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Incoming postgraduate exchanges

Flags hanging in the RCM canteen
Exchanges provide a fantastic opportunity to experience student life in London, one of the world’s great centres of music making. Exchange students have full access to the RCM’s world-class professors, facilities and performance opportunities during their stay, and many students forge professional contacts and friendships that can last a lifetime.

Overview


Start date September 2023
Duration 1 term, September-December


Every year the RCM welcomes students to study on our exchange programmes from our partner institutions across the globe. The RCM currently has exchange partnerships with a range of institutions across Europe, and in the USA, Australia, Japan and South Korea.

Exchange students are not required to pay tuition fees to the RCM. You should register and pay your fees at your home institution as normal. Similarly, the RCM does not charge an application fee for exchange students.

The information below may be subject to change due to the UK’s departure from the European Union. Please ensure that you check regularly for updates.

Useful information for incoming exchange students

Partner institutions

The list below shows the RCM’s current partner institutions for student exchanges. We are currently in the process of renewing our agreements with our European partners, so this list may be subject to change for exchanges commencing in 2023 and beyond. You can check the latest information by speaking to the exchange co-ordinator at your home institution.

If your institution is not listed then it does not have an agreement with the RCM and unfortunately it will not be possible to apply for an exchange.

  • Conservatorium van Amsterdam
  • Universität der Künste Berlin
  • Koninklijk Muziekconservatorium Brussels
  • Hochschule für Musik Cologne
  • Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst Mannheim
  • Royal Danish Academy of Music, Copenhagen
  • Koninklijk Conservatorium, The Hague
  • Sibelius Academy, Helsinki
  • Musikhochschule Karlsruhe
  • Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Lyon (*not available for incoming exchanges in 2021)
  • Musikhögskolan i Malmö
  • Norges Musikkhøgskole, Oslo
  • Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris 
  • Academy of Performing Arts (HAMU), Prague 
  • Universität Mozarteum Salzburg
  • Kungliga Musikhögskolan i Stockholm
  • Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Stuttgart
  • Staatliche Hochschule für Musik Trossingen
  • Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht
  • Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Vienna
  • Filmuniversität Babelsberg "Konrad Wolf", Potsdam
  • Manhattan School of Music, New York
  • Eastman School of Music, Rochester, New York State
  • Sydney Conservatorium
  • Kyoto City University of Arts
  • Korea National University of Arts

Please note that agreements with partner institutions may vary in future years.  

When your exchange will take place

All postgraduate exchanges take place in the Autumn Term (September to December).

Erasmus

The UK Government has decided that, following the UK's withdrawal from the EU, the UK will no longer be a programme country in the European exchange scheme, Erasmus+. However, funding may still be available to students from institutions in Erasmus programme countries to undertake mobilities in 'third countries' like the UK. Speak to the exchange co-ordinator in your home institution to find out what funding options may be available to you.

The RCM is currently in the process of renewing/renegotiating our exchange agreements with our European partner institutions. Therefore, please note that information on European partner institutions for exchanges in 2023 and beyond is subject to change.

Recognition of your exchange

The RCM uses the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (FHEQ) credit system. The FHEQ credit system converts easily into the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), with 2 RCM credits equalling 1 ECTS credit. The structure of our courses is fully compliant with the Bologna Process, with a standard full-time academic year being worth 120 RCM credits (60 ECTS).

Please note that the RCM does not use module codes.

All RCM courses run for a full academic year with examinations at the end of the year. Most exchange students leave at the end of the Autumn term and are not at the RCM when examinations take place so they do not normally undertake any formal assessment during their stay. Credits are therefore not awarded to these students for completion of individual modules. 40 RCM credits (equal to 20 ECTS) are awarded for successful completion of the overall exchange period, which is defined as successful completion of principal study lessons and any other activities specified on a student’s Learning Agreement.

At the end of the exchange period students are provided with an Exchange Transcript by the RCM. This will be used by your home institution to recognise your period of study at the RCM and convert the credits you have gained to the system of credit used in your country.

Royal College of Music courses are internationally recognised as full degree courses with successful students awarded their qualifications under the RCM's Royal Charter.

Postgraduate study at the RCM

Postgraduate study at the Royal College of Music balances high-level training in solo, chamber and ensemble performance 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.

The nature of your postgraduate experience at the RCM depends on your principal study specialism. In essence, it includes individual lessons with distinguished musicians; optional units in academic, technical, practical, and vocational subjects delivered in small groups; and a variety of performances.

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 ScienceCreative Careers Centre and RCM Sparks – our outreach and education programme.

Please note, the RCM is unable to accept conductors on its exchange programmes. The RCM does not offer any courses in jazz or music theatre and we are not currently able to accommodate exchange students on our Master of Education (MEd) or Master of Science in Performance Science (MSc) programmes.

One-to-one lessons

One-to-one lessons are at the very heart of every RCM student’s learning experience. The RCM’s impressive list of professors includes renowned instrumental and vocal soloists, distinguished repertoire and operatic coaches, prominent composers and conductors, plus principal players in major London orchestras such as the LSO, Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra and Royal Opera House Orchestra. Our world-class professors offer students, not only first-rate teaching, but also mentorship and networking opportunities.

All principal studies are delivered through a combination of one-to-one tuition complemented by performance classes, workshops, masterclasses, lessons from visiting professors, ensemble activities, seminars and lecture series as appropriate.

