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Technicians play a vital role in this. These highly skilled specialists provide support in a wide range of traditional making processes, including glass, metalwork, jewellery, embroidery, screen printing, dying or letterpress printing. A vertically integrated approach means that faculty, technicians and students all work within the same experimental space, each contributing their own ideas and skills.

The College also provides specialist facilities across cutting-edge digital technologies such as VR, 360 sound, robotics, rapid prototyping, CNC milling and 3D scanning.

Our facilities

3D Making

Facilities include woodwork, metal fabrication, plastics and making spaces. Spray rooms at Kensington and Battersea are available for spray paint finishes. The Future Materials workshops provide a wide range of mould making and casting facilities.

Digital aided making facilities support subtractive manufacturing in the form of laser cutting, CNC machining and fibre laser cutting. The equipment includes 3 and 4 axis bench top CNC and large-format CNC machines. Students are able to experience working with a variety of materials including plastic, wood, metal and synthetic media in facilities based at Kensington and Battersea.

Student using a drill machine

Ceramics & Glass

Facilities include areas for hot glass making, cold glass working, kiln forming, plaster model and mould making, plastic clay making, as well as clay and glaze development.

Please be aware that materials and some services will incur an additional cost. Additional costs can include purchases and services (without limitation): costs related to the purchase of books, paints, textiles, wood, metal, plastics and/or other materials in connection with your programme, services related to the use of printing and photocopying, lasercutting, 3D printing and CNC.

Kilns, Woo Building

College Shop and Raw Materials Store

The stores sell a variety of graphics, art, fabric and haberdashery supplies, wood and acrylic, stationery and paper, as well as free hire of tools and ladders.

Entrance to Shop

Fine metal & jewellery

These facilities provide mixed media support for fine, small-scale work including metal casting, cutting and forming along with other materials in small scale works.

At work in the Jewellery & Metal workshop (photo: Richard Haughton)


Facilities include access to a fabric stockroom and specialist software within the College computing suite, as well as a wide variety of specialist sewing machinery, for both apparel and footwear, as well as dummies and finishing presses.

Lens-based media and audio resources

Facilities include a variety of lens based analog and digital photography, animation and moving-image equipment and studios that provide filming, lighting, sound studio spaces plus post production.

At work in the Photography Studio (photo: Richard Haughton)


The RCA Library is an inspiring and invaluable resource to inform and enhance study, research, teaching and studio practice at the College.

Our collections include over 70,000 books on art and design and other complementary subjects reflecting the full range of activity at the RCA. We have current subscriptions to a variety of journals and magazines as well as a collection of older titles.

Online Resources include ebooks, ejournals, databases and image & video collections.

Our Special Collections & Archives include a photographic record of student work and the UK’s largest collection on the subject of colour – the Colour Reference Library. It also includes the RCA archive, which holds material relating to the history of the College, as well as other special collections and archives

Library staff are available to help our users find resources, provide tips on searching, advise on referencing and more. We deliver workshops and drop in sessions to support students; working with departments across college to ensure that library resources meet their needs. 

Explore our collections using RCA Library Search.

Further information on the Library can be found on Moodle (current staff and students only.)

Visitors are welcome to the Library and to the Special Collections & Archives. More information here.

Library Kensington

Painting and sculpture

Materials spaces are provided, as well as a stretcher service and well-equipped metal and woodwork spaces.

Installation view of exhibition, with large painted canvases hanging in a corridor and propped against a wall.

Printmaking and letterpress

Facilities include a large workshop variety of silkscreen processes, letterpress, etching, litho and mono printing.

Letterpress studo

Digital print labs

Provide high quality large format printing, including: posters, vinyl signage and archival inkjet prints, with labs at Battersea, Kensington and White City.

Resource stores

Free hire of lens-based media and AV equipment including digital cameras, tripods, lighting, monitors, projects and peripherals.

Computing & Technology (CAT) Zones

There are several CAT Zones across the College. These include open-access high performance computing areas, both Mac and PC, as well as dedicated software training rooms. The technical spaces here showcase a variety of software and digital processes including group and one-to-one sessions with technical instructors.

SmartZone, White City


Facilities for textiles include a large-scale silkscreen print table space, a dedicated dye lab, mixed media and sewing facilities 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 students

Information on access, health and safety, and costs

Some workshops require advance booking, the completion of a training course or a consultation with a technician before being able to use them; or prioritise students on specialist programmes where those facilities are most needed. Others are drop-in and available on a first-come, first-served basis when the campus is open.

For safety reasons, the majority of workshops and technical areas require the completion of an induction before access is permitted – however, many of these inductions are available online, and some can be completed before you start at the RCA via our Moodle e-learning platform.

Some equipment can only be operated under supervision by technicians and other equipment can only be used by technicians.

Programmed and independent access

There are two ways that students can access our physical technical facilities at the College: programmed and independent access.

Some programmes at the College arrange scheduled access to the technical resources that students need to complete their studies. This access will include orientations, inductions and training. Further information about this will be provided through your Programme information and timetable.

Independent access to technical resources is also possible. Every student is unique and has individual requirements for the skills they will want to learn and the facilities they would prefer to access to realise their projects or research at the College. We provide orientations, training, as well as workshops and the opportunity for one-to-one consultations with technicians so that you can better understand the resources available and the best way we can support your work.

Our primary concern for all workshop users is your welfare and well-being. Technical Services Workshops can be high risk areas. They are areas that require specialist equipment, instruction and supervision to work safely. Health and safety training is often covered by online inductions, which must be passed before accessing workshop facilities.

Workshops are open during core hours throughout the College’s published term dates. For the majority of resources, the hours of access are: Monday to Friday, 10am – 1pm, (closed for lunch), 2–5pm.

Outside of the College’s published term dates, the open-access computing spaces (CAT Zones) remain available for independent use during opening hours.

Access to technical resources can vary throughout the term. No technician support is available during independent study weeks and out of term time, as this is when technical teams perform maintenance, commission new equipment, and undertake training. On occasion, machinery will also break or need maintenance, which can affect its availability.

The live status of workshops is available on the RCA’s Moodle platform to students every day, in order to inform you of any changes to normal hours of access.

Workshops have occupation limits, which are restrictions to the number of people who can work safely in a space at one time. Therefore, during peak times, workshops can be very busy. It is important to plan ahead in order to access the workshops you need.

Most of the facilities at the College are free for students to use. However, you will need to purchase consumables and materials for your projects, and some services will incur an additional cost. You will need to provide your own materials for your projects. Individual workshops stock materials for sale when using these facilities, such as the digital print labs, lasers, future materials, textiles, fashion, ceramics & glass, photography, and printmaking. The RCA offers subsidised resources, including digital printing, textile printing, laser cutting, 3D Printing and CNC.

We run a well-stocked College Shop, and our technicians can advise you on the best materials to use.

The information about available equipment above is accurate on publication and will be reviewed every six months. Occasionally machinery may be taken out of use, or areas closed for servicing or repair.

Students can access information that shows the live status of all technical facilities with information about closures or reductions to service.

Contact us

Get in touch if you'd like to find out more about studying at the RCA.

Register your interest with us here
Kilns, Woo Building