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Masters Degrees (Rca)

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The School of Architecture currently provides research specialism in the areas of . Architecture & Media. , . City Design. Read more

The School of Architecture currently provides research specialism in the areas of Architecture & MediaCity DesignSocial Movements and Future of Work, which are seen as essential to contemporary architectural and urban research. However, the programme welcomes strong applications for other fields of interest as well as traditional academic research.

The Master’s of Research (MRes) RCA is a full-time, one-year programme that offers early-career research students the opportunity to develop and demonstrate mastery in the theory, methods and practice of research within an art and design environment. MRes RCA degrees are offered in four Schools (Communication, Design, Fine Art and Humanities) and are designed to provide early-career researchers with the intellectual, technical and professional tools with which to complete high-quality research projects, whether at doctoral level or within the cultural and creative industries, working across traditional sociocultural, disciplinary and sectoral boundaries.

MRes RCA programmes are delivered through a combination of: structured learning, comprising of lectures and master-classes by practitioners and senior academics; workshop classes based around a set task (a ‘brief’); tutorled seminar classes where students will be asked to reflect on material that they have read or studied in advance; and project assignments that support the structured teaching programme.

The programme provides students with the intellectual, technical and professional tools to pursue their own independent research within academia or industry, drawing on the experience and expertise of world-leading researchers across the College. The ethos of the programme will be collaborative, so students should be prepared to engage fully within their peer group, and with established and emerging research communities throughout the College.

In the development of intellectual engagement, students will be encouraged to demonstrate an advanced understanding of the principles of scholarly research within art, design and the humanities; identify robust research questions that interrogate fundamental questions of knowledge creation and exchange; critically analyse and evaluate complex research data; and situate their own research questions in the wider academic context of their field, understanding how their own research builds on and contributes to existing knowledge.

In the development of technical skills, students will be encouraged to: demonstrate an advanced understanding of the tools, methods, theories and techniques of research in Art and Design; experiment in the development, evaluation and presentation of complex research projects; effectively communicate the aims, methodologies and outcomes of their research to a range of different audiences; and effectively explore and articulate the potential of their research to achieve impact beyond the academic sphere.

For professional development, students will be encouraged to: take responsibility for directing their studies through setting goals and managing time and resources effectively; participate as an active, thoughtful and responsible member of a research community; demonstrate an understanding of and sensitivity to the principles and policies of ethical research; effectively plan and manage a complex research project; define their professional identity through self-reflection informed by theoretical, social and cultural awareness; engage constructively with research partners in order to form collaborations that benefit both their research and the partner organisation



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The Critical Writing in Art & Design MA programme in the School of Humanities provides unique opportunities for postgraduate students to develop high-level writing, research and analytical skills in the setting of one of the world’s most dynamic art schools. Read more

The Critical Writing in Art & Design MA programme in the School of Humanities provides unique opportunities for postgraduate students to develop high-level writing, research and analytical skills in the setting of one of the world’s most dynamic art schools. Combining workshop models of teaching and learning, and ‘live’ projects with leading arts organisations, the MA provides the skills required for a successful career in the arts or a research degree. For 2017/8, we are introducing some exciting new areas of specialisation within the programme.

The programme is committed to the idea that writing – of all kinds – is a creative practice that requires imagination as well as good literary skills and expert knowledge. Students on the MA are presented with many opportunities to develop and apply the skills required by various writing formats from the review and catalogue essay, to fiction and other forms of speculation. The unique structure of the programme allows for specialisation and the freedom to explore novel approaches to writing. 

The Critical Writing in Art & Design programme combines lectures, specialist writing workshops and ‘crits’ as well as live projects with external partners. Previous partners have included the Royal Opera House, Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge and Turner Contemporary in Margate. Recognising that the media is undergoing considerable change, the MA also offers opportunities to work with professionals working print and online publishing, broadcasting and podcasting. Students on the programme enjoy opportunities to share classes and to work on shared projects with other students across the RCA including our sister programme, the Critical Practice pathway in the Contemporary Art Practice programme in the School of Fine Art.   

Founded in 2010, the Critical Writing in Art & Design programme will launch a set of new specialisms in autumn 2017: Publishing and New Media; Creative Writing; and Art Theory. Students follow a shared, core programme as well as their chosen specialism. This will enable students to develop focused and expert skills within the RCA’s new 15-month MA framework. The specialisms allow a close focus on the particular needs of individual students, delivered through small group seminar teaching and one-to-one tutorials.

