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Xingchen Lu

Overview

Thinking through making

Key details

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

School or Centre

Next open day

Application deadline

  • 4 Jan 2023

Working at the creative interface between materials, making and meaning.

MA Textiles at the RCA operates at the intersection of design, craft and fine art, and we encourage this mix of thinking to collectively challenge the role of the 21st century Textiles practitioner. Practice-led research is a fundamental intellectual framework for how we develop textiles and materials; conceived and created by ‘thinking through making’, we are uncovering new insights through material and process exploration in the physical and digital domains.

Diverse practice across the programme unites commercial designers, individual craft and gallery based practitioners and smart textiles innovators fostering a vibrant community culture where this range of practice stimulates critical questioning of the discipline.

The MA Textiles enables the development of a personal creative identity through a combination of individual, personally driven initiatives, collaborative work, industry-orientated and interdisciplinary projects.

With a focus on radical experimentation, material exploration and transformation, we encourage an exploratory, non-linear approach that embraces the conceptual, allowing a space for the incidental and accidental processes of discovery that foster a culture of research through physical and digital making.

We critically engage with all aspects of the discipline to demonstrate our creative capability. We value all approaches and promote responsibility and ethical values.

Explore further

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

Catch the replays from our November 2022 online Open Day.

Gallery

Facilities

The School of Design is based at our historic Kensington site.

View all facilities

Workshops for textiles include a large-scale printmaking workshop, a dedicated dye lab, mixed media and sewing workshop and extensive knit and weave facilities that include computerised handlooms, an industrial jacquard power loom with APSO software and a dobby power loom. High-tech printing and knitting is also accessible with a state-of-the-art Shima digital knit facility

  • Textiles workshop

    Textiles workshop

  • Textiles, print

    Textiles, print

  • Textiles studio

    Textiles studio

More details on what you'll study.

Find out what you'll cover in this programme.

What you'll cover

Term 1

Textile Alchemy – This unit will enable you to develop a strong foundation for establishing your practice through research, experimentation and exploration of colour, material and process. You are asked to identify and evaluate the most appropriate skills and techniques for your project and to critically engage with your choice and use of materials and processes. You will be expected to engage with and contribute to the studio culture of the Programme.

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

Term 2

Textiles Make – This unit enables you to develop a deeper understanding and skill capability within your chosen area of practice and is delivered through a series of masterclasses, workshops, technical negotiated learning and independent study. You will concentrate your study in a selection of available areas and develop your making skills alongside your critical development.

Textile Provocations – This unit enables you to develop a deeper understanding and critical capability within your chosen area of practice and is delivered through a series of masterclasses, workshops, technical negotiated learning and independent study.

The topics covered include but are not restricted to Sustainability and Responsibility, Gender and Politics in Textiles, Craft, Textiles as Fine Art, Textiles for Health and Wellbeing, Mixed Realities, Textiles as Soft Systems.

In term 2 all School of Design students will participate in the Grand Challenge, School-wide unit. The aim of this unit is to connect and challenge all students in the School through the introduction of a ‘wicked’ design problem that requires a cross disciplinary approach to problem solving involving an external international scientific or industry partner (or both). This unit and lecture series has been hugely successful in connecting and disrupting disciplines, people, philosophies and approaches to design thinking whilst providing our student body with very unique networking opportunities.

Term 3

Independent Research Project – This final unit asks you to identify, develop and present a cohesive body of work that encapsulates and demonstrates their Masters-level expertise.

You are responsible for setting their own scope of work, and managing your time and resources effectively. You must be able to demonstrate a sustained trajectory of progression through the unit that encompasses creativity, critical analysis, consolidation and resolution of their ideas. Your development will be supported by individual and group tutorials, seminars, workshops and technical negotiated learning.

All students will take part in a collective Textiles Festival that includes public dissemination and enables the students to critique their work in relation to others and the wider discipline of Textiles.

Requirements

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 should have either a BA, a BSc or BEng, or equivalent experience, and a personal statement for the intended direction of study. We also want passion, commitment and a strong sense of personal responsibility for your own learning and development.

What's needed from you

We suggest that you use the five slots to show five different aspects of your work and capability, such as showing five different projects.

Please combine multiple files into one PDF document for each of the five project spaces. The PDF file must be viewable within standard computer screen dimensions 1600 x 1200 pixels.

