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Postgraduate

MA Applied Imagination

A women looking into an optical instrument

College
Central Saint Martins
Start date
January 2023
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.

Please note this course is undergoing re-approval. This is the process by which we ensure the course continues to provide a high quality academic experience. During re-approval there may be some changes to the course content displayed on this page. Please contact us if you have any questions about the course.

MA Applied Imagination 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

There are currently no open days scheduled for this course, please check back at a later date.

Scholarships, bursaries and awards

Meet the Course Leader and students

Staff speaking at Relogia Arts-Science-Technology Conference

Graduate Showcase

Explore work by our recent students on the UAL Graduate Showcase

  • Retrace’98
    Retrace’98, Kanya Pratita Wanaditya, 2021 MA Applied Imagination in the Creative Industries, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • An Exclusive Bridge for Artisans to Fashion & Film
    An Exclusive Bridge for Artisans to Fashion & Film, Vanshaj Kumar, 2021 MA Applied Imagination in the Creative Industries, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • My Graduate Showcase
    My Graduate Showcase, Sidi CHENG, 2021 MA Applied Imagination in the Creative Industries, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Stitching Around The Gender Gaps
    Stitching Around The Gender Gaps, Jojo Lee, 2021 MA Applied Imagination in the Creative Industries, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Inter.work
    Inter.work, Brenda Hernandez Gonzalez, 2021 MA Applied Imagination in the Creative Industries, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Room I: Transmedia narrative and cognitive
    Room I: Transmedia narrative and cognitive, Jin Duan, 2021 MA Applied Imagination in the Creative Industries, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • News Food: Unfortune Cookies
    News Food: Unfortune Cookies, Ho Yee Chan, 2021 MA Applied Imagination in the Creative Industries, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Mind's Eye VR: Impressionist VR- Mindfulness
    Mind's Eye VR: Impressionist VR- Mindfulness, Sam Mukherjee, 2021 MA Applied Imagination in the Creative Industries, Central Saint Martins, UAL

Culture and Enterprise stories

  • (In)Visible Processes: Adriana Cobo Corey
    The Great Unwashed, , Adriana Cobo Corey (Photo: Catarina Heeckt)

    (In)Visible Processes: Adriana Cobo Corey

    In this conversation, Adriana Cobo Corey shares her PhD research on taste, space and power. See her work in (In)Visible Processes at the Lethaby Gallery curated by MA Culture, Criticism and Curation students. The exhibition shares recent PhD

  • Remedies and Translations
    Screenshot of Sparking Creativity

    Remedies and Translations

    In their final year, students from MA Arts and Cultural Enterprise collaborate on an online intervention. This year the projects ran from “audio remedies” for the global pandemic to exploring the impact of live-streaming improvised performance.

  • Class of 2020: Work
    Sophie Huckfield, Break the Frame, MA Material Futures

    Class of 2020: Work

    We take a look at the 2020 graduating students exploring the meanings of work.

  • Class of 2020: Damilola Ayo-Vaughan

    Class of 2020: Damilola Ayo-Vaughan

    Graduating from BA Culture, Criticism and Curation, Damilola Ayo-Vaughan talks to us about his photographic practice which synthesises personal and collective memory.

Facilities

  • A room with people working at computers
    Credit: Image courtesy of Central Saint Martins Image courtesy of Central Saint Martins,
  • Students working at tables inside Central Saint Martins' Library
    Image courtesy of Central Saint Martins,
  • Rows of seats facing a screen in the LVMH Lecture Theatre at Central Saint Martins
    Image courtesy of Central Saint Martins,

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

Contact us

Register your interest to receive information and updates about studying at UAL.

Contact us to make an enquiry.

Course dates

Autumn term
Monday 10 January 2022 – Friday 18 March 2022
Spring term
Tuesday 19 April 2022 – Friday 24 June 2022
Summer term
Monday 26 September 2022 – Friday 9 December 2022

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 

Tutor (Full Time Mode): Diana Donaldson
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

Information for disabled applicants

UAL is committed to achieving inclusion and equality for disabled students. This includes students who have:
     
  • Dyslexia or another Specific Learning Difference
  • A sensory impairment
  • A physical impairment
  • A long-term health or mental health condition
  • Autism
  • Another long-term condition which has an impact on your day-to-day life
Our Disability Service arranges adjustments and support for disabled applicants and students. Read our Disability and dyslexia: applying for a course and joining UAL information.

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.

Deferred entry

This course accepts requests from offer holders to defer their place for one academic year. Deferral requests are granted on a first-come, first-served basis until all deferral places are filled, or a deadline has been reached, whichever is sooner. Read our Admissions Policy for details, including how to request a deferral and by when.

Transfers

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units and modules on your current postgraduate course and wish to continue your studies at Central Saint Martins, you can apply to transfer. The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible.

Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and unit transcripts.

You will need to provide an official document (translated into English) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

Full-time - start your application now

Part-time - start your application now

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 the information above.

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 / portfolio / book an interview, through the portal.  You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

Please add csm.ukeu@arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates re: your application to UAL.  Also consider altering your spam or junk mail filter to ensure that emails from @arts.ac.uk get through to you.

Application deadline

26 October 2022

We encourage you to apply for this course by 26 October 2022 and all applications received at this point will be considered equally. If there are places available after this date, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.

We recommend you submit your application as early as possible, to allow the Admissions team to resolve any initial queries about your application as quickly as possible.

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.

Deferred entry

This course accepts requests from offer holders to defer their place for one academic year. Deferral requests are granted on a first-come, first-served basis until all deferral places are filled, or a deadline has been reached, whichever is sooner. Read our Admissions Policy for details, including how to request a deferral and by when.

Transfers

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units and modules on your current postgraduate course and wish to continue your studies at Central Saint Martins, you can apply to transfer. The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible.

Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and unit transcripts.

You will need to provide an official document (translated into English) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

Full-time - start your application now

Part-time - start your application now

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.

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 the information above.

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 / portfolio / book an interview, through the portal.  You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

Please add csm.international@arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates re: your application to UAL.  Also consider altering your spam or junk mail filter to ensure that emails from @arts.ac.uk get through to you.

Application deadline

26 October 2022

We encourage you to apply for this course by 26 October 2022 and all applications received at this point will be considered equally. If there are places available after this date, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.

We recommend you submit your application as early as possible, to allow the Admissions team to resolve any initial queries about your application as quickly as possible.

After you apply

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 online interview.

Interview

The interview may last up to 40 minutes.  It 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 and funding

Home fee

£11,550 (Full time), £5,775 per year (Part time)

This fee is correct for 2022/23 entry and is subject to change for 2023/24 entry. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Home fees are currently charged to UK nationals and UK residents who meet the rules. However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees and determining your fee status.

International fee

£23,610 (Full time), £11,805 per year (Part time)

This fee is correct for 2022/23 entry and is subject to change for 2023/24 entry. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Home fees are currently charged to UK nationals and UK residents who meet the rules. However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees and determining your fee status.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

Students graduating from MA Applied Imagination 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. 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.