Graduates of the Critical Writing in Art & Design programme have published their MA work as books for publishers around the world including MIT Press, China Machine Press, and Zero Books. Others write regularly for the art press (including titles such as Art Monthly, Frieze and Eye Magazine). Some graduates of the programme have gone on to doctoral study at the University of Oxford, the University of Manchester and Goldsmiths. Others work in editorial positions in art and design magazines, or as curators and programmers in galleries and museums and other arts organisations in Europe, China and North America. 

Critical Writing in Art & Design students have a strong track record of producing ‘live’ publications with the support of the programme. These include the Albertopolis Companion produced by the graduating class of 2015 or ARK: Words and Images from the Royal College of Art Magazine 19501978, an anthology from 2014. Other live projects include Of and For Turner Contemporary, a series of texts exploring a remarkable building on the Kent coast. Students on the programme are encouraged to publish their writing on a dedicated Critical Writing in Art & Design website during their studies.

From 2017, the programme is primarily located in the RCA's newest facilities in White City



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IED is set within the vibrant mixed studios of the RCA’s School of Communication, each of its pathways with a specialist Lab as its hub. Read more

IED is set within the vibrant mixed studios of the RCA’s School of Communication, each of its pathways with a specialist Lab as its hub. Professor Neville Brody, who provides inspiration and instigation, calls IED an interface between information and experience, and a platform for exploring post-screen, post-digital and post-disciplinary practice. Our students and researchers work alongside the School’s graphic designers, animators and illustrators, and in interdisciplinary teams with other RCA programmes as well as external scientists, companies, architects and academics.

IED develops a mindset as well as a skillset. No specific technical skills are required; applicants come from diverse backgrounds in design, science, fine art, engineering and technology, with a common critical interest in data, design and making. Graduates may go on to work in visualisation, data science, advanced design practice, cultural and educational institutions, research labs or studio practice.

The three distinct pathways offered by the IED programme of Sound DesignMoving Image Design, and Experimental Design, one of which students select as part of their application, are interrelated, focused around different ways of approaching IED’s core aim of transforming information into experiences. 

IED offers: 

  • Specific training in working with data, programming and electronics, prototyping and making using a range of methods and materials, and tools for enquiry, investigation and research.
  • Tutors, visiting lecturers and guests who are at the forefront of practice and thinking internationally.
  • An Experimental Lab, Sound Lab and Moving Image Lab for making and hacking, each stocked with a range of specialist hardware and software and set within the mixed studios of the School of Communication.
  • Highly interdisciplinary projects with other RCA programmes, as well as industry partners large and small, museums and universities in the UK and around the world.
  • Close links between MA, MPhil and PhD students, funded research and professional practitioners.
  • Opportunities for exhibition, publication, intervention, online and offline dissemination, and commercialisation of student work and research.
  •  International exchanges and trips, as well as real-world projects and research set in and around London.


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Led by Dr Mel Jordan, Reader in Art & the Public Sphere, the Contemporary Art Practice programme has specialist pathway leaders in order to facilitate a distinct engagement with specific areas of contemporary art practice. Read more

Led by Dr Mel Jordan, Reader in Art & the Public Sphere, the Contemporary Art Practice programme has specialist pathway leaders in order to facilitate a distinct engagement with specific areas of contemporary art practice. The programme is delivered through four pathways: Critical Practice (led by Jeremy Millar), Moving Image (led by Jane Wilson), Performance (led by Professor Nigel Rolfe) and Public Sphere (led by Mel Jordan).

The Contemporary Art Practice programme enables us to incorporate practices that exceed the specificity of the well-established disciplines of Fine Art at the Royal College of Art. Contemporary Art Practice engages with contemporary modes of art production, dissemination and debate. It facilitates specialisation through its pathway structure enabling students to engage with a particular approach to developing their own art practice. The teaching methodology we employ is not technologically or materially determined however students are expected to utilise appropriate and specific means in which to manifest their ideas. Contemporary Art Practice students have access to all facilities within the School of Fine Art.

Critical theory has emerged as an essential intellectual framework for art criticism but what is its potential as a tool within the production of contemporary art? Studio-based and primarily focused on supporting the development of the artistic practice of its students, the Critical Practice pathway offers regular seminars exploring emerging ideas and bodies of theory as well as opportunities to work with organised forms of knowledge such as public archives and institutions.

Moving Image is aimed at artists using film and video, and practitioners working in the areas of documentary film, film and fiction cinema as well as practitioners who wish to draw upon, challenge and re-map established realms of Moving Image based practices. The diversity of approaches employed in the Moving Image pathway reflects the new reality of contemporary moving image.

