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MA and MRes Application Process

Applications for 2020/21 entry will open shortly.

We accept applications from prospective students from all over the world. We welcome applications from talented artists and designers who have the potential, commitment and ambition to make a difference in the art and design world.

We will shortly be providing details of our application timetable for students who are hoping to study at the Royal College of Art for the academic year beginning in September 2020. 

To register for email updates on the application process, key dates and requirements please click here

In the meantime, if you haven't already attended one of our Open Days, please do register to visit us.   

Below is a step-by-step guide to submitting your application - when applications are open - for an MA or MRes programme.

How to submit your application

Once you’ve reviewed and selected the right programme and checked College-wide entry requirements, you can visit our online application portal to begin your application. If you don’t yet have an account, you’ll need to create one.

After you have set up an account, follow these steps:

Stage 1  Application Form

  1. Choose your programme
  2. Provide the following information:

  • Personal details
  • Predicted or achieved grades in previous qualifications and/or evidence of equivalent professional experience
  • References
  • Evidence of English language proficiency, if English is not your first language
  • Context in which qualifications have been achieved or are being completed

Once you have completed stage 1, you will receive an email with instructions on stage 2.

Stage 2  Application Portfolio

  1. Watch the Head of Programme video and read the guidance notes explaining what the Head of Programme would like to see in your portfolio. 
  2. Upload your portfolio following the guidance provided. Depending on the programme, your portfolio may include files of your work and a 300-word written statement about your motivation to study on the programme. 
  3. You will also be required to complete the critical challenge – a short video, up to two minutes, of yourself talking to the camera about your personal creative journey.

Full details on how to apply, including specific requirements for the portfolio, statement and critical challenge, are included in the application portal. Please review these requirements carefully before submitting your application.

Please note that we reserve the right to reject any application, or withdraw an offer, if any part of the application is identified as being plagiarised or otherwise fraudulent. 

What happens next

Reviewing your application

Your application will be reviewed by our academic staff. 


In a small number of instances, it may not be possible to make a decision based on an application alone. In these cases, you will be invited to attend an interview either in person or by Skype. Receiving a request for interview does not make you any more or less likely to receive an offer of a place. Your invitation letter will contain full details of the interview and what you need to prepare. Please ensure you are available for interview before submitting your application.

Notifying you of your application outcome

Once your application has been reviewed, you’ll receive one of the following: 

  • an offer of a place
  • an offer of a place on our Graduate Diploma Art & Design pre-master's programme, which we have designed especially to help transition students to full MA programmes
  • a rejection letter
The timetable is the same if you have been invited to attend an interview. 

Accepting your offer

If you receive an offer of a place, you will be required to accept your offer and pay a non-refundable deposit to secure your place. This deposit will be offset against your tuition fees. 

If you have any questions about the admissions process, you can get in touch with us at

We also  strongly recommend that you attend one of our Open Days if you’re able to. These give you the opportunity to view College facilities, meet programme staff and find out more about the application process and requirements.