MA Programme Description


First Year

In the first week of term, students are registered and orientated in the College and School. In the following three weeks, the students are introduced to each other through a shared work seminar, with each student presenting three or four pieces of work. Brief introductions to the workshops, and to the broad range of still and moving digital image facilities across the College, occupy the next two weeks.

A week of Cross-college projects follows and a study trip allows us to share the pleasure of looking and discussing work together but away from the College. Each student then begins the process of working developing a self-initiated and directed body of studio work. This is supported by tutorials. and challenged by lectures, seminars, workshops, a studio-based Work-in-progress Show, group critiques in the programme and across the school. Each student has a personal tutor from whom they receive termly written feedback.

Students are expected to be engaged in all aspects of the curriculum and test out new ways of thinking and making.

Second Year

Students are expected to produce a coherent ambitious body of work in a form that reflects their developing ideas and interests. Emphasis shifts to the sharing and contextualising of work. Students are required to participate in one cross-School group. There is at least one external exhibition and some form of publishing project. Each student gives a presentation in the lecture theatre about their work, in which they are expected to contextualise and reflect upon that work and also visits BA students at a college throughout the UK. A publishing project takes place which involves all students. Preparations for the final show and examination in the third term take up most of the final term.

Critical & Historical Studies

The RCA provides a unique environment for postgraduate art and design students to reflect upon their own practice, and to engage with students from their own and other disciplines. The role of Critical & Historical Studies (CHS) is to support the studio programmes in enabling these critical engagements to take place. The courses offered by CHS to first year studio-based MA students propose an intellectual framework within which they can begin to establish a coherent relationship between theory and practice.

In the autumn and spring terms there are a series of College-wide seminars and lectures. The autumn term series will relate to your particular discipline (though it is possible to elect to join a series being offered to students on other programmes) whereas the spring term series will be more broad-based and cross-disciplinary in nature.

In the spring and summer terms, a CHS tutor will give you individual tutorials to support the development of a dissertation which is submitted *at the end of the Summer Term.* The dissertation should be between 6,000–10,000 words in length – this is a major piece of work and you will be not be able to submit for the Final Examination until you have passed this assessment.


240 credits
Two-year programme
Full-time study

Work in Progress Show 2016
Work in Progress Show 2016, Luke Whilmhurst