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MA Narrative Environments

College
CSM
Start date
September 2019
Course length
Extended full time: 2 years (60 weeks) - learn more

Course summary

On this course you'll design visitor experiences and events for museums, brand, urban and community environments and work in small multidisciplinary teams to tell stories through text, image, sound and physical space. You'll benefit from strong industry links that provide live, funded projects, mentors and placements.

This course is part of the Spatial Practices Programme.

Great reasons to apply

  • MA Narrative Environments enables you to pursue your studies whilst also undertaking part-time employment, internships or care responsibilities. You are expected to commit 30 hours per week to your studies; your taught input will normally be scheduled over a maximum of two to three days per week during term time.
  • Collaborate in a multidisciplinary team of architects, communication designers, media designers and writers to design complex and engaging environments that would not be possible to develop on your own.
  • Learn from leading industry figures affiliated to the course. Get a mentor, in the creative industries who can give you real world advice; do a placement or internship in a design company, an architect’s practice, a museum or a related business or government organization; get a sense of the global market for jobs in narrative environments.
  • Undertake live projects as part of the course with affiliates such as Arup, Cisco, Selfridges, Arts Council England, Southbank Centre, the National Trust and the London Festival of Architecture. Meet thought leaders and inspirational practitioners.
  • Try a wide range of projects from city branding to public engagement and social innovation that help you to define your future career in either the commercial or cultural creative industries or indeed in PhD research.
  • Contribute to the cutting edge of new design theory as it is applied to professional practice; clarify and define your own values and position as a creative practitioner.

Open days

Friday, 11 January at 2pm
Friday, 1 February at 2pm
Friday, 15 March at 2pm
Friday, 26 April at 2pm
Friday, 24 May at 2pm

Scholarships, awards and funding

MA Narrative Environments Bursary
Jane Rapley Scholarships

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

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.

Student work

Narrative Environments on Instagram

@narrativeenvironments
A lovely record of @zhoushudesign's return to @nar

A lovely record of @zhoushudesign's return to @narrativeenvironments @csm_news this week! Thank you for generously shari...

@narrativeenvironments
Huge thank you to Spencer Zhou for sharing his wor

Huge thank you to Spencer Zhou for sharing his work and experience with us last night at our #NarrativeEnvironmentsInPra...

@narrativeenvironments
As the Camden #storyshapes group said today… alway

As the Camden #storyshapes group said today… always end by sharing some food (… or presents or wine!) Well-wrapped gifts...

@narrativeenvironments
✨Huge congratulations to MA NE tutor David Chamber

✨Huge congratulations to MA NE tutor David Chambers and his team at Aberrant Architecture @aberrantarchitecture for the ...

Course catalogues

Narrative Environments stories

Creative Unions x Spatial Practices Prizes

Central Saint Martins Degree Show Two: Design 2018 saw the second year of our Spatial Practices Prizes sponsored by Knight Frank. Awarded in recognition of outstanding work by a final-year student, […]

Take Five: Cruz María Vallespir

With Degree Show season now at a close, we look back at our students’ final projects and the inspirations behind them. MA Narrative Environments student Cruz María Vallespir’s final project […]

fundamentals

Olly Wainwright on Fundamentals

With the second Fundamentals lecture series beginning on Thursday 25 January, Guardian architecture and design critic Olly Wainwright looks back at last year’s series and introduces the key themes for […]

Liquid Histories, Shanghai Urban Space Art Season (photo: Aberrant Architecture)

Liquid Histories in Shanghai

A team from Central Saint Martins, led by Head of College Jeremy Till, has curated the London Pavilion at the Shanghai Urban Space Art Season. Under the theme of “Connections”, […]

Facilities

A large wooden construction on display in a workshop at Central Saint Martins

3D Large: Wood

Find out more about our wood workshops.

People using tools and machinery inside a large workshop at Central Saint Martins

Wood

Find out more about the Wood facility at Archway.

A room with people working at computers

CAD

Find out more about our CAD facilities at King's Cross.

Course details

MA Narrative Environments is part of the Spatial Practices programme. The course combines storytelling with experience design, interaction design, museum studies, exhibition design, event design and communication design. You will develop and install interventions in cultural and corporate settings as well as making critical urban interventions in the public realm. You will undertake site and social research, visiting spaces, observing, filming and talking to visitors and inhabitants. You'll also produce proposals and make and test these in situ.

Distinct disciplines contribute to the postgraduate programme. Developing a new science centre, for example, draws on architects, curators, destination consultants, 3D designers, communication designers, interaction designers, time-based media designers, scenographers, writers, retailers and project managers. We value all.

About the course

  • MA Narrative Environments lasts 60 weeks structured as two consecutive periods of 30 weeks each (i.e. two academic years) in its 'extended full-time mode'.
  • MA Narrative Environments is credit rated at 180 credits, and comprises 3 units, each 20 weeks. Unit 1 (60 credits) runs for the first 20 weeks. Unit 2 (60 credits) runs for the last 10 weeks in the first year and the first 10 weeks in the second year. Unit 3 (60 credits) last 20 weeks.
  • All units must be passed in order to achieve the MA, but the classification of the award of MA derives from your mark for Unit 3 only.
  • You are expected to commit 30 hours per week to your studies, within which, your taught input will normally be scheduled over three days. MA Narrative Environments has been designed in this way to enable you to pursue your studies, whilst also undertaking part-time employment, internships or care responsibilities.

