Royal College of Art

Course Introduction

As a research student in the School of Design, you will be a self-motivated candidate with a strong creative initiative matched by a keen drive to uncover fundamental new insights. The majority of PhD research students combine a significant practical project (or series of related projects) with a 40,000 word dissertation. You are welcome instead to submit a dissertation of 80,000 words. This latter option does not preclude undertaking practical work; it simply means that the work is not assessed in its own right.

As a research student in the School of Design, you may be designing an innovative object or system, or your research may prioritise the conceptual or historical. Research topics range from those which are strongly needs-focused ? such as designing new forms of medical equipment ? to those which are more speculative ? such as considering the philosophy of computer games. The research methods you adopt will be attuned to your subject: you may use established methods or develop your own.

PhD study leads to a range of opportunities: it enables you to become a researcher in industry, within government and official organisations or in a university; it opens academic careers to you internationally; it is an opportunity for you to investigate a research question or issue in depth, enabling you to take a more reflective, more innovative role in design and related fields.

PhD study with external organisations in the School of Design currently includes:

* Intel: the future of money

* Kingwood Trust: sensory design for autistic adult independent living

* Microsoft Research Cambridge: the future of our relation with robots

* Science Museum: the role of clay modelling in 20th Century car design

* System Simulation: data visualisation of cultural collections

* The National Archives: ambiguities and connections in visualising history

* Victoria and Albert Museum: fashion mannequins for the twenty-first century

Start Date:

2019-SEP-09: Students are normally registered for three years full-time, with submission within four years.. 2019-SEP-09: The course duration is 4 to 7 years..

Duration & Attendance Qualification Tuition fees Fee type
4 years
Full Time
Doctor of Philosophy - PhD £9,500 Home Fees
4 years
Full Time
Doctor of Philosophy - PhD £9,500 European Fees
4 years
Full Time
Doctor of Philosophy - PhD £28,400 Overseas Fees
7 years
Part Time
Doctor of Philosophy - PhD Home Fees
7 years
Part Time
Doctor of Philosophy - PhD European Fees
7 years
Part Time
Doctor of Philosophy - PhD Overseas Fees

Qualifications required:

  • Domestic entry requirements: Students must normally have obtained a good relevant undergraduate degree or an equivalent qualification. The College recognises as an equivalent qualification any degree, diploma, certificate or other evidence of formal qualification awarded by a university or other higher education establishment.
  • International entry requirements: Students must normally have obtained a good relevant undergraduate degree or an equivalent qualification. The College recognises as an equivalent qualification any degree, diploma, certificate or other evidence of formal qualification awarded by a university or other higher education establishment. Students who do not speak English as their first language will be required to provide evidence that within the previous two years they have achieved an IELTS score of at least 7.0 with 7.0 in writing, or equivalent for PhD.
  • IELTS score: 7