Royal College of Art: Painting

InstitutionRoyal College of Art View institution profile
Department School of Arts and Humanities
Telephone 020 7590 4444
Study type Taught


In February 2019 the RCA was named the world’s leading art and design university for the fifth consecutive year in the QS World University subject rankings.

The Painting programme approaches the practice of painting as a self-reflexive, critical activity that draws on a wealth of varied historical, material and conceptual accomplishments related to the medium and its objects. The programme aims to provide an expansive and inclusive platform on which to engage with current issues and debates surrounding the challenges and location of painting as a part of contemporary art practice.

The curriculum is designed to develop a student’s individual professional practice, research and orientation in relation to their studio work and how they present that work and their practice professionally to others. Our students are here to reflect upon and play out what kind of artists they want to be, with the ultimate aim of enabling a sustainable and meaningful practice as professional practitioners. The Painting programme is a world leader in research and practice and committed to broadening the understanding of our discipline in all its forms. 

The programme offers:

– excellence of teaching by leading practitioners, writers and curators

– dedicated studio spaces 

– opportunities for exchanges to international institutions, studio residences abroad, and an annual study trip

– two major exhibitions during the two years in the form of a Work-in-progress Show at the end of the first year, and the Summer Show before graduation

– support and opportunities for teaching/lecturing placements in undergraduate colleges throughout the UK

Sponsorship info

Some HEFCE funded bursaries administered by the College are available for UK and EU students. Overseas students must secure sponsorship or funding prior to enrolment but may be eligible for some scholarships and prizes whilst on the course.


Royal College of Art 

Applications for the RCA’s September 2020 will be open from 30 September, 2019. Visit on this date for up-to-date programme and application information.

The World’s No. 1 University of Art & Design

The Royal College of Art has been at the forefront of innovation and growth for almost two centuries – anticipating societal challenges and delivering real-world impact. Our learning environment remains unique, combining practice-based research with user-centred design traditions, specialist research centres, knowledge exchange and innovation training. The RCA is wholly postgraduate, offering Graduate Diploma, MA, MRes, MPhil and PhD ...

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