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Course summary

The Royal Academy of Music offers research degrees in Performance Practice and in Composition. The deadline for the UCAS Conservatoires application is 12 January 2024, midday UK time. The Academy’s research degrees are aimed at performers and composers who already have highly developed skills and focused career aspirations, including those with a well-established career. You will work with an individual supervisor and a team of creative staff at the Academy to develop your work through engaging in a substantial research project. This will normally be directly connected to and driven by your creative activity as a performer or composer but will also require you to establish a research context and undertake a process of investigation and critical reflection. The Academy offers an integrated PhD degree over four years, although students can exit with an MPhil after two years. Research degree candidates are assessed on their ability to gain the PhD qualification; they join the MPhil programme as 'probationary' PhD students; transfer to PhD normally takes place after one or two years. During your studies you will be allocated 30 hours of supervision per year, which can be divided between academic and practical supervision as negotiated with the Postgraduate Programmes Board and your supervisor. The fourth year of study is a writing up year.

Course details

Principal study options

During the application and audition process, you must select which instrument(s) you wish to specialise in for the duration of your course. On this course, you can choose from the following options:

Single specialism

Only one instrument is studied. It may be possible to study a further instrument formatively, but this will not contribute towards the qualification.


For all courses, you must select at least one specialism from the 'primary' list. For those studying primary/secondary pathways, two instruments may be selected – one from the 'primary' list and one from the 'secondary' list. Joint pathway students may select any two instruments from either list.

Primary instrument/specialism

  • Composition
  • Performance Practice

Assessment method

Please see the information on

How to apply

*If you are an international applicant, or you are applying for a postgraduate course, or are choosing certain assessment locations, the 'on time' deadline may be later in the year - please contact the conservatoire directly.

Application codes

Course code:
Institution code:
Campus name:
Main Site
Campus code:

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

International applicants

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. The second-round interviews are held in March; you can attend an in-person interview in London, or you can select "Video interview (Research)" as your audition location.

Entry requirements

An upper second-class honours Bachelor degree and it is preferable also to have a Master’s degree.

Additional entry requirements


English language requirements

TestGradeAdditional details
IELTS (Academic)7Minimum score of 5.5 in every section of the test.
PTE Academic76Minimum score of 59 in every section of the test for candidates who need a student visa.
TOEFL (iBT)95Minimum scores for Reading: 18, Listening: 17, Speaking: 20, Writing: 17.

We accept IELTS Online, TOEFL iBT and TOEFL iBT Home Edition. PTE Academic, PTE Academic Online and Cambridge C1 Advanced.

English Language requirements are published on our website:

Assessment locations

In the event of a successful assessment, applicants may be invited for a further interview prior to being made an offer.

Remote assessment recordings may be accepted in the event that you cannot attend an assessment in person.

Single specialism assessment

LocationOn-time FeeLate Fee
Video interview (Research)£100£100

Joint principal specialism assessment

LocationOn-time FeeLate Fee
LondonNot available at this location
Video interview (Research)Not available at this location

Additional information

There are two rounds in the assessment process. Your application will require a detailed proposal and we recommend that you get in touch to discuss your ideas with one of the supervisory team prior to applying. Initial enquiries should be sent to Dr Tom Reid, Postgraduate and Research Administrator [[email protected]]. Please include a brief description of your project so that Tom can direct your enquiry to the correct member of staff. For the first round of your application you upload your proposal and supporting documents into the Acceptd portal by 31 January. Detailed information about the document requirements, including a link to the Acceptd portal, is available on the Academy's website Performance Practice candidates also should upload their thesis proposal. Composition candidates do not upload the thesis proposal for the first round. If you are selected to proceed to the second round, you will be invited to an interview during March. You can attend an in-person interview in London, or you can select "Video interview (Research)" as your audition location.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

No fee information has been provided for this course

Additional fee information

Tuition fees are available on
Research Degree Programme at Royal Academy of Music, University of London - UCAS