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Guidance for current students

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The RCM campus is open with social distancing measures in place for individual music-making, one-to-one teaching and RCM Library ‘click and collect’ service.

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 on campus. We will continue to monitor the situation closely.

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. To support this, 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.

From September, we will be resuming our performance programme with social distancing measures in place. We will 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. The programme includes a wide range of solo and chamber music, moving to orchestral repertoire, festivals and fully staged operas in the spring.  

Some of these projects will use blended approaches to learning with both live and digital interaction, harnessing all the additional benefits that online resources can bring. Our autumn events season will include specially commissioned films and an expanded programme of streaming and recording to share 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. 

To see how the RCM community has pulled together to create music remotely follow #RCMCommunity on social media.  

The content below reflects operational changes brought into effect on 15 March and further changes following nationwide Government instructions on 4 July.

This page was last updated on 6 August 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.

RCM buildings and services

RCM campus

  • The Blomfield Building is open for individual music-making (including with an accompanist), one-to-one teaching and ‘click and collect’ from the RCM Library.  
  • Selected spaces in the Blomfield Building are open and bookable, along with the South Building percussion suite. 
  • Professional services including Student Services, Registry and Creative Careers continue to operate and provide support remotely. 

Blomfield Building 

  • Designated rooms are available in the Blomfield Building on the lower ground, ground and second floor, as well as the Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall and Parry Rooms. All practice rooms must be booked in advance via Registry and performance spaces can be booked via P&P. Please check your College emails for more information.
  • For remote lessons in RCM rooms where the student is on campus and the professor is at home, you should use your own device with RCM WiFi. There is currently no on-site ICT support. 
  • The building is subject to enhanced cleaning regimes and only RCM students and professors with ID, accompanists and a small number of essential staff will be permitted access. 
  • From Monday 10 August, you must wear a facemask in all public areas on campus.
  • If you feel unwell, you must stay at home. 

RCM Library

  • You are unable to browse the library collection in person at this time but we are offering a ‘click and collect’ service for all music and books.
  • The RCM Library is open for collections on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 1pm and 5pm.
  • All requests must be e-mailed to library@rcm.ac.uk. The library team will issue material and contact you when it is ready.
  • The full range of online services is available via Learn.rcm

Prince Consort Village (PCV)

  • Prince Consort Village is open and residents continue to 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 directly by emailing contact@campuslivingvillages.co.uk.
  • The normal check-in date for rooms at PCV 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.

Learning and teaching

One-to-one teaching (principal, second and related studies) and academic classes

  • The Blomfield Building is open for one-to-one teaching for senior College students and professors. We have implemented robust social distancing and cleaning measures in the buildings, including a one-way route and maximum room capacities.
  • From Monday 10 August, you must wear a facemask in all public areas on campus, including teaching rooms where two metre social distancing is not possible.
  • Teaching rooms must be booked in advance. Brass, woodwind and vocal lessons will only be permitted in specified large rooms. These measures are based on current government guidance and will be updated should the official advice change.
  • Please only return to campus if you feel comfortable doing so and live close enough to be able to walk/cycle to College, avoiding public transport where possible.
  • We have implemented additional live one-to-one tuition time prior to graduating students’ final recitals to ensure that students have the opportunity to work with their professors prior to assessment. 
  • From September 2020, we expect all one-to-one instrumental and vocal teaching to be delivered in person. Composers and doctoral students should discuss with their professor or supervisor whether in-person or online teaching would be preferable.
  • Faculty classes will normally be split between online and in-person delivery, except conducting and composition faculty classes, which will be delivered online. Classes that take place onsite will be recorded and published on Learn.rcm.
  • During 2020/21, academic and contextual teaching will be delivered using a blended approach that combines in-person and online delivery. During the autumn term, most modules will be delivered through Learn.rcm, with online classes delivered with Microsoft Teams. We plan to return to in-person delivery of all teaching as soon as possible. 

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.

How will the operational changes affect my studies from September 2020?

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

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

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 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.

