Postgraduate FAQs

Applications for The Drawing Year 2024-25 are now closed.

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

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. 

Although there are no fees for the course, we recognise that the cost of living in London remains a significant barrier to many potential applicants. The School has recently established a London Living Grant - a means tested grant of £3000 (per student) awarded before the start of the course, open to all new students to apply. Each year we also provide a number of termly means-tested grants to help with living costs, and there is an emergency Hardship Fund that students can apply to for extra help should they run into financial difficulties during the year. Unlike a loan, students do not have to pay these back.  For further information visit our Fees and Funding page.

Q. Does the School offer any support during the application process?

Yes, the School has a Portfolio Support Scheme which is designed to provide Drawing Year applicants from minority ethnic backgrounds the opportunity to discuss their work with a Royal Drawing School tutor prior to submitting their final application. This scheme is also open to applicants who might not have experienced a conventional or straightforward route to postgraduate-level education. If your application to the scheme is successful, you will receive a one-to-one Portfolio Review Session (usually on Zoom, lasting approximately 40 minutes) ahead of making your application and then, if invited for interview, you will be offered another session ahead of your in-person interview at the School's studios on Shoreditch. For more information about the scheme and to see the full criteria click here

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

In addition to Fine Art, The Drawing Year recruits and accepts applicants from a wide range of creative fields - including Illustration, Design, Fashion, Architecture and Animation. We also welcome applicants with degrees in other subject areas as well as those with equivalent professional experience or an otherwise strong portfolio of work. Ultimately, all applicants should show a commitment to drawing in their portfolio and a dedication to the development of their artistic practice appropriate for study at postgraduate-level. If you have not followed a straightforward route to postgraduate level education, you may be eligible for our Portfolio Support Scheme which is designed to offer advice and guidance ahead of applying.

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

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 Students page for further information.

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 3 April 2024, and send two sketchbooks to the School. You must drop off your sketchbooks to the School on designated dates (please check back closer to the deadline).

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 200dpi 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/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.

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?

Sketchbook drop off to the School is on the following dates only: 8th,9th & 10th April 2024 (between 10am – 4pm).

Drop off at:
Royal Drawing School, Shoreditch
19-22 Charlotte Road,
London, EC2A 3SG 

You may also post your sketchbooks, to arrive no later than the stated drop off dates. Please allow ample time for postage, you can contact us on if you foresee any issues with meeting this deadline.

(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.

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

After the application deadline, you can expect to hear from us by email in May, letting you know whether or not you have been shortlisted for interview. Interviews will be held in early May 2024

Unfortunately we cannot offer deferrals to successful candidates.

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 50 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. 

Further information about our Admissions Policy can be found here.

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 lively critical debate and are asked to make a short contextual studies presentation 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 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 and graduates of The Drawing Year are not able to apply for the year again. However, alumni receive a discount of 50% on all courses at the Royal Drawing School, and are also offered a selection of free course places each term, to enable them to continue their observational drawing practice. 

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

Many of our alumni are now practising artists who regularly show and sell work or undertake commissions, and have gallery representation. Some students have gone on to professional practice in areas including illustration, animation, architecture, film and theatre design whilst others pursue further education. Alumni can apply to our free Tutor Training Programme with the Young Artists programme 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.