Please upgrade your browser

For the best experience, you should upgrade your browser. Visit our accessibility page to view a list of supported browsers along with links to download the latest version.

Architecture Summer School

An intense and immersive design experience at the Royal College of Art School of Architecture.

Dates: New dates to be announced soon

Duration: Five days

Location: RCA Kensington

Regular price: £1,250

Please note: ​​​​​the course fee does not include materials, accommodation, food or transport. The fee includes basic materials for the course.

Register your interest

Course overview

An intense and immersive design experience at the Royal College of Art School of Architecture.

The School of Architecture Summer School offers a challenging and engaging programme of design studio experience, visits, lectures and skills training.

This five-day short course is ideal preparation for Master’s study and will give participants an opportunity to experience the environment and methodologies of architectural design studies at the Royal College of Art while preparing material that can contribute to a design portfolio. Focused around a spatial design project, students will work individually and in groups on design proposals.

The course brings together theoretical reflection and production, pushing participants to develop their skills and to generate conceptual and physical products of the highest standard for their portfolio.

The Summer School is an intensive course, supported by expert staff with opportunities for individual work and collaborative projects. Projects are supported by Royal College of Art staff and external contributors with a varied range of expertise. 

Based at our Kensington campus, visits to a variety of architectural sites around London will enable the studio to use the city as its testing ground. 

More information about external guest speakers will be confirmed in 2020. 

What will I learn?

You will:

  • learn through individual and group tutorials, discussions, presentations and crits
  • experience studio teaching supported by site visits, lectures and seminars
  • engage with workshops in making or drawing skills, as appropriate to the brief
  • benefit from an individual portfolio review.

How will I learn?
    Learning takes place in groups of up to 25 participants. You will:
    • experience the RCA model of studio teaching and practice to develop design and presentation techniques while building a portfolio
    • work collaboratively with a diverse range of colleagues from varied backgrounds, honing teamwork and leadership skills
    • work with leading design practitioners and educators to develop a critical, creative and insightful practice.

    Course outcomes:

      You will:
      • learn methods and techniques to develop a spatial project and produce a supporting narrative
      • deepen conceptual and critical thinking skills
      • acquire representation techniques in relation to a design proposal
      • improve your verbal presentation skills
      • develop and receive feedback on a portfolio.

      Who should attend?

      The Summer School is open to anyone interested in preparing for Master’s-level studies in spatial design. 

      The course would benefit people with some experience of a design discipline (perhaps at undergraduate or recently graduated level).

      The course will also be useful to participants joining programmes in the School of Architecture or those considering studying at the Royal College of Art in the future.

      Programme team

      The programme is convened by Douglas Murphy. Douglas is a visiting lecturer on the Architecture programme at the Royal College of Art. He is the author of the acclaimed books Last Futures (Verso, 2016), a cultural history of the radical architecture of the 1960s and ’70s, and The Architecture of Failure (Zero, 2012), which tells the story of nineteenth-century iron and glass architecture and its long influence on modernist culture. He is currently working on Nincompoopolis, about the architecture of Boris Johnson’s London, published by Repeater in 2017.

      Alongside Douglas, the course will be delivered by staff from the School of Architecture across the MA ArchitectureMA Interior Design and PhD programmes. 

      Admission criteria

      Participants must:

      • have an undergraduate degree in design or a demonstrably creative background
      • have a good level of English language
      • be 18 years or over.

      How to apply

      We do not accept applications at the moment.

      The below information does not apply until the course is live again:

      To apply, please complete our online application form.

      This online form requires you to:

      • submit your CV 
      • submit a 300-word statement of interest outlining your relevant experience or practice and why you would like to join the Architecture Summer School. 

      If your application is accepted you will be emailed with a booking link so that you can make payment of the course fee. The place will be held until the payment deadline, and if you do not make payment by this date then your place will be released and offered to another participant. 

      If your application is unsuccessful we will inform you by email. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide individual feedback due to the high volume of applications that we receive. 

      If the course is fully booked and your application is successful we will add your name to a waiting list. 

      Application deadlines: 

      Applications will be assessed by the RCA course team every two weeks or until the course is fully booked. 

      We will inform all applicants by email within two weeks after they submit an application. If the course is fully booked and your application is successful we will add your name to a waiting list.

      Participants are advised to apply early to avoid disappointment as places are strictly limited. 

      We particularly advise early application if you will need a tourist visa to enter the UK. See the RCA Short Courses FAQ for more information.

      Disclaimer: The information given is accurate at the time of publication, however, the RCA reserves the right to amend the described courses as circumstances dictate.


      School of Architecture Executive Education
      [email protected]
      T: +44 (0)20 7590 4279

      Please review our FAQs to keep up to date with the latest information about Coronavirus (Covid-19) and how it affects the RCA short courses.

      Please register your interest to download the full course description.

      "Loved my experience. I learnt a lot about a new domain and got hands-on experience from the very start." Nicolas Post

      Design Lead, Salesforce

      "The RCA's Architecture Summer Course is great for international undergrads that are keen to experience collaborative design process together with international students. It enriches me with a broader range of design approaches that I can apply back home." Gevin Timotius

      Parahyangan Catholic University Indonesia

      Douglas Murphy
      Douglas Murphy