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English for Academic Purposes

English for Academic Purposes (EAP) aims to support students in communicating in an academic art and design context. We run pre-sessional courses before programmes begin and offer in-sessional support during the academic year.

EAP Pre-Sessional Courses

Eight-week Course

If you haven't reached the required English language requirements for your programme, we offer an eight-week intensive EAP pre-sessional course designed specifically for students joining the RCA. The course focuses on the language and communication skills needed for RCA programmes.

Entrance Requirements
6.0 overall with minimum 5.5–6.0 in the writing, or 6.5 overall with 5.5 in the writing, or equivalent recognised by the College.

Teaching Dates
13 July – 4 September 2020
Monday to Thursday, 9.30am – 4.30pm; Fridays, 9.30am – 2.30pm

Course Fees

There is an early payment discount for payments by Friday 29 May, 5pm (GMT). If you pay on or before this date then the fee is reduced to £3,150. 

Four-week EAP Pre-sessional Course

We also offer a four-week version of the pre-sessional course if you have reached the English language level required but wish to improve your communication skills specifically for academic study at the RCA. The pre-sessional course provides a valuable chance to practise academic English in the context of art and design with authentic and relevant tasks and materials. 

Entrance Requirements
You must have already reached the English language requirements for your programme.

Teaching Dates
10 August – 4 September 2020
Monday to Thursday, 9.30am – 4.30pm; Friday, 9.30am – 2.30pm

Course Fees

There is an early payment discount for payments made by Friday 29 May by 9am (GMT): if you pay on or before this date then the fee is reduced to £1,500.


You are advised to book and pay for the course as early as possible to secure your place. You should book your place on the eight-week or four-week pre-sessional course by 19 June 2020 at the latest.

For booking enquiries or queries about the English Language entry requirements, please contact the Registry:

+44 (0)20 7590 4444
[email protected]

Why Join the EAP Pre-Sessional Course?

 Your environment:

  • Get to know fellow students from across the College in a supportive, stimulating environment.
  • Become familiar with the College facilities and daily functioning of the RCA.
  • Enjoy access to student support advice about visas, accommodation etc.
  • Join group visits to relevant museums and exhibitions across London in collaborative and creative activities.
Academic English – art and design context:
  • Read texts and listen to current talks using language and issues that are specific to an art and design context and specifically chosen from RCA recommendations.
  • Use relevant vocabulary and styles in tasks that are similar to those you will produce on your MA programme at the RCA – reflective commentary; academic argument and discussion; presentations and seminar discussions.
  • Receive weekly feedback from your tutor on your speaking and writing in an academic art and design context.
  • Meet RCA PhD students who give talks and run workshops on a variety of topics.

 Learning styles and activities:

  • Practice academic English in learning tasks which reflect those on RCA MA programmes: discuss and analyse your work; work collaboratively in groups; develop an independent reading and writing process that will help you get started with dissertation writing; practice responding to feedback, evaluating work and learning from mistakes.
  • Receive supportive feedback on your learning needs, to help you develop these skills.

By joining the RCA EAP pre-sessional course, you are not just cramming for a general academic English exam: you can give yourself time to become fully immersed in the language through the context of art and design among other students in a stimulating and supportive environment.

EAP Schedule and Principles

Mornings: language focused reading, writing, speaking and listening

All students receive a materials book. All your work and materials are based on the language and skills you need at the RCA. We have discussed student needs with RCA tutors and used texts from RCA reading lists in Art and Design.

Each week, you will complete a speaking and writing task which is typical of the tasks and topics you will need on RCA Programmes.


On Monday afternoons you take an option workshop of your choice. For example, you can choose: Contemporary British Society; Further Art readings; Further Design readings; grammar; pronunciation etc.

On Tuesday afternoons we visit galleries and museums which help with topics and group work.

On Wednesday afternoons, RCA PhD students and invited guests give talks and run workshops on topical issues.

On Thursdays students have a 1:1 tutorial with their tutor to discuss their development on the course. We also run a book club to improve extended reading skills and hold a student representative meeting to share ideas and issues.

Each Friday morning students take part in a speaking activity based on RCA speaking tasks, e.g. presentation, discussion, interviewing, information gathering, etc. Feedback is provided by tutors.

On Friday afternoons, everyone works in small groups on a collaborative project to help group communication, independent study skills and to practise your creative skills in a new environment.

This course aims to challenge students to use language in a postgraduate Art and Design setting by becoming familiar with learning expectations at the College. Students are encouraged to develop independent learning strategies and push their critical thinking capabilities. The course is taught by experienced EAP tutors who understand the needs of international students in Higher Education.

For an example of weekly activities, please see the indicative timetable.

In-Sessional EAP Support

We have a number of workshops throughout the academic year.

Here is an example of what we offer:

  • Preparing for your dissertation – reading and writing processes.
  • General EAP: paragraph structure, sentence structure, critical thinking skills, developing vocabulary, note-taking.
  • Preparing for presentations.
  • Workshops for research students.

Most of these courses are open to native and non-native speakers of English.

One-to-One Tutorials

Students are able to book tutorials with an experienced tutor to review an aspect of their language in order to develop skills in this area.

Who to Contact

Students who require more information should contact the EAP Team:

+44  (0)20 7590 4543
[email protected]

Student Support:
+44 (0)20 7590 4140
[email protected] 


Registry Office (application to the Pre-sessional Course):

+44 (0)20 7590 4444

[email protected]

EAP Coordinator and Team:
+44  (0)20 7590 4543
[email protected]

Student Support:
+44 (0)20 7590 4140
[email protected]