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Relevant and immediate

Key details

  • 240 credits
  • 2 year programme
  • Full-time study

The Fashion MA programme asks for a disruptive critical approach leading to new aesthetics and responses about the practice and industry of fashion.

We look to create a new generation of thought leaders/designers; future fashion designers with a combined skill-set of designer-led innovation, underpinned with that critical approach and collaboration situated within new technologies, offering specific fashion insights and understanding of new engineering, digital and scientific paradigms.

A shift in authorship, materiality, economic structure and communication allows new patterns of work and aesthetics. Equally, integrity, ingenuity and play are essential within this new fashion practice.

Our alumni have worked at Nike Futures, Alyx, Tom Ford, Hussein Chalayan, Onassis Centre, and Jacquard Project residencies; Material relations with Kaihara DENIM, Shima and Bio at Open Cell; projects with Porsche, IFF and Cern.

Students apply to one of the following specialisms:

Visit 2020.rca.ac.uk to view graduate work from the class of 2020


  • Timothee Gleize

    Timothee Gleize

  • Laura Krarup Frandsen, Extinction Rebellion Intervention at RCA Fashion Show 2019

    Extinction Rebellion Intervention at RCA Fashion Show 2019

    Laura Krarup Frandsen

  • Tendai Motiwa

    Tendai Motiwa

  • Joanna Berling

    Joanna Berling

  • Chew by Chu, Clara Chu

    Chew by Chu

    Clara Chu

  • Anna Sophie Goschin

    Anna Sophie Goschin


The School of Design is based at our historic Kensington site.

View all facilities

Students have access to the College’s workshops, with traditional facilities for woodworking, metalworking, plastics and resins, including bookable bench spaces. Computer-driven subtractive milling equipment is available, as well as additive rapid prototyping.

  • Fashion facilities.jpg

    Fashion studio

  • Fashion facilities.jpg

    Fashion studio

  • Fashion_Facilities 02.jpg

    Fashion studio

More details on what you'll study.

Find out what you'll cover in this programme.

What you'll cover

In your first year, you take three units within the Fashion programme.

  1. The Platform-based unit ‘Thinking’ (20 credits) helps you develop new perspectives on your work.
  2. On ‘Material’ (20 credits), you’ll develop your independent research through materiality, provenance and form.
  3. Finally, studio-based ‘Practice’ (20 credits) develops your overarching vision as a fashion design thinker.

In addition, you’ll take both an interdisciplinary, cross-School project, the ‘Grand Design Challenge’ (20 credits), and Critical & Historical Studies, 40 credits.

In your second year, you build on your person practice through the units ‘Initial Practice’ (30 credits) and ‘Critical Practice’ (30 credits), culminating in your final project, ‘Total Landscape’ (60 credits).

All students present two completed looks or objects as part of their final assessment, selected from a number of completed prototypes, in addition to a portfolio of all final work and other relevant projects completed at the RCA. A complete language, iteration, prototype and manifesto of self.

Integrated within the Fashion MA but with their own dedicated studio facility machines and technicians, our Footwear, Accessories, Millinery and Eyewear (FAME) specialisms offer students the platform to explore these niche areas of study that form the backbone of the fashion industry.

First established in 1996, the exciting new addition of eyewear opens up a whole new vision for fashion design, incorporating VR, AR and mix of realities that are yet to be fully explored by the industry.


The FAME studio has its own machines specific for leather, fur and plastic, with cutting tables, glue and sanding rooms.


FAME is led by hat and accessory designer Flora McLean, supported by specialist RCA technicians who currently include Natacha Marro, celebrity footwear designer, and Stephanie Freude, luxury bag designer and leather crafter. Workshops, masterclasses and visits are held throughout the year by industry guests and master craftsmen. Recent visitors include Florence Druart, Rob Goodwin, Benjamin John Hall, Tom Murphy and Atalanta Weller.


Many FAME alumni boast prestigious jobs in high-end luxury fashion footwear and accessory labels, while others work on innovation and sustainable research projects examining the leather economy, waste, the re-purposing of fashion accessories and future systems for footwear.

