Royal College of Music

Degree level: Undergraduate
UCAS Conservatoires

Bachelor of Music (Honours) - Composition

Course options

Make sure you check on the university, college or conservatoire website for any updates about course changes as a result of COVID-19.

Course summary

Please select this version of the BMus course if you wish to apply for single or joint principal study Composition. The Composition Faculty at the Royal College of Music focuses on both the creative and commercial aspects of being a composer. We aim to build and sustain your craft, be it composition for the concert hall, the opera house or for film, television and media. Composition at the RCM is about partnerships between talented composers who want to write music and gifted instrumentalists who want to perform music. Composers are offered a wholly exceptional performance environment in which they have the opportunity to hear their compositions played by resident and visiting musicians, RCM orchestras, ensembles and fellow students of the highest technical and musical ability. Undergraduate study at the Royal College of Music balances high-level practical training with critical enquiry into music past and present. Students investigate music in context and how it operates in contemporary cultures. The RCM also provides a range of options for developing practical and applied skills. In essence, it includes individual lessons with distinguished musicians; core units in historical, technical, practical, and vocational subjects delivered in small groups; and a variety of performances. Our undergraduate programme is designed to be flexible, especially in years 3 and 4, ensuring you can undertake study directly relevant to your needs and aspirations. A variety of options helps every student develop their interests during their time at the RCM. From the very beginning of the course you will be able to draw on exceptional resources and opportunities, such as the RCM Library, the Centre for Performance Science, Creative Careers Centre and RCM Sparks – our outreach and education programme. Royal College of Music courses are internationally recognised, with successful students awarded their qualifications under the RCM's Royal Charter.

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.

Alternative single specialism

You may audition for two instruments, with the intention of studying one instrument as a single specialism. The outcome of the audition will determine which instrument is taken as the main specialism.

Instrument/specialisms

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

Secondary instrument/specialisms

  • Bassoon
  • Bassoon (Historical Performance)
  • Cello
  • Cello (Historical Performance)
  • Clarinet
  • Clarinet (Historical Performance)

Modules

Years 1 and 2 • Performance studies in Principal, Related, and Second instruments, with regular faculty-based workshops, activities, and opportunities for performance • Training in music education • Courses in music history and performance practice, practical musicianship/stylistic studies, aural awareness, study skills, Alexander Technique, and musicians' wellbeing • Options in music history and stylistic studies topics in Year 2 • Opportunity to fast track to higher levels of study in aural awareness and practical musicianship Years 3 and 4 • Continuing work in performance studies • Creation of a personalised programme of study from a variety of options (offered on either a yearly or two-yearly basis) • Opportunity to undertake an exchange to one of the RCM's partner institutions in Europe, the USA, Australia or Japan.

Assessment method

Assessment for undergraduate students is grouped into subject, general and key skills. The assessment tasks within the RCM's undergraduate courses are varied, including technical assessments, performance exams, take-away assignments and practical assessments in performance or practical modules; unseen written exams, essays, individual and group presentations in academic or theoretical modules; and reflective diaries, workshops, and vivas in skills-based modules.


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:
380W
Institution code:
R56
Campus name:
Main Site
Campus code:
-

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1
  • Year 2
  • Year 3

International applicants

The Royal College of Music has a long tradition of welcoming international students from all over the world. Our broad community of staff and students makes the RCM an exciting and diverse hub of musical activity. Almost half of our students are from outside the UK, studying at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The application form is the same for students of all nationalities.

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

Additional entry requirements

Portfolio

Portfolios must be submitted by the application deadline. Details of how to submit your portfolio are available at http://www.rcm.ac.uk/apply/auditions/


English language requirements

TestGradeAdditional details
IELTS (Academic)5.5Score above refers to overall score. Additionally, a score of 5.5 is required in all components. Results must be within 2 years of course start date in order to be valid.
PTE Academic51Score above refers to overall score. Additionally, a score of 51 is required in all components. Results must be within 2 years of course start date in order to be valid.
Cambridge English AdvancedLevel B2Overall score of 160-179 and no less than 160 in any component.
Trinity ISEPassTrinity ISE II certificate. Must include a pass in all components.

Nationals of majority English speaking countries (as defined by the UK Home Office) are not required to provide proof of their level of English. Some other exceptions apply - please consult our website for details.

The RCM's English Language Requirements are available in full at this link:

http://www.rcm.ac.uk/apply/englishlanguagerequirements/


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
London£105£115
Online Interview£105£115

Joint principal specialism assessment

LocationOn-time FeeLate Fee
London£160£170
Online Interview£160£170

Additional information

Composition applications are assessed through a two stage process. Composers audition by submitting a portfolio of work to the RCM for consideration. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to an interview. Please see www.rcm.ac.uk/composition/auditionrequirements/ for further details of how to submit your portfolio.


Unistats information

Operated by the Office for Students

There is no data available for this course. For further information visit the Discover Uni website.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

No fee information has been provided for this course

Additional fee information

Our tuition fees are still to be confirmed for 2022. More information can be found at www.rcm.ac.uk/apply/feesandfunding/

Sponsorship information

The RCM is able to support many students with scholarships thanks to the generosity of charitable trusts, companies, businesses, individual members of the public and legacies. Any applicant, regardless of nationality, who attends an audition/interview will automatically be considered for a scholarship or study award. There is no separate application process. Scholarships are awarded on merit based on performance at audition.

Bachelor of Music (Honours) - Composition at Royal College of Music - UCAS