Performance happens in the ‘here and now’ and not the ‘there and then’. Unlike many practices, where time is historic, and the image presented is necessarily an archive or record, ‘being and doing’ are more immediately significant in live time, and the expectation is that – in the contemporary – artists are often presenting work that is not made in advance but rather happening now!

Public Sphere is a major research area in the School, and the pathway supports expanded engagement with art and its publics as well as art’s social function. Social art practices have featured as a key force in the rise of the global biennale as well as being utilized by the Occupy Movement. Therefore questions about public space, participation, collaboration and collective action are becoming essential principles within the production of contemporary art both in terms of practice and theory.

Your application should be for MA Contemporary Art Practice and you will have to specify in which Pathway you wish to study: Critical Practice, Moving Image, Performance or Public Sphere. 

The programme offers:

  •  specialisation through its pathway structure enabling students to engage with a particular approach to developing their own art practice through the pathways of Critical Practice, Moving Image, Performance and Public Sphere   
  •  a commitment to developing and foregrounding the conceptual and social ideas in an individual students practice   
  •  a teaching methodology which is not technologically or materially determined that encourages students to utilise appropriate and specific means for making contemporary fine art now   
  • a teaching structure that incorporates content-led approaches to the teaching of Fine Art through lectures and seminars to enable students’ engagement with the histories, theories and expanded practices of Fine Art
  • individual and group tutorial and cross school group crits, facilitated by leading practitioners and thinkers
  • a critical discursive environment in which to discuss contemporary issues for thinking about, making and displaying contemporary fine art 
  • a flexible studio space that can be utilised collectively or individually 
  • access to a range of technical facilities across the school of Fine Art including the Moving Image Studio, traditional and digital printmaking, photography and wood and metal workshops 
  • access to college-wide technical workshops
  • an on-going programme of off-site events, exhibitions and commissions
  • opportunities for teaching placements, exhibitions, overseas travel and international exchanges (including Paris and Kyoto)


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Textiles offer uniquely fluid, flexible and infinitely adaptable ways of questioning, examining and solving the some of the societal challenges that face us. Read more

Textiles offer uniquely fluid, flexible and infinitely adaptable ways of questioning, examining and solving the some of the societal challenges that face us. This powerful agency is more valuable and vital than ever before as these challenges become increasingly complex.

Textiles at the RCA is a multi-faceted discipline and our staff and students work at the creative interface between materials, making and meaning. Our focus is innovation that impacts and spans across many sectors exploring new territories for the twenty-first century Textiles specialist.

New materials, new ways of making and new ways of experiencing our man-made world require us to constantly reconsider and question our activities, generating a culture of creative restlessness throughout the activities of the programme, which include 4* research, a growing PGR community and a dynamic masters course.

We engage with industry at all levels and our graduates’ career profiles match this multi-faceted identity.

This demands a challenging and dynamic approach that frequently employs multidisciplinary and collaborative methods. Our discipline thrives on a spirit of creative flux that encourages stepping away from the status-quo.

The research culture in the Textiles programme has a strong history of creative collaboration between studio, workshop and industry, with material innovations such as Pinatex securing Intellectual Property for researchers and finding applications in manufacture. Textile researchers, both staff and students, work in an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary way with scientists, engineers, ethnographers, anthropologists, designers and artists providing new solutions to social, cultural and material challenges.

Out team of postgraduate MPhil and PhD candidates include candidates funded through the London Doctoral Design Centre and the ArcInTex European Training Network initiative with supervisory support from within the programme and the College.

Our two-year <a href="https://www.rca.ac.uk/schools/school-of-design/textiles/ma-description/" target="_blank">MA programme fosters the development of a personal and unique design philosophy through a combination of individual, personally driven initiatives, collaborative work, industry-orientated and interdisciplinary projects. This enables our students to develop their own multi-faceted response to the challenges of the discipline and are equally adept at working individually and in teams.

We embrace an open-minded, experimental studio culture and our students pursue their ideas through a wide variety of practical work incorporating new and traditional technologies.



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Led by Reader in Time-based Media Jordan Baseman, the Sculpture programme establishes a framework that encompasses the material, historical and theoretical conditions of sculpture where students are supported to develop their own practice. Read more

Led by Reader in Time-based Media Jordan Baseman, the Sculpture programme establishes a framework that encompasses the material, historical and theoretical conditions of sculpture where students are supported to develop their own practice.

Sculpture includes object-making, public art and social practices, site and space, performance, sound, film and video: but rather than consider the specific manifestations of sculpture we prefer to think of our position as a methodology from which to progress the production of art.

