Master of Music

The RNCM’s Master of Music (MMus) meets the needs of the music professional, and is ideal for those who have a strong vision of where their future is heading.

Helping you to shape your desired career through a personalised approach to study, you’ll refine your creative and technical skills through one-to-one Principal Study training, specialist classes and masterclasses, lectures and seminars, and a range of performance opportunities. You’ll also have an opportunity to apply for valuable real-world experience through an external professional placement, and benefit from performance, audition and networking opportunities with our professional industry partners.

Programme Overview

Duration: 2 years, full-time/1 year intensive, full-time (not available in Conducting)
UCAS Conservatoires Codes
2 years – 820F/1 year intensive – 823F

Performance (including Répétiteur Studies and Accompaniment):
2 years – 801F/1 year intensive – 805F
2 years (Conducting) – 807F
2 years (Popular Music) – 701F/1 year intensive – 702F

Applications open: 12 July 2023
Deadline for on-time applications: 2 October 2023

The programme consists of 180 credits and is focused around Principal Study (composition, conducting, performance or popular music), which forms the major component in each year of study. Students also have the opportunity to pursue studies in a related Specialism preparing them for research degree-level study, specifically Artistic (practice-based) Research, Musicology, Music Education, and Music Psychology.

Click here for fees.

Entrance Requirements

Qualifications and Standards

All MMus entrants must pass an RNCM audition and hold a good honours degree or equivalent (normally in Music: FHEQ Level 6). Candidates must be able to satisfy the College that they have already achieved an advanced standard in their main discipline area and have the potential to develop further towards a professional level of attainment.

Candidates whose first language is not English must meet the English language requirements for this course. These are IELTS 6.0, with no less than 5.5 in each component (or equivalent as defined by UKVI). Some options within the course may require IELTS 6.5 or 7.0.

Direct Entry (Accreditation of Prior Learning)

In some cases, candidates who have completed relevant modules of a postgraduate (Level 7) qualification at a recognised Higher Education Institution may be considered for direct entry into year 2 of the RNCM MMus programme. In the first instance, please email details of your prior learning (summary of educational background and copies of transcripts) to [email protected]

Supporting Documents and Academic Assessment

All applicants are required to submit an academic transcript of undergraduate studies achieved to date and an example of prior written work demonstrating academic referencing in electronic format (e.g. Word document, PDF) via Acceptd.

Examples of prior written work must:

  • Be in history or analysis of music
  • Written in English
  • Total no more than 1000 words (a section drawn from a larger essay is acceptable)
  • Be original work by the applicant (a plagiarism test will be conducted)

The work will be assessed by academic staff members using the following Marking Guidelines for Written Work.

Please note: all MMus applicants are also required to undergo an academic assessment once they succeed in their audition.

Programme Details

Routes Available

Composition: builds on skills such as compositional craft, technique, and creative conception, and explores areas including interpretative and reflective skills, approaches to different repertoire, and enhanced presentation and communication.

Performance: Focuses on training in advanced level techniques, styles and practices of musical performance or conducting, and the development of critical and reflective approaches to relevant repertoire. Assessment for Popular Music can include a combination of performance and original composition at the student’s choice.

Principal Study

Double Bass
Bass Guitar
Electric Guitar
Vocals (Popular Music)
Répétiteur Studies
Cor Anglais
E-flat Clarinet
Contra Bassoon
French Horn
Tenor Horn
Euphonium/Baritone Horn
Drum Kit


All MMus students benefit from:

  • Regular Principal Study tuition and a wealth of performance and professional opportunities both at the College and externally
  • Vocational and academic elective modules that complement specialist tuition and performance activities
  • Flexible modes of performance/composition assessment allowing for your major College-led performances (e.g. major operatic roles or concerto performances) to be counted towards your final degree
  • Support from an appointed mentor who will advise you through your selection of options and in preparation for your final performance/portfolio


Year 1:

  • Performance/composition activity (60 credits) complemented by access to a mentor and tutors who will support you in your choice of modules and discuss with you your career aspirations
  • Two elective modules (60 credits) drawn from a wide range of activities, enabling you to develop a portfolio of practical, vocational and research-based areas of activity relevant to your own professional development

Year 2:

  • Performance/composition activity (60 credits), which can be assessed either through traditional recital or composition portfolios or through a flexible diet of possible performance/composition assessment formats (e.g. major operatic roles or concerto performances, subject to approval) to count towards your final degree
  • Repertoire Research (30 credits) through which you will undertake and present research into your chosen performance repertory or compositional activity delivered through seminars and one-to-one tutorials
  • A further elective modules (30 credits) of supporting practical study drawn from a wide range of activities

The MMus is also available as a 1-year programme with the same credit structure as above.

Optional Modules

Aural Analysis and Critique
Composition Elective
Conducting Elective
Contemporary Songwriting
Dissertation (research module choice)
Dalcroze in Context (research module choice)
Dalcroze Eurhythmics and Dynamic Rehearsal
Electronic Experimental Ensemble
The Freelance Musician
Musicianship for Instrumentalists
Musicianship for Vocalists: Consort Singing
Practical Pedagogy
Professional Audition
Professional Placement
Research Lecture Recital (research module choice)
Research Methods: Artistic Research, Musicology, Music Education or Music Psychology (research module choice)
Repertoire Project (research module choice)
Small Ensemble Performance

Click here for module descriptions.

Further Study and Research Modules

A number of the electives within the MMus programme also provide excellent preparation should you decide to progress to higher-level studies in performance and/or research, such as the RNCM’s MPhil/PhD programme or the Postgraduate Diploma (International Artist).

The Advanced Postgraduate Diploma: Advanced Studies in Performance/Composition is for those with Master’s-level qualification who wish to pursue a further year of study and training within a world-class conservatoire.