MA/MSc Entrance Requirements

Innovation Design Engineering

Please note that applications for 2018 entrance to Innovation Design Engineering are now closed, and will reopen in October 2018 for 2019 entry.

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, we are looking for 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 programme 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 produce evidence that within the previous two years they have achieved at least an IELTS exam score of 6.5 with 6 in ALL elements (or equivalent from another approved test by another provider such as Pearson Academic PTE). 


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 (if invited) 

Submitted applications shall be reviewed by the programme's Admissions Board and scored on how well applications demonstrate:

  • Creativity, imagination, innovation evident in the work
  • Ability to articulate the intentions of their work
  • Intellectual engagement in areas relevant to the work
  • Technical skills appropriate to the work
  • Potential to benefit from the course
  • Use of English

Highest scoring candidates may be made an immediate offer. Other candidates the programme is interested in shall be invited to interview. 

IMPORTANT: If you are invited to interview, 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.

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 for this Programme are now closed. 

If you are considering applying to the College for 2019/20 entry, 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