Topic outline

  • Financial Assistance


    Here you will find relevant resources to help you search for funding from external bodies.

  • About Funding Assistance

    During your studies and beyond, you will likely consider applying for funding at some point - whether for study costs, or to help start a new project or artistic endeavour. Here are some key things that will help you navigate the funding world:

    1. Build a list
    You should start by compiling lists of funders you want to apply to. Funding wizards are a good place to start, but failing that - google is your friend.

    2. Check deadlines and eligibility
    Funders will have strict deadlines for applications and usually only meet once or twice a year. Some will also have set criteria i.e. supporting musicians from a particular region. Read their criteria thoroughly before applying.

    3. Get in touch
    It can be daunting at times, but remember that funders exist to help people and projects - and on the other end of an email address or telephone number is a person. Don't hesitate to pick up the phone and have a chat before making an application, as you might glean some important information on what to include in your application. It's also a good way to make sure you are already in their minds beforehand.

    4. Write, edit, and sleep on it
    Whether you are filling out an application form or writing something from scratch, give yourself time to re-read it. Make sure you are addressing all the criteria in the form, never use three words when two will do, and remember who is reading it.

    Don’t leave it too late!
    You should already be looking for funding for the next academic year towards the end of the first term of the current academic year. Some of the major funding bodies, for example the Countess of Munster Charitable Trust, will open applications in January and close them in February. Be sure to plan well in advance!

    Funding wizards will help you identify which sources of funding you may be eligible for. In addition, you will find useful guides to help you make an application, and which offer advice on how to set out your curriculum vitae and covering letter.

    6. We are here to help
    If you would like someone to read through and check your application once you have written it, please contact or or visit the Development Office -  we share an office with Marketing and can be found found on the first floor of the Oxford Road Wing. Please note that whilst we will endeavour to help you where possible, our capacity is sometimes limited.


    For more information on funding available via the college and the Access to Learning scheme please contact Student Finance.

    Please read: The RNCM receives the kind support of a number of charitable trusts and foundations who donate money to the College to be used for scholarships and bursaries. These organisations have taken the decision to donate directly to the College, rather than to individuals, so they should not be approached by RNCM students. These are:

    • South Square Trust

    • Stanley Picker Trust

    • Ann Driver Trust

    • D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust

    • The Leverhulme Trust (please note this is not the same as the Leverhulme Trade Charities Trust)

    • The Oglesby Charitable Trust

    • The Stoller Charitable Trust

    • The Helen Rachael Mackaness Charitable Trust

    All students who apply for a bursary with the College will automatically be considered for awards from these organisations.

  • Sources of Funding


    The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding

    This funding database contains over 800 charities, each one with a short description and contact details. The database is searchable by age, nationality, subject, and also has a free text search to enable you to make customised searches. You can also find videos and guidance here, which will take you through each stage of the funding process.  A fantastic place to start if you are, or are about to be, a postgraduate student!

    Follow the link and click option 2 in the BLUE box to login 

    The Countess of Munster Musical Trust

    As well as being a major source of funding for musicians, the Countess of Munster Musical Trust website also contains useful information about other funding sources – trusts, awards and competitions. Make sure to also check out their Frequently Asked Questions section!


    In addition to Trusts found within the Funding Wizards, the Countess of Munster page (above) lists supporting organisations that offer instrument loans.


    We recommend that international students contact either their own education ministry and/or British Council office for details of possible awards for study abroad. However, there may be useful funding information relevant to you on the following sites:

    The British Council
    10 Spring Gardens, London, SW1A 2BN. Telephone: 020 7211 6000


    A Guide for Overseas Students, Directory of Grantmaking Trusts
    These are available from the Directory for Social Change, telephone +44 (0)20 7209 5151

    The Rushworth Trust ; Telephone: 0151 -227 5177   Email:

    The Rushworth Trust is based in Liverpool, and it aims to support the furtherance of music education. It is a small charity, and makes grants to individual applicants of up to £500. Awards are restricted to individuals living within 60 miles of Liverpool Town Hall.

    The Elizabeth Eagle-Bott Memorial Fund

    The EEBMF provides financial support of up to £2000 for visually impaired musicians and grants of up to £5000 for organisations and other third parties whose work supports the activities of VI musicians


    If you are an individual or ensemble looking to raise funds for a particular project, you might want to consider crowdfunding, which you to raise money online to reach a financial target. These websites might be of use:-

    CV Writing Guidelines & CV Bank

    Click on the below for some guidelines and a useful CV example.

    Guidelines for CV Writing

    Other Resources:

    Royal Philharmonic Society Young Musicians Programme Awards

    European Funding Guide, including information on scholarships

    Karl Jenkins Award  

    'The Arts Club - Sir Karl Jenkins Music Award' was recently established to help young instrumentalists in the pursuit of their careers. 

    Karl Jenkins will be joined on the jury panel by Sam Jackson, Managing Editor of Classic FM, music educationalist Carol Barratt and a consultation group consisting of internationally renowned solosts: Alison Balsom, Nicola Benedetti, Catrin Finch, Dame Evelyn Glennie and Emma Johnson. 

    The winner will be awarded the prize of £4,000. In addition, a piece from the winner’s competition repertoire as well as a short work especially composed by me, will be recorded in a London studio and subsequently broadcast on Classic FM. The runner-up will receive a cash prize of £1,000. 

    Uni Grants UK

    Uni Grants UK hosts a number of funding opportunities out there for students about to become, or who are currently, undergraduates. You can search on subject of study or by location. There are many grants out there which will support individuals studying a certain subject who are from a certain area – the Uni Grants UK search tool is great at finding these (although it can be quite time consuming to wade through them all!)

    Leverhulme Trade Charities Trust

    The Leverhulme Trade Charities Trust has funds available for undergraduate and postgraduate students in financial need who have been resident in the UK and whose parents are either:

    Commercial Travellers

    *See further definitions here:

    If you and your parents do fit these criteria, you could be eligible for an award of up to £3,000 for undergraduates and up to £5,000 for postgraduates. And the good news – the application form is very straightforward and easy to complete! Because the criteria is so specific, those that are eligible have a relatively high success rate.

    If you do intend to apply, please let us know as this award requires input from the Development Office.

  • Funding for Composers

    Postgraduate British Composers can apply for bursaries from the RVW Trust.

    Composers can also be considered for funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation .

  • Funding for JRNCM, Pathfinder, and young Undergraduates

    The Christine Brown Trust may consider funding for students from JRNCM, Pathfinder, and Undergraduates up to the age of 19