MA Entrance Requirements


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; and overall interview performance, including oral use of English.

The Programme selects a range of creative artistic applicants  each year to facilitate cross-pollination and exploration of students’ different approaches, techniques, media and engagement with their means of expression. Applicants are normally expected to have a degree in art and design or equivalent experience. In recent years, the profile of successful applicants to the Programme has diversified to include those with a background in science, humanities and architecture, as well as those from moving image, communications and fine art.

Applicants must submit a showreel of animated/moving image work, no longer than 15 minutes, demonstrating an aptitude for sequential thinking. Their particular role on any collaborative projects should be clearly indicated. Applications without a showreel of moving-image work cannot be considered.

Entrance Examination

The entrance examination to the Royal College of Art is in two parts: Part One consists of a portfolio submission followed by an interview (if invited) in Part Two.

Part One: Digital Portfolio Submission

Please ensure:

  • Your online portfolio submission can be viewed on an Apple Macintosh computer running OSX5 or greater. The examiners will not have access to any other platforms.
  • You have reviewed and checked that your submission works in the way you intend it to be seen on a different computer (i.e., not the computer you made the submission on, to check that your files have uploaded correctly to our server).
  • The work can be assessed within the allocated time frame: examiners will look at your work for a maximum of 20 minutes.

Digital Portfolio Requirements

All candidates are required to submit an online portfolio/showreel of work to be assessed by the programme’s senior staff team and student representatives.

  • You must present a selection of animation/moving image work. This work must collectively be no longer than 15 minutes. Anything over 15 minutes will not be considered.
  • The admissions board for Animation prefers to see complete films, to demonstrate your directorial potential rather than edited clips. Select your work carefully to demonstrate your strengths and indicate the areas of your work you would like to develop.
  • Applications to the Animation programme without moving image work cannot be considered.
  • You may upload up to ten individual projects or items to your portfolio. These may be moving image work, single images or presentations. You may add a gallery of six further images to support each of your projects. You should provide a description of a maximum of 100 words for each project image and a caption of up to 50 words for each of the gallery images.
  • You must indicate clearly the exact role that you played in work that was created in collaboration.
  • Images should be in an acceptable format (see formats below) to the following recommended dimensions:
      • width: minimum of  400 pixels
      • height: minimum of 400 pixels
      • file size: images no larger than 2MB, movies no larger then 80MB.
  • Moving image work can be submitted via a link to a Vimeo or other video hosting page, either with or without password; this is the preferred method. If password protected please include the password in the section for the description of work. Moving image work and images can also be uploaded in the following formats: JPEG, PNG, MOV, MP4, M4V and website URL (please note PDF files are not suitable).
  • For each piece of work you must indicate:
    • Title
    • Medium
    • Date made
    • Size (cms) (images)
    • Length (mins) (movies)

Part Two: Interview by Invitation Only

If you are invited for an interview you will be required to bring with you your physical portfolio of work submitted online and work in progress. For those invited but not able to attend an interview at the College easily (for reasons of travel distance), we can arrange an online, face-to-face Skype interview.

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

Due to a substantial increase in applications, we are no longer accepting applications to this Programme for a September 2019 start. New applications are welcome but will be considered for a September 2020 start. If places become available for a 2019 start, successful applicants will be contacted.

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.

Film Reel
Film Reel
Photographer: Richard Haughton