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RCA Short Courses Frequently Asked Questions

Coronavirus (Covid-19) - Latest information for Executive Education course delegates and applicants

Due to the evolving Covid-19 pandemic – all College buildings are closed until further notice. 

The majority of the Executive Education courses have now been cancelled or postponed.

We offer delegates that have booked a place on a course the following options:

  1. 100% refund of the course fee OR
  2. Transfer of their existing booking to the next set course dates (once they are announced)

For ‘Architecture Summer School’, ‘Curating Contemporary Art and Design: Theory and Practice’ & ‘Contemporary Art Summer School’ ONLY:

We offer delegates that have booked a place on a course the following options:

  1. 100% refund of the course fee OR
  2. Transfer of their existing booking to the next set course dates (once they are announced)
In any case, we offer an extension of their application validity for a year, so if a delegate decides to cancel or transfer their booking, they will not have to apply again for the summer 2021 course.

We offer applicants that have submitted an application the following option:

If an applicant has submitted an application by April 1st 2020 and the application is successful, we will notify the applicant and offer an extension of the application validity for a year, so an applicant will not have to apply again for the summer 2021 course but simply pay the course fee when the 2021 course dates are announced.

We do not accept or review applications at the moment until the new course dates are announced.

Where will my course take place?

The Royal College of Art has three sites in London. The Kensington site is located on Kensington Gore, facing Hyde Park and next to the Royal Albert Hall. We also have a site in Battersea and White City. See our website for more information on maps and visiting.

The course description will indicate the site where the course will take place. Please report to the building's reception 15 minutes before your first session and you will be guided to your room.

How old do I have to be to come on a short course?

Anyone over 18 years old can come on our courses. There is no upper age limit – we welcome adult delegates of all ages.

What qualifications do I need?

Short courses require no formal qualifications, degrees or documentation. However, we ask that you carefully read the admission criteria on each course page to determine whether it is suitable for you.

Who teaches on the short courses?

The tutors for the short courses range from those teaching on the full-time degree courses at Royal College of Art to graduates, PhD students and professionals who have gone on to develop their expertise outside the college and within industry. All our tutors are experienced in teaching a wide range of people and understand the practical needs of business. For further information please refer to the course descriptions.

Are there any discounts or concessions available on the course fees?

RCA Students and RCA Alumni are entitled to a 10 per cent discount on our short courses. Receiving this discount is simple, just pick a course and contact the short course office on [email protected] and quote your name, course and your year of graduation. We will send you a discount booking payment link.

The courses are priced very competitively for the London market.

Do you have a mailing list where I can stay up to date about courses and opportunities?

You can register your interest and sign up for news and opportunities here.

Can I reserve a space on a course without paying?

No. There are limited places on each course, so we can only book a place for you once you have paid the course fee in full or we have received a purchase order from your company.

When do I need to book a short course?

Our short courses are very popular and places fill quickly, so to be sure of a place book as soon as you can. We would recommend booking at least four weeks before the start of a course. We particularly advise early application if you will need a tourist visa to enter the UK.

How do I book a short course?

The easiest way is to book online. Simply find the course you require and click the ‘book your place here’ icon. You will be taken to an online booking form on a secure server. Complete the registration and booking process to make the booking. Please ensure that you are using the most up to date version of your internet browser.

Is it possible to pay the course fee in instalments?

No, it is not possible to pay the course fees in instalments. The course fee has to be paid in full in order to secure your place.

How many people are on each short course?

We try to keep classes small. Typically, each course usually has between 7 and 20 delegates so that every delegate gets as much individual attention from the tutor as they need depending on the subject matter and complexity of the course.

Are there facilities for disabled people?

The Royal College of Art is committed to an equal opportunities policy that supports D/deaf and disabled people. Please let us know if you have any access requirements that the college could put in place before you make a booking.

Can I have a short course brochure sent to me?

We do not send out a printed brochures for our courses, you can find full listings for session dates, details and availability through the short courses website.

What do I do on the first day?

On the first day of the course please report to the main reception of the building where your course is to be held. You should bring with you any materials that the tutor may have requested and your ID.

