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The move to COVID-19 Tier 2 in London: information for students and be COVID-19 prepared - 16th October 2020

We hope that you are settling into the new term well and, whether on- or off-campus, we would like to thank you all for your support in helping us to resume and continue teaching during this first term of the 2020/21 academic year. We know that there have been a lot of changes in how the university community works together, and we appreciate all the efforts you are making in these very challenging times.

You will have seen in the news that London is moving to COVID-19 Tier 2 status at midnight on Friday 16th October. We know that we have many students in both on- and off-campus cohorts who live in London or come into London for placements or to socialise and we are writing to highlight the key changes as we move into Tier 2. We want to reassure you that the changes, while important, will not have an impact on the delivery of your courses; under Tier 2 Universities are staying open. They may, however, mean some changes to the way you live or socialise.

  • The biggest change is how you mix with people indoors. Previously, you were required to follow the ‘rule of six’ indoors but that allowed you to mix households. The new Tier 2 rules mean you cannot mix households indoors in any setting, including restaurants, cafes and pubs. The only exemption is if you are in a support bubble. A support bubble is a close support network between a household with only one adult in the home (known as a single-adult household) and one other household of any size.
  • Educational settings are exempt from the ‘rule of six’ in terms of delivering education such as for practical teaching sessions. However, if you are in an on-campus cohort, we would like to request that you follow the new rule about mixing households in the restaurants and cafeterias as much as possible.
  • The ‘rule of six’ must still be observed for socialising outdoors, including private gardens as well as public spaces such as parks. This has not changed from the previous Tier 1 rule.
  • We are all advised to look to reduce the numbers of journeys we make, if possible. For most people this will mean looking at how you move around to go shopping and to socialise.
  • Be aware that we are all advised to avoid travelling from and into Tier 3 (very high alert) areas and staying overnight in these areas. Some off-campus students may live in Tier 3 areas and some of you may have family that live in Tier 3 areas. Please consider this when planning journeys to see family at weekends or the purpose of your journey when travelling out of a Tier 3 area. It is important that we do as much as we can to prevent spread of COVID-19. If you are unsure, speak to the Advice Centre advice@rvc.ac.uk or your tutor about your plans.

You can find more information about the 3 tiered COVID-19 alert levels here.

If you are not sure which Tier your area is in, you can use this postcode checker to find out.

There will be many of you who live on the outskirts of London and into Hertfordshire who may not live within the Tier 2 area. We would urge you to consider these changes and to be aware that nationally, the alert levels are going up and that changes could extend further over the coming days and weeks.

Please do not be tempted to have one last large gathering before the new regulations come in – this is only likely to drive the alert levels up faster.

Be COVID-19 Prepared

It is important to recognise these changes are relatively small, however, if followed correctly, they will slow the spread of the virus in the community. We do need to recognise that there is even more onus to be prepared if we are required to self-isolate or if the place where we live enters a higher alert level.

  • If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms it is important that you immediately fill in and submit the COVID-19 questionnaire which will be received by the Advice Centre. They will contact you to identify the support that you need and give you further advice.
  • It is inevitable that some students may be asked to self-isolate at some point during this term and we can all do a lot to be “COVID-19 prepared”. This includes having a minimum of 3 days food and medication supplies in your accommodation, to have signed up to an online supermarket food delivery service and to have a supply of clean clothes, towels and bedding available as access to laundry facilities may be more difficult whilst self-isolating.
  • Have a supply of disposable face coverings, hand sanitisers/soap and disinfectant wipes.
  • If you are self-isolating you will be receiving a weekly wellbeing check-in from the Advice Centre.
  • Also, think about your friendship networks; establish a buddy network and identify those who might be able to help support you outside of your household if you are asked to self-isolate and in turn who you might be able to help when they need it.
  • Whether you are self-isolating or not the RVC offers various kinds of wellbeing support for you to access or contact the Advice Centre to discuss any issues advice@rvc.ac.uk

We hope that you find this information helpful in outlining the new rules. If anything is unclear, please do discuss the issues with your tutor at the earliest opportunity. If you are worried about how these changes might impact upon you, seek guidance and support through the Advice Centre advice@rvc.ac.uk and remember that the RVC community is here to help.

Our research community

Specific updates continue to be provided to the research community with important information regarding our approach to ensuring a proper process to accessing laboratories. Please visit ‘Accessing the College’s Research Facilities’ on the RVC intranet to access booking information. Information has been provided regarding the Government’s Job Retention Scheme as it applies to different granting bodies.

