- 180 credits
- 1 year programme
- Full-time study
School or Centre
- 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.
Interdisciplinary research by practice across art and design.
The MRes RCA Arts & Humanities Pathway introduces you to a range of practice-based research methods, in order to equip you for your future professional and research careers.
You’ll develop creative and critically engaged individual research projects that emerge from a broad range of arts-based practices: from painting, sculpture and performance to ceramics, installation, moving image and critical writing.
You’ll be able to forge strong networks with a range of peers, artists and academics within the School of Arts & Humanities research community and across the College.
The pathway fosters experimentation and innovation. We encourage individual and collective ways of working, thinking and making. You are urged to explore what platforms and interfaces would most benefit your research ideas.
Catch the replays from our March 2021 Virtual Day.
Dr Nicky Coutts
MRes Pathway Leader in Fine Art & Humanities
Nicky Coutts is an artist working in a variety of media, exhibiting regularly in solo and group exhibitions hosted by galleries and institutions worldwide.
More details on what you'll study.
Find you what you'll cover in this programme.
What you'll cover
Our programmes are delivered through a combination of structured learning, comprised of lectures and master-classes; workshop classes based around a set task; tutor-led seminar classes where students will be asked to reflect on material that they have read or studied in advance and project assignments that support the structured teaching programme.
Unit 1: Research Methods & Individual Research Proposal
This unit will enable discussion and exploration of key concepts in art and design research. The workshops will introduce you to key methods and methodologies in art and design, based around the areas of specialisms of each of the contributing schools. You’ll also develop an individual research proposal.
Unit 2: Research Cultures
This College-wide unit focus on knowledge exchange and communicating your research effectively to an interdisciplinary audience. This will involve developing an understanding of the contexts in which research is practised, and engaging different research cultures and communities.
Unit 3: Research in Practice (Pathway specific)
This unit focuses on the process of research. It will connect you with practicing researchers and research teams and encourage you to reflect on how research projects are developed, managed, evaluated and communicated.
Unit 4: Group Research Project (Pathway specific)
This unit builds upon learning undertaken in unit 1 by exploring the nexus between research methods and the ways in which they might be applied to independent and collaborative research projects.
Unit 5: Research Identities
This college-wide unit will focus on further development of your personal research project and professional development. It will enable you to develop your research projects and define your professional identity as a researcher.
Unit 6: Personal Research Project
The Personal Research Project will enable you to apply the skills, knowledge and understanding developed through units 1 and 2 within a complex personal research project.
You are required to submit a 12,000–15,000 word thesis that defines a research question, outlines the research methodology and theoretical context, presents and discusses the results and offers robust conclusions.
You are required to submit:
- An original work of art, design or communication (including critical and curatorial works)
- A visual portfolio of practice with clear documentation in PDF form
- A 4,000–6,000 word thesis that defines the purpose of the work, outlines its theoretical and technical context, and articulates the contribution it has made to advancing knowledge.
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 creativity, imagination and innovation as demonstrated in your portfolio, as well as your potential to benefit from the programme and to achieve high standards overall.
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). 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.
For this programme
Fees for new students
Fees for September 2021 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 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.
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.
Change your life and be here in 2021
The Royal College of Art welcomes applicants from all over the world.