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School of Design facilities

Deposit payments

Deposits are required* when you accept your offer and are offset against the fees for your study. Please see below for deposit amounts to be paid per degree programme. Your offer letter will state whether you have been assessed as a Home, Overseas or EU student for fees purposes.

Home Students Deposit

  • MA, MRes, MPhil and PhD: £1,000
  • Graduate Diploma: £2,000

Overseas and EU Students Deposit

  • MA, MRes, MPhil and PhD: £2,000
  • Graduate Diploma: £2,000

* This is not applicable to applicants with a fee status of Home who are applying to study MA Architecture Part 2 and who intend to take out a tuition fee loan from Student Finance.

When fees are due

For all programmes, fees are due in advance of registration, unless you are a Home student who has taken out a loan from Student Finance. Students are sent an invoice prior to the programme starting, which includes a deduction of the deposit payment.

Payment in advance

Fees may be paid using debit or credit cards (the College does not accept Diners Club cards), via WorldPay, by direct bank transfer or cheque (Sterling cheques drawn on an UK bank account only). Full details will be included in your tuition fee invoice.

Payment by instalments

For MA, MRes, MPhil and PhD programmes we also provide an option for you to pay in two equal instalments:

  • one in advance of registration
  • one at the start of the second term in January

Graduate Diploma Art & Design students must pay the full fee in one instalment in advance of registration.

In exceptional circumstances the college may allow you to pay by more flexible instalments. You should contact the college as soon as possible before the start of the academic year if you would like to investigate this.

Home students who are not taking out a loan from Student Finance

One half of the fee payable in advance of Registration (for first-year students the deposit will count towards the first instalment) by any payment method plus one payment via WorldPay or bank transfer at the start of term in January. This option is not available to Graduate Diploma students.

Home students who are taking out a loan from Student Finance

If you are receiving a Postgraduate Loan or Doctoral Loan, you can pay your fee in 3 instalments in line with your Postgraduate/Doctoral Loan payments (i.e. September, January and May). This means you can be enrolled (subject to the other enrolment conditions being met) and then pay your first instalment in September.

Please be aware your Postgraduate/Doctoral Loan may not cover the full cost of your fees and so you may need other funds to make up the shortfall.

Home students studying MA Architecture (Part 2) may be eligible to apply for a tuition fee loan to cover their fees. If you have an approved tuition fee loan in place at the point of enrolment which covers your full fees, you will not be required to make any fee payments.

Overseas and EU students

One half of the fee payable in advance of Registration (for first-year students the deposit will count towards the first instalment) plus one payment by any payment method at the start of term in January. This option is not available to Graduate Diploma students.

Progression discount

The College offers a discount on fees if you progress from one RCA programme to another, within ten years of the date of award of your previous degree.

For 2024/25 entry:

  • Students progressing to an MA from Graduate Diploma: a £1,000 fee reduction (£1,000 fee reduction per year for MA/MSc Innovation Design Engineering)
  • Students progressing to an MArch, MFA, MDes, MRes or MEd from an MA or MA/MSc: a £5,000 fee reduction (£2,500 per year for part-time study)
  • Students progressing to Postgraduate Research (PhD or MPhil) from MA, MA/MSc, MArch, MFA, MDes, MRes or MEd: a £1,000 fee reduction per year (£500 per year for part-time study)

For Postgraduate Research, if you change from full-time registration to part-time (or vice versa), then the fee reduction will be re-calculated and the maximum discount period is six years (excluding authorised leave of absence)

Fee status: frequently asked questions

The College is bound by the Education (Fees and Awards) (England) regulations 2007, established by the UK government. The regulations themselves can be viewed at legislation.gov.uk. The College is empowered to make its own assessment of fee status in accordance with these regulations but relies on the advice and guidance of the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) when assessing fee status.

The regulations are lengthy and technical, and detailed guidance is available on the UKCISA website. In general, students are required to prove both that they have no immigration restriction on the length of their stay in the UK and that they have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the first day of their study. In addition, this residence must not have been primarily for the purpose of education.

Your application form requests detail that enables us to make a preliminary assessment, based on your nationality, education and employment history. If we consider that we need further information you will be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire, and to submit it together with documentation enabling us to assess your immigration status and residence history. We will then assess against the criteria published by UKCISA and write to you with our decision.

You will receive your preliminary assessment with your offer letter. Where you have appealed against a decision, or we have requested further information, we aim to complete the assessment within 15 working days of receipt of all of the information. On occasion, more complex cases may take longer, particularly if we need to ask for additional information to make our assessment.

We will need documentation that confirms both your immigration status and your residence history. This will typically include scanned copies of:

  • Your passport identity page
  • UK residency permit card
  • Any UK visas
  • Bank statements showing regular activity (deposits and outgoings) in the UK for the last three to four years
  • Contracts of employment for the last three to four years
  • Rental/mortgage agreements for houses you have lived in over the last three years
  • Utility bills showing residency for the last three to four years

In addition to your nationality, we also need to assess your residence history; to be classified as a home student you must have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start of your course, and not primarily for the purposes of education. If your place of residence has been outside of the UK during the previous three years then you will normally be classified as an overseas student for fees purposes, even if you are a UK national. If your residence outside of the UK has been demonstrably temporary then you will still be able classified as a home student, but you will need to provide documentary evidence of this.

If you wish the College to reconsider your preliminary status you should request a fee status questionnaire, by emailing [email protected] with the header “FEE STATUS QUESTIONNAIRE REQUEST: [PROGRAMME] [STUDENT ID] [SURNAME]”

If you have submitted a fee status questionnaire and been given an assessment that you wish to appeal you should write to the Registrar, [email protected] to appeal. Appeals will only be heard on the basis that the appropriate process has not been followed, or the decision contravenes the Education (Fees & Awards) (England) Regulations 2007. The Registrar’s decision is the final decision on behalf of the College.

The UKCISA website and helpline are the authoritative sources for advice on fee status questions. Their advice line can be contacted between 1.00 and 4.00 each day, via +44 (0)20 7788 9214. The line is extremely busy and they advise students to keep trying during these times to get through.

Yes. You will need to accept your offer and pay your deposit, noting in your acceptance that it is subject to consideration of your fee status classification. If you are subsequently classified as an overseas student you may cancel your acceptance and, provided you write to us within 14 days of confirmation of the fee status to request your deposit to be returned, we will refund your deposit.

Each institution is responsible for making its own assessments. While all institutions are bound by the Education (Fees and Awards) (England) regulations, different institutions may have different interpretations of these Regulations. The Royal College of Art reserves the right to make its own assessments of fee status, which will be in accordance with our interpretation of the Regulations and UKCISA advice. We will not use assessments from other institutions as any part of our own assessment of fee status. If you wish to challenge our assessment you may make an appeal in the normal way, but appeals will not be considered solely on the basis of a previous decision of another institution.

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