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Royal College of Art: Writing MA

Institution Royal College of Art
Department School of Arts and Humanities
Telephone 020 7590 4444
Study type Taught


A unique opportunity to develop high-level writing, research, and analytical skills in one of the world’s most dynamic art schools. Study at the World's number one ranked art and design university.

Consider the MA Writing programme part of the ongoing occasion of your learning, one which you have already begun, will share with us for a year, and which will then continue — irrevocably changed — once you leave. While you’re with us you will be taught a lot, but you will learn a great deal more.

There is not one particular type of writer that we would like to produce, and so whether you would like to write for a mainstream audience, or prepare for doctoral study, we will be able to support you to become the best possible version of the writer you’d like to be. If we tend towards anything it is ‘creative non-fiction’, imperfectly described, although ‘literary writing’, rather than literature, might be a less inadequate alternative. In recent years our students have used the expanded essay to produce an extraordinary range of forms and consider an extraordinary range of subjects, and you will be encouraged to do so, too. The projects often combine these different approaches unexpectedly, or fold together established genres — such as memoir and cultural history, for example — to produce work which possesses both intellectual rigour and poetic form.

Outcomes By the end of the programme, you will have not only a substantial portfolio of writing, but also a strong sense of how these works constitute your broader practice, and how you might want to develop this further. As such, you can use the programme units both as an opportunity to consolidate your practice and also the means by which you might test and extend it, whether that is by experimenting with form, or exploring new areas of enquiry.

That writing is in the world, and of it, rather than simply being about it, is a fundamental ethos of the programme, and although this is certainly no vocational course, you will accumulate a great deal of professional skills, and meet a wide range of practitioners, from writers and editors to publishers and commissioners. Our graduates can be found editing The White Review, or being published by Granta, Zero Books, or Fitzcarraldo Editions. They work as editors on publications, or start up their own, or they pursue a career in academia, with our graduates having followed PhDs in Oxford, Manchester, Edinburgh, Goldsmiths, or Birkbeck, and teaching in numerous prestigious institutions, including the RCA.

About the RCA The Royal College of Art, is an internationally renowned art and design university, providing students with unrivalled opportunities to deliver art and design projects that transform the world.

A small, specialist and research-intensive postgraduate university based in the heart of London, the RCA is a high performing institution, a radical traditionalist in a fast paced world. The RCA's approach is founded on the premise that art, design creative thinking, science, engineering and technology must all collaborate to solve today's global challenges.

*The RCA was named the world’s leading art and design university for the seventh consecutive year (2015-2021) in the QS World University subject rankings.


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