Inside

Dean of School's Welcome

Professor Jane Pavitt, School of Humanities

The School of Humanities offers students the opportunity to develop their own practice in the fields of history, theory, writing and curating. The School has a distinctive and highly innovative research culture based upon its extremely close relationship to art and design practice. We play a vital role at the heart of College life, through research and teaching (all students in the college’s studio-based programmes must undertake a Critical & Historical Studies dissertation, supervised by our tutors). Our graduates go on to establish important careers in the arts worldwide: in museums and galleries, as freelance curators and writers, and as academics in universities. We are rightly proud of the impact they continue to have within the cultural sector.

Our disciplinary interests span the fine arts, architecture, design (including fashion, graphics, interior and product design), craft, communication, film, photography and digital media. We train the historians, curators, writers, journalists and critics of the future, and play a vital part in the dialogue between history, theory and practice. 

In 2017/18 we will be launching several exciting new programmes and specialisms with our existing MAs (subject to validation). We are developing a new specialism in the design and material cultures of performance, in collaboration with the V&A, as part of the V&A/RCA History of Design programme. Our Critical Writing programme will support three specialisms in Writing, Editing and Publishing; Creative Writing and Art Theory. Our Curating Contemporary Art programme will develop new routes in curating and commissioning in the urban context and artistic and curatorial production in relation to the digital. These new areas of specialism build upon the proven academic success and global reputation of the School to date. In addition we are developing a new MA programme in Exhibition Design, with the School of Architecture. MA Exhibition Design will be the first MA programme to be offered collaboratively by two Schools.

All our Master of Arts (MA) Programmes are the ‘enhanced’ RCA MA of 240 credits, taken over either two years or 15 months. Critical Writing in Art and Design and V&A/RCA History of Design are 15 month programmes. For Home/EU students, the second part of study (the Independent Research Project) can be undertaken on a part-time basis. Exhibition Design is a studio-based 15 month programme. Curating Contemporary Art is a two-year programme. We also offer a 12 month, 180 credit Masters of Research (MRes Humanities).

In addition to our taught Masters Programmes, students can undertake an MPhil or Phd in the School, working within or across any of our specialist areas. The School of Humanities has a reputation for research excellence. Our centre for doctoral studies supports more than 40 MPhil and PhD students working across the School. We attract major funding opportunities, which result in exhibitions, books, academic conferences and papers. We aim to provide a rich postgraduate experience while equipping our students fully for their careers ahead. 

From 2017, the School of Humanities will be located in the RCA's newest facility in White City.

"The School has a distinctive and highly innovative research culture based upon its extremely close relationship to art and design practice; we play a vital role at the heart of College life, through research and teaching."
Jane Pavitt
Jane Pavitt