Who should apply?
Applicants 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 candidates 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 early-20s to late-40s. There are between 10-17 places per year.
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 spent time 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.