On our programme, we seek to understand the world through materials.
Jewellery and metal both play a significant role in all cultures. The growing importance and interdisciplinary character of our distinctive discipline within the arts gives jewellery and metal a special vibrancy and relevance. The work that emerges from our programme reflects an expanded practice that views objects as an embodiment of thought.
We seek to question what materials mean to us, how we engage with them and use them to define our daily interactions with the world.
As a programme and philosophy we are responsive to rapidly changing social and cultural landscapes, and we draw on history and technology in nurturing intellectual and creative skills. The rich and extensive bodies of knowledge associated with object-making and jewellery underpin an approach that is outward-looking, open to the wider and diverse discourses surrounding materialism, semiotics, narratives and commodity objects, all of which connect us and the object to contemporary life.
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.
- Maisie Broadhead
- Beau Han Xu
- Jasleen Kaur
- Christopher Thompson-royds
- Silvia Weidenbach
- Räthel & Wolf
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 the programme, you’ll undertake three units of study worth 40 credits each and assessed through a combination of continuous and summative assessment methods.
To support your progress, 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.
The key emphasis of the Jewellery & Metal (J&M) Programme is on the personal project. A personal project evolves from your interests in relation to the content of the course. It will be supported by individual tutorials and subject to periodic review. The other curriculum components are designed to complement and underpin this work, developing and deepening your understanding of your chosen subject and strengthening confidence in developing your creative skills and finding your own artistic voice.
The first year begins with a five-to-six week project designed to review your established creative thinking patterns. This project allows for students to undertake a series of technical introductions that are relevant to the aims and outcomes of the project. This project allows staff to gain an insight into your working methods and thought processes, and for you to get to know our staff. Following the completion of this project, you'll be assigned to a core theme tutor. This tutor will support you through your personal project and studies for the rest of the year. Core themes are divided into headings that align to important themes within Jewellery & Metal. These include: Metal (Experimental and Resonating), Narratives and Concepts, Material Thinking, Digital/Analogue and XS. You’ll be placed in a core Theme that best suits you and which allows you to best address design methodologies, professional contexts and presentation skills. Throughout the year we offer a series of technical and digital inductions/introductions to emerging technologies.
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.
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, you’ll be expected to pursue your personal projects and produce work that reflects the context of your anticipated professional practice. You’ll be assigned a relevant personal tutor who supports your practice throughout the year. You’ll produce a self-initiated body of work, which is evaluated and discussed in group critiques and tutorials throughout the year.
Specific professional/contextual seminars will be scheduled during the year to help you establish your own niche and career direction.
In the summer term, you’ll exhibit in the graduate show. This is part of the examination of unit 2B, the Independent Research Project – and will consist of a major project undertaken in your second year. Your work should now have a clear direction and resolution, demonstrating a level of conceptual and technical competence appropriate to your own aims and objectives. Your practice is expected to be self-initiated and thoroughly researched, and you will be asked to articulate this process of producing work in your viva voce examination.
Alongside your participation in programme-based units, you will also participate in the School of Arts & Humanities School unit, which, through study groups, lectures, symposia, crits and tutorials, 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 considers 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.
We seek to recruit students who are talented, enthusiastic, energetic, professionally minded, with an open and critical approach to design and making. You must possess a good undergraduate degree (or non-UK equivalent qualification) in metalwork, jewellery or a related subject, such as textiles, sculpture, architecture and industrial design. Your application should be supported by good, preferably academic, references and you should possess a range of practical skills. Equivalent professional experience or apprenticeships are also taken into account.
Applications may be considered from candidates without formal training and/or qualifications in other subjects, but you must clearly demonstrate an understanding of the subject area and potential to bring expertise and knowledge from another discipline that would contribute to the Jewellery & Metal group dynamic.
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.