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If you’re ready to start your application, visit our application portal.

Entry Requirements

What are the RCA entry requirements?

Information on eligibility to study at the RCA can be found on our Eligibility and key dates page.

Programmes also have specific entry requirements. You can browse the programmes through the Programme finder. You will find details of the entry requirements under the requirements tab on each programme page.

Can I apply from any educational background? Do I need a relevant undergraduate degree?

Candidates are selected entirely on merit. Applications are welcomed from all over the world and from a wide range of backgrounds, educational approaches and experiences. The selection process will consider creativity, imagination and innovation – as well as your potential to benefit from the programme and to achieve high standards overall.

Information on eligibility to study at the RCA can be found on our Eligibility and key dates page.

Programmes also have specific entry requirements. You can browse the programmes through the Programme finder. You will find details of the entry requirements under the requirements tab on each programme page.

Do I need specific English levels to apply?

If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country, you will need to demonstrate that you have a reasonable knowledge of the English language.

Depending on the programme you’re applying for, we accept a variety of English language tests. Full details can be found on the English language requirements page.

If you haven’t reached the required English level for your programme, we offer an eight-week intensive English for Academic Purposes pre-sessional course. Details can be found on the EAP (English for academic purposes) Pre-sessional courses page.

Applications

How do I apply?

Applications are made online through our online application portal. Visit the Application process page to find out more.

You might find it useful to attend one of our online sessions about the application process. Visit the Open days page to find out more.

What are the application deadlines for 2024 entry?

Details of application deadlines can be found on our Eligibility and key dates page.

Are applications open? What programmes are applications open for?

Details of application deadlines can be found on our Eligibility and key dates page.

How many times can I create a profile on the application portal?

Applicants are only permitted to register once with the portal. Creating multiple accounts in the portal is not permitted

Is there a maximum number of applications I can make?

An applicant may not apply for the same programme more than once in a single admissions cycle. Applicants can apply for a maximum of two different programmes in a single admissions cycle. A separate portfolio submission is required for each programme to which a prospective student applies. If your application is unsuccessful the College may refer your application to another suitable programme for consideration.

I am in my final undergraduate year, should I wait until I have completed?

We suggest applying as early as possible, even while you’re completing your final undergraduate year. If you receive an offer, it will be conditional upon the satisfactory completion of your undergraduate course.

More information about the application process can be found on the Apply to study at the RCA page.

You might also find it useful to attend one of our online events or open days. Find out more by visiting our Open days page.

If I do not complete my undergraduate course in time to accept an offer for the RCA, can I defer until the next academic year?

We are not able to offer deferred places for any of our Masters programmes. If you would not be able to enrol in September 2024 you should not apply this year; you should wait until applications for the September 2025 intake open.

I have already submitted an application, when can I expect to hear about the outcome?

See our Eligibility and key dates page for more information on the dates for notification of outcomes.

Typically you will receive notification of your application outcome five weeks after the admissions round deadline.

Portfolios

Is the portfolio all digital?

Yes, the application and portfolio are in digital format through our online application portal.

I don’t come from an art or design background. What should I put in my portfolio?

Each programme has its own specific requirements. Portfolio requirements can be found on the programme pages, under the Requirements tab. You should provide evidence of your creativity, imagination and innovation – as well as your potential to benefit from the programme and to achieve high standards overall.

You can also access these requirements by creating an account in our online application portal. Once you've provided your basic information, we'll send you a link to access video and guidance notes explaining what the Head of Programme would like to see in your portfolio.

We also organise online events to hear from our admissions tutors directly and ask any questions you might have. These events will be posted on the Open days page.

Where can I get advice on what I should include in my portfolio?

Each programme has its own specific requirements. Portfolio requirements can be found on the programme pages, under the Requirements tab.

You can also access these requirements by creating an account in our online application portal. Once you've provided your basic information, we'll send you a link to access video and guidance notes explaining what the Head of Programme would like to see in your portfolio.

We also organise online events to hear from our admissions tutors directly and ask any questions you might have. These events will be posted on the Open days page.

Where can I see examples of current student work?

Prospective students are encouraged to explore work by current students and recent graduates. You can explore the work of our most recent graduating students at RCA2023. An archive of previous student exhibitions can be found at Showcase. Students often add their social media pages to their showcase page if you want to explore their work further.

Is it possible to have a one-on-one session for portfolio advice?

We regularly organise online events to hear from our admissions tutors directly. During these sessions you can ask any questions you might have. These events will be posted on the Open days page.

Is there a way to stand out from a crowd when applying?

We regularly organise online events to hear from our admissions tutors directly. During these sessions you can ask any questions you might have. These events will be posted on the Open days page.

