What should I do if I develop symptoms of a cold or flu-like infection?

All staff and students are advised by RCS and the Scottish Government to stay at home and NOT attend campus if they have potential Coronavirus symptoms (new and persistent cough, fever/high temperature (37.8C or greater), loss or change to sense of taste or smell).

If you become unwell with coronavirus symptoms on campus you should:
• Avoid touching anything and maintain 2m distancing.
• Leave the room you are working in and, if possible, wear a face covering on route to Client Services reception so that you can access the first aid room.
• You will need to self-isolate straight away and Client Services will support you with arrangements to get home and take details so that AAS can be informed. Students must also follow the Student Absence Reporting process using the ASIMUT absence function on Moodle.
• If at any point you become very unwell, Client Services should be contacted to call an ambulance.
• Try to avoid public transport but if you need to use it try to keep away from other people
• If you are not a driver with a car nearby, or too unwell to drive yourself home, arrangements should be made for a household member or taxi to take you home.
• Ensure your Head of Programme, or supervisor is informed by someone else or by phone / email.
• You should arrange a test though www.nhsinform.scot or, if you can’t get online, use your mobile to call 0800 028 2816, to arrange to get tested.
• Cough or sneeze into a tissue and put it in a bin, or if you do not have tissues, cough and sneeze into the crook of you elbow.
• You must then follow the guidance on self-isolation and not return to work or study on site until your period of self-isolation has been completed.
• Domestic Services should be contacted by Client Services and advised of any areas where the person has spent time recently so that these areas can be subjected to enhanced cleaning.

Until you have been tested and told if it is safe to leave home, you must not come to the RCS campus.

Students who have symptoms, however mild, should remain in their accommodation (or home, if it is in Glasgow) and arrange to be tested at the first possible opportunity by visiting the NHS Inform website. You should not leave your accommodation for any reason other than to attend for a test and you should minimise contact with others in your ‘household’. You should notify all other members of your ‘household’ as they will also be required to quarantine for 14 days, unless you subsequently get a negative test result.

People who have tested positive for the virus will need to self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days and must not return to RCS until they have completed the isolation period and been fever-free for at least 48 hours. If they feel well enough, and they are able to study remotely, they may do so.

If you receive a positive test result for covid-19, NHS contact tracers will interview you and get in touch with people you have been in close contact with, and tell them they must self-isolate for 14 days. If you are informed by a contact tracer that you should isolate, you should do so straight away. You may feel well, as the virus could still be incubating when you are asked to isolate. Some people who are asked to isolate may not become unwell, but they must stay at home and self-isolate for the full 14 days.

If you become unwell and are too unwell to continue study, you should inform your Head of Programme that you are unwell and sickness absence will be recorded in the normal way. If you test positive for Covid-19 during this period you should notify your Head of Programme.  Heads of Programme should give as much support to their students as they can while they are away.

RCS will not ask anyone isolating to come into the buildings before their period of isolation is complete, in any circumstances.

Once a person who is a possible Covid case has left the premises, the immediate area occupied by the individual, e.g. first aid room and activity area, will be cleaned with detergent to remove organic matter such as dust or body fluids then a disinfectant to kill pathogens. This should include any potentially contaminated high contact areas such as door handles, telephones and grab-rails. Once this process has been completed, the area can be put back into use. Activity in the room will have to be temporarily suspended till this process has been completed.

Any public areas where a symptomatic or COVID-19 diagnosed individual has only passed through (spent minimal time in), e.g. corridors, and which are not visibly contaminated with any body fluids, do not need to be further decontaminated beyond routine cleaning processes.

Points to keep in mind
• Self-isolation may be required on more than one occasion.
• NHS contact tracers may require someone to self-isolate even if they have previously tested positive for coronavirus and have recovered.
• Covid-19 could affect any of us so please remember to be supportive to anyone who may be affected.
• If we follow the social distancing guidance, hand hygiene guidance and other measures such as wearing face coverings we are less likely to be affected and therefore less likely to need additional measures that could affect our studies or work.

You should self-isolate when:

You should self-isolate when:

  • You are advised to do so by your GP, public health staff or your line manager
  • You have recently returned from or travelled through a Category 1 high-risk country or area in which there is spread of coronavirus infection
  • You have recently returned from or travelled through a Category 2 high risk country or area in which there is spread of coronavirus infection and you have symptoms
    • You have a seasonal cold or flu-like illness

The NHS and UK Government maintains an up to date list of countries and areas where there is significant prevalence of and spread of coronavirus. These countries or areas are described as Category 1 or Category 2, and the self-isolation advice to travellers varies depending on which country you have visited, and whether or not you have symptoms of illness.

