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MA Programme Description

Information Experience Design

The three pathways in IED, one of which students select as part of their application, are interrelated, focused around different ways of approaching IED’s core aim of transforming information into experiences. Students work across pathways, mixing media and collaborating with a wide range of practitioners.

First Year 

Aligning with the School-wide academic framework, the main practical work takes place in School-wide Electives in terms one and two. The Informed Practice unit runs alongside, providing a grounding in relevant theory and methods, which are put into practice in workshops where students engage directly with various tools and technologies, operating across pathways. Term three enables students to focus primarily on dissertations, while focusing them on their chosen pathways in the Experiential Research unit. Seminars and workshops are held weekly across all three terms, with core curriculum and skills being front-loaded in term one. Each student has a Personal Tutor for the year, who organises weekly group tutorials and at least one in-depth individual tutorial per student per term. 

Second Year 

Through the Experiential Research unit, second-year students are engaged in brief initial projects and workshops, to explore a chosen topic in depth, and to propel them into their self-directed practical work, with the Work-in-progress Show as a key milestone. In the Design Project unit, they set their own brief and time-table with their personal tutor, presenting their project in the final exam. They have a pathway-specific personal tutor for the year, and weekly and individual tutorials continue as before. Weekly crits maintain their progress as second-year students specialise, and there are occasional commercial or other projects offered. Practical workshops remain open to second-year students, and a professional practice series also supports pathway-specific aims. 

Critical & Historical Studies

The RCA provides a unique environment for postgraduate art and design students to reflect upon their own practice, and to engage with students from their own and other disciplines. The role of Critical & Historical Studies (CHS) is to support the studio programmes in enabling these critical engagements to take place. The courses offered by CHS to first-year, studio-based MA students propose an intellectual framework within which they can begin to establish a coherent relationship between theory and practice.

In the autumn and spring terms there are a series of College-wide seminars and lectures. The autumn term series will relate to your particular discipline, whereas the spring term series will be more broad-based and cross-disciplinary in nature.

In the spring and summer terms, a CHS tutor will give you individual tutorials to support the development of a dissertation which is submitted at the end of the summer term. The dissertation should be between 6,000–10,000 words in length – this is a major piece of work and you will not be able to submit for the Final Examination until you have passed this assessment.

For more information see Critical & Historical Studies College-wide Programme.

This programme description is taken from the 2018/19 Programme Specifications. While we try to ensure that all Programme information is correct, some things may be subject to change and/or outside of our control. 

RCA Ranked World’s Top Art & Design University for Fifth Year

In February, the RCA was named the world’s leading art and design university for the fifth consecutive year.  

The RCA leads the table of 200 of the world’s top universities for the study of art and design in the 2019 QS World University Subject Rankings, ahead of much larger institutions around the globe.


240 credits
Two-year programme