Graduate Diploma Art & Design Work-in-progress Show Embeds Students in London Life

A broad spectrum of work-in-progress from the first cohort of RCA Graduate Diploma Art & Design students is being exhibited at the College’s White City campus from 18 October to 4 November. The exhibition is both a showcase and repository, celebrating the work of 48 students, who come from over 16 different nations, with a wealth of prior experiences and backgrounds including creative education, creative industries, law, science and commerce.

Over the last 15 weeks, the Graduate Diploma Art & Design students have been immersed in life at the RCA. The first part of the Programme concentrates on a theme-based introduction to specialist study, which engages with research methodologies from both individual and group perspectives.

At the mid-point of the Programme, the show provides an important breathing space within an intense education experience. It allows the students to reflect on their progression, and to prepare a rationale for negotiated independent study, which will form the basis of the second part of the 30-week full-time Programme.

‘It’s really exciting to present the work from our first group of students,’ said Gary Clough, Senior Tutor and Academic Lead for Graduate Diploma Art & Design. ‘The work-in-progress exhibition captures the students at a pivotal moment as they reflect on their work so far, re-examining their practices in preparation to continue developing the practical and theoretical skill bases necessary for Master's study in the UK.’

The work-in-progress exhibition represents a response to the first three projects the students carried out on the Programme: Manifesto for Change: Evolution / Revolution, Navigators and Artefact.

Manifesto for Change: Evolution / Revolution asked students to think about the most important ideas and issues that personally matter to them. From this starting point, they devised a manifesto in the form of a publication that visually conveys and communicates these emotive issues. The subject of this manifesto, which is included in the exhibition, is change initiated through evolution or revolution.

For Navigators, working in pairs students were given a London Underground tube line to examine as a starting point for their research. They used these tube lines in creative and critical ways to explore the city from many diverse angles. The outcomes of this research, included in the exhibition, takes many forms, ranging from photo-collage to mixed media works.

In the Artefact project, working individually students visited the Victoria & Albert Museum where they selected a single object. This became the starting point of their research, which formed a conceptual framework for projects culminating in the production of an artefact. The diverse artefacts produced by the students will be on display in the exhibition.

The Graduate Diploma Art & Design Programme prepares students for Master's-level education. It is interdisciplinary in nature, mirroring the experience of postgraduate study at the RCA. It focuses on developing proficiency in the discursive languages and independent learning methods of art and design, and on introducing students to the role and influence of creative practices in the world today. 

In order to support personal development, the Programme has five broad specialist pathways aimed at a trajectory towards further postgraduate-level study or professional work: Communication; Fine Art; Humanities; Fashion & Textiles; and Product, Interiors & Spatial Design.


Full details of the Graduate Diploma Art & Design Show can be found here.

Applications are now open for the January 2019 intake of the Graduate Diploma Art & Design Programme. Find out more about how to apply.