Update you browser

For the best experience, we recommend you update your browser. Visit our accessibility page for a list of supported browsers. Alternatively, you can continue using your current browser by closing this message.

Archives of Curiosity, Janaina Baxevani


Communication design and transformation

Key details

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

School or Centre

Next open day

Application deadline

  • 4 Jan 2023

Career opportunities

  • MRes RCA supports the development of research careers in academia and industry-based research groups. All students develop an individual research project, which prepares graduates for further studies at PhD level or careers within an emerging field of practice-led and practice-based research.

A dynamic and interdisciplinary communication design research community.

The MRes RCA Communication Design Pathway equips students for PhD-level study or industry research roles by introducing practice-led and experimental research processes, methods and methodologies that inform communication design research. Our students have come from backgrounds in graphic design, illustration, moving image, typography, animation, writing, science and more, and developed projects on topics ranging from the future of telecommunication, to women’s football fandom, to cross-cultural typographic design.

Communication is at the core of this offer, engaging critically with different perspectives and sensory forms. We rethink how we share information, experiences, knowledge and community, and explore the nexus between methods from art and design, social sciences and humanities. You’ll position your research within a social, historical, cultural and theoretical discourse through proven research methods and by engaging critically with reflective practice and evaluation.

Catch the replays from our November 2022 online Open Day.



The School of Communication is located in White City, London’s newest research and creative quarter.

View all facilities

Our mixed-use studios encourage collaborative working, thought, awareness and action. In addition, you have access to craft and technical workshop areas and excellent technical support in the College.

  • Meeting room in the School of Communication Studios, White City (photo: Richard Haughton)

    School of Communication meeting room, White City. Photograph by Richard Haughton

More details on what you'll study.

Find out what you'll cover in this programme.

What you'll cover

Working both collaboratively and individually you will explore research design and methodologies through a cycle of theory, action, reflection and dialogue with your peers. At all times you will be strongly encouraged and given the space to interrogate, generate and experiment with new ideas with a range of research challenges.

Throughout the course, we will encourage and promote experimentation, flexibility and collaboration. We aim to offer you a thorough grounding in research theory and practice that both directly and indirectly relates to art and design. We aim to work with you in developing your confidence and ability to work independently, individually and in collaboration with communities across different research cultures and communities. It is this adaptability which will provide you with the tools to thrive as researchers in your chosen career, whether in academia, industry or individual practice.

You will take the following units as part of the programme:

  • Group Research project (40 credits)
  • Research Cultures (20 credits)
  • Research in Practice (20 credits)
  • Research Methods (20 credits)
  • Research Identities (20 credits)
  • Personal Research Project (60 credits)


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 considers and the capability to reflect, criticise and innovate as demonstrated in your research statement and portfolio.

You should have a good first degree in a related subject. We welcome applications from students of all ages, and view both prior academic and professional experience as valuable.

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) 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.

£14,175* (full-time)
£8,500* (part-time)
Overseas and EU
£33,600* (full-time)
£20,150* (full-time)


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.

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
RCA Kensington cafe