MA Entrance Requirements

Curating Contemporary Art

Candidates for all MA courses are assessed on their existing qualities as demonstrated in their work and in their interview, as well as on their potential to benefit from the programme and to achieve MA standards overall. The assessment will consider: creativity, imagination and innovation evident in the work; ability to articulate the intentions of the work; intellectual engagement in relevant areas; appropriate technical skills; overall interview performance, including oral use of English.

You are generally expected to have a good undergraduate / BA degree from an Arts or Humanities background

  • If your undergraduate degree is not Arts or Humanities-based you should be able to articulate its relevance, or how it informs your aim to study Curating Contemporary Art
  • You can demonstrate an active interest in contemporary art and its presentation and mediation
  • You have some practical experience of working within the visual arts or cultural sector that is relevant to the field of curatorial practice
As a student on this programme you will help to develop the multi-, interdisciplinary and exploratory nature of contemporary curatorial practice and the future of curating. One of the primary aims of this programme is that you develop the skills and confidence to work effectively within this field, to act as an innovative and responsible practitioner, and that you contribute to the valuing of art and culture in your future work.

To this end, our aim is to produce students who are: 

    • highly invested in contemporary art and curatorial practice 
    • proactive and highly motivated to contribute to the development of curating and the curatorial field 
    • confident to experiment and innovate through creative risk, critical thinking and problem-solving 
    • able to communicate with clarity and authority and can formulate arguments and articulate position 
    • socially, culturally and politically aware and critically self-reflexive with a view towards ethical practice 
    • professionally fit with a flexible skill-set for employment in a variety of contexts, organisations and funding situations

Online Applications

All online applications should be submitted with a  CV and two pieces of writing:

  1. A brief (500 word) critical appraisal of a recent exhibition of contemporary art. This is required to provide evidence of your knowledge of and critical engagement with post-war and contemporary art and so to assist with shortlisting for interview.
  2. A proposal for an exhibition you would like to curate and/or evidence of previously curated exhibitions (no more than four sides of A4).
You should answer carefully the questions in the application form concerning your aptitude for a study of curating to give the interview board a sense of your commitment and engagement.

Please do not submit portfolios, as these are not required.

Cross College Requirements

For full details of cross-College entrance requirements and portfolio requirements (if applicable), see MA Entrance Requirements.

Pre-sessional Language Courses

The College offers an eight-week EAP Pre-Sessional Course runs from July to September every year for applicants who have not quite reached the required IELTS level before they start their Programme. Entry level for the eight-week Pre-sessional Course is IELTS (Academic) 6.0 overall with minimum 5.5–6.0 in the writing or 6.5 overall with 5.5 in the writing, or equivalent recognised by the College.

Fees & Funding

Applicants to the RCA from England and the EU are likely to be eligible for the new Postgraduate Student Loan of up to £10,000 per course of study. 

See Tuition Fees for a breakdown of costs for Home and Overseas students on each of our degrees.

Students should estimate the cost of living in London at £12,000–£15,000 per year. 

For further information on funding visit Financial Help, or email

If you are from the USA you should note that the Royal College of Art is designated as an eligible institution for American students to apply for a Guaranteed Student Loan under the new Direct Loan Program. The RCA's School Code is 00942300.

Applications 2019/20

Due to a substantial increase in applications, we are no longer accepting applications to this Programme for a September 2019 start. New applications are welcome but will be considered for a September 2020 start. If places become available for a 2019 start, successful applicants will be contacted.

Visit Apply for details on how to make your application, or log in to our Online Applications site.

If you are considering applying to the College, you can prepare for your application by researching the academic programmes offered by each of the Schools, and accessing the Tuition Fees and Funding Support information available. The College provides a number of bursaries towards fees and the costs of living in London. They are available to home and EU students on a competitive basis. For further details, please see Financial Help.

CCA graduation projects 2016, installation view Project_16
CCA graduation projects 2016, installation view Project_16
Photographer: Dominic Tschudin