The Sculpture programme provides a structure that incorporates both individual and group tutorials, as well as a dedicated seminar programme. Critical reviews of student work are conducted consistently throughout the year, at the end of each term and we invite external visitors to contribute to these discussions when they become School-wide. Our students are eager, determined, inquisitive, ambitious – actively defining their own terms in regards to the ideas and actualities of Sculpture.

Sculpture occupies a purpose-built studio space at the RCA’s Battersea campus, alongside the other School of Fine Art programmes. Students have access to all specialist workshops across the College, including wood and metal workshops, spray rooms and our celebrated foundry, in which we facilitate casting with bronze, aluminum and iron. There are project spaces in which students can experiment with larger-scale production and display, as well as the practicalities of documentation. We have high-end computer suites with full 3D modeling facilities, alongside a number of still and moving image workstations. 

The programme offers:

  • associations with a broad constituency of artists, architects, designers and thinkers across the RCA, with the expectation that the wider discourse this community represents should be a dynamic foil to the work and development of all aspiring RCA Sculpture graduates
  • a teaching structure that incorporates individual and group tutorials, crits and seminars
  • a flexible space that can be adapted to various uses; there is also project space available for short bookings for exhibitions, documentation and to realise larger projects
  • a range of technical facilities, including wood and metal workshops, spray rooms and the celebrated Foundry casting in a range of metals including bronze, aluminium and iron, all housed in the Sculpture Building
  • dedicated high end computer room with full 3D modelling suite, retouching and moving image workstations, scanning and colour printing
  • access to college-wide workshop facilities and printmaking and photography digital printing and retouching suites
  • access to the Moving Image Studio
  • national and international exchange and residency opportunities, which have included Paris, Kyoto, Dusseldorf, the Hague and Edinburgh
  • an ongoing programme of off-site events, exhibitions and commissions


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Visual Communication as a discipline is undergoing a major shift in both its vocational positioning and intellectual relevance. Read more

Visual Communication as a discipline is undergoing a major shift in both its vocational positioning and intellectual relevance. At the Royal College of Art, the programme has a long history that has radically examined the place of visual communication in relation to culture and society, while championing the importance of an interdisciplinary approach. The programme offers three pathways of study: Experimental CommunicationGraphic Design and Illustration.

The pathways are interrelated and structured around the discipline of visual communication to facilitate well-informed risk-taking and experimentation from a grounded position of subject knowledge and understanding. Pathways are delivered in subject clusters (critical thinking) supported by shared workshops (critical making) and delivered by staff who are either advanced practitioners, or active researchers engaged in both the core and margins of communication practice.

As noted by our students, the necessary critical discourse around what it means to be a ‘visual communicator’ today opens up possibilities about the process and contexts of communication; and in doing so shows that our skillset is transferable beyond the confines of the purely visual. The programme provides an environment within which students aim to expand and explore new notions of traditional subjects – graphic design and illustration – and question existing practice, while doing so from a position of being well informed.

We recognise that ensuring that our graduates are at the forefront of our subject means considering new technologies alongside traditional ones, understanding the changing relationship between the creative practitioner and society, and balancing critical and strategic thinking with making. 

Areas of staff practice and research range from, and beyond, archeoacoustics, cultural practices, design criticism, design for society, design history, design writing, drawing, education design, feminism, free/associate discussion, graphic design, graphic information design, group learning, expanded cinema, independent publishing, intercultural communication, illustration, memory, moving image, narrative, participatory practice, sound, structural film, non-Latin and Latin typography, visible language, visual identity and visual research.

Noted strengths of the programme as viewed by graduates, students, commentators and critics are its interdisciplinary nature, quality of advanced and specialist practice, exposure to alternative modes of practice, opportunities for collaboration, cross-subject studio culture, peer-learning and the opportunity to experiment while supported by access to College technical resources.

The programme has a network of successful practitioners including a long list of notable alumni who have gone onto transform communication praxis and include Åbäke, Brave New Alps, Daniel Eatock, FUEL, Graphic Thought Facility, James Goggin, James Jarvis, JULIA, Le Gun, Tom Gauld, Sara Fanelli, Troika, Jonathan Barnbrook, Phil Baines, Morag Myerscough and Why Not Associates.

The programme has a long-standing reputation for providing students with the foundation and thinking in order to initiate, reframe, expand and advance their individual practice. We welcome applicants from different and diverse contexts and backgrounds; this enriches and enlivens our community. We genuinely believe and evidence that it is the people that make a place.



