We value and promote speculation, analysis, rigour and provocation through all aspects of interior design.
The programme will challenge you to formulate your own rigorous, critically independent responses to conceptualising and making interiors.
This is often undertaken via the reworking of existing structures, the creation of temporal installations and the formation of permanent interventions using space, objects and materials.
We offer you a unique context of interdisciplinary, studio- and workshop-oriented study, as well as opportunities for live projects in conjunction with specific industry-partners.We have a staff of leading academics, practising designers, architects and theorists, all of whom are internationally renowned and innovators in their fields. In your second year, you'll also be assigned a practice mentor – a professional interior designer – who you’ll meet four times a year
Our studios are the heart of day-to-day activity for the School. Studios are purpose-designed for inspiration and interaction between students of different design disciplines. Studio workspace is provided for each student. In addition, you have access to wood, metal, plastic and resin workshop facilities, as well as contemporary digital fabrication equipment and a suite of bookable project and making spaces.
Our alumni form an international network of creative individuals who have shaped and continue to shape the world.
- Ed Barber & Jay Osgerby
- David Connor
- Dinah Casson
- Sir James Dyson
- Ben Kelly
- Sadie Morgan
More details on what you'll study.
Find out what you'll cover in this programme.
When applying for this programme, you select one of these specialist pathways.
Taught by a team of specialists from the Schools of Architecture and Arts & Humanities, and directed by Professor Graeme Brooker, the pathway will give you a research-informed, experimental and practice-based approach to making and understanding exhibitions in the twenty-first century. We invite students from a wide range of creative, design-led and curatorial backgrounds and interests.
The central ethos of the pathway is that exhibition-making is a collaborative practice, demanding a symbiotic understanding of both design-led and curatorial intentions and knowledge, which can be delivered through an increasingly wide range of cultural, commercial and institutional interactions and partnerships.
Exhibition Design will equip you with the design-led skills and knowledge to deliver high-quality exhibition design in a variety of public settings. The pathway engages with the multidisciplinary demands of exhibition making, not only from a design perspective, but through engagement with artists and designers, curators, commissioning bodies, clients and the public.
What you'll cover
Your first year will emphasise experimentation and innovation through a foundational approach to the study of the interior. You’ll examine and develop ideas in response to some of the fundamental elements and principles of the interior. We’ve developed these into three key areas of work: Proximities, Inhabitation and Identities.
In the autumn term, you’ll undertake a series of short introductory projects, often alongside second-year students. Following this introductory period, you’ll then embark on a field study visit. The Proximities phase of the project then proceeds until the Work In Progress (WIP.) show, a school-wide exhibition used to show the rest College the work we’re undertaking.
In the spring term, Inhabitations will introduce projects based around different forms of the use of the interior.
The summer term will consolidate your previous learning into Identities, where students are required to construct design projects that examine the manifestations of particular atmospheres, surfaces, rooms and conditions that convey aspects of a particular site, communities, clients and stakeholders. The project will foreground and develop all aspects of your learning to date and will be realised at the end of the year in a portfolio submitted for the interim examination.
All of your first year is underpinned by a school-wide elective lecture and seminar series. This uses key ideas, texts, theories and discussions to give a foundation to your studio work with. You’ll also undertake a year-long dissertation in the CHS module.
At the start of the second year, you’ll integrate with first-year students through a series of collaborative short projects in mixed groups. After the study trip, you’ll join a particular platform to pursue your personal thesis project, an innovative project that explores an aspect of interior design at a level appropriate for a Master’s project.
Your work may be a single interior design project, involve an extended piece of research, a series of smaller exploratory projects or a combination of these approaches. Your work will be formed and developed in the platform and assessed in the Work-in-progress Show. The project culminates in the material you will have developed for the Independent Research Project, which we will assess in the final examination and which you will exhibit at the degree show.
Critical & Historical Studies (CHS)
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.
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 will consider 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.
You will usually have a good undergraduate degree or other appropriate experience. Professional experience, either before during or after a first degree, may be a benefit. We welcome applications from candidates from other related backgrounds, such as architecture, furniture design, product design and graphic design.
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.
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.
For this programme
Fees for new students
You'll find tuition fees for 2019/20 entry below. These are likely to go up roughly in line with inflation for 2020/21 entry. Fees will be confirmed by 1 December 2019.
Home and EU
Channel Islands and Isle of Man
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.
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.