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Guidance for current students

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Face-to-face teaching and other activities have now resumed on campus with protective measures in place.

Everyone who plans to come to campus should have a Covid-19 test before entering the College. At least until the end of September, the RCM community is expected to participate in free twice-weekly testing using home-testing kits available to all students and staff or at one of many local testing centres.

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 expecting all staff and students to wear facemasks when moving around the building and when in enclosed and crowded spaces where you may come into contact with people you don't normally meet. We will continue to monitor the situation closely.

Covid-19 – what to do if you have symptoms

If you are an RCM student, professor or staff member and you experience symptoms of Covid-19, you should take the following steps as promptly as possible:

If you think another student or member of staff might have symptoms, you should encourage them to do the same. Further information is available in each of the guidance sections below.

Complete the Covid self-reporting form

The content below reflects operational changes brought into effect on 15 March 2020 and further changes following nationwide Government instructions coming into effect on 19 July 2021.

This page was last updated on 3 August 2021 and will be updated again in the event of further changes.

Please check your email, Asimut and Learn.rcm regularly for specific updates relevant to you and your work.

Latest Covid-19 updates from the RCM

The RCM has plans in place for a number of scenarios including coronavirus cases on campus and changing government restrictions. The following plans are in line with guidance from the UK Government.

RCM students, RCM Junior Department students, professors and staff members who experience symptoms of Covid-19 must self-isolate, notify the RCM using the Covid self-reporting form and book a test.

Complete Covid self-reporting form

In the instance of confirmed or suspected cases, the RCM will communicate with individuals directly. No wider communications will be sent to the College community. Students and staff who are self-isolating will be fully supported by the RCM.

If there are several confirmed cases at the College, action may be taken to further reduce activity on campus. Operational changes will be communicated via RCM Notices so please continue to check your College email.

Twice-weekly and home- Covid-19 testing

At least until the end of September, the RCM community is expected to participate in free twice-weekly testing using home-testing kits available to all students and staff or at one of many local testing centres.
 
For free home-testing kits delivered directly to your home address, order here. Home-testing kits can also be collected from the RCM cafe or a participating testing facility (the Ismaili Centre is the nearest to the RCM.) Prince Consort Village residents will receive their kits at PCV.
 
If you do not wish to self-administer home tests, then you must continue to be tested at the Ismaili Centre (or another local testing facility).

TESTING INSTRUCTIONS

  • Test yourself at home or visit a testing centre twice a week

If testing at home, you are asked to self-administer the test at least twice a week (every three to four days) and wait at home for a negative test result before coming to College. The tests are quick and simple and are provided with easy-to-follow instructions. You can watch video instructions here. Your test should be ready within 30 minutes.

  • Log all your test results

You should report your test result to the NHS. You should report every result as soon as you get the result. To make this easier, set up an account so that you don’t need to register each time. You can register and report your results to the NHS here:

Report a COVID-19 rapid lateral flow test result - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

If you receive a positive test result, you should also report your test result to the RCM using the form below. You should log a positive test result whether you used the home-testing kit or were tested as a local facility such as the Ismaili Centre. Try to plan your week so that you take the test on the morning you plan to come to College and log it by 9am, unless you have taken a test in the previous few days.

Complete the test results form

What should I do if I have Covid-19 symptoms?

If you experience symptoms of Covid-19, you should take the following steps as promptly as possible:

If you think another student or member of staff might have symptoms, you should encourage them to do the same.

Complete Covid self-reporting form

1. ISOLATE

Government guidance requires that anyone showing symptoms of Covid-19, however mild, or anyone who has received a positive test result, must self-isolate.

From 16 August, the government will not require close contacts of someone who tests positive to self-isolate if they are fully vaccinated. If you are not fully vaccinated you will be required to self-isolate for 10 days. This is a big bonus to being fully vaccinated, meaning your studies and social life will not be interrupted if you are fully vaccinated.