  • Suspension of any RVC-related business travel outside of the UK will continue until further notice. Should there be a requirement to travel on official business which is deemed to be essential, due to emergency or exceptional circumstances, this will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. It will require prior written approval from the Head of Department and completion of an individual risk assessment which will be subject to a health & safety and insurance review and ultimate sign-off by the Principal. Self-isolation may be required on return and the arrangements for this will need to be agreed prior to approval of said travel.
  • For personal travel, consider whether the travel is essential and what the impact would be for you if you needed to self-isolate upon return, or may not be able to return as planned due to travel restrictions put in place whilst at your destination. If you do choose to travel internationally, you should discuss this with your supervisor and agree arrangements for when you return, ideally before travel is booked. If you have travelled to a country which IS on the UK Government’s quarantine list, self-isolation will be required upon return and you should agree plans with your supervisor for working/studying remotely during that time. If you have travelled to a country which is NOT subject to UK government quarantine restrictions, there should be no physical return onto either campus for a period of 14 days following your return, and you should equally agree plans for working/studying remotely during that time. If, in exceptional circumstances, you feel you must be on campus straight after your holiday, risk to others will be assessed and if that is deemed too high, return onto campus is likely to be refused. It is therefore essential that you plan appropriately for your return to work/study following your overseas holiday, in consultation with your supervisor. The final decision on self-isolation requirements will rest with supervisors and Head of Department, on the advice of the Health & Safety Manager.
  • PhD extensions - A brief reminder that there will be another call for extension applications on Monday 12th October with a closing date of Friday 30th October, for students not currently in their final year of study. So if you feel that the impact of the pandemic has been such that you may benefit from a short extension to your studentship, please continue to document inevitable delays to your progress. Do please bear in mind though that the expectation remains that you continue to revise and re-prioritise PhD objectives so that you can continue to make progress over the summer and that the desk-based work you were able to do from home during lockdown plus the revision to your research plans should largely mitigate against the delays the Covid-19 pandemic might otherwise have caused.  We will expect that any application for an extension will detail the effect of these mitigating actions set against the time lost due to the pandemic. Keeping in touch With many academics taking some time off over the summer months, make sure to liaise with your supervisor about their availability to provide guidance and support over the coming weeks.
  • Keeping in touch is essential for everyone’s wellbeing, so if your supervisor is going to be away do try to make sure that you have an agreed plan of work during their absence, and alternative support should this be required. As always, if you require any type of support you feel cannot be provided by those in your immediate work environment, the Advice Centre is but a quick email away, as are your Students’ Union PGR Reps

AHEMS/EMS

We continue to work with the RCVS as they adapt their approach. Please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page for the latest guidance on AHEMS

Rotations

Information regarding in-person and virtual rotations is provided direct to relevant students.  Please see your Learn course pages for the latest information.

Tuition Fees

Please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page for the latest guidance on Tuition Fees

Financial support

Support is available to RVC students in financial need. Please apply if you feel you meet the criteria, particularly if you have been affected financially by the Coronavirus.

For more information visit our webpage or contact moneymatters@rvc.ac.uk or 0208 051 3500

With emails from both Lisa Thurston and Bradley Cobb, information has been provided on formative assessments as well as exceptional circumstances and deferrals.

Online Learning

Please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page for the latest guidance on Online Learning

Students on taught programmes

Please read the following carefully; for the purposes of this communication:

  • Graduating year means you are due to graduate this year 2019/20.
  • Non-graduating year means that you are due to graduate in 2020/21 or later.
  • Formative assessment A “formative” assessment is an assessment that will help you to understand how well you are doing. Whatever the mark, it is not a barrier to progression in the course. You may receive a numerical mark and/or find out how you performed relative to your peers; if appropriate, you may be encouraged to seek advice on how you could improve your performance.
  • Summative assessment means an assessment that can be a barrier to progression unless the pass mark is achieved.

Non-graduating years

ALL face-to-face teaching is suspended until August 31st at the earliest.

  1. For those NOT in a graduating year ALL SUMMATIVE assessment is suspended. Wherever possible and sticking where we can to original schedules, we will provide FORMATIVE assessments.
    1. The formative assessments will be accessible remotely online.
    2. There will be no physical presence required on campus.
  2. This relates to;
    • BSc 1
    • BSc 2
    • Gateway
    • Graduate and Accelerated
    • BVetMed 1
    • BVetMed 2
    • BVetMed 3
    • BVetMed 4
    • All VN examinations in years 1 and 2.
  3. As we work through these arrangements, we cannot tell you exactly the format of the formative assessments. PLEASE DO NOT ASK OR EMAIL - we will contact you.
  4. We will be considering how the move to formative assessment will impact final degree classifications and the allocation of points for the award of honours at a future date. Please do not send queries about this.
  5. We will work with those of you who have issues with IT resources or connectivity.
  6. We will work with those of you who require additional support.

Graduating year - Final year BSc and some MSci

  1. We are planning to deliver online SUMMATIVE assessments that will determine whether or not the outcomes of the course have been achieved.
  2. Specific information about the format of these assessments will be provided on or before the 3rd April 2020.
  3. You will be expected to submit your written projects as per the original schedule – we will be writing to you further about this.
  4. We encourage you to continue studying towards your examinations with the assumption that they will be taking place.

Graduating year – (not including BVetMed)

  1. For other graduating students including FdSc veterinary nursing students, BSc veterinary nursing students (3rd and 4th year), taught MSc students, MSci students and MVetMed students, further information will be provided before April 3rd by your course director.
  2. You should assume that you will be undergoing summative assessment.

Undergraduate and taught postgraduate degrees with a research component

  • BSc year 3 students (including final year BSc VN students)
  • MSci students
  • BVetMed RP2 students
  • MSc students
  1. In order, to minimise risk, it is necessary for all prospective projects for which the gathering of data require either laboratory work, attendance at RVC campuses, travel or face-to-face meetings to cease for the remainder of this academic year. Projects that have already been embarked upon and for which partial data are already available should be written up as incomplete projects with an explanation of how further experiments or data-gathering would have been conducted. Projects that have not yet been embarked upon should be modified to a suitable desk-based or literature-based project.
  2. Students unsure about how to proceed should contact their supervisor, or if a supervisor has not yet been allocated, the relevant Course Director or Year Leader.
  3. Students, when submitting a project for assessment, should include a concise statement (that will not be included in the word count) outlining whether and how their project was altered as a consequence of these changes.
  4. Students can be reassured that this alteration will not adversely affect their chances of success. Disruption to projects and last minute changes to projects will be taken into account when they are being marked.

