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Where Can the Royal College of Art Take You?

Whatever your creative career aspirations, the RCA can help you realise them. The RCA experience has proven invaluable to thousands of graduates.

Graduate outcomes

Our graduates work in a wide range of architecture, art, communication and design sectors, but are also found applying design thinking and creative leadership in industries such as:

  • Health and medicine
  • Consulting and professional services
  • R&D and science
  • Government and public sectors
  • Education
  • Technology
  • Consumer goods
  • Automotive
  • Banking and Finance
We asked our graduates how their RCA experience benefitted their careers?
  • 90% of alumni feel that the RCA has had a positive impact on their career – they say this is down to the reputation of the College, the creative skills fostered here and access to a network of contacts
  • Two-thirds (66% average) of graduates since 2003 say they use the skills learnt at the RCA every day in their current role
  • Over 40% of graduates since 2003 have gone on to launch their own businesses or to become independent professionals 

You too could be part of our international network of creative individuals who have shaped, and continue to shape, the culture surrounding all of us. Click here to find out more about the RCA and the experience of students.

RCA alumni community

Over 20,000 architects, artists, designers, creators and innovators from all over the world make up the RCA alumni network. As a graduate, you automatically become a lifelong member of our alumni community. Your relationship with the College continues through the alumni relations programme, which offers you a range of events, exclusive benefits and the latest news from the RCA.

What our alumni say

Our alumni continue to achieve their career aspirations. Here are just some of the many positive things they have to say about how the RCA helped their careers:

'It’s given me a good network of friends in different design disciplines that I can engage with and interact with.'

'Classmates have been the most long-lasting career contacts of anyone else I've met.'

'The RCA has given me the confidence to be creative, to think and to question. It embedded in me an ability and desire to collaborate outside of my own competence.'

'I am leading large cross-functional teams, developing products that actually get to market.'

'Together with another RCA graduate, I've built a two-person studio into an arts group that is represented worldwide by Pace Gallery and employs 30 staff in two large studios in London and Berlin.'

'I am a senior member of the company, with input and authority to shape the direction of the gallery as well as the careers of the artists we represent.'

Find out more about our alumni and read their personal journeys. 

Preparing you for practice

The RCA is committed to ensuring that students are equipped with the skills they need to succeed in their future careers. Advice and practical workshops on business and creative careers are built into the curriculum of all our degrees. All students have access to:

  • FuelRCA, the RCA’s College-wide professional development programme helping curious, creative people improve their skills and make smart choices about their professional lives. Over the academic year, the FuelRCA programme of events helps students develop their professional skills, knowledge and networks, and prepares them for life after graduation. Follow FuelRCA on twitter: @FuelRCA or email [email protected]
  • InnovationRCA, the RCA’s centre for enterprise, entrepreneurship and business support. InnovationRCA helps students and graduates transform compelling ideas into successful businesses and provides a nurturing network for entrepreneurs. The centre was also awarded ‘Accelerator of the Year’ at the UKBAA Angel Investment Awards, 2019.
  • LinkedIn Learning, LinkedIn’s online learning and professional platform offering business, creative and technology courses. The RCA provides students with free access to LinkedIn Learning to help develop expertise in specific skills and software such as coding, mobile app creation and career development. 

Connecting you to industry

Being an RCA student gives you  opportunities to connect with employers, collectors and funders throughout your time here. We attract some of the most eminent artists, designers, intellectuals and business professionals to work with our students. Our close links with practice and industry include world-renowned organisations, theatres, galleries, libraries and museums. Here are just some of the ways that our students engage with industry: 

Industry showcase: Our graduate show and work-in-progress shows are well attended by many employers and influential figures from industry.

Learning from leading practitioners: programmes regularly invite practitioners working in their fields to give seminars, lectures, masterclasses, crits and individual tutorials. 

Work on industry projects: many students have the opportunity to work on live industry projects as part of their studies. Recent projects include work with British Airways, Porsche, CERN and SNAP

Access to a global audience: students have the opportunity to exhibit their work around the world. Recent exhibitions featuring RCA students include the Venice Biennale, Milan Design Week, Dubai Design Week, the Global Grad Show in the USA and London Design Festival. 

Academic staff

All of the College’s academic staff are practitioners in art, design or related disciplines. Students are supported and challenged by some of the world’s best researchers and practitioners, with many graduates continuing to work together with staff on a peer-to-peer basis after graduation. This provides invaluable real-world experience.

Join us in 2021

Applications are now open for our September 2021 intake. For complete programme information, including specific entry requirements and the application process, visit the links below. Our MA and MRes programmes starting in September 2021 are:

Animation  | Architecture | Ceramics & Glass | City Design | Contemporary Art Practice | Curating Contemporary Art Design Products | Digital Direction | Environmental Architecture | Fashion | Global Innovation Design |  History of Design Information Experience Design Innovation Design Engineering | Interior Design | Intelligent MobilityJewellery & Metal |  | Painting | Photography Print | Sculpture Service Design Sculpture | Textiles | Visual Communication Writing

MRes RCA: Architecture Pathway | MRes RCA: Communication Design Pathway | MRes RCA: Design Pathway | MRes RCA: Fine Arts & Humanities PathwayHealthcare & Design MRes

Applications are also open for our  MPhil and PhD programmes. The next application deadline for these programmes is Wednesday 3 February, 2021.

Apply now to join the Graduate Diploma Art & Design

If you do not come from an art and design background, or wish prepare yourself for Master's-level study, our Graduate Diploma Art & Design focusses on developing proficiency in the independent learning methods and practices of art and design. The Graduate Diploma includes specialisms in Communication; Fine Art; Humanities; Fashion & Textiles, and Product, Interiors & Spatial Design.

*All data taken from independent survey of RCA alumni by QS Enrolment Solutions, 2019.