MA Applied Imagination in the Creative Industries

Apply your imagination by framing an original and personal research project and question existing assumptions and boundaries in one or more of the creative disciplines. Investigate your ideas through a series of real-world interventions and obtain feedback from end-users and key practitioners.

This course is part of the: Culture & Enterprise Programme.

Scholarships, Awards and Funding available:

Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarships:
Home/EU | International
Jane Rapley Scholarships

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are now available for eligible UK and EU students. A full list of eligibility criteria and information on applying can be found on the postgraduate loans webpage.

Meet the Course Leader and students

HarperCollins Creative Symposium, chaired by alumnus Ralph Barker
John Sturrock

HarperCollins Creative Symposium, chaired by alumnus Ralph Barker

Student Liya Ye presents her project, which explores a new film selection method that uses audience emotions.
John Sturrock

Student Liya Ye presents her project: a new film selection method that uses audience emotions

Silvia Mercuriali’s Macondo theatre workshop, exploring the distinction between performer and spectator
John Sturrock

Exploring performer and spectator differentation in Silvia Mercuriali's Macondo theatre workshop

Silvia Mercuriali’s Macondo theatre workshop
John Sturrock

Exploring performer and spectator differentation in Silvia Mercuriali's Macondo theatre workshop

Silvia Mercuriali’s Macondo theatre workshop
John Sturrock

Exploring performer and spectator differentation in Silvia Mercuriali's Macondo theatre workshop

Performance artist and student Seana Wilson creating fibreglass body casts
John Sturrock

Performance artist and student Seana Wilson creating fibreglass body casts

CSM alumnus Yifei Chai demonstrates his robotic arm creation, which can control another person’s movements
John Sturrock

CSM alumnus Yifei Chai demonstrates his robotic arm creation, which can control another person’s movements 

5 great reasons to apply

  • You’ll embark on a learning journey that concludes with a very personal research project that has the potential to change your life.
  • If you are already working in a design-related profession you’ll have the option to study the course part time and test your ideas within your own professional practice as well as with other students.
  • You’ll participate in an exhibition at the end of your MA journey, showcasing your project through artefacts, diaries and a synopsis of the knowledge that you have gained.
  • You’ll develop your teamwork through the interdisciplinary and cultural cross-fertilization that our programme provides, working in groups to respond to projects that are deliberately created to get your adrenalin pumping.
  • You’ll be challenged by short and demanding projects that deliberately ask questions that defy predictable answers such as 'Can you design and test a fully operational time machine?'

Facts

Course Leader

Richard Reynolds

Course Location

King's Cross, London. Tel: +44 (0)20 7514 7023

Study LevelPostgraduate
Study ModeFull time or Part time
Course LengthFull time 1 year (45 weeks) Part time 2 years (90 weeks)
Home/EU Fee

Full time tuition fees for course that starts in January 2017: £8,250. £1,000 discount for all students who have completed a PG Dip/Cert or an undergraduate course including Grad Dip/Cert, at UAL.

Part time tuition fees for course that starts in January 2017: £4,125 per year. £500 per annum discount for Home/EU students who have completed a PG Dip/Cert or an undergraduate course including Grad Dip/Cert, at UAL.

You can pay course tuition fees in instalments for this course. 

Use our Fees and Funding Calculator to estimate how much your studies may cost you in your first year, and what funding may be available to you.

 

International Fee

Full time tuition fees for course that starts in January 2017: £17,230. £1,000 discount for all students who have completed a PG Dip/Cert or an undergraduate course including Grad Dip/Cert, at UAL.

Part time tuition fees for course that starts in January 2017: £8,615 per year. £500 per annum discount for students who have completed a PG Dip/Cert or an undergraduate course including Grad Dip/Cert, at UAL.

You can pay course tuition fees in instalments for this course. 

Use our Fees and Funding Calculator to estimate how much your studies may cost you in your first year, and what funding may be available to you.

