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

IED is set within the vibrantly mixed studios of the RCA’s School of Communication, each of its pathways with a specialist Lab as its hub. Professor Neville Brody, who provides inspiration and instigation, calls IED an interface between information and experience, and a platform for exploring post-screen, post-digital and post-disciplinary practice. Our students and researchers work alongside the School’s graphic designers, animators and illustrators, and in interdisciplinary teams with other RCA programmes as well as external scientists, companies, architects and academics.

IED develops a mindset as well as a skillset. No specific technical skills are required; applicants come from diverse backgrounds in design, science, fine art, engineering and technology, with a common critical interest in data, design and making. Graduates may go on to work in visualisation, data science, advanced design practice, cultural and educational institutions, research labs or studio practice.

The three distinct pathways offered by the IED programme of Sound Design, Moving Image Design, and Experimental Design, one of which students select as part of their application, are interrelated, focused around different ways of approaching IED’s core aim of transforming information into experiences.

IED offers

Specific training in working with data, programming and electronics, prototyping and making using a range of methods and materials, and tools for enquiry, investigation and research.

Tutors, visiting lecturers and guests who are at the forefront of practice and thinking internationally.

An Experimental Lab, Sound Lab and Moving Image Lab for making and hacking, each stocked with a range of specialist hardware and software and set within the mixed studios of the School of Communication.

Highly interdisciplinary projects with other RCA programmes, as well as industry partners large and small, museums and universities in the UK and around the world.

Close links between MA, MPhil and PhD students, funded research and professional practitioners.

Opportunities for an exhibition, publication, intervention, online and offline dissemination, and commercialisation of student work and research.

International exchanges and trips, as well as real-world projects and research set in and around London.

MA Entrance Requirements

Candidates for all MA courses are assessed on their existing qualities as demonstrated in their work and in their interview, as well as on their potential to benefit from the programme and to achieve MA standards overall. The assessment will consider creativity, imagination and innovation evident in the work; ability to articulate the intentions of the work; intellectual engagement in relevant areas; appropriate technical skills; overall interview performance, including the oral use of English.

Students will normally have a BA, or an equivalent overseas qualification or sufficient work experience to demonstrate the appropriate intellectual, creative and personal qualities to engage with the demands of the programme.

Students come from a wide range of backgrounds. While some come directly from first-degree programmes in information design, new media design, graphic design, data visualisation, audio-visual design and multimedia, students have also joined the course with professional experience in the industry, or from backgrounds as diverse as anthropology, journalism, architecture and computing.

Digital Portfolio

All candidates are required to submit an online portfolio of work to be assessed by the programme’s senior staff team and student representatives.

Candidates should construct an online portfolio that reflects their abilities, experience and interests.

Candidates are selected on the basis of a body of work that demonstrates an advanced understanding of the subject and sufficient technical skill to realise intentions, evidence of commitment to the subject, intellectual curiosity, open-mindedness, the ability to collaborate, to engage in debate and respond to criticism, and the ability to engage in sustained and consistent study.

Please download the IED Portfolio Guidelines.

Interview (if invited)

You should bring with you a portfolio containing a selection of your online submission in its finished physical form, as well as your most recent work or work in progress, together with supporting research material.

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Last updated March 12, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
2 years
19,000 GBP
Tuition fees in 2018/19 - Overseas: £28,400 per annum (£56,800 total fee); UK/EU: £9,500 per annum (£19,000 total fee); Channel Islands and Isle of Man £14,200 (£28,400 total fee).
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