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.

Recent client projects in the Spatial Practices programme include: London Borough of Camden, National Trust, Arup, Mindfolio, New World Development, Grange Hotels, Oasis, Hot Spots Movement, Redbridge Council and Southbank Centre.

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.

Course units

Unit One: Methodology and scope of the design of Narrative Environments

This unit is an intensive introduction to the methodology and scope of the design of Narrative Environments taught through team-based practical projects. You'll attend workshops on research, collaboration, storyboarding, presentation and techniques for integrating augmented reality into your work. There are complemented by lectures and seminars on narrative and spatial theory.

Leading UK and international practitioners will attend studio crits and give talks on professional practice. You'll be allocated a mentor who will provide further insight into particular professional roles and career opportunities.

Unit Two: Challenging, originating and repositioning Narrative Environments 1

This unit is designed to provide an opportunity for you define your own direction by doing an industry placement, and developing your major project proposition.

The unit begins with a broad open project, which prepares you to move from responding to design briefs, to devising your own, self-directed brief. This is followed by a placement, which gives you direct insight into opportunities and working methods in the industry and enables you to appraise your own abilities and ambitions. The placement informs your major project proposal and your career direction.

In the Autumn Term, you develop your major project proposition. You define your own research question, aims and objectives and you assemble your own team. This is designed to enable you to become a self-sufficient, critical practitioner, with clear career aspirations and confidence to pursue your goals.

Unit Three: Challenging, Originating and Repositioning Narrative Environments 2

During this unit, you produce a complex and multilayered visitor experience that critiques and challenges conventional practice.

This unit is designed to enable you to prototype, test, and resolve your major project at whatever scale is feasible.

After you have submitted your major project you write a critical report that reflects upon and evaluates your major project and your plans for a future career. You complete the course by contributing to the organisation, design and implementation of the degree show exhibition.

Staff

Tricia  Austin

Tricia Austin

Course Leader, MA Narrative Environments

Sarah  Featherstone

Sarah Featherstone

Associate Lecturer, First Year Tutor, MA Narrative Environments

Xavier  Llarch Font

Xavier Llarch Font

3D Design and Public Engagement Tutor, Spatial Design and Public Engagement Tutor, MA Narrative Environments.

Bethany  Shepherd

Bethany Shepherd

Course Tutor, MA Narrative Environments | Associate Lecturer, MA Innovation Management

Museum Specialist and Historian: Kevin Flude
Course Tutor: Bethany Shepherd
Second Year Tutor: David Chambers
Second Year Tutor: Claire Healy
Second Year Tutor: Ingrid Hu
Mentor and Placement Broker/Tutor on Show Design: Cristina Salvi
Interaction Design Tutor: Joel Gethin Lewis
Communications Assistant: Stephanie Romig-Orr

How to apply

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and to supporting all of our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. If you have a disability (e.g. mobility difficulties, sensory impairments, medical or mental health conditions or Asperger’s syndrome) we strongly encourage you to contact us on disability@arts.ac.uk or +44 (0)20 7514 6156 so that we can plan the right support for you. All enquiries are treated confidentially. To find out more, visit our Disability & Dyslexia webpages.

Entry requirements

The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows:

  • An Honours degree in a relevant field architecture, exhibition, graphic, interior, performance, retail, spatial, theatre, 3D, multimedia or interaction design, museum studies or curatorship, writing, and design management  OR
  • An equivalent EU / international qualification

AND normally at least one year of relevant professional experience.

For further advice on entry requirements contact Tricia Austin, Course Leader, on +44(0) 20 7514 8535, email p.austin@csm.arts.ac.uk.

APEL - Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

Exceptionally applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

*          Related academic or work experience

*          The quality of the personal statement

*          A strong academic or other professional reference

*          OR a combination of these factors.

Each application will be considered on its own merit but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

English Language Requirements

IELTS level 6.5 or above, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking (please check our main English Language requirements webpage).

Selection criteria

We select applicants according to potential and current ability in the following areas:

  • Skills and knowledge in your own discipline and preferably some examples of post college work in your particular field
  • Evidence of interest and understanding of narrative structure
  • Work demonstrating engagement with narrative in a spatial context, whether that is a real or virtual space;
  • A reflective and critical approach
  • Evidence and experience of teamwork
  • Self-motivation, ambition and a commitment to the course.

What we are looking for

We actively seek graduates with some experience of architecture, curatorship, writing or design who want to grow their expertise within the cultural and commercial sectors. We seek resourceful, talented and ambitious individuals who work well in multidisciplinary teams. The college's strong international profile is reflected in the broad cultural mix of our students and our international studio placements and exchanges.

Making your application

For EU applicants concerned about Brexit, please see our dedicated page: Brexit Information for Students.

You should apply by clicking on the link to the direct form below. The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not 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.

