Research course

Communication Design MRes

Royal College of Art · School of Communication

Entry requirements

Candidates are selected entirely on merit and applications are welcomed from all over the world. The selection process considers and the capability to reflect, criticise and innovate as demonstrated in your research statement and portfolio.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.

Visit the RCA website for application dates, details and full entry requirements.

Our Graduate Diploma Art & Design (pre-master's conversion) course can provide a route to progress to this programme.

Months of entry


Course content

The Master’s of Research (MRes) RCA is a full-time, one-year programme that offers early-career research students the opportunity to develop and demonstrate mastery in the theory, methods and practice of research within an art and design environment. MRes RCA degrees are offered in four Schools (Communication, Design, Fine Art and Humanities) and are designed to provide early-career researchers with the intellectual, technical and professional tools with which to complete high-quality research projects, whether at doctoral level or within the cultural and creative industries, working across traditional sociocultural, disciplinary and sectoral boundaries.

MRes RCA programmes are delivered through a combination of: structured learning, comprising of lectures and master-classes by practitioners and senior academics; workshop classes based around a set task (a ‘brief’); tutorled seminar classes where students will be asked to reflect on material that they have read or studied in advance; and project assignments that support the structured teaching programme.

The Communication Design MRes provides students with the intellectual, technical and professional tools to pursue their own independent research within academia or industry, drawing on the experience and expertise of world-leading researchers across the College. The ethos of the programme will be collaborative, so students should be prepared to engage fully within their peer group, and with established and emerging research communities throughout the College.

In the development of intellectual engagement, students will be encouraged to demonstrate an advanced understanding of the principles of scholarly research within art, design and the humanities; identify robust research questions that interrogate fundamental questions of knowledge creation and exchange; critically analyse and evaluate complex research data; and situate their own research questions in the wider academic context of their field, understanding how their own research builds on and contributes to existing knowledge.

In the development of technical skills, students will be encouraged to: demonstrate an advanced understanding of the tools, methods, theories and techniques of research in Art and Design; experiment in the development, evaluation and presentation of complex research projects; effectively communicate the aims, methodologies and outcomes of their research to a range of different audiences; and effectively explore and articulate the potential of their research to achieve impact beyond the academic sphere.

For professional development, students will be encouraged to: take responsibility for directing their studies through setting goals and managing time and resources effectively; participate as an active, thoughtful and responsible member of a research community; demonstrate an understanding of and sensitivity to the principles and policies of ethical research; effectively plan and manage a complex research project; define their professional identity through self-reflection informed by theoretical, social and cultural awareness; engage constructively with research partners in order to form collaborations that benefit both their research and the partner organisation.

Study at the World's number one ranked art and design university for QS Global World Rankings in the QS World University Subject Rankings.

Open Days
Join an RCA online or on-campus open day to find out more about this programme - RCA Open Days.

Department specialisms

Animation, Graphic Design, Illustration, Sound Design, Audio Engineering, Experimental Communication, Digital Storytelling, Moving Image, Digital Media, Film Production

Fees and funding

Visit the RCA website to find out more about scholarships and funding opportunities.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Course contact details

RCA Student Recruitment