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The Royal Academy of Music, founded in 1822 and granted its Royal Charter in 1830, is the UK’s oldest degree-granting music school. Since 1999, it has been a constituent college of the University of London, with around 700 students (approximately 60% of which are postgraduate) based in its Marylebone road buildings.
The Royal Academy of Music offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees: from the University of London BMus degree to masters and PhDs. All undergraduates and postgraduates have the opportunity to study for the LRAM diploma (a music teaching qualification) too. The Academy’s partnership with King’s College London creates an exchange of facilities and teaching, with the RAM’s students given access to the full range of Humanities courses at King’s. The Royal Academy of Music topped The Guardian’s table for music education for the second year running in 2010.
So is the Royal Academy of Music really all that? State of the art facilities, distinguished alumni and rigorously honed teaching practices say so. And it was certainly good enough for Sir Elton John, Michael Nyman, Annie Lennox and Katherine Jenkins to name but a few.
Situated on Marylebone road right next to Regent’s Park, the Royal Academy of Music is right in the middle of London’s cultural melting pot. Its campus is both impressive and expansive, replete with the 450-seat Duke’s Hall, underground vaults, a further opera theatre and recital rooms, museum and courtyards.
What’s more, you’re in one of the musical capitals of the world. London hostsover 32,000 music performances per year; that’s over 600 per week and nearly 20% of them are free. It can be safely said that RAM’s location offers complete immersion in the culture and sound of buzzing London.
To the side of the campus you’ll find the popular Marylebone Village, a trendy (and very posh) area with a vibrant and intimate feel. It has great restaurants, bars, cafés and cake shops galore. Immediately in front of the Academy, is one of the most famous green spaces in London, Regent’s Park, home to landscaped lawns, gardens, playing fields and, of course, the London Zoo.
Sadly, the school doesn’t offer its own accommodation, and the majority of students rent housing privately. Happily, in London, you will be spoilt for choice (although mostly very expensive choice).
The University of London Housing Service can offer assistance in finding and securing private rental accommodation, and London is awash with spare rooms, let privately and going on the cheap.
Because the Royal Academy of Music belongs to the University of London, students can also apply for accommodation in one of the UL’s eight intercollegiate halls. The majority of these halls are located between Russell Square tube station and Euston Station, only a few hundred metres from the Royal Academy of Music’s Marylebone road address. Prices start at about £130 per week, depending on the halls and the room.
On top of the £95 Application Fee, BMus fees for the 2012-2013 academic year are set at £9,000 (UK/EU students). The RAM’s MA courses are priced at £10,000, while their MMus programmes start from £10,200.
There is a wide range of tuition fees spread across the Academy’s “other” courses. See www.ram.ac.uk/fees for more information.
The Royal Academy of Music is based in London, so living costs are high. And it’s in the middle of London, so living costs are very, very high. Generally speaking, you can expect a year in the capital to cost around £11,000 all in.
Students experiencing difficulties with meeting their living costs may apply to the Academy’s ‘Hardship’ fund.
The Royal Academy of Music participates in the National Scholarship Programme, as well as running its own series of scholarships. Its own scholarships are purely based on merit, as they offer scholarships after applicants have auditioned. So as auditioning is part of the Royal Academy of Music’s standard application policy, everybody is in with a chance of landing a scholarship.
The Associate Board of the Royal Schools of Music Scholarship is available every year to one international undergraduate and one international postgraduate student covering fees and part-maintenance. There are also the Julian Bream Trust Scholarships, which are awarded to exceptionally gifted classical guitarists and lutenists, and cover the full cost of tuition fees.
As with most universities, the funds available for scholarships vary each year, although the Academy usually pays out over £1,000,000 per year in bursaries and associated grants. Bursaries are automatically awarded, if appropriate, upon the submission of your student loan application.
Between Shoreditch’s trendy bars, Kensington’s exclusive clubs and the super-clubs in Greenwich (the O2), Elephant and Castle (Ministry of Sound) and Farringdon (Fabric), there’s something BIG going on every night of the week. Music venues include the Carling Academies in Islington and Brixton, and many more, plus there are countless theatres for all you culture-vultures. For your classical music fix, London is home to the Royal Opera House, Barbican Centre, Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall, Coliseum (ENO) and the Southbank Centre. Need we say more?
The RAM Students’ Union organises regular themed parties and other events in its Marylebone road base; whilst the University of London Union in Malet Street has an infamous range of drinks offers, events and themed nights too.
In short, nightlife is endless, varied and pretty darn exciting.
The Royal Academy of Music’s SU runs a packed RAG week and ratifies a wide variety of clubs and societies, such as street dance, yoga, football, plus many more. As the Royal Academy of Music is part of the University of London, RAM students have full access to all of its different sports, leisure and social facilities.
Freshers’ Week at the Royal Academy of Music is rather ambiguously cited as “packed”; but will invariably run the usual gauntlet of massive parties, even larger parties, boat-parties, huge parties, and fancy-dress parties.
Embedded in the Academy’s programme structures, in each and every course, is the push towards live performance and recording opportunities. Their programme, External Bookings, allows students the chance to gain work experience outside of the Academy and even the opportunity to get paid to play at a variety of events. Enough to get you out there and start making contacts, then.
Beyond that, there is the Academy’s Professional Development faculty, which runs a “streamlined and holistic” programme of events, seminars, lectures and training opportunities, and offer advice via the RAM intranet service and ‘drop-in’ guidance.
Finally, the Open Academy Business Placement Scheme feeds students into frontline professional environments within the music industry.