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Reinventing print

Key details

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

School or Centre

Next open day

Application deadline

  • Still accepting applications

Understand the field of print through making, exhibiting, publishing, discussion and writing.

The programme positions Print as an expanded field which situates the printing press as the prehistory of computing and the web. We collectively explore the many ways technically mediated images alter and expand the world. You work from a range of positions, some working through print, making prints directly and others work with print, using archives, broadcast media, collage and installation to explore the rich cultural legacies of printed matter. We aim to develop the potential of each student in ways appropriate to their concerns and consciously select an extremely diverse group of students to creatively expand the field.

Still accepting applications for 2023 entry. See the Eligibility and key dates webpage for round 3 details.

Explore further

Visit 2022.rca.ac.uk to view graduate work by our students.

Catch the replays from our November 2022 online Open Day.



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 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.

  • Bindery in the Dyson Building

    Bindery in the Dyson Building

  • Working in the Print workshop (photo: Richard Haughton)

    Working in the Print workshop (photo: Richard Haughton)

  • Screenprint Workshop (photo: Richard Haughton)

    Screenprint Workshop (photo: Richard Haughton)

  • Print facilities (photo: Richard Haughton)

    Print facilities (photo: Richard Haughton)

More details on what you'll study.

Find out what you'll cover in this programme.

What you'll cover

Seminars, visiting artists, publishing projects and the wider environment of the School, College and London help to provide a critical framework to question the nature of expanded Print practices. The multiplication of images always raises questions of originality, authenticity and value. Print includes industrial production and craft processes. Its history is inextricably linked to commerce, entertainment and education. As the demand increases for all Fine Art practices to be replicated and transmitted digitally, the difference between hard copy and screen-based images grows ever more complex as evidenced by current debates about NFT’s and the role of social media. How do shifts in the registers of different media affect our lives, ways of communicating and the stories we tell? Engaging with a wide range of artists and archives places debates within the program in a state of dynamic flux.

Learning and teaching activity on the programme may include, but may not be limited to: briefings, lectures, seminars, tutorials (individual and group), critiques, technical inductions and negotiated technical learning, workshops and public dissemination of work.

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

Term 1

In Orientation, Induction and Experimentation we begin with the notion of orientation, a term originating from ‘Orient’: ‘a person's basic attitude, beliefs, or feelings in relation to a particular subject or issue’.

You will begin the programme with a series of orientation sessions and technical inductions. Seminars and external visits to exhibitions and archives will help you understand the expanded field of Print in the context of the broad field of contemporary art. You will be encouraged to experiment with new ways of making to challenge existing models of thinking and demonstrate this through studio practice.

Across Terms 1 and 2, you will participate in AcrossRCA, the College-wide unit. See below for more details.

Term 2

Development and Context focuses on deepening an engagement with both producing work and through discussion, understanding the ways in which it might be read, displayed and contextualised. To this end the holding of a group exhibition/event, and a publication project give you deadlines and experience of professional contexts.

In term 2 all School of Arts & Humanities students will participate in the Urgency of the Arts, School-wide unit. Through this unit we ask: what does arts and humanities research and practice have to offer in our current socio-political climate? The unit introduces students to a diverse range of 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.

Term 3

Independent Research Project

You will have submitted a plan for your independent research project at the end of the second unit based on the experience of the exhibition and publications projects in unit 2. The Independent Research Project (IRP) emphasises the sharing of work with an audience. The focus is on completing work which synthesises and builds upon the work of the last two terms. You will be expected to make, curate and exhibit in the context of a group exhibition. Most Print students would work in exhibition, though a few may choose publication as the principal form. The shift is towards identifying forms of presentation and understanding individual needs in terms of future professional development. In the closing weeks of term, professional development activities, applying for grants, setting up studios, self- employment and residency applications are the focus of School-wide events. You are required to participate in a public ‘Print Out’ panel discussion with invited guests.

Situated at the core of your RCA student experience, this ambitious interdisciplinary College- wide AcrossRCA unit supports how you respond to the challenges of complex, uncertain and changing physical and digital worlds by engaging you in a global creative network that draws on expertise within and beyond the institution. It provides an extraordinary opportunity for you 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 from internationally acclaimed speakers that will encourage you to think beyond the discourses of art, architecture, communication, and design, and extend into other territories such as economics, ethics, science, engineering, medicine or astrophysics.