Resits

  1. If you are in a non-graduating year, you will progress to the next year. Where possible we will administer a formative assessment. Regardless of the formative assessment, those with resits in this position will need to understand that they will need to seek support to address performance in the coming year.
  2. If you are in a graduating year, there will be a summative assessment, but it will be delivered by remote access online. We do not yet know the exact timing or format.

Degree classifications

  1. We have not received guidance on this matter and have not decided how degree classifications will be decided.
  2. We have an emergency paper with Academic Board that will allow us significant flexibility in allowing people to graduate on schedule. 

Students in RVC accommodation

Frequently Asked Questions on Accommodation →

Information for students required to self-isolate →

We are committed to supporting all students via the Advice Centre regardless of where you are living.

Again, a reminder: If you develop COVID-19 symptoms and need to self-isolate please inform the Advice Centre immediately so we can provide the appropriate welfare support.

Students living together in accommodation whether private or on RVC campuses will be a social bubble and will not be required to wear PPE within their accommodation. We have a range of measures in place to ensure everyone’s safety on our campuses. For full details please visit our Community Safety pages.

For further information please check the accommodation information on the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Student support

Academic Registry; →

Advice Centre →

Self-isolation, shielding and protecting vulnerable people

  1. There is important guidance issued by government here.
  2. It relates to actions you are advised to take and arrangements that you should put in place if you belong to one of the groups considered to be extremely vulnerable on medical grounds.
  3. The definition of "extremely vulnerable on medical grounds” is laid out in the advice but the posting also makes clear that it is a decision for the individual.
  4. We cannot provide advice to you on this matter. If you have questions, they should be directed towards NHS 111 or your own medical doctor if they are providing advice.

Concerned about a fellow student?

If you have a specific concern for a fellow student, please do encourage them to read these pages and follow advice as appropriate to their circumstances. (NB: if you continue to have concerns, please report these to the Advice Centre as soon as possible. Your report will be managed with the appropriate confidentiality and we will liaise directly with the reported student. We will not share personal information obtained from or about reported students unless required to do so for statutory or vital interest purposes.)

Alumni and our friends and supporters

 We realise that many of those in our wider RVC community may be finding the current situation challenging.  Please try to provide moral and emotional support wherever possible.

Information for BVetMed 4 and BVetMed5 Students 20th July 2020

We are looking forward to welcoming you back for the new academic year. Our focus is to ensure that we provide an environment that is as safe as possible at the same time as scheduling your learning opportunities to best effect in the current circumstances. Some of you may be familiar with the ‘Safe to Stay’  initiative running at the University of London. Your safety is our number one priority.

As returning students, you will be adapting to a rather different university life and in some cases new ways of studying, where our teaching is delivered through a blended approach. This will entail sessions that simply cannot be done “at distance” being delivered face-to-face and, wherever possible, the remainder via our Virtual Learning Environment with live access to lecturers and tutors. The dual modality of this approach to teaching gives it the “blended” description.

As you will be aware, the restrictions put in place by governments, both home and abroad, make our life a little trickier than usual and we are finding ways that mean we can maintain the safety of our campuses for all.

  1. For students arriving from countries from which the UK Government still requires quarantine procedures.

    When arriving from some international countries, the UK Government currently requires a period of two weeks self-isolation on arrival. Some are referring to this as “quarantine”, but as you are allowed to take exercise and shop for food, we think self-isolation is a better term. As things stand, if you are in private accommodation, we ask you to observe the self-isolation guidelines as laid down by Government for two weeks prior to the beginning of term, or before any EMS you have arranged in UK. If you are unable to access your private accommodation in time to self-isolate for those two weeks we can provide you with temporary RVC accommodation and food for that period at our cost. If you are already booked to be in RVC or RVC third-party provider accommodation, we will expect you to self-isolate for two weeks in that accommodation prior to the beginning of term, or before any EMS you have arranged in UK and will provide you with food over this period at our cost.

    We are also looking at ways in which we can use testing to minimise the time you need to self- isolate.

    We cannot predict which way the pandemic will go, nor how the restrictions may change, but we guarantee you:
    • Accommodation and subsistence where necessary.
    • Access to testing if available.
    • Contact with your personal tutor or other member of staff.
    • A 24 hour helpline and 12 hour advice line.
    • RVC issue masks for use as required.
  1. For students arriving from countries where the UK Government does not require you to quarantine on arrival.

    If you are coming from a country that the UK Government has recognised as not requiring quarantine arrangements, we still need to consider the risks that you might pose to others by your travel. Given that you will be potentially entering our clinical facilities or coming into contact with clinical students we still require you to self-isolate for two weeks upon arrival at the RVC and prior to the beginning of term or prior to any EMS you have booked in the UK. If you fall into this category, please see the comments under (1) above; we will provide you with the same level of support as those students arriving from quarantine countries.
  1. For students arriving from within the UK.

    Whilst there is currently no formal Government requirement, we ask, if at all possible, that you self-isolate for 14 days before coming to the RVC. We understand some of you may already have EMS arrangements booked immediately prior to the start of term, and in that specific instance this requirement will not apply. Ideally, travelling to the RVC by private rather than public transport is advised. You do not need to arrive early.

