Applications to the Royal Academy Schools should demonstrate a studio practice that has the potential for further development over a three-year period. Candidates should be looking for evolution in their work. It is important that applicants have the capacity to be critically engaged with their own work and that of others.
There is no upper age limit for candidates. The current age range of artists in the RA Schools is from mid-20s to mid-40s. There are between 10-17 places per year group.
When offering a place at the RA Schools, we aim to put together a diverse group that represents the breadth of contemporary art practice.
Candidates have usually gained a BA (Hons) Degree in Fine Art or have equivalent experience. In recent years we have accepted candidates straight from BA, but the majority have been working independently as artists.
We consider applications from those who have an MA but currently none of our students have this qualification.
Candidates may have exhibited in group or solo shows, but it is by no means required.
What to consider
Our programme is full-time and intensive. You will need to be in the studios and workshops making work, you will need to participate in group crits, sign up for tutorials, attend lectures and talks, produce two texts and work towards two shows. You may need to find time outside of this to undertake a part-time job; this must be planned for outside of studio hours.
We are able to offer bursaries and materials grants and though these may only contribute a small amount towards your living costs, it does mean that more time can be spent in the studios and less earning money. We will support you with applications for any relevant funding opportunities.
It is important to use the sustained time at the RA Schools to concentrate on the studio and other aspects of the programme. Occasionally you may have opportunities to take part in external exhibitions and you should discuss any such opportunities in advance with your tutor or the Curator, Eliza Bonham Carter. We must emphasise the necessary pre-eminence of the commitment to the requirements of the RA Schools programme over other opportunities and demands.
The postgraduate diploma is not a Masters degree. Those on the programme study here in order to develop as professional artists, rather than to gain an academic qualification.
How to apply through SlideRoom
Your application will be submitted online through SlideRoom and will consist of the following sections:
Media / portfolio
Application fee payment
Reference. Only candidates who are shortlisted for interview will be asked to provide a reference. References will be requested in January 2020 for shortlisted candidates.
SlideRoom will guide you through each part of your application and automatically save your progress. For further details on specific requirements for all above sections, and to get started, please visit raschools.slideroom.com.
For enquiries relating to eligibility and application content, please come and speak to us at our open days. If you are not based in the UK and cannot find the information you require please contact us.
• We do not offer places without interviewing the candidate in person
• If you are shortlisted for interview you will be informed in late January 2020
• Interviews will take place in February / March 2020
• Interviews last for approximately 30 minutes
• You should bring a selection of work to your interview that best represents your current practice
• The interviewing room has ample wall and floor space and is equipped with a video projection and audio playback facilities
We encourage European candidates to apply for the RA Schools postgraduate programme. However, we do not have clarity on how leaving the European Union will affect European candidates’ eligibility to reside in the UK whilst they study with us. In the event that we are unable to accept candidates for entry in October 2020 who are based in the European Economic Area, we will reimburse the application fee if the candidate does not hold Indefinite Leave to Remain UK status (or any other status that legally entitles them to reside in the UK). We will update this section of our prospectus when more information about these circumstances are available to us.
This section applies only to candidates who are a national of a country outside of the European Economic Area (EEA).
We welcome international applications, however our independent status renders us ineligible for International Student Visas. Therefore international candidates we accept onto our programme need to be successful in a subsequent application for a UK Tier 1 Visa through the Exceptional Promise Visa scheme. We will provide detailed guidance throughout the visa application process.
The application process for international candidates consists of the following stages:
1. SlideRoom application
As we do with all of our candidates, we ask international candidates to complete a full application via SlideRoom. Please read the above information and the Tier 1 Visa criteria carefully. Candidates that are ineligible or do not meet our criteria should not submit an application. If you are ineligible and you submit a full application we will not be able to refund your application fee.
See How to apply above or visit raschools.slideroom.com to begin your application.
Your application will be assessed alongside all other applications to our programme.
3. Interview and visa application
If you are shortlisted for interview and then offered a place on our programme, you will need to submit your own application for a Tier 1 Exceptional Promise UK Visa. We will provide detailed guidance throughout the visa application process.
Equality and Diversity
The Royal Academy of Arts is committed to encouraging and achieving a professional environment which is underpinned by fairness to all individuals, where diversity is recognised, encouraged and valued, and the concept of individual responsibility is accepted by all. We recognise that real progress in improving equality of opportunity can only be achieved with a continuing commitment to reflect and support equal opportunities across the Royal Academy.
Our policies comply with the principles of the Equality Act 2010; we treat all candidates, students and employees in the same way, regardless of their age, race, disability, sex, marriage or civil partnership, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief, pregnancy and maternity. Our students and employees have a duty to cooperate with the RA to ensure that we are effective in maintaining equal opportunities across the organisation, and prevent all forms of direct and indirect discrimination and/or harassment.
Regrettably, we are unable to offer an equal experience to people with certain disabilities due to the limitations of the RA’s historic architecture. In offering a place to a student affected by these limitations we will endeavour to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate their learning needs. We are currently working with David Chipperfield Architects on plans to address these limitations and we aim to have completed this work by 2023.