during the course of the academic year, the Academy might be able to assist in a limited way. Applications for this funding must be directed to the office of the Deputy Principal and Dean after you have enrolled. All students are eligible and will be means-tested.

Personal Research and Other Useful Contacts and Links

Personal Research

Whilst there are many trusts and individuals who welcome applications for support, there are some with whom the Academy works directly (see list here). In these cases, the Academy will determine who receives these awards as part of its internal processes, so students do not need to request nomination nor should they contact the trust or donor direct. 

Other Useful Contacts


The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding

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 – that make awards to current and prospective taught and research postgraduate students. It pulls together details about funding sources that may be less familiar to you. If you are a prospective student, please email registry@ram.ac.uk to request the PIN access code. Current Academy students can use the guide by logging in with their Academy email address.

Charities are an underrated funding resource, and often make awards to students of any subject and any nationality. Securing funding also boosts your CV. The guide has been 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. The Alternative Guide is independently published by GradFunding.

Help Musicians UK

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

Please note that ‘Help Musicians UK Postgraduate Awards’ are allocated after direct nomination from the student’s conservatoire (the Academy does this through the bursary procedure).

Other Useful Links

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 (for international students), 10 Spring Gardens, London, SW1A 2BN. Telephone: 020 7211 6000

The European Funding Guide 

Directory of Grantmaking Trusts: this is available from the Directory for Social Change, telephone +44 (0)20 7209 5151

The following links may also be useful:

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 using crowdfunding in this way your ‘project’ must be seen to have value and possibly material benefit to a wider audience. These websites may contain useful insights:-

Academy-specific awards


ABRSM Scholarships

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 audition at our December session in London. 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 Admissions 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 £5000 for the duration of both undergraduate and postgraduate study.

The UK/EU (Home fee) scholarships cover full tuition fees for postgraduate study. Undergraduates receive £6000 (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.

Julian Bream Trust Scholarships

These are available to exceptionally gifted classical guitarists and lutenists, who wish to study at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Each Julian Bream Trust Scholarship is awarded on the basis of musical merit and may cover the full cost of fees at the rate set by the Academy for Home/European Union students.

The selection of each nominee for a Julian Bream Trust Scholarship is carried out by the Royal Academy of Music in accordance with its normal auditioning procedures and criteria. If your audition is successful, the Academy will pass your details to the Julian Bream Trust for consideration. 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, in order to be eligible for a Julian Bream Trust Scholarship.

International Students House Residential Scholarships

There are currently six placements at ISH comprising bed and half board for the duration of studies. 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. International Students House Residential Scholarship Scheme

The Nina Finburgh Scholarship

The aim of the Nina Finburgh Scholarship is to give a small number of exceptionally talented disabled students an opportunity to achieve their full potential. These are open to applicants for the MA, MMus, Professional Diploma or Advanced Diploma programmes. The awards, generously supported by the Snowdon Trust, are intended to help make a difference to each recipient’s future as well as to the lives of others. More details are available here.


Other possible funding sources


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 individual organisations direct

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 available to Scottish postgraduate students, tenable for 1 year but may be renewed for up to 2 further years.

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. 

China Scholarship Council Website – http://www.csc.edu.cn/

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

The Countess of Munster Musical Trust: Annual awards towards cost of postgraduate study in UK and abroad. Open to instrumentalists, singers and composers undertaking performance based courses. Also interest-free instrument purchase loans for those on brink of platform career

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 also taken into account.

C H Dixon Charitable Trust: Funding for musicians of all ages in England. Apply: R.M. Robinson, 22 Vicarage Drive, London, SW14 8RX

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

The Charlotte Fraser Foundation is a charity that has been awarding scholarships and bursaries to postgraduate students since 2000. These awards are now open to British woodwind and brass postgraduate students who have received offers of places on MMus courses at the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music.

Fulbright Commission: Postgraduate Student Awards to US citizens wishing to study in the UK

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

Help Musicians UK: Help Musicians UK is the leading UK charity for professional musicians. [Also, see above]

Hnatyshyn Foundation is a private charity established by the late Right Honourable Ramon John Hnatyshyn, Canada's twenty-fourth 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 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. 

Martin Music Trust: for those aged under 25 on 31st 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 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: Awards to deserving artists of any kind whether writers, painters, sculptors, musicians, dancers, craftsmen or inventors who are unable to pursue their vocation by reason of their poverty. 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: 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 16–25 who are not in education, training or employment. Form available online or call 0800 842842.

Royal Over-Seas League Music Competition: The 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: Various instrumental, singing, and composition awards.

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

Tait Memorial Trust: Annual grants to postgraduate students and young Australian professional musicians to provide training and performance opportunities and generally help further careers whilst living in UK. Age limit 35.

