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3rd
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3rd Cycle in the Arts

This is an international database of 3rd cycle awards in the European Higher Arts Education Area, developed within the Creator Doctus project, to identify possible examples of practice in developing and supporting artistic research.

in
the
Arts

Royal College of Art (RCA), London, United Kingdom

Awards

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Research Policy & Strategy

The Royal College of Art is a wholly postgraduate institution, aiming to advance art & design education, foster innovation, enhance knowledge exchange and create new knowledge in art & design through research and scholarship. Research has long been considered vital to the RCA’s aim to achieve international standards of excellence in postgraduate and pre-/mid-professional education. Relationships with partner institutions, industries and technologies are of critical importance to the RCA’s institutional strategy, underpinning and complementing research, teaching and practice. The RCA is comprised of four Schools: Architecture; Communication; Design, Arts & Humanities and staff pursue individual research interests within them.

RCA Staff and students are competitively recruited to work in an environment that encourages and supports their individual creativity, and research.

Awards Offered

MPhil

PhD RCA

Degrees are validated by the institution itself.

Assessment

Thesis or Thesis and Presentation of practice

Viva

Doctoral submissions are examined by 2 External Examiners with disciplinary expertise and an Internal Chair to advise on regulations.

Forms of Output

Exhibitions; Displays of practice; Portfolio; Practice-based thesis (25,000 – 40,000 words); Thesis (50,000 – 80,000 words); Design Projects; Industry Implementation Projects

Programme Structure

Fulltime – 3 years study + 1 year writing up

Part-time – 6 years study + 1 year writing up

Doctoral candidates may pursue research projects by practice, through industry placements, by thesis and as collaborations. The RCA has a department supporting ‘start-ups’ and four research centres which link to industry.

Individual supervision is supported by 3 intensive Doctoral Training weeks per year for all years of study.

General research methodologies and ethics training is introduced to candidates in their first year of study and developed through annual top-up sessions as well as through individual supervision.

Each of the RCA’s constituent Schools runs discrete training days and seminars.

Undergraduate & Masters Research

Research is embedded in all the RCA’s postgraduate programmes and evidenced in an MA Dissertation Unit.

Qualification Framework

National

Quality Assurance & Enhancement

QAA guidelines

Vitae Framework

These are built into the RCA’s strategic goals and determine assessment criteria.

Supervision

Students are supervised by 2 academics.

Primary supervisors are expected to have at least one completion.

There are 3rdcycle leads for each School working with a Head of Research Programmes.

Multiple cross-College support agencies exist.

Staffing

At the RCA, all staff are research active and have a minimum of 20% of their contract allocated to research activities. Staff engaged in research supervision are expected to have a relevant PhD and/or equivalent supervisory experience. Training, updates and discussions of best practice are demonstrate the RCA’s commitment to developing supervisory capacity. The Teaching Fellowship Scheme leads to PGCert qualification or an HEA Fellowship.

Student Admissions

In the first instance, all applications are reviewed by 2 academic staff. Subsequently, potential candidates are interviewed by 2 academic staff.

Students may make unsolicited applications.

The total student population at the RCA is in the region of 2300 – 3000 students, of whom approx. 300 are 3rdcycle candidates.

Approximately 100 students have graduated in the last 5 years.

Student Funding

Self-funding

Scholarships, studentships, bursaries, grants

UKRI funding, state scholarships, industry sponsorship

Student Support

Research at the RCA is supported by a large team across technical and professional services. Students benefit from a modest Conference Fund to support dissemination activities; gallery activities; industry visits; guest speakers and workshops; placements; residencies; publications; symposia, exhibitions and events.

Additional Information

The RCA is one of the leading international research institutions in Art & Design with a large staff and student population.

Links

3rd Cycle in the Arts

This is an international database of 3rd cycle awards in the European Higher Arts Education Area, developed within the Creator Doctus project, to identify possible examples of practice in developing and supporting artistic research.