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  History of Design MA (V&A/RCA)

Royal College of Art    Postgraduate Courses

Full time & Part time See Course MA 1 Year Full Time / 2 Years Part Time
Creative Arts & Design (9) History & Archaeology (19)

FindAMasters summary

Immerse yourself in the captivating world of design history with the prestigious History of Design MA (V&A/RCA) programme. Delivered by the renowned Royal College of Art (RCA) and the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), this pioneering course offers a truly unique learning experience. From the early modern era to the present, you'll delve into the interdisciplinary study of design's impact on everyday life. With a wide range of disciplines to choose from, including fashion, photography, architecture, and more, you'll develop advanced knowledge and skills while exploring global connections. No matter your background, creativity and innovation are valued, making this programme open to all. Join this inclusive and forward-thinking community and shape the future of design history.

About the course

Discover history through the lens of design

The V&A/RCA MA History of Design draws on the exceptional resources and national and international networks of two world-leading centres of excellence for scholarship and creativity, the RCA and the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A). With a base at the RCA and dedicated programme rooms and library at the V&A, since its foundation in 1983 this pioneering programme has earned a world-wide reputation as the leading MA programme in the field. Our research-led teaching and experiential methods inspire and train future leaders in the field.

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Entry Requirements

Candidates are selected entirely on merit and applications are welcomed from all over the world. The selection process will consider creativity, imagination and innovation as demonstrated in your application, as well as your potential to benefit from the programme.

You should have a good first degree in an arts and humanities or an art, design, photography or performance practice background. If you have a different background, for example in the social sciences or professions, we encourage you to apply. We welcome applications from students of all ages, and view both prior academic and professional experience as valuable.

 Course Content

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Where will I study?

Where is Royal College of Art


All Available Videos:
Meet RCA Alumni, Janice Li - History of Design MA Meet RCA Alumni, Janice Li - History of Design MA 19/05/2021 18:48:37
Meet RCA Alumni, Janice Li - History of Desig...
Royal College of Art: The Student Experience Royal College of Art: The Student Experience 17/08/2023 09:14:35
Royal College of Art: The Student Experience
Where will the RCA take you? Where will the RCA take you? 17/08/2023 09:15:55
Where will the RCA take you?

Student Profile

Janice Li

Nationality: Canada

I was drawn to apply to study V&A/RCA History of Design when I was working in a museum in Canada and I knew that I needed to do a master’s to progress in my career. I was deciding between a museum studies or history of art degree. While searching I found the V&A/RCA History of Design programme, which I realised was exactly what I was looking for; studying the history of material culture and design through an interdisciplinary approach. Without the RCA, I don’t think I would have been doing all these interesting projects and working at the V&A as an Assistant Curator without my MA experience in both institutions. I constantly feel very lucky and privileged to have the experience in both the V&A and RCA that enable me to take on the projects I have taken on as well as working in this museum.

At both the V&A and RCA you get some of the best curators and best academics in their field and you just learn so much just through osmosis, just through conversation with them, and let alone the resources the museum and the college provide. My fondest memory is definitely the freedom of exchanging ideas with my peers from all around the world, from different professional disciplines, with different world-views, different religions and it provides a safe space for us to discuss anything we’re interested in. It’s very enriching.


Value of Scholarship(s)

Up to 16 full fee scholarships to support students from underrepresented communities


UK status fee only

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UK fee status only

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Black or Black
British Caribbean, Black Or Black
British African, Other Black
Background, Mixed - White and
Black Caribbean, Mixed - White and
Black African; financial need.

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Pokémon Scholarships
Eligibility criteria: Financial need
▶ £25,000 per scholar to cover full
tuition fees, with any remaining
funds being allocated towards
maintenance support

Value of Scholarship(s)


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