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Service Design has become the new frontier for designers who want to make a difference at scale, and in so doing advance the discipline of design. Read more

Service Design has become the new frontier for designers who want to make a difference at scale, and in so doing advance the discipline of design. The service sector represents almost 80 per cent of the advanced economies, and in recent years the role of design in transforming both public and private sector services has become widely recognised. The programme at the Royal College of Art is the leading specialist service design programme worldwide and with around 80 students and researchers and 10–12 live projects at any time, it’s almost certainly the largest dedicated service design studio globally.

Students emerging from the programme are finding immediate employment as service designers as industry and governments seek to transform their customer and citizen experience. We’ve just enhanced our programme by creating three new platforms for service design. The first is Service Innovation, which focuses on developing citizen and customer centric solutions to address immediate social, cultural and economic challenges. The second, Envision, not only speculates on the future of healthcare, education, retail, banking, transportation, but uses future forecasting techniques for society, culture and technology to design service experiences for the next decade and beyond. The final platform, Public Service and Policy, brings together social and political science with design to transform public service provision as well as government policy

The RCA Service Design programme offers a two-year MA in Service Design as well as opportunities for MPhil and PhD research. Right from the start, students are immersed in the unique interdisciplinary environment of the RCA, enabling them to become specialists in service design while participating in the exciting design education environment of the School of Design. Students are taught by the leading practitioners of the discipline, as well as by pioneers of service design from industry and academia.

To ensure the programme teaches the complete skills required for service design, it is delivered in association with Imperial College London, enabling students to complement their skills in service design by participating in Imperial’s MBA programme, as well developing their competence in digital technology with Imperial’s department of computing.

The programme combines lectures, workshops and projects grounded in empirical evidence drawn from ‘real world’ practice as well as theory. Students undertake group and individual projects that tackle the different domains of public service provision, consumer and business services, in partnership with leading service sector companies and public sector organisations.

As a result alumni graduating from the programme are joining leading design firms such as Engine, Fjord, IDEO and Livework, professional services firms including McKinsey and IBM Business Consulting Services, government departments including UK Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Justice and the Cabinet Office, as well as multinational corporations such as Jaguar, Barclay’s, Royal Bank of Scotland and Tesco.



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Established 25 years ago and led by Professor Victoria Walsh, the MA Curating Contemporary Art (CCA) programme is recognised both as an international leader in its field and for its commitment to collaborative group project-based work that integrates theory and practice throughout the two years of the curriculum. Read more

Established 25 years ago and led by Professor Victoria Walsh, the MA Curating Contemporary Art (CCA) programme is recognised both as an international leader in its field and for its commitment to collaborative group project-based work that integrates theory and practice throughout the two years of the curriculum. For 2017/18, we are introducing new areas of focus in response to the expanded field of curating and the widening professional opportunities for curatorial practice and research in a global context. These will include:

Exhibitions and Programming practice focusses on curating, commissioning and programming within the physical and defined setting of the gallery/museum space providing critical, theoretical and practical understanding of the histories and opportunities within this form of curatorial practice.

Urban practice focuses on curating and commissioning within the urban context of the global city, with particular emphasis on the expanded role curators play bringing together architects, designers, urbanists, and public and private organisations with communities and artist practitioners to create new spaces of creative opportunity, encounter and public value.

Digital practice focuses on the expanded field of artistic and curatorial practice that is rooted in and defined by digital media, online production and networked distribution. It will examine the differences and commonalities between digital and analogue forms of artistic production and curating; and experiment with new curatorial models that bridge on and offline networked cultures and audiences.

The CCA programme approaches the field critically, theoretically and through best practice in commissioning, curating, and programming with London-based and national arts organisations and spaces ensuring that the knowledge and understanding of these practices is grounded in the context of public audiences, urbanisation and the digital. In the increasingly complex cultural environment in which curating takes place, our research-led and practice-led teaching by staff and visiting tutors ensures the curatorial and artistic significance, intellectual value and critical vitality of the MA programme.

Curating Contemporary Art is a two-year, full-time 240-credit ‘enhanced’ RCA MA that runs from September 2017 – June 2019. From 2017, the programme is primarily located in the RCA's newest facilities in White City



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The MRes RCA Communication Design Pathway will introduce students to practice-led interdisciplinary and experimental research processes, methods and methodologies that inform and underpin communication design research. Read more

The MRes RCA Communication Design Pathway will introduce students to practice-led interdisciplinary and experimental research processes, methods and methodologies that inform and underpin communication design research. It will also help to position a student’s research proposal within a social, historical, cultural and theoretical discourse through evidencing primary research, proven research methods including visualisation, and engaging critically with reflective practice and evaluation.