    1. IF YOU HAVE TAKEN HOLIDAY ABROAD WITHIN 2 WEEKS OF RETURNING TO CAMPUS, YOU MUST FOLLOW THE REQUIREMENTS UNDER (1) OR (2) ABOVE, AS APPROPRIATE.
    1. IF YOU ARE TRAVELLING FROM A PART OF THE UK IN LOCKDOWN, PLEASE FOLLOW THE REQUIREMENTS UNDER (2) ABOVE.
  1. RVC Student Charter and Community Pledge.

    We expect you to abide by the RVC Charter which requires that you would not knowingly put others at increased risk. Please be mindful that Government advice regarding travel and self-isolation can change so please keep up to date by visiting the Government website.

In addition, we have developed an RVC Community Pledge please read the document and make your pledge.

International students

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)

The Home Office issued a press notice on 25 March 2020 (Visas extended for those currently unable to return home due to COVID-19) which covers various visa-related issues:-

  1. Visa extensions - now available until the end of May (from end of March initially). An extension can be obtained by simply emailing CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk to provide the following information:
    • Full name (including any middle names)
    • Date of Birth (dd/mm/yyyy)
    • Nationality
    • Existing visa details
    • Reason that has required you to extend your stay (for example, the suspension of all flights to your place of permanent residence)
    • Please note this email must be in English
  2. In-country visa switching is now permitted across all routes for those who are currently in the UK and whose visa expires/d between 24 January 2020 and 31 May 2020
  3. Students and sponsors will not be found non-compliant if they undertake online provision. “In light of the current advice on self-isolation and social distancing, the Home Office is also waiving a number of requirements on visa sponsors, such as allowing non-EU nationals here under work or study routes to undertake their work or study from home
  4. Further independent advice can be obtained from the UK Council for International Student Affairs
  5. Please also email the Advice Centre if you have individual queries regarding your student visa as our International Student Advisor can also help.

US Federal Loans 

  1. We have received advice that those in receipt of US Federal Loans will have these loans honoured.
  2. We have received advice that tuition may be provided at distance and online.

Interns and residents

See the Interns and residents section of our COVID-19 FAQ

BVetMed, BVetMed Graduate Accelerated and Gateway Programme Students

Many congratulations on achieving your offer; we know this has been a difficult year and you have finally reached the point where you can plan for the next one. We are working hard to make sure that everything is ready for our new students. Of course, we have had to make some changes for the start of the year due to national restrictions, but the RVC has a 229 year history of meeting challenges …and academic year 20/21 will be no different in that regard.

Safety first

We know you will either have already accepted your place or still be making that decision. We would like to give you some more information about your teaching and learning experience in the first term of the academic year. We have made significant modifications to the way we will teach your course; balancing your learning needs with your safety and wellbeing, and that of our staff, we are using a blended approach to teaching and learning for the first term of the academic year. For further information, please visit our webpage through this link.

Your blended learning experience

Your course will be delivered through a blended learning approach that provides you with a variety of ways to interact with your tutors, lecturers and classmates, allowing for a flexible and safe student experience. This will be a combination of: Synchronous (live) and asynchronous (recorded) online learning activities; small and large group teaching; a blend of flexible self-paced study; collaborative learning in groups with other students; and a blend of additional online learning experiences.

This will include

  • Newly recorded lectures designed for you and your classmates to listen to in your own time
  • Live streamed events of various kinds including: Q and A’s discussions with lecturers, collaborative activities and some lectures.
  • Self-paced independent study including interactive learning activities such as forums and quizzes for you to do in your own time.
  • A variety of digital materials to enhance your learning and prepare you for practical activities in term two, including e-Books, videos, multi-media learning interactions and other resources.
  • Once the course commences, the module/strand leaders for your course will provide you with guidelines about the sequence of the weekly activities that you need to engage with as well as the related learning materials prior to the start of each week on our virtual learning environment LEARN (we will provide you with more details about how to use this when you arrive).

In addition, we will be offering weekly online group tutorials, focussing on a range of activities including study skills, personal development such as employability skills and social aspects of life at the RVC. You will also be able to talk to your tutor outside of these scheduled times, on request, by email or a video call.

Term Two

We are looking forward to welcoming you onto our Camden Campus at the start of Term Two. There will be an on-campus induction to help you settle into College life and the local area, and of course a chance to meet your university friends and tutors in real life! We plan to increase the time devoted to your practical classes and development of your laboratory skills during term two and into term three, to ensure that you are fully prepared for further practical study and research projects in years two and three of your course.

Student Experience

For the first term, your experience in coming to University may not be as you initially anticipated, but this will not prevent you becoming part of the RVC community and making new friends. The RVC Community is working hard to make you feel secure and welcome here. In the first week of September you will be receiving a link to Kickstart - our online induction programme. This self-paced online course will focus on the digital skills you’ll need for blended learning and the life skills that will help you thrive at University. Welcome Week will help you to settle into university life and includes a range of activities for you to do to get to know the College, the course and your fellow students. Welcome Week is an annual event and you will be able to access – along with all other students – a host of well-established events now provided online so that you can join in wherever you are. You will also meet your tutor and tutor group in an online session.

