Royal Northern College of Music


This Scholarship is for Graduate Study at Doctoral level at the RNCM and will be for two years (with a possibility of a third year). If awarded a RNCM Marshall Scholarship candidates would be expected to study at the RNCM.

The RNCM is in its fifth decade, but with a rich history spanning back to 1893 when Sir Charles Hallé founded the Royal Manchester College of Music. In 1973 this institution merged with the Northern School of Music, and the RNCM was born. Today, the College is a thriving international conservatoire with 450 staff and 700 students from 50 different countries.

We are committed to developing The Graduate School as a significant centre for music research which brings benefits to the musical world and society at large. Our staff are passionate about their respective fields and strive to ensure the relevance of their research, teaching and learning to the real world of professional music.

Performance is at the heart of everything we do. Complementing our role as an internationally-renowned conservatoire, the RNCM is a thriving performance venue. Staging over 450 events each year in our world-class performance venues, we were recently ranked the 7th best venue in the UK for live music by the PRS for Music Report 2012.

World class research

The RNCM’s international reputation for excellence in music research is based on the breadth of its innovative activities, highly engaged staff and supportive environment, where the emphasis is on investigating all aspects of the creation, performance and learning of music within the dynamic setting of a working conservatoire.

Research and reflection is at the heart of the RNCM’s approach to Graduate School courses, all of which include practice-based investigation and enquiry. Our students are taught by specialists in their fields, all of whom are themselves engaged in cutting-edge research projects alongside their teaching, that lead to compositions, performances, recordings, workshops, books and articles, scholarly music editions, and web-based sources. In turn, this knowledge directly informs every aspect of our teaching and learning programmes, so that students benefit from teachers who are not only expert practitioners, but also passionate and committed thinkers, creators and communicators.

RNCM research impact in the community

We are committed to being a centre for music research that brings benefits to the musical world and society at large. Research staff and students are connected with the UK and international academic community and professional arts organisations, through collaborative research partnerships and a wide range of dissemination activities. We regularly host international conferences, and our weekly Research Forum meetings are open to the public and bring together students, staff and guest specialists from all walks of musical life to discuss new ideas in every branch of music, from composition to music psychology, pedagogy to performance.

Working in collaboration with a range of professional partners, we are engaged in a range of pioneering projects with chances for students to be involved through placements with professional orchestras, arts organisations, health organisations and education institutes.

 Research groups

The RNCM’s reputation for excellence in music research is based on a breadth of innovative activities and practical experiment that makes the College so distinctive from other conservatoires and university music departments:

 • Research in musicology: RNCM staff are working on a wide range of musicological research, including aspects of the history and performance practice of repertoire from the 15th to the 21st centuries.

• Composition: RNCM composers are active researchers, collaborating with performers and working to national and international commissions in music ranging from chamber and orchestral music to jazz, opera, video installation, electronica and in many media, including live performance, radio, web-based performance and recording

• The Centre for Music Performance Research: undertakes research in a wide variety areas linked to music performance, including music psychology, pedagogy and practice as research, An example is our work on the health problems that can affect student and professional musicians. The outcomes of this research reaches an international audience, raising awareness of health issues among music students. The Centre hosts the on-line peer-reviewed open access journal, Music Performance Research (

Research Degrees

The RNCM offers research degrees (MPhil and PhD) in collaboration with Manchester Metropolitan University. Current students are undertaking research on a wide range of topics, including composition, performance, historical musicology, music psychology and music education. For further information, please contact