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MA Innovation Management

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Image courtesy of UAL,
Central Saint Martins
Start date
September 2024
Course length
Two years (60 weeks)
Extended full-time

MA Innovation Management will help you develop the creative strategies you need to drive innovation and transformative change in an uncertain world.

Applying for more than 1 course

You can apply for more than 1 postgraduate course at UAL but we recommend that you apply for no more than 3. Find out more in the Apply Now section.

Led with a strong sense of vision, MA Innovation Management at Central Saint Martins combines theory and practice, mixing creative projects and fieldwork opportunities with lectures and rigorous writing assignments. It offers a collaborative learning community in which students from a wide range of fields – including design, business, science, policy, digital entrepreneurship and art ­– continuously challenge each other to transcend their limits. This course is part of the Culture and Enterprise programme.

Why choose this course at Central Saint Martins

  • Creative friction: You will learn in diverse teams, switching between roles while mastering the best design and business innovation methods ­– from speculative design and scenario planning to agile team management and digital visualisation techniques.
  • Knowledge sharing: From the first term onwards, you will be encouraged to disseminate your work through online media; co-organise external-facing events including social labs, exchanges with students at other leading universities and a unique Degree Show; and author publication-ready journal articles.
  • Global client and mentor network: You will learn through direct engagement with our large network of external contacts, including many creative entrepreneurs and brands. Previously, these have included: Boston Consulting Group, the British Council, Burberry, Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation, Facebook, Google, The Guardian, Ikea, Landsec, London Business School and University College London.
  • Career strategy: MA Innovation Management will support you to strategically develop your career, with a focus on creative autonomy, authenticity, social impact, sustainability and personal resilience. You will be encouraged to identify your own exciting career vision, which will allow you to thrive at the intersection of two or more fields, such as technology, design, management consulting, social innovation, dance or fashion.

Open days

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

Scholarships, bursaries and awards

All postgraduate funding options for Central Saint Martins.

Course overview

On MA Innovation Management (MAIM) you will learn how to develop the creative competencies and strategies to drive innovation and change in and across your chosen fields. Located within the vibrant Central Saint Martins College, a dedicated College of Arts and Design, the course positions critical creative practice in innovation management with this intersection of practice offering an alternative to conventional business school innovation and management courses. We attract applicants with a strong desire to pursue original ideas, initiatives, alternative futures and innovative careers.   

Designed to meet the increasing industry demand for innovation managers who can prioritise regenerative (sustainable) outcomes and societal thriving over narrower interests and preoccupations with economic value or technology, this course explores innovation management as a dynamic process that unfolds over time through continued creative interactions and collective experimentation, requiring imagination, care and empathy as much as analysis, strategy and formal frameworks. You will learn key skills in project management, digital innovation, creative and critical thinking, innovation research, collaboration and teamwork, that will enable you to succeed in your chosen innovation related future role. 

Compared to mainstream approaches to Innovation Management as a field of study and professional practice, this course addresses a wider range of concerns relating to society, culture, ecology, technology, business and creativity. You will learn how to generate creative strategies for change, with the aim of bringing to life (or creating the foundations for) products, services, systems, organisations, cultures and societies that are inclusive and regenerative. You will explore how innovation and technology can be leveraged to transform organisations into agents of social transformation and how to work critically and dynamically across multiple disciplines, organisational types that considers human and nonhuman (technological and biological) intelligences and impacts. 

MA Innovation Management prepares students to thrive at the intersection of business and creativity, theory and practice, analysis and imagination, and to leverage their skills and leadership to drive social value as well as positive organisational and societal change. Our alumni are equipped to be highly adaptable in the job market.  Their post study employment, business and enterprise work spans a spectrum of roles in the innovation field from strategists to creative design and marketing. 

MA Innovation Management is situated within the CSM Culture and Enterprise Programme. All courses within Culture & Enterprise identify common ground in addressing how arts, culture and enterprise are mediated. The Culture & Enterprise Programme sits at the heart of an institution surrounded by makers, and our courses explore how they work with these creative practitioners, how they might manage, present, collaborate and broker relationships within this creative community. This puts us in special position as opposed to perhaps other humanities based, business-based or arts management-based institutions. We find common ground for creative strategies through the spectrum of culture, arts, enterprise and social purpose and change. 

We are committed to developing ethical innovation practices. To achieve this, we are working to embed UAL's Principles for Climate, Social and Racial Justice into the course. 

Course units

This course is designed to develop your skills and ability to lead and co-ordinate creativity and innovation through both theoretical and practical learning. As an MA Innovation Management student, you will learn how to envision desirable alternative futures and foster creative mindsets (for individuals and within teams) to build agility and resilience in the face of uncertainty. You will learn to work independently and collaboratively, developing your ability to lead diverse teams and to thrive through collective engagement, harnessing empathy, criticality and creative friction to generate and deliver sustainable innovation practices and solutions. 

