Monday, October 01, 2018

How to get a postgraduate art education in London for free

A key principle of the RA Schools is that our programme is free of charge to every applicant offered a place.
The Royal Academy Schools have called for applications for the 2018/19 entry
The RA Schools are the postgraduate education arm of the Royal Academy
  • The RA Schools offer an intense three year full-time postgraduate programme of education in contemporary fine art with a high tutor/student ratio.
  • The Royal Academy Schools have also been an integral part of the Royal Academy of Arts since its foundation in 1768. 
Every year they offer up to 17 FREE places to a cohort of students.  There are a total of 40-51 places across the RA Schools at any one time, set across three year groups.

The only thing that is not free is the cost of living and studying in London - although there are some bursaries which can help offset these costs. It's quite normal for students to also work to pay for their cost of living.

See the RA Schools Prospectus for key admissions dates, and everything you need to know about how to apply. Below I've summarised the key facts.

Closing date: 16 December 2018


Key Facts


  • These are the facilities - including:
    • wood and sculpture workshops
    • printmaking workhops
    • 3D printing workshop
    • Media Suite
    • Photographic Dark Room
    • Epson Digital Suite
    • Bookable space for long term projects
    • Royal Academy Library
  • These are the staff - The Keeper and Professors are all members of the RA
  • More about the course

Who should apply?


The RA aims to
put together a diverse group that represents the breadth of contemporary art practice.
  • no upper age limit for candidates. 
  • current age range from mid-20s to mid-40’s. 
  • artists who want to evolve. Applications need demonstrate studio practice with potential for further development over a three-year period. 
  • scope for critical engagement with your own work - and that of others
You aim to develop as a professional artist, rather than to gain an academic qualification.

What to consider


The postgraduate diploma is
  • full-time and intensive 
  • a three year programme
  • NOT a Masters degree. 
You will need to
  • be in the studios and workshops making work, 
  • participate in group crits, 
  • sign up for tutorials, 
  • attend lectures and talks, 
  • produce two texts and 
  • work towards two shows. Y
You may need to find time outside of this to undertake a part-time job; this must be planned for outside of studio hours.

Entrance requirements


You will be expected to have
  • a BA (Hons) Degree in Fine Art or have equivalent experience. 
  • experience of working independently as artists.
What is NOT a mandatory requirement:
  • an MA - currently none of the students have this qualification.
  • experience of exhibited in group or solo shows is not required (but may well be common amongst those who have experience of working as an independent artist)

How to apply

  • Online submission via RA Schools | SlideRoom comprising:
    • Personal Details
    • Education
    • Application Statement
    • Media / Portfolio
    • Application Fee Payment
  • Reference. Only required if shortlisted for interview - and will be be requested in January 2019 for shortlisted candidates.
  • This is the Support Page for Slideroom - this includes detailed response to FAQs and specifications for digital files to be submitted
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