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 enrich our world in imaginative and meaningful ways. We embrace the diversity of contemporary practice in this hyper-material age.
Drawing on the rich provenance of materials, processes and practices to inform a creative interface between discourse and studio practice, we consider, question and propose new scenarios to address social, cultural and material questions.
Our dynamic learning environment provides exceptional opportunities within and beyond the traditions of art and design, individual practices and industry. The programme will enable you to expand your imagination, enhance your practice and find your professional voice, supported by outstanding staff, excellent facilities and a peer network who have shaped our leading research and international standing over many years.
All full-time students on fine or applied arts programmes are provided with studio and workshop space. There are a number of bookable seminar and project spaces across the site available to all Arts & Humanities students.
Our alumni form an international network of creative individuals who have shaped and continue to shape the world.
- Phoebe Cummings
- Dr Shelley James
- Studio Manifold
- Geoff Mann
- Zemer Peled
- Irina Razumovskaya
More details on what you'll study.
Find out what you'll cover in this programme.
What you'll cover
During the first year of the programme you undertake three units of study: Unit 1A, Unit 1B and CHS. These Units are each worth 40 credits and assessed through a combination of continuous and summative assessment methods. To support your progress in Units 1A and 1B you will be assigned a personal tutor to discuss your work in tutorials twice a term.
You will also have a set number of tutorials from other members of the programme team each term and will have the opportunity to request tutorials from other staff on the school and a broader range of visiting tutors.
Although working primarily on your own practice, there are also throughout the year, group critiques, seminars, lectures, workshops and tutorials with other members of the Programme team and more widely with staff and students from throughout the broader school.
The first term uses a number of projects and briefs to explore different themes and contexts relevant to the Ceramics & Glass programme. In the first term you explore collections to interrogate the role that objects fulfil and build research skills. Later in the term there is a project which asks you to establish and work towards a proposal for a site commission, developing a professional presentation to articulate the logistics, creativity and appropriate relevance to that site.
In the second term you have the choice to participate in one of a number of different groups that explore contexts and build methodologies associated with Ceramics & Glass thinking and making. This group work is conducted through different teaching and learning experiences including seminars, critiques, text readings that look to themes such as, Metaphor, Phenomena, Time & Place.
There is a critique at the end of each project; an opportunity to reflect on personal achievement and participate in group appraisal and discussion.
Throughout the year the programme and school will offer technical inductions and introductions, which may take place online, according to local circumstances.
You will be expected to attend and participate in the guest lecture series and the staff lecture series at the beginning of the year.
Independent and critical thinking, self-reflection, and professional development are encouraged through staff and student led discussions, seminars, presentations and debate with members of the Programme team and more widely with staff and students from throughout the broader school.
During the second year of the programme you undertake three units of study: Unit 2A (40 credits), Unit 2B (60 Credits) and SoAH School Unit (20 Credits). These Units are assessed through a combination of continuous and summative assessment methods.
In your second year you will be assigned a relevant personal tutor who supports your practice throughout the year. You will produce a self-initiated body of work, which is evaluated and discussed in group critiques and tutorials throughout the year.
In the third term the work you exhibit in the graduating show is part of the examination of your final unit 2B - the Independent Research Project. It consists of a major project undertaken in the second year of the programme. Your art practice should now demonstrate that you are able to make, develop and realise work at Masters level. Your work should now have a clear direction and resolution, demonstrating a level of conceptual and technical competence appropriate to your own aims and objectives. Your practice is expected to be self-initiated and thoroughly researched. You will be asked to articulate this process of producing work in your viva voce examination.
Alongside your participation in programme-based units, you will also participate in the SoAH School unit, which, through study groups, lectures, symposia, crits and tutorials will support you in discussing and evolving your work against a broader frame of reference.
Critical & Historical Studies (CHS)
All studio-based MA students follow a weekly schedule of Critical & Historical Studies (CHS), a College-wide initiative that provides you with the intellectual framework to build a coherent relationship between theory and practice.
CHS delivers exciting, thought-provoking and inspiring lectures by experts within the programme and high-profile visiting lecturers. You’ll have the opportunity to explore the theoretical background and aspects of your chosen discipline through a tutored dissertation process, as well as receiving individual tutorial support from our team of expert tutors.
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
Your portfolio is a showcase of your work as an artist or designer and can be made up of images, videos or writing examples. Your portfolio helps us to better understand your application and allows you to show evidence of your ability and motivation to undertake a given programme.
Generally, we’re looking for you to demonstrate your:
- Creativity, imagination and innovation
- Ability to articulate the intentions of the work
- Intellectual engagement in areas relevant to the work
- Technical skills appropriate to the work
- Potential to benefit from the programme
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). 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 Tier 4 visa to study at the RCA, you will also need to meet the Home Office’s minimum requirements for entry clearance.
For this programme
Fees for new students
Below are indicative fees for 2021 entry, which may be subject to an inflationary increase, and will be confirmed in December 2020. From 2021 onward, EU students are classified as Overseas for tuition fee purposes.
Channel Islands and Isle of Man
Overseas and EU
New entrants to the College for MA, MRes, MPhil and PhD degrees will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit in order to secure their place. This will be offset against the tuition fees for the first year of study.
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.
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.
Change your life and be here in 2021
The Royal College of Art welcomes applicants from all over the world.