The course begins by introducing the contrasting theories, discourses and practices which inform and influence innovation management, challenging you to engage critically and creatively with these bodies of knowledge. As you progress through the course you will engage in a collaborative project with your peers at Central Saint Martins, where you will explore multi and trans-disciplinary co-operation, undertake a live client-led brief with an external partner, and explore how to situate your practice through either a placement or field study in professional environments. The course culminates in a final project that brings together your research and insights to apply and articulate your innovation management proposal, disseminating your work through a range of formats including an extended journal article and collaborative cohort-wide externally-facing events. 

On this course you will encounter a range of academic disciplines, approaches and frameworks, including organisational science, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, regenerative design, service design and design strategies – to help deepen and broaden your inquiry and ability to foster and lead innovation in complex organisations and contexts. 

Unit 1: Exploring Innovation (40 credits)      

Unit 1 equips you with the foundational knowledge and skills to approach and navigate complex briefs. The unit begins with a rapid, critical review of contrasting views innovation, innovation management, design and design thinking, drawing upon academia and practice, challenging you to engage with conventional and more radical perspectives including foresight and speculative futures. Speakers from cutting-edge fields such as bio-design and global sustainable fashion help explore how innovation management can be reframed as a creative practice in its own right. The second part of the unit is a service innovation project, that develops your critical understanding of service innovation and design, and introduces collaborative approaches to problem-solving and innovation. 

Unit 2: Collaborative Practices for Common Good (20 credits)   

Unit 2 provides an opportunity to collaborate with students from other postgraduate courses across CSM to work on a challenge-based project. The unit requires you to engage with how your specialist knowledges and skillsets can be applied in support of a specific societal or environmental challenge as part of an interdisciplinary collaborative team, harnessing creative thinking, critical judgement and creative output. It is an opportunity to be fully situated within the art college environment, both digital and physical, and to work alongside students from creative arts and design courses in imagining and implementing innovative responses to an assigned challenge. 


Unit 3: Imagining Futures and Situating Innovation (60 Credits)   

Unit 3 offers you the opportunity to respond to a live client-facing brief and it supports you to determine your personal direction for the final stages of the course. You will be required to work in groups to discover, articulate and showcase promising novel (business and impact) opportunities and solutions that have the potential to advance desirable future visions, co-imagined with industry clients. This unit involves practical and professional workshops including project management, facilitation, pitching and ethics. It also includes preparation for your placement or field study later in the unit, including applying for a placement, writing a research question, ethnographic methods, and qualitative and quantitative research methods.  You will be asked choose between fieldwork supervised internally at CSM or securing a work based placement through which to explore innovation situated in a professional organisation. You will have the opportunity to develop your individual interests and concerns as an innovation professional.  Teaching includes basic ethnographic and other research skills that you will need to grasp before carrying out your research activities. It challenges you to identify a core theoretical and practical concern that can be subsequently researched in a real-world context, through placement or field study, to deepen your learning and insight, and lays the groundwork for your dissertation.  

Unit 4: Applying and Articulating Innovation (60 credits)    

The course culminates with the application and articulation of innovation, based on your synthesis of learning from earlier units. This takes forms including an academic dissertation and a public-facing journal article. You will also work with your cohort to organise, manage and deliver an outward facing series of end-of-course events, designed to engage diverse audiences. These may combine contributions produced by individuals and small teams with collectively organised symposia, festivals or conferences (that bring together professionals and other attendees from the extended MA Innovation Management community and beyond), alongside digital media outputs for identified and international audiences.  

All course units integrate personal and professional development, enabling students to explore the professional world and manage them career development. Students are offered opportunities to engage with industry professionals at different points along their journey, to support their professional development and emerging creative or entrepreneurial projects. 

Important note concerning academic progression through your course: If you are required to retake a unit you will need to cease further study on the course until you have passed the unit concerned. Once you have successfully passed this unit, you will be able to proceed onto the next unit. Retaking a unit might require you to take time out of study, which could affect other things such as student loans or the visa status for international students. 

Mode of study 

MA Innovation Management is offered in extended full-time mode which runs for 60 weeks over two academic years. You will be expected to commit 30 hours per week to study, which includes teaching time and independent study.   

The course has been designed in this way to enable you to pursue studies, while also undertaking part-time employment, internships or care responsibilities.  

