Drawing Year Applications

Applications for The Drawing Year 2025-26 open in November 2024.

Applying for The Drawing Year: 

Applicants will usually have completed a BA (Hons) degree in Fine Art or a related subject, but this is not essential; relevant experience or qualifications will be taken into account. Applicants are expected to show a strong portfolio of work demonstrating a commitment to drawing and a level of artistic professionalism appropriate for study at postgraduate level. 

Applicants must fill out the application form online which includes uploading 20 images of work, and submit two sketchbooks to the School to be considered during selection (please read the detailed guidelines below). If the applicant is successful in selection they must be prepared to be interviewed and bring all works included in their digital portfolio to the School. 

The application also requires:

  • A personal statement (max 500 words) 
  • Two Referees (Contact details)

Your personal statement should explain why you are interested in studying on The Drawing Year. Referees should be people who can give either an academic reference or a character reference in relation to your artistic practice. Referees will only be contacted if an applicant is invited for interview.

We must receive your completed online application form, digital images and fee of £25 by 12pm (midday) on 3 April 2024. 

Digital Portfolio
As a part of your application form you must upload 20 images consisting of:

  • 10 Drawings - done in dry media, ink or watercolour
  • 10 Additional Works - these can be work done in any media you choose

Images should be saved as jpegs or png files, no larger than 200dpi and maximum 4MB per image file. Please ensure images are of good quality. These works must have been created within the last three years.

Animators may submit short video files or a combination of video and 2D images of work within their Additional Works. Please limit each video file to 2 minutes/50MB.

Every image must be labelled in the following way:

'Drawing' or 'AdditionalWork' should be at the beginning of every file name to match the category you have uploaded the work in to, followed by the title of the work and the dimensions. Dimensions should be measured in centimetres.

Please be prepared to bring these works along with further sketchbooks to the interview if you are shortlisted.

Sketchbooks and sketchbook drop off
We require you to submit two sketchbooks to the Royal Drawing School in Shoreditch as a supplement to your digital portfolio. 

Your sketchbook submission must consist of:


  • A maximum of 2 sketchbooks only per candidate
  • No books larger than A3 in size
  • Single sheets may be submitted as long as they are bound together in a secure fashion so as to constitute a book of work
  • No loose or rolled sheets of work - Folders and portfolios of loose works are not eligible.
  • Sketchbooks must be clearly labelled on the front with your full name, email and phone number

Sketchbook drop-off dates: 8th, 9th & 10th April 2024  (between 10am – 4pm).

Please drop-off at the address below and follow any covid-safe procedures indicated by technicians on the day:

Royal Drawing School, Shoreditch
19-22 Charlotte Road,
London, EC2A 3SG 

You may also post your sketchbooks, to arrive no later than the physical drop-off deadline. Please allow ample time for postage, you can contact us on drawingyear@royaldrawingschool.org if you foresee any issues with meeting these requirements.

(Please note, all sketchbooks are submitted at the applicants risk and the Royal Drawing School accept no liability for the loss and or damage of works submitted as part of the application process)

If you are asked for interview, sketchbooks will need to remain with us until then. If you are unsuccessful in your application, please be prepared to collect your sketchbooks from the School in May, we will contact applicants with further details.

We cannot accept your sketchbooks unless we have received your application form, 20 uploaded images and fee by midday on Wednesday 3 April 2024.

After the application deadline, you can expect to hear from us within a few weeks by email, letting you know whether or not you have been shortlisted for interview. During the interview, the panel will have your digital portfolio (which you will be required to bring in physical form), along with your sketchbooks and application form. You may also bring any additional images or sketchbooks that were not included in your original application to interview. Candidates will be asked to talk about the role of drawing in their work and about the way they see The Drawing Year benefiting their practice. All interviewees can expect to be contacted approximately a week following their interview.

Interviews will be held in early May 2024.

Further information regarding our Admissions Policy can be found here.

Information for non-UK passport holders:

EU/EEA and international students wishing to study on the Drawing Year will require either:

  • A valid UK passport
  • Settled or Pre-settled Status in the UK
  • A Graduate visa
  • Another form of valid visa for the duration of your studies 

As an independent school, we are not currently able to sponsor Student visas. Regrettably, we are therefore not able to consider applications from international and EU students who are not eligible for a UK visa, Graduate visa or don't already have Settled/Pre-Settled Status granted under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).

Please see our International student page for more information about EU/EEA Nationals with Settled or Pre-settled Status  and the Graduate Visa.

Portfolio Support Scheme

The Royal Drawing School is committed to promoting diversity, equality, and inclusion across all of our programmes. The Drawing Year aims to attract applicants from diverse and varied backgrounds, creating an inclusive community for all. This is why we have introduced a new Portfolio Support Scheme, designed to provide Drawing Year applicants from minority ethnic backgrounds with the opportunity to discuss their portfolio with a Royal Drawing School tutor prior to submitting their final application. This scheme is also open to other potential applicants who might not have experienced a conventional or straightforward route to postgraduate-level education.

Please see our Portfolio Support Scheme page for further information.

If you would like to know more about The Drawing Year, we run several Open Days each year, visit our 'Lectures and Events' page for further details.