MA Entrance Requirements

History of Design

Candidates for all MA programmes 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.

Students should have a good undergraduate degree in an arts or humanities subject. Students with a strong degree in other undergraduate fields will also be considered, if the student can demonstrate their suitability to the study of history of design at application and interview. We encourage the diversity that different academic backgrounds can bring to the programme. Students with a background in art or design practice are also encouraged to apply. We welcome applications from students of all ages, and view both prior academic and professional experience as valuable. 

Most RCA courses request portfolios as part of the application process, however, we do not need a portfolio as such in History of Design. We ask that applicants send us a sample of academic writing, for example an essay from your previous studies or chapter of your undergraduate dissertation. This can be attached to the online application form and does not have to be on a design history subject.

Please indicate the specialism you are interested in on your application.

We welcome informal enquiries from anyone interested in the History of Design programme. Students can find out more about the programme at Open Days or by contacting the administrator via

Cross College Requirements

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

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. 

Tuition fees for 15-month MA programmes in 2017/18 are: UK/EU: £14,500 per annum; Overseas: £34,000 per annum. 

Tuition fees for 2-year MA programmes in 2017/18 are: UK/EU: £9,500 per annum (£19,000 total fee); Overseas: £28,400 per annum (£56,800 total fee). 

Fees for joint MA/MSc programmes differ. See Tuition Fees for further information. 

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 2018/19

Applications for 2018 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