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Elliott Winslow Thorpe


The future of mobility

Key details

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

School or Centre

Creating design leaders with the skills to influence.

Still accepting applications for 2022 entry. See the Key Dates webpage for round 4 details.

This programme is subject to validation

The Intelligent Mobility MA programme builds on the rich history of vehicle design at the RCA and places this within the context of a number of emerging social, cultural and technical changes. These include the shift to autonomous systems, renewable power, demographic changes and the increasing synthesis between man and machine. The programme defines and describes a paradigm shift which brings together existing fields with a design-led approach that addresses both physical and virtual aspects of the mobility space as an integrated whole.

The philosophy of this programme is to equip students to deliver critical solutions to holistic mobility needs and issues. The core approach is translating techno-cultural challenge via intense creativity and research - building mature design and innovation propositions to meet new mobility opportunities. Students work closely with mobility design practitioners, thought leaders and leading brands to ensure they have a thorough understanding of industrial practice and the opportunity to engage and influence critical questions relating to business, production and new models of ownership and use.

The aim of this commercial, connected approach is to equip students to be practice leaders within the ‘third age’ of automotive and mobility design and the broad spectrum of mobility services and artefacts - forming a new generation of designers who have both the skill set and mind-set to operate as strategic leaders with a broad range of abilities and insight about their own ‘point-of-impact’ on an increasingly diverse industry.

Explore further

Attend one of the Intelligent Mobility Graduate Show webinars to view graduate work from the class of 2021.

Catch the replays from our November 2021 online Open Day.



The School of Design is based across our Battersea and Kensington sites.

View all facilities

Students have access to the College’s workshops, with traditional facilities for woodworking, metalworking, plastics and resins, including bookable bench spaces. Computer-driven subtractive milling equipment is available, as well as additive rapid prototyping.

  • Intelligent Mobility studio

    Intelligent Mobility studio

  • Intelligent Mobility at the RCA

    Intelligent Mobility at the RCA

More details on what you'll study.

Find out what you'll cover in this programme.

What you'll cover

This programme is subject to validation

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

Term 1

The Contextual Intelligent Mobility Design unit aims to ensure you understand the major global issues which currently affect the direction and opportunities for mobility design. The unit takes a pluralistic approach to design methods and approaches to ensure you are exposed to current practice and begin to evolve a critical approach to mobility design.

The People and Places unit provides a framework to understand how and where future mobility fits into a changing global landscape and how people and place connect through mobility. The unit aims to sensitise students to the scope and limits of different mobility typologies within the mobility mix and highlights the need for design to meet broader infrastructural and social requirements.

Across Terms 1 and 2, you will participate in the College-wide unit. This unit aims to support students to meet the challenges of a complex, uncertain and changing world by bringing them together to work collaboratively on a series of themed projects informed by expertise within and beyond the College. These projects will challenge you to use your intellect and imagination to address key cultural, social, environmental and economic challenges. In doing so, you will develop and reflect on the abilities required to translate knowledge into action, and help demonstrate the contribution that the creative arts can make to our understanding and experience of the world.

Term 2

The Automotive Transitions unit focuses on the future of the automotive typology and asks you to reimagine how technology and social trends will influence future automotive design. The unit also allows you to select a specific area of focus and adopt an approach which explores techniques and questions unique to your chosen sub sector.

The Humanising Technology unit aims to explore how recent transformational mobility technologies such as autonomy and electrification can be interpreted to provide new and desirable human interactions in mobility. You are expected to gain a profound and critical understanding of emerging technologies and your place in future mobility design.

Term 3

The Individual Research Project unit allows you to set your own project linked to a key mobility research topic. You are expected to develop your project through independent study and are responsible for the intellectual and technical evolution of this project and for leading the research and development of ideas and insights through different stages of the design process. This includes working out who the stakeholders are, how to research and the development of thinking through different media; notably from 2D to 3D and to an appropriate level of resolution.


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 MA standards overall.

You’ll have completed or be in the final year of a first degree in an art and design (or related) subject. Alongside this, you’ll need proven commitment to the discipline, with a high level of self-motivation and evidence of independent study. You should possess a high standard of illustrative skills and an understanding of 3D form.

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 2022 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.

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 2022

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.

Email us at
[email protected]
RCA Kensington cafe