Close contact means:

  • direct close contacts – face-to-face contact with an infected individual for any length of time, within 1 meter, including being coughed on, a face-to-face conversation, or unprotected physical contact (skin-to-skin)
  • proximity contacts - extended close contact (within 1 to 2 meters for more than 15 minutes) with an infected individual
  • travelling in a small vehicle, like a car, with an infected person

2. NOTIFY

You must complete the RCM Covid self-reporting form.

This means we can take prompt action to request any additional cleaning, notify household members and provide support. This also means we will have early awareness of possible and confirmed cases, and can put in place additional measures if needed.

Complete Covid self-reporting form

3. TEST

If you think you have Covid-19, you should book a free test through the NHS. If you drive, you will be directed to the NHS drive-in testing facility. For those who do not drive, the NHS will mail you a self-testing kit.

You should continue isolating while waiting for your test results. Once you receive your result, log it using this simple form.

What do I do if I receive a positive result?

If at any point you receive a positive result, you must begin self-isolating immediately and arrange a confirmation test via the NHS. This NHS test will confirm your result. You must self-isolate at your term-time address for 10 days (or until you receive a negative result from your NHS test) and notify the RCM using the RCM COVID SELF-REPORTING FORM.

If I test positive, do I continue asymptomatic testing?

If you test positive for Covid-19 and have this result confirmed by an NHS test, you will be exempt from being retested within a period of 90 days from the test, unless you develop new possible Covid-19 symptoms. This is because fragments of inactive virus can be persistently detected by the swab test in the respiratory tract for some time following infection. If you are found to be positive for Covid-19 by swab test within 90 days from your initial illness onset, depending on your symptoms and advice from an infection specialist, you may need to self-isolate again.

I have been fully vaccinated – do I need to take these twice-weekly tests?

Even if you are fully vaccinated, we ask you take regular lateral flow tests at least until the end of September.

If I have not been fully vaccinated - will I have access to a coronavirus vaccine as an international student?

The UK government has confirmed that international students in the UK who are registered with a GP will be able to access the Covid-19 vaccination in the UK, just as they are currently able to access healthcare. Young people in the UK are being offered the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

If you haven't already registered with a GP, please do so either at Imperial College Health Centre or with a local GP close to where you live in London.

Register online with Imperial College Health Centre

All residents at Prince Consort Village qualify for the full NHS registration; others who are not in the large postcode catchment area can register as out of area NHS patients or visit the NHS website to find your local practice.

If you are not already vaccinated, the NHS will be providing free vaccination for all students in the autumn.

If I am fully vaccinated, will I need to self-isolate if I come into contact with someone who tests positive for coronavirus?

From 16 August, the government will not require close contacts of someone who tests positive to self-isolate if they are fully vaccinated. If you are not fully vaccinated you will be required to self-isolate for 10 days. This is a big bonus to being fully vaccinated, meaning your studies and social life will not be interrupted if you are fully vaccinated.

If I have been vaccinated overseas, will my vaccine be recognised in the UK?

Students who have been fully vaccinated with vaccines approved by the EMA in Europe and the FDA in the USA will be able to travel to England from amber list countries without having to quarantine on arrival from Monday 2 August. Students arriving from Europe will need to produce the EU’s digital Covid certificate as proof of their inoculation. American citizens will need to show the CDC card they were given when they were vaccinated. We are awaiting further guidance on vaccines from other countries and this page will be updated as soon as we have more information.

RCM buildings and services

RCM campus

  • From 19 July, room capacities at the College returned to normal and we plan to deliver all programmes on-site at the College as normal from September.
  • The RCM’s Summer vacation extends from Monday 19 July 2021 to Friday 10 September 2021. During this period some of the College’s facilities will have reduced opening hours:
  • Prince Consort Road: Open from 8am – 10pm every day
  • Library: Open Tuesday to Friday from 11am – 5pm
  • ICT Helpdesk: Open Monday to Friday from 9am – 5pm with limited remote support available
  • RCM Café: Open Monday to Friday from 9am – 3pm
  • RCM Studios: Closed between 1 August and 1 September apart from pre-arranged sessions
  • RCM Jay Mews: Closed
  • Please note that the SCR Café will be closed throughout the Summer period. Furthermore, on Bank Holiday Monday 30 August the Library, Digital helpdesk and RCM Café will all be closed.
  • Face coverings are expected to be worn whilst indoors, especially whilst moving around our buildings.
  • If anyone in a teaching or working situation prefers one or both of you to be masked, we expect both parties to always respect this preference.
  • Always wash your hands on entering the building and regularly throughout your time on campus, using soap and water or hand sanitiser.
  • Meet in well-ventilated areas where possible, such as outdoors or indoors with windows open.
  • If you feel unwell, you must stay at home.
  • Please wipe down surfaces and pianos when leaving a practice room.
  • The buildings are subject to enhanced cleaning regimes and rooms are being ventilated via open windows and air conditioning which circulates air from outside.