Start DateJanuary 2017
Term DatesSpring: 9 Jan 2017 to 17 March 2017 Summer: 18 April to 23 June 2017 Autumn: 25 October to 8 December 2017
Application Route

Direct application

Application DeadlineApplications can be submitted throughout the academic year

Content and structure

MA Applied Imagination in the Creative Industries is of the Culture and Enterprise programme. Our learning and teaching approaches are based on the methodologies of peer learning, reflective practice and action research. Many postgraduate courses around the world make use of these techniques, but MA Applied Imagination in the Creative Industries places them at the very heart of its learning strategy. 

We utilize a two-step strategy to enable you to develop and apply new creative knowledge.

Unit One: Imagination

During Unit One, you work in groups or teams, learning from each other, and forming genuine communities of practice where knowledge, skills and understanding are shared in an environment which closely resembles professional creative practice. The varied cultural, educational and professional backgrounds of our students accelerate the development and interaction of these communities. Visiting speakers, live projects, contacts with sponsors, collaborations with clients and other institutions of learning, and external research interventions extend this emerging student-led community of practice into London’s creative heartland, and – through the international character of the course – also far beyond the UK.

  • This unit involves opening and informing your imagination and we facilitate this by exploiting the interdisciplinary and cultural cross-fertilization that our postgraduate programme provides.
  • The principal strategy involves teamwork in which rotating groups of students work with each other to respond to projects that are deliberately created to get your adrenalin pumping. Briefs are freshly created each year to challenge contemporary expectations and assumptions.
  • Project are short and demanding, rarely lasting more than two weeks and deliberately asking questions that defy predictable answers: For example we might ask you: 'If money had a smell what should it smell like?'
  • A question like this tends to challenge everyone not least because it acknowledges our capacity to utilize our embodied knowledge in a strategy of sensuous scholarship that employs the full range of our multi-sensory capability.
  • This strategy of taking you outside of the familiar conventions of creativity tends to quickly locate the discipline and culturally condition resistances to change. We are concerned to build awareness of personal and collective resistances that may inhibit the creation of new paradigms.

Unit Two: Application

Unit Two further develops your grasp of reflective practice – the ability to evaluate and learn from your own experience, and to apply the understanding gained from such reflection to the future development of a project. Reflection is further honed through discussion with peers, tutors and external experts, as well as through the use of a diary or reflective journal.  The planning and development of a major action research project – achieved by making planned interventions in the outside world – strengthens students’ contacts within, and understanding of, the creative industry of their concern.  Your Unit Two project becomes an individual creative journey. For each student the journey is unique in its scope and ambition, but should have the potential to place you at the heart of contemporary practice and debate within your chosen field of interest.

  • This unit becomes a much more personal journey in which each student devises and completes their own research project.
  • We never predict or prescribe the best way forward but we support our students in finding their own 'best way.'
  • For some students this will be personal and entrepreneurial, for others it may be the opportunity for a radical reassessment of themselves, their values and their potential.
  • We enable this ambition for productive change by a deceptively simple educational strategy that is based on the concept of a 'journey of discovery' in other words 'your journey.'
  • We require all students to create a question to frame their research mission and to give that question dimension through a series of artefacts that enable you to take your question into the real world in order to ascertain evidence of resistance and support.
  • The journey is fully documented in a series of diaries in which you record what you have done, why you did it and what you have learnt.
  • The MA Applied Imagination journey is completed with an exhibition that comprises evidence of the journey taken and the knowledge gained. The exhibition will feature your question, your artefacts, your diaries and a 650-word synopsis of the knowledge that you have gained.

The course reaches its climax with the planning and execution of the Degree Show, which, as well as being the occasion for assessment, is also an important showcase for our students’ individual and collective achievements.

