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Stacked (detail), Gina Baum


Thinking and making

Key details

  • 180 credits
  • 1 year programme
  • Full-time study

School or Centre

Next open day

Application deadline

  • 4 Jan 2023

Explore the possibilities and perspectives of ceramics and glass.

The spirit of Ceramics & Glass at the RCA springs from a belief in the transformative power of material thinking, research and making to enable a new generation of artists and designers to enrich our world in imaginative and meaningful ways. Core to our philosophy is an exploration of how we can make ideas manifest through a tacit exploration of active materials and the generative potential of process.

The programme provides a creative interface where personal concerns and global perspectives intersect – questioning, examining and responding to social, cultural and material challenges. The areas of research of both staff and students are diverse, arise from the broad scope of the two disciplines, and inform what is taught on the programme. Advances in technology are explored, while traditional methodologies are challenged to create new and unique approaches.

Explore further

Visit 2022.rca.ac.uk to view graduate work by our students.

Catch the replays from our November 2022 online Open Day.



The School of Arts & Humanities is located across our Battersea and Kensington sites.

View all facilities

All full-time students on fine or applied arts programmes are provided with studios or workspace, and access to specialist workshops. There are a number of bookable seminar and project spaces across the site available to all Arts & Humanities students.

  • Ceramics & Glass workshops (photo: Richard Haughton)

    Ceramics & Glass workshops (photo: Richard Haughton)

  • At work in the Ceramics & Glass Studio Space (photo: Richard Haughton)

    At work in the Ceramics & Glass Studio Space (photo: Richard Haughton)

  • Kilns in the Woo Building (photo: Richard Haughton)

    Kilns in the Woo Building (photo: Richard Haughton)

  • Ceramics & Glass Studio Space (photo: Richard Haughton)

    Ceramics & Glass Studio Space (photo: Richard Haughton)

  • Hot Glass Workshop (photo: Richard Haughton)

    Hot Glass Workshop (photo: Richard Haughton)

More details on what you'll study.

Find out what you'll cover in this programme.

What you'll cover

The spectrum of enquiry in Ceramics & Glass is driven by live and studio projects – archive and collections are explored in order to understand, question and reinterpret how histories and traditions of our disciplines inform contemporary culture – our relationship with site, communities and the built environment provide a framework for developing proposals – specialist tutor led group work brings a focus to areas such as metaphorical and phenomenological meaning within materiality – while design led ideas are explored through object use, and the systems of production that they emerge from.

Drawing on our diverse network of contacts within the subject specialisms, lectures, artist talks and professional practice seminars from industry leaders, are combined with field trips and practical skill sessions to support independent learning. A strong studio culture is nurtured within dedicated facilities that offer opportunities for collaborative and cross disciplinary approaches – all aimed at developing the next generation of leading Ceramics & Glass graduates.

The programme is delivered across three terms and includes a combination of programme, School and College units.

Term 1

Term 1 begins with the Interrogating Your Practice and Deconstructing Assumptions unit, which focuses on developing tools for deconstructing and critiquing your own practice and previous methods/approaches, as well as providing new contexts and directions for your work. Emphasis is placed on inviting new thoughts and progressive ideas through which to develop a ceramics and glass practice. During the unit you will be offered a series of opportunities to explore techniques, collections, environments alongside new modes of thinking aimed at challenging and expanding their current perception of Ceramics & Glass practice.

Across Terms 1 and 2, you will participate in AcrossRCA, the College-wide unit. See below for more details.

Term 2

Over the course of the Developing Methodologies unit, you will explore themes situated within wider material culture particularly those revealed by self-directed study via the lens of a Ceramics & Glass practice. Through experimentation and research, they will establish and develop the methodologies that will define your emerging practice. Developments and lines of enquiry formulated in Interrogating Your Practice and Deconstructing Assumptions, and through the Territory, will act as a background for the production of a body of work. You will be required to write your proposal and develop the summative project for the Independent Research Project by the middle of this unit.

In Term 2 all School of Arts & Humanities students will participate in the Urgency of the Arts, School-wide unit. Through this unit we ask: what does arts and humanities research and practice have to offer in our current socio-political climate? The unit introduces students to a diverse range of perspectives, approaches and practices relevant to contemporary practice and thought in the Arts & Humanities. The delivery is devised to help you identify and query your own practices and disciplinary assumptions through encounters with others and within the various practices undertaken by students in the School, and to raise awareness around contemporary concerns. You will be supported in understanding the ramifications of your own work and practice within a broad cultural context, and to recognise its many potentially unintended readings and consequences.

Term 3

The Independent Research Project offers a point of synthesis through exhibition, critical reflection and portfolio production. The programme will support you in acquiring an advanced understanding of practice-led methodologies, critical reflection, production, and presentation. You will be supported in understanding practice-led methodologies, critical reflection, and presentation. The IRP supports you with the specific conceptual and material demands of exhibiting and sharing their work and uses this to prepare you for the diverse professional practices of contemporary art and design.

Situated at the core of your RCA student experience, this ambitious interdisciplinary College- wide AcrossRCA unit supports how you respond to the challenges of complex, uncertain and changing physical and digital worlds by engaging you in a global creative network that draws on expertise within and beyond the institution. It provides an extraordinary opportunity for you to:

  • make connections across disciplines
  • think critically about your creative practice
  • develop creative networks within and beyond the College
  • generate innovative responses to complex problems
  • reflect on how to propose ideas for positive change in local and/or global contexts.

AcrossRCA launches with a series of presentations from internationally acclaimed speakers that will encourage you to think beyond the discourses of art, architecture, communication, and design, and extend into other territories such as economics, ethics, science, engineering, medicine or astrophysics.

