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MA Entrance Requirements

Design Products

For MA Design Products, you should have a good undergraduate degree or equivalent in an area of design, or related background and proficient written and spoken English. Several years of professional experience, either before or after a first degree, is a benefit, and you must be able to demonstrate critical and innovative thinking, a design curiosity and the ability to thrive in student led projects. Applications are welcomed from candidates from related backgrounds, such as engineering, architecture, communication, sports science, medical/health, international development/NGO, economics/business, material science, technology development and user experience or user Interface. 


  • This should describe your abilities in design, presentation and innovative thinking. It should include representative samples of; sketching, making, prototyping, model making, user engagement or testing, technical abilities and demonstrate your working process at investigative or exploratory stages of the design process as well as presentation of finished pieces.
  • It should also contain samples of any written work, technical studies or additional work carried out in conjunction with the design projects.
  • The portfolio should show the range and variety of skills and experience but should emphasise your knowledge of the subject for which you are applying. Please note:
  • Sketchbooks and notebooks should be included (extracts submitted digitally are acceptable at application stage, and if invited for interview, you should bring sketchbooks with you).
  • Physical/actual objects should be represented by photographs and can be brought to interview should you be selected.
  • Working drawings and photographs of finished work should be dated and have attached a brief written explanation.
  • Test material, failures (that have been critically reflected on) and working processes that demonstrate a curiosity are valued.
  • Video content is welcome, but should be supported by screen shots of the work.
  • Please carefully check online submissions to ensure links function.
  • All work submitted should be correctly titled and clearly marked with your name.
  • Joint project work or collaborative projects must be clearly described as such. You must indicate clearly the exact role that you played in the creation of the work submitted.
  • Where it can be shown that you have submitted work which is not your own, as if it was your own, or it transpires that the level of your involvement in joint work has been seriously exaggerated, or where false statements have been made on an application form or other document considered by an admissions board, you may be disqualified.

Interview (If Invited)

If you are invited for an interview:

  • Any work carried out after the submission of the portfolio or any work in progress can be brought to the interview.
  • You should bring sketch books samples of writing, tests trials, prototypes (if easily transportable) to your interview.
  • You are expected to be able to talk confidently and objectively about your own work, and about your personal ambitions for future work at the College.

Candidates who do not speak English as their first language are required to produce evidence that within the previous two years they have achieved at least 93 in the TOEFL internet test with an additional writing test score of TWE 24 or an IELTS exam score of 6.5 with 6 in writing.

    Offers Made Without Interview 

    Offers may be made without interview to outstanding candidates who can demonstrate at least two of the following three criteria: 

    1. The equivalent to a Second class (upper division) degree from a recognised institution in a related subject, or demonstrated clear evidence that they are likely to achieve a high classification in undergraduate study
    2. Significant independent experience and professional recognition, e.g. academic or professional prizes or substantial professional experience
    3. High standards of work, attention to detail and critical thinking in the portfolio and written application 

    In addition, candidates offered a place without interview will need to demonstrated strong English language skills as evidenced by one of the following:

    • being a national of a majority English speaking country
    • successfully completing a degree, taught in English, offered by an institution of a majority English speaking country
    • holding an English language qualification equivalent to IELTS, at a standard equivalent to 6.5, with at least 6.0 in the test of written English

    Candidates who have previously been successful in interview for a place on a College Programme may be made offers on the same programme without a repeat 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.

    "When I was in New Zealand and researching the work of different designers so many seemed to be alumni of the RCA, so it seemed like it was the place to go. The history of the place blows my mind – coming from New Zealand, 180 years is pretty impressive! My background is in Design Products so that seemed like the natural programme for me to apply to and I was really impressed by the work coming out of that programme. The doors that studying here opens up is astounding; there are emails every day about internship opportunities and competitions to apply for. And the students and tutors I work alongside are amazing. The time and energy that the tutors put into helping us succeed is awesome." Dani Clode, MA Design Products, 2015 -
    Entfaltung, Jule Waibel