Will refreshments be provided?

Unless speciified refreshments and meals are not included. You can get your own lunch and coffee during the breaks in the canteen or local places close to the campus. 

Where can I refill my water bottle? 

Water: at our Kensington campus there is a water fountain in the canteen, at the White City campus there is water available from the tap in the kitchen and at our Battersea campus there is water available in the kitchen. We encourage you to bring a refillable bottle, to reduce single use plastic and save the environment.

Can I record the lectures/presentations?

Some tutors may upload powerpoints of their talks, but others may not wish to, or may not be able to provide these owing to copyright issues with some images and/or the unpublished nature of ongoing research.  For these reasons we ask students not to use film or sound recording devices. Always check with the course leader, as it may be possible to take photographs of key slides.

Can I have copies of the lectures?

The speakers and lecturers reserve the right to protect their intellectual property and may not be able to share copies of their lectures with you. We strongly encourage you to bring a notebook/laptop and capture the content in note format throughout.

What are the RCA social media contacts?

As an RCA student, we encourage you to build your network through social media. Tweeting about the course before, during and after will help you connect to your speakers, your tutors, your fellow students and keep you updated regarding forthcoming events and opportunities.

Twitter: @RCA @RCAShortCourses #RCAShortCourses

Instagram: @RoyalCollegeofArt @RCAShortCourses #RCAShortCourses

Can I get a certificate of attendance?

Certificates of attendance are distributed by the course tutors on the final day, for all delegates that have completed the course. Please note that this does not represent a formal qualification from the Royal College of Art.

Do short course delegates have access to facilities outside course times?

All short course delegates have access to the college library based in Kensington for research purposes and during the summer it is open 10am – 5pm daily. Unfortunately, you are not able to take books or videos out on loan.

Delegates are not able to use any of the studio facilities outside of class times. The RCA is a fully working college and equipment is in constant use by the full-time post-graduate students.

Do I need a visa to attend the course?

Delegates without UK/EU/EEA/Swiss nationality are advised to obtain a short-term study visa in order to attend the course. If study is not the only purpose of the trip, you may be able to enter the UK on a standard visitor visa, which permits study for up to 30 days.

Standard Visitor Visa Standard visitor visas cannot be extended and Standard Visitors are not entitled to work or study during their stay if a study is the main purpose of the visit. However, study of up to 30 days is permitted in some circumstances. If you are coming to the UK with this visa, you can use the eGates at the airport. For further details visit Please note that Brexit will not affect non-EU/EEA nationals visa application process.

Short-term study visa The Short-term Study visa allows students to come to the UK for a period of up to 6 months (per calendar year) in order to undertake a short course of study. 

Please be aware that if you enter the UK on a Short-term Study visa:

  • you are not entitled to work (paid, unpaid, voluntary or as part of a work placement or internship)
  • you cannot extend your visa in the UK, or switch to a different visa category from within the UK
  • bring dependants.

Citizens of certain countries are non-visa nationals are able to come to the UK as a Short-term Student without first applying for a visa.  Check if you need to apply for a visa. Instead, these citizens can be stamped in on arrival as a Short-term Student at the UK border. Students who fall into the non-visa national category must make it clear to the Immigration Officer at the UK border that they are entering the UK for the purpose of study, rather than a general visit. For more information about the Short-term Study visa, please consult the Short-term Study visa section of the Home Office website.  

If you are coming to the UK as a Short Term Student it is essential that you do NOT use the eGates at the airport.  If you do not get a stamp in your passport stating that you have been allowed to come into the UK under the STS route, the College will by law be unable to enrol you. You will have to leave the UK and re-enter getting the correct stamp. This can be both costly and stressful, so make sure you are not using the eGates at the airport and are seen by a Border Force Officer.

EU/EEA Nationals Information is available on our EU Student FAQ page

Contact the local British Consulate for more help.

When the delegate has paid the fee and accepted the terms and conditions, the College can issue a formal invitation letter in support of any visa application.

The UKCISA and GOV.UK websites have the most up-to-date visa information.

Does the RCA have its own accommodation?

