- 180 credits
- 1 year programme
- Full-time study
School or Centre
- 11 Oct 2023
On our programme, we seek to understand the world through materials.
Join a Master’s programme operating at the cusp of art and design, the material and immaterial, and the digital and analogue.
Our role is to expand the possibilities of metal, addressing the need for functional, ritualistic and speculative objects within the broader context of material culture.
Our approach is responsive to the rapidly changing social and cultural landscape, and draws on history, technology and extensive bodies of knowledge associated with jewellery and metal object-making. You can expect to work with, and through, a vast array of material possibilities, exploring a multiplicity of possible narratives.
Applications for the September 2024 intake are now open.
Explore graduate work
In July 2023, students presented RCA2023, a series of exhibitions and events. Explore online at https://2023.rca.ac.uk/
You can also view previous events and exhibitions online at Showcase.
Find out more about this programme
Catch the replays from our November 2022 online Open Day.
Head of Programme
Jonathan Boyd is a multi-award-winning artist, jeweller and academic working in a variety of materials, specialising in conceptual and narrative-led artworks. His research focuses on exploring the relationships of language and object.
Rebecca de Quin
Rebecca is a practising silversmith, metal artist and researcher exploring possibilities for innovation in the use and display of handmade contemporary domestic silverware.
Antje exhibits her jewellery in the UK and Europe, and has worked as a design consultant and industrial designer.
Mah Rana Mah Rana
Mah is a practising artist, researcher and writer working in the fields of contemporary jewellery, well-making, creative health, creativity and dementia, and health psychology.
Acting Senior Tutor
A practicing artist and designer, David’s work focuses on innovation and expanding the discourse of Jewellery.
Professor Michael Rowe
Regarded as a leading figure in contemporary studio metal, Michael's radical approach laid the foundations for an expanded practice in the crafts.
All full-time students on fine or applied arts programmes are provided with studios or workspace, and access to specialist workshops. There are a number of bookable seminar and project spaces across the site available to all Arts & Humanities students.
More details on what you'll study.
Find out what you'll cover in this programme.
What you'll cover
How will I learn?
There will be several opportunities to collaborate with others, but at a minimum, your programme will include 277 contact hours and 1523 independent study hours. Contact hours can consist of lectures, seminars, tutorials, critical forums and workshops, among other types of teaching delivery.
Teaching types included in your programme can consist of briefings, projects, tutorials, seminars, lectures, critical forums, technical inductions, technical workshops, offsite visits and blended learning.
The programme is delivered across three terms and includes a combination of programme, School and College units.
The unit Interrogating Your Practice and Deconstructing Assumptions (45 credits) focuses on developing analytical tools for deconstructing and critiquing your own practice and previous methods/approaches and providing new contexts and directions for your work. Emphasis is placed on inviting new thoughts and progressive ideas to develop a jewellery, object, or metal practice. The development of personal and investigative research methods are key and are developed and discussed throughout the term.
Across Terms 1 and 2, you will participate in AcrossRCA (30 credits), the College-wide unit. See below for more details.
Developing Your Voice and Situating a Practice (30 credits) focuses on developing new techniques, processes, and lines of enquiry through a material-led, material-transformational practice as well as setting forth your suitable career context where you’ll be asked to frame your practice within a chosen professional context within art and design. Research developments and lines of enquiry formulated in Unit 1 will act as a background for the production of a body of work.
In term 2 all School of Arts & Humanities students will participate in the Urgency of the Arts (15 credits), a School-wide unit. Through this unit we ask what arts and humanities research and practice have to offer in our current socio-political climate? The unit introduces you to diverse perspectives, approaches, and practices relevant to contemporary practice and thought in the Arts & Humanities. The delivery is devised to help you identify and query your own practices and disciplinary assumptions through encounters with others and within the various practices undertaken by students in the School, and to raise awareness around contemporary concerns. You will be supported in understanding the ramifications of your own work and practice within a broad cultural context, and to recognise its many potentially unintended readings and consequences.
The Independent Research Project (60 credits) offers a point of synthesis through exhibition, critical reflection and portfolio production. Contracted and visiting staff from the programme support you to acquire advanced understanding of practice-led methodologies, critical reflection, production and presentation. Here, the IP supports you with the specific conceptual and material demands of exhibiting and sharing your work and uses this to prepare you for the diverse professional practices of contemporary art and design.
AcrossRCA is a compulsory 30-credit unit which is delivered as part of all MA programmes.
Situated at the core of your RCA experience, this ambitious interdisciplinary College-wide unit supports you in responding to the challenges of complex, uncertain and changing physical and digital worlds. Developed in response to student feedback, AcrossRCA creates an exciting opportunity for you to collaborate meaningfully across programmes.
