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Graduate Diploma in Vocal Performance

RCM singer in the Britten Theatre
The RCM’s Graduate Diploma in Vocal Performance equips non-conservatoire graduate singers with the additional specialist vocal and ancillary training necessary for them to match the range of skills and experience of conservatoire graduates. This course is also ideal for conservatoire graduates who feel they would benefit from additional training before undertaking Masters level study.

Overview


UCAS code
 420F
Start date September 2018
End date July 2019
Duration 1 year full-time


The Graduate Diploma in Vocal Performance is primarily intended for graduates from three-year degree programmes. It provides a learning experience equivalent to the final year of an undergraduate performance degree at the RCM.

This one-year course is normally intended to be taken on a full-time basis in order to reinforce its equivalence to final year undergraduate study. 

During your time on the Graduate Diploma you will develop your linguistic and dramatic skills and build or reinforce a solid vocal technique. Singers who demonstrate potential for significant vocal achievement, but who lack appropriate formal grounding, will have the opportunity to develop their repertoire knowledge.

By the end of the year you will have a vocal technique capable of sustaining the increased demands of more advanced study and assisting the voice to mature satisfactorily. You will have a broad familiarity with the nature of the vocal repertoire, coupled with a core of works known in some detail. In addition you will have facility in the principal European languages of the vocal repertoire and an informed awareness of the main national types. Your movement skills and knowledge of stagecraft will have advanced and you will begin to develop the ability to combine these with vocal accomplishment in operatic performance.

Crucially, you will foster a realistic perception of your suitability for further study and/or future professional career prospects, based upon critical self-evaluation and an awareness of the demands and opportunities of the profession.

If you achieve a result of 65% or more at the end of the course, you will automatically have the opportunity to progress to a Masters degree in vocal performance – leading to either the MPerf or MMus qualification. This allows for intensive technical work to be undertaken without interruption for audition preparation.

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

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 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.

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Facilities

We continually invest in our facilities to ensure RCM students have the very best opportunities. Our impressive performance spaces are matched by top-quality academic and technical provisions, such as our historic library and professional grade studios. The Royal College of Music is proud to offer some of the finest facilities anywhere in the world.

The RCM’s largest performance spaces are the Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall, which has an illustrious history, and the 400-seat Britten Theatre, which boasts excellent technical facilities for the RCM’s thriving International Opera School. In addition, more intimate spaces include The Parry Rooms, which have unparalleled views of the Royal Albert Hall, and our 100-seat Recital Hall.

As well as practice rooms and space for one-to-one and group teaching, the RCM contains dedicated opera rehearsal spaces, 11 Amadeus Music Pods and organ rooms. We have over 140 pianos, including 60 grand pianos and 20 early keyboards, instrument storage with special facilities for harps and double basses, plus in-house instrument workshops.

RCM Studios is a top commercial-grade facility, equipped with the latest audio, video and composition technologies, supporting the RCM’s recording needs and enabling live broadcast of performances around the world.

The RCM Library contains more than 400,000 items of printed music, 9,000 CD recordings, extensive music literature, more than 400 music journals, plus an internationally renowned collection of original manuscripts (including examples from Mozart and Elgar) and early printed editions.

The RCM Museum holds more than 1,000 instruments dating from the late 15th century to the present day, some of which are the earliest known examples of their kind. The collection is a unique resource and many of the instruments can be studied or played by RCM students.

The public museum is currently closed for refurbishment, but its vital resources are still available to our students. 

We continually invest in our facilities to ensure RCM students have the very best opportunities. Our impressive performance spaces are matched by top-quality academic and technical provisions, such as our historic library and professional grade studios. The Royal College of Music is proud to offer some of the finest facilities anywhere in the world.

The RCM’s largest performance spaces are the Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall, which has an illustrious history, and the 400-seat Britten Theatre, which boasts excellent technical facilities for the RCM’s thriving International Opera School. In addition, more intimate spaces include The Parry Rooms, which have unparalleled views of the Royal Albert Hall, and our 100-seat Recital Hall.

As well as practice rooms and space for one-to-one and group teaching, the RCM contains dedicated opera rehearsal spaces, 11 Amadeus Music Pods and organ rooms. We have over 140 pianos, including 60 grand pianos and 20 early keyboards, instrument storage with special facilities for harps and double basses, plus in-house instrument workshops.

RCM Studios is a top commercial-grade facility, equipped with the latest audio, video and composition technologies, supporting the RCM’s recording needs and enabling live broadcast of performances around the world.

The RCM Library contains more than 400,000 items of printed music, 9,000 CD recordings, extensive music literature, more than 400 music journals, plus an internationally renowned collection of original manuscripts (including examples from Mozart and Elgar) and early printed editions.

The RCM Museum holds more than 1,000 instruments dating from the late 15th century to the present day, some of which are the earliest known examples of their kind. The collection is a unique resource and many of the instruments can be studied or played by RCM students.

The public museum is currently closed for refurbishment, but its vital resources are still available to our students. 

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.

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Entry requirements

Applicants require an undergraduate degree, diploma or equivalent international qualification in any subject, or equivalent experience.

The RCM welcomes applicants from all backgrounds and alternative qualifications may be considered. If your qualifications are not listed here, please contact our Admissions team, who will be happy to discuss your suitability for the programme.

English language requirements

All applicants must be able to demonstrate that their level of English language ability meets the Royal College of Music’s minimum requirements in order for their application to be accepted.

If you require a visa to study at the RCM, you must meet the English language requirements before the RCM is permitted to sponsor your visa application.

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How to apply

The application deadline for entry in 2018 has now passed. Late applications may still be considered for some courses and principal studies. Please contact our Admissions team to check before submitting an application. Applications for entry in 2019 will open in summer 2018.

Applications are made through UCAS Conservatoires, where you can apply simultaneously to all the institutions that are members of Conservatoires UK. You can track your application, find out when your audition is and get the results of your audition all on UCAS Conservatoires. You can also confirm your decisions online.

Applicants interested in second study, joint principal study or alternative study are reminded to submit only one application. If you submit two applications you will be charged twice.

All application fees are paid online through UCAS conservatoires.

Visit UCAS Conservatoires

UCAS Conservatoires application fees

Using UCAS Conservatoires incurs a £25 administration fee. This is in addition to our application fees. You cannot use another system. Both the application and administration fees are paid online through UCAS Conservatoires. If you encounter any problems with their payment system please contact their support team.

All late applications are subject to an additional fee of £10.

If you change your mind about applying, you can contact UCAS Conservatoires to cancel and request a refund. To be entitled to a refund you must cancel within 14 days of the date you submitted your application. You can find further details about how to do this, and also information about amending your application details, on the UCAS Conservatoires website.

Auditions

The Royal College of Music holds auditions in London, Asia and the USA. Auditions for all courses and all principal studies can be undertaken in London. Auditions for most courses and principal studies can also be undertaken in Asia and the USA. In some cases, candidates may be able to apply by recording instead.

Application deadlines, application fees, audition dates and the availability of RCM accompanists varies between locations.

Choosing where to audition

Most auditions will last approximately 20 minutes. You should ensure that you are familiar with the audition requirements as stipulated by the Vocal Faculty.

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 team

Admissions and general audition enquiries

admissions@rcm.ac.uk