Understand the field of print through making, exhibiting, publishing, discussion and writing.
In this expanded field, the histories of media, craft, mechanical and digital (re)production are all open to question. Embracing very different ways of thinking and making, we engage with the digital and physical circulation of images. We explore the differences of virtual space vs hard copy, questioning how shifts in the register of different media affect our lives.
You may use archives, image and text, appropriation, and work in all media, from books to installations, webpages to hard copies. Why, in the context of digital ubiquity, is there still interest in direct material engagement with ink and paper? What value does the hand-drawn trace have in our digital age? Are there already too many images in the world? Why make more?
We aim to develop your potential, encouraging both thinking through making and conceptual understanding of how work communicates. Staff (all practising artists) and students work together within this dynamic flux of difference, questioning established narratives.
Watch replays from our last online open day at rca.onlineopendays.com/replays
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.
Our alumni form an international network of creative individuals who have shaped and continue to shape the world.
- Faisal Abdu’allah
- Christiane Baumgartner
- George Eksts
- Haris Epaminonda
- Serena Korda
- Katsutoshi Yuasa
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 assessed through a combination of continuous and summative assessment methods.
The first year is experimental and diagnostic, you reflect on your previous work and often radically change your understanding and practice. In the first week of term you are registered and orientated to the College and School. An introductory seminar and brief introductions to each other via short presentations of work follow. Introductions to technical staff and workshops also take place.
You then begins the process of developing a self-initiated and self-directed body of studio work in whatever form will test and expand your ideas and ambitions. This is supported and challenged (in both years) by tutorials, lectures, seminars, and workshops. Group critiques in the programme take place in the first two terms.
A week of cross-college projects is open to you, and exhibition or archive visits help you to broaden your range of references and contextualise your work. These will be subject to local and national restrictions.
To support your progress in Units 1a and 1b you will be assigned a personal tutor with whom to discuss your work in tutorials twice a term. You will also be offered the opportunity for tutorials with other members of the programme team, and will have the opportunity to request tutorials from other tutors. Although working primarily on your own practice, there are also group critiques, seminars, lectures, and workshops. You produce work for studio critiques in terms one and two. You are expected to be engaged in all aspects of the curriculum and test out new ways of thinking and making. You will be introduced to a range of presentation skills using digital tools preparing you for the end of the year assessments at which your progress will be examined.
In the spring term, you contribute to the Work in Progress Show. Your work is not expected to be resolved at this stage. It is an opportunity to take risks, trying new materials and ideas. As this is in a public context it includes the question of spectatorship. This enables you to reflect upon the efficacy of the visual forms and concepts with which you have been working.
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.
The second year requires a shift in emphasis towards sharing, distributing and contextualising work. You are expected to produce a coherent body of ambitious work in a form that reflects your particular ideas and interests. You will participate in an external exhibition project, a student-led final show event, and some form of publishing project, which will take a form in line with local and national guidelines. Each student gives a presentation about their work and optionally undertakes a talk or workshop to an external audience. You are expected to be able to professionally document and present your work and ideas verbally, in writing and through images. Workshops are held to aid this process.
Your work should now have a clear direction and resolution, demonstrating a level of conceptual and technical competency appropriate to your own aims and objectives. Preparations begin for the unit 2B assessment which is examined via the Independent Research Portfolio and a presentation of a major body of work undertaken. Through this period the you are expected to undertake self-initiated research to develop and realise a body of self-directed work that is to Masters level.
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.
Critical & Historical Studies (CHS)
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.
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’re expected to have completed a BA degree. In recent years, students have come from fine art, printmaking, painting, sculpture, photo media, conservation, illustration, design, textiles, architecture and interactive arts courses. While many students enter the course after years of independent work, we also accept students directly from undergraduate courses.
We are looking for candidates who are excited about the potential of engaging with the College-wide peer group, and making the most of the educational opportunities the Programme offers. You may not have made prints before but should have a keen interest in the nature of the multiplied image and the desire to investigate the ideas we engage with.
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
The MA Print offers an inclusive space in which to engage with current issues and debates surrounding print as an expanded field and a vital part of contemporary art practice. Our curriculum is designed to develop a student’s professional practice through, making, thinking research, and critical reflection on their studio work. This is achieved through student participation in tutorials, seminars, workshops, exhibitions, and discursive presentations to others. In this portfolio, please submit documentation of the work you make, including title, date, size, and media. You have five slots and each can accept four supporting items. You may use these slots to show how a work developed and evolved from start to completion. Please use all available slots and limit the time of moving image works to five minutes maximum.
We want to learn about:
- How you approach the making and development of your work.
- How you position your practice in a contemporary art context and in relation to Print.
- What ideas, issues, concerns, or themes you explore in your work.
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.
Channel Islands and Isle of Man
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.
Change your life and be here in 2021
The Royal College of Art welcomes applicants from all over the world.