Explore the possibilities and perspectives of ceramics and glass.
The spirit of Ceramics & Glass at the RCA springs from a belief in the transformative power of material thinking, research and making to enrich our world in imaginative and meaningful ways. We embrace the diversity of contemporary practice in this hyper-material age.
Drawing on the rich provenance of materials, processes and practices to inform a creative interface between discourse and studio practice, we consider, question and propose new scenarios to address social, cultural and material questions.
Our dynamic learning environment provides exceptional opportunities within and beyond the traditions of art and design, individual practices and industry. The programme will enable you to expand your imagination, enhance your practice and find your professional voice, supported by outstanding staff, excellent facilities and a peer network who have shaped our leading research and international standing over many years.
All full-time students on fine or applied arts programmes are provided with studio and workshop space. There are a number of bookable seminar and project spaces across the site available to all Arts & Humanities students.
Our alumni form an international network of creative individuals who have shaped and continue to shape the world.
- Phoebe Cummings
- Dr Shelley James
- Studio Manifold
- Geoff Mann
- Zemer Peled
- Irina Razumovskaya
More details on what you'll study.
Find out what you'll cover in this programme.
What you'll cover
During your first year of Ceramics & Glass, you’ll undertake three units of study: Unit 1A, Unit 1B and CHS. These units are each worth 40 credits and assessed through a combination of continuous and summative methods.
To support your progress in Units 1A and 1B, you will be assigned a personal tutor with whom you’ll discuss your work in five tutorials per academic year. You’re also guaranteed tutorials from other members of the programme team each term, and you’ll have the opportunity to request tutorials from other staff from the School, as well as from a broad range of visiting tutors.
Although working primarily on your own practice, throughout the year you’ll have access to group critiques, seminars, lectures, workshops and tutorials with other members of the programme team and with staff and students from throughout the broader School. You’ll produce work for studio critiques that take place throughout term one and two.
Your first year will consist of three projects that explore different intellectual themes and contexts. In the autumn term, you’ll work from existing collections to explore the role that an object might fulfil and build research skills. In your second term, you’ll explore one of three different methodologies and related production processes relevant to your practice, with a third short project concerned with notions of space, place and site.
There is a critique at the end of each project, which is an opportunity for you to reflect on personal achievement and participate in group appraisal and discussion. As a first-year student, you’ll contribute to the Work-in-progress Show, held at the beginning of the spring term. Your work isn’t expected to be resolved at this stage, but it’s an opportunity to take risks and try new materials and ideas. As this is in a public context, it includes the question of spectatorship, enabling you to reflect upon the efficacy of the visual forms and concepts with which you’ve been working.
During your second year of the programme you’ll undertake three units of study: Unit 2A (40 credits), Unit 2B (60 credits) and SoAH School Unit (20 credits). These units are assessed through a combination of continuous and summative methods.
In your second year you’ll be assigned a relevant personal tutor who will support your practice throughout the year. You’ll produce a self-initiated body of work, which will be evaluated and discussed in group critiques and tutorials throughout the year.
In your third term you’ll exhibit in the graduate show. This will be part of the examination of Unit 2B, the Independent Research Project, which consists of a major project undertaken in your second year. Your art practice should now demonstrate that your are able to make, develop and realise work at Master's level. Your work should now have a clear direction and resolution, demonstrating an appropriate level of conceptual and technical competence. Your practice is expected to be self-initiated and thoroughly researched, and you’ll be asked to articulate your process in a viva voce examination.
Alongside your participation in programme-based units, you’ll also participate in the School of Arts & Humanities School unit. Alongside study groups, lectures, symposia, crits and tutorials, these will support you in discussing and evolving your work against a broader frame of reference.
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 should have a good undergraduate degree in Ceramics or Glass or equivalent professional experience. Applications are welcomed from candidates from related backgrounds, for example, textiles, sculpture, architecture and industrial design. Work experience, either before or after a first degree, is a great advantage.
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.