Prince Consort Village (PCV)

  • Prince Consort Village is open and residents continue to be fully supported by the PCV team.
  • If you will be arriving at PCV from overseas and need to quarantine, you will be fully supported with two weeks' free accommodation. You must contact PCV directly to arrange this. The building is designed so that students can practice in their rooms and special arrangements have been made for pianists and percussion students who need to self-isolate.

The Royal College of Music has undertaken all necessary risk assessments for reopening the RCM, maintaining social distancing and other public safety measures.

Learning and teaching

One-to-one teaching, faculty classes and academic classes

  • From September, we expect the curriculum to be fully in-person for practical activities, including lessons, faculty classes, and ensemble rehearsals.
  • Most academic classes will be delivered in person too. However, in response to positive feedback, we have redesigned some elements of the BMus Historical Studies curriculum to be delivered in a blended format.
  • We expect our Performance Programme to be fully in operation, with concerts and performances to live audiences. These will include all our usual ensembles – orchestras, chorus, opera, along with faculty ensembles, chamber and solo performances.
  • Students can work with accompanists on campus and external accompanists are allowed without applying for permission.

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

Students are advised to check the latest travel guidance published by the UK Government before they travel.

Advice varies depending on whether the country you are travelling from is on the UK’s green, amber or red list. From Monday 2 August fully vaccinated travellers from most of Europe and the United States of America will not need to self-isolate on arrival. Travellers from countries not covered by this exemption on the amber list currently will need to self-isolate on arrival. This can be done in your own accommodation.

If you are travelling from a country on the red list but you are a British or Irish National or have residency rights in the UK (which includes Student visa holders), you must quarantine in a government-approved hotel for 10 days on arrival. Before you travel, you must book and pay for your hotel room and book two Covid-19 tests to take on days two and eight of your quarantine.  

If you are currently residing in a country on the travel ban list and you are not a British or Irish National and do not have residency rights in the UK, you will currently not be permitted entry to the UK and you should continue to study remotely. 

Read the full guidance

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.

I have to quarantine for ten days when I arrive in the UK, what provision will there be for me during this period?

Where possible we will record and upload class recordings to help students who are quarantining catch-up on missed classes.

I am currently in the UK but am planning on returning overseas. What do I need to consider?

It is a good idea to get your second vaccination before you travel home, but if this isn't possible then you should contact your healthcare provider in your home country to arrange your second vaccination. 

You are encouraged to take a Covid-19 test before travelling anywhere. 

Students travelling abroad should check the entry requirements for their destinations on the gov.uk website

There is also further information here.

Can I attend one-to-one lessons at my professor's home?

One-to-one principal study lessons in-person at your professor’s home (or an alternative location) are not permitted. This policy will be reviewed as and when government guidance changes. 

Technical support with virtual lessons is available from the RCM Digital Team; please email ICThelp@rcm.ac.uk.

I have lost work due to coronavirus and am worried about paying my fees – what should I do?

We recognise that some students will have been relying on gigs, teaching and other work to both pay their fees and to cover their living costs and most of this work will have been cancelled. You may be eligible to apply to the Community Jameel Hardship Fund. Application forms are available on Learn.rcm.

More detailed information on changes to our learning, teaching and assessment are available on Learn.rcm. Please refer to this regularly for the latest guidance and procedures relating to your studies.