About the course

  • MA Applied Imagination lasts 45 weeks full-time or 90 weeks part time over two years.
  • MA Applied Imagination in the Creative Industries is credit rated at 180 credits, and comprises 2 units. Unit 1 (60 credits) runs for 15 weeks full time, 30 weeks part time. Unit 2 (120 credits) follows the completion of Unit 1 and runs 30 weeks full time, 60 weeks part time.
  • Both units must be passed in order to achieve the MA, but the classification of the award of MA derives from your mark for Unit 2 only.
  • The difference between the two modes of study is that full time students are involved in more intensive study and, because they are not engaged in full time employment, test their ideas, research and working methods within the College environment with their peers as well as seeking out external verification and challenge.
  • Part time students spend less time in formal peer interaction but are expected to test their ideas within their own professional practice as well as with each other as much as is possible. For part time students, the developmental process is necessarily slower and less intense during the first year but timetables are constructed to provide maximum opportunity for preparatory critical engagement.

Staff

Acting Course Leader:  Richard Reynolds
Acting Course Tutor:Richie Manu 

Tutors (Full Time Mode):
Lorna Dallas-Conte
Diana Donaldson
Cvetana Ivanova
David Mills
Aisha Richards

Tutors (Part Time Mode):
Paul Colbeck
Jasminka Letzas
Elizabeth Wright

Course Librarian:
Nick Lloyd

Careers

Students graduating from MA Applied Imagination in the Creative Industries have taken up employment in almost every part of the creative sector in the world economy. Our alumni have diversified to become actors, architects, broadcasters, creative managers, entrepreneurs, film-makers, inventors, journalists, musicians, social innovators, web designers – and academics. Many have also moved on to PhD programmes. Others have returned to – or entered for the first time – fields such as advertising, curation, exhibition and museum design, film and television, fashion design and retailing, graphic design, marketing, product design, public relations, publishing (both print and digital), and web design.

The course has links with outstanding practitioners across the spectrum of the creative sector. These include: architecture and interior design; advertising and branding; design against crime; film; fashion design; furniture and textile design; graphic and communication design; the music business; photography; product design; museums and galleries; television.

Numerous leading international companies and institutions have been collaborators with, or sponsors of, MA Applied Imagination in the Creative Industries. These include: AiG, The Big Issue, Calvin Klein, Camberwell College of Arts and Design, Cosmopolitan, Camden Council, Cranfield University, The Design Museum, Dolce and Gabbana, Gloss Interior Design, Ideo, Jam Design, Kingston University, Nokia, Pentagram, PKF International, RIBA (The Royal Institute of British Architects), St Lukes, Swatch, Tangerine Design – and many others.

For details of the wide range of careers support provided for students, please visit the Student Jobs And Careers section.

Entry requirements

Minimum entry requirements

MA Applied Imagination entry requirements are:

  • Honours degree
  • Evidence of experiential learning equivalent to a degree; or
  • 3 years relevant professional experience.

For the part-time mode you'd need to be working in a design-related profession. Your research interests, professional experience and personal goals are more important than the quality of your portfolio.

English language requirement

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language, we strongly recommend you send us an English language test score together with your application to prove your level of proficiency. If you have booked a test or are awaiting your results, please clearly indicate this on your application form. When you have received your test score, please send it to us immediately. The standard English language requirement for entry is IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in any one paper, or equivalent. For further information visit the English Language requirements page.
 
Applicants who will need a Tier 4 General Student Visa should check the Visa and Immigration page which provides important information about UK Border Agency (UKBA) requirements.

What we look for

MA Applied Imagination in the Creative Industries is aimed at graduates with a suitable background in any creative discipline. This includes all the established areas of design, but also the fine arts, performance art, curation and art business, journalism, advertising and marketing, management, economics – and potentially also science and technology.
 
We are looking for talented, ambitious and open-minded students who enjoy working with others, but who are also capable of planning and completing a self-directed major project. Above all, we are looking for creative thinkers who wish to channel their talents in order to achieve their personal goals – and are ready to accept the challenge of a student-centred curriculum in which they are able to define and pursue their own programme of study. Our cohort reflects this recruitment policy, and represents a very broad cultural, educational and professional mix.


Our students come from all over the world and we celebrate and include their diverse cultural knowledge in our quest to create alternative paradigms. Students draw on each other’s professional and diverse cultural experience to provide critical and constructive insights that open up new ways of thinking and doing.