If you will be living at Prince Consort Village, they 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.

Do I have to come to campus for my one-to-one lessons in September?

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 returning on the same course should submit a Leave of Absence form, specifiying that they need to begin this year's studies by distance learning.

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 on on-site classes. However, we are unable to offer equivalent, interactive digital provision for all practical activities (eg conducting or chamber music.) In some cases, we may ask you to change your options/modules to accommodate an extended period of distance learning.

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. We have set up a hardship fund to provide what support we can for students with the greatest need. To apply for support, please visit the RCM Covid-19 Hardship Fund page 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

Exams and graduation

Principal study recitals

  • We are now able to confirm that the postponed end-of-year recitals for BMus 3, 4, Grad Dip, PG 1 and 2 and ArtDip students will take place onsite from 10-28 August.
  • To ensure the safest possible environment for students and examiners, there will be no audiences for these examinations. Further information on what to expect at your recital has been emailed to you directly.

Graduation

  • We hope to hold the Graduation ceremony for our 2020 graduates later in the 2020/21 academic year, but we continue to monitor the situation and the government's advice on large gatherings.
  • We are coordinating with other UK conservatoires so that any graduating student with an offer for further study should be able to commence their course in September 2020 as planned.

Can I defer my exams?

Exams will not be deferred but will operate in a different way. 

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 visas

  • We appreciate that students on Tier 4 Visas have specific concerns if you decided to return to 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 visa be affected if I have returned to 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 even if you are currently studying via distance learning from your home country. This includes if you need to be away from the UK for more than 60 days. 

How will my Tier 4 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 as a Tier 4 student. Please make sure you notify your teacher as normal. 

How does taking my exams later than originally planned affect my Tier 4 visa?

Tier 4 visas are always granted with a ‘wrap up’ period at the end to allow for students who need to undertake deferred assessments or resit exams. This means that there is already provision within the Immigration Rules for exams taking place later than expected. For most of the RCM's courses lasting 12 months or more, you will have a wrap-up period of 4 months, which means your visa should not expire until November.

For those on courses lasting less than 12 months (normally Artist Diploma students), you will have a two-month wrap up period before your visa expires in September. The planned late summer practical exam period has been timed to allow everyone to complete their exams and get their results without needing to apply for a visa extension.

When will I get my degree certificate?

Instead of waiting for the graduation ceremony, your degree certificate will be posted to you in early October. We expect to be able to notify students of results by email shortly after the Board of Examiners meetings. Academic transcripts will be issued as quickly as possible after results are confirmed by the Boards of Examiners. Artist Diploma students should expect confirmation on 9 September with confirmation for all other programmes on 10 September. Transcripts will be issued by mail in the following days. If you need to make a new visa application you only need to provide your final academic transcript – it is not necessary to have received your certificate for this purpose.

RCM Junior Department (RCMJD)

  • The RCMJD is operating digitally. All one-to-one lessons on first, second and third study instruments will be delivered digitally and we are providing ‘live’ musicianship classes for all. 
  • We have arranged free access to Auralia and Musition software for all RCMJD students to enhance online learning. 
  • RCMJD ensemble coaches have devised new and exciting ways to continue students’ ensemble learning. Ensemble coaches have been in touch directly via email.
  • A weekly e-shot is being sent out every Thursday, so please check your emails regularly for the latest information. 

How can I get in touch with the RCM Junior Department?

If you are an RCMJD student or parent with a question, please send an email to jd@rcm.ac.uk and we will get back to you as soon as we can. RCMJD staff and teachers will be contacting you directly via email, so please remember to check your inbox for the latest information.

Support for students

Accessing support remotely

Student Services are providing support remotely 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), which is 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

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

 

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Guidance for 2020 offer holders

Our latest information on how we expect Covid-19 to affect offer holders beginning courses or programmes at the RCM in September 2020.

Read our guidance for 2020 offer holders

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Guidance for 2021 applicants

Our latest information on how we expect Covid-19 to affect 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 and our Open Day.

Read our guidance for visitors

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