Our two SU teams (19/20 and 20/21) have combined to make one SUper-sized team to make sure there's always someone here to answer your Covid-19 related questions. Whether you are a current, incoming or prospective student, this page is here for you!
Frequently Asked Questions
When will the Autumn Term start and what format will it take?
Our Autumn Term will run from Monday 28 September to Friday 18 December. In line with most UK Higher Education Institutions, and in response to the ongoing restrictions associated with Covid-19, we will be offering a blended approach to learning and teaching. All academic lectures and support services will be delivered online, with small-scale practical activities taking place within the building wherever possible and increasing as the academic year unfolds and restrictions are lifted.
What is blended learning?
Blended learning is a term used to describe learning that takes place through a mixture of in-person contact time, remote online contact time, and directed tasks set by a lecturer/tutor via an online virtual learning environment such as Moodle.
As with traditional in-person contact time, there will also be student-directed preparation and follow up work to do. The online and remote elements of blended learning do not replace the need for student independent study.
Blended learning can apply at a number of different levels:
Programme level: A blended programme will contain a mixture of modules that are taught either all in-person, all remotely, or a blend of both in-person and remotely. It is the make-up of the programme that makes it a blended programme.
Module level: A blended module will contain a mixture of teaching activities that are in-person and remote. The remote element may be synchronous (i.e. live student/tutor interactions via a video link such as Zoom) or a-synchronous (i.e. directed tasks to be done in the students’ own time by a certain date/time). It is the make-up of the module that makes it a blended module.
Class level: A blended class will be an in-person class where students or tutor may participate remotely. An example might be a class where 10 students are present in the building, and 10 students are present via a video link such as Zoom. Another example might be where a group of students, such as a chamber group, might be present in the building, and the staff coach might be present via a video link such as Zoom. It is the make-up of the class that makes it a blended class.
During the 2020/21 academic year, we will be teaching a blended programme. The Autumn Term will consist solely of blended modules. If a student choosing to remain away from Manchester during the Autumn Term, any in-person classes will become blended classes to enable them to attend remotely whilst others attend in-person.
Will I have a choice of how I complete my studies during the Autumn Term?
Yes. We understand that all personal circumstances will differ, which is why it’s important to us that you’re provided with optimum choice and flexibility at this time. If you would prefer to complete the full term online or to commence your studies remotely and join us later in the Autumn due to health reasons, travel restrictions and/or to reduce your living costs, we would be very happy to accommodate this. All we would ask is that you give us an indication of your intentions in advance through emailing through emailing PASS@rncm.ac.uk by 1 July and using the subject line ‘Autumn Term 2020’. This will not be binding should your plans change, but it will help us as we continue to work through a range of detailed scenarios over the summer.
What practical and performance activities will take place onsite?
Small-scale practical and performance activities will take place on site using our three public performance venues and eight large studio spaces (including access to College instruments and specialist facilities where necessary), building towards larger-scale performance opportunities as the year progresses. There will also be opportunities for onsite recording, live streaming and the development of digital projects and other creative initiatives as the term progresses. At this stage, we anticipate that Principal Study and School Class activity will be delivered partly online and partly within the building, moving to being fully on site as restrictions allow. Further information about this will be delivered later in the Summer.
What Principal Study activity will take place on site?
As we start the Autumn Term, we expect to prioritise Principal Study activity where instruments or equipment are only available within the building. This does not mean exclusivity for those disciplines, as our planning incorporates on site Principal Study training across all Schools of Study as far as it is safe to do so.
If I choose to attend onsite activities, what health and safety measures will be in place?
Please be assured that your health and safety will continue to be at the forefront of all current and future plans as we remain responsive to Government advice. Social distancing measures will be observed throughout the College building and we will be putting in place a range of additional steps to protect everyone in our community. These include:
* Controlled entrance and exit to the main building.
* Controlled entrance and exit to all teaching and practice studios, achieved via clearly signed one- way circulation routes and staggered room bookings.
* Appropriate spacing being observed between students and staff at all times.
* Increased cleaning, handwashing and hand sanitisation.
* The wearing of face masks (or appropriate alternative face coverings) at all times, except when your Principal Study discipline (e.g. woodwind, brass and vocal studies) makes this impossible.