‘5 Ways to Be Well’ induction activities also take place online over the first five weeks of term focusing on making new connections, learning new skills and a variety of tips and practical guidance to maintain your health and wellbeing.
The Students Union also have a lively social programme that will allow you to meet other students and join clubs and societies. All of this will be held online throughout Term 1 for all students so all students will have an equal experience. There will not be any physical participation in sports or any of the societies in term 1.

Remote Campus Facilities

Our libraries have been online for some time and you can access the full range of books and articles that you will need through our online portal, which you will gain access to when you register. 
All our student services including: Registry services, IT Helpdesk, The Advice Centre, Digital Learning, Study SkillsCareers and the Chaplaincy will be providing remote support.

We hope the information provided here gives you reassurance that we are committed to your safety and your education and you will find us welcoming and ready for your journey with us. Unusual as these times are, life at the RVC goes on. 
Finally, this is the link to our COVID-19 Resilience Commitment for you to keep with you and share with your loved ones – our commitment to resilience and to you. We look forward to seeing you all soon.

Latest Message to all Offer Holders for BVetMed, Graduate Accelerated BVet Med and Veterinary Gateway Programme from the Principal

This message was sent to all Offer Holders for BVet Med, Graduate Accelerated BVet Med and Veterinary Gateway Programme on 10th of June 2020

We are delighted that you have confirmed your place at the RVC and are looking forward to meeting you at the beginning of the academic year in September 2020. The past few months have been unprecedented in terms of the disruption to normal life across the globe and we acknowledge the difficult decisions that you have had to make about your education during this period. The current COVID-19 pandemic highlights the global need for veterinary clinicians in identifying and understanding the diseases humans and animals can share.The training you will receive at the RVC will be both world class and in demand in the years to come.

At the RVC we have been working hard to support the education of our current students and prepare for the education of our future students and continue to do so whilst working within the current guidelines and rules set out by the UK Government. The safety and security of all our students and staff will remain our top priority as changes to restrictions emerge over the coming months.

We are now writing to you to confirm that your course will commence on the 28th September 2020 as an ‘on-campus’ course. For at least the first term (September-December 2020) this will be a blended learning experience. However, at the moment we are planning for all scheduled practical classes and some parts of the other components of your programme such as small group teaching, directed learning sessions and tutorials to be delivered face to face on our Camden campus. Due to social distancing measures, large group teaching such as lectures will still need to be held online and recorded to allow you the most flexible learning experience. Classes will be modified so that numbers of students in any one session will be reduced in line with social distancing requirements to ensure the safety of all of our staff and students.

If you are joining us from outside the UK, we will be asking you to comply with UK Government guidelines for international travellers at your time of arrival in the UK. Currently, this would mean restricting your movements for a period of 14 days and if these guidelines are still in place in September, we would encourage you to time your arrival so that this 14 day period elapsed ahead of the start of term. We will ensure you have somewhere suitable to spend that time and have access to appropriate provisions for whatever period is deemed necessary.

We will be writing to you again over the coming weeks with more detail about joining the College and how term one teaching will be conducted, informing you of any changes as more guidance regarding releasing of restrictions is determined by the UK Government. We appreciate your patience as we produce this information in a rapidly changing world but one in which you can make a real difference. RVC #seriousaboutsciencesince1791 

Updated Information on our current work experience requirements 15th May 2020

We are aware that some current and future applicants may be unable to complete work experience placements at present due to restrictions caused by COVID-19, and that this may impact their ability to fulfil our currently stated requirements. Where an applicant has been adversely affected by this situation we intend to take this into consideration.

We will consider each applicant’s circumstance on an individual basis and advise all applicants to keep evidence of any cancellation of previously-booked placements that have not been able to progress due to the current situation  As things evolve, we may need to review and update our approach. If our requirements do change again, we will update the relevant entry requirements pages accordingly and we recommend all applicants regularly check these pages for any updates.

Please note, we do not intend to change our requirement for the submission of our applicant supplementary form. All applicants, regardless of the amount of work experience they have, or have not been able to complete, will still be expected to complete this, via the relevant course webpage, by the application deadline for each course.

FdSc and BSc Vet Nursing Students

Many congratulations on achieving your offer; we know this has been a difficult year and you have finally reached the point where you can plan for the next one. We are working hard to make sure that everything is ready for the arrival of our new students. Of course, we have had to make some changes for the start of the year due to national restrictions, but the RVC has a 229 year history of meeting challenges …and academic year 20/21 will be no different in that regard.

Safety first

We know you will either have already accepted your place or still be making that decision. I am now writing specifically to provide you with some more information about what will be happening when you arrive and in particular, your on-campus experience in the first term of the academic year. With your safety as our first priority, we have made significant modifications to the way we will teach your course.
To best balance your learning needs with your safety and wellbeing, and that of our staff and other students, we are using a blended approach to teaching, learning and assessment for the first three months of your course. For further information, please visit our webpage through this link.

Your blended learning experience

You will have access to campus for at least 7 hours each week to support your studies and potentially significantly more. Some hours will be mandatory as they relate to practical sessions which can only be taught in person. A minimum of six hours will be for access to social learning facilities and library resources (more information below) including one hour which will be available for individual face-to-face tutor meetings, as required. Some of you may wish to access our resources and support remotely and we will work with you to accommodate your wishes.
We expect access time to increase as restrictions are lifted and will keep this under constant review throughout the term, following the latest UK Government and local advice to keep you and our community safe.
In addition to your physical presence on campus, other parts of your course will be delivered through a blended learning approach that provides you with a variety of ways to interact with your tutors, lecturers and classmates, allowing for a flexible and safe student experience. This will be a combination of: Synchronous (live) and asynchronous (recorded) online learning activities; small and large group teaching; a blend of flexible self-paced study; collaborative learning in groups with other students; and a blend of additional online learning experiences.

