History of Design

V&A/RCA History of Design

Head of programme

Jane Pavitt
Professor Jane Pavitt

The V&A/RCA History of Design programme is internationally recognised as the leading centre for the postgraduate study of the history of design. We offer the opportunity to study design and material culture in all its aspects, from the early fifteenth century to the present day, across global geographies 



Student info

Programme video

Student stories

  • Jennifer Wong

    Jennifer Wong, MA History Of Design, 2010-12

    I was always interested in objects but had studied the history of art, which is really only just fine art and paintings and nothing else. Then one of the professors on my BA, Sarah Teasley, had moved to the Royal College of Art. She taught art history but incorporated a history of design method, which I thought was interesting. 

  • Emily Candela, MPhil History Of Design, 2011-present

    I did two masters degrees – one in fine art and the other in Goldsmithing, Silversmithing and Jewellery, which I continued to do up until several years ago. In between I worked in gallery education and on various art projects. Then I did an MRes London Consortium multi-disciplinary programme.



Library at Victoria & Albert Museum

The History of Design programme is taught by tutors from the RCA School of Humanities and the V&A Research Department, as well as a number of visiting academics and V&A curators. It is managed by the joint heads of programme at RCA and V&A, with equivalent teaching and supervision resource at both institutions. Staff work closely with each other to ensure parity and good communication between the two.


Our sites


  • History of Design
    Stevens Building
    2-6 Jay Mews
    London SW7 4EU

  • +44 (0)20 7590 4482