Each application and portfolio is unique. You should provide evidence of your creativity, imagination and innovation – as well as your potential to benefit from the programme and to achieve high standards overall. Consider how to do this as well as showcase your unique interests and experiences.

If I am applying to a specific MA programme, does my portfolio need to reflect only that discipline?

We appreciate work is often multi-disciplinary and our programmes welcome applications from many different backgrounds and disciplines. The selection process will consider creativity, imagination and innovation – as well as your potential to benefit from the programme and to achieve high standards overall. It is important for your portfolio to reflect this.

On occasion if the programme you are applying for thinks you're a better fit for another programme they may refer your application to that programme.

We regularly organise online events to hear from our admissions tutors directly. During these sessions you can ask any questions you might have. These events will be posted on the Open days page.

Application portal

What can I do if I get an error message when trying to set a new password in the Application Portal?

This is likely to mean that your account is locked. Please email sis@rca.ac.uk and the team will be able to unlock your account for you. Do not try to create an additional new account.

Why have I not received my Stage 2 email within 24 hours of completing Stage 1 of the application process?

In most cases when the Stage 2 email is missing, it is actually in the Junk or Spam folder. Please check there first. If the Stage 2 email is not in your Junk or Spam folder, please email sis@rca.ac.uk and the team will be able to re-send that manually.

How can I be certain that my application materials have been accepted by the PebblePad system?

Please make sure you carefully follow the instructions on how to share your workbook for assessment. We sometimes find that applicants upload their work, but do not then share it for assessment. The guidance will show you exactly what needs to be done.

Where can I find my Application ID for the reference?

The Application ID for the reference is the number at the end of the PebblePad username. It is normally (but not always) an eight-digit number starting with 10.

Will I receive confirmation that my reference has been submitted by my referee?

No, you will not receive confirmation that we have received the reference; however, do not worry that it might not have been submitted – the absence of a reference at this point will not prevent us from being able to review your submitted application materials.

I can't access my pebble pad account

Please email sis@rca.ac.uk and the team will be able to help you gain access to your account.

International Students

Do I need to prove that I meet English language requirements when I apply?

You do not need to have met the College’s English language requirements at the point of application. However, if you do receive an offer you will need to meet the requirements prior to enrolment. If you require a visa to study in the UK, you will also need to demonstrate you meet the English Language Requirements before the RCA can support your Student Visa application.

For more details and information on what English Language tests we are currently accepting, please visit the English language requirements page.

Do I need a student visa before applying?

You only need to arrange a Student Route Visa once you have an offer of a place. The RCA will support this process by issuing a ‘Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies’ (CAS) to accepted students. Students must have also met all conditions of their offer, including passing an accepted English language test, before we can issue a CAS.

You can find out more about the student visa route on our Student visa page.

What English Language support is available?

You can find information about English Language support on the English for Academic Purposes page.

How do I apply for a Student Route Visa?

You can find out who needs a Student Visa, how to apply, and general guidance on immigration and the student visa route on our Student visa page.

You can also find information on visa application process in this open day talk recording

Are there part time working opportunities at the RCA for international students?

Yes, the RCA employs hundreds of students a year as casual workers, as event stewards, programme ambassadors, tour guides, content creators, shop assistants and much more. Students will be able to apply for student jobs at the start of the academic year.

If you are an overseas student on a Student Visa Route, this will depend on the conditions of your Visa. Most students can work up to 20 hours a week during term time. See the UKCISA website for more information.

Fees, funding and RCA scholarships

How do RCA scholarships work? Are there any fully funded scholarships available to study at the RCA?

The RCA scholarship page outlines the available RCA scholarships and awards.

Guidance on applying for RCA scholarships can be found on the Guidance on applying for a scholarship page.

For more information take part in an Online Q&A – Scholarships & Funding event.

What other funding options are available?

Information about external funding options for UK and International students including Government loans, charitable funding and external scholarships can be found on the Funding your studies page.

For more information take part in an Online Q&A – Scholarships & Funding event.

Do scholarship applications take into consideration portfolio strength?

Different scholarships have different eligibility requirements, for example financial need, ethnicity, and programme of study. Some are awarded for academic excellence. Please visit the RCA Scholarships and awards page to find full details.

For more information take part in an Online Q&A – Scholarships & Funding event.

I have a diagnosed physical or sensory disability, or specific learning difficulties, does this make me eligible for a scholarship?

The RCA Disabled Student Bursary and the Snowdon Scholarship are available to support students with disabilities.

Please visit the RCA Scholarships and awards page for full details.

Student Support at the RCA offers support, advice and guidance for disabled students. Find out more in our Student Support pages.

I will be relying entirely on scholarships to fund my studies. I do not have the finances to pay the deposit to secure my place. Can I apply for a deposit exemption status?

