MA Painting

Committed to broadening the understanding of painting

Expansive and inclusive

MA Painting at the Royal College of Art is a world-leading, studio-based MA programme with a successful record of turning out artists working at the forefront of the discipline and of international standing. Through our innovative approaches to teaching and learning we foster a student to consider painting as a creative, self-reflexive, and critical activity that draws on a wealth of diverse historical, material and conceptual disciplinary resources as it thrives in the 21st century.

We explore these values together as we share our practices and research while supporting your own in a collaborative culture comprised not so much by staff and students but as professional artists and peers. These activities take place across an expansive and inclusive platform that engages with current issues and debates around painting as both a medium with a deep and resourceful history and as a vibrant and invigorating contemporary art practice that brings a critical perspective to social and cultural issues that range across global cultures represented by the diversity of the cohort of RCA painting students.

MA Painting supports the development of your research interests as a foundation for your practice and creating. Staff will foster and advance your ability to reflect critically on your studio work in a context that embraces experimentation, innovation and sustainable technical and conceptual gains expressed in the medium. We support the development of your professional practice, as your skills progress in making and presenting work through different modes, to professional and public audiences, within and beyond the institutional frame.


The School of Arts & Humanities is located across our Battersea and Kensington sites.

All full-time students on fine or applied arts programmes are provided with studios or workspace, and access to specialist workshops. There are a number of bookable seminar and project spaces across the site available to all Arts & Humanities students.

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School of Arts & Humanities

The School of Arts & Humanities bridges research and study in the fine and applied arts together with curating, writing and the history of design.

The School pays attention to the arts within the everyday, and to the everyday both as site of practice, and as archive and technological advance. It maintains close and productive links with numerous world-renowned theatres, galleries, libraries and museums that depend on the Arts & Humanities and which are central to our cultural and economic future; these links ensure that the School’s work is relevant and public facing.

The School of Arts & Humanities offers students and researchers the opportunity to develop their own practices and careers as artists, makers, historians, theorists, writers and curators. All are encouraged to focus in-depth on the particularities of their own work while also being exposed to more critically diverse positions across the School.

Courses offered within the School include: Arts & Humanities (MPhil/PhD); Ceramics & Glass (MA); Contemporary Art Practice (MA); Curating Contemporary Art (MA); Fine Arts and Humanities Pathway (MRes RCA); Jewellery & Metal (MA); Painting (MA); Photography (MA); Print (MA); Sculpture (MA); V&A/RCA History of Design (MA); and Writing (MA). Short courses offered by the School include Contemporary Art Summer School, and Curating Contemporary Art and Design: Theory and Practice. The RCA will be launching a new Master of Fine Art programme for the start of the 2023/24 academic year.

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