The RCA does not have its own accommodation or arrange accommodation for our short course students - applicants will have to organise that themselves. In previous years participants have also found nearby accommodation through AirBnB. We can also recommend:

Do I need insurance?

Unforeseen circumstances may force you to curtail or cancel your course. We strongly recommend that you take out insurance to cover expenses for travel and accommodation as well as for the course fee should you have to cancel less than 4 weeks before the start of the course.

Unless your country of residence has a reciprocal arrangement with the UK that entitles you to free medical care, we urge you also to take out medical insurance to cover you during your visit to London.

What should I bring?

Please bring a notepad and pen. Anything else will be outlined in the joining instructions which are sent a week before the course start date. We have a college shop which is open term-time only and there is a great art materials shop near to the RCA: Cass Art Kensington, 220 Kensington High St, Kensington, London W8 7RG.

Are there any financial aid, scholarships or bursaries available for short courses? 

The Royal College of Art does not currently offer any financial aid, scholarships or bursaries to short course delegates. 

When will I receive the course timetable? 

The course timetable will be sent with the joining instructions a week before the course start date.

Can I get reading lists or further course information before arriving in London?

The joining instructions that include the timetable and reading lists (if relevant) a week before the course start date.

How do I access the RCA wifi?

We will share login details with you on your first day at the RCA.

If there are visits to museums and galleries as part of the course, are they included in the course fee? 

Museums and galleries tickets that are part of the course programme are included in the course fee.

Is the transport covered for visits to museums and galleries?

Public transport will be used for visits to museums and galleries during the course and the cost is not included in the fee. In London the best way to get around on public transport is by using an Oyster Card or contactless card payments.

Will I be able to access computers at the RCA? 

There is a small cluster of computers in the library which you will be able to access. We recommend that you bring your own laptop if you have one.

What level of English do I need to apply? 

All classes are taught in English. Applicants whose first language is not English should note that they are required to be proficient in written and spoken English and be able to participate in group discussions and presentations in English.

As a short course delegate will I be allowed access to the building? 

On the first day of your course you will be issued with a security pass. You must show this every time you enter the building and whenever requested by a member of staff. If you lose your pass you must request a replacement from the Short Course Office before your next class. You can use the pass to gain access to the buildings if you wish to use the library or college shops outside of your class times. It is not a student ID card.

Is there a policy on the use of mobile (cell) phones?

Mobile phones must be switched off throughout seminars, classes and workshops. Please use your phone outside the classroom should you need to make a call.

What can I do about any property lost or stolen while in College? 

Personal property must be kept with you at all times. The college cannot accept any responsibility for work, equipment, materials or personal possessions left in the college. The college has no liability for lost or stolen items.

Can you store work after my course has ended?

Due to a shortage of space we cannot store any work once the course has finished.

What should I do in event of a fire? 

In the event of a fire alarm sounding please leave by the exit that your tutor will have described on the first day. You must not re-enter the building until authorised to do so by a member of staff. If the building should require evacuation without the sound of an alarm you must follow instructions given by staff or the emergency service.‌‌‌

Does the RCA run customised courses that are tailored to the needs of a specific company or organisation?

RCA Executive Education delivers customised senior-level education programmes for business, government and the public sector.

You can find out more about our custom executive education courses here.

Courses may be delivered locally at our London campus or at your premises. Previous courses have been delivered in countries as diverse as Finland, Saudi Arabia, Norway, Hong Kong, Netherlands and Mexico, for clients including Samsung, Fujitsu, Visa and TCS Consultants.

In consultation with companies, our selected RCA experts will develop short, custom workshops designed to address specific business challenges through the use of practical tools such as ‘design thinking', ‘people-centred innovation’, with reference to real-world projects, experiences and case studies. Ideal for groups of 10-25 professionals. Contact Peter Christian: [email protected] +44 (0)20 7590 4545.

Can I read the full terms and conditions?

Yes, here’s a link. Before making a booking you must have read and agreed to the terms and conditions.

I'd like to speak to someone in person – how can I get in touch with you? 

For short course enquiries please call Jo Chounta on +44 (0)20 7590 4279 or email [email protected].