Ash Music Scholarships

Ash Music Scholarship Awardees
Sir Eric Ash with Ash Scholars and Director, Oliver Gooch

Imperial College offers up to five music scholarships a year to students entering Imperial College in the first year of their first undergraduate course. The scholarships give students the opportunity to have instrumental or vocal lessons at the Royal College of Music (the College's neighbour in South Kensington).

On the retirement of Professor Sir Eric Ash FRS, Rector of Imperial College from 1986 to 1993, Imperial College Trust, who fund the scheme, decided to change the name of the scholarships to Ash Music Scholarships to mark Sir Eric's profound interest in and support of music at Imperial College.  Each year the top scholar will be awarded the Coldstream Guards' Scholarship which will entitle the holder to £100 per year as well as the Ash award.

The scholarships are tenable for three years of a first undergraduate course. In exceptional circumstances the tenure of the scholarship may be extended beyond three years. Scholars will be expected to arrange lessons with their RCM professor to fit in with the academic timetable.

Holders of awards will be expected to take part in the relevant ensemble: orchestral players in Imperial College Symphony Orchestra and singers in Imperial College Choir. There are many other instrumental and vocal ensembles on campus, providing a wealth of performance opportunities for everyone.


  • Evidence of Grade 8 with distinction (a copy of the mark sheet, not the certificate).
  • A reference from the instrumental/vocal teacher to be sent with the application.
  • A letter from the applicant detailing relevant musical experience.
  • In exceptional circumstances a high merit will sometimes be acceptable if supported by excellent references.


Applications (on one instrument only) should be sent in hard copy to:

Oliver Gooch, Director of the Blyth Music and Arts Centre, Level 5 Sherfield Building, Imperial College, London SW7 2AZ

Giving contact details (postal address and telephone number), specifying the department to which application is being made.  References should be included with the applications.

The closing date for applications is 28 February of the year of entry.

Please note that some departments may make conditional offers after this date. Candidates should not wait for the academic offer before making an application.

Auditions trumpets

A shortlist will be drawn up shortly after the deadline and auditions will then be held during the Easter vacation. Applicants will be asked to perform two contrasting pieces (on one instrument only) of not more than ten minutes in total. There will also be a sight reading test. A professional accompanist will be provided at the audition. Non-pianists should note that one piece may be unaccompanied but at least one work should be performed as a duo.

Overseas applicants who would find the audition in London impracticable will be expected to provide a recent video file of two contrasting works, not exceeding 10 minutes duration. Each media file should not exceed 4GB.  If your files are larger in size, we suggest converting/compressing the file. A good program to do this is Handbrake. See our video tutorial on using HandbrakeAudio files will not be accepted. Overseas applicants may send their full applications by email to

Successful applicants will be notified within two or three days of the auditions.

Further details of this year's Ash Scholarship (pdf)