The focus of the Pathway is to explore the nexus between social science, art and design methods – such as those found within social semiotics, discourse analysis, visual ethnography, multi-modal analysis, narrative analysis and storytelling, reception theory – and the ways in which they might be applied to independent research proposals, R&D consultancy or ‘live’ project briefs. Communication theory is at the core of this offer, engaging critically with different perspectives and sensory (e.g. visual, aural and haptic) forms.

Students enrolled on the MRes RCA Communication Design Pathway will join a vibrant and dynamic research community situated within the context of a burgeoning research and knowledge exchange (RKE) culture in the School of Communication. Our RKE in the School is focused on broad thematic areas of the transformation of publishing, the shaping of experience, and the construction of identities. Linked to these are internationally renowned innovation research labs and hubs, such as the Creative Exchange Hub and the Book Futures Lab, which also build on the School’s robust industry networks. In addition to drawing upon the School’s core Master’s programmes in Animation, Information Experience Design and Visual Communication, students will engage with the broader context of the RCA’s leading research and will be exposed to the range of cutting edge art and design research undertaken by our staff and MPhil/PhD students.



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RIBA Part 2 credited since 1983. Applicants to the RCA from England and the EU are likely to be eligible for the new Postgraduate Student Loan of up to £10,000 per course of study. . Read more
  • RIBA Part 2 credited since 1983
  • Applicants to the RCA from England and the EU are likely to be eligible for the new Postgraduate Student Loan of up to £10,000 per course of study. 
  • Although the priority applications period for 2016–17 entry has now closed, we will continue to accept and consider applications.

The core of learning is project-based according to a unit system made up of eight architectural design studios (ADS) with a unique set of concerns, methods and critical frameworks. Each ADS has approximately sixteen students with first- and second-year students working alongside each other. 

First year students work on a live project, and a studio project within a pedagogical framework established by studio tutors. These projects form the foundation for the technical studies course and fulfil RIBA GC1, GC8 and GC9. The studio is complemented by history & theory and media studies courses. The College-wide CHS course provides a broader social and cultural context related to the design disciplines and fine arts. 

Second-year students work on a project-based thesis compromising a design brief and design project. The year culminates with an exhibition of work at the degree show. 

Critical & Historical Studies

The RCA provides a unique environment for postgraduate art and design students to reflect upon their own practice, and to engage with students from their own and other disciplines. The role of Critical & Historical Studies (CHS) is to support the studio programmes in enabling these critical engagements to take place. The courses offered by CHS to first year studio-based MA students propose an intellectual framework within which they can begin to establish a coherent relationship between theory and practice.

In the autumn and spring terms there are a series of College-wide seminars and lectures. The autumn term series will relate to your particular discipline (though it is possible to elect to join a series being offered to students on other programmes) whereas the spring term series will be more broad-based and cross-disciplinary in nature.

In the spring and summer terms, a CHS tutor will give you individual tutorials to support the development of a dissertation which is submitted *at the end of the Summer Term.* The dissertation should be between 6,000–10,000 words in length – this is a major piece of work and you will be not be able to submit for the Final Examination until you have passed this assessment.



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The Animation programme is a world leader in practice and research, with a commitment to broadening the understanding of our complex discipline. Read more

The Animation programme is a world leader in practice and research, with a commitment to broadening the understanding of our complex discipline. Established over 30 years ago, the programme has an international reputation that places it at the forefront of the discipline. Within the programme there are three distinct pathways: Documentary AnimationExperimental Animation and Narrative Animation, one of which students select as part of their application.

The programme’s location within a visually sophisticated, multidisciplinary art and design school, rather than a film school, is crucial in the development of creative and critical thinking, research skills and expanded discipline expertise that’s applied to ideas, styles, genres and technological approaches. Both the MA and research degrees attract artists and makers from a broad background of disciplines: science, maths, architecture, literature, art history, computing and fine art, as well as communication.

We offer a unique learning and teaching environment, developing the creativity and skills required in an age of rapid cultural and technological change. Our students contribute to this expanding and maturing field of moving image, with core skills centred around directing, narrative and production. We offer an exceptionally stimulating multidisciplinary environment, complemented by the College’s award-winning programmes in art and design. The curriculum allows students to explore the creative slip between diverse forms of moving image: animation, documentary, fiction, process and interactivity. Through innovative, practical research and an understanding of different contexts, traditions and histories, students learn through a potent combination of workshops, lectures and tutorials, while developing their own practice, individually and collaboratively.

