Taught course

Contemporary Art Summer School

Royal College of Art · School of Arts and Humanities
Certificate of Participation

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Entry requirements

Participants must:

  • have a good level of English language
  • be 18 years or over.

Months of entry


Course content

Course overview

The Contemporary Art Summer School at the Royal College of Art examines the rich array of positions, methods and materials that artists use, as well as exploring the questions raised by contemporary art and its production.

This three-week, studio-based short course provides a supportive environment for independent practice and introduces participants to the study of contemporary art in London, one of the world’s most creative cities.

Taught by Royal College of Art staff and supported by a broad range of prominent artists, academics, critics and curators the course provides participants with the opportunity to develop their practice within an interdisciplinary, collaborative atmosphere.

The 2020 list of speakers is to be announced. In previous years, the RCA Academic Staff & Visiting Lecturers have included Tai Shani, Dr Chantal Faust, Professor Olivier Richon, Professor Johnny Golding, Associate Professor Oreet Ashery, Amir George and David Burrows.

How and what will I learn?

You will:

  • expand your practice and knowledge through workshops, lectures, film screenings and access to the extensive RCA library
  • present your work to RCA staff, visiting artists, academics, art professionals in a professional and diverse environment
  • receive feedback and practical advice from RCA staff and experts in contemporary art
  • get dedicated time for independent study in your own studio space (in Royal College of Art studios)
  • benefit from professional technical support to develop your practice
  • visit museums and galleries in London with experts in the field of contemporary art
  • immerse yourself in a multidisciplinary environment
  • meet artists from all over the world.

Course outcomes

You will:

  • develop your work under the supervision of a Royal College of Art academic lead
  • have a studio-based exhibition at the RCA, including final feedback from members of staff.

Who should attend?

The course is designed for practising artists who wish to develop their own personal and professional fine-art practice in a world-leading environment.

Programme team

The programme is convened by academic leader Despina Zacharopoulou. Teaching will be delivered by staff from the School of Arts & Humanities.

The course will take place in the Sackler Building studios at RCA Battersea. You will have access to the workshop facilities of the Painting studios and digital printing facilities in the Dyson Building Print workshops.

You will have access to the extensively equipped resource stores where you can book state-of-the-art video and audio equipment including: digital cameras, tripods, projectors and sound equipment.

You will be able to book appointments to access the following under supervision from RCA specialised technicians.

Digital lab:

  • digital retouching suite
  • A3–A4 scanners and printing
  • large digital printing.


  • stretcher making
  • board making
  • timber cut to size
  • basic carpentry joining.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • Certificate of Participation
    full time
    1 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

RCA Short Courses