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Guidance for 2020 offer holders

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The RCM campus is open with social distancing measures in place for individual music-making, one-to-one teaching and small ensemble rehearsals and performances.

The health and wellbeing of the RCM community is our top priority and protective measures have been put in place to help ensure the safest possible use of the building at this time. This includes requiring all staff and students to wear facemasks and adhere to two metre social distancing on campus. We will continue to monitor the situation closely.

From September 2020, our focus is on providing space for music-making activities on campus and in-person delivery of as many activities as possible. To support this, we have a flexible curriculum for the autumn that will enable students to benefit from our world-leading teaching and facilities while keeping safe, as well as taking advantage of our digital learning environment.

Our autumn events season features a range of performance opportunities with social distancing measures in place. The programme includes visits from internationally renowned musicians, a wide variety of repertoire to explore and an innovative film series promoted via the RCM’s digital platforms. Some performance projects will use blended approaches to learning with both live and digital interaction, harnessing all the additional benefits that online resources can bring. Our expanded programme of streaming and recording will allow us to share all our performances, masterclasses and other activities with global audiences.  

By January 2021 we are planning to return to teaching all classes onsite, except where we think digital delivery is better for students.  

The Royal College of Music is a highly creative and adaptable community of exceptional students, professors and staff. 

Before getting to the RCM

Qualifications and language tests

  • We are aware that schools and universities remain closed in many countries. The RCM is monitoring the situation closely and will offer flexibility with deadlines if necessary.
  • Language testing centres have re-opened in many countries. Where test centres remain closed, some test providers have introduced alternative online tests, as a temporary measure. For courses beginning in September 2020 we are pleased to confirm that we will accept three online language tests in addition to the RCM’s normal list of accepted tests. Full details of approved online tests and required scores are available here.
  • Some online English tests are not available in Mainland China. However, Pearson have resumed testing for the PTE Academic test and we are advised by IELTS that they are working closely with the Chinese Government to resume in-centre testing as soon as possible, with significantly increased capacity to accommodate demand. If you live in China, you should still be able to sit an English test in time to start your course.

EU student fees

  • Following the UK government announcement on 23 June 2020 about fees for EU students, we would like to reassure those beginning courses in September 2020 who have been assessed as Home/EU fee payers that they will continue to be charged the same fees as UK students for the duration of their course. For more information, please visit our page about the UK's departure from the EU.

Teaching and facilities

  • All RCM courses and programmes will begin in September 2020.
  • We expect the full range of College facilities to be operational by September 2020. Our focus will be on providing space for music-making activities on campus and in-person delivery of as many activities as possible.
  • We are planning a flexible curriculum for the autumn that will enable students to benefit from our world-leading teaching and facilities while keeping safe, as well as taking advantage of our digital learning environment.
  • By January 2021 we are planning to return to teaching all classes onsite, except where we think digital delivery is better for students.

Will I attend lessons on campus from September 2020?

We are now making plans for the autumn term that will enable all students to start or return to their courses in September and benefit from our world-leading teaching and facilities in London while keeping safe.

Like many other universities and colleges, we will be using a blended approach to learning during the autumn term 2020. This will allow delivery of all aspects of your programme in a safe and flexible way. For those of you who experience travel difficulties returning to London for the start of term, we will ensure that you have access to online teaching and resources to keep on track with your studies.

We recommend that all students have access to a personal laptop or tablet for engaging with all aspects of their studies, both in-person and online. As a reminder, all RCM students can download Office 365 (including Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, Excel, Teams, Outlook and OneDrive) for free.

I am worried about coming to campus – can I study remotely by distance learning?

Most students are eager to return to London and to studying on campus. But we realise that some students may have problems travelling to the UK right now, or may have health issues that may make it difficult for them to come on campus, therefore may have no choice but to study remotely by on-line distance learning for a short period in the autumn. We will consider requests to start studies remotely sympathetically.

Students starting new courses should e-mail registration@rcm.ac.uk to make a request to study remotely, outlining your circumstances. It is helpful if you can let us know when you think you may be able to arrive in the UK, although we understand this may change.

The College will provide digital teaching to ensure that you do not fall behind with your studies. This will include online lessons, comprehensive digital resources and support, and recordings of on-site classes. However, we are unable to offer equivalent, interactive digital provision for all practical activities (e.g. conducting or chamber music). In some cases, we may ask you to change your options module/s to accommodate an extended period of distance learning.