Please familiarise yourself with these lists and categories, which are updated regularly.

If you return from a Category 1 country you must self-isolate for 14 days. You must alert your Line Manager and agree to work from home, if this is feasible, and assuming you are well.

If you return from a Category 1 country and you are feeling unwell (cough, fever, shortness of breath), you should contact NHS24 (call – 111) and if advised to self-isolate for 14 days, you must alert your Line Manager.

If you return from a Category 2 country and subsequently become ill, no matter how mild, you should contact NHS24 (call – 111) and if advised to self-isolate for 14 days, you must alert your Line Manager.  This will be recorded as Sickness Absence.  You will not be required to provide a Medical Certificate as you will be unable to obtain this from your GP.

During self-isolation you should avoid, as far as is possible, any contact with other people. You should not leave your house, flat or room.

The NHS has published a comprehensive guide to self-isolation.

Returning to the RCS premises

What will be building be like?

There are videos of both Renfrew Street and Wallace Studios to show you exactly how things will look.

There is a one-way system to get around the building and mask-wearing is required as you move around the building.

Social distancing and good hygiene practices are in place, with additional handwashing and sanitising facilities available.

There is a strict limit on the number of people that can be in the building at any one time. If you are on the premises, it must be for a scheduled reason and we ask that you do not linger any longer than necessary, allowing others who are scheduled to be in later to have access.

There will be no access for members of the public, just staff and students.

There is a registration system in place on entry to capture the names and contact details of those in the building on any date, as required by government guidance. If there were to be an outbreak, there are measures in place to help support official track and trace functions.

Please make sure that you give your up to date contact details to  the AAS office.

Am I required to work in the building?

Timetable details and any specific guidance will be sent to students by their programme teams. A Welcome Home Support Team is in place for students offering a range of support, including assistance for those who require to quarantine.

Will international students be advised of quarantine requirements prior to returning for new academic year 2020-21?

Yes. A Welcome Home Support Team is in place for students offering a range of support, including assistance for those who require to quarantine.

If I have been abroad, do I need to quarantine?

International travel is currently subject to regularly-changing advice, particularly with regard to quarantine guidelines in place on arrival at many destinations and on return to Scotland. It should be noted that no one should currently be undertaking any international travel on behalf of RCS.


Will mask wearing be mandatory inside the building?

The wearing of a face covering while moving around the building is currently mandatory. Risk assessments will determine the appropriateness of not using them in teaching spaces, to facilitate learning interactions. There will be Perspex screens to facilitate communication in key places (such as AAS reception) and transparent face coverings for our D/deaf community and others who work with the cohort.

There is a growing body of scientific evidence and guidance around face covering usage and types which we are following and, together with Universities Scotland, implementing with priority given first and foremost to protecting health and reducing transmission of viral particles.

Will we be provided with face coverings or do we have to supply our own?

Students will receive a mask in their welcome pack.

Will the cafe bar be open?

At present the café bar is not opening but options to provide catering are being explored.

Will the buildings more public spaces be open to the general public?

The building won’t be open to the general public for the time being. No in-person public performances are planned for Term One although the regular Mondays and Fridays at One performances will continue to take place and will be broadcast on the RCS at Home website.

How are we kept safe in the RCS buildings?

How will social distancing be managed?

We will have a one way system in place with signage. The building and room occupancies, including toilets, have been reduced to ensure distancing can be maintained.

How will numbers present in the building be managed? What if I need to access my office for a short period?

A building occupancy has been set and will be monitored through a digital counting system or a sign-in system. Only staff and students who have programmed activities or agreed access will be allowed on campus.

Short term access to offices to collect workstation equipment can be arranged through Health, Safety and Wellbeing while access for other items such as teaching resources can be arranged through Client Services.

Will there be regular temperature taking of staff/students?

No. At present we do not plan regular temperature testing. For more information on current government guidance on temperature checking follow this link https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-covid-19-shielding/

What processes are in place to ensure students and staff who have to operate shared equipment are safe both in class and on location?

