MA/MSc Programme Description

Global Innovation Design

Terms 1 & 2

Applied Engineering Design 
Coordinated by Imperial, 20 credits

Global Innovation Design Theory & Methodology 
Coordinated by Imperial, 20 credits

Global Identity Development
Coordinated by both RCA & Imperial, 40 credits
Contributes as the GID1 London Core Unit, which is a two-term foundation in leading edge research-based design theory and methodology, mechatronics, form-giving, design research and anthropological methods, innovation, communication and creation of vision.

School-wide platform and project

Terms 1–3

College-wide Critical & Historical Studies (CHS)
The GID1 CHS dissertation, a key element of the GID Master’s Programme, is the chance for designers to write a significant piece of written work on a reflective theoretical subject area related to their studies.

Terms 3 & 4

Taught units by the international partners, including: 

GID1 Partner Residency: A one-term residency with either Keio University in Tokyo or Tsinghua University in Beijing during the final term of the first academic year.

GID2 Partner Residency: A one-term residency with either Pratt Institute in New York or Nanyang Technological University in Singapore during the first term of the second academic year.

Terms 5 & 6

Major Projects 
Coordinated by both RCA & Imperial, 60 credits each
This is the main unit for GID2 Professional Development: A two-term period directed toward refinement of the body of work and professional development. During the final two terms, designers return to London to refine their final project. The course culminates in the final examination and the final show.

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, 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 not be able to submit for the Final Examination until you have passed this assessment.

For more information see Critical & Historical Studies College-wide Programme.

This programme description is taken from the 2018/19 Programme Specifications. While we try to ensure that all Programme information is correct, some things may be subject to change and/or outside of our control. 

RCA Ranked World’s Top Art & Design University for Fifth Year

In February, the RCA was named the world’s leading art and design university for the fifth consecutive year.  

The RCA leads the table of 200 of the world’s top universities for the study of art and design in the 2019 QS World University Subject Rankings, ahead of much larger institutions around the globe.


360 credits
Two-year programme
Full-time study