Calling all budding historians of design! Bursaries available for V&A/RCA MA History of Design, 2015/16

May 21, 2015


St Jerome in his Study, stained-glass panel, Germany, ca.1550. Museum no. 537-1907 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
St Jerome in his Study, stained-glass panel, Germany, ca.1550. Museum no. 537-1907 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

A unique opportunity for funded MA places on the Victoria and Albert Museum/Royal College of Art MA in History of Design in 2015/16 only, supporting students who could not ordinarily afford postgraduate education.

The Postgraduate Support Scheme (PSS) is aimed at encouraging widening participation for UK and EU students entering MA study directly from the BA, and supported by HEFCE and the Royal College of Art. Students receive a bursary, and are able to apply for an RCA Bursary as well, making annual fees only £1,500. The PSS funding is available to students who meet the criteria and are graduating from BA programmes this year. The Royal College of Art has been offered 200 funded places overall.

Further information on the scheme can be found here.

The V&A/RCA History of Design MA Programme

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 in two globally-known institutions, the History of Design programme prepares students for the increasingly diverse and flexible professional portfolio demanded by universities, museums and other employers 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 School of Humanities at 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. Seminar based classes, personal tutorials, supervisions and projects provide a unique environment for studying the social, cultural, technological, economic, political and aesthetic contexts of design.

The programme specialises in object focussed scholarship: history through design and material culture as well as histories of design. Student and staff research areas range across the histories of architecture and interior design, fashion and textiles, furniture and product design, ceramics, metalwork, glass, prints and drawings and current forms of design practice such as interaction design, service design and digital media, as well as social histories of material culture more broadly.

Uniquely, students have direct access to the unrivalled collections and expertise of the V&A and the RCA’s specialist, cutting-edge art and design practice. Opportunities to work with curators or to contribute to V&A gallery and exhibition projects are open to all students. Graduates go on to work internationally in universities, museums and a host of related professions such as curating, media research and design policy. The MA programme also provides excellent preparation towards PhD research in a variety of Humanities fields.

Application Process

Students should indicate their interest in and suitability for the Postgraduate Support Scheme (PSS) on their application form. The number of places and bursaries is limited, so we encourage you to apply as soon as possible. For more information please contact the programme administrator on:

Further details on the programme, entry requirements, College fees and funding can be found at

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 or contact

Open Day – Wednesday 1 July

We’d love to meet you if you’re considering studying History of Design. The V&A/RCA History of Design Programme will hold a special Open Day on Wednesday 1 July, which begins in the Humanities Show space at 3pm, before moving to the Humanities Seminar Room. For more details about how to find us, see here.



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