MA/MSc Entrance Requirements

Innovation Design Engineering


IMPORTANT: IDE has different entrance requirements from other RCA MA Programmes, please read the following section carefully.

The Innovation Design Engineering MA/MSc Programme accepts a multidisciplinary range of applicants – we want diversity of expertise, culture and experience. We are interested in engineers and technologists, as well as designers from all aspects of the subject area and we welcome applicants from other diverse fields such as business, social science, and the arts. In fact successful IDE applicants can come from many fields: anyone with outstanding skills in their current activities that has an excellent aptitude for innovation and team working and has a fundamental belief that design can make a direct contribution to the quality of life. Engineers, designers, scientists, technologist, artists, social scientists, business people, if you have intelligence, curiosity, passion and a drive to improve the world then IDE is interested in you.

IDE is a double Master's course run jointly with Imperial College London, and consequently applicants need to have a degree at 2:1 level or higher (or the equivalent). In exceptional circumstances applicants without this degree qualification will be considered (for example, excellent professional experience or outstanding creative or technical abilities).

Candidates who do not speak English as their first language are required to have English Language proficiency requirements of or equivalent to an IELTS Academic score of 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any of the four components of the test. 

Portfolio: Entrance Examination Part 1

All candidates are required to submit a portfolio of work to be assessed by the Programme team. Candidates submit online portfolios via the application system. 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, design and engineering
  • 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; personal sketchbooks or working sketches; self-generated projects; evidence of an ability to make in 3D; as well as examples of creative work in any other areas.

Interview: Entrance Examination Part 2

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

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 student-support@rca.ac.uk.

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.

"Before coming to the RCA my design thinking was very much focused on the final product. My ideas are now much broader than before, and I consider the social impacts of design and technology more. I’ve come to realise technology has to be used in the right way to suit human behaviour and that the designer plays an important role in shaping the way technology develops." Eun Kyung Shin, MA/MSc Innovation Design Engineering
Eun Kyung Shin, MA/MSc Innovation Design Engineering
Eun Kyung Shin, MA/MSc Innovation Design Engineering