Leading practitioners on the programme bring a wide range of practice and research, their excellence of teaching supported by a wide variety of visiting established filmmakers/artists of international reputation. Recent visiting artists have included Stephen Quay, Suzan Pitt, David O’Reilly, John Smith, Nina Sabnani, Hiraki Sawa, Peter Blegvad, Asif Kapadia, Philip Hunt, Nick Park and Jonathan Hodgson.

The Animation programme has a world-leading research environment, attracting funding from, among others, the Arts & Humanities Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, and the Medical Research Council. 

Students are encouraged to develop a critical discourse around their subject, as well as building on and challenging notions within their own personal areas of interest or specialism. The programme has an ongoing relationship with the most successful and innovative sectors of the UK animation industry – Blink, Nexus, Studio AKA, Passion Pictures and Hornet – which allows students’ work to be placed within a wider professional context.

The programme offers excellent facilities supported by knowledgeable technical staff, including shooting studios for stop-frame/green screen, sound recording/mixing, digital and film cameras/editing, Cintiqs and an individual desk space for each student in mixed studios within the School of Communication.

The MA programme and research degrees offer a holistic environment that prepares animation artists for a number of roles within gallery- and industry-based animated filmmaking, and provides innovators to the animation professions. 

Current students and graduates continue to have a ‘real-world’ impact on animation, pushing the forefront of the practice and producing innovative and highly accomplished work. Much of this has been demonstrated through the accolades bestowed on the programme, as well as by individual student achievement through winning awards such as 5 BAFTAs, the Royal Television Society, the Adobe Achievement Award, and Jerwood Moving Image Drawing Prizes. Exhibitions in museums and galleries worldwide, together with film screenings at festivals and broadcast licenses with television and Internet channels, allow students to increases their professional profile.



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MA Intelligent Mobility is a new 15-month, 240 credit programme that will succeed the existing MA Vehicle Design. It will be launched in 2017/18 alongside the Intelligent Mobility Lab, a new multidisciplinary research centre dedicated to the future of transportation design, systems and urban mobility,. Read more

MA Intelligent Mobility is a new 15-month, 240 credit programme that will succeed the existing MA Vehicle Design. It will be launched in 2017/18 alongside the Intelligent Mobility Lab, a new multidisciplinary research centre dedicated to the future of transportation design, systems and urban mobility, led by Director and inaugural Chair in Intelligent Mobility Professor Dale Harrow. MA Intelligent Mobility aims to place the RCA in the vanguard of the ‘third age’ of automotive design.

The MA Intelligent Mobility programme will comprise two distinct specialisms: Automotive Transitions and Urban Mobility. Automotive Transitions students will focus on using design thinking to develop innovative forms of transportation, such as autonomous vehicles. Urban Mobility students will focus on designing the systems and frameworks that enable people to move through hyper-connected cities. The programme will also acknowledge and explore solutions for the 80 per cent of people in developing or emerging economies who do not have access to transport.

The programme offers:

  • a strong tutor team with diverse and high-level practitioner experience
  • varied creative and cultural backgrounds within the MA specialisms
  • close ties to the Intelligent Mobility Lab, a new multidisciplinary research centre
  • extensive industrial relationships through sponsored projects, internships, portfolio reviews, trips and bursaries/awards. Recent collaborations have been with organisations including: Audi, Bentley, Citroen, Hitachi Rail Europe, Jaguar, Kia, EXA (aerodynamic software), Sabic and TATA
  • close relationships with other RCA programmes, including Fashion, Textiles, Sculpture and Innovation Design Engineering
  • a west-London location at the heart of a uniquely diverse vehicle, design and cultural environment
  • alumni in numerous top design positions globally.


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Led by Professor Olivier Richon, the Photography programme at the RCA aims to provide a critical and educational environment in which students can develop as artists with photography at the core of their practice. Read more

Led by Professor Olivier Richon, the Photography programme at the RCA aims to provide a critical and educational environment in which students can develop as artists with photography at the core of their practice.

Our approach to photography relates to practices and theories of contemporary art, rather than to those of media and communication. We have a fluid approach to image making; whether still or moving, analogue or digital, the photographic image is for us a visual form that aims to be thoughtful as well as playful: an allegorical and thoroughly visual form.

The programme understands photography as a medium with no fixed identity. This disregard for a fixed essence is photography’s strength: no aesthetic purity but a multiplicity of rhetorical forms used for the creation of fact, fiction and fantasy.

Equally, the boundary between the still and the moving image is now fluid and porous, enabling new forms of image making to be created. We therefore also welcome applicants who work with film, video and installation.