This will include:

  • Newly recorded lectures designed for you and your classmates to listen to in your own time
  • Live streamed events of various kinds including: Q and A’s discussions with lecturers, collaborative activities and some lectures.
  • Self-paced independent study including interactive learning activities such as forums and quizzes for you to do in your own time.
  • A variety of digital materials to enhance your learning including e-Books, videos, animations and other resources.
  • Once the course commences, the module/strand leaders for your course will provide you with guidelines about the sequence of the weekly activities that you need to engage with as well as the related learning materials prior to the start of each week on our virtual learning environment LEARN (we will provide you with more details about how to use this when you arrive).

In addition, we will be offering weekly online group tutorials, focussing a range of aspects of your course as well as on non-academic and social aspects of life at the RVC. You will also be able to talk to your tutor outside of these scheduled times, on request, by email or a video call.

International students who experience any difficulties with arriving for the start of term due to visa or flight delays will be supported by teaching staff and tutors to cover any missed learning objectives after arrival at the RVC.

Your Campus Experience

For the first term, your experience in coming to University may not be as you initially anticipated, but this will not prevent you becoming part of the RVC community and making new friends. The RVC Community is working hard to make you feel secure and welcome here.

In the first week of September you will be receiving a link to Kickstart - our online induction programme. This self-paced online course will introduce you to our campuses and your group so you are ready to join the RVC community. We focus on the digital skills you’ll need for blended learning and the life skills that will help you thrive at University. Welcome Week will help you to settle into campus life and includes a range of activities for you to do to get to know the campus, the local area and your fellow students. Welcome Week is an annual event and you will be able to access – along with all other students – a host of well-established events now provided online so that you can join in wherever you are. You will have a face-to-face meeting with your tutor and tutor group on campus too.

‘5 Ways to Be Well’ induction activities also take place online over the first five weeks of term focusing on making new connections, learning new skills and a variety of tips and practical guidance to maintain your health and wellbeing.
The Students’ Union also have a lively social programme, again delivered online, that will allow you to meet other students and join clubs and societies, who will be holding events online throughout Term 1. Hopefully, by the time you meet in person, you will know each other well! We hope that we will be able to open more of our social facilities such as the gym as the term progresses, following the latest UK Government and local advice to keep you and our community safe.

Campus Facilities

Our social learning spaces and library will be open for you to study (maintaining appropriate social distancing) and this will be available to you via a booking system so that all students have an opportunity to study on campus. Libraries will also operate a “click and collect” book service for those students who would rather not spend significant time in communal areas.

Both students and staff will be required to wear face coverings on campus – we will provide you with RVC facemasks which you will receive when you arrive on campus for enrolment – but it is fine to wear your own too. There are also hand sanitiser gel dispensers installed at all major entrances and exits. The Restaurant will be open for take away food services and the Café will be open for hot drinks and pre-packaged snacks; both will be contactless payment only. 

All our student services including: Registry services, IT Helpdesk, The Advice Centre, Digital Learning, Study SkillsCareers and the Chaplaincy will provide remote support and be available to provide face-to-face support by appointment.
We hope the information provided here gives you reassurance that we are committed to your safety and your education and you will find us welcoming and ready for your journey with us. Unusual as these times are, life at the RVC goes on. 
Finally, this is the link to our COVID-19 Resilience Commitment for you to keep with you and share with your loved ones – our commitment to resilience and to you. We look forward to seeing you all soon.

Latest Message to all FdSc and BSc Veterinary Nursing Offer Holders from the Principal

We are delighted that you have confirmed your place at the RVC and are looking forward to meeting you at the beginning of the academic year in September 2020. The past few months have been unprecedented in terms of the disruption to normal life across the globe and we acknowledge the difficult decisions that you have had to make about your education during this period. The current COVID-19 pandemic highlights the global need for veterinary professionals in identifying and understanding the diseases humans and animals can share. The training you will receive at the RVC will be both world class and in demand in the years to come.

At the RVC we have been working hard to support the education of our current students and prepare for the education of our future students and continue to do so whilst working within the current guidelines and rules set out by the UK Government. The safety and security of all our students and staff will remain our top priority as changes to restrictions emerge over the coming months.

We are now writing to you to confirm that your course will commence on the 28th September 2020 as an ‘on-campus’ course. For at least the first term (September-December 2020) this will be a blended learning experience. Due to social distancing measures, large group teaching such as lectures will still need to be held online and recorded to allow you the most flexible learning experience. However, other components of your programme such as small group teaching, directed learning sessions, tutorials and practical classes will be delivered face to face on our Hawkshead campus. Classes will be modified so that numbers of students in any one session will be reduced in line with social distancing requirements to ensure the safety of all of our staff and students.

If you are joining us from outside the UK, we will be asking you to comply with UK Government guidelines for international travellers at your time of arrival in the UK. Currently, this would mean restricting your movements for a period of 14 days and if these guidelines are still in place in September, we would encourage you to time your arrival so that this 14 day period elapsed ahead of the start of term. We will ensure you have somewhere suitable to spend that time and have access to appropriate provisions for whatever period is deemed necessary.

