Royal College of Art

Degree level: Postgraduate

City Design MA (Taught)

Course options

Make sure you check on the university, college or conservatoire website for any updates about course changes as a result of COVID-19.

Course summary

Envisioning new concepts of city and urban life by placing design speculation at the core of social innovation. Study at the World's number one ranked art and design university.* MA City Design envisions new concepts of city and urban life by placing design speculation at the core of social innovation. City life is undergoing momentous change. New forms of urban development and technologically driven forms of social innovation are transforming the way we live, work, reproduce and take care of the world around us, producing new lines of social solidarity as well as new sites of social conflict. Yet most of the methods used to research and design cities have resisted change, thus limiting our abilities of perceiving relevant changes and of conceiving radically different futures. MA City Design believes in the unique capacities of design to conceptualise and propose new and original models of living in cities. It proposes an approach to city design education that unites architectural, social sciences and scientific research. The programme is site-focused and design-led and students have the potential to engage with NGOs, policy makers, government and industry. Our Industry Advisory Group is a consultative forum that supports the continual improvement of the MA City Design programme and ensures its relevance to ongoing problems and issues in city-making globally. Career Outcomes City Design graduates go on to work in a range of fields, from architectural design practices focussed on questions of housing, to multidisciplinary design practices operating at a city scale, to further academic study, to roles in NGOs, urban planning agencies and design agencies. About the RCA The Royal College of Art, is an internationally renowned art and design university, providing students with unrivalled opportunities 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 is a high performing institution, a radical traditionalist in a fast paced world. The RCA's approach is founded on the premise that art, design creative thinking, science, engineering and technology must all collaborate to solve today's global challenges. *The RCA was named the world’s leading art and design university for the seventh consecutive year (2015-2021) in the QS World University subject rankings.

Course details


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 MA standards overall. Prospective candidates will likely be students of architecture with a 3+2-year Bachelor and Master’s degree, or Master's-equivalent five-year diploma, preferably in Architecture, Urban Design, Urban Planning or other related design discipline looking to acquire expertise in city and urban design projects. Other backgrounds, such as social sciences, geography, urban studies, or economics, will also be considered if prior work is of exceptional merit and students are able to demonstrate their ability to work alongside and contribute to multidisciplinary teams. Evidence of intellectual and professional curiosity and a readiness to engage in a rigorous and demanding period of study is essential. Visit the RCA website for full entry requirements.


English language requirements

TestGradeAdditional details
IELTS (Academic)6.5If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country you will need the equivalent of an IELTS Academic score of 6.5 with a 6.0 in the Test of Written English (TWE).

Students achieving a grade of at least 6.0, with a grade of 5.5 in the Test of Written English, may be eligible to take the College’s English for Academic Purposes course to enable them to reach the required standard. You are exempt from this requirement if you have received a 2.1 degree or above from a university in a majority English-speaking nation within the last two years. 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.

More information about English language requirements

https://www.rca.ac.uk/studying-at-the-rca/apply/entrance-requirements/english-language-requirements/


Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Republic of Ireland £13500 Whole course
England £13500 Whole course
Northern Ireland £13500 Whole course
Scotland £13500 Whole course
Wales £13500 Whole course
International £32000 Whole course

Additional fee information

Visit the programme page on the RCA website for details of fees for each year of this programme.

Sponsorship information

Visit the RCA website to find out more about scholarships and funding opportunities. Most RCA scholarships require you to submit your MA application in round 1.

City Design MA at Royal College of Art - UCAS