Applications are now closed.

Due to the unprecedented circumstances, the Royal Drawing School are anticipating needing to make changes to the admission procedures for the Postgraduate Programme. The Drawing Year team will be in contact with applicants with any changes to the application process.

The School wants to avoid a situation in which candidates are unable to attend interviews and so we are currently looking at delaying both our selection and interview dates accordingly, we may also need to explore the possibility of conducting interviews via Skype or video call.

In the event of severe and ongoing disruption it may be necessary to delay or defer the start date of our next academic year.

Q. How much does it cost to study on The Drawing Year at the Royal Drawing School?

Nothing – all Drawing Year students are on a full scholarship and have their fees paid for the year. This includes classes, studio space, forums and lectures, and study trips. Each year, a number of grants are allocated to students on a means-tested basis to help with living costs. Unlike a loan, students do not have to pay these back. There is also a Hardship Fund that students can apply to for extra help with living expenses, travel and materials costs should they run into financial difficulties during the year.

Q. I don’t have a BA in Fine Art. Can I still apply?

A BA in Fine Art is desirable, however you can still apply if you have a degree in a related subject or equivalent professional experience along with a strong portfolio of work showing a commitment to drawing and can demonstrate a level of artistic professionalism in your work appropriate for study at MA level. 

Q. I don’t have a UK passport. Can I still apply?

EU/EEA Nationals can apply to the Drawing Year for entry in 2020-21. Nationals of an EU/EEA country (European Union plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland) applying for entry in 2020-21 can live in the UK through the EU Settlement Scheme.

Please note: Due to ongoing political negotiations, we are unable to confirm whether we will be able to accept students from the EU/EEA in following years.  

Nationals of all other countries: Regrettably we are not able to consider applications from international students who are not eligible for a UK visa. Since March 2009, the Royal Drawing School has not been able to sponsor students from outside the EEA. As an independent school, we do not have a UK Border Agency Tier 4 License for this course. However, there may be unusual circumstances wherein non-EU/EEA nationals are eligible for visas which do allow for study. It is the responsibility of interested applicants to check with local UK immigration authorities. 

For more info: www.bia.homeoffice.gov.uk/studyingintheuk

Q. What should I submit in my portfolio?

We require you to completed an online application form, submit a digital portfolio by the 12pm (midday) deadline on 31st March 2020, and send two sketchbooks to the School. You must drop off your sketchbooks to the School on the 7th and 8th April 2020. 

Your digital portfolio must consist of:


  • 10 drawings
  • 10 'Additional Works' consisting of 10 pieces of any other work you wish to include.

Images should be saved as jpegs, no larger than 150dpi and maximum 4MB per image. Please ensure images are of good quality.

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/8MB.

Every image must be labelled in the following way: 

Title of Work_Dimensions_Medium.jpeg
i.e. Untitled_25x25_CharcoalOnPaper.jpeg 
(dimensions should be calculated in centimetres)

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

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
  • Sketchbooks must be clearly labelled on the front with your full name, email and phone number

Q. How do I drop off my sketchbook?

We require you to submit two sketchbooks to the Royal Drawing School Shoreditch as a supplement to your digital portfolio. 
The School wants to protect applicants by minimising travel implications and contact with large groups of people


  • Our advertised sketchbook Drop off days on 7th and 8th April will be rescheduled to a later date.
  • We ask that applicants please do not post or deliver physical sketchbooks to the School until further notice

All candidates will still have the option to submit supporting sketchbooks either in person or via post before the applications panel meet. In the event that neither of these options are possible we will also be looking into accepting sketchbooks digitally. 

 We will keep applicants up to date with any further decisions made.

Q. When can I expect to hear about my application?

After the application deadline, you can expect to hear from us by email in late April, letting you know whether or not you have been shortlisted for interview. 

The School wants to avoid a situation in which candidates are unable to attend interviews and so we are currently looking at delaying both our selection and interview dates accordingly, we may also need to explore the possibility of conducting interviews via Skype or video call.

Unfortunately we cannot offer deferrals to successful candidates.

Please note: This timeline is now subject to change, please check back for further details.

Q. How are The Drawing Year applications assessed?

After the application deadline, every portfolio is reviewed by a panel of practising artists and critics. The panel make a shortlist of approximately 40 applicants who are subsequently invited to interview. During the interview, the panel will have your submitted portfolio images and application form and will also look at any additional images or sketchbooks that you bring on the day.

Q. Do you give feedback on Drawing Year applications?

We are unable to offer feedback on individual applications. This is common practice across most of the UK’s major art schools.

Q. I wasn’t accepted onto The Drawing Year. Can I still take classes at the school?

Yes. All classes (with the exception of Monday night masterclasses, Core Programme and the Wednesday night forum) are open to the public, who pay to attend courses by term, with a large number of concessions available. The current class schedule is always available to view on the Public Courses page of our website. If you need help deciding which classes would benefit you, we would be happy to advise you.

Q. Do students do written work as part of the course?

There is no written component to the course. However, students do sustain a lively critical debate and are asked to make a short presentation on a chosen artist to their fellow students at some point during the year.

Q. What qualification will I receive after finishing the year?

The Drawing Year is not a university accredited course, so students do not receive a formal MA qualification. All those who complete the year are awarded a postgraduate diploma certificate, signed by the chair of the External Assessment Board and the Artistic Director, Catherine Goodman

Q. Is it possible to stay on and study for a second year?

Currently we are not running a second year, however all students are now invited to stay on for the Extended Term following the end of the year, as a springboard into professional practice. Students keep their studio space and are required to take one course for the final term.

Q. What do your students go on to do after The Drawing Year?

Most of our alumni are now practising fine artists who regularly show and sell work or undertake commissions, many of whom also have gallery representation. Other students have gone on to professional practice in areas including illustration, animation, architecture, film and theatre design. Alumni can apply to join our tutor training programme with The Drawing Clubs which offers serious, sustained tutoring for children aged 10-18 with a passion or aptitude for drawing. Many have used this experience as a springboard into teaching both adults and children.