MA/MSc Entrance Requirements

Global Innovation Design

Applications for 2017 entry are now closed. 

Candidates for all MA courses 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; overall interview performance, including oral use of English.

The Global Innovation Design programme accepts a multidisciplinary range of applicants – we want diversity of expertise, culture and experience. We want creative talent, ability, intelligence and curiosity. The GID Master's students will develop creative and international business leadership skills through their international collaborations and projects, as well as through targeted coursework. We are interested in designers from all the design domains, engineers and technologists, and we also welcome applicants from other diverse fields such as business, social science and the arts. Engineers, designers, scientists, technologist, artists, social scientists, business people: if you have intelligence, curiosity, a propensity for networking, a passion and drive to improve the world then GID is interested in you.


  1. Applicants need to have a degree at 2:1 level or higher (or the equivalent). The subject(s) of that first degree can be any subject, however the individual needs to show aptitude or great potential in the area of design or technology-led innovation. In exceptional circumstances applicants without this degree qualification will be considered (for example, excellent professional experience or outstanding creative or technical abilities).
  2. Candidates whose first language is not English (including those who attended an English-speaking university for their undergraduate studies) must also have achieved English Language proficiency requirements of or equivalent to an IELTS (UKVI) score of 7 with a 6.5 in the Test of Written English (TWE), or Pearson: 68 overall with 62 in the TWE. From 06 April 2015, all Tier 4 visa applicants must supply an IELTS UKVI Academic test result. If taking a test in the UK, applicants may choose to take either an IELTS UKVI test or Trinity College test (Integrated Skills in English - Level C1). You may also want to view the Home Office information
  3. The GID programme starts earlier then other RCA MA programmes. There is a five-week induction in London in July, and then the Pratt semester starts at the end of August.

Note: requirements 1 and 2 above differ from the normal RCA-only MA degree entrance requirements. As Global Innovation Design is hosted jointly with Imperial College London, please check the Imperial College London website to ensure you meet their entrance requirements.

Entrance Examination

Digital Portfolio

All candidates are required to submit a digital portfolio of work to be assessed by the programme team. The portfolio should show:

  • the excellence of your current expertise, study area or professional activity
  • evidence of your interest or ability in the fields of innovation, technology, design or engineering.
  • any work or activity relevant to international understanding or collaboration.
  • samples of your creative abilities or relevant personal interests.

The portfolio could include: projects and exercises from previous degree courses; where relevant, examples of professional work; extracts from personal sketchbooks; self-generated projects; evidence of an ability to make in 3D; as well as examples of creative work in any other areas. 


A portfolio is a visual representations of your skills, experience, interest, and potential. Remember to  include:

  • the great things about what you currently do / recently have done
  • the things that prove you have an interest / latent ability in the world of GID
  • something special about you
  • or group project work you must indicate clearly the exact role that you played in its creation
  • keep to a neat, simple layout – clear communication is key to success put a CV in the portfolio, we have the application form but it’s always useful to see more information
  • even if you have no design experience, show us where you have promise or have made the effort to try
  • remember, we are looking for potential
  • make it stand out, we have a lot of portfolio’s to view, make yours special, break the rules
Using the online application system you may upload up to 20 individual projects to your portfolio, with  each project being represented by a maximum of seven examples, which can be in the form of images,  videos, weblinks, or slideshows. You should provide a description of a maximum of 100 words for each  project and a caption of up to 50 words for each of the examples.

Moving image or sound work, if uploaded, should be limited to five minutes in length. We recommend  instead that you upload the video first to Vimeo or YouTube and provide a link.

You may include links to websites, such as your personal site, but it must support your main submission. If  there are websites you have professionally designed for clients, you must explain your role in the design  and implementation processes.

  • Images should be in an acceptable format (see formats below) to the following recommended  dimensions
  • width: no larger than 36 cm (1024 pixels)
  • height: no more than 27cm (768 pixels) minimum height 400 pixels
  • resolution must be 72 dpi (dots per inch) re‐size all images appropriately
  • maximum file size: 2mb for each image and 80mb for a movie file 
  • file formats: JPEG, PNG, GIF, MP3, MPEG4, FLV, website URL (please note PDF files are not suitable)
  • For each piece of work please indicate title, medium (where relevant), date made, size / cm length / mins  (where relevant) 

IMPORTANT: Please ensure you have reviewed and checked that your submission works in the way you  intend it to be seen in a web browser 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).   

IMPORTANT: you will need to bring with you a physical portfolio containing the contents of your online submission.

Interview (if invited) 

Selected applicants are invited to the programme for an entrance examination which comprises of an interview (15 minutes in duration, with staff and a student representative) and a creative exercise (one hour).

IMPORTANT: If you applied using the online portfolio option then you will need to bring with you a physical portfolio containing the contents of your online submission.

Note: A list of accepted candidates on the GID Master's programme at RCA/Imperial, along with their portfolio, application forms, references,  letters of recommendation and other relevant information or data will be shared through within the GID consortium (i.e. with Keio and Pratt). The partner institutions will be provided with the opportunity to comment on the candidates and raise issues regarding the selected applicants. The RCA/Imperial will take such comments into consideration before making the final offer to the candidates. Similarly lists and associated application/portfolios for students accepted onto the programmes at Keio and Pratt will be shared with the RCA/ Imperial GID admissions team for comment. While the opinions of partner institutions will be considered the ultimate decision on acceptance onto the GID Master's will be taken by the RCA/Imperial Entrance Examination Board (and the same applies to final decisions for acceptance onto to Pratt and Keio’s own Master's programmes – the Pratt and Keio teams respectively make the final choice).

Cross College Requirements

For full details of cross-College entrance requirements and portfolio requirements (if applicable), see MA Entrance Requirements.

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. 

Tuition fees for 15-month MA programmes in 2017/18 are: UK/EU: £14,500 per annum; Overseas: £34,000 per annum. 

Tuition fees for 2-year MA programmes in 2017/18 are: UK/EU: £9,500 per annum (£19,000 total fee); Overseas: £28,400 per annum (£56,800 total fee). 

Fees for joint MA/MSc programmes differ. See Tuition Fees for further information. 

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 2018/19

Applications for 2018 entry are now open. 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.

"A GID applicant could be anyone with outstanding skills in their current activities who has an excellent aptitude for innovation and team working, and a fundamental belief that design, innovation and enterprise can make a direct contribution to the quality of life on a global scale."