We will be writing to you again over the coming weeks with more detail about joining the College and how term one teaching will be conducted, informing you of any changes as more guidance regarding releasing of restrictions is determined by the UK Government. We appreciate your patience as we produce this information in a rapidly changing world but one in which you can make a real difference. RVC #seriousaboutsciencesince1791

BSc and MSci students

Our commitment to your safety means that from September 2020 this course will be delivered via our newly redesigned online learning platform LEARN allowing you to take a flexible, self-paced approach to your studies. You will still have regular contact with your lecturers and tutors via timetabled online seminar style classes throughout the week.

Additionally, you will be part of a small tutor group and will have group-based activities to complete, that have been designed to complement your individual learning and to develop your transferable skills.

We then look forward to welcoming you on campus in January 2021 to begin to develop your practical and laboratory skills, alongside continuing with our blended approach, incorporating self-paced study and regular live sessions both on and off campus throughout each week of study.

Latest Update for new BSc and MSci students 14th August 2020

Many congratulations on gaining a place at the RVC; we know this has been a difficult year and you have finally reached the point where you can plan for the next one. We are working hard to make sure that everything is ready for our new students. Of course, we have had to make some changes for the start of the year due to national restrictions, but the RVC has a 229 year history of meeting challenges …and academic year 20/21 will be no different in that regard.

Safety first

We would like to give you some more information about your teaching and learning experience in the first term of the academic year. We have made significant modifications to the way we will teach your course; balancing your learning needs with your safety and wellbeing, and that of our staff, we are using a blended approach to teaching and learning for the first term of the academic year. For further information, please visit our webpage through this link.

Your blended learning experience

Your course will be delivered through a blended learning approach that provides you with a variety of ways to interact with your tutors, lecturers and classmates, allowing for a flexible and safe student experience. This will be a combination of: Synchronous (live) and asynchronous (recorded) online learning activities; small and large group teaching; a blend of flexible self-paced study; collaborative learning in groups with other students; and a blend of additional online learning experiences. 

This will include: 

  • Newly recorded lectures designed for you and your classmates to listen to in your own time
  • Live streamed events of various kinds including: Q and A’s discussions with lecturers, collaborative activities and some lectures.
  • Self-paced independent study including interactive learning activities such as forums and quizzes for you to do in your own time.
  • A variety of digital materials to enhance your learning and prepare you for practical activities in term two, including e-Books, videos, multi-media learning interactions and other resources.

The learning will be arranged into topics within the module units. Materials will be provided at least one week in advance of associated live sessions and will include recorded PowerPoints, quizzes, multimedia interactive activities, data and research papers to analyse and evaluate, group activities to complete. You will be given clear instructions on what to do, and how much time we expect the activities should take you so that you are able to plan your time (there will be instruction on this during the How to Study Online workshop).

You will be able to ask questions as you go through the online materials via a module forum. There will also be general forum for queries that are not module-specific. Some live sessions will be used to go through the forum questions, and give feedback on submitted work (posters, wikis etc.). Other live sessions could be for you to present some work (in your tutor groups) or for discussion of the activities that you have been asked to complete.

In addition, we will be offering weekly online group tutorials, focussing on a range of activities including study skills, personal development such as employability skills and social aspects of life at the RVC. You will also be able to talk to your tutor outside of these scheduled times, on request, by email or a video call.

Term Two

We are looking forward to welcoming you onto our Camden Campus at the start of Term Two. There will be an on-campus induction to help you settle into College life and the local area, and of course a chance to meet your university friends and tutors in real life! We plan to increase the time devoted to your practical classes and development of your laboratory skills during term two and into term three, to ensure that you are fully prepared for further practical study and research projects in years two and three of your course.

Student Experience

For the first term, your experience in coming to University may not be as you initially anticipated, but this will not prevent you becoming part of the RVC community and making new friends. The RVC Community is working hard to make you feel secure and welcome here.

In early September you will be receiving a link to Kickstart - our online induction programme. This self-paced online course will focus on the digital skills you’ll need for blended learning and the life skills that will help you thrive at University.
Welcome Week will help you to settle into university life and includes a range of activities for you to do to get to know the College, the course and your fellow students. Welcome Week is an annual event and you will be able to access – along with all other students – a host of well-established events now provided online so that you can join in wherever you are. You will also meet your tutor and tutor group in an online session.

‘5 Ways to Be Well’ induction activities also take place online over the first five weeks of term focusing on making new connections, learning new skills and a variety of tips and practical guidance to maintain your health and wellbeing.
The Students Union also have a lively social programme that will allow you to meet other students and join clubs and societies. All of this will be held online throughout Term 1 for all students so all students will have an equal experience. There will not be any physical participation in sports or any of the societies in term 1.

Remote Campus Facilities

Our libraries have been online for some time and you can access the full range of books and articles that you will need through our online portal, which you will gain access to when you register. 
All our student services including: Registry services, IT Helpdesk, The Advice Centre, Digital Learning, Study SkillsCareers and the Chaplaincy will be providing remote support and you’ll get more information about how to access this during induction activities

We hope the information provided here gives you reassurance that we are committed to your safety and your education and you will find us welcoming and ready for your journey with us. Unusual as these times are, life at the RVC goes on. 
Finally, this is the link to our COVID-19 Resilience Commitment for you to keep with you and share with your loved ones – our commitment to resilience and to you. We look forward to seeing you all soon.

