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At the forefront of practice

Key details

Programme details

  • 240 credits
  • 2 year programme
  • Full-time study

Next open day

Career opportunities

  • IED graduates go on to work as curators, artists, designers and art directors, or have launched their own studios and startups. Most of them work fluidly across art, design and research.

Create multi-media experiences that transform individuals and society.

Information Experience Design (IED) students design experiences to communicate information, creating installations and interventions using all senses, modes and media, including sound and moving image.

We approach social and technological systems critically and work across art and design. We’re grounded in theories and research methods from science and philosophy.

Creative practitioners today can no longer afford to be constrained by traditional specialisms and outdated definitions of art, design, science and technology. We take a post-digital and post-disciplinary approach, working across these areas to undertake advanced research and practice, using a wide range of media, materials and methods.

IED looks beyond the object, product and screen to content, context and concept; and beyond binary concepts such as human, artificial and natural, aiming for individual and societal transformation.


When applying for this programme, you select one of these specialist pathways.

Experimental Design

Question, critique, push and provoke notions of information, experience and design.

Moving Image Design

Re-imagine future forms and content of moving image.

Sound Design

Combine sound and design practice in applied and experimental ways.

Visit the Curriculum tab for more information.


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    Me Time 4.0, 2018

    Eunmi Kim

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    A Series of Intermediate Artefacts – Tactile, 2019

    Amy Haigh

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    Virtual Reality Game, 2018

    Cara Mills

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    Heaven to the Cloud, 2019

    Jesse Cahn-Thompson


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Dr Kevin Walker

Head of Programme

Kevin is a researcher, designer, writer and artist working at the boundaries of the digital and physical

View full profile
View more programme staff


The School of Communication is located in White City, London’s newest research and creative quarter.

View all facilities

Our mixed-discipline studios encourage cross-disciplinary thought, awareness and action. Studio workspace is provided for each student. In addition, you have access to craft and technical workshop areas and excellent technical support in the College. These include well-equipped computer studios for print and digital moving-image production, sound editing, a letterpress and book-binding workshop.

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    White City facilities. Photograph: Richard Haughton

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    White City studios. Photograph: Richard Haughton


More details on what you'll study.

Find out what you'll cover in this programme.


When applying for this programme, you select one of these specialist pathways.

Experimental Design embraces cross-disciplinary practice across art, design, science and storytelling, founded on a challenged and remodelled idea of what experience and interaction can do.

The pathway is about intersection and multiplication – a multiplicity of methods, modes, materials and perspectives. We work across time, space and form, designing activities, events, systems and contexts.

You should be prepared to take risks, test new methods, tools and materials, push boundaries of thinking and making, and gather all this into new forms of practice. The current professional and political climate demands radical new approaches to question, critique, push and provoke notions of information, experience, design and what it means to be human.

Students in this pathway come from a wide range of backgrounds within and outside art and design. You can expect to engage with exhibition designers, installation artists, computer scientists, architects, physicists and biologists – not to explore the overlaps between these areas, but to engage in the outer boundaries of each, in order to stimulate new areas of practice.

Experimental Design is not the place for superficially aesthetic outcomes or the use of technology for its own sake, but instead aims to deepen your intellectual capacity, research and design methods, and professional confidence.

The Moving Image Design pathway is not a traditional film programme, nor is it merely about technology. Freed from commercial constraints and set within the world’s foremost art and design university, Moving Image Design unleashes the best skilled, dangerous minds to re-imagine future forms and content of moving image, taking a critical methodology from within communication design practice.

Graduates will identify themselves as leading moving image practitioners, working fluidly across new technologies as well as 16mm film, pioneering new forms, contexts and business models aimed at communication, narrative and experience. As IED graduates, they will balance knowledge and expertise in digital and physical tools, materials and technologies with contextual, critical, historical and theoretical knowledge.

Not restricted to film or sound art, Sound Design is for sound engineers, musicians, journalists, artists and other practitioners who want to expand into new modes and media; and for anyone who wants to explore sound as a fundamental force for communication and experience – through data sonification and notification, sonic narratives, interventions and installations – always grounded in research and theory.

The pathway departs from other Sound Design or Sound Art courses with our focus on sound as a social phenomenon in theory and practice,. Sound Design is unique in de-coupling and re-imagining sound and design – contextualising sound within the practice of experimental design. It aims to work across modes and disciplines to affect individual, social and political transformation.

What you'll cover

Aligning with the School-wide academic framework, the main practical work takes place in School-wide Electives in the autumn and spring terms.

The Informed Practice unit runs alongside, providing you with a grounding in relevant theory and methods. These will be put into practice in workshops where you’ll engage directly with various tools and technologies, operating across pathways.

The summer term will enable you to focus primarily on your dissertation, and you’ll focus on your chosen pathway in the Experiential Research unit. Seminars and workshops will be held weekly across all three terms, with core curriculum and skills being front-loaded in term one.

You’ll also be given a personal tutor for the year, who will organise at least one in-depth tutorial per term.

Through the Experiential Research unit, as second-year student you’ll be engaged in brief initial projects and workshops. You’ll explore a chosen topic in depth, which will propel you into your self-directed practical work, with the Work-in-progress Show as a key milestone.

In the Design Project unit, you’ll set their own brief and time-table with your personal tutor, presenting your project in the final exam.

You’ll have a pathway-specific personal tutor for the year, and weekly and individual tutorials will continue as before.

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.

View more CHS information


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 will consider 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.

Students come from a wide range of backgrounds. While you may come directly from first-degree programmes across art and design, you may have also joined the programme with professional experience in industry, or from a background such as science, technology and the humanities.

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.

Find out more about English-language requirements

Fees & funding

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
£9,500 per year
£19,000 total cost*
Channel Islands and Isle of Man
£14,200 per year
£28,400 total cost*
£28,400 per year
£56,800 total cost*


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.

More information

External funding

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.


Tuition fees are due on the first day of the academic year and students are sent an invoice prior to beginning their studies. Payments can be made in advance, on registration or in two instalments.

Ask a question

Get in touch if you’d like to find out more or have any questions.

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