The Worshipful Company of Musicians: John Clementi Collard Fellowship – Honorarium of £5,000 awarded to professional musician of standing and experience, aged 27-50. Designed to give financial assistance to an individual of outstanding ability who is prevented by financial stringency from exercising and exploiting his/her talent. Candidate must show excellence in one or more of higher branches of musical activity, i.e. composition, research, performance (incl. conducting). May be nominated or apply directly.

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

Country Specific Information

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. 

Information for non-UK students about working in the UK is available in the Student Finance section of our International Students page.

On this page, we have details specifically for students from Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, India, Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Turkey, the USA (including information about Federal loans), 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 provides annual grants to postgraduate students and young Australian professional musicians to provide training and performance opportunities and generally help further careers whilst living in UK. Age limit 35.

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. 

The Canada Council offers a broad range of grants and services to professional Canadian artists and arts organizations. 

The Hnatyshyn Foundation is a private charity established by the late Right Honourable Ramon John Hnatyshyn, Canada's twenty-fourth 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 towards the cost of accommodation at Goodenough College. 

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

China


China Scholarship Council
Website – http://www.csc.edu.cn/

Denmark


Anglo-Danish Society Scholarships for postgraduate research are available for Danish students wishing to study in the UK and vice versa. More details and an application form are available here.

Germany


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

Evangelische Studienwerk Villigst

Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Studienförderung

India


Private loan assistance for Indian students is available 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. 

Scotland


Sir James Caird’s Travelling Scholarship: grants and scholarships available to Scottish postgraduate students, tenable for 1 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 also taken into account.

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

Student Awards Agency for Scotland provide 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: Postgraduate Student Awards to US citizens wishing to study in the UK

Marshall Scholarships are available for 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.

U.S. Federal Direct Loans

The Academy is a designated institution for American students enrolled on a degree programme (Bachelor, Masters or Research) to apply for a Federal Direct Loan or for deferment of payment on an existing Federal loan account. All enquiries about U.S. loans should be directed to the Academy’s Admissions Manager.

Information book about USA Student Loans 

We have an information book for students who take U.S. Government Direct Loans, this includes Consumer Information. It is updated regularly, so please check back for any revisions; we are pleased to provide a paper copy of this on request.
Also, the US Department of Education has a web page for studying outside the USA.  

Here is a brief summary, but please read the Information book for complete details:

  • Tuition fee deposit and loan disbursements: Please note that Federal loan funds are not disbursed until after you have enrolled on your study programme. This means the 25% advance deposit payment which is due in the Spring will have to be sourced independently, for example with a credit-card payment or a short-term bankloan, and you will also need to bring enough money with you for at least one month’s living costs at the start of the academic year. Loan payments are split into three equal instalments, paid around the start of each term (trimester) after initial enrolment; this is division of payment is a legal requirement, and also minimises the interest which begins accruing on the loan from the disbursement dates.
  • How to apply: To begin the loan process, you must first complete the FAFSA application form online through the FAFSA website.
    The Academy’s School Code Number is G11764 and the DOE code is 006696.
    Your actual loan application through studentloans.gov should be made after 1st May and preferably by the end of the July preceding the start of your study period, to ensure that the Academy has time to check and authorise the loan during the summer before you arrive. A new loan application and relevant MPNs will be needed for each year’s study.
  • Confirmation of loan funds for visa application: To support an application for a Tier 4 UK Student Visa, you will need an original letter which confirms the certified loan amounts.Further information about this is in our US Loans guide leaflet available through the link above. You will also need a Visa Sponsor number (CAS number) from the Academy, this is issued on request after you have formally accepted your study place, paid the initial 25% tuition fee deposit, and met the conditions of entry stated in your offer letter.
    See also our information for International Students and Immigration Advice.
  • Policy Documents: The Academy’s policies are published here (PDF format) for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4)

USA Private Loans

You can take a private loan as a partial or full replacement of the loan options offered through the US Government’s Direct Lending scheme. The Academy is registered with SallieMae and can authorise Smart Loans; application is either directly through SallieMae or through Global Education Management Services. Please make your loan application after 1st May to ensure that any credit checks remain valid until loan certifications are processed during the summer.

  • Tuition fee deposit and loan disbursements: Please note that private loan funds are not disbursed until after you have enrolled on your study programme. This means the 25% advance deposit payment which is due in the Spring will have to be sourced independently, for example with a credit-card payment or a short-term bankloan, and you will also need to bring enough money with you for at least one month’s living costs at the start of the academic year. If you are not using the loan funds to support a visa application, the loan will normally be disbursed in two equal instalments, one around the start of the academic year after you have enrolled, and the other during the Spring term, and if you prefer three termly instalments can be arranged if you request this from the Admissions Officer after you've submitted your loan application for certification.
  • Confirmation of loan funds for visa application: If you are using a private loan as proof of your finances for a Tier 4 UK Student Visa (see above), you will need an original letter from the loan provider, not from the Academy, and the loan has to be distributed in one single payment so interest on the entire amount will be calculated from the payment date. 

Wales

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