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Advice and practical workshops on all aspects of business and creative careers are built into the curriculum of all our MA degrees, and upon graduating many alumni continue to be supported by a business aftercare scheme.

90% of our 2020/21 graduates were working or in further study 15 months after they finished their study at the RCA (HESA Graduate Outcomes survey 2020/21). 90% of our alumni feel that the RCA has had a positive impact on their career, citing that this is down to the reputation of the College, the creative skills fostered here and access to a network of contacts – with two-thirds of graduates since 2003 saying they use the skills learnt at the RCA every day in their current role (RCA Alumni Survey 2019).

Careers advice

Our Student Support team offers a careers advice service during your studies with dedicated advisors available for one-to-one sessions. These available to students and graduates for individual help with career choices, planning, and skill development. All support is online via email and/or zoom.

Our careers advisers have extensive experience of career coaching and counselling – including experience of supporting students in art and design. They are careers guidance and coaching professionals who will help you to identify strengths, values, priorities and help develop practical approaches to overcome barriers and challenges to manage your professional life.

Everyone starts from a different place and professional careers support can be helpful for all stages of individual reflection and planning. This includes help with early stage thinking through ideas (including when you’re stuck or have no ideas at all) through to developing different sets of approaches, and into detailed planning to target applications to individual employers.

Current students and graduates can book an appointment directly on Moodle. Our team includes three Careers Advisors who can be contacted as follows:

The RCA is not part of any combined careers services.

Ethical Careers

Across the College, engagement in sustainable practice is a core thematic consideration and our community is dedicated to building a more sustainable world for all, which is reflected in our Environmental Policy and Responsible Investment Policy. The RCA’s commitment to a sustainable future additionally underpins the Careers Advice provided and the careers service’s relationships with third-party employers.

The RCA applies the following exclusion criteria to third party recruitment opportunities facilitated by the Careers Service, including events organised by the Careers Service, and digital and physical advertising managed by the Careers Service. These criteria were last reviewed in June 2023, and signed off by the Chief Operating Officer (the COO is a member of the Senior Management Team).

  • All fossil fuel companies, including:
    • Companies that provide evidence of owning shale gas reserves including those that own less than 50% of a reserves field.
    • Companies that provide evidence of owning oil sands reserves including those that own less than 50% of a reserves field.
    • Companies with revenue derived from shale oil or shale gas production
    • Companies with revenue derived from oil sands, oil shale, shale gas, shale oil, coal seam gas and coal bed methane.
    • Companies that provide evidence of producing gas using hydraulic fracking.
    • Companies that provide evidence of producing oil using hydraulic fracking
  • All mining companies
  • Tobacco companies, including:
    • Companies that manufacture tobacco products, such as cigars, blunts, cigarettes, e-cigarettes, inhalers, beedis, kreteks, smokeless tobacco, snuff, snus, dissolvable and chewing tobacco.
    • Companies that grow or process raw tobacco leaves.
  • All arms companies, including:
    • Companies that manufacture key biological and chemical weapons components.
    • Companies that manufacture cluster munition whole weapons systems. Companies with any industry tie to cluster munitions.
    • Companies involved in the production of depleted uranium (DU) weapons, ammunition, and armour, including companies that manufacture armour piercing, fin stabilised, discarding sabot tracing rounds (APFSDS-T); Kinetic Energy Missiles made with DU penetrators; and DU-enhanced armour, including composite tank armour.
    • Companies that have any industry tie to the manufacture of landmines except for Safety, which is a positive indicator.
  • Companies whose policies, practices and record on human rights and labour standards are identified as failing to respect the established norms

These exclusions do not impact the impartiality of factual, evidence-based one-to-one careers guidance which careers advisers provide to students.

Professional development: FuelRCA

FuelRCA is the RCA’s professional development service, which helps curious, creative people make smart choices about their professional lives. Over the academic year, FuelRCA’s programme of events support students to develop their professional skills, knowledge and networks, and prepare for life after graduation.

FuelRCA is led by RCA graduates and includes contributions from recent alumni.

In 2021/22 FuelRCA offered:

Talks, workshops and events: including expert-led workshops on topics including fundraising, entrepreneurial skills, time management, writing about your work, and branding.

Peer Coaching for Creatives: a three-week course that introduced students to a new network, taught them how to coach and support their peers, and showed them practical techniques to achieve their goals.

Social Practice Group: an informal extra-curricular space to discuss questions relating to social practice and public engagement as practitioners, supported by a series of workshops with guest practitioners, field trips and group discussions.

IP advice and support for start ups

If you want to found your own company, the expertise and guidance to support you to do so is available through InnovationRCA – the College’s centre for student and graduate enterprise and entrepreneurship. Housed in our state-of-the-art new Battersea campus, InnovationRCA supports our community to transform compelling ideas into successful businesses – providing incubation, intellectual property and commercialisation support.

InnovationRCA offers a business and intellectual property advice service to current RCA students.

In addition, InnovationRCA has supported over 100 graduates to launch 78 start-ups through its incubator programme,with £124 million raised in investor funds.

Start-ups founded by RCA graduates supported by InnovationRCA include: Knit Regen, founded by PhD Womenswear Design candidate Laura Salisbury, which creates wearable tech to aid rehabilitation in stroke sufferers; Olombria, founded by MRes Architecture graduate Tashia Tucker, an early stage agricultural technology company enhancing pollination rates and crop yields by working with wild pollinators; and Pentaform Computers, founded by Samuel Wangsaputra (MA Information Experience Design, 2019), a modular, accessible and affordable computer housed within a keyboard.

Find out more about InnovationRCA.