International students

At the Academy we pride ourselves on our diverse international community.

Over 800 students study here every year, with around sixty different nationalities from all over the world. Everything you need to know as an International Student (how to apply, auditions, accommodation, courses, teachers, and more) is dealt with in the relevant sections of this website, and this page has summary information about these areas:

  • Immigration advice
  • English Language Support
  • Health Information
  • International Students’ House
  • Student Finance - Banking, Working in the UK

The Academy’s truly international community is similarly varied, with many cultures and nationalities represented. 

Watch a video from Visit Britain featuring many Academy people, including Head of Composition Philip Cashian.

Help and advice for International Students

Before you arrive at the Academy, you can contact the Admissions team in the Registry. All new students are formally welcomed to the Royal Academy of Music in the Enrolment Week before the start of full term. During Enrolment Week there will be opportunities to meet your department administrator and senior members of the academic staff including Tutors.

When you are here, the International Officer of the Students’ Union and the Counsellor, Dani Singer, are available to help you with any problems, including those arising from cultural differences.

You may also find the British Council’s Education UK website useful.

The Prepare For Success website has an interactive web learning tool for international students who are getting ready to come to the UK.

English Language Support

The Academy has a team of specialists dedicated to supporting students who need to develop their communication skills in English. Our English Language tutors have much experience with coaching students from other parts of the world, including Asia, and they have knowledge of the arts. Depending on their particular needs, some students will be invited to attend a short intensive English course at the Academy before the start of the academic year. Other students will attend weekly language classes throughout the academic year in support of their studies; these classes can lead to an assessment designed to focus students’ work and to give them a formal indication of their progress.

In addition, all students can benefit from the Help Desk run by English Language tutors. This is a facility for students seeking help or advice for specific communication tasks, or for those who want to improve particular English skills. 

Postgraduate English Language Tutor: Zella Phillips

Undergraduate English Language Tutor: Gill Barnes 

Admissions ManagerEdward Kemp-Luck

English Language requirements for International Students

Please see our English language requirements page. 

Immigration

Please see our separate Immigration advice section.

Language requirements for UK visas

For students joining a university study programme, the UK Home Office (UK Visas and Immigration - UKVI) requires an overall score of at least IELTS 5.5 or Pearson 51, and also each individual element of the test (reading, writing, listening, speaking) must have score no lower than IELTS 5.5 or Pearson 51. Full details, including exemption eligibility, can be found on our English Language page.

Health information

If you are not from the UK but are studying on a course of 6 months duration or more, you can register with a doctor (GP) and receive health care from the National Health Service (NHS) on the same basis as UK citizens. Please look at the UKCISA Health and Healthcare advice page for guidance about this, and note the following details:

  • If you have a visa to enter the UK, the visa application process includes a Health Charge which allows access to the NHS.
  • If you are from country in the European Economic Area (EU plus Iceland, Norway and Lichtenstein) or Switzerland, you must obtain an EHIC health insurance card from the health authority in your own country before departing for the UK, if you are not taking comprehensive private health insurance or will not be using health form S1, S2 or S3 (see the europa.eu web page). This requirement comes from the EU Directive concerning the free movement of persons and is therefore transposed into the UK's implementing EEA Regulations. We advise that you also read this guidance from UKCISA for EU/EEA/Swiss nationals about comprehensive sickness insurance and how this can affect your right of residence in the UK. 
  • If you do not require a visa but cannot get an EHIC, for example if you are an EEA national but normally live outside the EEA, you should have comprehensive sickness insurance.

If you intend to travel outside the UK during your studies, we recommend you purchase an annual travel insurance policy before leaving home.

More information is available on our Health web page. 

International Students’ House

International Students’ House is a few minutes’ walk from the Academy. It offers accommodation to international students during the academic year as well as short-stay accommodation. There are also numerous social facilities including a bar and restaurant, which Academy students are welcome to use whether or not they are resident at the House.