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

The learning and teaching methods devised for this course include: 

  • Briefing and feedback sessions 
  • Collaborative project work 
  • Independent writing and related feedback 
  • Peer discussions 
  • Lectures, seminars and workshops 
  • Group activities 
  • Group and individual tutorials and supervision 
  • Individual situated learning in the field (work placements or field surveys) 
  • Industry and alumni mentor sessions 
  • Independent study 
  • Peer-group reviews and self-reflection 

A collaborative student environment

Collaborative projects and opportunities

Hybrid creatives

Lecture: The Serendipity Mindset

UAL Showcase

Explore work by our recent students on the UAL Showcase

  • The Shifting Role of Forecasting
    The Shifting Role of Forecasting, Jingyi (Kyra) Feng, 2023 MA Innovation Management, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Speculative futures for policymaking
    Speculative futures for policymaking, Poojitha Lal, 2023 MA Innovation Management, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Innovation Adoption in Digital Fashion
    Innovation Adoption in Digital Fashion, Lilian Weiermann, 2023 MA Innovation Management, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Stigma and Speculation.
    Stigma and Speculation., Lena Rissmann, 2023 MA Innovation Management, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Feminism in Research: Paradigm Shifts
    Feminism in Research: Paradigm Shifts, Nikkita Ahuja, 2023 MA Innovation Management, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Understanding Innovation Management Systems
    Understanding Innovation Management Systems, Victoria Milne, 2023 MA Innovation Management, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Making Museums Dialogical
    Making Museums Dialogical, Mizba Bashir Pathan, 2023 MA Innovation Management, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • From Ideas to Practice: Decolonial Futures
    From Ideas to Practice: Decolonial Futures, Samara Mariano, 2023 MA Innovation Management, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Tarot: A Heuristic Tool for Creative Brainstorming
    Tarot: A Heuristic Tool for Creative Brainstorming, Danah Karam, 2023 MA Innovation Management, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Transforming Urban Landscapes
    Transforming Urban Landscapes, Patricio Ramirez, 2023 MA Innovation Management, Central Saint Martins, UAL

UAL Showcase

    The Future Photobooth puts the audience in a futures mindset - "acting as a portal into the ‘Not Yet Universe'. The booth is a private space in which visitors can contemplate where they are now, where they hope to be in the future, and the space of what is ‘not yet’ that falls between these two temporal places.
  • Collective-Futurithm.jpg
    Collective Futurithm is an immersive experience that aims to "unearth collective visions of the future by igniting the individual "imaginations. Our viewpoint is neither utopian or dystopian - we approach "innovation with an optimistic yet critical lens, understanding that the path "ahead could lie between or outside these binaries."
  • Creative-Provocation1.jpg
    A space to experience both sides of polarising arguments. We aim that by sparking conversations regardless of our biases and points of view, the visitor is able to empathise "and understand the other side of the coin."
    The innovative leap explores the impact of design and innovation within an organisation and the larger context of its environment by bringing together different industry professionals and the graduating cohort at the hub of innovation Samsung KX.

Course publications


Associate Lecturer: Lucy Hackshaw

Selected guest speakers

Fees and funding

Home fee

£7,680 per year

This fee is correct for 2024/25 entry and is subject to change for 2025/26 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

£20,505 per year

This fee is correct for 2024/25 entry and is subject to change for 2025/26 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.

Students from countries outside of the UK will generally be charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about tuition fees and determining your fee status.

Scholarship search

Entry requirements

The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows:

  • An honours degree at upper second-class (2:1) or above in a relevant field: business studies; management; social sciences; humanities; physical sciences; marketing; arts and design
  • Or an equivalent EU/international qualification

And normally at least one year of relevant professional experience.

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 7.0 or above, with at least 6.0 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 innovation and its management
  • Work demonstrating engagement with innovation and its management
  • A reflective and critical approach
  • Evidence and experience of teamwork
  • Evidence and experience of research and analysis
  • Self-motivation, ambition and a commitment to the course.

What we are looking for

We actively seek open-minded graduates from diverse academic and industry backgrounds who want to innovate, ideally with relevant work experience from business, marketing, engineering, sciences, social sciences, humanities, arts and design. A key characteristic of our candidates is the desire to extend their subject-specialisms by colliding with, negotiating between, and connecting with people, concepts, discourses and practices that are outside their normal activities, and who are keen to locate the creative outputs of these engagements in the area of innovation management.

Apply now

Application deadline


Round 1:

13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)

Round 2:

3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)

Video task deadline

Round 1:

16 January 2024

Round 2:

16 April 2024

Decision outcome

Round 1:

End of March 2024

Round 2:

End of June 2024

Round 1
Round 2
13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)
3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)
Video task deadline
16 January 2024
16 April 2024
Decision outcome
End of March 2024
End of June 2024

The deadline has now passed. However, this course is still open to applications and will remain open until all places are filled.