Challenging you to use your imagination and intellect to respond to urgent contemporary themes, this ambitious unit will provide you with the opportunity to:
- make connections across disciplines
- think critically about your creative practice
- develop creative networks within and beyond the College
- generate innovative responses to complex problems
- reflect on how to propose ideas for positive change in local and/or global contexts
AcrossRCA launches with a series of presentations and panel discussions from acclaimed speakers who will introduce the themes and act as inspirational starting points for your collaborative team response.
Delivered online and in-person across two terms, the unit has been designed to complement your disciplinary studies and to provide you with a platform to thrive beyond graduation.
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
Jewellery & Metal is a dynamic programme which seeks to unpick the interactions of people and the material world. With this in mind, we would like to see your subjective analysis of the world around you within the practice you create. Highlight your particular interests and visions. We want to see what makes your practice unique and where the innovation lies within it. This can be material innovation, conceptual innovation, narrative innovation etc. We are keen to see portfolios from a range of backgrounds and our programme contains students from fine art, applied art and design disciplines.
Please submit up to five works or projects, showing three images for each, totalling a maximum of 15 images. Up to three short films are also suitable for submission within your portfolio. It is important that the work is clearly visible and the focus is on your outcomes/objects.
Please do not provide designed portfolio pages which distract or overwhelm the practice; do not highlight craft process unless it is of particularly innovative or experimental.
We ask that you upload a two-minute video recorded on your phone or laptop, speaking to us directly. High production qualities are not needed. We will review the work in your portfolio, so keep your video simple.
This video is your opportunity to tell us who you are as a creative individual. Tell us what drives your creative ambitions; what are your particular interests and how do these influence your practice. Please also take this opportunity to explain why you think Jewellery & Metal is the right programme for you to develop your practice, identity and ideas/philosophy. Self-direction is a key aspect of your learning within an MA programme at the RCA: please explain how you organise and coordinate your own practice.
Take this opportunity to discuss a specific project from your portfolio. Tell us what motivated the project and how you developed it from an early stage through to a final outcome. Explain how the project was successful and where it was not successful, and what did you learn from the process – we believe that honest critique of your own practice is essential to self-directed study and is important to showcase this within this video.
If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country you will need the equivalent of an IELTS Academic or UKVI 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.
For this programme
Fees for new students
Fees for September 2024 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
For alumni and students who have completed an RCA Graduate Diploma and progress onto an RCA Master's programme – MA, MA/MSc, MFA, MDes, MArch, MEd or MRes – within 10 years, a progression discount of £1,000 is available.
* 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.
The RCA scholarship programme is growing, with hundreds of financial awards planned for the 2024/5 academic year. Examples of financial awards offered in 2023/24 are given below.
House of Fraser Bursary
Supporting students on any MA programme from the UK (Preferably is a Scottish national), experiencing financial hardship.
Eligibility criteria: Financial hardship, Student preferably of Scottish origin
Eligible fee status: UK fee status, full-time
Sir Frank Bowling Scholarships
The Scholarship supports 21 UK MA, MRes and PhD students every year from across all RCA MA, MRes and PhD disciplines.
Eligibility criteria: Financial hardship, Students with Black African and Caribbean diaspora heritage, or mixed Black African and Caribbean diaspora heritage
Eligible fee status: UK fee status
You must hold an offer to study on an RCA programme in order to make a scholarship application in Spring 2024. A selection of RCA merit scholarships will also be awarded with programme offers.
We strongly recommend that you apply for your programme as early as possible to stand the best chance of receiving a scholarship. You do not apply directly for individual awards; instead, you will be invited to apply once you have received an offer.
In addition to your programme fees, please be aware that you may incur other additional costs associated with your study during your time at RCA. Additional costs can include purchases and services (without limitation): costs related to the purchase of books, paints, textiles, wood, metal, plastics and/or other materials in connection with your programme, services related to the use of printing and photocopying, lasercutting, 3D printing and CNC. Costs related to attending compulsory field trips, joining student and sport societies, and your Convocation (graduation) ceremony.
If you wish to find out more about what type of additional costs you may incur while studying on your programme, please contact the Head of your Programme to discuss or ask at an online or in person Open Day.
We provide the RCASHOP online, and at our Kensington and Battersea Campuses – this is open to students and staff of the Royal College of Art only to provide paid for materials to support your studies.
We also provide support to our students who require financial assistance whilst studying, including a dedicated Materials Fund.
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.
Change your life and be here in 2024. Applications now open.
The Royal College of Art welcomes applicants from all over the world.