Each department will carry out a risk assessment to identify hazards such as shared equipment and what cleaning protocols are required to reduce the risk such as minimising the sharing of equipment and cleaning materials needed. Cleaning materials will be provided as required.

Will there be overnight cleaning of the teaching rooms or plans to clean work/office areas and equipment? 

There will be regular cleaning of the campus and this has been increased. Rooms will be cleaned at the end of the day and during the day. Staff and students can play a part in keeping the campus safe by ensuring rooms and corridors are kept clear of litter, equipment is cleaned as appropriate after use and by maintaining a regular personal regime of handwashing and/or sanitising.

Will there be a Perspex barrier of any type to act as a barrier and will there be any extra air ventilation or filtering in rooms?

The room occupancies have been reduced so any teaching room that has been identified as suitable for 2 people has more than 2m distancing space available. Most of the rooms have natural ventilation while the need for any barriers will be identified through departmental risk assessments.

Are there additional hand washing stations?

Additional sinks have been provided in Renfrew Street and Wallace Studios. There will also be additional hand sanitiser stations installed around the buildings.

Will there be a dedicated Covid-19 Supervisor or monitor at RCS to ensure guidelines are being adhered to across the RCS?

We haven’t appointed a dedicated supervisor but the Health, Safety and Wellbeing Manager will be monitoring activities and what is happening.

What plans are in place to redistribute the current spaces (both teaching and non-teaching) to make best use of our limited space while social distancing is in place?

Space Planning are collating all the activity needs to maximise the use of spaces safely. Some examples of changed purpose are a meeting room becoming a practice room and an office being repurposed as a DTU studio.

Academic plans for room usage are being drawn up in detail by the Academic Management Team and Academic Planning Group. Full details will be circulated.

What if I become aware are that a member of staff or a student is not adhering to the safety guidelines?

We would hope that any concerns can be discussed in a positive way with the individual concerned in the first instance. If this is not possible, anyone who has concerns should inform their line manager or Head of Department in the first instance. Again if this is not possible then concerns can be reported to Health, Safety and Wellbeing.

Are First Aiders going to be identified and receive additional training to deal with Covid-19? 

Client Services staff are the trained first aiders in all buildings. All accidents should be reported to them in the first instance. A guidance document has been created for first aiders and refresher training is being arranged.

Is it safe for me to return to our office space that I share with two other colleagues?

All room occupancies have been assessed for safe working. They will operate with reduced capacity and with social distancing consideration in place. Working from home likely to continue for members of staff who do not require to be in the building to support key operations, learning and teaching and/or the student experience.

Staff should discuss all concerns with their line manager and we will support you as much as possible so that they can return safely.

Will there be a named staff member to deal with employee wellbeing and mental health considerations?

Staff should contact HR and will also be directed to the Employee Assistance Programme and on line support on Togetherall (previously the Big White Wall)

What is being done to ensure safety in the Junior conservatoire?

All Heads of Department are required to carry out risk assessments and ensure the controls are in place do this will be happening with Juniors as well.

How do we handle Short Courses students coming into the building – do we take a register?

All the additional measures put in place for the safe of use the RCS campus will apply, including registration on entry and strict limits on building occupancy.

Will room set up be done in advance by client services? 

Rooms will be set-up as normal but where distancing is required and controlled by furniture positioning, for example in an ensemble, then moving furniture is discouraged.

Will there be flexibility in start times given the reduced nature of public transport just now?

We will have discussions with heads re flexibility on this and other concerns and transport arrangements will be part of that discussion.

Will there be more parking provisions as an alternate to using public transport?

There will be very limited parking available as at present. Limited staff numbers will be in the building at any one time which it is hoped will be of assistance.

Will a camera that directly covers the bike stand at the front of the RCS be installed before the start of the term?

Two additional CCTV cameras have been installed to cover the existing bike shelter.

What changes have been made to the building cleaning regime?

An additional cleaning programme has been put in place. Deep cleans with safe materials (sanitising solutions and hot water, for example) will take place on a regular basis during the day.

Will there be additional suitable waste disposal provision?

Suitable waste disposal will be arranged. Numbers in the building will be limited which will assist.

I’m a student planning to study abroad next Academic Year. Will my placement/Exchange go ahead?