Latest Message to all BSc and MSci Biological Sciences Offer Holders from the Principal 

You will currently be looking at accommodation options, with many of you wanting to book places in the halls of residence that the RVC offers. We will be allocating this accommodation as per our normal timetable, even for students who will not be coming to campus until January. This means that if you have applied for the halls of residence through the RVC, you will find out by 17 July if you have secured this accommodation for the on-campus part of your course (Term 2 and Term 3). In addition, we are writing to confirm that you will not be charged for the rent for this accommodation in Term 1 of the academic year as you will not be able to take up residence during this period. You will however, be required to sign your rental agreement and pay your deposit for the room as per normal arrangements. Please be advised that, whilst we will endeavour to offer you the accommodation of your choice, final allocations will be at the discretion of the College, and in accordance with our allocating policies. 

We realise that some of you will opt to live in private accommodation, rather than halls of residence. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide any assistance in the negotiation of private accommodation terms or any financial assistance for any costs incurred as a result of the first term being taught remotely. We would continue to encourage anyone seeking private accommodation to utilise the services of the University of London Housing Service and, in particular, we would recommend you read their COVID-19 Coronavirus & Private Housing Rights page

We also refer you to the RVC website for information on student fees and funding and our Advice Centre Money Matters pages where you can find further advice on planning your finances.

If, as a result of this information, you wish to change any accommodation choices you have already submitted, or would now like to submit an accommodation application, we will be extending the application deadline to Sunday 5 July. If you need a new copy of the Accommodation Pack, please let us know. 

If you would like to read earlier messages see Previous messages to BSc/MSci Biological Sciences Offer Holders

Intercalated BSc Comparative Pathology Students

This message, from Dr Rob Noad, Course Director, was sent to all Offer Holders for the Intercalated BSc Comparative Pathology on 11th of June 2020.

1.0 Introduction

Further to the communications from the Principal and announcements on the intranet regarding how the RVC will be operating next term, I am writing to you all to confirm the details that are specific to you.

The reason we are starting our teaching programmes on the scheduled date as planned is to ensure you have the opportunity to meet your learning objectives and, for those in graduating classes, obtain your degrees in the original timeframe. We are, however, committed to the health and wellbeing of the whole RVC community and, given the uncertainty that exists around how the epidemic will progress, we are taking a precautionary approach.

This commitment to safety means that, although we will be commencing our term as planned, we will be populating our campuses and buildings in a fashion that is both measured and phased.  Occupancy rates and population density will be built up between early September and January, allowing us to put in place physical distancing procedures and timetabling that minimises risks of transmission and hopefully different individuals’ concerns about returning to our working environments.

Unlike some universities which are encouraging all students to return to the towns and cities in which their universities are located, we are not. We will be using a blended delivery of our teaching for all students, regardless of whether you are on- or off-campus and allowing access only where there is specific need.

2.0 Return to campus

In your case, as you are studying on our intercalated BSc Comparative Pathology, we are scheduling you to return to campus on the week commencing 9th November 2020. From this date, for the remaining 5 weeks of the autumn term, you will be permitted onto the Hawkshead campus for 1 day per week when we will run practical classes associated with your course. All other classes will continue online and you may not have access to the campus except on the days practical classes are scheduled. What this means is that you will need to make appropriate travel and accommodation arrangements for return on this date. I understand that for some students travel to the college for five 1-day sessions in the autumn term will be impractical. Therefore, I have made arrangements for materials associated with the practical classes to be available online for those students who cannot, or do not want to attend. The practical classes are highly recommended, both as part of your training and in preparation for the research projects that you will undertake starting in January but will not be assessed in the module exams.

All students enrolled on the course will be expected to attend the college from the week commencing 11th January 2020.

3.0 International students

If you are an international student, we will be making arrangements for a 14 day quarantine period prior to the date we expect you back on campus. We will pay for your accommodation and food during this period.  We will contact you with more details as the Government makes clearer its requirements. 

As you are being asked to return on 9th November you should arrange your travel to arrive at least 14 days before that date. If you choose to return on 11th January, you may wish to wait to determine your travel arrangements as the quarantine regulations may well have changed by then.

4.0 Teaching

We will be delivering our teaching using a blended approach that will include: asynchronous lectures, live online tutorials/seminars, online collaborative activities; interactive online resources to allow you a variety of ways to interact with your peers and tutors and also, ways to study independently.  The learning activities will be designed in a manner that provides flexibility for you to access them at a time that suits you, whether you are on- or off-campus.  All lectures will be newly recorded and accessible online, wherever possible live events such as seminars and other sessions will be timetabled taking into account the time zone in which you are located. The timetabling for on-campus sessions will be constructed to keep class or group sizes small enough to allow for physical distancing; this will be the case for practical and lab sessions.

The learning materials and LEARN environment will be different from the emergency remote delivery of teaching we used to address the crisis of March 2020. They will provide you with a blended learning experience that both allows you to pace and plan a timetable for your learning activities and, at the same time, provides us with the opportunity to reopen our campuses in a phased fashion prioritising the health and welfare of both yourselves and our staff.

5.0 Other issues

We appreciate that accommodation concerns are an immediate issue and we hope this communication allows you to make some decisions. We will be soliciting your desires to ensure we meet as many of your expectations as possible, particularly those of you who wish to book RVC accommodation on either campus.

We are working in uncertain times but we are committed to getting the RVC up and running as quickly and as safely as we can and we will assist you in ensuring you have the best possible experience as an RVC student.

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