The Royal College of Music (RCM) is delighted to announce it has achieved an overall rating of GOLD for its outstanding teaching and learning provision in the first ever Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

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Royal College of Music
Prince Consort Road
London SW7 2BS
United Kingdom



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The TEF assessed higher education institutions against a set of common criteria covering many different aspects of teaching and learning. Based on a mixture of statistical evidence and additional commentary submitted by each institution, the assessment was carried out by peer review panels comprised of experts in teaching and learning as well as student representatives. The TEF relates to undergraduate learning and teaching only and is intended to provide clear information to prospective students about where the best provision can be found.

The TEF outlined three main areas for evaluation: teaching quality; learning environment; and student outcome and learning gain.

Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the Royal College of Music delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.

The RCM’s excellent facilities and digital learning resources, intensive small group and one-to-one teaching and processes for course design and assessment were noted.

The panel also recognised the support, skills and knowledge offered to students via the RCM’s Creative Careers Centre including our Teaching Service, working with the community via our Sparks outreach programme, and our Professional Engagement Service.

Professor Richard Wistreich, the Royal College of Music’s Director of Research comments; ‘The TEF provides a thorough evaluation by a diverse panel of external academic peers and underlines the high quality teaching on offer at the Royal College of Music.’

Professor Colin Lawson CBE, Director of the Royal College of Music comments; ‘The RCM’s dynamic learning and teaching environment is world-leading and I am delighted that our TEF result reflects the inspirational education available to Royal College of Music students.’

The outstanding TEF result follows the RCM being named the London conservatoire with the highest percentage of world-leading research in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF).  The RCM is also ranked as the top institution for performing arts provision in Europe in the QS World University Rankings 2017.

About the Royal College of Music (RCM)

Founded in 1882, the Royal College of Music (RCM) is a world leading music conservatoire with a prestigious history and contemporary outlook. Their 840 undergraduate and postgraduate students come from over 60 countries and are taught in a dynamic environment, leaving the RCM to become the outstanding performers, conductors and composers of the future.

The RCM’s International Opera School is one of the world’s most prestigious training centres for opera, with many of the world’s leading singers having passed through their doors. As well as presenting three fully-staged opera performances a year, which are attended by international press and agents, the International Opera School also provides singers with opportunities to participate in workshops with significant members of the opera world, as well as a popular Opera Scenes series where singers work with professional directors in semi-staged scenes.  Many students of the School move straight into young artist schemes at some of the world’s leading opera houses, or directly into fully fledged careers.

The RCM was ranked by The Guardian as the leading Higher Education Institution in the UK for studying music, as the top conservatoire in the UK and Europe and second in the world for the Performing Arts in the QS World University Rankings 2017 and as the top UK conservatoire in the Complete University Guide’s Arts/Music Institution League Table 2017.

RCM professors are leaders in their fields and, under such expert guidance, RCM students regularly achieve remarkable success around the globe.

Among their alumni are composers and performers such as Sir Hubert Parry, Benjamin Britten, Gustav Holst, Sir Colin Davis, David Helfgott, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Lord Lloyd Webber, Dame Joan Sutherland, Sir James Galway, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Mark-Anthony Turnage and Alfie Boe.

Regular visitors to the RCM to teach and demonstrate are Maxim Vengerov (Polonsky Visiting Professor of Violin), Bernard Haitink, Sir Thomas Allen, Vladimir Ashkenazy and Lang Lang. Their most recent honorary doctorates include Vladimir Jurowski, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Sir Roger Norrington, Bryn Terfel and Steve Reich.

RCM and TEF

The Teaching Excellent Framework appraised the RCM as below;

• Systematic mechanisms in place to ensure that course design and assessment practices provide scope for outstanding levels of stretch.

• Students engaged with developments from the forefront of practice, and consistently and frequently involved in these activities through professional exposure throughout their studies to the work of leading professional orchestras.

• Highly intensive teaching in small groups and in one-to-one contexts that form a very considerable part of the students’ learning experience.

• High-quality learning and teaching environments and excellent digital resources that are used by students to enhance learning.

• An exemplary Creative Careers Centre including a Teaching Service, Sparks, and the Engagement Service that enable student acquisition of knowledge, skills and understanding that are most highly valued by employers

• An institutional culture that facilitates, recognises and rewards excellent teaching. This is embedded across the College with processes to support staff actively engaged in scholarship and securing fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.