In interdisciplinary teams you will be challenged to use your intellect and imagination to respond to urgent contemporary themes, providing you with an opportunity to develop innovative and disruptive thinking, critically reflect on your responsibilities as a creative practitioner and demonstrate the contribution that the creative arts can make to our understanding and experience of the world. This engagement with interdisciplinary perspectives and practices is designed both to complement your disciplinary studies and provide you with a platform to thrive beyond graduation.


What you need to know before you apply

Candidates are selected entirely on merit and applications are welcomed from all over the world. The selection process will consider creativity, imagination and innovation as demonstrated in your portfolio, as well as your potential to benefit from the programme and to achieve high MA standards overall.

You should have a good undergraduate degree in Ceramics or Glass or equivalent professional experience. Applications are welcomed from candidates from related backgrounds, for example, textiles, sculpture, architecture and industrial design. Work experience, either before or after a first degree, is a great advantage.

What's needed from you

For your portfolio, you can submit up to five works or projects showing three images for each, totalling a maximum of 15 images. If you submit film, please limit this to three short works.

Each work could be a singular artwork/object or be representative of a more expansive project. The two additional images can be of other finished works in the series, close-ups, or work-in-progress. You do not have to submit the maximum of 15 images, the work does not necessarily need to be in ceramics or glass, and please do not submit images that have multiple images and further text on them.

We are looking at how you curate a refined, concise portfolio that best represents your practice to date. We hope to get an understanding of your individual creativity, your passion and curiosity for experimenting with materials and processes, your imagination and ideas and your ability to bring them into the world.

The making of this video offers you the opportunity to introduce yourself to us as a creative individual. You will need to carefully consider and plan what you would like to say in order to give us a clear and concise understanding of you and your work.

It might help for you to choose a specific object or project with which you can focus on how you tell us about your ideas, influences and experiences or you could decide to describe your creative journey to this point more broadly.

Some of the things we would like to hear from you are:

  • Some details of the journey which has led you to want to study on the programme.
  • What are the inspirations and influences behind your work?
  • What methods, processes or approaches do you use?
  • What are your ambitions in undertaking the course and what do you hope to learn and achieve?
  • What context do you see your work residing in?

If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country you will need the equivalent of an IELTS Academic score of 6.5 with a 6.0 in the Test of Written English (TWE) and at least 5.5 in other skills. Students achieving a grade of at least 6.0, with a grade of 5.5 in the Test of Written English, may be eligible to take the College’s English for Academic Purposes course to enable them to reach the required standard.

You are exempt from this requirement if you have received a 2.1 degree or above from a university in a majority English-speaking nation within the last two years.

If you need a Student Visa to study at the RCA, you will also need to meet the Home Office’s minimum requirements for entry clearance.

Find out more about English-language requirements

Fees & funding

For this programme

Fees for new students

Fees for September 2023 entry on this programme are outlined below. From 2021 onward, EU students are classified as Overseas for tuition fee purposes.

Overseas and EU


New entrants to the College will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit in order to secure their place. This will be offset against the tuition fees.

Overseas and EU

* Total cost is based on the assumption that the programme is completed in the timeframe stated in the programme details. Additional study time may incur additional charges.



Scholarships are awarded for a specific programme and entry point and cannot be deferred without consent from the academic Programme and scholarships panel.

Supporting MA Ceramics & Glass students from the UK experiencing financial hardship

Funding Categories: Financial hardship, Full time

Eligible fee status: UK fee status

Value: Full tuition fee scholarship valued at £15,000

Supporting MA Ceramics & Glass students from the UK experiencing financial hardship

Funding Categories: Financial hardship, Full time, Students from underrepresented communities who identify as Black/Black British; Asian/British Asian; or or mixed heritage.

Eligible fee status: UK fee status

Value: Full tuition fee scholarships valued at £15,000

Supporting MA Ceramics & Glass students from the UK

Eligible Programmes: Ceramics & Glass MA

Funding Categories: Full time

Eligible fee status: UK fee status

Value: Two tuition fee bursaries of £3,000 each

Supporting students on any MA programme from the UK (Preferably is a Scottish national), experiencing financial hardship.

Funding Categories: Financial hardship, Full time, Student preferably of Scottish origin

Eligible fee status: UK fee status

Value: £10,000

A Scholarship supporting UK Ceramics & Glass students with financial hardship.

Funding Categories: Financial hardship

Eligible fee status: UK fee status

Value: Six scholarships valued at £35,000 each

Supporting one MA Ceramics & Glass student from the UK, experiencing financial hardship

Funding Categories: Financial hardship, Full time

Eligible fee status: UK fee status

Value: £10,000

The Scholarship supports 21 UK MA, MRes and PhD students every year from across all RCA MA, MRes and PhD disciplines.

Funding Categories: Financial hardship, Students with Black African and Caribbean diaspora heritage, or mixed Black African and Caribbean diaspora heritage

Eligible fee status: UK fee status

Value: £21,000

More information

External funding

There are many funding sources, with some students securing scholarships and others saving money from working. It is impossible to list all the potential funding sources; however, the following information could be useful.


Tuition fees are due on the first day of the academic year and students are sent an invoice prior to beginning their studies. Payments can be made in advance, on registration or in two instalments.

Start your application

RCA students at work (photo: Richard Haughton)

Change your life and be here in 2023. Applications open 2 November.

The Royal College of Art welcomes applicants from all over the world.

Before you begin

Make sure you've read and understood the entrance requirements and key dates
More information about eligibility and key dates
Check you have all the information you need to apply.
Read our application process guide
Visit our applications portal to get started

Ask a question

Get in touch if you’d like to find out more or have any questions.

Register your interest with us here
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