At this stage, we hope that 2020-2021 Study Abroad arrangements will not be affected by the current situation. However, it is possible that there may be disruption in some locations around the world.  RCS will continue to monitor the situation closely and communicate with all students scheduled to study or work abroad next year. If you have specific questions about your placement, please contact AAS staff.

What happens if I am shielding or have other health-related reasons that mean I cannot come on campus?

If you are shielding or have other health-related personal circumstances that mean that you cannot come to campus and study safely, even with all the health measures in place, then we will look at your case individually to see what is possible.

Depending on what you are studying, we may be able to support you studying fully at a distance, however, we will not be able to replicate every aspect of the on-campus learning experience.

For some programmes, it may not be possible to complete your studies without being on campus because there may be requirements to demonstrate particular skills.

If you have concerns about beginning your studies, please contact us at matriculation@rcs.ac.uk.

What will RCS be doing to protect my health and wellbeing?

We are taking comprehensive steps to protect the health and wellbeing of every student.

We will always closely follow national guidelines, potentially going beyond them at times, learning from the best practice from around the world. This inevitably has consequences for life on campus.

This isn’t a complete list of the measures we will take, but hopefully gives you a sense of our commitment to your safety during 2020/21:

  • All members of the RCS community will need to abide by clear rules relating to personal hygiene and the way they interact with others
  • A thorough cleaning regime will apply in all spaces used by students and staff
  • We will operate one-way systems in corridors of buildings
  • The numbers allowed in any given building or room will be limited to avoid congestion
  • We will issue all staff and students with face coverings and encourage their use in certain environments
  • Anyone who is showing symptoms of Covid-19 will be asked to undertake a test and may have to self-isolate; those who have been in contact with them will be identified and will also be asked to take tests
  • To reduce congestion on campus, many staff will continue to work mostly from home
  • Special rules will apply in confined spaces, such as cafes and toilets, to make physical distancing as easy as possible, and to ensure the highest standards of hygiene.
What if I need to self-isolate and I need assistance with essential supplies?

We have a Welcome Home Support Team who are on hand to deliver essential groceries, medical supplies and other household items. Please contact welcomehome@rcs.ac.uk to speak to a member of the team – we are here to help.

How will I be assessed?

Moodle assessments (online submissions etc.) should continue in the normal way.  Heads of Programmes or Module Co-ordinators will communicate directly with students to confirm other assessment arrangements in due course. Please keep checking Moodle in the meantime.

How can I access the Library & IT services?

The Library space is currently closed, but we still are offering full access to thousands of e-resources via our Catalogue for E-Books, and thousands of additional e-resources via Catalogue Plus . You can also check out our E-resource data base listing and our E-journal titles. Additionally, we have made the following updates:

Can I still access the counselling service?

The RCS Counselling Service will be accessible through email. Please contact Dr Jane Balmforth on j.balmforth@rcs.ac.uk to arrange an online appointment or request information.

Students can also arrange telephone counselling by contacting Mairi Gillies, Cognitive Behavioural (CBT) therapist at mairi@mgtherapy.co.uk

Ross Paterson, the counsellor who is available weekday evenings 5-8pm on westendcommunitycounselling@gmail.com

Stephanie McDermid provides counselling in BSL and online counselling on stephanier1975@btinternet.com

The online supportive community, Big White Wall, is also available 24/7  – sign in with your RCS email address.

I am in financial hardship, what can I do?

We are committed to using our Discretionary funds we have to help as many of our students as possible.  Please email welfare@rcs.ac.uk with your circumstances in the first instance.

Help Musicians Scotland has asked us to share their details for performing musicians needing crisis support.  Their link is given here.

Can I access the Effective Learning Service (ELS) for help with written assignments?

Yes, the ELS is available on-line. Please contact Ursula and Josh, the ELS tutors, on els@rcs.ac.uk  for help with written work. This includes help with researching, structuring and planning as well as getting feedback on what you’ve written. You can get help whatever stage you’re at – whether you don’t know where to start or you’ve written 2,000 words. Ursula and Josh can also help, if for example, you’re writing a reflection, summarising, preparing a bibliography or trying to prioritise tasks.

I’m a student with a disability/medical condition/Specific Learning Disability — can I get help?

Yes, please contact Dr Jane Balmforth, RCS Counsellor & Disability Adviser, on j.balmforth@rcs.ac.uk to discuss any disability-related issues.

How quickly can I get my Tier 4 (General) visa?

