Taught course

Visual Communication MA

Royal College of Art · School of Communication

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Entry requirements

Students will normally have a BA, or an equivalent overseas qualification or sufficient work experience to demonstrate the appropriate intellectual, creative and personal qualities to engage with the demands of the programme.

Applications for the 2020 intake are open. Visit the RCA website from this date for details.

Months of entry


Course content

Study at the World's number one ranked art and design university for six consecutive years (2015-2020) in the QS World University Subject Rankings.

Visual Communication is about an expanded and interdisciplinary approach to the traditional subjects of graphic design, illustration and moving image with the aim of transforming existing communication practice. The pathways Experimental Communication, Graphic Design, Illustration are foregrounded in critical thinking and making whilst radically examining the place, importance and potential of visual communication in relation to culture and society.

The three pathways offered by the Visual Communication programme – which students select as part of their application – are interrelated and structured around the core discipline of visual communication and are taught by our excellent team of advanced practitioners and researchers.

Experimental Communication provides a fluid, exploratory and open-minded working environment for those wishing to locate innovative and unconventional communication practices within the context of both real and speculative situations. We imagine work taking place together and being applied, for example, as publishing-as-practice, abstract and non-narrative communication forms, and relational, site-specific and socially engaged practices – but in acute awareness that these positions themselves are already open to challenge and debate.

Graphic Design seeks to evolve expanded notions of graphic design practice that acknowledge current industry and educational contexts, while revisiting, expanding and disrupting the tools, intent, context and role of graphic design disciplines with renewed purpose. There are two main subject clusters within the pathway. Visible Language focuses on expanding and challenging primary and fundamental subject thinking – and making – specific to graphic designers while Situational Design explores the possibilities and the relationship between graphic design and spatial environments.

Illustration explores an expanded approach to the practice of illustration as a discipline. Fundamental to the work we do in communication, is an understanding of the context of our work and in how ideas can be framed, transmitted and received by our intended audiences. There are two main subject clusters within the pathway. Narrative Contexts focuses on fundamental subject thinking and making that is relevant to illustration and image- making within the communication context. Situated Illustration explores the relationship between illustrative practices and spatial practice.

Information for international students

Learn more at the international page.

Fees and funding

Learn more at the fees and funding page.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Course contact details

RCA Student Recruitment