Funding and Support

Staff and students have a range of funding opportunities open to them. The College encourages applications to the AHRC Doctoral Awards scheme and currently has Research Council-funded students within each school. PhD students may be offered part-time teaching, demonstration or research work, for which payment may be made according to the College guidelines to help support them in their studies. MPhil students are eligible for the RCA bursary scheme. For more information, contact the Research Office by email at

Progression Discount

Full-time Home, EU and International students who have completed a Master’s degree at the College will be eligible for a £1,000 discount on tuition fees for up to three years of study, when starting a Research degree within five years of graduation. 

RCA Stavros Niarchos Foundation PhD Scholarships in STEAM-focused Research

The Royal College of Art is seeking six outstanding PhD candidates to join our creative Postgraduate Research community, to undertake doctoral research that draws together design, scientific and technological fields of enquiry to address key contemporary challenges.

These RCA / Stravros Niarchos Foundation PhD Scholarships will form a cluster of doctoral researchers who share and can demonstrate through their research the values, integrity and sense of social responsibility upheld by both the Foundation and the RCA.  The scholarships will contribute to the RCA’s areas of research excellence and will align with our strategic plans for future developments.  Focussing on the themes of Materials Science, City Design and Machine Learning, the successful candidates will build upon current expertise in these interdisciplinary topics, exploring contemporary global challenges through innovative methods and modes of engagement, contributing to social impacts and benefits, and led by a human-centred design approach.

Six PhD scholarships are available to commence in October 2017.  The scholarships will support registration for three years and successful applicants will be part of the RCA / Stravros Niarchos Foundation Training Group. They will further benefit from the core and specialised research training, personal mentorship and cohort activities that are provided at the RCA and most specifically in its Research Centres. 

We invite applications to the following Project Areas that align with the RCA’s research strategy and include both fundamental discovery and applied approaches to design research.

Materials Science: Two scholarships are offered to researchers who will build upon our previous work in material thinking and design for ageing populations to develop ways in which design-led research can improve people's lives across a range of social and individual needs. Click here for further details on this Project Area.

City Design: Two scholarships are available in this area and applicants are requested to indicate which of the following research themes their proposal relates to. The themes are part of current research investigations in the School of Architecture, with City Design a central area of concern shared across all programmes in the School. Click here for further details on this Project Area.

Machine Learning: Two scholarships are available in this area and applicants are requested to indicate which of the following their proposal relates specifically to.  The research students will build upon our previous work in the area of robotic perception, mobility and manipulation.  We are keen to attract applicants with backgrounds in mechatronics, software, or engineering design. Click here for further details on this Project Area.

Entry Requirements and Applications

These scholarships are highly competitive and applicants will be selected upon the quality of their application, interview and portfolio of practice. Please see individual Project Area pages for full application details.   

Applications open: Monday 22 May 2017
Applications close: Deadline extended until 14 July 2017. Existing applications are currently being processed.
Interviews: Week beginning 18 June 2017    

AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council) BGP2 (Block Grant Partnership Schemes) Studentships 2014–18

The College is partner in two doctoral research training consortia recently awarded in the Block Grant Partnerships Scheme (BGP2). The first cohort of students will start in October 2014 and four further annual cohorts.

The schemes offer fully-funded studentships for UK candidates and fees-only for EU candidates. 

The application procedure for these awards is in two stages. Candidates must first apply to the College and already have been offered a place to study in one of the six Schools or Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design. They are then eligible to apply for the AHRC studentships which are competitive and judged by an RCA selection committee as well as a Consortium Steering Group.

Research student candidates who are applying to undertake research in Art & Humanities are eligible to be considered for AHRC BGP2 studentships in the See Doctoral Training Partnership: TECHNE for more information and how to apply.

Research student candidates who are applying to undertake research in Architecture, Design and Communication are eligible to be considered for AHRC BGP2 studentships in the Centre for Doctoral Training: LDOC – London Doctoral Design Centre. See LDOC – London Doctoral Design Centre for more information and how to apply. 

ArcInTexETN Research Associate: Early Stage Researcher

The RCA has filled it's current ArcInTexETN Research Associate position.

Doctoral Studentships Available in ArcInTexETN Partner Institutions

In addition to the RCA, partner institutions of the doctoral training network ArcInTexETN in Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Sweden are offering fully-funded doctoral studentships. See ArcInTexETN Doctoral Training Network for more information.


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