Study at the World's number one ranked art and design university for five consecutive years (2015-2019) in the QS World University Subject Rankings.
About the Programme
The Graduate Diploma in Art & Design (Humanities) prepares students for a Master’s study in Art and Design. The program focuses on developing proficiency in the discursive languages and independent learning methods and practices of art and design, and on introducing students to the role and influence of art and design in the world today.
Teaching on the Graduate Diploma in Art & Design is split over two 15-week blocks. There are two intakes per year, with students able to begin in either July or January.
The program aims to make its participants better informed about the study options available to them, as well as the possible career paths that they might follow beyond graduation.
The program will be interdisciplinary in nature, mirroring the experience of Master’s study at the RCA, with a specialism at enrolment in Humanities.
The program offers:
- The opportunity to specialize in one of five practice-led disciplines.
- Development of a final portfolio that can be used for application to further postgraduate study or direct employment.
- Guaranteed progression to an RCA MA programme subject to final classification and availability of places.
- A unique and interdisciplinary studio-based learning experience.
- Development of English language proficiency.
- An introduction to the learning methods required for postgraduate study.
Graduate Diploma Art & Design from the Royal College of Art on Vimeo.
The Graduate Diploma Art & Design (Humanities) consists of two blocks of the 15-week study, with the first block including an introduction to specialist study at Master’s level in art and design and leading towards further and more in-depth study, practice and portfolio development in the second block.
The first part offers a theme-based introduction to the specialist study of art and design, and the various study options available in the field together with an introduction to the kinds of learning methods that students are likely to encounter in the study of art and design.
The second part of the program will enable students to focus in more depth on the preparation of a body of work and portfolio.
The curriculum outline is as follows:
Unit 1: Learning, 20 credits
This unit runs throughout the program and is intended to enhance students’ critical and analytical skills and to support the development of English language skills to the requisite level for Master’s study.
Unit 2: Art & Design Practice, 40 credits
This unit introduces students to advanced practices of art and design. Students will have the opportunity to work around structured project briefs or in self-directed study mode, depending on their prior learning and future course of study. The unit fosters discursive learning and engagement with topics and issues that do not necessarily have right or wrong outcomes.
Unit 3: Independent Art & Design Practice, 40 credits
In the second 15-week block, students move to a more independently determined and focussed mode of learning. Working from a negotiated brief, students will be expected to participate in critiques and exhibit their works in progress. The unit will help students to make self-determined judgments about their practice, to display their work and to speak about it clearly and cogently.
Unit 4: Portfolio, 20 credits
The Portfolio unit runs throughout the program and culminates in the production of a digital portfolio that students will be able to use to seek admission to further study at Master’s level. Students will be supported in selecting materials and presenting work which fully articulates their abilities and contextual awareness.
All students passing the program with a Distinction will be guaranteed entry to an RCA MA program that reflects their specialism of study on the Graduate Diploma (subject to availability of places). All other students passing the program will be guaranteed an interview with the RCA MA program of their choice. Entry to the RCA programs is, of course, conditional on students meeting postgraduate English language requirements demonstrated by an additional IELTS test or equivalent.
In instances where students would like to progress to RCA dual awards (MA programs offered with collaborative partners), or accredited programs, applicants will be considered but they will be required to satisfy entry requirements of the partner institution or accrediting body as well as the minimum RCA entry requirements.
Applicants should have a good undergraduate degree in an arts or humanities subject. Applicants with a strong degree in other undergraduate fields will also be considered if the applicant can demonstrate their suitability to the study of the history of design at application and interview. We encourage the diversity that different academic backgrounds can bring to the program. Applicants with a background in art or design practice are also encouraged to apply. Unlike other specialisms on the Graduate Diploma, applicants do not need to submit a portfolio as part of the application process for the Humanities specialism. We ask that you send us a sample of your writing, for example, an essay from your previous studies or a section of your undergraduate dissertation.
Please note that if you have previously studied in the UK on a Tier 4 visa, the possibility of progression to an MA program after the Graduate Diploma might depend on the length of your previous visa(s). Please contact our Student Support Office for further information.