* A limited catering offer delivered via a ‘click and collect’ service. To allow for social distancing in public areas and circulation routes, the Café, Brodsky, Student Common Room and both concourses will be available for food and drink consumption but not for general socialising. There will be a new socially-distanced seating layout to allow users to consume food and drink safely.
Can I interrupt my studies now and return next year to repeat a term or two terms of my programme?
No. Interruption to your studies is via a full year only; students do not have the option to retake part or parts of any academic year.
Would I need to pay for this?
Yes. You would stop paying fees for the remainder of the academic year at the point your interruption is confirmed and would then be required to pay again for the full year thereafter.
I'm worried about my accommodation, what should I do?
Sir Charles Groves Hall of Residence has kindly agreed to be as flexible as possible for both current and new students during this difficult time. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information. If you are living, or due to live, in private accommodation, you will of course need to make independent arrangements.
I want to return to Manchester for the Autumn Term but I’m unsure about travel restrictions. What should I do?
The situation is constantly evolving so it’s very important that you read official travel and quarantine advice from the UK Government before you return to Manchester.
When will we hear more about plans for the Autumn Term?
Further details outlining the structure of the Autumn Term will be delivered over the summer, pending Government advice regarding social distancing and the easing of lockdown.
Last modified: Monday, 15 June 2020, 9:35 AM
Since the FAQ's are extremely extensive, we thought we'd just have a few extra bits and bobs in this section that you might not have been aware of:
- There have been meetings happening DAILY (we are not joking) dedicated entirely to adapting and improving the online aspects of the course. College are committed to making sure that we are always getting the best possible experience and there is a group dedicated to all things zoom based to make sure that things run as smoothly as possible. That being said- if there's anything you're not enjoying please do get in touch with us on the SU- student feedback is exactly what inspires all of the changes that are made!
- Staff really want us to be back on site too! There will be a filtered and instrument/ needs based approach to deciding who can be back in the building earliest- Rest assured, they want to have as much face to face activity as possible (within health and safety regulations). College understands how important the community is within the RNCM building when it comes to working effectively and being happy and healthy, so this is at the forefront of their decision making.
- More information will be coming out soon about what the 'blended approach' ACTUALLY means, so If you are struggling to decide whether you want to move back to Manchester for September then this will help guide your choice. It is completely your decision whether you want your term to be fully online though and you wont be penalised for making this decision for first term- college is putting everything in place now to make sure that the online term will be consistent with the 'blended' term.
If you have time, we would really appreciate it if you could fill out the quick ANONYMOUS form below- your feedback is invaluable!!
Hello! Congrats on getting your place- we can't wait to finally meet you! It's such a shame that we are in this situation BUT we are keen to absolutely get the best out of it- and maybe even something better 💃
You have already received a formal email from the RNCM so we just wanted to say hello and introduce ourselves and what we can do for you during this transitional stage.
- We are going to set up communications between yourselves and current students though our Buddy Scheme. Normally this would run from the end of August but we feel like it'd be much better to get cracking now! Keep your eyes on your student emails for information on how to get involved!
- FRESHERS. Unfortunately we don't have a crystal ball so can't say anything for certain yet. We will be gutted to not have our infamous freshers' week so definitely believe us when we say we're going to do everything we can to provide the best experience for you! There are already talks of a 'Refreshers' later on in the year just in case this one gets disrupted, but we will just have to wait and see for now. The purpose of freshers events isn't just about going to parties (huh, really?), its about meeting all of your peers and making life long friends - and chamber groups or bands- so building a community is a big priority for us. Moving the Buddy Scheme forward is our first step to introducing everyone and we're going to work super hard to make sure you all feel ready to step foot in the building (whenever that may be!)
- Questions? Feel free to get in contact with us, we always want to hear from you and will do whatever we can to put your mind at ease. It's completely normal to feel a bit lost of unsure with whats's going to happen, even without a global pandemic, so don't worry if this is how you feel! If you're interested, follow our Instagram and Facebook page for more info!
Hey there! I'm sure you have lots of questions to do with auditions and what studying at the RNCM is like. For now, We are going to wait until the RNCM Open Day has passed (June 23rd 2020, check out the RNCM website for details!) When the open day has happened, we will put all FAQ's here! In the meantime, feel free to check out our social media (linked above) or send us a message!