AA vs RCA for Part 2 (MArch) UK - is it a no brainer?



So I recently received offers for both schools which I did not expect at all (as AA got back to me quite late) - I kind of really set my heart on RCA but now I just want to know more to make sure I make the right decision for my own good.

It seems that most people would say go for AA because it's a great architectural school. I am quite multi-disciplinary and I enjoy research into our cognitive experience in space. Could anyone be so kind to shed some light on their perspectives on either/both schools?

Thank you

Jun 13, 21 11:56 am


Jun 13, 21 12:33 pm  · 
2  · 

Could someone tell me what's so great about the AA..

Jun 14, 21 2:16 pm  · 

Zaha, Steven Holl, Rem all went there. Who knows, you might make friends with the next starchitect.

Jun 14, 21 2:25 pm  · 

AA is where all the rich rich kids go, you'll make loads of contact but RCA is where all the talent kids go imo

Jun 14, 21 3:21 pm  · 

Not really, AA has partial scholarships for new students and bursaries for existing students that is given out to quite a number of people, and you can work as a student assistant doing easy jobs for 10 quid an hour. RCA offers only 1 whole scholarship lmao. Not to mention their MA doesn't qualify as Part 2 qualification (which the AA course always has) - for UK home students you won't even get maintenance loans bruh

^this coming from someone who actually did research on how to get funding rather than perpetuate popular myths

Jun 26, 21 2:01 am  · 
1  · 

Right on scholarships but the MA Architecture RCA is a Part II qualification.

Jun 27, 21 6:05 am  · 

Both are good schools. I don't have much direct knowledge of the RCA but the feeling I got while I was in London was that it was at its best while Nigel Coates was there, much the same as when Alvin Boyarsky was at the AA. 

AA gives you a lot of freedom to set and follow your own agenda, and there's a lot of variety in the unit choices available. You should already have a good idea of what you want to do at the AA before you enter diploma (there are of course other MA courses available, but the diploma is at the core). If you just come because you've heard it's "good" you might find yourself lost after a few months. After which you have to grind and grind and grind to get a project good enough for the tables.

Neither of the schools are going to make you into Rem och Zaha, though. That's entirely up to you.

Jun 15, 21 4:38 am  · 

I'm actually leaning towards to RCA because the opportunity to collaborate with people from other design/art disciplines is attractive to me, or more like I somehow cannot imagine being in an environment where everyone's an 'architect', I enjoy architecture thinking and learning but I'm not 100% restricting myself to become a qualified architect. I don't know the best way to put it, but I also want to be making the right decision. To be fair, I am always more interested in architects/designers who graduated from the RCA. I really like their sense of aesthetics and presentation styles as well.

Both AA and RCA have units that interest me and both seem to allow my multi-disciplinary approach to sprout. I wonder if it would be silly for me to accept the offer at RCA rather AA's. I also heard AA's course is really intense and may fail/redo a year easily, is that true?

It seems like many people would compare the AA with the Bartlett, I don't seem to hear as many strong views on RCA Architecture. Another thing to consider is that, I am a UK home student, RCA would cost me £9750 per year whilst AA would be more than a double (£22000), I just wonder if the doubled amount of tuition fee is worth it at all, as many people tend to glorify how great the AA is, I'd like to know more.

Jun 16, 21 4:16 pm  · 

Hmm.....since this is your 3rd or 4th thread on your this/related topic perhaps you should take a year off and find out what you want to do with your life.  If you like the RCA go for it.  If you like the AA go with that. Don't look for us to give you that silver bullet to go left or right.

Jun 17, 21 9:06 am  · 

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