MA Information Experience Design Royal College of Art
To provide prospective students with opportunities to find out about the RCA experience and programmes we run a number of on-campus and online open days as well as events in various countries around the world. You can find out about upcoming events or watch replays of past open days on the RCA website.
Information Experience Design is the creative practice of intervening in, designing and generating experiences of complexity that communicate human, nonhuman and more-than-human perspectives and realities. Our medium of practice includes ‘warm’ data – information about interrelationships – as well as ‘cold’ data points, and we work actively with living, computational and speculative systems.
The pieces we make include large-scale installations, immersive digital experiences, radical performances, and living artefacts and ecosystems. Our purpose in the programme is to inspire experimental works that generate transformation, seek better futures through the generation of compelling experiences, and compose better questions and new ways of relating to and being in the world.
Situated at the core of your RCA student experience, this ambitious interdisciplinary College-wide AcrossRCA unit supports how you respond to the challenges of complex, uncertain and changing physical and digital worlds by engaging you in a global creative network that draws on expertise within and beyond the institution. It provides an extraordinary opportunity for you to:
- make connections across disciplines
- think critically about your creative practice
- develop creative networks within and beyond the College
- generate innovative responses to complex problems
- reflect on how to propose ideas for positive change in local and/or global contexts.
AcrossRCA launches with a series of presentations from internationally acclaimed speakers that will encourage you to think beyond the discourses of art, architecture, communication, and design, and extend into other territories such as economics, ethics, science, engineering, medicine or astrophysics.
In interdisciplinary teams you will be challenged to use your intellect and imagination to respond to urgent contemporary themes, providing you with an opportunity to develop innovative and disruptive thinking, critically reflect on your responsibilities as a creative practitioner and demonstrate the contribution that the creative arts can make to our understanding and experience of the world. This engagement with interdisciplinary perspectives and practices is designed both to complement your disciplinary studies and provide you with a platform to thrive beyond graduation.
Fees for new students
Visit the RCA website for tuition fees and for information on scholarships and funding opportunities.
Meet the RCA
We host a range on online and on-campus open days as well as recruitment event in cities around the world. These events can include 1-to-1 meets and portfolio advice, informal chats, presentations and sessions with staff, students and alumni.
Check the Check the RCA event webpage for details of upcoming events.
What will I learn?
Through the programme, you will gain a working knowledge of experimental post-digital and cultural systems theory and practice, and its influence in society at a variety of scales, and from a variety of perspectives. You will use this context to build your own conceptual tools and framings and illustrate and test these tools through creative practice. You will continually refine your approach, and select technical skills to develop that suit the precise pieces and experiences you wish to create. This will allow you to generate a body of work that has conceptual depth as well as technical skills.
You will develop a rich transdisciplinary knowledge base, including language and terminologies for engaging with critical intellectual and practical discussions, leading-edge theory, and influential and foundational works in post-digital and systems theory and practice, with emphasis on a chosen area. Throughout the programme, you will be discouraged from looking for a ‘correct’ way of thinking about or generating meaningful work, or of doing the programme, but rather you will be encouraged to cross boundaries and design your own way. Likewise, your intellectual work will not draw from textbook readings, as this programme does not have a disciplinary boundary. Instead, with the input from your tutors and Field Collective, you will select many of your core texts yourself, and you might draw on readings and approaches from games, interaction design, critical theory, anthropology, speculative design, post-humanities, philosophy, ecology, literary studies, environmental communication, and more. You will also be encouraged to engage with relevant contexts such as emergent technologies and platforms, media convergence, play, emerging forms of and views on intelligence, and experimentation in relation to social justice and change.
The programme is delivered across three terms and includes a combination of programme, School and College units.
In Form & Method, you will be immersed in the foundational and state-of-the-art practice and theory in experience design and intervention. This unit launches you into the programme with an outward-looking orientation, where an understanding of cultural needs, social challenges, and technological possibilities are central. Experimentation in this unit should be bold and playful, with the guiding aim of building an understanding of the affordances of many conceptual and technical tools and reflecting on outcomes. Alongside practical experiments, by the end of this unit, you will have proposed your emphasis, and drafted your Technical Plan and Conceptual Framework. These three things constitute the key proposition of your degree: what you wish to study and hope to create, why this is worth doing, and how you will do it.
Across Terms 1 and 2, you will participate in AcrossRCA, the College-wide unit. See below for more details.
In Systemic Phenomena, you will be challenged to situate your practice conceptually and culturally, focusing on skills related to analysis, audience awareness and collaboration. Your focus in this unit will be experimentation that is more specific and directed than in the previous term, now adapting what you have learned from broad experimentation to develop your practice in intentional ways. Where Form & Method was outward-oriented, Systemic Phenomena is more inward-facing, requiring you to apply continuous critical analysis to your processes, evaluate them with the support of your tutors, and refine your practice and conceptual framing so that these taken together are stable, coherent, and distinctive.
