Visual Communication

Royal College of Art

24 months
28400 GBP/year
9500 GBP/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


Visual Communication at the RCA provides the opportunity to challenge, transform and situate one’s creative practice in relevance to global audiences. It expands the contribution of visual communication through an approach that values agency, experimentation and critical making.


The Programme envisions visual communication as a diverse and complex practice that values yet extends beyond traditional definitions. Visual Communication offers three pathways of study: Experimental Communication, Graphic Design and Illustration. Taking an innovative approach to pedagogy and creative practice, the pathways are structured to facilitate risk-taking and experimentation, anchored by deep subject knowledge. Pathways offer both an interdisciplinary perspective and a subject-specialist approach. Our tutors are well-known practitioners and researchers engaged in communication practice. 

As noted by our students, critical discourse around what it means to be a ‘visual communicator’ today opens up possibilities about the process and contexts of communication, and in doing so shows that the designer and artist’s skill set is transferable beyond the sole confines of the visual to include sound, code, text, space, event and experience.

The Programme offers:

  • a diverse, choice-based curriculum providing a bespoke educational journey tailored to individual strengths that grows distinctive voices in communication practice 
  • an interdisciplinary environment that builds on expanded notions of visual communication, while exploring existing and alternative practices
  • unique opportunities for collaboration within and outside the College with other art and design disciplines; a cross-subject studio culture, peer-learning and wide access to College technical resources.

Programme Structure

The three pathways offered by the Visual Communication programme are interrelated and structured around the core discipline of visual communication and are taught by our excellent team of advanced practitioners and researchers.

Experimental Communication provides a fluid, exploratory and open-minded working environment for those wishing to locate innovative and unconventional communication practices within the context of both real and speculative situations. 

Graphic Design seeks to evolve expanded notions of graphic design practice that acknowledge current industry and educational contexts, while revisiting, expanding and disrupting the tools, intent, context and role of graphic design disciplines with renewed purpose. 

Illustration explores an expanded approach to the practice of illustration as a discipline. Fundamental to the work we do in communication, is an understanding of the context of our work and in how ideas can be framed, transmitted and received by our intended audiences. 

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 24 months

Start dates & application deadlines




240 alternative credits


On Campus

Academic requirements

We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.

English requirements

IELTS admission requirements IELTS The International English Language Test System (IELTS) tests your English-language proficiency on a scale of 1 – 9. The score refers to the combined average score of 4 subjects (writing, listening, speaking, and reading).

Other requirements

General requirements

  • Applicants 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. 
  • Our students come from a wide range of backgrounds. While the majority still come directly from first-degree programmes in graphic design, interaction design, illustration, moving image and sound, students have also joined the Programme from backgrounds as diverse as computer science, economics, fine art, history, journalism, literature, architecture, product and textiles. 

Tuition Fee

  • International

    28400 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 28400 GBP per year and a duration of 24 months.
  • EU/EEA

    9500 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 9500 GBP per year and a duration of 24 months.


UK and EU students receive a subsidy from the British Government and pay a reduced fee. To qualify for the home or EU rate of tuition fees you will need to meet certain strict conditions related to your nationality, visa status and residency. 

To find out more about how fee status is assessed, visit the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA).

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Our partners

Visual Communication
Royal College of Art