Graduate Diploma Art & Design at Royal College of Art - UCAS

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Course summary

The Graduate Diploma Art & Design prepares you for Master’s study in Art and Design. We focus on developing proficiency in the independent learning methods and practices of art and design, and on introducing you to the role and influence of art and design in the world today. We aim to make you better informed about the study options available to you, as well as the possible career paths that you might follow beyond graduation. The programme is interdisciplinary in nature, mirroring the experience of Master’s study at the RCA, however on the Graduate Diploma you’ll be invited to select a specialism at enrolment from the following areas: Communication; Fine Art; Humanities; Fashion & Textiles, and Product, Interiors & Spatial Design. Subject to availability, all students passing the programme with Distinction are guaranteed entry to MA and MRes programmes that reflect their specialism of study on the Graduate Diploma. All other students passing the programme will be guaranteed consideration for MA and MRes programmes of their choice. Entry to the our programmes is conditional on students meeting postgraduate English-language requirements demonstrated by an additional IELTS test or equivalent. Modes of study The Graduate Diploma now has three modes of study you can apply for:

  • Fully on campus for both stage one and stage two.
  • Blended: stage one (15 weeks) online, stage two (15 weeks) on campus.
  • Fully online for both stage one and stage two.
About the RCA The Royal College of Art is the world’s leading postgraduate art and design university, providing students with unrivalled opportunities to develop their practice, build their networks, enhance their career and to deliver art and design projects that transform the world. A small, specialist and research-intensive postgraduate university based in the heart of London, the RCA champions the value of collaborative and interdisciplinary learning – as the first art and design university in the world to implement a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Design and Maths) vision. We are committed to creating the next generation of creative leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs. For eight consecutive years, the RCA has been ranked as the world’s number 1 art & design university in the QS World University subject rankings (2015-2022) - attracting artists, designers and communicators from across the globe.


The Graduate Diploma consists of two blocks of 15-week study, with the first block including an introduction to specialist study at Master’s level in art and design and leading towards further and more in-depth study, practice and portfolio development in the second block. The first part is a theme-based introduction to the specialist study of art and design, and the various study options available in the field. You’ll also be introduced to the kinds of learning methods that students are likely to encounter in the study of art and design. The second part of the programme will enable you to focus in more depth on the preparation of a body of work and a portfolio.

Assessment method

Assessment at the Royal College of Art is holistic – all assessment items across all four modules of the Graduate Diploma in Art and Design lead to your final classification. The assessment for the Portfolio module may also be used to apply for further postgraduate study or employment.

Entry requirements

Candidates are selected entirely on merit and applications are welcomed from all over the world. The selection process considers creativity, imagination and innovation as demonstrated in your portfolio, as well as your potential to benefit from the programme and to achieve high standards overall. You should have a good first degree in a related subject. We welcome applications from students of all ages, and view both prior academic and professional experience as valuable.

English language requirements

If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country, you will need the equivalent of an overall IELTS score of 5.5 with a minimum 5.5 across each area. If you need a Tier 4 visa to study at the RCA, you will also need to meet the Home Office’s minimum requirements for entry clearance.

English Language Requirements

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

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Additional fee information

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Graduate Diploma Art & Design at Royal College of Art - UCAS