In Term 2, the Making Worlds with Others School-wide unit will allow you to work alongside students within and across the School. Working from the perspective of your individual practices and disciplines, you will develop a project that engages with others and/or creates mutual exchanges of ideas and understandings, with the intention to create critically engaged situations and/or outcomes resulting in convivial knowledge exchange. Through collaborative learning and making the unit will support you in understanding knowledge exchange and public engagement and how you are to situate your own practice in these territories. The unit will also ask you to question how socially engaged practice can contribute to cultural understanding, co-researching and co-creating methods for knowing with, and not knowing about.
Your Independent Research Project will enable you to integrate your practice into a larger critical discourse, reflect on its significance and generate knowledge through a research piece and presentation. This unit challenges you to integrate your technical and conceptual processes into a single research project. It also requires you to reflect on the outcomes of your work in the first two terms, to trace its trajectory and consider the direction of your work in the future. Where earlier programme units focused on exploration and experimentation, this unit focuses on transformation: emphasising the wider relevance of your practice, drawing out its strengths, and exploring how it can generate evolution or revolution in the world.
The Royal College of Art has been ranked the number 1 university for art & design internationally for the 9th consecutive year, according to the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023 – the largest world-wide survey of academic and industry opinion.
Scholarships and Funding
House of Fraser Bursary
Supporting students in any MA programme from the UK (Preferably a Scottish national), experiencing financial hardship
Eligible Programmes: Architecture MA, Interior Design MA, City Design MA, Environmental Architecture MA, Ceramics & Glass MA, Contemporary Art Practice MA, Curating Contemporary Art MA, V&A/RCA History of Design MA, Jewellery & Metal MA, Painting MA, Photography MA, Print MA, Sculpture MA, Writing MA, Animation MA, Digital Direction MA, Information Experience Design MA, Visual Communication MA, Design Products MA, Fashion MA, Global Innovation Design MA/MSc, Innovation Design Engineering MA/MSc, Intelligent Mobility MA, Service Design MA, Textiles MA
Funding Categories: Financial hardship, Full time, Student preferably of Scottish origin
Eligible fee status: UK fee status
Sir Frank Bowling Scholarships
The Scholarship supports 21 UK MA, MRes and PhD students every year from across all RCA MA, MRes and PhD disciplines.
Eligible Programmes: Architecture MA, Interior Design MA, City Design MA, Environmental Architecture MA, Architecture Pathway MRes RCA, Architecture MPhil/PhD, Ceramics & Glass MA, Contemporary Art Practice MA, Curating Contemporary Art MA, V&A/RCA History of Design MA, Jewellery & Metal MA, Painting MA, Photography MA, Print MA, Sculpture MA, Writing MA, Fine Arts & Humanities Pathway MRes RCA, Arts & Humanities MPhil/PhD, Animation MA, Digital Direction MA, Information Experience Design MA, Visual Communication MA, Communication Design Pathway MRes RCA, Communication MPhil/PhD, Design Products MA, Fashion MA, Global Innovation Design MA/MSc, Innovation Design Engineering MA/MSc, Intelligent Mobility MA, Service Design MA, Textiles MA, Design Pathway MRes RCA, Design MPhil/PhD, Healthcare & Design MRes, Intelligent Mobility MPhil/PhD, Materials Science MPhil/PhD, Computer Science MPhil/PhD
Funding Categories: Financial hardship, Students with Black African and Caribbean diaspora heritage, or mixed Black African and Caribbean diaspora heritage
Eligible fee status: UK fee status
The Tony Snowdon Scholarship
Applicants must make an application via the application portal on the Snowdon Trust website from Jan 2023: https://www.snowdontrust.org/scholarships
Eligible Programmes: Architecture MA, Interior Design MA, City Design MA, Environmental Architecture MA, Architecture Pathway MRes RCA, Ceramics & Glass MA, Contemporary Art Practice MA, Curating Contemporary Art MA, V&A/RCA History of Design MA, Jewellery & Metal MA, Painting MA, Photography MA, Print MA, Sculpture MA, Writing MA, Fine Arts & Humanities Pathway MRes RCA, Animation MA, Digital Direction MA, Information Experience Design MA, Visual Communication MA, Communication Design Pathway MRes RCA, Design Products MA, Fashion MA, Global Innovation Design MA/MSc, Innovation Design Engineering MA/MSc, Intelligent Mobility MA, Service Design MA, Textiles MA, Design Pathway MRes RCA, Healthcare & Design MRes
Funding Categories: Financial hardship, Students with a diagnosed physical or sensory disability
Eligible fee status: Any
Value: Up to £15,000 in tuition fees + £15,000 maintenance support