An informed practice of photography acknowledges the heterogeneous traditions of fine art and visual culture. It also engages with practices of reading and writing about the image. Here, theory and practice inform each other and this dialogue characterises committed study at postgraduate level.

The Photography programme occupies purpose-built studio space at the RCA’s Battersea campus, alongside the other School of Fine Art programmes.

The programme offers:

  • tutorials, seminars, lectures and group critiques by leading practitioners and thinkers
  • practices of representation that engage with the still and the moving image as well as performance and installation
  • specialist digital and analogue facilities for large-format colour and black-and-white exhibition prints
  • research work on the relation between image and language
  • the formulation of aesthetic questions that relate to the students’ practice
  • high-profile alumni


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Global Innovation Design (GID) is a joint Master's programme between the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London. It is a unique, transnational Master’s design initiative that brings together three major centres of design, culture, enterprise and industry. Read more

Global Innovation Design (GID) is a joint Master's programme between the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London. It is a unique, transnational Master’s design initiative that brings together three major centres of design, culture, enterprise and industry: Europe, North America and Asia. 

GID is a multidisciplinary, multicultural and multinational design programme awarding both an MA from the Royal College of Art and an MSc from Imperial College London to graduates. GID offers an engaging global curriculum and provides powerful cultural experiences crafted to nurture innovators and designers who are prepared to take on the changing needs of enterprise in the twenty-first century. 

GID international partners include Pratt Institute (New York), Keio University (Tokyo), Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) and Tsinghua University (Beijing). Each of these distinctive institutions brings unique expertise and complementary approaches to design, engineering, business and cultural sensitivity, within the context of internationally oriented design innovation. 

The GID vision is to foster a transformative postgraduate experience that is unparalleled in the world, one that cultivates internationally oriented innovation and design leaders who can tackle complex problems and deliver positive social, environmental, economic and cultural change.

The GID ethos is to cultivate activated people, designers and leaders who are capable of making change in the world. Designers on the Global Innovation Design Master's programme will be expected to generate creative directions that other designers and innovators will follow.

The programme is full time and runs over a period of two calendar years. GID Master's candidates on the joint RCA/Imperial College programme begin their course in London for two terms developing their visions and a body of work which will be thematically and regionally developed throughout the next year and a half.

They have the opportunity to study on the New York/Tokyo route or the Beijing/Singapore route during their first and second years. They then return to London for the final two terms of their graduation year. Graduates from the programme are expected to be central to innovation leadership in the twenty-first century. 

Philosophically, GID challenges designers to ask who they are and what is most important to them; as authors of material culture they are asked what kind of world do they wish to create, and what contributions will they make. Global Innovation Designers create transformational culture. At the centre of the programme is the knowledge that transformational culture is engendered by objects and experiences that are the embodiment of the robustly beautiful and the exquisitely functional combined.

The GID Master's programme offers:

  • a double Master's: MA Royal College of Art and MSc Imperial College London – students are fully enrolled at both institutions
  • programme includes study at world renowned institutions: route one, Keio University in Tokyo and the Pratt Institute in New York, and route 2, Tsinghua University in Beijing and Nanyang Technical University in Singapore
  • the first two terms of the first year are in London, where designers participate in the GID London Core
  • a diverse and international mix of students
  • teaching staff who are highly experienced practitioners and work professionally in their field
  • potential enterprise and commercialisation support through the InnovationRCA incubator
  • leadership skills for design-related enterprises operating in international environments
  • high-level graduate destinations: RCA and Imperial alumni work in international corporations, global consultancies as well as new self-started commercial enterprises

London – Tokyo – New York

Study on the Tokyo/New York route route gives access to Keio University, well known for physical computing and social design interventions, as well as Pratt Institute, renowned for a tradition of excellence in industrial design. 

London – Beijing – Singapore

Study on the Beijing/Singapore route gives access to Tsinghua University, China's number one institution with world class design labs and studios, as well as Nanyang Technical University's School of Art, Design, and Media whose cutting edge programmes in new media and cultural and social design innovation situate it as a leader in emerging Asian and Global design.

At Tsinghua University, London-based students will benefit from studying at the top University in China, gaining first-hand experience of the culture of China and designing with both new and traditional materials in the context of emerging Asian design.

At Nanyang Technical University, London-based students will be exposed to a rich and varied Pan-Asian community. NTU offers world-class communication and video production instruction with cultural understanding at the core. NTU is expert in the practice of “value transmigration”, how to translate a culturally specific artefact into a viable product-service-system in a new cultural context.



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