Start your application now

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry. You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following information when completing the online application form:

General information

Personal details (including legal full name, date of birth, nationality, addresses)

Current English language level

Current and/or previous education and qualification details

Employment history

Personal Statement

Your personal statement should explain what role the course would play in your personal and professional development and where you aim to locate yourself within the cultural and commercial industries.

We cannot consider your application if you do not provide all of the information above.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by the end of May at the very latest to avoid disappointment.  We reserve the right to close applications earlier than the deadline above subject to spaces available.

There are two ways international students can apply:

  • One of our official representatives in your country
  • A direct application.

If you are applying directly you click on the link to the direct form below. The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not 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.

For further advice on how to apply please visit the UAL International Application page.

Start your application now

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry. You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following information when completing the online application form:

General information

Personal details (including legal full name, date of birth, nationality, addresses)

Current English language level

Current and/or previous education and qualification details

Employment history

Personal Statement

Your personal statement should explain what role the course would play in your personal and professional development and where you aim to locate yourself within the cultural and commercial industries.

Immigration history check

Whether you are applying online or through a UAL representative you will need to complete an immigration history check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL.  If you do not complete the check we will not be able to proceed with your application.

We cannot consider your application if you do not provide all of the information above.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by the end of May at the very latest to avoid disappointment.  We reserve the right to close applications earlier than the deadline above subject to spaces available.


After you apply

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive an email confirming we have successfully received your application and providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal.  We will request any additional information from you, including inviting you to upload documents or book an audition, through the portal.  You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

What happens next

Initial application check

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course.  If you do, you will be invited to submit a portfolio through your UAL Portal.

Portfolio Review

Your portfolio should demonstrate your practical and conceptual skills as well as your working processes. The content of your portfolio will depend on your field of expertise as follows:

Designers should include:

  • 20 images of visual work
  • Examples of moving image work if appropriate
  • Developmental research material
  • Samples of written work.

Curators and museum studies graduates should include:

  • A link to a detailed professional CV with project descriptions
  • Documentation of work where possible

Architects should include:

  • Your degree project
  • Two other projects featuring concept drawings and process work that demonstrate your own concerns
  • Drawings, designs, visualisations and photographs of models appropriate to your experience and background.

Writers and humanities graduates should include:

  • A publications list or CV detailing recent projects (e.g. screenplays, scripts, art direction, articles from journals or newspapers, short stories, novels)
  • Details of membership of professional organisations (e.g. Writers Guild, NUJ)
  • At least three samples of work.

Interview

Following the review of your application and portfolio, we select a small number of applicants to move on to the next stage of the process. These applicants will be invited to interview, either in person or by skype.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the outcome of your application through the UAL Portal.

Fees & Funding

Home/EU fee

Tuition fees for 2019/20: £6,265 per year. Please note that fees for second year of study will be subject to inflationary increase.

£500 per annum discount for all 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.

ELQ

Home/EU students whose chosen course is at a level equivalent to, or lower than, a qualification that they already hold, would will be charged the fees shown above, plus an additional £1,100 (called the 'ELQ' fee). Students in receipt of Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs) are exempt from ELQ fees and will pay the original fee, regardless of the highest qualification held. If you have a query regarding the ELQ fee, please use this register your interest form.

International fee

Tuition fees for 2019/20: £14,305 per year.

£500 per annum discount for all 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.

Additional costs

In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. Please read the information on our additional costs page.

Accommodation

Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.

Scholarships and awards

There are a number of scholarships and awards available to students on this course. Use our search tool to find out more information.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

MA Narrative Environments extends and enhances your employment opportunities in sectors such as exhibition, event, retail and interpretive design, visitor centre development, curating, scripting and creative direction, film and TV production, architecture, new media and interaction design, brand development and design for corporate environments.

The postgraduate course also addresses the need for advanced research in spatial practices. It provides a grounding in design research and intellectual, scholarly debate that can lead you to MPhil and PhD research degrees.

MA Narrative Environments has excellent links with renowned practitioners across the spectrum of narrative design. Professional fields include: interpretive design; production; architecture; interaction, media, graphic and communication design; brand communications; museums and galleries; planning and management.

Companies and institutions that are affiliates and sponsors of MA Narrative Environments include:

  • Arthesia HD, Switzerland
  • Arup Innovation Unit
  • The British Museum, London
  • Event Communication, London
  • Eyebeam, NY
  • FAT (Fashion Architecture Taste) London
  • The Freud Museum, London
  • Glasshouse Community-led Design, London
  • G.T.F, London
  • Hidden Art, London
  • IDEO London and Shanghai
  • Imagination, London and NY
  • Land Design Studio, London
  • LDJ lighting design, Yorkshire
  • MET London and Hong Kong
  • Metaphor, London
  • Participle, London
  • Ralph Appelbaum Associates London and NY
  • Selfridges, London
  • the Serpentine Gallery, London
  • The Science Museum, London
  • The Speaker's Corner Trust
  • Southbank Centre, London
  • Stanton Williams, London
  • Tate Modern, London
  • United Visual Artists, London
  • Wolf Olins, London
  • The Wellcome Trust, London.

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