Taught course

City Design MA

Royal College of Art · School of Architecture

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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.

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.

Applications for the September 2022 intake are now open. Visit the RCA website for details on entry requirements, the application process and key admissions dates.
Our Graduate Diploma Art & Design (pre-master's conversion) course can provide a means to progress to this programme on completion.

Months of entry


Course content

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 for seven consecutive years (2015-2021) in the QS World University Subject Rankings.

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.

The School of Architecture 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.

Industry Advisory Group

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.

Online Open Day

To find out more about this programme, watch the replay of our Online Open Day from 10 November, 2021.

Fees and funding

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.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

RCA Student Recruitment