Student selection criteria

Applicants to MA Applied Imagination in the Creative Industries will be selected on the basis of the following criteria:

  • A BA qualification or equivalent level of skills and knowledge in your own discipline
  • A Personal Statement and Study Proposal
  • Self motivation, ambition and a commitment to the postgraduate programme
  • A readiness to engage in collaborative and reflective practice, and in externally-targeted action research
  • A readiness to engage with students from a very wide variety of cultural, educational and professional backgrounds

Interviews

Interviews, which normally last up to 40 minutes, focus on your background and interests. You don't have to bring examples of your work unless you feel they'll help you demonstrate your interests.

How to apply

You can apply for this course using our online application form – the link to this is below. Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the following details about the application process, including guidance on the extra information we will ask you to provide. 

Required information for all postgraduate course applications: 

You will need to enter the following information in the online application form: 

  • Personal details (including full name; date of birth; nationality; permanent address and English language level)
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details
  • Employment history
  • Referee details (this course requires two, at least one should be an academic or professional reference) 

Before you can submit the form, you’ll also need to agree to the terms and conditions for how we process your data – these are explained in the form. 

Please note, the course team will not be able to consider your application until you have submitted the extra required elements. 

Extra information required for applications to this course: 

Once you have submitted the form, you will receive a confirmation email that includes links to where you should submit the extra information we require for the selection process: 

Personal statement 

Please give your reasons for applying to your chosen course (provide details of your particular subject interests, relevant experience or abilities, what you wish to achieve on the course, and your career aspirations). 

Study proposal 

In 500 words, explain how you think creativity can make the world a better place and how the course will help you achieve this. 

Start your application now:

Please note that this course runs from January through to December. Applications can be submitted throughout the academic year. However, places are limited so it is advisable for you to submit your application as early as possible (November) to avoid disappointment. Late applications will be considered by the course team in consultation with the Course Leader.

Deferred entry: 

Entry can only be deferred in exceptional circumstances. Please contact us before submitting your application if you're considering applying for deferred entry. 

Apply now for the full-time study mode of this course

Apply now for the part-time study mode of this course (please note that these courses are not available to applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study)

The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you don’t need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form.

We will send you emails as you progress through the application process, so do check your inbox (and junk folder, just in case). These emails will contain important information about your application, and links to the online forms you should use to submit the extra information required.

Please note, the course team will not be able to consider your application until you have submitted the extra required elements.

What happens next?

We read and consider all application forms and personal references. Please note we give particular attention to your statement and references.

Subject to your meeting the entry requirements and consideration of your application form, preliminary selection is based on your study proposal, documentation of work and supporting information. You may then be contacted for a telephone interview. For candidates applying for external funding, interviews will be scheduled prior to funding body deadlines.

Can't attend the interview?

In the case of applicants unable to discuss their application by telephone, a decision regarding the offer of a place on the course will be made on the basis of a review of the application materials. We keep notes about decisions made following the initial application review and the interview process.

Selection is by two members of staff (normally the Course Leader and one other), and offers of places are made on the basis of our selection criteria. Applicants are informed of the decision via either the Student Administration Office or the International Office.

Open days

Open days are a great opportunity to meet staff and students and to find out at first hand about courses, teaching and student life. Visit the open day section for dates to book your session. Bookings can only be made online, not by phone or email. 

Industry collaborations

Working with paying clients on live briefs will give you valuable commercial experience which may mean your work being taken forward for production or, if so desired, in the purchase of your intellectual property. All paid projects are conducted within a carefully developed legal framework, which includes student agreements to protect your work and help you realise its commercial value. 

Once you’ve graduated, you may be picked as part of a small team to work on a live creative brief, organised by our Business and Innovation department, under the supervision of an experienced tutor. This can be a valuable first step in working professionally in a chosen discipline and has resulted in graduates being hired by clients.

Enquire about this course

If you haven’t found the information you’re looking for or want to ask us a question about this course, please fill out our enquiry form.

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