Find out more

What should I do if I am unable to travel to the UK for the start of term?

Our courses are designed to be delivered on-site and in-person at the College, where you will have full access to our excellent staff and facilities.  For students who anticipate difficulties travelling to London in time to attend Induction Week (Monday 13 September 2021) we will do our best to provide online access to teaching during the early part of the Autumn term.  However, we will be unable to provide online equivalents for activities, especially faculty classes, chorus, chamber music and ensembles, so we encourage you to come to London as soon as travel restrictions allow. Further information on how to request to register and begin your studies remotely on a temporary basis will be sent out with registration information in mid-August.  In the meantime, you are welcome to contact our friendly Registry team on registration@rcm.ac.uk if you have any questions.  

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

RCM programmes are designed for in-person study. We expect all students to study in London during 2021-22.

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. Under these circumstances we will do our best to provide online access to teaching during the early part of the Autumn term.  However, we will be unable to provide online equivalents for all activities, especially faculty classes, chorus, chamber music and ensembles, so we encourage you to come to London if travel restrictions allow. Further information on how to request to register and begin your studies remotely on a temporary basis will be sent out with registration information in mid-August.  In the meantime, you are welcome to contact our friendly Registry team on registration@rcm.ac.uk if you have any questions.  

Students on Tier 4/Student Visas

We appreciate that students on Tier 4 Visas and Student Visas have specific concerns if you are studying remotely from your home country or if you are unwell and unable to study. There are large numbers of international students at UK universities in this situation and the Home Office is regularly updating its guidance.

I am an international student and I have not yet travelled to the UK because of coronavirus travel restrictions. How does this affect my visa?

If you have already applied for a visa and been issued with your entry clearance vignette, you should aim to travel to the UK before the vignette expires. If you will not be able to travel before the expiry date, contact international@rcm.ac.uk for advice. 

EU/EEA and Swiss nationals moving to the UK to study from 1 January 2021 will require a Student visa.

If you are an international student with questions or concerns, please email international@rcm.ac.uk for advice and support.

Support for students

Accessing support remotely

Student Services are providing advice and support remotely with a range of issues, including accommodation, counselling, disability, finance and more until further notice. If you are concerned about coronavirus or worried about friends and family, please use the resources on the Student Services learn pages and do not hesitate to email studentservices@rcm.ac.uk for advice and support.

Students are also encouraged to use online mental health support services such as Togetherall (formerly Big White Wall) and Student Minds, which are available 24/7 from anywhere in the world.

Prejudice connected with coronavirus 

The Royal College of Music has a zero-tolerance policy towards racism. If you witness or experience bullying or harassment, your voice will be heard and taken seriously.

Students should report any misconduct to the Academic Registrar: elly.taylor@rcm.ac.uk.

Students can contact Student Services at studentservices@rcm.ac.uk.

Further questions

Contacts as follows

Heads of Faculty

Heads of Programmes

Personal Advisors

Student Services (studentservices@rcm.ac.uk)

Students’ Union (SU.President@rcm.ac.uk)

If you are an international student with questions or concerns about visas, please email the Registry international team at international@rcm.ac.uk for advice and support.

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Guidance for current RCMJD students

Our latest information for RCM Junior Department students and their parents about the delivery of the RCMJD programme, and how we are keeping our students safe.

Read our guidance for RCMJD students

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Guidance for 2022 applicants

Our latest information for those applying to the RCM for 2022 entry.

Read our guidance for 2022 applicants

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Guidance for 2021 applicants

Our latest information for those applying to the RCM for 2021 entry.

Read our guidance for 2021 applicants

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The facade of the RCM's Blomfield Building on a sunny day

Guidance for staff

Our latest information on how the current situation affects the work and pay of RCM staff, how to stay safe and advice on remote working.

Read our guidance for staff

The facade of the RCM's Blomfield Building on a sunny day
RCM singers mid-performance with an RCM orchestra accompanying them behind

Guidance for visitors

Our latest information on how the current situation affects public activities at the RCM, including performances.

Read our guidance for visitors

RCM singers mid-performance with an RCM orchestra accompanying them behind