Royal College of Art

mission statement

The Royal College of Art aims to achieve international standards of excellence in the postgraduate and pre- /mid-professional education of artists and designers and related practitioners. It aims to achieve these through the quality of its teaching, research and practice and through its relationship with the institutions, industries and technologies associated with the disciplines of art and design.

The College aims to achieve these standards of excellence by:

  • Fostering a high level of understanding of the principles and practices of art and design.
  • Encouraging individual creativity among staff and students.
  • Recruiting students of proven ability and by providing pre-professional and post-experience study opportunities.
  • Continuously enhancing appropriate links and collaborations with industries and professional bodies.
  • Exploring the innovative applications of technologies and processes to the disciplines of art and design.
  • Encouraging awareness of social and environmental developments insofar as they relate to art and design; and through co-operation and partnership with other institutions, locally, nationally and internationally.

international role

The RCA is a small and highly specialist institution whose reach, profile and international impact far exceed its scale. With more than 65  nationalities represented among its community, the College operates as an international university in a global higher education context. Positioning is key to the College securing its place as the world’s leading university of art and design with enhanced global recognition, influence and impact. Partner institutions include Parsons, Keio and Tsinghua.


national role

The RCA takes a leadership role in fostering dialogue with governmental and key institutional partners. In 2015/16 this has included advocacy work undertaken via membership organisations including UUK, GuildHE, London Higher, London First and the Creative Industries Federation. In addition, the College has existing partnerships with world-leading global partners including the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) and Imperial College London. The RCA has continued its positive relationship with its primary funding body HEFCE and the Higher Education Academy, while taking note of forthcoming changes announced in the Government’s Green and subsequent White Papers on HE, under which HEFCE will merge with the Office for Students. 

International recognition of RCA staff is evidenced by senior staff being invited to advise HEIs around the world on academic and research strategy, with similar relationships established with government bodies and non-government organisations (NGOs).

The Government’s high regard for the RCA – as evidenced by its announcement of match funding for the College’s new Battersea campus – has advantageously impacted upon the RCA’s profile, both nationally and internationally.

main focus

MA, MREs, MPhil, PhD: Wholly postgraduate, the RCA is the world's leading university of art and design.

faculties and departments

School of Architecture, School of Communication, School of Design, School of Fine Art & Humanities

bachelor level programs


master level programs

30 Week, 120 credit Graduate Diploma (Full-time)

Graduate Diploma in Art & Design

15 month-240 credit MA (Full-time)

MA City Design 

MA Digital Direction

MA Environmental Architecture

MA Intelligent Mobility

MA V&A/RCA History of Design

MA Writing

24 month-240 credit MA (Full-time)

MA Animation

MA Architecture

MA Ceramics & Glass

MA Contemporary Art Practice

MA Curating Contemporary Art

MA Design Products

MA Fashion Menswear

MA Fashion Womenswear

MA/MSc Global Innovation Design

MA Jewellery & Metal

MA Information Experience Design

MA/MSc  Innovation Design Engineering

MA Interior Design

MA Painting

MA Photography

MA Print

MA Service Design

MA Sculpture

MA Textiles

MA Visual Communication

2-Year MRes Programme (Part-time)

MRes Healthcare & Design

1-Year MRes Programmes (Full-time)

MRes RCA (Architecture Pathway)

MRes RCA (Communication Design Pathway)

MRes RCA (Design Pathway)

MRes RCA (Fine Art & Humanities Pathway)

research activity and main areas

The College has a large number of international, full- and part-time research students who are part of a cohesive staff and student body, sharing studios and workshops with MA students, and participating in seminars and other departmental activities. Research at the RCA is undertaken across the range of art and design disciplines of the four Schools: Architecture, Communication, Design, Fine Art & Humanities. Academic staff and research students contribute to the research culture of individual programmes and Schools, pioneering research that realises the particular insights that art and design can offer. In addition, four major research themes provide a trans- and interdisciplinary framework: Cultures of Curating; Design, Innovation and Society; Dialogues of Form and Surface; and Image and Language

doctorate level programs

MPhil and PhD degrees – 2-6 years.

MPhil/PhD Architecture

MPhil/PhD Arts & Humanities

MPhil/PhD Communication

MPhil/PhD Design

subject areas for exchange students


application deadlines


teaching languages


semester dates

September - December

January - March

April - July

cost of living per month (studying and living)


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