Research course

Design MPhil/PhD

Royal College of Art · School of Design

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Entry requirements

The programme welcomes applications from candidates from across the world and of all ages, including those with academic and professional backgrounds. Applications are considered in terms of quality of proposal, quality of practice (where appropriate), readiness to undertake a research degree at this level and supervisory capacity.

Now accepting applications for the September 2022 intake. Visit the RCA website for entry requirements and the application process.

Months of entry


Course content

The School of Design is home to internationally significant research, much of which is practice-based. The teaching areas of the School – Design Products, Fashion, Global Innovation Design, Innovation Designing Engineering, Intelligent Mobility, Service Design and Textiles – represent a wide range of approaches to research.

Research topics range from those which are strongly needs-focused – such as designing new medical innovations or citizen science through to those which are more experimental - such as designing trust in AI systems or multi-species design. We particularly encourage applications in our strategic design research areas including: Future of making, manufacture and materials; Systems and design; Design for safety; Design for health; Intelligent machines; Data capture and creation; Design science.

The RCA also offers a Design MRes, a one year, full-time taught degree that provides effective preparation for PhD study.

Online Open Day

To find out more about this programme, watch the replay of our Research Open Evening from 13 October, 2021 (from 45:15).

Career opportunities

PhD study leads to a range of opportunities. You might become a researcher in industry or government or an academic in an international institution It is an opportunity for you to investigate a research question or issue in depth, enabling you to take a more reflective, more innovative role in design.

Fees and funding

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

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MPhil/PhD
    full time
    36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

RCA Student Recruitment