Our alumni are currently designing at Vivienne Westwood, Valentino, Jimmy Choo, Tom Ford, Aquazzura, Adidas, Reebok, Issey Miyake, Sophia Webster, Burberry Accessories and Sunshine Bertrand Eyewear.

How to Apply

Applicants should apply for the Fashion MA, specifying their interest in a FAME specialism in their statement. You should ideally have an undergraduate qualification in one of the areas, or experience in the fashion, product, jewellery, metal design or hat industry. Your portfolio should focus on your chosen specialism and demonstrate a passion for this area.

All studio-based MA students follow a weekly schedule of Critical & Historical Studies (CHS), a College-wide initiative that provides you with the intellectual framework to build a coherent relationship between theory and practice.

CHS delivers exciting, thought-provoking and inspiring lectures by experts within the programme and high-profile visiting lecturers. You’ll have the opportunity to explore the theoretical background and aspects of your chosen discipline through a tutored dissertation process, as well as receiving individual tutorial support from our team of expert tutors.

View more CHS information


What you need to know before you apply

Candidates are selected entirely on merit and applications are welcomed from all over the world. The selection process considers creativity, imagination and innovation as demonstrated in your portfolio, as well as your potential to benefit from the programme and to achieve high MA standards overall.

We want students who wish to articulate new perspectives, develop their imagination and advance an enquiry about their discipline, practice and industry. You’ll be self-motivated, determined critical thinkers and passionate about their discipline, as well as technically curious and independent.

What's needed from you

Your portfolio is a showcase of your work as an artist or designer and can be made up of images, videos or writing examples. Your portfolio helps us to better understand your application and allows you to show evidence of your ability and motivation to undertake a given programme.

Generally, we’re looking for you to demonstrate your:

  • Creativity, imagination and innovation
  • Ability to articulate the intentions of the work
  • Intellectual engagement in areas relevant to the work
  • Technical skills appropriate to the work
  • Potential to benefit from the programme

Each programme is looking for different things in a portfolio. Each Head of Programme provides specific advice on portfolio requirements in the online application system. We advise you to consider these requirements carefully before submitting your application.

Visit our application portal to view more portfolio requirements

If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country you will need the equivalent of an IELTS Academic score of 6.5 with a 6.0 in the Test of Written English (TWE). Students achieving a grade of at least 6.0, with a grade of 5.5 in the Test of Written English, may be eligible to take the College’s English for Academic Purposes course to enable them to reach the required standard.

You are exempt from this requirement if you have received a 2.1 degree or above from a university in a majority English-speaking nation within the last two years.

If you need a Tier 4 visa to study at the RCA, you will also need to meet the Home Office’s minimum requirements for entry clearance.

Find out more about English-language requirements

Fees & funding

For this programme

Fees for new students

You'll find tuition fees for 2020/21 entry below.

Home and EU
£9,750 per year
£19,500 total cost*
Channel Islands and Isle of Man
£14,500 per year
£29,000 total cost*
£29,000 per year
£58,000 total cost*


New entrants to the College for MA, MRes, MPhil and PhD degrees will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit in order to secure their place. This will be offset against the tuition fees for the first year of study.

Home and EU

* Total cost is based on the assumption that the programme is completed in the timeframe stated in the programme details. Additional study time may incur additional charges.



Scholarships are awarded for a specific programme and entry point and cannot be deferred without consent from the academic Programme and scholarships panel.

More information

External funding

There are many funding sources, with some students securing scholarships and others saving money from working. It is impossible to list all the potential funding sources; however, the following information could be useful.


Tuition fees are due on the first day of the academic year and students are sent an invoice prior to beginning their studies. Payments can be made in advance, on registration or in two instalments.

Start your application

Richard Haughton_RCA students.jpg

Change your life and be here in 2020

The Royal College of Art welcomes applicants from all over the world.

Before you begin

Make sure you've read and understood the entrance requirements
Visit the requirements page
Check you have all the information you need to apply.
Read our application process guide
Visit our applications portal to get started

Ask a question

Get in touch if you’d like to find out more or have any questions.

Email us at
[email protected]
Lucy Barlow