In interdisciplinary teams you will be challenged to use your intellect and imagination to respond to urgent contemporary themes, providing you with an opportunity to develop innovative and disruptive thinking, critically reflect on your responsibilities as a creative practitioner and demonstrate the contribution that the creative arts can make to our understanding and experience of the world. This engagement with interdisciplinary perspectives and practices is designed both to complement your disciplinary studies and 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.

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

The Print programme 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 5 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.

What else would you like us to know about you? Print is an expansive field of activity, drawing on a wealth of historical, material, and conceptual positions, and embracing very different ways of thinking and making. Though some students come with a great deal of practical print experience, others come with none at all. What they share is an interest in the possibilities of the multiplied and mediated image.

Digital technologies have changed the way we think about image making. Print is the pre-history of the internet. What excites you about exploring this field? In this two-minute video, please respond to the above statements and elaborate on the questions previously asked about your work and practice as documented in your portfolio.

We are particular interested in the following:

  • What kinds of visual, textual, audio or material research feeds your work?
  • Choosing your most successful work, what are the choices you made in creating it?
  • What do you wish to develop during the two years at the RCA?
  • What will you particularly bring to the course, what do we need to know about you?

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 2023 entry on this programme are outlined below. From 2021 onward, EU students are classified as Overseas for tuition fee purposes.

£14,175 *
Overseas and EU
£33,600 *


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

Progression discount

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.



Scholarships are awarded for a specific programme and entry point and cannot be deferred without consent from the academic Programme and scholarships panel.

Scholarships targeted to students enrolling onto a number of RCA MA programmes to enable students to unlock full potential regardless of their financial circumstances. Preference will be given to students from underrepresented communities.

Eligibility criteria: Financial hardship, Full time, Students from under-represented communities

Eligible fee status: UK fee status

Value: Up to seven full-fee tuition fee scholarships

Supporting students on any MA programme from the UK (Preferably is a Scottish national), experiencing financial hardship.

Eligibility criteria: Financial hardship, Full time, Student preferably of Scottish origin

Eligible fee status: UK fee status

Value: £10,000

Supporting MA Sculpture, Painting, Contemporary Art Practice, Print and Photography students experiencing financial hardship

Eligibility criteria: Financial hardship, Full time

Eligible fee status: UK fee status

Value: Up to seven full tuition fee scholarships for new students

Supporting Sculpture, Painting, Contemporary Art Practice, Print and Photography MA students.

Eligibility criteria: Full time

Eligible fee status: Any

Value: A tuition fee bursary of £5,000

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

Value: £21,000

The RCA Cost of Living Bursary supports living costs for home students across all MA programmes.

Value: Bursaries of £5,000 each, for use towards living costs

Eligibility criteria: Financial hardship

Eligible fee status: UK fee status

The RCA Disabled Students Bursary supports living costs for home students with a declared disability across all MA programmes, recognising the contribution that UK students with disabilities make to the RCA

Value: Bursaries of £6,000 each, for use towards living costs

Eligibility criteria: Students with a diagnosed physical or sensory disability, or specific learning difficulties.

Eligible fee status: UK fee status

The Vice-Chancellor’s Achievement Scholarship supports academic excellence by rewarding talented home applicants with the highest scoring portfolios on application to RCA, with a partial fee scholarship

Value: Scholarships of £2,500 each, to be offset against fees

Eligibility criteria: Academic excellence

Eligible fee status: UK fee status

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s International Scholarship is aimed at international students applicants from selected countries and territories, and on selected programmes

Value: Scholarships of £3,500 each, to be offset against fees

Eligibility criteria: If oversubscribed, this bursary is awarded on academic merit or financial need.

Eligible fee status: International fee status, from: Canada, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, USA

The Vice-Chancellor’s Achievement Scholarship - International supports academic excellence by rewarding talented applicants with the highest scoring portfolios on application to RCA at Round 1 and Round 2 of applications, with a partial fee scholarship.

Value: Scholarships of £2,500 each to be offset against fees

Eligibility criteria: Academic excellence

Eligible fee status: International fee status

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 2023. Applications now open.

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
Consider attending an Open Day, or one of our portfolio or application advice sessions
See upcoming sessions
Please note, all applications must be submitted by 12 noon on the given deadline.
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.

Register your interest with us here
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