Short Courses: Frequently Asked Questions
On this page
Essential information for all short course applicants and delegates.
Frequently asked questions
How old do I have to be to come on a short course?
Anyone over 21 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.
What level of English do I need to apply?
All classes are taught in English. Applicants / bookers 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.
Can I have a short course brochure sent to me?
We do not send out brochures for our courses, however you can go to the RCA short courses main page where you can find full listings for session dates, details and availability.
How far in advance 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. When the courses are delivered on campus, we particularly advise early application if you will need a tourist visa to enter the UK.
Can I read the full Terms & Conditions?
Yes, here’s a link. Before making a booking you must have read and agreed to the terms and conditions.
Attending our campus
Are there facilities for disabled people?
The RCA is committed to an equal opportunities policy that supports D/deaf and disabled people. Please let us know if you have any hearing or access requirements that the college could put in place before you make a booking.
Do I need a visa to attend the course?
Delegates without UK nationality or settled/pre-settled status under the EUSS are required to obtain a Standard Visitor Visa in order to attend a course in the UK. This route allows for study on a course up to six months in length.
EU/EEA/Swiss nationals and non-visa nationals can apply for permission to enter at the port of entry in the UK, and can stay for up to six months as a visitor.
Visa nationals must apply for entry clearance in advance of travelling to the UK.
Some nationalities are also able to use the eGates as they enter the UK; if you are eligible for this you can do so if you are coming as a Standard Visitor (please note the use of eGates is dependent on possessing a biometric passport and you must retain evidence of date you entered the UK).
The Standard Visitor Visa cannot be extended and visitors are not entitled to work during their stay. It is also not possible to switch into another type of visa in-country.
For further details visit www.gov.uk/standard-visitor-visa.
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 the course fee (as well as travel expenses and accommodation, if you book a physical course) should you have to cancel less than four 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 (if you come on to a physical course).
Course fees and booking
How do I book a short course?
The easiest way is to book online. Simply find the course you require and make sure to click on the 'Book now' hyperlink on available course pages. 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.
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.
Are there any discounts or concessions available on the course fees?
RCA students and 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 Executive Education team at [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.
Are there any financial aid, scholarships or bursaries available for short courses?
The RCA does not currently offer any financial aid, scholarships or bursaries to short course delegates.
Digital course delivery
What platforms and digital delivery tools are used?
We use Moodle VLE (virtual learning environment), a web-based platform for the digital aspects of courses of study where present resources, activities and interactions are hosted. The course content is made available to you for the duration of the course and for 10 working days after the course completion. Instructions on how to sign up to the VLE are provided ahead of the course start date.
Zoom is used to deliver the online sessions. It is a videoconferencing platform that enables the live delivery of the lectures and workshop, collaboration via chat, live participation through polls and breakout rooms for working remotely in groups. Tech support is provided during each session to ensure any technical difficulties are addressed. Links to Zoom sessions are provided ahead of the course start date.
Miro is the online collaborative whiteboard platform used for the workshop part of the online delivery. We can share information and brainstorm ideas. Participants work in groups and can share notes, post images, videos and links without the constraints of physical location, meeting space, and whiteboard. Links to the Miro boards that will be used during delivery are provided ahead of the course start date.
We use Slack to enable quick communications among the participants and the delivery team during the course activities. Slack is a channel-based messaging platform that enables working together more effectively all within a secure, enterprise-grade environment.
What equipment/software will I need?
The technology requirements to attend our online courses is minimal:
- Latest version of web browser (we recommend Firefox or Chrome)
- A computer with a camera and a microphone
- A stable broadband connection is highly advised so make sure you are working close to a strong WiFi signal (if using a tablet or smartphone) or your computer is connected to the internet via an Ethernet cable.
How long is an online course?
Typically, our online short courses vary in duration between three and five half-days. Each half day corresponds to one online class.
How long is an online class?
Typically, a class lasts for three hours including a 15 minute break halfway through. The class is live so participation at the set times is essential. We recommend logging on five minutes before the scheduled start, to ensure your equipment and tools work.
What time zones are the classes delivered in?
Participants from all around the world are welcome to attend our online courses. The times listed for each live course are UK time, so please ensure to adapt the times to your local timezone to ensure you can attend. You can check online on a website, e.g. World Time Buddy.
Who teaches on the short courses?
The tutors for the short courses range from academics 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.
How many people are on each short course?
We try to keep classes small. Typically when delivered on campus, 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. When the course is delivered online, the numbers usually vary between 15–30 delegates.
When will I receive the course timetable?
The course timetable will be sent with the joining instructions five to seven days before the course start date.
Can I get reading lists or further course information before the start date?
The joining instructions that include the timetable and reading lists (if relevant) seven to ten days before the course start date.
Can I record the lectures/presentations?
Some tutors may upload powerpoint presentations or Zoom recordings of their talks on the VLE for a limited amount of time (10 working days), 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. However, some might be in a position to share select materials in PDF format. In any case, we strongly encourage you to bring a notebook/laptop and capture the content in note format throughout.
Can I get a certificate of online attendance?
Certificates of online attendance in PDF format are sent by the course administrators within a week of course completion to all delegates that have attended the course. Please note that this does not represent a formal qualification from the RCA.
Please note: RCA short courses are not a series of lectures and require active commitment and engagement. In order to complete the course you must attend all sessions, undertake the homework assignments and participate in the group work throughout. If you do not attend and participate in the sessions, then you may no longer be give access the course resources, such as recordings, reading materials and Miro boards.
On campus delivery
Where will my course take place?
The RCA 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.
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. Please also 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.
Will refreshments be provided?
Unless specified, 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.
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 or a delegate badge. You must show this every time you enter the building and whenever requested by a member of staff. If you lose your pass or badge you must request a replacement from the Short Course Office before your next class. If given a pass, you may use it to gain access to the buildings if you wish to use the library or college shops outside of your class times. Please note that the security pass is not a student ID card.
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 for the duration of their course. 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.
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.
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.
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 the event of a fire?
In the event of a fire alarm sounding please leave by the exit that your tutor or a member of the delivery team 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.
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.
Social media contacts
What are the RCA social media contacts?
As an RCA delegate, 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 delegates and keep you updated regarding forthcoming events and opportunities.
Twitter: @RCA @RCAShortCourses #RCAShortCourses
Instagram: @RoyalCollegeofArt @RCAShortCourses #RCAShortCourses
Custom executive education
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 online, 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.
Peter Christian, Head of Executive Education
Hattie Allen, Executive Education Manager
I'd like to speak to someone in person – how can I get in touch with you?
For short course enquiries please contact Jo Chounta, Executive Education Coordinator
Get in touch if you'd like to find out more about the RCA short courses