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Royal College of Art

United Kingdom Full Member Institution

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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 75 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

The Royal College of Art is the world's leading university of art and design. A small, specialist and research-intensive postgraduate university based in London, the RCA provides over 2,000 students with unrivalled opportunities to deliver art and design projects that transform the world. 

Offering MA, MPhil, MRes and PhD programmes across the disciplines of architecture, arts & humanities, design and communications, the RCA's approach is founded on the premise that art, design, creative thinking, science, engineering and technology must all collaborate to solve today's global challenges. 

Faculties and Departments

School of Architecture, School of Communication, School of Design, School of Arts & Humanities

Bachelor Level Programs


Master Level Programs

Graduate Diploma in Art & Design 
30 Week, 120 credit Graduate Diploma (Full-time; options to study in person, online or hybrid)

180 credits, 1 year MAs (Full-time)

MA Animation

MA Ceramics & Glass

MA City Design

MA Contemporary Art Practice

MA Curating Contemporary Art

MA Design Products

MA Digital Direction

MA Environmental Architecture

MA Fashion

MA Information Experience Design

MA Intelligent Mobility

MA Interior Design

MA V&A/RCA History of Design 

MA Jewellery & Metal

MA Painting

MA Photography

MA Print

MA Service Design

MA Sculpture

MA Textiles

MA Visual Communication

MA Writing 

2 year, 240 credit MA (Full-time)

MA Architecture 

2 year, 360 credit MA/MSc (Full-time)

MA/MSc Global Innovation Design

MA/MSc  Innovation Design Engineering

2-Year MRes Programme, 180 credits (Part-time)

MRes Healthcare & Design

1-Year MRes Programmes, 180 credits (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 Royal College of Art excels in world-leading art and design research with real-world impact. Our research is characterised by its roots in creative and innovative practice, by engagement with partners in business, industry, government and communities, by a focus on addressing today’s global challenges, and by collaboration across disciplines, particularly in science, engineering, technology and medicine.

The College's research centres apply expertise from science, engineering and technology disciplines to world-leading research in art and design. Our research centres address some of the major challenges facing society today: material science, a healthy ageing society, clean growth, and the future of mobility. We work with partners from around the world to establish new collaborative research partnerships with human-centred, design-led approaches at their heart.

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)



Bachelor: n/a
Master: 2300
Doctorate: 200

Exchange Students

Incoming: n/a
Outgoing: n/a
Others: n/a

Teaching Staff

Professors: 24
Lectures: 85
Part-time Teachers: 79

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