MA and MRes Application Process

Online applications for 2017 entry are now open. Apply here

Online applications for 2017/18 entry will open on 10 October 2016, and information on the application process is provided below.

Applications received by the priority deadline will be processed according to the timetable listed below.  However, we encourage applicants to apply as soon as they are ready to submit their application and portfolio because programmes will be reviewing early applications before the Christmas break.

All programmes will continue to welcome applications after the priority deadline of 16 January has passed.

Dates for Priority Applications 2017/18

Applications open – 10 October 2016

Deadline for priority applications – 16 January 2017

Deadline for receipt of portfolios – 23 January 2017

Invitations to interview sent out by – 17 February 2017 

MA interviews completed – 17 March 2017 

Offer letters sent out by – 12 April 2017

Online Applications

All applications are to be submitted via the RCA Online Applications website. 

Application Process

1. Check you are eligible

Please ensure that you fulfill the particular entrance requirements of the programme before applying – see MA Entrance Requirements for details.

2. Check you meet the English language requirements

You will be expected to demonstrate that you have a reasonable knowledge of the English language

MA and MRes candidates who do not speak English as their first language will be required to provide evidence that they have achieved one of the following:  

  • An IELTS grade 6.5 with a 6.0 in the test of written English (TWE)

  • A Pearson Academic (PTE) score of 64 overall with 54 in the TWE, or equivalent  

Applicants for the MA/MSc in Innovation Design Engineering require English language tests results equivalent to 6.5 overall with no less than 6 in all four elements.

Applicants for the MA/MSc in Global Innovation Design ONLY are required to have English Language proficiency requirements of or equivalent to an IELTS score of 7 with a 6.5 in the TWE.

Please note that this includes anyone who has already studied in the UK or another English-speaking country. Tests must be no older than two years.

Although your English may improve dramatically once here – thinking, listening, speaking and reading English everyday – it is important that you are able to participate fully from the start of the course. Those students who develop these abilities late in the programme may be disadvantaged. If your English is not fluent you should consider delaying your application to the College until your language ability has been developed to a higher level.

Students who need a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK should note that if they are offered a place at the RCA, they will be required to take an external test (IELTS UKVI only) as a condition of their offer in order to meet the Home Office's English Language requirements. For more information, please see English Language Requirements

3. Select a course

Please note that is possible to apply for more than one course. You will need to register with a different username for both applications (you can use the same contact email address). The applications are to be treated individually and you will need to make two separate payments and submit two separate portfolios.

4. Complete and submit your application

After 10 October 2016, go to Online Applications to start your application. The application website will open in a new window, so that you can see this guidance while you are completing it. You will be able to save your work and retrieve it later, so you do not have to complete it all in one go. Once you have registered with the applications system, you will be given an Application Reference Number. This number should be quoted in all further correspondence and on any papers that you wish to submit separately.

You will need to provide the following:

  • Personal and Contact Details 
    Your name, address, country of origin etc.

  • Previous Education Details and Previous Experience
    Details should be entered in the online form and a copy of your degree or diploma (if you have graduated) should be uploaded. All candidates with overseas undergraduate degrees must also enclose a full transcript of their first degree course covering each year of their studies and stating subjects taken and marks obtained. The offer of a place to a candidate who is undertaking a degree at the time of application will be dependent upon the candidate producing proof of having fulfilled the College’s criteria for admission. Transcripts may be sent separately to the Admissions Office and must be clearly marked with your name, course and Application Reference Number. Tier 4 students MUST inform us about any periods of study in the UK that were six months or longer.
  • Disability or Learning Difference
    The RCA welcomes you if you have a physical disability or learning difference. You are required to present a portfolio or other evidence of creative work on a level with other candidates, but the entry requirements may be varied. The Academic Board for Concessions and Discipline (ABCD) can make judgements about the extent to which qualifications or experience gained elsewhere may be accepted in partial fulfilment of its requirements for a given award. You are advised to visit the College in advance of your application to ensure that the study environment will suit your needs or can be reasonably adapted to do so. The assessment of a disabled applicant’s needs is coordinated by the Student Adviser, and you are encouraged to make contact to arrange a visit and discuss any concerns with Student Support over the telephone +44 (0)20 7590 4140 or via email.

  • A statement outlining why you have chosen a particular course and what you propose to gain from your studies
    This is your chance to explain why you want to study at the RCA and why you have chosen the particular course that you want to join.
  • Academic Referee Contact Details
    When you make an online application, a request for a reference will be automatically emailed to your referee. Please make sure that you provide your referee’s full contact details when you make your application.

  • Application Fee
    Please note that there is no application fee in 2017/18.

Any queries about the application process should be addressed to:

Royal College of Art
Kensington Gore
London SW7 2EU

+44 (0)20 7590 4444

5. Submit your digital portfolio

Please see top of page for closing dates for receipt of portfolios by individual programmes. For details about the Entrance Examination and portfolio requirements see MA Entrance Requirements

6. Assessment

The first part of the Entrance Examination consists of a review of the application and, for the majority of courses, a portfolio of work. If you have not been successful at assessment stage, an email notifying you of this decision will be sent out.

7. Interview

The second part of the Entrance Examination consists of an interview. If you are selected you will be invited to a formal interview at the College with the appropriate admissions board and, for some courses, practical tests.

8. Results letter

The results letters will be sent to those students who have attended an interview.

Students who are accepted to the College will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit in order to secure their place, which will be offset against the 2017/18 tuition fees.


+44 (0)20 7590 4444

Student Support
+44 (0)20 7590 4140