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Carbon Relic, Rhea Adaimi


Constructing and communicating spatial identities

Key details

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

School or Centre

We value and promote speculation, analysis, rigour and provocation through all aspects of interior design.

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

This programme is subject to validation

The MA Interior Design programme engages you in exploring emergent ideas and issues concerning distinct aspects of the design of the interior. This incorporates research, practice and making work that explores the diversity of human occupation in numerous environments, extending from the room to the city. The programme encourages the view that the interior is an interface between its occupants and the built environment, and it supports the notion that the interior is an agent for social change.

The MA Interior Design programme values speculation, analysis and rigour with regards to the thinking and making of all aspects of the design of interior environments. It challenges its you to formulate your own rigorous and critically independent responses to these fundamental concerns. This is often undertaken via the reworking of existing structures, the creation of temporal installations and the formation of permanent interventions. All of these practices involve the construction and communication of particular spatial identities using space, objects and materials.

Explore further

Visit 2022.rca.ac.uk to view recent Work in Progress by our students, Visit 2021.rca.ac.uk to view graduate work from the class of 2021, or visit our online repository of Work from Interior Design.

Catch the replays from our November 2021 online Open Day.



The School of Architecture is currently based at our historic Kensington site.

View all facilities

Our studios are the heart of day-to-day activity for the School. Studios are purpose-designed for inspiration and interaction between students of different design disciplines. Studio workspace is provided for each student. In addition, you have access to wood, metal, plastic and resin workshop facilities, as well as contemporary digital fabrication equipment and a suite of bookable project and making spaces.

  • Students in the School of Architecture Studios (photo: Richard Haughton)

    Students in the School of Architecture Studios (photo: Richard Haughton)

  • Activity in the School of Architecture Studios (photo: Richard Haughton)

    Activity in the School of Architecture Studios (photo: Richard Haughton)

  • Working together in the School of Architecture Studios (photo: Richard Haughton)

    Working together in the School of Architecture Studios (photo: Richard Haughton)

  • Working on a piece in the School of Architecture Studios (photo: Richard Haughton)

    Working on a piece in the School of Architecture Studios (photo: Richard Haughton)

  • Reviewing work in the School of Architecture Studios (photo: Richard Haughton)

    Reviewing work in the School of Architecture Studios (photo: Richard Haughton)

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 MA Interior Design programme is located in the School of Architecture. Work is undertaken through design studios, known as platforms and is supported with lectures, seminars and workshops. Talks by researchers, academics and practitioners from related disciplines – set design, architecture, branding, installation art - constitute the 'inside/out' lecture series. These are offered in the unique RCA context of interdisciplinary, studio and workshop-oriented, speculative advanced study. There are often opportunities for projects in conjunction with appropriate external partners and practice mentorship is offered throughout the provision.

The programme is delivered by leading academics, well known practicing designers, architects and theorists, all of whom are internationally renowned and innovators in their fields. Graduates exemplify responsive and intellectually sophisticated designers. They exit the programme replete with practices and processes that will enable them to undertake further research, education and enter interior or other design professions.

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

You'll take an initial Primer unit, which will engage you in the exploration and synthesis of the principles and methods of critical ideas in interior space. It introduces you to ideas and the processes that will enable participants to synthesise thinking and research in the design of interior spaces. The work in this unit will be based on a focused exploration that affords the participant the possibilities to challenge their thinking through research, design, exploration in order to generate new meanings for buildings, objects, spaces and the elements within them.

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.

You'll also take an Elective unit.

Term 2

The Platforms unit engages you in the origination and development of your own project in relation to the thematic concerns of the programme platforms. Each platform in this unit is design to emphasise a particular way of thinking or aspect of the design of the interior.

Platform themes are the provocations or generators of ideas that students utilise in the development of their own research and projects. It is anticipated that you will use the platforms interests to assist in the determination of your own practice interests and ultimately your professional identities.

To note: In order to retain an agility and capacity to maintain currency and agency through being able to respond to emergent issues, the number and themes of platforms will always adapt and change. Recurring themes, such as Reuse, Detail, Display, are based on fundamental issues of the interior and are supplemented with more speculative themes such as Matter, Urbanism, Behaviours, Futures and the Non-terior.

In term 2 all School of Architecture students will participate in the Media Studies, School-wide unit. The unit aims to increase students’ critical engagement with media and space. Through this unit you will be supported to increase your cross-disciplinary communication and you will be challenged to expand your media practice beyond architecture’s reliance on media as purely representation.

Term 3

The purpose of the Independent Research Project (IRP) is to enable you to apply the intellectual, technical and professional skills that you have developed throughout the programme to a challenging self-set brief. The project will normally be advanced from the work previously undertaken in the platforms.

Working within the thematic concerns of the platforms, each student is expected to have agreed a research and project proposal, a brief, with their tutor that identifies the parameters of their project, including its aims, rationale, approaches and methodologies and possible resource implications.

This majority of this unit will involve independent study in the platform system. This unit engages the student in the development and realisation of their IRP. The provocations provided by the platforms are expected to be utilised in order to assist in the determination of the students own practice interests and ultimately their professional ambitions and responsibilities and identities as a practising designer.


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 will usually have a good undergraduate degree or other appropriate experience. Professional experience, either before during or after a first degree, may be a benefit. We welcome applications from candidates from other related backgrounds, such as architecture, furniture design, product design and graphic design.

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