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Student Transfer Arrangements Policy

The aim of this policy is to ensure that transfer in and out of College programmes is completed efficiently, and with due regard to the College's commitment to the maintenance of academic standards.

This policy was last reviewed and approved by the Academic Standards Committee in 2020.

1.  The Royal College of Art recognises that students may wish to transfer into a programme of the College, and upon occasion may wish to transfer from a programme offered by the College to another institution. We aim to ensure that transfer in and out of College programmes is completed efficiently, and with due regard to our commitment to the maintenance of academic standards.

2.  Responsibility for final approval of any incoming or outgoing transfer lies with the Academic Board for Concessions and Discipline (ABCD).

3.  This guidance outlines how the College facilitates student transfer arrangements in accordance with OfS condition of registration F2.

Incoming transfer

4.  The College’s academic regulations state:  

“6. The College may accept a student onto a programme and grant exemptions from parts of the programme where the student has certificated learning gained from a previous programme, taken at the College or elsewhere. Any such exemptions are granted at the discretion of the College, on the basis that the student has already demonstrated achievement of the defined learning outcomes of the College programme. Any request for exemption from parts of a College programme must be approved by ABCD; the maximum amount of any programme that a student may be exempted from is 50%.”

5.  To apply for a transfer, students should apply for an RCA programme in the normal way; once an offer has been accepted by the student they should apply in writing for an exemption from part of the programme, detailing (with evidence such as a transcript) the learning that have achieved elsewhere and outlining which parts of the programme they intend to study that they believe they should be exempted from. This should be submitted to [email protected].

6.  The Head of Programme for the relevant programme will be responsible for assessing the case presented and making a recommendation to the ABCD. Once approved, the student will receive guidance from ABCD on the parts of the programme that they are exempted from. The transcript will normally state the amount of learning counted as “accredited prior learning”, and the credits awarded for this towards their RCA qualification. For doctoral students with UK Research and Innovation (“UKRI”) funding, the relevant Dean of School or Research Centre Director must contact the Head of Research Programmes before the transfer is approved, in order to ascertain whether the College is able to provide the necessary level of matched funding required by UKRI (including the tuition fee top-up), and whether the College can provide a suitable supervisor.

7.  To complete a transfer, the student will need to supply confirmation that they have withdrawn from the programme that they were studying at the other institution. 

Outgoing transfer

Students wishing to transfer to an institution outside of the RCA must advise the College in writing, via [email protected], of their intention to withdraw, in accordance with the College’s Refunds Policy. In addition, research council-funded postgraduate research students must inform the RCA Research Office of their intention to withdraw in order that arrangements can be made with UKRI and with the new institution for the transfer of their funding.

9.  Each student withdrawing from the programme is entitled to a transcript upon request, detailing the learning that they have achieved and the credits that they have been awarded. Please note that this will only include any units of study that have been passed, and not those that have been attempted and not passed.

10.  The College commits to providing any further information required by institution that the student is transferring to, that might reasonably be considered necessary to facilitate that transfer. The College will ensure that any such information is accurate to the best of its ability.

For more information or to provide feedback please email 

[email protected]

This page was last updated on 

6 January 2021

This page is reviewed and updated every 12 months.