You will need a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) code to apply for your visa.  CASs are issued once a successful applicant has accepted an unconditional offer, paid their deposit, emailed to international@rcs.ac.uk a copy of the ID page of their passport and completed the CAS Evidence Request Form.  CASs are issued in batches once a week and more frequently in August and September.  You may find that your closest UK Visa Application Centre (VACS) is still closed but many are now open.  You can find further information on VACS and visa processing times on the Government’s website.

When you apply for a UK visa from outside the UK, you are normally obligated to collect your biometric residence permit (BRP) from a post office within 10 days of arriving in the UK.  The Home Office acknowledges that currently, many students will be subject to quarantine for a period of 14 days from arrival, and some post offices may be closed.  There will now be flexibility around this as a result of Covid-19. In previous years, BRPs have always been kept by post offices for a period that exceeds 10 days.

When the Home Office grants you an entry clearance (visa), it tells you that you need to collect your BRP 10 days after arrival in the UK or before the expiry date on the sticker (vignette) in your passport, whichever is the later. Entry clearances will now be granted for a 90-day period (previously 30 days), so you have a maximum period of 90 days in which to collect your BRP, depending on when you arrive.  If you arrive in the UK shortly before the expiry date on your vignette, or you cannot travel to the UK before then, and you are worried about not being able to collect your BRP in time, you can notify the Home Office.

Can I receive a Tier 4 visa even if most of my instruction is taking place online? If classes are forced to move entirely online will I lose my visa?

For the start of the 20-21 Academic Year RCS is planning to deliver a blended model of teaching (a blend of online and in-person tuition). If you’re from outside the EEA you will need to have immigration permission to travel to the UK.  In the very unlikely event that teaching had to be moved completely online and there was no requirement for you to come to the UK in September, you would not require a Tier 4 visa until the point at which you were asked to travel to the UK.

I don’t have my CAS yet… when will I get it? Do I still have conditions?

You will get a CAS when you have accepted an unconditional offer, emailed in a copy of the ID page of your passport, paid your deposit and submitted your Tier 4 CAS Evidence Request Form.  CASs are issued in batches on weekly basis.

Will RCS help me during quarantine to get food, etc? How can I be looked after if I am international, new to Glasgow, and need to isolate for 14 days (or a period of time)?

RCS has established a special ‘Welcome Home’ Support Team to support new and returning students at this time. This team will offer support to all students who may require to quarantine and require assistance with food shopping, supplies etc.

Base Glasgow (student accommodation) questions

Can I move into Base early?
Base may be able to allow students to move in early if we can accommodate it. This will be on a case by case basis.

What health & safety measures are in place at Base?
Regular cleaning, 2m distancing, hand gels on site and cleaning wipes in communal areas.

Are cleaning crews doing extra work there?
There is housekeeping 7 days a week and all communal areas will be cleaned daily. Base will be carrying out more regular cluster inspections to ensure the level of cleanliness is high in all areas.

Will the cinema room be open? Gym?
Base will open all areas as per government advice however all areas will have reduced numbers of people allowed at one time.

Are practice rooms going to be cleaned regularly as well?
Practice rooms will be cleaned daily and will be supplied with hand gel and disinfectant wipes for students to use before and after use.

What if someone I’m sharing a block with gets sick? What if someone at Base gets sick?
If a student in a cluster gets sick they will be advised to self-isolate within their room and Base can assist with any food delivery. Communal kitchen use will be at set times and will be the responsibility of the student to clean down after use.

What is the fee situation for EU students?

On July 9 2020 Scotland’s Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, Richard Lochhead announced changes to the fee regime for EU students studying in Scotland. From next academic year (21/22) all EU students commencing study in Scotland will pay fees at the International rate.

Please check our Fees and Funding page for the most up-to-date information.

Will there be scholarship support available to EU students?

The RCS Trust currently disburses more than £1.3million to incoming and continuing undergraduate, postgraduate and research students from Scotland, the rest of the UK, and international (including EU students) on the basis of merit and/or financial need. For more details visit our Scholarship page.

In addition, the Scottish Government last month (July 2020) committed to exploring a scholarship programme specifically to support European students to study in Scotland. We will share further details as soon as they become available.

I’m an EU student currently studying at RCS. Does this impact on me?

No. EU students who have already started their studies, or who start this autumn (academic year 20/21), will not be affected and will still be eligible for tuition fee support the entirety of their course.

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