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Guidance for current students

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Face-to-face teaching and other socially distanced 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. Thereafter, we strongly advise the entire RCM community to participate in twice-weekly testing at one of many local testing centres or using home-testing kits available to all students and staff.

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.

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 17 May 2021.

This page was last updated on 12 May 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, RCMJD 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.

In the event of 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

The entire RCM community is strongly advised to participate in twice-weekly testing at one of many local testing centres or using home-testing kits available to all students and staff. 
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 or the University of London.)


  • 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

Each time you take a test, log the results using this simple form. Every test result (positive/negative/void) should be logged. You should log the result of your test 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

You should also 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 ( 

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


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

If a member of your household experiences symptoms or has a positive Covid-19 test, all members of that household must self-isolate for 14 days, unless they receive a negative test result and isolating is no longer necessary.

Those who have been in close contact with someone showing symptoms should also self-isolate if advised to do so by NHS Test & Trace, unless they receive a negative test result. 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


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


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?

If you have received both vaccinations and are not experiencing Covid-19 symptoms, then you are exempt from the twice-weekly testing programme.

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.

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.

RCM buildings and services

RCM campus

  • The RCM campus is open for individual music-making and solo study, one-to-one instrument lessons, some faculty classes and ensemble rehearsals.
  • The RCM Library is currently open on weekdays between 1pm and 5pm.
  • Campus is open for educational activities between 8am and 10pm six days a week.
  • You must only come to campus if you have a specific activity or room allocated in advance via Asimut.
  • Face coverings must be worn at all times indoors, except performing in an ensemble, during one-to-one lessons and for solo performers working with a pianist – providing two-metre distancing is maintained.
  • Always wash your hands on entering the building and regularly throughout your time on campus.
  • You must not socialise in groups in the indoor communal areas on campus; these areas are open for solo study only. Groups of up to six can sit together in the outside café Courtyard.
  • If you feel unwell, you must stay at home. 
  • All practice rooms must be booked in advance via Asimut and performance spaces can be booked via P&P. Signs on the doors display the maximum occupancy of each room.
  • 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.
  • Most professional services continue to operate and provide support remotely. 

Prince Consort Village (PCV)

  • Prince Consort Village is open and residents continue to be fully supported by the PCV team. 
  • You must stay within your own household and not socialise in groups in the communal areas at PCV.
  • If you will be arriving at PCV from overseas and need to self-isolate, you will be fully supported. 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

  • Students can work with accompanists on campus, although external accompanists are only allowed with prior agreement from P&P, V&O and Faculties Office.
  • Some live faculty sessions and ensemble rehearsals are taking place on campus with social distancing in place.

Practical examinations

  • Summer term performance examinations will go ahead in person, with video submission options for students who are unable to return to London.

Can I continue to study remotely from 8 March?

We understand that some students will be unable to return to campus for reasons relating to Covid-19. Please be reassured that we will continue to support your studies remotely. This will include digital assessment options.

If you are unable to come to campus for one-to-one lessons, please contact your professor directly to arrange to continue virtual lessons. Do reach out to your Head of Faculty, Personal Advisor or Student Services if you require particular support at this time.

Where possible, faculty classes taking place on campus will be recorded and made available on Learn.rcm for remote learners. Your Head of Faculty will be in touch to provide further details.


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

If you are travelling from a country not on the travel ban list (the 'red list'), you will need to self-isolate for 10 days at your term-time address and book two Covid-19 tests to take on days two and eight of your quarantine.

If you are travelling from a country on the travel ban list but you are a British or Irish National or have residency rights in the UK, 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.

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

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

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.

How will my Tier 4/Student Visa be affected if I am studying remotely from my home country?

The Home Office has confirmed that, due to the exceptional circumstances, the RCM can continue to sponsor you on your Tier 4 Visa or Student Visa even if you are currently studying via distance learning from your home country, provided you continue to engage with your studies. This includes if you need to be away from the UK for more than 60 days. 

How will my Tier 4/Student Visa be affected if I am unwell and unable to participate in classes?

If you are required to miss classes because you are unwell or because of other disruption caused by coronavirus, this will be classed as an authorised absence and will not negatively affect your attendance record. Please make sure you notify your teacher as normal. This also applies if you are studying remotely.

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 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 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 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:

Students can contact Student Services at

Further questions

Contacts as follows

Heads of Faculty

Heads of Programmes

Personal Advisors

Student Services (

Students’ Union (

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

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Read our guidance for RCMJD students

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

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

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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

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

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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