I am currently overseas and planning on returning to the UK for the start of term. What do I need to consider?

The UK government is currently asking travellers from many countries to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival. Some countries are exempt from these requirements – these are listed here. The government will be reviewing these plans every three weeks and the list of exempt countries could change before September.

The key points in the government’s self-isolation guidance are:

  • You need to complete a contact details form on-line before your flight
  • On arrival, if you do not have other means of transport, you can use public transport to get to where you will be living
  • If you need to, you can leave your accommodation to get basic necessities, like food, but you should try to get someone to get these things for you, such as through our Buddy Scheme.

The full guidance is here.

We will provide as much support as possible to students who are self-isolating – both with practical help and to provide learning and social support to keep you occupied so that the time goes as quickly and pleasantly as possible until you join us on campus.

When will the College’s new facilities be ready to use?

Our new Performance Hall and Performance Studio are now open and will be joined by the new Royal College of Music Museum in spring 2021. The building development also includes a new café and bar around a large atrium and a new courtyard.

Will Induction Week events be held on campus?

We look forward to you joining us from 14 September to experience Induction Week. To offer maximum flexibility to new students, including any who have travel difficulties, we are planning a blended (online and in-person) induction programme that will introduce you to all areas of the College, including key staff, faculties and support departments. We plan to run onsite tours of the buildings and will expand the onsite programme of activity as much as we can. The Students’ Union is planning a range of onsite and digital social events to welcome you to the RCM community. For those living at Prince Consort Village, the Resident Assistants will be providing an induction programme too.

During induction week we will provide full instructions on how to access online induction elements using our online learning platform, Learn.rcm.

New students will receive full details about enrolment and induction later in the summer.

Will there be an RCM Student's Union Freshers’ Week?

The RCMSU is planning a range of onsite and digital social events to welcome you to the RCM community in September 2020. There will be a wider series of in-person events in January 2021, by which time we expect to have made a full return to campus. 

Performance programme

  • From September 2020, we will be resuming our performance programme with social distancing measures in place, prioritising the health and wellbeing of our community at all times. The programme will initially focus on solo and chamber performances, broadening out to orchestral music, festivals and fully staged operas as the academic year progresses.
  • We have found ways to facilitate student music-making both with classmates and the roster of celebrated visiting artists who will be coming to the College to work with us.
  • Visiting artists for 2020/21 include Rafael Payare, The Harlem Quartet, Martyn Brabbins, Jac van Steen, Jon Wilson and Gianandrea Noseda.
  • Many of our upcoming projects will use blended approaches with both live and digital interacting, harnessing all the additional benefits online resources can bring.
  • Our autumn events season will include specially commissioned films based on celebrated RCM composers, including Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Elizabeth Maconchy, and an expanded programme of streaming and recording to share our performances, masterclasses and other activities with global audiences.

Accommodation

Prince Consort Village is open and students who are offered a room will be fully supported by the PCV team.

Rooms are available at PCV during the summer vacation period at discounted rates. If you would like to move into your room before September, contact the PCV team by emailing contact@campuslivingvillages.co.uk.

The normal check-in date for new residents is Saturday 12 September 2020.

If you will be arriving at PCV from overseas and need to self-isolate, you will be fully supported. PCV staff will write to you over summer to explain their safety measures. Prince Consort Village is designed so that students can practice in their rooms.

Do I need to be living in London from September or can I start my course remotely?

New students should aim to be living in London or within a commutable distance in time for the start of term on 14 September 2020. However, the latest enrolment date for most courses and programmes is one month after the start date and we will be flexible given the current situation. If you are unable to reach us in September because of health reasons or travel restrictions, you will be able to begin your course or programme remotely.

I have secured a room in Prince Consort Village – when can I move in?

The normal check-in date for new PCV residents is Saturday 12 September 2020. However, if you would like to move in sooner, please email contact@campuslivingvillages.co.uk and a member of the team will let you know whether your room is available over the summer at a discounted rate.  

I have heard that the UK currently requires travellers to self-isolate for 14 days after arrival. Do I need to arrange to arrive early to allow for this?

Prince Consort Road will write to you with information about all their safety measures to give you peace of mind during your stay, including support with self-isolation. Rooms at Prince Consort Village are designed so that students can practice in their rooms.

For those not living at PCV, the Students' Union will be offering a Buddy Scheme to provide support, for example to help with food shopping.

Further questions

If we have not answered your question, please email admissions@rcm.ac.uk.

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