Read more about deadlines

Apply now

Application deadline


Round 1:

13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)

Round 2:

3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)

Video task deadline

Round 1:

16 January 2024

Round 2:

16 April 2024

Decision outcome

Round 1:

End of March 2024

Round 2:

End of June 2024

Round 1
Round 2
13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)
3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)
Video task deadline
16 January 2024
16 April 2024
Decision outcome
End of March 2024
End of June 2024

The deadline has now passed. However, this course is still open to applications and will remain open until all places are filled.

Read more about deadlines

Apply to UAL

Start your application

Apply with a UAL Representative

Based across the world, our local UAL representatives can support you with your application from your home country. Check to see if there is a representative available in your country currently.

Find your representative

How to apply

Follow this step-by-step guide to apply for this course

Step 1: Initial application

You will need to submit an initial application including your personal statement and CV.

Personal statement advice

Your personal statement should be maximum 500 words and include:

  • your reasons for choosing the course
  • your current creative practice and how this course will help you achieve your future plans
  • any relevant education and experience, especially if you do not have any formal academic qualifications.

Visit our personal statement page for more advice.

CV advice

Please provide a CV detailing your education, qualifications and any relevant work or voluntary experience. If you have any web projects or other media that you would like to share, please include links in your CV. If English is not your first language, please also include your most recent English language test score.

Written task advice

Please submit a written task alongside your initial application (2500 – 5000 words).

It should:

  • be an academic essay or a piece of creative writing. This could either be a submitted piece of work or something completely new.
  • demonstrate your high-level academic and creative skills
  • include images or illustrations where relevant.

Step 2: Video task

We will review your initial application. If you have met the standard entry requirements, we will ask you to submit a digital portfolio.

You’ll need to submit this via PebblePad, our online portfolio tool.

Video task advice

We’d like you to submit a 2-3 minute video to help us learn more about you. When recording your task, please face the camera and speak in English.

What to include in your video task:

  • tell us briefly about an important learning experience that involved generating new solutions through the application of 2 or more fields, disciplines or different perspectives.
  • what did you find challenging and what did you learn from the process?
  • is there a particular idea, project, vision, dream or career strategy that you would like to develop during your time at Central Saint Martins?

Read our guidance for how to submit your video task and which file types we accept.

Step 3: Interview

You may be invited to an interview following our review of your application. All interviews are held online and last 15 to 20 minutes.

For top tips, see our Interview advice.

You also need to know

Communicating with you

Once you have submitted your initial application, we will email you with your login details for our Applicant portal.

Requests for supplementary documents like qualifications and English language tests will be made through the applicant portal. You can also use it to ask questions regarding your application. Visit our After you apply page for more information.

Applying to more than 1 course

You can apply for more than 1 postgraduate course at UAL but we recommend that you apply for no more than 3 courses. You need to tailor your application, supporting documents and portfolio to each course, so applying for many different courses could risk the overall quality of your application. If you receive offers for multiple courses, you'll only be able to accept 1 offer. UAL doesn't accept repeat applications to the same course in the same academic year.

Visas and immigration history check

All non-UK nationals must complete an immigration history check. Your application may be considered by our course teams before this check takes place. This means that we may request your portfolio and/or video task before we identify any issues arising from your immigration history check. Sometimes your history may mean that we are not able to continue considering your application. Visit our Immigration and visas advice page for more information.

External student transfer policy

UAL accepts transfers from other institutions on a case-by-case basis. Read our Student transfer policy for more information.

Alternative offers

If your application is really strong, but we believe your strengths and skillset are better suited to a different course, we may make you an alternative offer. This means you will be offered a place on a different course or at a different UAL College.

Deferring your place

We do not accept any deferral requests for our postgraduate courses. This means that you must apply in the year that you plan to start your course and you will not be able to defer your place to start at a later date.

Application deadlines

For postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 equal consideration deadlines to ensure fairness for all our applicants. If you apply ahead of either of these deadlines, your application will be considered on an equal basis with all other applications in that round. If there are places available after the second deadline, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.


Innovation has been identified as crucial to business success, Cox Report. MA Innovation Management will generate career opportunities within:

Creative industries

  • Innovation research
  • Strategy development
  • Business development
  • Brand management

Public sector

  • Innovation research
  • Policy and strategy development

Corporate sector

  • Innovation research
  • Strategy development
  • Business development
  • Brand management


Our staff members have active and ongoing links with a wide range of institutions, organisations and companies including The Built Environment Trust, The Design Council, EDF, the Royal Society of Arts, Studio INTO and Transport for London.