Placeholder image for Visual Communication

Visual Communication, M.A.

  • Anytime
    Application Deadline
  • 24 months
London, United Kingdom
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. 

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 24 months
  • Credits
    240 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

You need the following IELTS score:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Schedule IELTS

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.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for London

  • 1137 - 2160 GBP/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


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.

Check your budget and academic fit with this study

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, Studyportals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.


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