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MA Entrance Requirements

History of Design

Students should have a good first degree in an arts and humanities or art, design, photography or performance practice background. Students from other backgrounds, for example in the social sciences or professions, are also encouraged to apply. We welcome applications from students of all ages, and view both prior academic and professional experience as valuable.

 Candidates should supply one piece of recent writing, for example an academic assignment, which displays their preparedness and appropriateness for the Programme. Candidates who are not recent graduates can supply a new piece of writing, such as an exhibition or book review.

 Candidates who do not speak English as their first language are required to produce evidence that within the previous two years they have achieved at least 90 in the TOEFL internet test with an additional writing test score of TWE 20 or an IELTS exam score of 6.5 with 6 in writing. 

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

Applications for 2019 entry are now open. 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.

Black satin tiger cap, Shandong, China
Black satin tiger cap, Shandong, China, Liu Qinghua 2015
Photographer: Sophie Declerck
Slab with samples of coloured enamels
Slab with samples of coloured enamels