- 180 credits
- 1 year programme
- Full-time study
School or Centre
A critical environment in which to discuss contemporary issues for making sculpture.
Still accepting applications for 2022 entry. See the Key Dates webpage for round 4 details.
This programme is subject to validation
The study of sculpture is ever-expanding and includes object-making, public art and social practices, site and space, performance, sound, film and video. Rather than only considering the specific manifestations of sculpture, we prefer to think of it as a methodology from which to progress the production of art.
This means that the Sculpture programme at the RCA supports a diverse, experimental and expansive approach to the development of artistic practice. Students are encouraged to adopt a critical and reflexive approach to the production, development and display of their work. Important to the programme ambition is that students situate their practice within the social, political and economic conditions of the contemporary world; identifying what sculpture can contribute to ongoing material, critical, technological, and philosophical debates.
To that end, core staff and visitors demonstrate that research and experimentation are highly valued elements of study, and can lead students to imagine new materials and spaces, to innovate with technology, for impact towards social transformation, sustainability and political awareness and change.
The programme supports collaborative and interdisciplinary approaches to the making and exhibiting of sculpture. Central to this interdisciplinary approach is the critique (and celebration) of the historical forms of sculpture, a legacy that we regard as a launch pad for rethinking the future.
Visit 2022.rca.ac.uk to view graduate work by our students, 2021.rca.ac.uk to view work from the class of 2021.
Catch the replays from our November 2021 virtual open day.
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.
Our alumni form an international network of creative individuals who have shaped and continue to shape the world.
- Michael Forbes
- Thomas J. Price
- Lina Lapelyte
- Holly Hendry
- Tianyou Huang
- Hannah Rowan
- Paloma Proudfoot
- Marco Miehling
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 programme is delivered across three terms and includes a combination of programme, School and College units.
In the Situated Practice unit, you identify the intention of your practice, its context and relation to site and material. This begins with an orientation of the culture and philosophy of the course, the location (city and building), facilities, staff and other students’ work.
Situated Practice embeds the central notion of thinking-through-practice. This is achieved through tutorials, critiques, seminars, panel talks and off-site activities. The unit supports you through the production of work, demonstrating the ability to develop a creative, innovative and individual practice. Through the unit, you will locate your work within a critical context that reflects current and emerging approaches to the production of sculpture and the wider arts and humanities.
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.
In the Expanded Field unit, you will identify the future direction of your practice, its relation to materiality and immateriality. There is a focus on collaboration and an interdisciplinary context. This further embeds the culture and philosophy of the course: Experimentation, innovation and critical reflection.
The unit encourages the development of an individual studio practice, within a wider matrix of professional relationships. This is achieved through collaborative off-site projects, workshops and a lecture series that is designed to support and encourage self-reflection, creative responses and a critical understanding of the creative economy.
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.
The Independent Research Project offers a point of synthesis through exhibition and subsequent critical reflection. The focus is on self-directed study. Staff continue to support you to acquire advanced understanding of practice-led methodologies, critical reflection, production and presentation.
The Independent Research Project 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.
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 must have a good first degree in sculpture or a relevant subject, as well as being able to display a facility with materials and techniques. You’ll also be knowledgeable about the history and cultural relevance of the disciplines pertinent to the arts and humanities, as well as be able to hold and articulate a view of your own work in relationship to that. You should be able to critically reflect on your work, to question received modes of production and frameworks, and metabolise academic, social and philosophical encounters.
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.
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.
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 2022
The Royal College of Art welcomes applicants from all over the world.