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Central Saint Martins

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MA Applied Imagination in the Creative Industries

College
CSM
Start date
January 2020
Course length
One year full-time (45 weeks)
Two years part-time (90 weeks)

This course will teach you how to realise your ideas in the creative industries.

MA Applied Imagination in the Creative Industries will help you become a problem-finder and change-maker. You will apply your imagination and question existing assumptions in the creative disciplines. This course is part of the Culture and Enterprise programme.

Why choose this course at Central Saint Martins

  • Festival of Applied Imagination: You will participate in the course festival, presenting your final project outcomes to your peers, professionals and to the public.
  • Interdisciplinary approach: You will work collaboratively through the interdisciplinarity and cultural cross-fertilisation that the Culture and Enterprise programme provides.
  • Experienced feedback: You will be given the opportunity to investigate your ideas through a series of interventions and obtain feedback from end users and key practitioners.
  • Independent research: The course structure allows for an extended period of independent research. You will be encouraged to use this for testing projects with external partners and stakeholders. This feature will develop your strengths in self-directed study and creative work, as well as building skills in creative networking.

Open days

Email Richard Reynolds to book an appointment (term time only).

Scholarships

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.

UAL International Postgraduate £25,000 plus International Student House (ISH) Scholarships

Meet the Course Leader and students

Course catalogues

Culture and Enterprise stories

Facilities

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Digital Media

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Students working at tables inside Central Saint Martins' Library

Library

Find out more about the library facilities

Rows of seats facing a screen in the LVMH Lecture Theatre at Central Saint Martins

LVMH Lecture Theatre

Find out more about the LVMH Lecture Theatre.

Course overview

In October 2016, Stéphanie Thomson of the World Economic Forum noted that: “The world of work is changing faster and more drastically than at perhaps any other time in recent history. According to research from the World Economic Forum, 35% of the skills necessary to thrive in a job today will be different five years from now. How can we prepare for a workplace of the future if we’re not quite sure what it will look like?” 

MA Applied Imagination in the Creative Industries will encourage you to use research as a creative tool, with the goal of asking better questions. Rather than discipline-related skills and processes, the course focuses on developing student-specific interventions, which can be tested and developed through real-world applications. These research topics vary greatly and are dictated by your skills and interests.  

Students studying MA Applied Imagination in the Creative Industries have previously used the course as an opportunity to develop creative entrepreneurship projects – from establishing new start-ups to working with creative-sector organisations. The course foregrounds iterative testing, entrepreneurship and stakeholder engagement. It also adopts a critical stance towards cultural, economic, social and political inquiry, using discourses taken from a wide range of disciplines including: anthropology, critical theory, management theory, social enterprise, performance and technology among others.  

Rather than limiting its scope to the tradition of mono-disciplinary inquiry, MA Applied Imagination in the Creative Industries embraces multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural collaboration. This is reflected in the wide diversity of our student intake – in addition to conventionally art and design-trained students, our previous student groups have included a large proportion of students from other disciplines including: anthropology, philosophy, law, business and finance, performance, literature, history and science. 

Our students evolve as flexible and reflexive practitioners. They have the skills to both adapt to the changing demands of the workplace and to become agents of positive change in the complex world in which we live. Graduates of MA Applied Imagination in the Creative Industries are able to function in a wide variety of professional and entrepreneurial situations. Our alumni have gone on to join organisations such as ASOS, Google, Hewlett-Packard, IDEO, MUJI, Pratt Institute, TFL, ad agencies Bartle Bogle Hegarty, J. Walter Thompson and Ketchum and the production company for Amazon’s The Grand Tour

Course units

On MA Applied Imagination in the Creative Industries, we use a three-step strategy to enable you to develop and apply new creative knowledge. The first unit works to open and inform your imagination. This learning strategy involves individual projects and teamwork. You will work with your peers in rotating groups, responding to projects devised to stimulate and reinvigorate the imagination. New briefs are created each year in response to the contemporary climate. The second unit becomes a more personal journey in which you begin your own research project. The final unit comprises the conclusion of this project, your reflections on your learning and the steps you will take to share your outcomes with others. 

Unit 1: Imagination

In Unit 1, you will be immersed in a series of short, individual and team-based projects, designed to interrogate contemporary global agendas. You will use your peers as primary sources of knowledge and gain skills from external stakeholders.  

