MA in History of Design

‘Girl Punk’ (detail), tapestry, Candace Bahouth, 1980. Museum no. T.55-1985

‘Girl Punk’ (detail), tapestry, Candace Bahouth, 1980. Museum no. T.55-1985

The V&A/RCA Programme is internationally recognised as the leading centre for postgraduate study in the history of design and material culture. Combining ambitious, rigorous and cutting edge scholarly approaches with first hand understanding of objects. The History of Design programme is ideally suited to prepare students for the increasingly diverse and flexible professional portfolio that is demanded today.

The MA is a two year full-time programme. It is taught by a dedicated team of academics based in the Research Department of the V&A and the Humanities School of the RCA. The Programme has an established reputation for pioneering new forms of design historical enquiry in global contexts, from the fifteenth century to the present day. The system of seminar-based classes, personal tutorials and supervisions provides a unique environment for the study of the aesthetic, social, cultural, technological, economic and political contexts of design.

The programme specialises in object-focused scholarship ranging across the histories of architecture and interior design, fashion and textiles, furniture and product design, ceramics, metalwork, glass, prints, drawings and digital media and social histories of material culture more broadly. It draws upon the latest thinking for interpreting design, including cultural and gender studies, as well as considering the increasingly important digital and immaterial world.

Uniquely, students have direct access to the unrivalled collections and expertise of the V&A and to the highly specialised art and design practices of the RCA. Opportunities to work with curators or to contribute to V&A gallery and exhibition projects are open to all students. A series of research seminars with speakers of international standing discuss the latest developments in academic and curatorial research. Study visits to European destinations in the autumn and spring terms extend cultural references and broaden research horizons.

Graduates go on to work internationally in universities, museums and galleries, as well as in a host of other related professions such as curating, journalism, media research and design policy. The MA programme also provides an excellent preparation towards PhD research in a variety of humanities fields.

The course welcomes applications from those with little previous experience of design history as well as students with related undergraduate degrees to become subject experts in a variety of genres of design.

The Programme will hold an Open Day on Friday 21 November 2014. The Open Day provides an opportunity to meet tutors and students, visit facilities both at the V&A and the RCA, take part in handling sessions at the V&A and learn more about resources at both institutions. To find out more and book a place contact: hod@rca.ac.uk.

Further details about the programme can be found here.

Box, wood covered in micromosaic decoration in bone and other woods, Granada, Spain, 1400-1450. Museum no. 270-1895 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Box, wood covered in micromosaic decoration in bone and other woods, Granada, Spain, 1400-1450. Museum no. 270-1895 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

V&A/RCA Scholarship Awards 2015-16

The following scholarships and awards are available for the V&A/RCA History of Design MA programme for 2015-2016

The Friends of the V&A Scholarship

The Friends of the V&A scholarship is offered to a student applying from the UK or EU who intends to work in a museum after graduating from the V&A/RCA History of Design MA programme. The Scholarship covers fees for the two years of the MA and also includes a maintenance grant of up to £3000 per year.

The Oliver Ford Trust Scholarship

The Oliver Ford Trust Scholarship is offered to a student applying from the UK or EU who intends to undertake research into the design of the domestic interior. The Scholarship covers fees for the two years of the MA and also includes a maintenance grant of up to £3000 per year.

Armillary sphere, England, c. 1750, engraved brass, turned and carved ebony. Museum W.36-1938 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Armillary sphere, England, c. 1750, engraved brass, turned and carved ebony. Museum W.36-1938 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Royal College of Art Bursaries

The Royal College of Art provides bursaries for many UK and EU students of up to £3000 per year to cover student fees. Contact the Royal College of Art for criteria of eligibility.

Robert H. Smith Renaissance Sculpture in Context Bursary

The award is offered to a student applying from the UK or EU who intends to undertake research in any aspect of Renaissance sculpture in its broad cultural and social context. The award offers a contribution towards the fees of £3000 per year for two years.

The scholarships and awards are given on a competitive basis, judged at interview. Students should indicate their interest in and suitability for the Awards on their application form. The priority deadline for application for 2015-2016 is 16 January 2015 and interviews to be held in February and March 2015. For more information contact the programme administrator on: hod@rca.ac.uk

Further details on the programme, entry requirements, College fees and funding can be found at: www.rca.ac.uk/admissions

The College is designated as an eligible institution for a guaranteed student loan under the new Direct Loan Programme.

Please note these scholarships and awards are only available to MA students. Further information on research degrees in the History of Design and RCA Humanities, please visit www.rca.ac.uk or contact humanities-research@rca.ac.uk


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UNMAKING THINGS: A Design History Studio, is a creative digital forum for the discussion of design, history of design and material culture.

The site is founded, edited and run by students on the V&A/RCA History of Design MA programme.

Follow the blog on Unmaking Things

 

A gift in your will

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EVENING EVENT: Government think-tanks, policy wonks, business gurus, management book publishers and lots and lots of design commentators stress a need for innovation in order to ‘compete globally in these turbulent times’.

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