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Royal College of Art MA Environmental Architecture
Royal College of Art

MA Environmental Architecture

London, United Kingdom

1 Years


Full time, Part time

Request application deadline *

Sep 2024

Request tuition fees


* As the RCA received a high number of applications we encourage you to apply as early as possible to secure your place on your programme

* visit the RCA website to find out about fees for this programme as well as scholarship and funding opportunities

Summer Graduate Exhibition – RCA2024


To provide prospective students with opportunities to find out about the RCA experience and programmes we run a number of on-campus and online open days as well as events in various countries around the world. You can find out about upcoming events or watch replays of past open days on the RCA website.

The aim of the programme is to constitute a new field of knowledge production and practice concerned with the design of alternative forms of co-dependence between life forms and earth systems. The MA in Environmental Architecture is a design-led and field-focused course that emphasises a transdisciplinary approach to design research. The programme proposes a unique approach to environmental architecture education that brings together architectural and ethnographic research methods, with the use of technoscientific tools for analysing, classifying and producing environmental data.

At the same time, students are exposed to the perspectives of those on the frontlines of environmental struggles across the world, to histories and theories of environmental change, and to the most recent advances in the related fields of environmental law and climate justice.

What will I learn?

The MA Environmental Architecture programme aims to expand the scope and content of design-led research in the field of architecture, environmental studies and territorial management. Possible areas of inquiry can include: sustainable forms of urbanisation; concepts of stewardship and care for nature; environmental change and its effect on migration and settlement patterns; climate justice adaptation to land use practices; impacts of resource extraction on ecosystems; environmental impacts of the energy transition; post-development and degrowth; indigenous struggles for land and environments; among many others.

Students in the MA Environmental Architecture programme will have the opportunity to pursue a degree within a world-leading art and design institution, and to access the rich culture of radical and experimental interdisciplinary work at the Royal College of Art. Moreover, the programme will help students to establish a network of colleagues and mentors by offering them the opportunity of connecting to leading figures in Environmental Architecture both in London and internationally through an innovative practice mentorship scheme.

Programme structure

The programme is delivered across three terms and includes a combination of programme, School and College units.

Term 1

In term 1, you will study Studio Unit 1: Architectures of Extraction. This unit offers an introduction to the programme’s field-focused investigation into resource extraction architectures and their role in the climate and environmental crisis. It familiarises you with particular modes of work, especially design-based research methodologies, and collaborative forms of knowledge production.

Seminar Unit 1: Metabolic Rifts introduces you to the complex entanglements of environment and climate systems.

You will also take Media Studies 1, a School-wide unit that aims to increase your critical engagement with media and space.

Across Terms 1 and 2, you will participate in AcrossRCA, the College-wide unit.

Term 2

In term 2, you will study Research Studio Unit 2: Environmental Interventions, in which you will develop a design intervention strategy for the site explored in term 1. Emphasis will be placed on the definition of outputs, in relation to key project aims and stakeholders.

Seminar Unit 2: Critical Future Scenarios will deepen your understanding of environmental architecture and its potential socio-environmental impacts.

In term 2 all School of Architecture students will be offered an Elective unit.

Term 3

The programme culminates in the Independent Research Project (IRP). This unit enables you to apply the intellectual, technical and professional skills that you have developed throughout the programme to a challenging self-set brief focusing on the role of digital tools in fostering social innovation.

What you need to know before you apply

Candidates are selected entirely on merit and applications are welcomed from all over the world. The selection process will consider creativity, imagination and innovation as demonstrated in your portfolio, as well as your potential to benefit from the programme and to achieve high MA standards overall.

You’ll likely be students of architecture with a 3+2-year Bachelor's and Master’s degree, or master-equivalent 5-year diploma preferably in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Landscape Urbanism, Urban Design or other related design discipline looking to acquire expertise in large scale, environmental and ecological design projects.

We’ll consider other backgrounds, such as fine arts, social sciences, geography, urban studies, planning or economics, if your prior work is of exceptional merit and you’re able to demonstrate your ability to work alongside and contribute to multidisciplinary teams. Evidence of your intellectual and professional curiosity and readiness to engage in a rigorous and demanding period of study is essential.

For full entry requirementskey dates and the application process visit the RCA website.

Fees for new students

Visit the RCA website for tuition fees and for information on scholarships and funding opportunities.

Meet the RCA

We host a range on online and on-campus open days as well as recruitment event in cities around the world. These events can include 1-to-1 meets and portfolio advice, informal chats, presentations and sessions with staff, students and alumni.

Check the Check the RCA event webpage for details of upcoming events.




Program Outcome

Scholarships and Funding

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About the School