We are committed to ensuring that financial need is not a barrier to studying at the RCA, and any student unable to secure their place through a deposit can apply for deposit exemption status.

I have applied for a scholarship. When will I learn the outcome of the application?

The timeline for RCA scholarship applications can be found on the Guidance on applying for a scholarship page.

Is there any advice on how to positively write a scholarship application? What are some proactive things we can write about to support our application in addition to our circumstances and needs?

Advice for writing your statement can be found on the Guidance on applying for a scholarship page.

For more information take part in an Online Q&A – Scholarships & Funding event.

Are there any alternate scholarship options for international students?

Information for international students can be found on the External funding for Master's programmes (International) page.

For more information take part in an Online Q&A – Scholarships & Funding event.

Can you get a scholarship for an MPhil or PhD as a home student?

Information about MPhil and PhD funding can be found on the Funding for MPhil and PhD students page.

For more information take part in an Online Q&A – Scholarships & Funding event.

Does the evidence provided as part of scholarship applications remain confidential and how is this stored?

The Funding and Scholarships team operate in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and UK Data Protection Act 2018. The aim is to ensure that personal information is used in a way that is fair to individuals and protects their rights.

Information about how we collect and use personal data can be found on our data protection website page.

Is the round one scholarship deadline the only opportunity to apply? Or will there be a second deadline for people who applied for the second round of RCA applications?

The timeline for RCA scholarship applications can be found on the Guidance on applying for a scholarship page.

I am a UK citizen, but live overseas, would I still need to pay overseas fees?

Information about fees, including who is considered home or international can be found on the Fees page.

Careers and employment

How does the RCA support students in finding employment after graduation?

The Royal College of Art is committed to ensuring that our students are equipped with the skills they need to succeed. Advice and practical workshops on all aspects of business and creative careers are built into the curriculum of all our MA degrees, and upon graduating many alumni continue to be supported by a business aftercare scheme.

More details about professional development is available on the Careers support page.

Can I work while studying?

Many students work part-time whilst studying however if you are an overseas student on a Student Route Visa, this will depend on the conditions of your Visa. Most students can work up to 20 hours a week during term time. See the UKCISA website for more information.

Where can I find information about part-time work?

We have a careers team who can support you with finding part time work.

Visit our Careers support page for more information.

Are there any working opportunities at the RCA?

Yes, the RCA employs hundreds of students a year as casual workers, as event stewards, programme ambassadors, tour guides, content creators, shop assistants and much more. Students will be able to apply for student jobs at the start of the academic year.

Student support

What support do you offer to students with disabilities?

The RCA is committed to celebrating diversity and supporting and helping all of its students to reach their full potential. Comprehensive support exists for students with disabilities, and we encourage disabled students who will be studying at the College to contact us at the earliest opportunity to discuss their requirements.

Find out more on the Student Support pages of our website.

Living in London

Is it easy to move to London / find accommodation / get established?

London is a welcoming, diverse and creative city to live in. Visit our guide to Living in London to find out more.

Information on finding somewhere to live can be found on our Accommodation in London page.

How can I find out what the commute is like from different areas of London to the RCA?

The RCA campuses are well connected to public transport. Details of our campus locations can be found on the Our campus page.

You can find information on the Transport for London website about travelling in London. You can also use apps like Citymapper to look at your commute options.

Find more information about getting around London on our Living in London page.

Is bicycle a convenient mode of transport in London?

There are lots of cyclists in London, and many roads have designated cycle lanes.

TfL run free cycling lessons https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/cycling/cycle-skills. To help with awareness on London's busy roads etc.

Find more information about getting around London on our Living in London page.

I am concerned about the high cost of living in London. Where can I find more information?

You can find out more about the cost of living, and find some tips for managing costs on the RCA’s Cost of living page.

Student Support can also offer financial advice and support. Find out more on the Student support team page.

Where can I talk to real students about their experience living in London?

We have a live chat service where you can talk to current RCA students. Visit Chat to our students page.

General

Is there a gym on campus?

The RCA has an agreement with Imperial College London, where students can access certain shared services, including a gym membership. Imperial is just a few minutes' walk from the Kensington campus.

How often does the RCA shuttle bus run?

The shuttle runs from all three campuses quite regularly between approximately 8.30am-7.30pm, once every hour. The timetable will be available closer to the start of term and on the college intranet.

Will I have access to all RCA workshops, including those on a different campus to where my programme is based?

The workshops and technical facilities are open to all students. They are not exclusive to one specific programme or School. However, students are required to complete any necessary inductions and book access to facilities in advance.

Further information about the RCA workshops and technical facilities can be found on the Facilities page.

Contact us

If you have questions about your application: admissions@rca.ac.uk

If you are having problems logging into the application portal: sis@rca.ac.uk