RCA scholarships and awards | Royal College of Art
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The College believes it is vital to provide visible pathways of access to study across our programmes for those suffering financial hardship and for those from under-represented groups.

In 2022, the RCA gave £1m from its own operating surplus to create the Sir Frank Bowling Scholarships to support individuals from underrepresented communities, prioritising Black and African diaspora British applicants and/or including those facing significant financial hardship.

Alongside this, through the support of generous individuals, charitable trusts and foundations and corporate supporters, the RCA is proud to offer a number of named scholarships. Availability of named scholarships is limited and almost all are restricted to certain MA programmes.

The RCA offers a range of scholarships that are open to students with refugee and asylum seeker status. These scholarships cover the full cost of study at the RCA; some scholarships also offer support towards living expenses.

Please see below the list of available scholarships.

We strongly recommend you apply for your programme as early as possible to stand the best chance of receiving a scholarship, as most scholarships are awarded in the early application rounds.

Awarding of funding

You need to hold an offer to study at the RCA to be considered for a Scholarship. When you receive your offer to study, the College will invite you to complete an eligibility form to check you meet the requirements for a Scholarship. If you meet these requirements, you will be asked to submit more detailed information and supporting evidence. This information is used by the College to shortlist candidates and award Scholarships. You will then be notified by the College if you have been awarded a Scholarship.

Please note that if you meet the eligibility criteria for a Scholarship but are not successful in the first round of funding allocation, we will consider you for the next round of funding.

Scholarships are awarded based on the following criteria:

  • the strength of your RCA application (initial shortlisting);
  • financial need (scholarship application);
  • specific named scholarship criteria or fee status;
  • motivation and potential for leadership (scholarship application); and
  • portfolio strength.


Applicants must hold an offer to study on a full-time taught master’s or Research degree at the RCA.

Different scholarships have different additional eligibility requirements, for example financial need, ethnicity, and programme of study.

Scholarships for September 2023 entry

How to apply

Select your programme.
View all scholarships available for this programme.
Apply for your chosen programme; we strongly recommend you apply for your programme by the first round deadline.
Eligible funding candidates will be identified from submitted applications received in the first application round, contacted by the College asking them to submit an application for identified funding opportunities.
Select a programme

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Terms and conditions

  • Scholarships are awarded for a specific programme and entry point and cannot be deferred without consent from the academic programme and scholarships panel.
  • No correspondence will be entered into regarding the reasons for their decision.
  • No appeal is allowed, as once scholarships are awarded, all available funds have been committed.
  • If successful, the scholarship recipient must meet the terms and conditions of the award in order to continue to receive the scholarship for the duration of the study.
  • Students will need to demonstrate financial need at the time of applying for scholarships looking to provide support to students experiencing financial hardship.
  • Scholarship recipients will be required to sign a scholarship agreement upon selection to confirm their funding.

Guidance on applying

We have a helpful step-by-step guide for the 2023/24 offer-holders, setting out the criteria and application process for RCA scholarships and bursaries.

Guidance on how to apply for a scholarship

At this stage, the remaining scholarships offer is extremely limited. Further information on Round 3 availability will follow shortly - keep checking the website for updates.

We are unable to accept late applications.

Other funding opportunities

Scholarships are extremely competitive and limited in number; meeting the eligibility criteria for a scholarship does not guarantee that you will receive one. We recommend you apply for your place to study as soon as possible; we also recommend you also look into external funding options and apply for other sources of funding available.

In the UK there are many hundreds of charitable organisations and educational trusts that can offer financial assistance to students. Being successful in receiving this form of funding requires a combination of luck and showing attention to detail in the content of your application. Many of our current students have benefited from assistance from external organisations.

Turn 2 Us is one of the many useful places to look for relevant charities.

The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding is another good place to start. This is an external resource that the RCA subscribes to and makes available for our students. The pin number for this is 1201

RCA Open Days provide an opportunity to hear more about funding. Follow this link to find out when the next Open Day is and how to register to attend.

Contact us

For more information, please contact the Scholarships team

Email us at
[email protected]
Scholarship recipients