Remember to consider how your uploaded work will appear to the viewer. Please make it clear what we are looking at by labelling the work accurately. We will be expecting to see a range of things from inspiration and your design process to finished work.

Try and demonstrate your approach to textiles in your application by:

  • Showing us where your inspiration comes from and how you interpret and develop this into original and creative ideas.
  • Your ability and flair to use colour.
  • An understanding of materials and how to manipulate and transform them. This might be showing us textile samples or pieces that you have created.
  • If you do not have textile samples then show us inventive ways of transforming other materials. Examples of finished work to your best possible standard.

We’re interested to find out about you, your thinking, background and ambitions. Use this opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the field of textiles, including how and why you would contribute to this through your studies and future career. Use this opportunity to demonstrate some innovative and critical thinking.

The video can be considered as your responses to the types of questions you would be asked in a face to face interview such as a selection from the following:

  • Tell us about your choice of one project from your portfolio and why it best represents your future interests.
  • Give us an example of an inspirational person, design or innovation within the field of Textiles.
  • What are your aspirations for what you hope to do in the future and how the Textiles programme will influence this?
  • Describe your ideal project and how you would go about this, to include a concept and rationale for the approach you suggest and how this project challenges the discipline of Textiles.
  • Talk about your analysis and creative thinking about an existing object - for example something you have in front of you.
  • Inspire us!

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.

Home
(subsidised)
£14,175 *
Overseas and EU
£33,600 *

Deposit

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.

Home
£1,000
Overseas and EU
£2,000

* 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

Scholarships

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

Supporting Intelligent Mobility and Textiles students from the UK experiencing financial hardship

Funding Categories: Financial hardship, Full time

Eligible fee status: UK fee status

Value: One scholarship valued at £20,000

Supporting an MA Visual Communication student from the UK, experiencing financial hardship.

Funding Categories: Financial hardship, Full time

Eligible fee status: UK fee status

Value: £10,000

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.

Funding Categories: 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 MA Textiles students from the UK experiencing financial hardship

Funding Categories: Financial hardship, Full time

Eligible fee status: UK fee status

Value: Full fee scholarship of £13,500

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

Funding Categories: Financial hardship, Full time, Student preferably of Scottish origin

Eligible fee status: UK fee status

Value: £10,000


Supporting MA Textiles or MA Fashion students experiencing financial hardship and specialising in knitting/knitwear.

Funding Categories: Financial hardship

Eligible fee status: UK fee status

Value: One full tuition fee (£13,500) scholarship in either MA Textiles or MA Fashion

Supporting MA Textiles students from the UK, experiencing financial hardship

Funding Categories: Financial hardship, Full time

Eligible fee status: UK fee status

Value: £10,000

Supporting MA Fashion and MA Textiles students experiencing financial hardship

Funding Categories: Financial hardship, Full time

Eligible fee status: UK fee status

Value: Full fee scholarship

The Scholarship supports 21 UK MA, MRes and PhD students every year from across all RCA MA, MRes and PhD disciplines.

Funding Categories: 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

Supporting MA Textiles students from the UK, experiencing financial hardship.

Funding Categories: Financial hardship

Eligible fee status: UK fee status

Value: Eight tuition fee bursaries of £3,000 each

To provide scholarships to students onto any RCA programme, from underrepresented communities, and facing financial challenges. Preference will be given to those identifying as Black or Black British; Asian or Asian British; or from a mixed background.

Funding Categories: Financial hardship, Full time, Students from underrepresented communities who identify as Black/Black British; Asian/British Asian; or or mixed heritage.

Eligible fee status: UK fee status

Value: Up to sixteen full fee scholarships

Supporting School of Design students from the UK from under-represented communities. Preference for those identifying as Black or Black British (Caribbean); Black or Black British (African), or other Black background.

Funding Categories: Students with Black African and Caribbean diaspora heritage, or mixed Black African and Caribbean diaspora heritage

Eligible fee status: UK fee status

Value: One scholarship valued at £35,000

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.

Payments

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 open 2 November.

The Royal College of Art welcomes applicants from all over the world.

Before you begin

1.
Make sure you've read and understood the entrance requirements and key dates
More information about eligibility and key dates
2.
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.

Register your interest with us here
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