Contemporary Art Summer School

A studio-based introduction to the study and practice of contemporary art

We are committed to examining the means by which art is made – the rich array of positions, methods and materials that artists use and have used, as well as the subjects, ideas and issues that are successfully articulated by art. While supporting the research and study of specific disciplines, the School identifies Fine Art as the overarching subject within which all our work takes place.

This three-week, studio-based summer intensive provides a strongly supportive environment for independent practice and will introduce participants to the extended study of Contemporary Art at the RCA in one of the world’s creative capitals. Taught by key RCA staff and researchers, and supported by a broad range of prominent artists, critics and curators active in London’s vibrant contemporary art scene, the course will provide participants with the opportunity to challenge their practice and thinking, learn new skills, work in the RCA’s artist studios and workshops on the College’s Battersea campus.

The programme will be supported by an accompanying weekly lecture programme and film screenings that will expand upon ideas key to the understanding of contemporary art. At the end of the three weeks there will be a public exhibition in the RCA’s Dyson Gallery in Battersea.

Dates: 23 July – 12 August 2018

Duration: 3 weeks

Fee: £2,700

How and what will I learn?

  • Direct practical, critical and technical instruction of the development of the participant’s work.
  • Presentation of work and group discussion led by an academic staff and researchers.
  • Thematic, practical workshops which run over the course of a day, delivered by staff, researchers or visiting artists.
  • Dedicated time for independent study in studios.
  • Weekly lecture delivered by senior RCA staff.
  • Weekly film screenings selected and presented by staff.
  • Access to museums and galleries in London.
  • A final exhibition in the Dyson Gallery, including final feedback and group discussion.

Who should attend?

The course is designed for practising artists who wish to develop their own personal and professional practice in a world-leading fine art context.

How to apply

Participants should be able to supply evidence of being able to pursue supported independent studio practice. To apply, please email and attach a PDF application. Your application must meet the specifications below or it will not be considered. Applications are only accepted via email. Your application must be a single PDF file no larger than 10MB. It must contain:

  • CV with contact details, artistic/work/education history, legal nationality. 
  • 300-word artist statement or a proposal for a project that you intend to undertake during the course.
  • 5 images of your work or 5 web links to videos. 

If your application is accepted, you will be emailed with instructions on how to complete booking for your place.

Workshops, Technical Facilities, Technical Support and Equipment 

The course will take place in the Sackler Building studios with access to the workshop facilities of the painting studios and digital printing facilities in the Dyson Print workshops.

Participants will also have access to the extensively equipped resource stores where they can book state of the art video and audio equipment.

Digital facilities

  • Inkjet printing 44" 
  • Cameras - Canon 5dm3, Tripod, Flash Lighting, projectors, sound equipment
  • Photograph studio fully equiped
  • Digital re-touching suite
  • A3 to A4 scanners

Analogue facilities

  • Stretcher making
  • Board making
  • Timber cut to size
  • Basic carpentry joining
  • Hanging 2D works
  • Installing 3D works

Application Deadline 

There are two application cycles, but it is recommended to apply within the first cycle and/or as soon as possible, particularly if you will need a tourist visa to enter the UK. 

The application deadline is 30 April 2018. If you apply then, you will be notified of the outcome of your application by 31 May 2018. Please see our FAQs for more info on the recruitment cycle. 

See our Frequently Asked Questions related to the Contemporary Art Summer School for more information.


+44 (0)20 7590 4545

Register interest to download full course description.

To apply, please email with your application (see How to Apply). If your application is accepted, you will be emailed with instructions on how to complete booking for your place.

See our Frequently Asked Questions related to the Contemporary Art Summer School for more information.