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Spirit Level, Chloe Valorso


Dedicated and diverse

Key details

  • 240 credits
  • 2 year programme
  • Full-time study

School or Centre

On our programme, we seek to understand the world through materials.

Jewellery and metal both play a significant role in all cultures. The growing importance and interdisciplinary character of our distinctive discipline within the arts gives jewellery and metal a special vibrancy and relevance. The work that emerges from our programme reflects an expanded practice that views objects as an embodiment of thought.

We seek to question what materials mean to us, how we engage with them and use them to define our daily interactions with the world.

As a programme and philosophy we are responsive to rapidly changing social and cultural landscapes, and we draw on history and technology in nurturing intellectual and creative skills. The rich and extensive bodies of knowledge associated with object-making and jewellery underpin an approach that is outward-looking, open to the wider and diverse discourses surrounding materialism, semiotics, narratives and commodity objects, all of which connect us and the object to contemporary life.

Explore further

Visit 2020.rca.ac.uk to view graduate work from the class of 2020



The School of Arts & Humanities is located across our Battersea and Kensington sites.

View all facilities

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.

  • Jewellery & Metal workshop (photo: Richard Haughton)

    Jewellery & Metal workshop (photo: Richard Haughton)

  • Inside the Jewellery & Metal workshop (photo: Richard Haughton)

    Inside the Jewellery & Metal workshop (photo: Richard Haughton)

  • At work in the Jewellery & Metal workshop (photo: Richard Haughton)

    At work in the Jewellery & Metal workshop (photo: Richard Haughton)

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 are assessed through a combination of continuous and summative assessment methods.

To support your progress in Units 1A and 1B you are assigned a Core Theme personal tutor with whom to discuss your work in tutorials during the academic year. You will also be given the opportunity for tutorials with other members of the programme team each term, and will have the opportunity to sign-up for tutorials from other staff within the school.

The First Year begins with a project designed to review your established creative thinking patterns. This project allows for you to undertake a series of technical introductions that are relevant to the aims and outcomes of the project. These may take place online, depending on local circumstances. This project allows staff to gain an insight into your working methods and thought processes and for you to get to know the staff in the Jewellery and Metal programme.

You will be assigned to a Core Theme tutor. This tutor will support you through the personal project and studies for the rest of the year. Core Themes are divided into headings which align to important themes with Jewellery and Metal. These are; Material Thinking, Concepts/Narratives, Miniature Thinking, Metal and Digital/ Analogue. You will be placed in a Core Theme that best suits you and which allows you to best address and explore creative methodologies, professional contexts and presentation skills. Throughout the year the programme and school will offer technical inductions and introductions. Please note that these may be delivered online, according to local circumstances.

Although working primarily on your own practice, you will also take part in group critiques, seminars, lectures, workshops, and tutorials. You must produce work for studio critiques which take place throughout Unit 1A and Unit 1B.

You are expected to participate in the (Im)Material Culture Lecture and Seminar series.

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.

During the second-year you are expected to pursue your Personal Projects and produce work that will reflect the context of your anticipated professional practice. You are assigned a relevant personal tutor who supports your practice throughout the year. You produce a self initiated body of work, which is evaluated and discussed in group critiques and tutorials throughout the year.

Year 2-specific professional/contextual seminars have been scheduled during the year to help you establish your own niche and career direction.

In the third term the work you exhibit in the graduating show is linked to 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 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. You are expected to participate in the (Im)Material Culture Lecture and Seminar series.

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.

View more CHS information


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.

We seek to recruit students who are talented, enthusiastic, energetic, professionally minded, with an open and critical approach to design and making. You must possess a good undergraduate degree (or non-UK equivalent qualification) in metalwork, jewellery or a related subject, such as textiles, sculpture, architecture and industrial design. Your application should be supported by good, preferably academic, references and you should possess a range of practical skills. Equivalent professional experience or apprenticeships are also taken into account.

Applications may be considered from candidates without formal training and/or qualifications in other subjects, but you must clearly demonstrate an understanding of the subject area and potential to bring expertise and knowledge from another discipline that would contribute to the Jewellery & Metal group dynamic.

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.

Find out more about English-language requirements

Fees & funding

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.

£9,750 per year
£19,500 total cost*
Channel Islands and Isle of Man
£14,500 per year
£29,000 total cost*
Overseas and EU
£29,000 per year
£58,000 total cost*


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.

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 2021

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
More information about entrance requirements
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