The projects in this unit pose questions which defy predictable answers – for example, we might ask you to construct and test a fully operational time machine. They are devised to take you outside of the familiar conventions of creativity. This helps to locate resistance to change, often established through specific disciplinary backgrounds and cultural conditioning. We aim to build awareness of personal and collective resistances which may inhibit the creation of new paradigms. 

Unit 2: Application

In Unit 2, you will be asked to define your research proposal. You will also be required to establish the networks required for stakeholder engagement and external verification. You are expected to demonstrate an understanding of the methodologies of action research, in order to interrogate your research question and obtain new knowledge. 

In this unit, the course team will support you in finding your “best way” forward, without predicting or prescribing your next steps.  

Unit 3: Applied Imagination

Unit 3 requires you to complete the external verification of your research question. The unit comprises the completion of your research outcomes, as well as your presentation for assessment. This will also be shown to the public as part of the Festival of Applied Imagination. 

Mode of study

MA Applied Imagination in the Creative Industries is offered in both full-time and part-time mode. Full-time mode runs for 45 weeks over 12 months. You will be expected to commit 40 hours per week to study, which includes teaching time and independent study. Part-time mode runs for 90 weeks over two academic years. You will be expected to commit 20 hours per week to study, which includes teaching time and independent study.  

Credit and award requirements

The course is credit-rated at 180 credits. 

On successfully completing the course, you will gain a Master of Arts (MA degree). 

Under the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications, an MA is Level 7. All units must be passed in order to achieve the MA but the classification of the award is derived from the mark for the final unit only. 

If you are unable to continue on the course, a Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) will normally be offered following the successful completion of 60 credits, or a Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip) following the successful completion of 120 credits. 

Learning and teaching methods

  • Unit and project briefs 
  • Tutorials (individual and group) 
  • Lectures, seminars and workshops 
  • Peer learning and peer-led assessment sessions 
  • Facilitated interaction with external stakeholders 
  • Team working, including external speaker presentations and debates, facilitated by students 
  • Visiting Practitioner and alumni mentor input 
  • Studio visits and other field trips 
  • Use of the library and other College facilities as a critical resource 
  • Student-led presentations  
  • Pairing and sharing peer group support 
  • Independent research 
  • Oral and written presentations  
  • Learning log and journal keeping 
  • Development of action research interventions 
  • Testing of interventions 
  • Reflection and self-evaluation of testing process and evidence gained 
  • Iterative development of interventions 
  • The development of an appropriate form of presentation 
  • The management of the Festival of Applied Imagination 

Assessment methods

  • Individual and team-based projects 
  • Proposal for independent study 
  • Research report 
  • Presentations 
  • Reflective journals 
  • Evaluative report 

Staff

Richard  Reynolds

Richard Reynolds

Course Leader, MA Applied Imagination in the Creative Industries.

Richie  Manu

Richie Manu

Tutor, MA Applied Imagination in the Creative Industries

Lorna Jean  Dallas-Conte

Lorna Jean Dallas-Conte

Co-Course Leader; Course Tutor, MA Innovation Management

Aisha  Richards

Aisha Richards

Tutor, MA Applied Imagination in the Creative Industries

Tutor (Full Time Mode): Diana Donaldson
Tutor (Full Time Mode): Cvetana Ivanova
Tutor (Full Time Mode): David Mills
Tutors (Part Time Mode): Paul Colbeck
Tutors (Part Time Mode): Jasminka Letzas
Tutors (Part Time Mode): Elizabeth Wright
Course Librarian: Viv Eades

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 
  • Or an equivalent EU/international qualification.

AP(E)L – 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 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:

  • 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.

What we are looking 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.

Making your application

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 - Full Time

Start your application now - Part Time

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

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.

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 October 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:

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.

Start your application now - Full Time

Start your application now - Part Time

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

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.

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 October 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.  Following a review of the application documents, successful applicants will be invited to an interview, either in person or by skype.

Interview

We normally interview in person or by skype and the interview may last up to 40 minutes.  The interview focuses on your background and interests. You don't have to bring examples of your work unless you feel they will help you demonstrate your interests.

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

Full time tuition fees: £10,890 (2019/20). £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: £5,445 per year (2019/20). £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.

International fee

Full time tuition fees: £19,930 (2019/20). £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: £9,965 per year (2019/20). £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.

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

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 & 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.

Alumni

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