The Royal Academy Schools offers the only three year postgraduate course in Europe. Successful completion of this tenure culminates in the award of the Royal Academy Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Art.
The programme is focused on studio-based practice across all fine art media. The studios accommodate a wide variety of disciplines, including painting, sculpture, print, installation and time-based and digital media.
A weekly schedule of group critiques and individual studio tutorials are organised to assist students in developing their studio work over the three years spent at the Schools. Seminars including selected students from all three year groups are arranged – these might include medium-specific discussions, or a common ground based on theoretical or conceptual concerns. The core staff is complemented by a wide range of visiting artists, writers and critics. Students have the opportunity to engage with visitors to the Schools via the lecture programme, in addition to one-to-one tutorials.
The Schools staff also includes Professors in Painting, Sculpture, Drawing, Perspective and Architecture, all of whom are Royal Academicians. Additionally, Professors in Anatomy and Chemistry also visit the Schools on a regular basis. A full list of staff and visitors can be found here.
Students are required to make formal presentations of their current work throughout the academic year. These group critiques provide an opportunity for discussion of new work within the peer group, and with a view to broadening the understanding of the wider context of contemporary practice.
The written component of the course is used as a means to investigate and extend ideas that have arisen as a result of studio-based work. A short text is submitted during the first year as an opportunity to address some key concerns that inform each student's practice. During the second year, students are given specific dissertation tutorials in order to identify a subject relevant to their practice. The completion of the 6000 word dissertation is a requirement of the award of the Postgraduate Diploma.
A formal review of each student and their work takes place at the culmination of each year. Working alongside the Year Tutors, visiting members of staff assess the progress of each individual. The reviews provide students with an opportunity to reflect upon their achievements during the year. Additionally, students meet with the Visiting Professors prior to their graduation in the third year.
A regular series of lectures given by prominent visual artists places an emphasis on their own experience and approach to their studio practice. There is also the opportunity for students to visit the studios of a variety of Royal Academicians.
Students are also asked to attend a series of lectures that address current concerns in contemporary art, whether theoretical, political or philosophical.
The professional practice seminars are given by a variety of specialist professionals including accountants, copyright lawyers, gallerists, curators and critics. These sessions give practical advice and guidance on all aspects of an artist's professional working life. The Schools also arranges teaching placements on undergraduate fine art courses for third year students. In most cases, students take on the responsibilities of a Visiting Artist to the host institution. This normally involves giving an artist’s talk as well as tutorials. Most students find this a very valuable experience.
Contact details for further information
Telephone +44 (0)20 7300 5857
Fax +44 (0)20 7300 5856