Performance opportunities

RCM students enjoy a wide variety of performance opportunities including orchestral and choral projects, chamber music and solo opportunities, performance in jazz and historical instrument ensembles. The RCM runs a busy events calendar of more than 500 events every year, the vast majority of which feature RCM students.

Faculty-based performance activities include chamber music and duo performance coaching, orchestral training, performance classes, acting and language classes (for singers), music technology (for composers), reed making (for double reed players) and improvisation (for organists).

Composition at the RCM fosters partnerships with the College's large body of gifted instrumentalists. Composers will hear performances of their own works in a variety of contexts and have the opportunity to benefit from a range of collaborations, which we host regularly with artistic organisations in London and beyond.

Find out more about performance opportunities

Facilities

The Royal College of Music is proud to offer its students fantastic practice and performance facilities with resources to support teaching and learning. We continually improve our facilities to ensure RCM students have the best opportunities.

Explore our facilities with a video tour of the RCM

Key facilities at the RCM include:

  • The Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall - our primary performance venue for orchestras and large ensembles.
  • Our 400-seat Britten Theatre, home to the RCM’s thriving International Opera School.
  • A new Performance Hall, offering an alternative space for ensembles, with a retractable stage, Fazioli grand piano and variable acoustics.
  • Intimate spaces for solo and chamber performance in our Performance Studio and Parry Rooms.
  • Sound-proofed Amadeus Music Pods for private practice.
  • A purpose-built percussion suite – you can watch a video tour on YouTube.
  • Over 160 pianos, including 60 grand pianos and 20 early keyboards, as well as organ rooms.
  • A Blüthner Practice Suite which holds ten Blüthner Model A upright pianos.
  • Instrument surgeries including luthier services.
  • RCM Studios: a commercial-grade facility, enabling live broadcasts around the world.
  • Digital Innovation Lab: a state of the art recording and mixing suite.
  • RCM Library with more than 200,000 scores, books and recordings in its lending collection, as well as access to more than 400 music journals.
  • Recently refurbished RCM Museum, holding more than 14,000 instruments, portraits and images, as well as a climate-controlled performance space and dedicated research facility.

Find out more about RCM facilities

Career development

The RCM’s Creative Careers Centre, which is recognised internationally for its innovative approach to supporting young musicians, provides an unparalleled service to current students and recent alumni. The dedicated team partners with leading consultants, reputable arts organisations and local communities, delivering unique career-building opportunities and a direct route to the music industry.

The work of the Creative Careers Centre allows students to discover their professional identity, gain hands-on experience and new skills, develop an entrepreneurial mind-set and build a fulfilling professional portfolio.

Extensive performance and teaching opportunities are available, as well as valuable guidance on CV and biography writing, concert programming, communication skills, project management, marketing and publicity, online promotion, financial matters and how to develop a business idea.

Find out more about the Creative Careers Centre

Entry requirements

To apply for the RCM Exchange programme, first check that your institution has a student exchange partnership with the RCM (see above). The RCM can only consider applications from students nominated by existing partner institutions. You should then talk to the Exchange Co-ordinator at your home institution to check their selection procedures for exchange.

You must have completed at least one year of study at your home institution to be eligible for exchange.

English language requirements

The official teaching language for all classes is English. There is no requirement to demonstrate your level of English prior to joining the RCM exchange programme, but it is strongly recommended that you have a minimum standard of at least IELTS 5.5 (or equivalent) before arrival to enable you to participate fully in your course.

There are specific requirements for non-EEA students on full year exchanges, who require a Student visa to study in the UK.

Find out more about requirements for Student visas

Course catalogue

The guide below provides details of what you will study during your exchange at the RCM, including information about optional modules and credits.

On arrival at the RCM in September you will have a one-to-one consultation with the Head of Postgraduate Programmes to discuss the exact requirements of your home institution and to tailor your programme of study to your personal requirements. This is an opportunity for Erasmus exchange students to make final adjustments to their learning agreement.

If you need any academic advice regarding your programme of study at the RCM, you are welcome to contact the Head of Postgraduate Programmes.

Dr Diana Salazar

Director of Programmes

international@rcm.ac.uk

How to apply

The deadline for September 2022 entry has now passed. Applications for exchanges beginning in September 2023 open in early January 2023.

Applications should be submitted online using the AEC’s EASY application portal.

Applications submitted via post/e-mail will not be considered. When completing the application form you should upload:

  • Academic transcript showing your studies to date
  • Reference from your current professor
  • Your audition video/portfolio

Your audition

Performers must submit a video recording of approximately 20 minutes in duration. 

Composers must prepare a portfolio of three contrasting works. Scores are required, and recordings may also be submitted if available.

All recordings/portfolios must uploaded in EASY as part of your online application.  Most video formats are accepted, or audio recordings in mp3 format. Links to YouTube videos are also accepted.

Please do not post hard copies of your audition materials to the RCM, as these will not be considered.

What happens next?

Once your application arrives at the RCM, it will be considered by the Head of Faculty and members of the RCM's admissions committee. We aim to notify candidates of the result of their application by the end of May.

Useful information for exchange students

Enquiries

If you have any questions about studying at the RCM or about the admissions process please contact our Admissions team, who will be happy to help you.

Admissions

Admissions and general audition enquiries

+44 (0)20 7591 4362

admissions@rcm.ac.uk